First, those of you who write poems and read this newsletter, send me an audio recording of you reading a poem.
I had hoped to have something to announce to you today. Well, I do have something to announce, but the crucial deliverable required for that announcement to be worthy of announcing is still pending so the announcement as a whole must also pend for the pending time pending.
Let’s talk about pending. Originating ‘round the 1640s, “during, in the process of, for the time of the continuance of,” pending is a preposition formed on the model of French pendant “during,” literally “hanging,” as well as a present participle of pendere “to hang, cause to hang” (from the Proto-Indo-European root *(s)pen- “to draw, stretch, spin”). The meaning is patterned on “not decided” as a secondary sense of Latin pendente (literally “hanging”) in the legal phrase pendente lite “while the suit is pending, during the litigation” (with the ablative singular of lis “suit, quarrel”). The use of the present participle before nouns caused it to be regarded as a preposition. Pending began being used as an adjective ‘roundaboot 1797.
Isn’t it all pending at present? Hanging right there in front of us? Swaying to and fro like a confused monkey in a tree? “It” being everything, of course. Our safety. Our livelihoods. Our futures. Our country. Our planet. Our supply of factory-farmed meats which must be protected at all costs so help us God if McDonalds runs out of burgers…hell hath no fury like a Trump starved of Big Macs.
Let’s talk about Big Macs. The Big Mac was originally created to compete with the Big Boy hamburger, a signature burger made by a local McDonald’s competitor in Pittsburgh, PA. The Big Mac had two prior names before getting its current name which, incidentally, was bestowed upon the meatiest-meat-meaty sandwich by 21-year-old advertising secretary, Esther Glickstein Rose. The Big Mac’s first two names were not Jim nor The Greasy Mouthfeel. No, its first two names were The Blue Ribbon Burger and The Aristocrat.
Isn’t it all pending the Aristocrats at present? Pending right there with decisions pending before their eyes, Aristocrats influenced by corporate interests and ideologues peddling dipshit theories? Aristocrats swaying to and fro, like confused, well-suited monkeys in a forest of new growth trees? “It” being everything, of course. Our safety. Our livelihoods. Our futures. Our country. Our planet. Our common humanity.
Let’s talk about humanity. Humans, together with chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans, are part of the family Hominidae. Humans have eyes. Humans have hands, bodily organs, a human shape, five senses, feelings, and passions. Humans eat food, get hurt when attacked with weapons, get sick with diseases, get healed by medicine, warm up in summer and cool off in winter. If you prick a human with a pin, it will bleed. If you tickle a human, it will laugh. If you poison a human, it will die. And if you treat a human badly, it will try to get revenge.
Isn’t it all pending revenge on the Aristocrats at present?
“It” being everything, of course.
And yet, we’re embedded in the systems built by Aristocrats to benefit the Aristocrats. Conundrum, ho hum.
The question then becomes: How to reframe one’s existence outside of Aristocratic systems: land ownership, planned obsolescence, outsourced slave labor, consumption as a substitute for community, and the like? More figuratively, how to completely rebuild our aeroplane while we’re in it, flying over the sea?
I don’t know. 17-year-old me wants to watch the motherfucker burn down like a Rage Against the Machine song. Diabetic me wants to ensure the pharmaceutical supply chain isn’t disrupted by 17-year-old me’s wanton arson spree. Psychedelic me wants to drop out of everything and grow mushrooms on a farm in north Arkansas and have you all visit when you need a good mind cleanse. Father me wants to be better able to tell his children he tried to effect change, if for their sake alone. None of my many mes, however, wants everything to keep on keeping on this very way. Not one of me.
Now I’m rambling (oh, now you’re rambling?).
And with a Flower Moon o’erhead, forgive me.
Look up at the moon.
We’re floating in space.
Aristocrats, despite their plans to mine the moon, be damned.
“It” being everything, of course.