I Am Campaigning, Too

by Eric Chaet

I am not campaigning to overtake
those who have achieved some little sliver
of what needs doing
while we all stew in the mess
that is left undone
or to have the highest score or most toys & thrills.

I am campaigning for another breath, heart-beat, meal
to relax & concentrate at the same time
& to achieve what no one believes I can achieve
which never has been achieved, yet
not by the great, celebrated heroes
of force or accumulation or technical virtuosity—
or by the great, celebrated heroes of dissent
against the status quo, injustice, hypocrisy—
or by the greats who lived their lives in obscurity
their contemporaries unaware of what they were doing
their contemporaries certain
that they could not possibly be doing such a thing
their names appearing nowhere in the histories
tho they did less harm & more good than normal.

I am campaigning not to be overwhelmed by evil-doings
or prevailing delusions & misunderstandings
or by insane bureaucracy & hierarchies
or the assumptions of privileged experts
of protocol & narrow & shallow poise—
to perfect myself, & not just to perfect myself
not to allow what is crazy & wrong
to go on prevailing yet another generation.

I am campaigning to know what to do & say
& to do it & say it, & to be heard
& people acting on what I say—
first one person here or there
then another, & another, & another—
rather than continuing to act on
the suggestions & orders of the engineers
of catastrophe after catastrophe
the least scrupulous, luckiest, the most cunning
at accumulating dollars, weapons, hypnotized armies
at gaining & manipulating publicity
& cornering & corralling
productive machinery & sources of energy
livestock, land, crops, packaged items for sale
vehicles, containers, brands
trademarks, copyrights, algorithms
data, bonds, voters, customers, acolytes
vassals, serfs, fiduciaries, co-conspirators.

I am not campaigning to be declared a genius
or to entertain you for money.

I am campaigning against being dragged down & drowned
by the complaints & learned helplessness
of victims unable to see how to break the habits
of being defeated before it is too late
& develop necessary self-disciplines & perseverance.

I am campaigning
to overcome my weaknesses & pretensions
& my imagining that I know what I do not know
& to know what is so, that is knowable & useful—
to comprehend the limits of what is knowable
& my own limits as well as my actual potential—
against my ignorance
& also my greed for more & more mere information.

I am campaigning for effectiveness.
Acclaim could be useful but also an obstacle
to achieving what I am trying to achieve.
Acclaim could attract all kinds of opposition
& the support of those who imagine
I am a victim like themselves
& who want to share their failure with me
or their poses of success.
It is not acclaim that I am campaigning for.

I am campaigning to acquire understanding
to believe only what is so, & to acquire skills, too
while I still have time to apply them.

I am campaigning to be as fit as is yet possible
& righteous & kind
& for humanity to overcome its infancy & adolescence
its delusions & mental & spiritual diseases
its unjustified over-confidence
& unjustified sense of helplessness—
so that humanity becomes as fit as is still possible
& righteous & kind
perfecting itself & not just perfecting itself
achieving harmonious interaction with one another
& with the other species, too
with our natural environment & built environment
with the habits that are in effect
& with the possibilities, too
beyond our current habitat & habits.

I am campaigning so that humanity & I succeed
once, & again, & again—& forever.

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