Because

•April 16, 2014 • 3 Comments

AFP photo of grieving father Afghanistan
[The annual Anzac Day ritual coming up soon here in Australia, so a poem in memoriam of two child victims of Australian soldiers in Afghanistan. Howard, Rudd and Gillard were the three Australian Prime Ministers in office during the Afghanistan intervention. ANZUS stands for the Australian/New Zealand/US alliance or treaty. Photo from AFP relating to other victims and a father's grief.].

Because

John Howard’s brain was infected with a meme
stipulating Australian government always
sucks up to Empire & had never stood still
in his Vodaphone trackies long enough
to contemplate his guilt sending young men
in khaki to kill or die for an ANZUS-NIP
(National Insurance Policy) blithely
assuming an inability to defend ourselves
& an unexamined fear of Asians wanting
to steal what we stole,

Toor Jan, 7, & his brother Odood, 6,
rose with the sun in the village of Dwan,
had their breakfast of flatbread & sweetened tea

Because
his heart had been hardened
by his lonely narrow life growing up
in a lower-middle burb of lawn & concrete
with the usual father aspiring to rise
above his class with a dodgy venture
among the fuzzy wuzzies that crashed,
a service station where John helped
with the bowser, his mum the usual tight mess
of caring, straight-laced protestant fear,
so John’s passport up the ladder
was to study law & join the Libs
where ANZUS-NIP was holy writ,

Toor Jan, 7, & his brother Odood, 6,
headed out leading the donkeys
for their daily search for kindling
worth two or three bucks in the village bazaar

Because
Kevin Rudd’s heart was hardened & angered
by the early loss of his share-farm father & farm
evicted into sleeping in a car & farmed out
to the rels he was gonna show mum
& get back at the bastards,
so Kev’s passport up the ladder
was to read a lot, become devout,
learn Mandarin & join the ALP machine
where ANZUS-NIP was holy writ,

Toor Jan, 7, and his brother Odood, 6,
knew they had to be back to help out
their recently widowed mother milk
eleven sheep for the cheese & yoghurt they sold

Because
Julia Gillard’s heart was hardened by her need
as a lower middle-class migrant kid from Wales
to over-assimilate into brick and tile Adelaide suburbia
& work her way up the ladder by studying law,
being a young leftie & joining the ALP machine
where ANZUS-NIP was holy writ,

Australian troops who had
‘become aware of an
imminent threat’
called in the cavalry
in the form of an American
$12 million Apache helicopter

which, in an open desert
of unimpeded view,

blasted to shreds

Toor Jan, 7, and his brother Odood, 6

Introduction to ‘Echoes of Autonomy’

•April 13, 2014 • 16 Comments

Occupy sep 17 ballerina on bull
[This is the introduction to a collection of my essays, 'Echoes of Autonomy', that I hope I might be able to get someone interested in publishing some day...Never know your luck.]

This is no time to ignore Warnings/This is no time to Clear the Plate/ Let’s not be sorry after the fact and let the past become our fate/This is no time to turn away and drink or smoke some vials of crack/ This is the time to gather force and take dead aim and Attack/This is no time for Celebration/This is no time for Saluting Flags/ This is no time for Inner Searchings/ The future is at hand/ This is no time for Phony Rhetoric/ This is no time for Political Speech/ This is the time for Action because the future’s Within Reach/ This is the time (Lou Reed , ‘There Is No Time’, CD New York 1989)

The almost insoluble task is to let neither the power of others, nor our own powerlessness, stupefy us. (T.W. Adorno).

These essays are born of various contemporary tensions. Today, we live in a historically remarkable kind of tension. On the one hand it is business as usual. Our everyday lives pursue their habitual ways, our personal concerns and worries always at the forefront of our attention, as has been our wont since the first hominids evolved in African forests. The family, work, making ends meet, personal relationships, these are the familiar seas we sail on our little leaky boats, eyes to the compass of habit and tradition, weathering the occasional storms, soldiering on, the only certainty our death at the end of our journey. This is where we invest most of our energies and find our primary sources of meaning. This is where most of our personal and cultural narratives are situated.

On the other hand, we are, however dimly, also constantly aware of a wider reality just beyond our private horizons. We are aware of a wider story, of the world and the mounting urgency of its problems. The media enmesh us in a daily frenetic rush of news ‘grabs’ and sound bites, of mediated events. We are global citizens whether we like it or not. Despite widespread public denial, at some level we all know the world is ecologically and atmospherically endangered. We know that weapons of mass destruction could still be used at any moment. We know that the only certainty these threats carry is the certainty of civilizational collapse and the death of billions. At the same time, all is not always doom and gloom and some of us, at times many of us, may occasionally even sense that another, altogether different and better world is indeed possible.

We thus lead double lives. We lead everyday private lives and yet also have this public awareness, this however shadowy awareness of possible ecocide and the whole realm of ‘politics’ in the widest sense of that word. Some of us may dimly sense that we are at some kind of turning point in human history and planetary evolution, that what we do or do not do now will severely impact the lives both of our own descendants and billions of other people and life forms on the planet. We know billions may unnecessarily die or suffer, and at the same time we know we now have enough knowledge, wealth and resources to finally institute the old human dream of a ‘good society’, a participatory democracy, a socially just distribution of wealth, a self-managed and ecologically sustainable economy living within the planet’s means, bread and roses for all, One World on One Planet. All it would take… And yet…

Mostly we are unaware of all this as if such a full realisation would be simply too much to bear. We seem to lack the drive to act in ways commensurate with the depth and radicality of the problems. As the information constantly floods in and threatens to overwhelm us, we are caught in spectatorship, catastrophe consumption, compassion fatigue or else willingly allow ourselves to be ‘distracted from distraction by distraction’ (T.S. Eliot). We feel utterly powerless. We turn back to our harried, increasingly time-poor private lives to regain some sense of control or we might engage in helpless displacement activity such as party politics, clicktivism or litter clean ups. Meanwhile industrial capitalism and oligarchic state machines continue to lead the planet towards the abyss.

These essays are a product of, and reflection on, such a double life, on this tension between the private and the public narratives, the powerlessness and potential for self-power and autonomy that makes up the very texture of life in the 21st century. Added to, and often overlayering, this tension are perhaps more personal ones such as those between poetry and prose, feeling and intellect, right brain and left, the Trickster and the scholar activist, urgency and letting go, politics and mysticism, the recurring sense of being both totally within this world and yet not of it. Mirroring these kinds of tension, the essays are necessarily spread out along a kind of fuzzy spectrum that ranges from the dot-point factoid list, social analysis and manifesto to autobiography, the personal reflection and poem, and combinations of both extremes.

These essays are also based on several core assumptions which lie outside what most current mainstream opinion would consider ‘politics’. All of them lie within the tradition of thought and action that can be broadly called that of the anti-authoritarian, libertarian left. The first three assumptions are similar to those postulated for critical social science by Brian Fay:

- That humans are typically unfree, dominated by social conditions and oppressions which they neither understand nor control, a situation of alienation which results in their leading unsatisfactory lives
- That human life need not be this way
- That an increase in knowledge linked to transformative collective action is the way the alienated and oppressed can liberate themselves and thereby better their lot

These three assumptions in turn are implicitly based on a further assumption, namely a deeply humanist view of humans as inherently – both originally and potentially – autonomous and interdependent beings, i.e. as beings desirous and capable of making up their own rules about living together in free association without the need for top-down (heteronomous) order-givers.

The latter condition of collective autonomy is also known as participatory democracy, self-management or ‘anarchism’, the condition of being without rulers (Greek an-arkhos). It is also known more simply as human dignity. As this is a posited transhistorical human trait, it thus knows no borders or cultural walls and is universalist by definition. By this criterion, the prevalent unfreedom in all contemporary societies thus consists in the systemic denial of this inherent autonomy or dignity by both the socio-economic conditions and inequalities set up and maintained by, and in the interests of, the powerful and wealthy AND by the people’s own ‘voluntary slavery’ or psychological alienation from their autonomous selves. The latter point is necessary to avoid both structural determinism and any facile romantisation of potentially dangerous abstractions like ‘the people’, ‘the proletariat’ etc.

If these assumptions are in any way valid, then the collective historical project of freedom, autonomy and participatory democracy automatically raises the question of how we can even begin to confront and transform this overwhelming power of alienating socio-economic conditions and the powerlessness of our voluntary slavery? This is the key question many of these essays ex- or implicitly circle around. ‘Both Progress and the Primitive’ contains the following attempt to briefly answer that question:

For most of us this may seem utterly impossible. The power and violence of the power elites seem too great, the general acquiescence and levels of consciousness too dispiriting. However, the open secret of critical political theory is that the power and legitimacy of the ruling elites is, in the end, based on our acceptance, obedience, conformity, collusion, tacit consent, our voluntary slavery and ‘fear of freedom’ (Erich Fromm). This obedience is thus their Achilles’ heel, the critical fulcrum where we potentially have the most potential leverage for deep yet non-violent social change. The practical key to deep transformation is thus mass civil disobedience and resistance, the retraction and refusal of consent, individual and collective (organised) self-activity and constructive autonomy.

If widely practised, this would be a cultural revolution, a slow, at times accelerated, spreading of anti-authoritarian, independent attitudes and radically democratic, alternative institutions throughout society until they reach a social critical mass and seek, or spread, their own embodiment in new or renewed social institutions and behaviours at all levels. The end result would be a liberated, radically democratic, self-managing society that has integrated the best of capitalist progress and the best of the pre-capitalist past.

Reading this, it may become apparent that I am not really saying anything new. The libertarian, anti-authoritarian and universalist view of humanity and the project of human liberation is the core faith of a great transcultural tradition which stretches from Lao Tzu, Buddha, Diogenes and Socrates through Meister Eckhardt and Winstanley to Blake, Whitman, Marx, Bakunin, Kropotkin, Wilde, Landauer, Goldman and present day libertarian socialists, anarchists and social movements for autonomy, greater equality and self-management.

This tradition belongs not only to philosophers, mystics, poets and artists. Wherever common men and women throughout history have stood up for human dignity, social justice and freedom, have stood up to unjust authority, heteronomy and oppression, this tradition has been materially embodied. These essays are deeply in debt to this seldom mentioned yet living legacy and indeed wish to contribute to greater public knowledge of its existence. Its view of progress, unlike that usually taught to the young, is centered neither on technology nor on great individuals, but on the inherent human capacity for autonomy, for disobedience. In the famous words of Oscar Wilde:

Disobedience in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man’s original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion.

Where I differ from the purely materialist, rationalist and humanist versions of the great libertarian tradition of autonomy is in the latters’ claim that this voluntary slavery and alienation are purely a function of repressive social conditions, and that human liberation is thus purely a matter of social and political liberation. In contrast, most religions, metaphysics and wisdom traditions posit a primal or originary alienation or estrangement from ‘the origins’, from ultimate reality (or ‘God’) and from one’s true identity, an estrangement which is given with the very fact of being human itself. In the radical, mystical version of this perspective, the seeming very essence of human identity, namely language and thought, are also the very means of estrangement from one’s true nature beyond our social persona or ego, beyond history and time. The assumption here is thus that, as Charles Péguy once remarked, although all things may end in politics, they definitely start in something like ‘mysticism’.

The latter term, like that of ‘spirituality’ or ‘socialism’ and ‘anarchism’, is of course now in some disrepute, and for some very good reasons. However, as with the other terms, the danger of uncritically following linguistic fashions or what Freudians call ‘reaction formations’ is always that some very worthy babies may be thrown out with the stagnant or polluted bathwaters.

‘Mysticism’ in the scholarly, philosophical sense is not at all the New Age mumbo jumbo or obscurist spiritualism commonly associated with the word in the public sphere. Some of the modern Enlightenment’s roots are in fact to be found in mystical ‘enlightenment’ traditions. Mysticism in this sense is an experiential metaphysics, a transpersonal psychology and practice not outside science, politics and rational thinking but both within and beyond them, a universal, transhistorical and transcultural field of experience of ultimate reality or truth from which both rationality and religion or poetry in fact emerge and into which they may in turn issue when they have exhausted all their own possibilities of language and symbolism. It is the silence at the heart of all our activity, including the political, the still point of the turning world beyond optimism and pessimism, the mystery of the original freedom within, and without which we would not be able to perceive and reject unfreedom, suffering and alienation whether within or without. When expressed within the inherent limitations of words and ideas, it is necessarily the realm of either negation or paradox. It is as far from politics in the usual sense as you can get, and while a mysticism without politics may be yet another form of elitist escapism from the suffering of the world, a politics which totally ignores it will most likely do so at the cost of shallowness, activist escapism and eventual self-defeat.

To conclude: if, as French poet Paul Valéry argued, optimists write badly, there may be some hope for avoiding too much negative critique of these essays. However, the challenge these essays have set themselves is to succumb neither to a facile optimism nor an equally facile pessimism, but to persevere in maintaining, and trusting, the inherent tensions of life (and poetry) that manifest in unpredictability, ambiguity, irony, humour and paradox, right in the midst of the actual and potential horrors of ecocide. Go figure.

Marx, As Usual

•April 8, 2014 • 8 Comments

marx

[A poem of mine from an unpublished suite of poems on great philosophers called I Love Sophie.]

Marx, As Usual

As usual this kid wanted to be a poet.
Started off with the usual fairy stuff:
elves, gnomes, sirens,
pale maiden meets robust knight

who shoots through for the wars
(Jenny dear, is that a summary?)
Stuff like: worlds howling death songs
to us helpless apes of a cold God.

Thankfully my lawyer father disapproves.
Then the usual student duels, locked up
for noise, drunkenness, banned weapons,
heaps of debts, get engaged to gentry Jenny.

The usual hassles with the Prussian cops
for my radical journalism in Cologne,
the usual collapse of a communal pad in Paris,
the usual deportations from France, Germany,

finally the usual squalid bed-sit in London.
In penury and sickness most of our kids die
before three, the usual affair with the faithful maid,
Jenny often close to despair, I escape

to the pleasant wars of political intrigue
and the British Museum Reading Room.
Spend haemorrhoidal years writing Kapital
that I proudly submit isn’t all that usual at all.

Kept in pocket money and cigars
by comrade Fritz re-directing capital
from his well exploited workers to me, and
bastard Bakunin calls me democratic dictator.

Ha, the great putschist oxymoron of anarchism!
Activist envy because he didn’t have my brains
to put philosophy back on its feet.
Now that the other-worldliness of truth

has disappeared, the truth of this world
will be established by revolutionary action.
The root of man is man not God,
internal man a society now alienated

from itself, society a slave market
of commodities filled with the theology
of money, that universal whore,
through which all men must now pass

to survive and lose themselves completely
before they tip into consciousness of their own
transpersonal misery, in radical action shaking
the thrones of all circumstance that keep man

bent, bereft, unfree, to finally found
sweet freedom’s reign, nature reconciled…
(Footnote: Kapital volume one went
completely unremarked, so wrote my own

critiques positive and negative,
then died
before volumes two and three,
as usual.)

On the Dark Origins of the Computer

•March 29, 2014 • 5 Comments

him and her drones control_image10 Afghan children victims of NATO 0413

The Icy Automation of Human Destruction. On the Dark Origins of the Computer

Like most technologies, the computer is ambivalent. Its uses, like that of a gun, pen or chainsaw, may obviously be for good or bad. What may be less evident is that its fundamental structure is in itself ambivalent. Like the binary mathematics it is based on, its capacities are breathtakingly all-encompassing and oppressively reductionist. From Bacon and the Enlightenment onwards, mathematics and technology have been essential elements of capitalism’s quest to dominate and exploit nature and humans by reducing the living qualities of both to abstract quantities like ‘resources’ and ‘labour’ that can be manipulated for control and financial profit. We are living at the end of that dialectical, possible fatal, trajectory of progress in which the planet and its people have been increasingly reduced to resource inputs or ‘sinks’ of Capital.

Within this larger historical context, the computer’s double nature becomes quite apparent when seen from the perspective of its origins. These are to be found in the technocratic tools of the most brutal oppression, in war and genocide. The original precursor, or analogue version, of the computer was an important tool for helping the Nazis wage their wars of aggression and organize the industrialised slaughter of the Holocaust. This tool was profitably provided by the American company that later developed the digital computer, International Business Machines (IBM). This tool was the Hollerith punch card system, developed and manufactured by IBM’s German subsidiary Dehomag.

A Dehomag poster from the Third Reich in 1934 encapsulates the idea of Nazi surveillance. It shows a large all-seeing eye hovering over and spotlighting the silhouette of a cityscape backed by a large punch card suggesting a large white building. The caption reads ‘Oversight with Hollerith Punch Cards’ (Übersicht mit Hollerith Lochkarten). Exchange the punch card for a computer, and the national cityscape for the world, and you would have the contemporary version of the oppressive panopticon as realised by the NSA and the world’s state and corporate data mining and spying agencies.

Edwin Black (IBM and the Holocaust, pp. 8-10) summarises the IBM story:

“When Hitler came to power, a central Nazi goal was to identify and destroy Germany’s 600,000-member Jewish community. […] Only after Jews were identified could they be targeted for asset confiscation, ghettoization, deportation, and ultimately extermination. To search generations of communal, church, and governmental records all across Germany – and later throughout Europe – was a cross-indexing task so monumental, it called for a computer. But in 1933, no computer existed. […]

When the Final Solution sought to efficiently transport Jews out of European ghettos along railroad lines and into death camps, with timing so precise the victim were able to walk right out of the boxcar and into a waiting gas chamber, the coordination was so complex a task, this too called for a computer. But in 1933, no computer existed.

However, another invention did exist: the IBM punch card and card sorting system – a precursor to the computer. IBM, primarily through its German subsidiary, made Hitler’s program of Jewish destruction a technologic mission the company pursued with chilling success. IBM Germany, using its own staff and equipment, designed, executed, and supplied the indispensable technologic assistance Hitler’s Third Reich needed to accomplish what had never been done before – the automation of human destruction. More than 2,000 such multi-machine sets were dispatched throughout Germany, and thousands more throughout German-dominated Europe. Card sorting operations were established in every major concentration camp. People were moved from place to place, systematically worked to death, and their remains catalogued with icy automation.”

Perhaps IBM ‘just’ supplied the machinery and then left the rest to the Nazis? Not so. IBM Germany was a Nazi outfit itself and provided a whole range of corporate services for the genocidal Nazi state:

“IBM Germany, known in those days as Deutsche Hollerith Maschinen Gesellschaft, or Dehomag, did not simply sell the Reich machines and then walk away. IBM’s subsidiary, with the knowledge of its New York headquarters, enthusiastically custom-designed the complex devices and specialized applications as an official corporate undertaking. Dehomag’s top management was comprised of openly rabid Nazis who were arrested after the war for their Party affiliations. IBM NY always understood – from the outset in 1933 – that it was courting and doing business with the upper echelon of the Nazi Party. The company leveraged its business relationship with Hitler’s Reich, in Germany and throughout Nazi-dominated Europe.

Dehomag and other IBM subsidiaries custom-designed the applications. Its technicians sent mock-ups of punch cards back and forth to Reich offices until the data columns were acceptable, much as any software designer would today. Punch cards could only be designed, printed, and purchased from one source: IBM. The machines were not sold, they were leased, and regularly maintained and upgraded by only one source: IBM. IBM subsidiaries trained the Nazi officers and their surrogates throughout Europe, set up branch offices and local dealerships throughout Nazi Europe staffed by a revolving door of IBM employees, and scoured paper mills to produce as many as 1.5 billion punch cards a year in Germany alone. Moreover, the fragile machines were serviced on site about once per month, even when that site was in or near a concentration camp.”

One can thus imagine IBM’s early computer precursors, the punch card-reading machines, efficiently humming away in dingy offices looking out on the smoke stacks at Auschwitz and Sobibor. These stacks were emitting the smoke and ash of human beings worked to death, gassed and burned by Nazis convinced of their racial inferiority and their own superiority as a master race. These punch cards did not drip with the blood of the victims they catalogued.

The German engineer Konrad Zuse is also credited with a seminal role in building some of the very first process-controlled computers. Like IBM’s punch-card machines, his S1 and S2 computers were also built for the Nazi war machine, not for organizing and statistical purposes but for direct military ones: namely as special devices computing ‘aerodynamic corrections to the wings of radio-controlled flying bombs’ and forming part of the Henschel 293 and 294 guided missiles, the Nazi precursors of modern cruise missiles (Wikipedia). Zuse would never have been confronted with the dead and maimed and traumatised his computers helped produce. Apparently, in best technocratic fashion, ‘While Konrad Zuse never became a member of the Nazi Party, he is not known to have expressed any doubts or qualms about working for the Nazi war effort.’ (Wikipedia).

A similar lack of doubt or qualms seems to pertain regarding the American computers today guiding the drones killing civilians and purported militants in Pakistan or Yemen, as a Noble Peace Prize-winning black president and constitutional lawyer ticks off his Tuesday kill list and goes to meet the press with funky gait, the obligatory concerned expression and a winning Colgate smile.

Equally, for the drone operators of both sexes in their metal demountables in Nevada or Utah, this is just another computer game: zero in, blast, total up point score for the week, bite into another Big Mac and slurp the Starbucks. Screens and statistics drip no blood, emit no screams or smells of rotting corpses. It’s all just a rearrangement of pixels on a screen. From Xbox to drone operator in one easy step. Thus, with the help of computers, the automation of human destruction has quite progressed since Auschwitz. It has now been integrated into the world of media and entertainment, the Pentagon and CIA fused with Hollywood and Silicon Valley.

This may have made it even easier for the ‘banality of evil’ (Hannah Ahrendt) to reign both with the many contemporary Eichmans of the world and the quiescent audiences and willing consumers of the almost totalitarian Spectacle. Advanced industrial capitalism is now a ‘theatre state’, a mass hallucination where we ‘now live in a culture entirely perceived inside a self-referential media hologram of a nation and a world that does not exist.’ (Joe Bageant)

However, capitalist industrialisation and mass society have long fused a sinister amalgam of complexity and terror. The admin professionals of war and genocide wear white collars or coats and are called statisticians, bureaucrats, doctors, IT professionals. The doors of the power elite have always smoothly revolved between corporations, the military and politics (e.g. McNamara revolving between Ford, the Pentagon and the World Bank). Now they also revolve between the former and the media and entertainment industries (cf. Nick Turse, The Complex), and now even transnationally. Thus we also get the Janus face of the internet, both military and civil commons. ‘Amusing ourselves to death’ (Neil Postman) and totalised surveillance, this is the new intensification of both state and corporate rule.

Concrete Poem

•March 28, 2014 • 3 Comments

2013-12-006

[This is an experiment to see if concrete poetry works on the blog. Unfortunately WordPress won't allow me to play around with size of font and spacing/location here. Each part should take up a full page. The rocks on the beach are basalt from ancient lava flows.]

1.
ISNESS
IS

2.
NOTHINGIS

DOINGSOM
ETHINGWE
DONTKNOW

WHAT

3.

ISNESSIS

Within the Wind’s Silent Spaces

•March 26, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Collages

[An older poem on the silence theme. Photo is a simple collage of a cloudscape and a seascape.]

Within the Wind’s Silent Spaces

wind waves in trees
breaking, ebbing, breaking
within silent spaces
an ocean of stillness

mind opening out
a bird call, repeating
within silent spaces
word mind slowing

dry leaves fall autumn
litter rustle, branch creaking
within silent spaces
soundless veils around the dying

my dog raises his ears,
something there, beyond sight
within the wind’s spaces
silence soft as womb water

The Apple Orchard as Conceptual Art

•March 22, 2014 • 5 Comments

Exif_JPEG_PICTUREExif_JPEG_PICTURE2008 spring, summer, apple varieties

[photos from our small orchard with 120 old and modern apple varieties]

The Apple Orchard as Conceptual Art

Orchards are the poetry of agriculture.
– Father Korbinian Aigner, pomologist (1885-1966)

Place trillions of apple genes triploid
& diploiding themselves promiscuously
as prostitutes, a wild cascade of pollen
info falling from the mountains of Tian Shan
flowing west in saddlebags or hoof cracks
then north via Roman centurions
schlepping a few pots of Court Pendu Plat
through barbarian forests dark as Dis
in Germania & Gaul

Make Johnny Appleseed make a buck
flogging thousands of cider pippins
he struck by riverbanks just ahead
of the main wave of settlers moving
west or north like Lady Pomona’s bees
spreading her sweet self far & wide
as thighs on lusting beds of local dirt
conceiving McIntosh, Spartan, Baldwin

Invent suburban granny Smith of Sydney
who chances upon that bright green one
down the back by the choko & chookyard
where she’s chucked the old apple crate
from Tassie, as you do

Collect & multiply all that germ plasm
as, say, six hundred cultivars & you’ve got
the Winmills’ heritage apple nursery
in country Victoria, now closed by age,
lack of rain, invisible rage of global melt,
where you order your ark of ninety nine
like some hopeful God re-directing flows
to your little patch still blessed with rain

Add steel wire, trellis posts from unknown mills
sweat, equity, word of mouth, texts all flowing
like a river of thought or subtle juice
into your hundred trees laid out
like a harem of hermaphrodites pruned open
to bees, wasps, frosts, the daily dose
of hydrogen bomb that lights & burns us
with tough love as we grow & eat & die

 
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