Three Poems for the New World

author: marc November 2003 email Marc

May these poems help in defending the social logic against the profit logic!
As spirituality means letting go (cf. Richard Rohr, Simplicity and the Joy of Letting Go, 2003), Jesus calls us to a new language and a new mathematics, to an ethic of resistance and solidarity and a future of openness and inclusivity.
Joy comes in the morning, not only Halliburton and Texas Pacific!

Three Poems for a New World
Marc Batko

Burnt Rubber

Instead of radical conversion,
sharing work and assets,
rewarding poets and writers,
not only speculators and con artists,
Burnt rubber became a language,
a leverage and a lifestyle,
a false hope
and a false security
conferred by a false consciousness
in a culture of conformity
and mutual congratulation
where vision and utopia were lost.
Language and community
are in permanent crisis
amid repressing and fading out
everything unpleasant.

Was speed glorified by the media
so present, past and future dissolve
as means are confused with ends
and the part mistaken for the whole?
A world of interdependence
can be envisioned
where stories of liberation
eclipse the stories of office buildings,
where the market isn’t the omnipotent ruler
reducing life to a shopping mall
but a means
fostering human development..
Change of consciousness
from auto-dependence in the car-tastrophe
is still
in its infancy.

Intoxicated with itself,
the triumphalist culture is threatened with solipsism
as vanity and narcissism
threatened Narcissus gazing at the mirror.
There is power in our question,
our proclamation and our vision!
Are human rights the same as market rights?
Do we ever learn from other cultures?
Do we obliterate the memory of other people?
Is growth endless and undifferentiated?
Can market progress threaten human progress?
Can Wall Street overshadow Main Street?
The rich one can lose all things without sorrow.
Buddhist enlightenment like Jesus’ parables can change reality.
True wealth is receiving and sharing
reconfiguring the plutonium economy of nonstop consumerism
where future generations refuse the celebration of burnt rubber.

The Seven Myths

The great myth
that individual selfishness
becomes public good
the displacement of public ethics
by personal morality.

The myths of the self-healing market,
the ever-larger cake
and lifting oneself by one’s bootstraps
are economic and psychological
like the myths of corporate beneficence,
trickle down prosperity and nature as an external.

Who would have thought
that Reagonomics would be
such an insurmountable virus?
A lie can travel half way around the world
before truth gets her boots on! (Mark Twain)
Myths and prejudices block the way to understanding.

Economism sets profit and property above human life,
degrades labor into a cost factor,
and commodifies all life..
The anthropology of self-interest
has its counterpart
in the anthropology of receptivity.

We are social beings bound to one another
llke the waves of the sea.
We are dependent and changed
by our context and environment,
not atomized nomads
without connection, history, passion and hope.

The truth will set us free
but the truth is a process
where life is an unfolding fragment
relational and conditional
calling us to engagement
not self-righteousness or solipsism.

As the end is present in the beginning,
the tree in the seed,
our fragmentary lives ought to be
dialogical and international
where we are questions and answers
to one another exploding the myths.

Historical Consciousness and Utopias

Historical consciousness and utopias
do not become discredited
when little Bart
comes home all muddy and twisted.

America corrupted by wealth
where full employment only occurs through wars
is the pioneer of speculation
and misfortune.

Capitalism and the last superpower are above the law.
Where our footprint is too great and wasted energy is challenged,
we use the Creole trick
and stylize ourselves as victims, not culprits.

Only repression artists could redefine
non-stop consumerism and limitless nature
as economic laws.
People on the fifth floor congratulate people on the fifth floor.

Rightwing propaganda threatens!
Idolizing the nation or the belt-buckle,
the rightwing scapegoat the weak,
the immigrants who enrich the materialist North.

Triumphant America becomes a buffoon
when prosperity is based on weapons exports,
redistribution upwards
and exploitation of the global South.

The future should be anticipated and protected in the present,
not extrapolated from the present.
Let us reclaim life and the future
and not become buffoons of the mega-machine!

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1 Response to Three Poems for the New World

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