To The Celebrated

by Eric Chaet

My life seems so different from yours
you who are celebrated for being successful—
tho with so much suffering
& so much on the brink of catastrophe
I withhold my unqualified admiration.

Sometimes I don’t know how to go on, & lapse
but, so far, Ive always resumed my efforts
with or without greater understanding—
I’m sure I’ve tried as hard as anyone.

But who I am does not seem to emerge
from among the bitter drudges or those resigned
like horses & dogs to doing their masters’ bidding
or from all endlessly competing for glory & wealth
or even from among the children & prisoners
or even from among the chickens, cows, & hogs
or from among the rows of corn, wheat, rice plants
or from among the surviving wild animals & weeds
or prokaryotes consuming substrates collided with
or from among the clouds, stones, buildings, machines.

With few exceptions
& then usually mistaking my intentions
everyone seems unaware of & unaffected by
my impressions, thoughts, efforts.

I’m sure you have your share of frustrations & anxieties.

Maybe what I’ve earned so far, & am earning now
will be rewarded, while I’m alive, yet—or after—
maybe it won’t just be personal glory or wealth
or what wealth can buy in this current system
of missiles, bombs, money, advertising & propaganda
& proprietary data, controversies, & laws
& profit-maximizing campaigns, & unconscious behaviors—
however much suffering goes on
obvious to those suffering—or hidden
from those born & operating in bubbles of privilege—
current catastrophes of varying durations—
or breath of everyone not oblivious held
just this side of exponential brinks.

Maybe I’ll see some of the results I’ve intended—
but I’m always struggling to free myself—
I don’t dare wait for them!

My life is probably not so different
from the lives you actually lead beneath the seeming.

My life, & likely yours, are not so different, either
from the lives of those whose frustrations & anxieties—
whose sufferings—seem to be so much more
terrible & profound than mine.

Or even so different from the lives of
those who couldn’t go on struggling any more
& gave up their last breaths—whether recently
or long ago, in history—or before.

Nothing is over—this is not the end.


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