When Western Civilization Eats Its Own Tail

Some moments are meant for darkness. Some pulsings are meant for isolation, for blunt penetrations. The heaving up of jellyfish thoughts, vomited onto bedspreads while tears linger in corners. Purgings do not relieve, climaxes do not relax, beds are too soft, floors too carpeted, brain bloated with exhaustion. Pain is found in the wrong places, as if shifting gargoyle ghosts have abducted emotions that once coupled with events,

Because some events are not meant to happen. Some mistakes spin nightmares, loosen bottle stoppers, spill explosives onto kitchen counter tops. Some lives should not be stolen, some souls should not be ripped
from their casings, strewn wild – as if we could share them bodiless,
as if flowers and a remembrance poster will numb the searing sensation of suicide slipped amongst us. Who gave them such a right, we ask. Who let them face us to this looking glass, who caught the shimmer of these razors we pocket and claw?

We are the generation who cannot cope with ourselves. This is a universal trait.
We glorify mirror houses, wander trapped inside them, dodge our own reflections, blame others for the deformities we quietly obsess over.
We’re the double, triple irony generation.
We’re post-post all that, whatever that is,
we’re post-secret,
we tell the world instead of ourselves:
We’ve got biology beat.
Survival instinct superseded by sheer alienation.
Sometimes we don’t even mean to kill ourselves,
sometimes we just don’t count the pills.

where Western civilization eats its own tail,
we don’t actually want to prevent cancer.
Perhaps because we are stubborn,
in denial,
perhaps because
it is difficult to prevent something we are.

Here is a race:
The cure,
dangling from a fishing pole we have tied to our own belts.

Give chase.

There is no matrix. No blue or red choice.
There is a man with a briefcase called the nuclear football. He follows the president everywhere. He guards the power of the man who is the state (who is the monarch) to determine who is human.
Some day, it might just happen. We’ll swallow
lungfulls of dust before we realize there’s not a breathe box on our touch phones
and maybe we’ll thrash,
or maybe we’ll limply float along,
into a silent, empty eternity.

iv. Advice:
While Western Civilization is Eating Its Own Tail,
Take advantage of the profound distraction.

Much wisdom was ignored on the trek up this catastrophic mountain;
The wisdom is still out there.
Learn to listen, see, touch, taste, smell. Observe.

We have been hungry for so long.
In the shadow of the distraction,
Come together.



Published by kris gebhard

Kris (pronouns they/them) is a clinical psychologist, poet, percussionist, and gardener currently residing in Chicago, IL.

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