Are You Patriotic?

November 12, 2018

When the people or the government of the United States
behaves in a righteous, wise, & kind way
I’m all for it —
& I try to encourage & enable such behavior.

When the people or the government of the United States
behaves in a wicked, unwise, & cruel way
I resist going along with it —
it’s not easy!
I speak against it if I can do so to good effect.
I work against it happening before it happens
whenever I know how to do so.

When the people or the government of the United States
behaves as animals generally do —
seeking to eat & not be eaten
& to be delighted & to avoid death —
& as people generally do —
seeking to eat & not be eaten
& to be delighted & to avoid death
while pretending to be doing something nobler —
I stand aside:

I’m busy seeking to eat & not be eaten
& to be delighted & to avoid death —
& working to encourage & enable
righteous, wise, & kind
& discourage wicked, unwise, & cruel
behavior —
& attempting, privately
to behave righteously, wisely, kindly, myself.

I’m all for people & governments of whatever nation
when they are behaving righteously, wisely, kindly —
I pledge my allegiance!
& I’m against people & governments of whatever nation
when they are behaving wickedly, unwisely, cruelly.

Even when the people or government of the United States
is behaving in the way animals generally do —
under cover of this or that ideology —
just seeking to eat & not be eaten
& to be delighted & to avoid death —
tho I can’t be worked up
into a frenzy of self-righteousness about it —
to the extent that wicked, unwise, & cruel behavior
is not part of it —
I hope we Americans thrive
(my notion of thriving is not most people’s, tho)
& do what I can in that direction
especially for myself & whoever cooperates with me —
since I’m an American.

///

Gandhi & Chance

November 11, 2018

by Eric Chaet

Gandhi weighed less than 100 pounds
when I was born
wore garment round lower vitals
of cloth he’d spun
while thinking how to move people
thru slag of inert idea & outrage
with song & firm step
along dusty roads in hot suns
taking chances among desperate unknowns.

By chance
I found out about him
& delved into his doings
3rd floor downtown Chicago Public Library
traffic blaring thru Prudential Building shadow
under flocks of Grant Park pigeons
years after his death
& still his focused life drives me

tho he’s dead
& Woody Guthrie’s dead
& several unknowns of the species
I’ve encountered
who’ve died many times since myself
& live to testify.

///

October 5, 2018

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billboard

///

I’m trying to change the world forever for better. Saying so doesn’t make me righteous, or effective. So I say this, too: I am trying to be righteous, & I am trying to be effective.

I try to align myself with whoever else is or will be trying to be righteous — not self-righteous — & honest, wise, kind, & effective.

I haven’t emerged yet from struggling.

Eric Chaet Old Buzzard

how to change

I hope that each of the so-called poems (listed in the menu) speaks for itself. Likewise, I hope that, as a body, they nourish, encourage, & strengthen you when you’re struggling not to be overcome, & provide you with infrastructure, not otherwise provided, when you are taking off — making your wise & righteous contributions.

It is the madness, injustice, hypocrisy, & glib delusion of insurgents as well as the madness, injustice, hypocrisy, & glib delusion of incumbents & their favorites, that I’d transform — so that humanity can finally become healthy. I certainly don’t mean to encourage you or anyone to surrender to impatience, & perpetrate yet another injustice.

Solid and Sound cover