You can never be a protester for more than a day unless you’re protesting sleazy politicians, hate-noosed hangmen & redacting maniacs trying to silence those who stop, look & listen. You can never be a protester for more than a year unless you’re protesting congressional dysfunction, democracy’s destruction & those trying to rub out the no-qualms lip balm of sweet-kissed lovin’. You can never be a protester for more than a decade unless you’re protesting bump stocks, chump cops & evil greed mongers stealing your profits. You can never be a protester for more than forever unless you’re protesting tombstones, cyclones & serial-killing saxophones wanting to serenade you with their crazed song of suddenly gone.
Still another senseless mass murder. We kneel, scrub at the blood and chalk outlines of our fallen family members and friends. No matter how hard we try to cleanse the place where our loved ones have fallen, the stains won’t go away. Neither does our growing anger. We are well beyond prayers and hollow promises. Beyond all the assault rifles dressed in flimsy 2nd Amendment clothing. And so we rail against the diminished chords of our democracy’s dangerous dismantling. We shun the bitter, apocryphal kiss of covert politicians. While these darker forces deter us from finding our way to light, we continue to fight. Our eyes have adjusted to America’s mounting darkness.
When it feels like mass shootings are coming at us quicker than another Monday. When America’s immigrant soul has been hijacked by racist nativists’ sick intentions. When we’ve become desensitized, when hate has become bureaucratized. When our peace signs are mistaken for hands holding Tech 9s. When weapons are more readily available than clean drinking water. When all this gun violence can’t be prayed away. When we’ve become so flooded and spun by the 24-hour news cycle we’re left in a perpetual state of dizziness— that’s when we’re living in the season of the bullet where no flesh is safe.
If you pull a fast gun with a slow hand in a midnight alleyway where black cats daydream, and the stench of rotting garbage cleanses your mind, and naysayers sound like truth tellers, and irredeemable ignoramuses come off like optimistic scholars, and jilted lovers and cherished haters transform your tranquil nirvana into a brothel for arsonists, and congeniality becomes a malady, and exactly what is meant remains what is never truly said, and all your clear and happy confessions are struck with sudden hangovers of depression—maybe that’s when you should consider calling in sick to work the next morning.
The sound of your voice in my mouth tastes like honey, like a transfusion of arable parables where weapons shed their birthmark of blood, and sorrow is cured of its name. Your voice is an enduring light moving through me, so when I travel deep into the anvil-hearted dark, I feel your shine and know we’re alive. You awaken the stillborn earth within me, crack wide open the silence-reckoned seed. And so I grow stronger, forge cadence from complacency, rail against the agonies and atrocities threatening to uproot the stars from our future night skies.
I’m the second son in a long line of electricity’s children. I believe all the ghost and hero stories told to me by the moon during my one long evening of innocence. I’ve danced with lightning. I’ve had all-night philosophical conversations with lightbulbs. I’ve dissolved into stars, into the highest octave of diamonds. I am the front porch light refusing to rest until you’ve returned home.
This is the song of a heart beating amidst a societal war. Daily bombings of collusion & confusion. Political pandering & gerrymandering. Dark-souled holy rollers & seedy Twitter trollers. This is a folk song, a freedom song. Heavy metal mercy raging against fascist & racist songs. This is a song of feeling, taking a knee. Wisdom & individualism. Graffitiing the high castle of big brother speak. This is a howling song, a hungry song. A kindred spirit immigrant song. A song standing up to villainous versifiers, wannabe demagogues & two-faced truth crucifiers. This is a song to be sung by one & all. Strong enough to deafen hate, tear down walls. A foolproof song, a bulletproof song. Revolution song. Resolution song.
The segment of society that loves to fight vs. the segment of society that loves to love vs. the segment of society whose motto is Gimme All You Got vs. the segment of society whose credo is What’s Mine is Yours vs. the segment of society whose secret weapon is obfuscation vs. the segment of society whose message is clear-minded liberation vs. the segment of society that believes an itchy trigger finger is a form of intuition vs. the segment of society that possesses noble ambitions in mint condition.
It is a test. Every day, dodging death’s fists, bumping up against hurt and hate; school shootings on TV, mass murders coming soon to a theater near you. It is a test. To catch a breath of fresh air, even though the skies are clogged with avarice and apathy, malevolence and the bitter music of discrimination’s mating call. It is a test. To dance ever so lightly on landmines while searching out serenity‘s unshakable ground. To live every day fully, freely, without leaving a trail of ill will and shame, broken homes and blame. It is a test. This large heavy lift of unlove.