arbitrary blood oaths in poetry

  • Dec. 6, 2017, 7:29 p.m.
  • |
  • Public

a billionaire pays young men from oppressed backgrounds
to give each other brain damage on national television
the men are not from where you’re from
they’re largely disadvantaged rural Southerners
the stadium is a five hour drive away
in a city you’ve visited once in a grade-school field trip
yet this may well be your source of “local pride”
this may be the reason you wear your colours
this could be the rationale for choosing your side
this may be the way that you determine your tribe
even when the team name itself
is a slur against Native Americans
but I digress

a multinational that makes a mass produced product
that you happen to like using is not your tribe
if we are still wired that we need tribes to be part of so badly
please consider something a little more applicable
to your overall lifestyle and philosophy
than which old bastards own the place where your car was made
what kind of fast food you prefer when pressed for time
which billionaire you buy your computers and phones from
across the country in a mansion in Silicon Valley
assembled by child-slaves outside of Shanghai
these are tools you may have to use to get by
but they are not your tribe

from moment to moment
discrete action to discrete action
we kind of have free will here and there
we could always swerve the car and die for example
but over the course of a lifetime
these choices average out into white noise
we’re largely on a ride determined by random chance not us
still we can consciously choose what we stand for
who we stand with
what we can stand by
if you have to be something more than just you
at least be more than the place where you shop
be more than your favourite booze
make your choices concretely
think on it before you choose
and then tribe the hell out of it

join a poetry group, maybe
it’s goddamned better than
beating someone up because
you own a different brand of bike
or the like
or the like

Last updated December 07, 2017

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