Tuesday, January 28, 2014

To Those Whom I Make Bleed

I'm of the Gadfly Party, Socrates
And Nietzsche are my models, worthy friends
To help bring you, complacent, off your knees,
Your spear in hand. Oh, when your life depends
On laziness, when you believe without
A thought, then I will sting you with some doubt.

I'll contradict if I should change my mind --
Consistency is density -- I'll change
With every brand-new fact that I should find.
Give me your views and I will rearrange
Them into something new, with properties
Emerging from the ground like locust trees.

And I will lie beneath the trees and speak
To each who passes by, and I will not
Feel shame upon my death, for I did seek
The good, the true, the beautiful -- you rot
In valleys, too afraid to climb, to fly
And dance -- you live in fear and don't know why.

But when you're challenged, when you're asked to dance,
You find the fire to burn the locusts down,
To swat at those who challenge your romance
Of work and life and those who wear the crown --
You'll drive one mad, you'll make the poison drink
To make sure that you sleep and do not think.

Sunday, January 19, 2014


It started with a need to learn about
My son, his mind, cast ignorance and doubt
Away so we could help him speak and cope
And find in autism some little hope.

I shared my findings with my wife and brother,
The two who know me best, except my mother
Who is more sadly dead with children who
She wanted yelling, "Grandma!" at her through

The windows of our van as we drove up
The drive. The red brick house that filled the cup
Of me as I sat in my room, alone
And reading books and making lists to hone

Me into who I have become, the one
Whose neural structures, passed on to his son,
Intensified in passing on. I read
About my son, but then that learning spread

To insights into me. My brother, wife
Both saw a brother's and a husband's strife
In life explained. They told me, "You have that."
Impossible! No speech delay. A brat

Who threw himself down on the floor to scream
With every little thing? You could not dream
Of having children who behaved so well
As I. But I lived in a shell, a cell

I made myself. I did not socialize,
But loved to learn and oftentimes seemed wise
When I was very young. Obsessed with sharks,
Then plants -- the endless lists of orchids marks

Me with the patterns that my son will see
As he grows older. Cars lined up since three
The first to show us who he is. The stress
I felt through life make sense at last. I press

Into myself the more I learn. I found
Myself at last. I feel myself on ground,
Not sand, at last. I'm present to my past
And know the neural mold from which I'm cast.

What could I learn from mom, now dead so long?
What would she think of this? This woman, strong
In dying, would perhaps have shown her strength
In love and dedication. The length

I've gone to learn about my son to lead
To me to lead to her has truly freed
Me so that I can see how others think
Of me and of my son, to at last link

With all those people that I found so strange
So that I can expand myself, my range.
And what I learn for me I can pass on
So that my son won't feel a helpless pawn.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Power Laws

I'll sing the song of anarchy,
Of polycentric polities
Where people live in freedom, vote
With feet when needed to be free.

We humans walked the earth in freedom,
Millennia of movement mired
By gangs too many have agreed
Deserve the tributes we must give.

Can I demand you pay me to protect
Your things and freedom from myself
As well as others? Or demand you live
Where I command you live?

How many men will make immoral moral?
Enough to transform murder to statistics?
Do we require the threat of death to love?
To merely get along? Cooperate?

Allow us all to move, to live, to love --
Allow us all to find our place, cooperate,
Discover what our values ought to be
From day to day. Allow us to be free!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Winter in the Southern Plains

This time of year we sometimes get a thick
Mist settling on the skyscrapers and trees --
The whiteness will not burn away at noon,
And evening thickens without any breeze.

Is this the desert edge, the shortgrass plains?
The summer scissortails and grackles gone,
It feels like Limbo, land of Cicero
And Homer, land of light without a dawn.

Is this the place of shimmering steel summers?
The air is webbed with wet -- a dozen brews
Of coffee cannot crack the lull of sleep
That wants to creep inside these subtle hues.

A day of weight where impatience can wait
Beside the station where the trains won't run,
This day has slept, it's blanket warm against
The cold, hard air and ineffective sun.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Health Insurance

The cost of insurance was such
Its price I could sadly not touch --
So I gave all of that
To a young bureaucrat
And now it costs three times as much!

Free Will

Am I my neurons, neurons I? Or are
We free to will what we would be? Are we
When we communicate just like a car
In traffic, part of something new? To be
Responsible and free, do we need all
The people who we know or walk the mall?

I'm free to choose when there's a choice, but I
Could not be me without the rest of you
And you could not be you without the die
Of culture casting you, so you are true
To who you are, the social making one
Unique, for when we're one, then we are none.

My consciousness emerges when my nerves
All interact and I become the tale
I tell myself about myself, which serves
To justify my acts. Succeed or fail --
It's up to me and what I tell myself,
If I'm a hero or a moral elf.

But what I tell myself is also what
You tell me I have done, which always casts
You as the hero of your tale. Your gut
Will tell you you are free -- that feeling lasts,
No matter if you say your life is fate.
But both are surely up for deep debate.