I talk to the world
by Art Rosch
Copyright July 14, 2002

I know, I know,
youíre wondering what
it all is,
why itís so damned
and why you canít just
settle down
and make it good
why itís so freaking hard
to work out
so impossible
to solve
why thereís no answer: no,
not even an answer,
just a way
to be
that isnít painful
poorly conceived
half hearted
out of tuneÖ.
I know, I knowÖ
What the hell is it?
what started it to go this way
and not some other
some way deeper,
more satisfying
more noble
than the squalid human consequences
of being here
with all this motherstuff
bad uncle
mean neighbor
bullying enemy
conniving stranger
evil intentions
ugly ideas.
What is it that made life
so crazy
that to get a drink of water
means murder
to own a house
to dig a well
to marry a total stranger
means ten generations
of violent feud
what happened
to human beings
how did we miss everything
so completely
why arenít we quiet enough
thoughtul enough
to see a hundred fifty shades
of color
in a sunset cloud
why are we so noisy
so sloppy and clumsy
why do we breathe all wrong,
what does it take
to be right with life?
Look in the eyes of your baby.
Remember what you see.
Try very hard to remember
look in the eyes
of your lover
remember what you see
remember love
and its intricate rich depth,
Itís so easy to forget
it takes but a heart beat
were we talking about love?
I donít remember.
There was something that confused me
I forgot
and now, see,
what happens?
Now, see?

The Minefield As a Metaphor for Life
November 7, 2008

Take one wrong step. Boom.
Theyíre buried in the ground,
your mistakes, you canít see them
until itís too late. You can prepare
all you want, you can study the ground,
minutely inspect each patch for strange
bulges and misplaced sprigs of grass.
The effort of living this way is insane.
You canít walk at all; I see this
as a paradigm, a social mode,
so much fear.
Prevent heart attacks.
Donít eat trans fats.
Donít smoke.
Watch out for prostate cancer.
Wring your breasts once a month
ferreting out tiny extrusions.
Run to the doctor,
run run run!
Heíll prescribe something
to save your life.
He canít save the joy of it,
he canít free your heart of the paralysis
you inherited from your TV set.
Achtung! Minen!
Watch how you step. On this very spot
a boy lost his leg. He was just playing,
he didnít realize how vulnerable
vulnerable, we all are.
Watch out for those hot dog nitrates!
They can explode your pancreas.
The ice cream is loaded with Chinese poison.
Jesus, how does anyone take a single step
with all this crap hanging over our heads?
How long do you want to live?
How much will you spend to ensure
that you live to a miserable tottering hundred,
taking thirty eight pills a day?
It will always be a minefield, life.
Always has been, always will be.
Our obsession with minimizing risk
has made us into timid consumers
of saw palmetto and echinacea.
I say this: March cheerfully to your doom!
March and laugh, march and laugh,
nothing will prevent you from avoiding it,
nothing will save you or improve the odds.
Youíre wasting time! Youíre wasting your life
considering each step through the field.
Accept it. Any step could be your last.
Any choice could be wrong. How long will you
inspect the ground in front of you,
before you move? How many opportunities
for love will you miss, as you protect your
fragile body from the hurtling projectiles?
March march! Be of good cheer! Bring up a laugh,
for godís sake, life is a minefield, life is a bombing
range, life is an artillery target
into which you have stumbled.
The soldiers donít know youíre here.
Theyíre loading the guns. Fire, fire!