Friday, July 29, 2005

jet plane view [rewrite]

Flying into Chicago at night,
the lights of the city spread out below.
Bright street lights trailing off into the distance,

streets, lit up for the night.

Like holiday lights strung towards each horizon,
their parallel lines getting small in the distance.
The grid, like some kind of game board,
glowing bright amber and white
against the dark velvet surface.
A perfect semetry, broken only by
the black patches of forest preserve,
the meandering river,
the wide curves of the Skyway
and the expanse of black that is the lake.
Street upon street of homes,
as far as the eye can see,
lit for the evening.

Familiar thoughts emerge,
thoughts of evening travel,
hitchhiking from place to place.
Looking out of passenger side windows,
looking into the lighted living rooms
of homes that I passed in the night.
Seeing people talking, conversing,
reading newspapers, watching the tube, living life.

What are those lives? What is in their orbit?
What is their workaday world?
What answers to my questions do they have?

And what of the living room windows?
who are the friends of these people?
more home fires and more small worlds.
each person's sphere intersecting with still others.
All of the thousands of places in this city.

Looking down from the sky from my jet plane view.
The thousands of stories in these lives.

I fly on my route, I see hundreds of cities,
thousands of lighted houses,
thousands of car headlights heading for those homes.

This human machine, repeats all across this country,
and over into the next, to engulf the world with people.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

" a long kiss"

"In the movies, writers are always balling up pieces of paper and staring moodily into the corner as though they were struggling to read a teleprompter. Sheesh. Writing is a completely internal activity. Watching someone write is pointless. Reading is where all the action is. You are moving your mind across someone else's, like a snail, like a long kiss."

--Audrey Niffenegger, Author
during an interview on her book "The Time Traveler's Wife"

Friday, July 08, 2005

God of War

For twenty years, I was a born-again Christian. for 17 years before that I was a Roman Catholic who believed what I was taught as a child. I Changed My Mind. And now I'm frustrated...looking at the present day religious wars from the view of a formerly religious guy.

Humans prove time and again that they are gullible, stupid, ignorant and ill informed.

When people embrace the mythology of religion and let their spiritual naïveté rule their lives and that of their neighbors, they prove how faulted their thinking is.

What is it about religion that shapes people's thoughts to embrace totally illogical ideas?

I am convinced that it is the fear of being eternally damned by a vengeful, wrathful God. Down through the ages, people have submitted to the monstrous orders of the priests and mullahs, because of total fear that they would be lost to hellfire.

The latter day "born again" "Jesus loves you" "personal saviour" flavor of Christianity is a fairly new phenomenon. Throughout the centuries, the Christian faith was replete with stern warnings and punishments for disobedience. But don't misunderstand. Godly violence isn't relegated to just one religion.

Early Jewish leaders routinely committed genocide on whole populations. The Jewish scriptures give detailed accounts of God ordering the destruction of idol worshipers.

The Babylonians killed the captive Jews who didn't bow down to acknowledge Nebucadnezzar as King and God.

The Canaanites, Aztecs, Mayans, and Incas offered what they believed was the ultimate sacrifice to their gods. That is, a human sacrifice. Those cultures had evolved to a point where the sacrifice of corn and first fruits was not enough. Their stern god needed more. Blood. And even more than just the blood of mere animals.

The priestly caste repeated this scene the world over. In history, from civilization to civilization, certain of the people claimed to be the mouthpiece of God. There is the idea that God exists, and that this God only speaks to the chosen few. The sheep-like people blindly believe that their priests are infallible...that they know God and understand His Mind. Never mind that the world's religions, time and again, fashion their God after a very human fashion. They succeed in creating a idol...a God that acts just like humans.

In most religions we see that God pretty much hates the earth and all the things in the earth. Time and again we hear of this earth as being corrupt. We hear how God's kingdom is not of this world. We see martyrs of religion, who die for the promise of the sweet by and by. They are people who die to quench the blood lust, against those they perceive to be the non-believers. People become zealots for religion. Yet in truth, they really understand nothing. They dare not ask the questions that would bring their faith into doubt. They blindly follow; without logic or proof that anything they believe is really true.

Through the ages, people have suffered at the hands of others, mainly due to differences in religion.

Today, the Muslim extremists would not hesitate to nuke America and the West from the face of the earth. They even consider other moderate Muslims, who don't share their extremist views, as being apostate, and really not true Muslims.

They insist that they are doing God's work. They think that God helps them to fight the Jews and the Crusaders. They think they are doing God a favor. They are putting the world through the type of intolerance that the Roman Christian Church did back in the Middle Ages. Yet extreme Islam was also present at that time.

It is troubling, that at the core of all this, the religious fundamentalists and extremists seem to have never really taken a very good look at where their religion came from. Many don't know the origins of their faith, or how it started. Their whole religious experience is based on things taken for granted, things taken as fact. But it is mere stories and myth that are taken as fact. It is blind faith, borne out of religions created for fun or profit....of other religions created from schizoid voices heard on the wind. Still other religions are created from stupid and unlearned members of the priestly caste. The religious intelligentsia, who believe in their own infallibility. An intelligentsia that yields ideas of a flat earth and misogynism and ignorance and backwardness. They worship a stupid, brutish God who is ineffective. These people equate backwardness with holiness...poverty with holiness, "righteous murder" with holiness.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

buying / selling

5:30 p.m. evening commute, Metra

he's not motivated to buy
and not really interested in selling.
just enough for his meager needs
just enough to keep his head above water
barely above water.

she sells what she does not even have
she sell ideas and dreams
she paints those dreams with convincing words
with pictures for the mind

he does not have the means
he does not ever have the time
he looks to the horizon
looking for a treasure, wants to find a windfall
gold is in them hills, his get rich quick plan
and he is buying what she is selling
he is paying for her gimmick

smooth as oil, her words
slipping through his fingers, his riches