The context of is this. I recently met someone who writes good poems (unlike me). And gets paid for doing so (ditto). And this person (age, gender etc will not be mentioned) swerved the suggestion to write on what is already the central issue, and will soon become the overwhelming issue, for our species (and indeed all the other species we “share” this planet with), because they aren’t a saint. We set the zealot-hypocrite trap for ourselves, and waltz into it willingly. And it’s not fucking good enough.
The simplicity of our complicity
Explicitly de-hooks us
The poet knows things are going from bad to verse
But stays averse to naming our curse
Asks us to swallow his wallow in the shallow end
(Of our bitter end)
Of our collective hypocrisy
The luxury of silence as the silence of extinction
Descends upon us
Some rebel yell
Some rebel squeak
Some go meek
Some go meek
We all go, of course, head first but eyes clamped shut
Our mouths self-sewn
Because we all have shown what we are capable of.
The simplicity of this complicity
“I’m guilty as sin”
As if we didn’t know, as if we cared
The cloak of shame we hide in front of
Will not unhook us
We cannot unlook us.
We are worms on that hook
And if we live by our books
If our words give us our daily bread
If we are unacknowledged legislators
Refusing to call out the legislators
Refusing to call those who stuff the ballot boxes
Refusing to call on those with eyes and ears and hands to hear and see and do this work
If we shirk
If we allow our complicity to be the simplicity of our
Then are we poets, or are we lion in slumber?
Are we human?