In the wake of this week's violence, I see folks (me included!) really struggling, struggling to reconnect with the love that will see us all through this dark place. It is so easy to blame, to diminish, to hate, to generalize, to globalize. I've seen it on both sides, and it gets us nowhere. Demons and Others is the working title of a novel I am writing. There is a poem I wrote as part of the the story that I want to share - share it because we are at a crossroads. We can decide to come together in love and find our way back to human connection. Or we can blame and otherise and be consumed by our imaginary demons. Obviously, I hope for the former. In love, Kirstin
Demons and Others
Price-tagged as the other
Humanity yields to vectors
of limited dimension and superficial value
Heads are sold and bartered as
commodities without history or feeling in
a market that shaves razor thin layers of skin
to trade a bloody currency
capitalized by difference.
In the teachings of God and Allah
market traders find a blood thirst
only assuaged when cultural hearts -
be it twin towers, a holy book, or a holy man -
lie crumbled and pulp-like, gushing
tradition to the forgotten
The limbs of women and children:
collateral: as nations mortgage their souls
to define normal and
win holy wars of various and ridiculous names
- the war on drugs, desert storm, jihad.
Longing for distance from gruesome details and destruction
nations picket and brutalize their citizens
to cement the moral certainty
that their neighbors are not the ones
throwing acid in the faces of young women,
shooting up classrooms full of children or theaters full of consumers.
No, no cause for concern. It is the
others reigning this terror down on our heads
and creating our shared suffering.
And citizens, oceans across, buy these answers
not caring that the definitions of the others
were stolen – at gunpoint, at knifepoint, at bombpoint –
The ease of erasure is sickeningly easy
And in the shadow of this ease, whole societies
condone torture in all its nameable and unnameable forms,
As citizens stand by, participate, look away.
It's the others who are the demons.
Not us, not our sons, daughters, husbands, wives.
And so it unfolds again, humanity's cyclical destruction,
under the cloak of anonymity and righteousness.
And on it goes.
(c) Kirstin Eidenbach, 2014