from a forthcoming book…. ‘Orphans’








We share this conspiracy of silence
where you speak and trivia fills the air
like mental confetti supposedly shot out
to focus, pinpoint and provide the relief
of perspective: nothing altered or anointed.

Or I talk and you pretend it’s too deep,
unfair so not quite what you’d agree with
since nobody else is standing there saying
yes, besides
you have a brain lodged in your head, too.

Maybe you get on stage slander and malign,
saying nothing but you shake your tits; and
lie, and the idiots fall in line for the pretty
neither knowing
nor caring that even your tits are lies.

It could be everyone’s not afraid though fear
thrums the air like quicksilver panic about,
almost willing to break out, to drive through
the Doom Machine
contrived of dining on doubt, no doubt sadistically.

When your outrage mangles your vocabulary
as you settle for the constabulary of
correctness, strangling awhile on certainty
and alarm mistaking
confession for the charm of forsaken humanity.

You’ve become so polite you cannot get
along with yourself; accommodate ideas
no one holds
for themselves, and in your paralysis
cannibalize what is served up with each breath.

Here, in the so-called civilized West, we call
that culture; where the giants of industry teach
how you must pay
no attention to those who provide what
you have learned to categorically deny.

Almost a mystery you know too well to
recognize; unless you’re abducted by crops
of spiders,
which materialize out of nowhere again
to confirm each illusion you cherish.

That such is not dirt in your eyes to distract,
while those in this nation of spies watch
carefully where you walk:
to finally fall as another steps in
to begin a new empire of bloody disguise.

©Dean Baker


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