Saturday, February 18, 2017

Witnesses












Witnesses


Popular culture is in remission. Some people
are watched like chronic illnesses. I wait for
the next market crash, hip youth revolution,
with bated breath. I’ll take three wishes please.
Then maybe three more... Don’t think about
other centuries too much, or your life will be
disappointing. Depression is running among
bulls, or Chinese-water torture. Our anxiety
comes in thirty-one flavours. A prosecutor goes
off his meds. He is no good to us. You win
the case on your own, or not. Note: the weather
never asks for help. The government wants more
of that DIY attitude. Memories are orphans.
Do you want darjeeling tea, or chemotherapy?
How many would like a choice? I miss poets
who have died. Their poems stand around,
witnesses telling the truth of what they know,
but eventually most of us stop listening. Start
networking. You have been contracted to bear
this bundle another day. To suffer fashions
until the prognosis changes. I wear my being
like an ill-fitting coat with a few buttons missing.
How long has it been since you played marbles,
or kissed a relative stranger? Keep pitching ideas
until one hooks, starts tugging. Something will
emerge from the briny deep. Be yourself, they say,
which has something to do with a gate closing,
a hardship post, the self a ghost haunting a tower,
an upper walkway. Make your peace with it.


By Chris Banks 
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