a month of circus::prelude for a poem
After a month of spectatorship in the circus of political insanity, I am bored to the point of needing long conversations with friends. Face-to-face talks are best, but telephone discussions can suffice to assure me that logic and civility prevail. The core of sanity is tilted but not destroyed by concentric circles of calculated madness. There's stuff in the world that the Trump tribe fails to obliterate.
After a month of spectatorship, combat fatigue sets in. It is like cabinet fever, the too warm air of a Southern winter conjuring memory of suffocation. It is already enough that living seven decades in the nightmare quarters of the American Dream did not culminate in murder, in the messiness of washing another person's blood out of my mind and off my hands. Nominal Christians tell me to count my blessings. I listen politely and ignore such well-intentioned nonsense. In this world it is more important to count Benjamins, bank account balances, and accumulated gains or losses in the quarterly reports on investments than to calculate prospects of salvation. It is more important to consult with my doctors and instruct them how best to deal with my medical imperfections. It is more important to write, whether what is written is read or not read, published or unpublished. The evidence of things seen and quantified matters. The promises of the unseen and the unknown can wait until I travel to Eternity or into a reasonable facsimile thereof. I need to breathe. There's no space in the circus battlefields for piety.
After a month of spectatorship, it is absurd to hope that the outcomes of conversation can be catharsis or peace that surpasses human understanding or absolution. No and Hell No. The most to be hoped for is the buttressing of courage, the restoration of energy to keep on keeping on. Contemporary tragedy is not chained to the ancient Greek genre. Nirvana is an attractive idea, but that's all it is ---an bodiless idea. And absolution is just a Roman Catholic notion.
After a month of spectatorship, of discovering there's more of truth on TCM, AMC and Sci-Fi than on Fox, CNN, PBS, MSNBC and a couple of hundred World Wide Websites or in the fictions that pretend to be newspapers, I have made peace with relentless irony. Mark my words. In the circus American citizens have achieved after three hundred years of social experimenting, conversation and militant actions shall deliver all of us to something that looks like the Unpromised Land!
Jerry W. Ward, Jr. February 20, 2017