Throwback: Revisiting a prose poem I wrote in 2017

When I wrote “Love Song for the New Order” I was aware of its spice.

The poem came as the result of a conversation I had with friends about a news story involving a neo-Nazi being punched in the face on the street.

My initial response was LOL because I was unsupervised on the internet for most of my formative years and I’m hardly housebroken. But as we talked they brought up some good points.

I think I ended that part of the conversation by blushing and saying, of course you’re right. And they were.

But then I did as I do, I thought about it. A lot.

If someone is actively trying to spread an ideology that promotes violence, do bystanders have some sort of responsibility to take action before someone innocent is harmed or worse?

And then what would that action be? What’s effective? What’s in the wheelhouse of the individual reacting?

How can rational discussion be effective with a person who is not interested in it? Once an individual’s primary language has become violence is there any other way to communicate?

I suspect I’ll keep going rounds with these questions, but I wrote the poem anyway and it was published in “The Comet” in May of 2018.

This is like a kiss, a transmission of emotion delivered through physical impulse. Read into it what you will, but I have surrendered some soft part of myself to make this be. I have surrendered my time to send this message, spoken clearly through this perfect connection. A connection initiated by the narrow beams of my fingers folded, tucked sturdy & compact against the ink-smudged ridge of my hand.

This is like a kiss & we are like lovers, exchanging the conditions of our continued cohabitation. Some marry for love, some for money, but our conditions have little to do with the two of us. Our exchange demands a negotiation that no prenup can zip-up. Our conditions are an endless song & I am only an amplifier.

This is love, my beau, so let’s dance. The red gloves that bloom from our knuckles, the candlelight that plays over the clouded nightmarescape of your shorn & inked scalp. Let’s dance & show the world what love can change…

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