Sunday, February 20, 2022

The Way

To paraphrase St. Félix,
It’s the American Way
To bully when you’re in power
And play victim when you ain’t.

Might not be exclusively
American, but this Way
Suits the country’s politics
To a t-shirt. It’s a game.

You scoot ahead when you can
And cry for justice only
When you’re certain you’re behind.
It’s fraudsters scamming scalpers,

Jostling lines at big-box stores,
Cars at the Lincoln Tunnel
Edging and beeping their horns,
Every lane a bank account.

The Way loves a good story.
The Way knows it tells stories
In order to win, and not,
As it might, to remember.

All fun with hypocrisy
And ruthlessness is engine.
The Way is a marvelous
Form of relentless fiction,

A back-and-forth narrative,
Dominating, then pleading,
Then dominating, by turns,
Not circular but linear

With a decapitated
Linearity—there’s no End,
No conclusion, no return
To a cyclic beginning.

The Way’s a vibrating string,
Situation tragedy
Repeated week after week,
Filmed season after season,

Flesh always aging too fast
For characters under glass,
Taking turns trading put-downs,
Complaining, and catch phrases—

I won because I should win,
You won undeservingly—
Ending always in bingeing,
History coming unhinged.

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