A Tweet By Any Other Name

I dare you to be a poet. All of you. And I mean a true poet, one who can pick a lock, one who can lift a shadow off a sidewalk and see what lies beneath that shadow and sing whatever is discovered lurking there into being. I want us all to become the kind of poet who wanders the streets, eyes aflame, voice stinking of yesterday and tomorrow, grabbing wedding guests by their collars and kissing them with none too subtle truths. I want to experience the hard-core poetic truth of living pressed against my lips. And I promise not to blink, but to carry such a truth unto others, and press my none to innocent lips against theirs until they too know this truth with their bodies and souls. A revolution in words.

(Years ago I assigned Werner Herzog’s A Guide to the Perplexed. The next week, every one of my students came back to class ready to discuss Herzog’s book. I asked my students if they had actually read A Guide to the Perplexed. They said, “yes,” and they claimed to be eager to discuss it, not use Herzog’s idea, not put them into motion, not act with them. They asked me what sections of the book would be on the final exam. I was never so disappointed by human beings in my life. I told them, gently, that they had all failed in the reading of Herzog’s book.)

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You Say You Want a Revolution

There is an election next week. The election will place in power the newest president of the United States of America. So I will leave you with discarded parables I found in the Mission District the other morning.

Bugs go Ka-choo. It happens. There is even a carefully written, witty memoir of such a bug going Ka-choo, and of all that happened because the bug’s gentle and accidental ka-choo. This book is important because the bug takes responsibility for setting in motion a series of events, even though the bug did not intend to create such a series of events. Still, this bug never positions itself as a victim. It takes ownership of its ka-choo. Such a stance is heroic. We need more heroes like this bug. (We do not need more heroes who need wars to become heroes. Mel Gibson knows what I am talking about, and the philosopher Tina Turner knows this in an even more profound way.)

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