Poem: Brittle Consensus


I sometimes think we are ruled by fools. Then I remember we are, in theory, a participatory democracy, and I am no less sure, but a lot sadder about that. Still, don’t want to let the fools we send to represent us off the hook.

Brittle Consensus

The “ayes” have it
“it” being a passing fad
the latest outrage
dressed in its Sunday best
and paraded out for the rest of us to see

We have too little
we have too much
we love our neighbors across the sea
until we don’t

They all have something in common
besides mutual love
masked as loathing
half charlatan
half preacher
and if you can tell the difference
you are smarter than me

The “eyes” have it
except they’ve all gone blind
rubbing it out
over and again
to “Wealth of Nations”
Larry Flynt’s got nothing on Adam Smith
that penultimate pornographer
purveyor of perversions
pretending to be pious

They agree on everything
except how to disagree
how to circle each other in the ring
how to sell it
before jumping off the turnbuckle
praying they don’t fall into the crowd

they avoid that at all costs
must never
be part of the crowd
part of the audience
the dirty masses
blood bags
waiting to be drained dry
so long as “ayes”
keep our eyes off the prize


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