Bookstore Poem #126. Revolutions are in/convenient

This is a repost. Admittedly, it’s not very poem-like, but…

Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park. Despite the title [and refrain], this ended up being a general rumination on war and violence.

Revolutions are in/convenient.

The disarray and chaos stirred up by the revolution, if done right, will be sucked up and swept away in the aftermath. A new sense of order, with calm taking place of the disquiet that once reigned, will settle in. We can again sleep soundly through the night.

Revolutions are in/convenient.

But the call is difficult to make. For the many willing to answer, there are many who will pass up no opportunity to disrupt lines of communication, take up arms, and stand with the powers that be and all they stand for (against).

Revolutions are in/convenient.

In every class, there are those guys who love nothing more than trouble—causing it, making it themselves, joining in, or cheering it on.

These are the guys who know that blowing up stuff is fun—and the bigger the blast the better. These are the guys who become cops so they can use guns, tasers, and night sticks, and legally fuck with people. If they had their way, they’d nuke everything and start over—with themselves in charge this time.

Revolutions are in/convenient.

Some know that war means both sides lose—people die. It’s true that buildings and roads are destroyed, water and air are poisoned and polluted, but people die. That’s something that cannot be ‘fixed’.

Revolutions are in/convenient.

Unrest and discard provoke artists to make great art of beauty, ugliness, and truth; and writers and poets to record the innermost thoughts of perpetrators and victims. Creation and catharsis from suffering, fit to frames and pages.

The true masterpiece will go undiscovered for decades—perhaps millennia—discovered one day in an old, dusty attic, a partly disintegrated box, or under layers of dirt at an archaeological dig. A missive from time, carrying warnings for the future.

Revolutions are in/convenient.

A years-long war ends atrocities overnight, but those who committed them had families and friends and accomplices and sympathizers, and they passed down what they knew through action and inaction—and DNA.

Revolutions are in/convenient.

Everyone remembers something—from books and letters, from what they learned in school. But some schools are run by the defeated, so the war was not really about what the war was really about, and though the men who waged the war were men of their time, their intentions were pure—at least three-fifths pure…

Revolutions are in/convenient.

If you don’t like the way things are, change the laws.
Run for office.
RESIST!
But remember that the other side may learn from your example.

Revolutions are in/convenient.

The moral arc of the universe may indeed bend toward justice—but the fact that it bends at all means that it can also bend the other way.

Revolutions are in/convenient.

Tactics are always a sticking point; the fight soon becomes one between the purists and the pragmatists, until all the infighting means the end of the real fight, the one we all signed on for—and this time the tank doesn’t stop for the lone protester.

(originally posted 14 February 2018—reposted 18 May 2019)