Friday, November 04, 2005

Have a Cookie

Ode to the Social Science

Every culture and all the knowledge in it
is a mask of the universe that shatters
when a new one becomes true.


Twenty elite at a Nazi conference table,
for instance,
mechanized the details
(one walked along a frozen creek)
of the holocaust
(a snow ball game in the driveway)
to purify the Arian race
to create world peace
(one left to vomit in the hallway).
The decision
to build torture and death camps
was unanimous.

They should have simply
killed themselves —
saved the world a lot of trouble.

Instead they gave teeth to
a cultural mask
(as grim as any)
and killed the enemy
and killed 6 million Jews,
the way their great-grandparents
killed witches, like me.

And now we're doing it.

Social Science can’t "know"
why people routinely do things
that are insane.

So it manufactures data
by asking people
what they think they’re doing.


But the soul knows differently.

Breathe in the corporate ego,
feel grit at the back of your tongue —

Feel how people isolate when
their families are devoured —

Play the hegemon who scripts
most of the world invisible.

Or feel.
Try to reach someone you have marginalized,
or hated, or judged.

Watch how fury, addiction, and abuse
whirl out of grief like a leaf fractal —

The modern popular delusion is a particularly
ignorant and barbaric mask, is it not?

"You’re a good person and I hate
to give good people bad news. . ."

"'Have a cookie," said the Oracle,
"Tomorrow you’ll feel right as rain."
The Matrix

©copyright, 2005, Susan Bright

Susan Bright is the author of nineteen books of poetry. She is the editor of Plain View Press which since 1975 has published one-hundred-and-fifty books. Her work as a poet, publisher, activist and educator has taken her all over the United States and abroad. Her most recent book, The Layers of Our Seeing, is a collection of poetry, photographs and essays about peace done in collaboration with photographer Alan Pogue and Middle Eastern journalist, Muna Hamzeh.


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