How do you get a message out?

Below is an unrevised, off-the-cuff poem in response to the xenophobia gaining momentum in the wake of the Paris attacks.

I don’t know how else to react- to 25 American politicians stamping their feet like children at the prospect of letting in desperate people, suffering at the hand of an ignorant world power, a product of our political line of rhetoric.

It’s all well and good if the faces are blurred and abstract. If you can’t picture families with children fleeing the end of their lives, their premature deaths, it’s easier to close the bolted gate.

I’m not acting as a journalist right now, but I do believe in the process and the objectivity. I also believe that sometimes our art and “feelings” and music and comedy can illuminate corners objectivity can’t see.

I would urge everyone to educate themselves to the fullest extent of their abilities, seek out views opposite of your own, and explore the depth of your own compassion.

Too many of us have no real vision of the texture of death. It’s time to be reminded of your own eventual end, which will not be protected by a neat American infrastructure or prayer.

How do you get a message out?

In bottles, I would drift across and back

slipping a paper shifting into

my pocket,

undoing the bottle’s lid.

Crawl into where

we are smaller,

and can all fit.

On the mainland we

cast big shadows,

Unfasten our belts on state lines

to make way

for all terror-stricken faces.

Confused about what

exactly is causing the confusion.

Shrink down and hide,

a shrill battle-desperate-cry.

You trying to tell me

that this is what courage looks like?

I want to strangle

the safe intentions

being sold like movie tickets.

There is no color

black and white

out there other than

the end of the sky

and the beginning of a cosmic



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