Don’t Just Keep Fighting


by Eric Chaet

Like bacteria or lions & zebras
we’re engaged in a war for nutrients, safety, & joy—
but we’re human beings—
our imaginings & reasonings sane & insane
are as immense as the universe—
we’re not mere creatures of this or that
drop of water or jungle or plain—or nation—
& the war we’re involved in is the war declared
by those who refuse to be more than
bacteria or animals—
&, if we accept their terms of engagement
we who care for people who can’t help us win
& who want to develop the elements of ourselves
that are more than the elements of bacteria or lions
our abilities to reason, to wonder, to improve
our own & others’ access to nutrients, safety, & joy—
by changing our habits
at no one’s expense, except, maybe
those who would eat or conquer & rule everyone else—
if we engage in the battles they initiate
we can’t even win by winning the battles—

yes, of course, we must keep fighting
or be brought down by predators & parasites
& all we’ve done & all our potential wasted—
but fight for what, & how?—

it’s easy to be seduced to fight with this or that one
who is himself or herself seduced into all kinds
of seriously dangerous battles for trivial gains
if any gains at all—

as easy as to be seduced by advertisements
to buy what is, at most, pleasant for an instant—
while the costs persist
& reduce our strength from then on—
it’s easy to fall into the trap
of fighting for a little or a lot of recognition
recognition by those who are themselves confused
running in little counterproductive circles—
& then they’re dead & we’re dead—
aren’t we fighting to end the fighting?—

how can we win if we tell one another,
Just keep fighting?

My way of fighting mainly is avoiding battles
dodging challenges of all sorts
trying to remember what I’m about
or, if I can’t remember
trying to decide, yet again
how I want to live my life in this glorious world
in this terrible human war—
shedding my stupid programming
& habilitating myself to achieve
rare results of real use to me & others
otherwise impossible.

Of course, it’s necessary to engage in battle some times
whether a battle someone won’t allow you to avoid
or, better, a battle you initiate yourself
& follow thru per some strategy
you’ve worked out in solitude
whether relaxed or anxious—
of course, relaxed is better, if possible—
if you go too long without relaxing,
you’ll lose the ability to fight—
but anxiety is the atmosphere of war—
a battle, & a strategy, whereby if you gain
you advance toward the goal of ending the fighting—
there won’t be peace without justice—
or, at least, toward being in a better position
to initiate another battle, & follow thru
whereby if you gain
you advance toward the goal of ending the fighting—

of course, those who gain the most
from the current state of the war
they call law & order & prosperity & development
won’t stop fighting while they’re winning—
they’ll have to be stopped—

& most of those you’d help & who could help you
are either paralyzed with fear
or fighting like cornered rats
& can’t tell you from those who’ve cornered them—

but what most people who are fighting
whether they’re winning or losing
getting rich or poor or famous or invisible
are fighting for
I don’t intend to fight for
at least not by the rules of the so-called games
which are by no means games
that they insist I must fight according to.

You must be strong as a shark or crocodile
whether physically or in some way equivalent or more
but it seems to me there’s no point in just fighting on
except wisely, cunningly, slyly—
& I mean wise, cunning, sly beyond the ability
of sharks or crocodiles or bacteria or lions
or alpha capitalists or sultans or famous personalities
even to conceive of
even to attempt to disrupt
even to slander, trap, imprison
or aim a rocket-propelled grenade at
even to denigrate with tepid praise
as tho you are one of the confused & trivial ones
who has performed some clever trick
they judge & proclaim ingenious.



Picture: Goya, “Fight with Clubs”

One Response to “Don’t Just Keep Fighting”

  1. Larry Says:

    Wonderful… everywhere in your work I find the foundation of “Imagio Dei.” Tracing the roots of Nazi ideology one finds that an attack on this concept is fundamental.

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