Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Crazy Ant Poem

Today, the myriad bits

Of me my brain produces,

That infest my brain, compete

Like crazy, running around,

Pouncing, biting, denouncing

Each other, carried away.

What's wrong with me, anyway?

Any secular mystic

Would instruct my warring parts

To quiet down, go away,

Enjoy this now; breathe the day.

It's sunny. It's getting warm.

You're blessed with a family,

Haven't gone broke, lost your home,

Been diagnosed terminal,

Or thrown into prison yet.

Be here freely and be free.

But who are they talking to

When they tell me the true I

Isn't me? Which? I or me?

Seems like they're talking to me.

And why would my true I need

Their advice, anyway? Why

Would a me leap to believe

The best strategy for me

Is the immediate end,

In this glowing morning sun,

Of all my fighting to be?

I know what my relatives,

Evangelical, would say.

Come back to Jesus, today.

My Mormon neighbors would say

Pretty much the same, although

What they would mean would remain

Sinful, between you and me.

More, behind desultory

Admonishments and polite

Invitations to the Church

Or the Ward meeting tonight,

Lie the vast religious plains

On which massed armies contend

For the right to command me,

Any me, including you,

To destroy or to ignore,

As god's prophecy may be,

Any other you or me.

If you ask any of these

What exactly's wrong with me,

They'll spurn or burn you, gladly.

So. Let's turn then to self help

And to the Jacob's Ladder

Of twelve rungs to the kingdom

Of blissful repentancy.

I have sinned. I'm a sinner.

My responsibility

Is mine own and mine alone,

I testify, mercy me.

I will lose weight. I will choose

To live. My longevity

Will prove my testimony.

I will recycle, really,

I will. I will redeem me,

And I will shop frugally.

I will live inside the truth

Of budgeted resources

Faithfully, eternally,

Please. Oh mercy, mercy me.

There is a truth eludes me.

No one, no body unasked

Would other than ignore me.

We give advice just to say

We heard you, now go away,

Or to pocket some meaty,

Gricean chunk of gossip

We can share with other friends

Whom we want to admire how

Well we can communicate.

What else could a body do

To survive nonsense blown through

The portals of awareness?

You've met those few who do care,

The ones with the vacant stare,

Who strain in pain to contain

The mandate of love to be fair.

A body built to compete

With a socially fine-tuned

Brain falls apart at the seams

When social rules become real.

The result is one fuzzed ant

Climbing to the canopy

To pose, throwing spores in air.

It's a cultural jungle

Out there, assuming culture

Does evolve and is out there.

Driving hosts mad is just one

Strategy among many,

Including encouraging

Hosts to fight and be healthy,

And if cancer can evolve,

Why can't culture? Two cancers

That we know of have escaped

The suicidal assault

On the body that spawned them,

One among Tasmanian

Devils that spreads by biting

Other devils in the face,

And one among dogs that spreads

Genitals to genitals

Its genome having been traced

To a single animal

Several thousand years ago.

Billions fail but one succeeds.

As cancers, so cultures go,

As cultures, so go ideas,

Including ideas of me.

One siblicidal fig wasp

Might make it out of the fig,

That pink pulp filled with fragments

Nothing inside left to eat.

And once free that creature finds,

It's just begun to compete.

Homicidal invaders

Batten on their victories

Until the next invaders

Usurp what they'd taken

As theirs forever and free.

In Texas, crazy ants spread

At the expense of fire ants,

As gods at expense of gods,

New me at expense of me.

They're immune to the venom

Of fire ant stings, seemingly

Or at least statistically.

They're disorganized, of course,

But that makes spreading easy.

They groom themselves with their own

Acid from their abdomens

And ninety percent survive

Well-organized fire ant stings

Instead of just forty-three.

There's no advantage to this

Except numerosity,

But I can't help admire them

As I wage my war for me.

I want their immunity,

To be one in that ninety,

And I want to win. Crazy.

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