Sunday, July 11, 2021

Bait and Click

Symbolic behaviors, gestures,
And information build cultures,
But what fuels them is attention.

They won’t grow without attention
From humans locking on to them.
Most embodied humans, your selves,

Crave certain kinds of attention,
But for any given human
Attention can be dangerous—

It lifts up, propels; it blows up;
It burns. Not so for the symbols—
Not so for cultural patterns,

All spreading through a Wildean
Cosmos where any attention
Is meat and drink, muscles and wings.

Gods die for want of attention.
Faiths die that can’t get attention.
The cleverest technology

Crumbles and rusts sans attention.
Poems, stories, euhemeristic
Memories of wondrous events,

Whole languages and all their rites
Go extinct without attention.
Think of that when you lend your ears

Or turn your thoughts to anyone
Calling, Countrymen! Citizens!
Monsters hungry for you ate them.

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