Our Firearms

Our Firearms, Who send many to heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Names;
Our hands be wrung,
The N.R.A.’s will be done
in America as it is in Congress.
Give us this day our daily dead,
and send thoughts and prayers,
as we fill with holes those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into solutions,
but deliver us from stray bullets.
Amen.

See also:
https://jasonpreu.com/2018/02/24/thirteen-ways-of-looking-at-our-problem-after-wallace-stevens/

https://jasonpreu.com/2018/02/16/thoughts-prayers/

Our Firearms

Sunrise and the Green New Deal

Human-caused climate change is an existential threat to life on Earth.

If you live in the U.S., check out https://www.sunrisemovement.org/tour

And find a town hall to discuss the Green New Deal occurring near you (or sign up to host one).

If you’re in KC, here are the details:

Kansas City Green New Deal Town Hall
Start: April 24, 2019 at 6:30 PM 
Unity Temple on the Plaza
707 W 47th St
Kansas City, MO, 6411

When thinking about human-caused climate change, recall Preu’s Wager.

Sunrise and the Green New Deal

To That Which We Are Entrusted

And who was Joshua anyway but a common man come to tell the common man how to get by in a world like this?

This here world built on rich men’s dreams in rich men’s eyes for rich men’s bodies.

You see, a rich man ain’t got to love nothing. Only thing he’s got to do is open his purse and say the word.

Hell, sometimes it’s better if he don’t say any words a’tall, just hush it up all quiet-like so there ain’t no trail, ain’t no truth to the matter.

But a poor man’s got to love everything to get by in a world like this, a world he’s set to inherit.

Got to love that what itint fair.
Got to love that what puts him down.
Got to love that what hates him just for watching the same goddamn blue sky.
Got to love that what hates.

Got to love
that what hates.

Got to love murder by the ruling class, stuck through with a handful of rusty nails, up on some old dirty wood, bleeding out over all creation just so the other poor folk’ll keep in mind: all your days you got to love that what hates you ‘til this here world sets you free at last, free at last.

To That Which We Are Entrusted

Huron Cemetery Poems VIII

May 15th, 2018

Unknown

Bits of broken tombstone surround the tree of life, jagged little reminders that all monuments someday crack and crumble.

A speck-like spider falls from the tree of life onto my pale hand. Before it has a chance to find its own way home, I send it to the land of wet grasses on a gust of self-generated wind. I have never cared for spiders, however minuscule.

I count no less than twenty shards of gravestone and wonder if the tree of life is to blame. The tree of life, grown so large from all the now-quiet bodies if hovers over while under the bone-infested ground, the roots of life seek water.

I spy no faces upon the tree of life’s cracked and ornery skin. I only spy black ants and sick-yellow lichens.

Are the faces then underground with the roots or perhaps higher up on the trunk, well above eye-level, spied only by wandering drones or a telescoping eye from a nearby window? Are the faces then in the branches, obscured by oblique leaves?

Perhaps the tree of life has no faces at all…

Perhaps the tree of life is just a dis-envisaged voice repeating so slowly, “So happy now you’ve gone.”

And what then for us still left to hear?

What new lessons do we have to share?

Huron Cemetery Poems VIII

The Good Life Smells Just Like Gobstoppers

On the ground before you
sits a box sealed tight.
The box represents your mind.

Don’t get the wrong idea
about this metaphor. This is
not about thinking outside the box.

At least, not in the common
sense of that beleaguered phrase.
Instead, simply watch the box.

That action proves noteworthy for
you can watch the box from outside the box,
which forces you to ask,

“Who is it that’s watching my mind?”

My daughter enters the room
bearing candy and a smile.

The last time I wrote of her
she was seven. Now she’s ten.

The multi-colored candy spills
from its box like rainbow hailstones.

She reads the words above
and she tells me not to worry.

Then she leaves the room
to go play The Sims downstairs.

The Good Life Smells Just Like Gobstoppers

Thirteen Ways of Looking at Our Problem (After Wallace Stevens)

I
After one hundred twenty-two dead schoolchildren,
The only changing thing
Is that no things have changed.

II
They are of one mind,
Like a target
In which there is one silhouette.

III
Our bullets whistle in the winter winds.
What small shells do they leave behind.

IV
A man and his God
Are one.
A man and and his God and his gun
Are one.

V
We do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of tension
Or the beauty of release,
The hands before pleading
Or just after.

VI
Caskets line the green lawn
While we defend barbarism.
The shadow of the law
Wavers to and fro.
The intent
Of the shadow
Is our infinite cause.

VII
O thin leaders of mortal men,
Why do you believe in possibility?
Do you not see how the base
Are swayed by the whims
Of the stories that surround them?

VIII
They speak the savior’s tongue
In unstoppable, rapid-fire rhythms;
But we see, now,
That the devil is involved
In everything they do.

IX
We bury the bodies out of sight.
We mark their memories
With one of many grey stones.

X
In the face of reason
Like a banshee’s scream,
The green bonds of fraternity
Keep us all muffled, weeping.

XI
We ride across America
In a silent ambulance.
Once, a fear shook us,
In that we took
The shadow of the law
As immutable.

XII
The tide is rising.
The dead are rising.

XIII
It was all over the evening news.
We were dying
And we were going to die.
Another active shooter leaves
His mother’s loving arms.

Thirteen Ways of Looking at Our Problem (After Wallace Stevens)