Thursday, August 2, 2012


here is to there
and we are everywhere
sweep is
the eye spiz
blink me dizzy baby

as long as
your lashes fall
you are
as long as you are
I am
as long as I am
we are
as long as we are
there is
to be

tick tock blink clock
last moments
to see

I blink you blink

has been
 is now
to be as
true as
I saw you as
the last time as

tick tock blink clock
last moments
to be

don’t close your eyes
you’ll see what was
don’t open your eyes
you’ll see what is
don’t close them halfway
you’ll see what will be

tick tock blink clock
last moments
to see

blink you were and
blink you weren’t and
blink you won’t be
you now are
as I
will be

tick tock blink clock
past tense
your present since

and now you aren’t
but I still am
wishing everything was
as It were

frozen stare, empty glare
hell is
when your eyes no longer
purgatory is
when your eyes no longer

tick tock blink clock
tell me what color
 is heaven

frozen stare, empty glare
would be
lives dead
as was
I am now
because you were
a different
of being

am is are
was were
be been being
I will be
as you have been
so tell me you goats
what did you do with your being?

27 patients

He died before I even had a chance to try

It was all stacked up against him anyway.

Moments, choices,conversations,  countries, stacked, as  collective a death.

This one was rigid, clenched fists splayed out

Eyes half closed that  locked into nothing

The kind of stare where you only realized gradually that they aren’t blinking
The kind of stare  that sears through all the lies
The kind of stare that makes explanations for why the world is the way it is turn and slink away
The kind of stare that  scorches the excuses crooning on the tip of your tongue
The kind of stare that  brands you, that cauterizes the arteries of the deep
The kind of stare that dares you to look back, look through, at what is
The kind of stare that tears through your soul with scorching clarity
The kind of stare that doesn't judge, but makes it impossible to plead not guilty

The kind of stare that will have to be crunched into submission by the calloused thumbs of crying grandmothers
The kind of stare that will have to be blindfolded by a strip of green fabric from the mothers skirt
The kind of stare that cannot forgive that which you can never forget
The kind of stare that solemnly meets the eyes that are already floating outside the hollows of their sockets, of all those  of those for whom we proclaimed "never again," of all of those who were butchered and hatched while the world debated the actual definition of "genocide," of those who slipped away rotting and forgotten - that meets the eyes of the robbed masses and locks with a deadly kind of knowing
The kind of stare that knows that one day, all those eyes will be turned on us, all those billions of eyes will bore right through us, all those eyes will not let us blink, all those eyes will be locked onto us, staring the question, demanding the answer, what did you do with your being?

He died with eyes wide open
Its braver that way -
daring anyone to meet his gaze
daring anyone to save him
forgiving that which he knows can never be forgiven

He died with eyes wide open
its braver that way
and I let him


it needs a name
it needs a face
it needs a footprint
it needs a foe
it needs to be illuminated
sucked out of its crumbling rat infested hospital
wrenched from its gasping breaths on the floor of mud huts
put under the brightest
whitest light
placed writhing under a social microscope
i want their faces painted on the walls of every building
i want the screams of the mothers blasted from the rooftops of every city and on every radio station
I want every news channel to focus on sweat pouring off hot little bodies, on rolled back eyes, on jerky frothing convulsions
I want their stories in every book
I want their histories, their names, their pictures, in a museum
i want bricks made of their footprints to form a path that circles the world, and I want everyone to walk on it.  to know that just by not knowing they are stepping on innocents.
they say genocide is when an ethnic group is purposefully wiped out
but how about a generation
how about 1 in 5 children in Sub-Saharan Africa
what do we call that?
its doesn't fit the criteria
but its the most potent term yet coined
but we should call it something else
but there isn't a word
isn't anything to depict the horror of this silent slipping shadowy evil
and so
we call it


In the US - would we let 1 in 5 of our children not grow up?
would we?
of course we wouldn't
we have the resources
so why do we let 1 in 5 of other people's children die?

is it because declaring a "war on malaria" seems just as ambiguous as the "war on terror" or "war on drugs"
well, guess what - terror ain't going anywhere, drugs are everywhere, but the mosquito, we know where he lives, breeds, hides

we eradicated Malaria from the US decades upon decades ago.  And anywhere else that had resources did the same.  And guess what - you can go to war with malaria - its provenits been done. In the US - in the swamplands and marches that are now your neighborhood.  there are large geographical sections that are now free of it. 

its possible - but now that your children are safe and happy and tucked into their beds with little superman sheets and swirling ceiling fans and glow in the dark stars and dull golden nightlights - now suddenly you are in your world - the one you created, the one you love, the one where you don't think every time you take your son fishing it could be the last time -  now the other worlds seem more distant

and now the people with the resources don't have to worry about it.  this is Africa, after all.  let the Africans sort it out.  except oh, there aren't really that many producers of DDT anymore.  And the environmental lobbyists have a stronger voice than the millions already silenced.  and now we deny the rest of the world the exact same opportunity that the Western world wouldn't have dreamed going without - eradicating Malaria.

eradicating malaria


terrorists are a dime a dozen
people will always get their drugs
but children can stop dying

but this war, even though it is just as faceless and nameless and seemingly futile
this war does have a culprit
this war does have an enemy
this war does have geographical borders

this war must be fought

how will we answer, to the searing judgement of hindsight, to the future generations, when they wonder how we could have allowed this gap between rich and poor to grow wider and wider, deeper and deeper, more and more impassable?  When they wonder how in this age of such stunning advances and achievements the other half of the world could be allowed to stagnate and wallow in deep suffering and despair?

wrap your mind around this.  at this very moment, you are sitting at your computer.  maybe you have on comfortable slippers.  maybe you have nice carpet petting your toes, maybe you are leaning your elbows against a lovely oak table, maybe you are eating ice cream, maybe you have a fan blowing on you, or are in front of  a crackling fire.  maybe your TV is playing in the background, maybe you are blasting music from your Ipod, maybe you are stealing a moment at work.  and this is all very routine.  and, its a well deserved rest.  no one is denying you didn't work and sacrifice and gut it out for your family, your dreams, for all you had.  no one is denying that you deserve the small comforts that make it possible to get through the day - and no one is judging it. 

but at this very moment - a little boy of 4 is taking gasping drowning breaths.  he has pulmonary edema.  and cerebral malaria.  he is drowning.  and now he is dead.  at this very moment, a woman is dying in childbirth because she didn't have 50 cents for a prenatal visit.  at this very moment, the pediatrics ward is overflowing with almost 30 patients, quinine is dripping into every hand, foot, and head, half of them are being transfused, several will die tonight, roaches are crawling over legs and hands and foreheads, rats are scurrying flash along the shadow of wallcorners, there is old food, and dust and trash, mothers, fathers grandmothers are sleeping on grass mats in every available space, stepping over snoring bodies trying to see your patient.  children stop breathing, the screams are ushered outside, the drips continue largely unchecked, and this is normal

but how do you wrap your mind around this? 

around the 2 worlds?

its not your fault, i just can't figure out how we got here, how we get out of here

but how can a world that sent a man to the moon, that built the space needle and spits students out of Harvard and eradicated smallpox, this world with its dizzying array of wealth and opulence and private jets and high heals, this world with sleepy dreamy rose gardens and American dreams

how can this world be the same world that lets millions of children die every year just because they live on the wrong continent?  how can this world let the other half subsist on less than a dollar a day?  how can this be the same world where you know you will die at 45.  where you don't go to school because you are a girl.  where you do backbreaking physical labor your whole life for one meal a day? where a child lays burning with fever, in a coma, convulsing, drowning in his own secretions, laying on a filthy black mattress crawling with tiny white worms, the same world that when he takes that last rattling groan of a breath there is no oxygen to give.  where there is no oxygen

how can a world that grows groovy human ears on the backs of mice and spends billions of dollars on medical research be the same world in which there is an entire country without oxygen in its hospitals

how is this the same world? 

how do you wrap your mind around this? 

where do you fit into this equation? 

no, how can you change the outcome of this equation?

this is the same world

but we must make it different

we must build a bridge over the gap

we could build it out of bones

femurs, maybe

or make a swaying bridge by stringing rattling teeth like swinging popcorn

or just heap enough skulls into the canyon to crunch our way across

we must build a bridge over the gap


tell me,


 or goat,

what did you do with your being?

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