A Dignified Silence

Went to a clean,

Dimly-lit spot

For spaghetti

With marina

Sauce, no meatballs,

Thank you very much.

I used to like the place

Because they don’t blast

Music, the coffee is good,

And a low key vibe

Pervaded there. And

On the best nights, I

Enjoyed a dignified

Silence.

Of course,

Nothing even vaguely

Edenic ever Lasts long.

Today as I ate my spaghetti

A group of old gaffers invaded

The place, and the nauseatingly

Predictable prattle followed

In their wake: ball games,

Card games, Trump this,

Biden that. Even in their

Grizzled years, they

Remain unaware of

The real game. You’d

Think that after decades

Of being played, of chasing

aces in vain, that at

Least one of them would

Have something interesting

To say. But no, like Shoppenhouer,

No matter how long I loitered in

My booth, after the salad, I

Heard nothing indicative

Of heart or mind.

You’d think that after decades

Of losing lottery tickets,

Overbearing bosses,

Dull fat wives, and the

Betrayals of so-called

Friends, they would

Be strong enough to

Travel solo and bask

In a dignified silence.

Instead, it was cards,

Ball games, Trump this,

And Democrats that.

And so it went, and so it

Goes. Most men are truly

Cattle, but sans the dignified

Silence that cattle wear.

— FB

 

Divide et Impera

Divide and Conquer

is the rulers’

ancient motto,

as true in Ancient

Mesopotamia as

it is in modern

America. One

political party

tells us that walls

and guns are

immoral, except

when they’re

protecting their

own elite backsides.

The other party

tries to tell me

that my boss

can smirkingly

declare that I

can only go pee pee

twice in eight hours,

because he works for

the man who owns the

factory, don’t you

know, it’s not the size

of a man’s bladder

but his bank account

that matters. And so

it goes with 1000

other issues. The

maddness is split

right down the middle,

like Solomon’s baby

would have surely

been, had not wise

Solomon been

there. But no matter

how wise we may

grow, the rulers’

game is just too

perfect now, after

centuries of practice

slicing our ancestors

right down the middle,

after centuries upon

dead centuries of

dividing, conquering,

and ruling the

cooing

masses.

 

— Fyodor Bukowski, author of Mail-Order Annie