Psyduck Rules

For my nephew’s birthday I drew and painted a picture of MY favorite Pokemon, Psyduck, defeating the god of the Pokemon (or so I gather) Arcteron (?)  My nephew is always arguing with me that Psyduck is “terrible”, to which I say, “Terrifying, you mean, since we are all just a projection of Psyduck’s godlike psychic powers.” That is not to say Psyduck is not an imbecilic god, but that if he were to become aware of his crucial role in the perpetuation of this reality we would all cease to be in an implosion of Solipsist dissolution. Fact.

The Beast Remains The Same

It is a curious circus trick
to force a lion to leap through rings,
not done by books or reason or logic,
but with a whip that snaps and stings.
A natural predator is thus tamed
only through the promise of violence,
not education or being shamed,
but by Nature’s basic commonsense.
Try to read to the lion a book
about the innate worth of a human being—
try to raise him from a cub to look
at a woman as an equal, seeing
enough to emote and to understand,
to empathize with potential prey…
He will not listen, and will eat the hand
that flips the page, despite your dismay.
You are but meat he has his eye on
and he only understands brute force;
and, no, this is not just about a lion,
but all creatures without remorse.
If you think you can tame the breed
through intergenerational reform
you are in denial and you really need
to look at history, and its norm.
The lion has always ruled the lamb,
despite whatever Jesus might have said,
and if not a lion, the strongest ram
ruled with a bellicose, horn-crowned head.
Tyrants, pharaohs, psychos, thieves,
kings and queens and bishops and popes—
they rolled up the bloody cuffs of their sleeves
and rarely washed their hands clean with soaps.
Look: the beast reigns if not whipped each day
nor is this a Beauty-and-Beast case,
and sometimes not even a whip can keep at bay
the beast salivating close to your face.
Nor is the lion-tamer always spared—
he is often the first that is mauled;
too complacent as fangs are bared,
lamenting his career as he is clawed.
And the lion-tamer has in his own heart
a fierce lion roaring in equal measure
so he may fulfill his grandstanding part
and rein-in other lions for your pleasure.
The point remains: no book has ever
halted the fangs of a slobbering beast,
nor education or beliefs, however clever,
so do not trust Life’s circus— not in the least.

Upright Or Twisted

This vast field beneath the glorious Sun
is brimming with honey-sweet light
that glitters with soft fingertips on the tall, golden grass
that billows its head in a loving wind
like a Mass come to pray.
Few trees are scattered about this field’s face,
but these few trees are strong of branch, straight of trunk
and spread wide with canopies proudly dressed in summer leaves.
These few trees are courteous to one another
and do not war with distant neighbors;
not only because they cannot touch each other,
but because they do not have to.

There is a dark hollow beyond the field
which moans deep between a rolling hillock
and the swelling rise of an umbral knob.
The trees within its mouth are gnarled of branch,
twisted of trunk,
crowded for space,
and reach crookedly around each other with covetous intent
to steal the weak slivers of light offered by the negligent Sun.
They war with serpentine branches not because they want to kill,
but because they are naturally inclined to try to survive,
for not every tree is sprouted in golden fields,
nor is it to blame for where its seeds are planted.

Triggered

So many people seem to think
that the realities of everyday life
should simply
scatter
like a
flock of birds
when they pass through them,
but the realities of this world
are not skittish feathers taking flight
at your slightest plaintive breath—
they are hailstorms of
bullets
and you are always in the
crossfire.
You can bleed out with
whining
or
you can harden your
mettle
and temper your heart to be
bulletproof.

A Smattering Of Offensively Honest Stereotypes

China:
Tiger mom whipping her
mass-manufactured children
as they drown in
polluted waters.

USA:
Trust-fund fratboy
partying himself
brain-dead
into a blackout of
bankruptcy.

Britain:
Prestigious butler
apologizing for being a regrettable
snob
while looking down
his nose at you.

Japan:
Dojo master
serving green tea
with a crippled fist.

France:
Five-star chef fixing food
without gloves,
deriding
barbaric finger-food
as he picks his nose.

Russia:
KGB agent camouflaged
in
Punk-Rock protester clothing,
shouting scripted lines
and lobbing
molotovs
for the State News cameras.

Mexico:
Coyote smuggler shoving
migrant families
into the
pews
of the Roman Catholic Church.

Germany:
A Nazi commander conquering
Non-Aryan people
by invite-invading refugees
into his own
overcorrecting country.

Sweden:
Overqualified
viking
leading IKEA raids
into
world-wide living rooms.

Australia:
Dead man walking
with a blithe attitude
toward countless open graves
dotting the outback hellscape.

South Africa:
Biracial man who
wreathes his own neck
with
a burning tire.

Canada:
Metrosexual lumberjack
caught in a love/hate triangle with
his loudmouthed next-door neighbor
and his
snooty French cousin.

Thailand:
Small lady-boy
sassing
the overbearing
dragon-lady madame.

Saudi Arabia:
A chic sheik soccer fan
with a handful of
scarlet letter stones
for the halftime show.

Iran:
Imam admonishing young men
to wave the
stars and stripes
to fan the flames faster.

Switzerland:
Banker sitting in complacent
neutrality,
his coffers replete with the
blood money
from wars he had proudly
divested himself from.

Israel And Palestine:
Stepbrothers warring over
space,
their bunk-beds
too close together,
their hearts
too far apart.

Antarctica:
Shoggoth writhing
within the ice caves,
sick of eating
Emperor penguins
and of
human drama.

Pyramid Schemes

They sell you on being made a useful
idiot,
telling you that you may have as many
wishes granted
as you wish
if only you would enslave yourself
to their lamp.
Meanwhile your dreams come true
only in your dreams
and they charge you a profit
for Sandman’s glitter.
It is a cynical alchemy
that transmogrifies hopes into
labor, like turning the
stardust
in your head
into
ones and zeroes
for some other person’s bank account.
I used to scoff at
ponzi makeup saleswomen
who sold the overpriced makeup
which had been sold beforehand to them;
women who gathered in
sales-pitch parties
to sell the same junk to each other
and their tight circle of friends,
all hoping to become rich
and yet all so
blind
to the Chinese Whispers
hat-trick
being played on them.
Now I see my reflection in their
gaudy “compact” mirrors—
a reflection
done up with a rich lather of
egg on my face.
It is the kind of dream-baiting
that only hopeful
capitalists
born among the proletariat
can fall prey to,
whereas real
capitalists
born into pharaoh’s family
sit comfily atop the pyramid capstone
and let the rest of the us break our backs
at the bottom as we yearn so badly to
move up one rank
that we fail to see the
Tetris entrapment
we’ve fallen for.
The weight of the pyramid
presses us deeper into the sands.
To be conned by a conman
you must first
con yourself,
make-believing all you can
so you can believe that your
blog
will be a hit,
that your
ebook
will make you rich,
ignoring the fact that
the most popular blogs
are the ones that claim they can show you
how to make your blog popular,
that the best-selling ebooks
are the ones that claim they can show you
how to make your ebook a best-seller.
It is recursive absurdity
with diminishing returns for you
and exponential returns for the
pharaoh
wearing the gimmicky crown.
Sinking pyramid.
Sinking ship.
Keep rowing, oarsman,
upon the sinking galley
and hold your breath
within the submerged deck
because your head might someday be
above water.
And keep following that carrot
always out of reach;
keep reading that blog
about reaching that carrot;
keep reading that ebook
about eating that carrot,
and keep ignoring the fact
that you are being led
straight to the glue factory
by someone happily straddling a
workhorse
pulling its own foundation block.
That pharaoh needs
that block, that glue,
to build up their pyramid
and keep it together.
Rejoice, genie.
You’re making the pharaoh’s
wish
come true.