Metaphors and Methods
The Guillotine, a metaphor
I keep thinking about the French Revolution,
about Marie Antoinette whose famous,
"Let them eat cake," has, for two and a half hundred
years, been the epitome of richthink.
I hold that in my mind opposite the tattoo
on a Detroit poet's arm that says -
"Eat the Rich."
I keep thinking about Cindy Sheehan, Camp Casey,
and I wonder why the Bush twins didn't go to Iraq.
I hear newscasters call New Orleans Police officers
who evacuated with their families "deserters."
People who were invited into stores like Whole Foods,
even Walmart, and told to take what they need are "looters."
Locals who kept order in their neighborhoods
are "stragglers," are "vigilantes."
People who rode out Katrina, or want
to go home again are "in denial?"
People who went to the New Orleans Convention
Center, "didn't follow orders."
People who won't leave town, "won't be given water."
Anyone who criticizes the administration is
"using disaster to make political hay."
"Many of these people are underprivileged,
so this is working out well for them,"
says the mother of the President.
Working out well for them?
Is Barbara Bush going to give them new mothers,
fathers, sisters, houses, dogs, jobs,
I wonder if we will ever stop falling for the
"Blame the Victim" ploy, the "Trivialize the Victim" gambit,
the Machiavellian Big Lie.
Will we give this insane way of thinking and acting
in the world, not one, but two, Supreme Court Justices?
Has Haliburton grabbed another uncontested contract?
Unlike John Milton, the British poet who
wrote "Paradise Lost," and "Paradise Regained," whose
brilliant free verse filled my dreams with hosts of angels
when I was in college, whose verse sentences
showed me how language flows out of the
mind of the universe, who nearly lost his life for a pamphlet
suggesting regicide was a reasonable solution
to the rampant injustice of his time -
I am not going to advocate swift corporal retribution
or suggest we round up multi-millionaires, politicians,
media moguls, and execute them next Tuesday,
for example -
But I keep thinking about the guillotine
as a meataphor -
How it cut through the neckbone of corruption
and changed the course of history.
©Susan Bright, 9/6/05
Nature says only a few words:
High wind does not last long,
Nor does heavy rain.
If nature's words do not last
Why should those of man?
Who accepts harmony, becomes harmonious.
Who accepts loss, becomes lost.
For who accepts harmony, the Way harmonizes with him,
And who accepts loss, the Way cannot find.
Since most of us are unconsciously seeking a shelter,
a place of safety in which we shall not be hurt,
since most of us are seeking in false values
an escape from continual conflict,
therefore I say,
become conscious that the whole process of thought,
at the present time, is a continual search for shelter,
for patterns to conform to,
for systems to follow,
for methods to imitate.
Religion, politics, society are exploiting you,
and you are being conditioned by them;
you are being forced in a particular direction.
You are not human beings;
you are mere cogs in a machine.
You suffer patiently,
submitting to the cruelties of environment,
when you, individually,
have the possibilities
of changing them.
What it is About