Saturday, November 29, 2014

Lost Omni

Does anybody remember that show Voyagers! ...?
Or Quantum Leap?
Both shows portrayed Time
As finite
A modern rendering
Of the Fates' tapestry
Only sometimes
A thread would
Be out of line
Pulled loose
Or broken
And the voyagers--
Phineas Bogg &
Jeffrey Jones--
Would need to 
Weave it back into place
Or Dr. Sam Beckett
Would repair the tapestry
And leap to the next
They put things back
To the Way They Should Be
And I feel like
That there is supposed to be
A Jeffrey Jones
Or Sam Beckett
Or somebody with
A mysteriously impressive
Pocket watch
(or screwdriver)
Fixing things
Somebody with nimble fingers
And a handlink 
Leaping to those spots
Where our leaders failed
Or died
To those places
Where everybody is heartsick
Battle worn
I am sure
That some of these knots
Are not supposed to be here
Maybe Phineas
Stopped listening to Jeffrey
Because he fell in love
Hard enough 
To let the threads tangle
And break
Maybe Sam really
Did leap home 
Maybe he needed Al
In order to see the 
Maybe we need
Our time travelers
To be heartsick
Never resolving their pasts
Never correcting mistakes
Maybe we need them
Tangled & broken
With threads pulled loose
Maybe the Fates
Do what they can
Gnarled fingers poking through
Taut, twisted yarn
Maybe dreaming
Of time travelers 
Has ruined us.
We are Time travelers already
Going one way
Going forward
Forgetting the picture
Woven behind us
And no Ziggy
(or doctor)
To put us right.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Tell Me "Merry Christmas"

Let me say,
As we usher in
The holiday season,
That I am totally OK
With the phrase
"Merry Christmas"
And if you want to
Tell me
"Merry Christmas"
As a tiding of goodwill
Then yes, of course
Tell me
"Merry Christmas"
I will likely say
The same exact thing
Back to you
But please, if I slip
And say
"Happy Holidays!"
Or if I greet you first
And I am in a
And I say to you,
Dear Christmas adherent,
"Happy Holidays!"
Please do not be angry
Please don't assume I'm
Missing the point
When I was young
"Happy Holidays"
Meant "Happy Thanksgiving
After which, I hope
You have a
Merry Christmas,
Followed by a festive
New Year's!"
Truth be told,
It means more
To me now.
It also means
"I don't know exactly what you celebrate
But I hope it is joyful & lovely"
And yes
It also means
"Happy Hanukkah"
And "Happy Solstice"
And other holy observances
That sometimes coincide
With the Christmas season
It applies to atheists
Because they actually
Love their families
And getting a day off
And I want them to
Have a good time
So yeah
"Happy Holidays"
Is a sort of loaded phrase.
I can not speak for everyone
But I know for myself
And the people in my life--
The ones who like
"Happy Holidays"--
This phrase is not loaded
With animosity or contempt
We do not say it
To spite you
And any request
For schools or businesses
Or public figures
To consider
"Happy Holidays"
Or "Season's Greetings"
Is rooted in our love
For each other.
I still have a hard time
The holiest days
Of some of my friends
Because, growing up,
My school
My calendar
My neighborhood
Didn't care
Well, I care now
There is nothing wrong
With kindness mixed
With brevity
And what's wrong with being
A little generic--
"Hello, stranger.
I am extending kindness
To you, no matter
Who you are or
How you worship."
What is wrong with that?
I believe you
When you say
That "Merry Christmas"
Means that also
I believe you
When you say
That Christ is
The Reason for the Season
You are celebrating the birth
Of the Savior of the World
So I WANT you
To say, "Merry Christmas!"
I want to hear your joy
Thank you for sharing
Your joy with me
You like saying, "Merry Christmas"
Then say it to me!
Say "Merry Christmas"
Because you love Jesus
Say "Merry Christmas"
Because you grew up saying it
Say "Merry Christmas"
Because "Chriss-Muss"
Is sing-songy and
Fun to say
Merry Christmas!
I trust you.
I trust your goodwill.
This time of year
We are encouraged to
Be kind
So, when I
Or somebody
Shares their joy
And says
"Happy Holidays!"
I hope you trust me.
I hope you trust them.
At the very least
I hope you are kind.
Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Grateful & Pissed

It will be Thanksgiving in a couple of days
And there have been all kinds of "Be grateful" memes
Ticking past my eyes
Oh, sure
I am grateful
I am grateful for hugs & I love you's
And "All the Things"
I get it.
I know.
I am also grateful that
I am white.
Oh, I deal with 
And homophobia
And classicism
And religious bigotry
All those things suck
But whew! What a relief
That I am wearing
A potent dose of privilege 
Thank the fucking gods!
I am grateful
God damn it.
I am grateful.
I am not ashamed.
I don't feel guilty.
I feel pissed off.
Fuck this--
I will not entertain debate on this--
I will not boo hoo about the times
My day sucked a little
Because a brown person 
Was mean to me 
As if that's proof
That "they" don't have it so hard
And just need to behave themselves
And stop making this about race
Because it is about race
It is about race.
Every day.
All the time.
It has never been about just one boy.
One boy is not enough
For us
And oh my gods! I am so lucky--
The times I misbehaved
The times my white friends misbehaved
Fire, fighting, fucking
And got away with it
Or didn't
But lived to tell the tale.
I am grateful
People lived 
To tell the tale
But being thankful
Does not change the fact
That too many people
Are dead
Some of us
Will riot about
Football coaches
And Pumpkins
But uncapping Rage
Because of Injustice
Is for "savages".
One circumstance
That can be 
Parlayed into
"He deserved it"
Does not dismantle
The reality
Of why
I feel gratitude.
I will not delude myself
With hypotheticals
That will never
Be tested in court.
I am grateful
And that pisses me off.
That I am just that much
More likely to live
My husband and child
More likely to live
While some people
Are more likely to die
No matter what
More likely to die
What a relief
That I can be this pissed off
And safe