New Poem: Primate House

primate house

I don’t label myself, not really, when it comes to politics. A lot of people say I am a lefty, some call me a radical (I have actual radical friends that probably would get a good chuckle out of that,) progressive seams to stick. If I were to label myself I suppose I would say I am a compassionate rationalist, which does mean many of my policy opinions come down on what would be called the left. Funny how we use an outdated seating arrangement turned outdated mode of academic discussion of a “political spectrum” to create an identity.
One thing I never call myself, though, is “liberal.” Not because conservatives turned it into a dirty word. No, because so many of the so called “liberal” pundits have more in common with the conservatives they say they hate, especially when it comes to the working class. They love us, until they don’t.  I guess we’re good for a laugh though.

Primate House

Step into my house,
stay a while,
take a look around
from the other side of the glass.

Don’t mind the smell,
that’s just how we get here:
all grit
and grime
and grease
and sweat
and I know it bothers you
so thank you for your patience.

Don’t mind how we howl.
Our coarse voices screaming our worries
that we forget in our work-a-day lives
until we get home.
I am so happy that it amuses you for a bit.

It must be exhausting:
taking the time to come down here
since you know so much about us already.
Why bother when you have already read all you need to know?

You feel for us,
you really do,
as we break
and bleed
and burn
and die
so your dividends can earn you a few more dollars
and you can afford another round of craft beer.

In your benevolence you demand
our keepers clean our cages
and throw us a shiny new toy
so we can pleasantly distract ourselves
from the world on your side of the glass.

In your admiration you tell us
how you envy our spirit:
our ability to keep on in spite of it all,
you do wish you could be like us,
but not really.

Your kindness piles high in our cages
and we are suffocated beneath the weight,
but then,
you can always go to another zoo.


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