Notes from Dystopia: The Poetry of Revolution in the Stars That Fall to the Earth


I'm tired. And I know Dystopia's supposed to be a downer. I'm tired of that, too.

So what about poetry?

Well, shit. I can bullshit about that, unlike any other.

Like, for instance. I just wrote 20 poems and submitted them to five publications. (Rattle. Seneca Review. Angel City Review. Black Sun Lit. Puerto del Sol.)

Dirty poems. About sex and rancor. Poems about politics and self-indulgence. I wrote about loss, science, and classical music. The cars passing by on the street. The sound that echoes in my room.

I left out the books, bills, and trash bags that I keep on my windowsill, next to some of my paintings. Neither did I write about Shakespeare. Though I did write about Rimbaud, or I wrote about him as an influence.

What the fuck is Dystopia anyway?

Is Dystopia a hurricane heading for Ireland? Does Dystopia represent a nation full of cocker spaniels who are mad about football players but not about unarmed citizens being shot dead with their hands held in the air? I'm wondering about Dystopia all the time, well, at least in these spare moments when the beer is getting low and the ballet in the back of my mind is dancing to the turmoil of my boogers. No, wait. That's bad writing.

Dystopia is a hangnail. Dystopia is your lover leaving you for some dipshit eunuch with a bigger bank account.

Dystopia is a job you hate. And it's keeping you alive.

Dystopia is reading the newspaper.

When I worked, earlier today, I wrote and edited a few lessons. The subjects were as follows:

*Bill of Exchange
*Geography's Impact on Economic Activity
*Ant Colony Lesson for Kids
*Spanish Landmarks Lesson for Kids
*Ocean Formation Lesson for Kids
*Iranian Revolutions in the 20th Century
*How Does Bacteria Reproduce? Lesson for Kids
*The Red Sea Lesson for Kids

I'm supposed to be writing about Dystopia. Well, nobody's forcing me to.

And what does any of this matter?

The Poetry of Dystopia is a Cesspool of Disfigurement Upon Planet Earth.

And who really cares?

Who cares about a bombing in Mogadishu that killed over two hundred people? Am I supposed to link to this shit? Who cares about the EPA sucking the life out of the planet for a profit? Am I supposed to uproot my life to throw pebbles at the government and its bureaucratic corruption?

I fart. I sink. I split. I sip this beer. What's the difference? And who's keeping score?

There are seven candidates, I believe, in the New Jersey gubernatorial election. Gubers. Get it? Only two were allowed to debate. What does that say about New Jersey? Land of thieves who keep raising taxes to pay for the behavior of unaccountable criminals.

Why bother?

That's what Dystopia is. It's the passive acceptance of inhumane cruelty. It's the fervor of pushing down on your fellow brethren in order to gain your place in the shit-pile. It's like a rainstorm full of cattle-prods. Only nobody feels anything because their stock prices are soaring.

Dystopia is a land of free people who aren't allowed to say what they think and feel and believe -- if it makes somebody else uncomfortable. Dystopia is not knowing if those same laws should apply to Nazis.


Dystopia is being ruled by religious fanatics. With bad hair and bad breath and bad marriages and phony patriotism.

Dystopia is four special forces soldiers dying in Niger. And the White House is mute.

The remains of our Iron Curtain -- one that is plastered across the Earth's crust with drones, bombs, missiles, and tanks -- we're creating our problems for ourselves. And when we blame someone else for what we've done, it's a repetitive fallacy. That's what Dystopia is.

It's an annoyance. It's easier to block it out and it's much more comfortable to live like there's no tomorrow.

I'm always informed that Tomorrow Is Important. Usually by baby boomers.

Of course, it is.

And why not live like that?


I'm tired of writing about Dystopia.

Instead, I'm illuminated by the simplicity of love. And I've been listening to a lot of Led Zeppelin, recently.

The Earth is curved. We're tilted on an axis. Gravity pushes down on us all through myriad layers of the atmosphere. The biology of the Earth is incredibly diverse. Human beings are so bad-ass that it boggles the mind.

You can look at it in exactly the opposite way. You can even think of yourself as a meaningless ménage of muscles and millions of cells, these cells from your toenails to the top of your head, what do they really amount to if your self-worth is matched with what's in your bank account? That's Dystopia.

It's giving up who you are to somebody else. And getting nothing in return.

I'm ready for a revolution.

How about you?

I was born for this, to think that way. I could be a nut. Or I could be a seed.

I could be anything.

And why not you? What's holding you in place?



Fuck that.