Holdings and exchanges,
the past cells, brands, tongs, garrotes,
a common history
that too few will not refuse to see.
The present isolation, desperation to replace
the chains and manacles,
but pharmacological mutilation and electric tazers
remain to keep us in line.
Imprisoned by cost,
the value dispensed by a board of white clerics,
deprivation and impoverishment
motto the entrance to the social being.
History made biology
becomes the genes sold at retail,
the abuse recombinant
from slavery to a free market.
But when was the market not free?
From Moscow to Washington,
to Tokyo and Beijing,
the purchase of souls
pigmented with paranoia
ingrained into every school child,
who dilate their bodies for a minimum waged
liberation by education,
never free to learn
nor learning to free.
Bad essentialisms become in academia
the pretext for a new show trial,
say the prof is full of shit
and the dean no better than an I.G. Farben CEO,
the indifferent hug their hooded ignorance
and sneeringly ask, “who are you to complain?”
The police still march after the iron curtain shifted
with every state certified murderer a martyr,
every youth guarded against as being potentially a criminal,
but when walking the streets is outlawed,
the wonder of life
morphs into the wandering
of those whose only threat
is not to eat or drink
except by the random, condescending hand.
Whatever I may possess will still be taken from me,
except the guilt held as my own,
a citizenship in a man made God’s hell
where property is never owned but owns all
in deed, words, sex,
once known as heart, mind, and soul.
Companion to none but the law
I am injunctioned to obey,
the conviction of my neighbor I am to neither know
how easily he is departed from the alleged time
dangling on my fob’s unbalanced chain.
When the questions cease, the no’s compromise,
the assent is tacitly negotiated
amid the dread pecking
at the back of my mind.
Who will succeed and who will follow
converges on the instance
when all are innocent and all are guilty,
the ones who know we are both
electing to stand aside and be silent.
No one is released
from the prison of our unelected stranglehold,
to keep the economy balanced
between those who will judge
and those judged.
The remainder who lack the power of the purse
are dragged to more secure cells,
granted only the freedom
to announce this ongoing kingdom
with a zealot’s unrecorded gasp.
© Dave Arenas “FOB” 8/22/2001
© Dave Arenas Short Stack Story Time 2015