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John Grey: A Violent Bunch

Image: Unsplash, downloaded ( 22.12.2021.


Haven’t seen a bullet hole up close.

But I’ve been witness to a bruise or two.

Mostly in bars.

Guys getting rowdy.

Taking their anger outside,

busting a bone or two in the street.

We’re a violent bunch.

Especially when drunk.

Especially when the system is against us.

But I’ve never come across a body

bleeding from where lead

penetrated its skull.

Though I did see some yellow tape once.

But it was just flapping in the wind.

And some chalk marks on the sidewalk.

For hopscotch actually.

So I have to read about the drive-by shootings,

the gang killings.

the drug buys gone wrong,

the pissing contests

where weapons were involved,

the mob hits,

the jealous rage that leads

to massacre

in home, at workplace,

or in a school.

I’ve never been there

when the guns are drawn.

I fear the ones

who would tell me

what I’ve been missing.


Everything is

consumed faster

than it can be replaced.

Emptiness –

that’s the future.

Now how do we tell

the people who live here?

There’s a glitch.

Your dreams will not come true.

Just ask the dinosaurs.

But no one is yet thinking

of what it will be like

when there is nothing to think about.

Day or night,

the party is non-stop.

We drill.

We raze.

We suck dry.

And pretend the world is fine with it.

When last I checked,

ignorance is still bliss.

And bliss, in turn,

doubles for ignorance.


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The image of Quasimodo is by French artist Louis Steinheil, which appeared in  the 1844 edition of Victor Hugo's "Notre-Dame de Paris" published by Perrotin of Paris.


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