Monday, December 29, 2008

mass suicide mass, another poem by steve ben israel from 1978 seems relevant today

for the past few months, steve ben isreal has been sending me a few gems from his vast collection of monologs and poems . There seems to be no pattern there, but every few weeks or months, I receive an email with one or two and little or no other comment. They, of course, speak for themselves.

This last one dates from 1978. Decades ago but it seems like yesterday.

For previous gems, check out: A New Steve Ben Israel Poem, "non violent executio...


mass suicide mass – (for jonestown and ourtown)

what is common to us all
a case of the jones
of keeping up with joneses
cult is the tip of the culture

ah this collective guilt
of knowing what is being
done to us
by us

where was their individuality
asked all the waving flags

and our grandfathers
who said, if not me
maybe my son
grandsons still waiting
hiding of clock cloak
of worker
that their 10,000 year old class
will be abolished

slow death
mass suicide mass
for those who couldn't keep
track of themselves
without their main man
in the midst of a
subverted subverted future
which clouds our love

yes there is a crack
in the reality
going to war suicide
going to chemical plant suicide
going to revolutionary suicide
going to build nuke plant suicide
not making a new world suicide
not demystifying suicide

audy murphy, remember him
uncle sam's no.1 son
congressional medal of honor winner
who died alone
because he couldn't find community

sgt york
alvin york
who gary cooper made
us love gun
and sgt york dying of cancer

the same year the new anti war
movement shook d.c.
the i.r.s. danced around alvin's bed
you owe us taxes
from the movie of your life
humphrey bogart would say
"taxes is a protection racket"

dylan don't follow leaders echoes
earlier hip chants
of how in the original moment
the people copped for the king
instead of themselves, the self
suicide the denial of the self
succumbing to the man's plan
and believing it to death
watch out for disciples baby

the guns creep in
the guns creep out
shouts the explorer to the new world
how heavy to fall in the new world
yes dreams have cracks in the
rainbow on the way to becoming human
only forward never dies

hey wait nine months
next time baby
it took 10,000 years
to make you baby

from the bottom tip
of argentina chile death locks
to the top of guyana
not so strange deaths
some will say
it was the howls and screams
from nicaraguan
and brazilian torture dungeons
that made them nuts
conspiracy fact
can wisdom come
from death jones jim
something alive must
life demands it

steve ben israel 1978

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