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May 152012
 

by Benjamin Schmitt

 

There is

nothing in these times

that cannot be used to frighten you

puppies and kittens play with sinister intentions

there are dangerous chemicals brewing

under your very skin

 

There is

nothing in these times

that cannot somehow be sold to you

and yet the silence of this great Utah desert burns

money with silence, diamonds disappear

in the black ravines

 

There is

nothing in these times

that appears to have any real kind of value

besides this stone wall of green vines cascading

the rain falls down, sperm find their eggs,

they crack into tadpoles on the rocks

 

There is

nothing in these times

that cannot be twisted to benefit the few

young men go to war, Pepsi is sold in schools

to sponsor the football team while books

lack covers and immediacy

 

There is

nothing in these times

which should make you lose hope in you

remember the mountain we climbed, the path ended,

became sheer cliffs, it’d have been better to die,

but we decided to turn back

 

There is

nothing in these times

that is really different from any other time

the Crusader walks the bloodstained stones of Jerusalem

ridiculed in the dark in the Arabic of the merchants

he remembers his Germany like a rose