The F Word

in their revolution round the loaded white bases,
in this last of the great Anglo-Saxon epics,

                                                                        -Lawrence Ferlinghetti
 
My 2020 vote will not be
an endorsement
it won’t be a thumbs up
a fist bump
an Amen
or an Aho
 
It will be a jab
if not a glancing blow
against Fear
 
No,
it will not be some statement
about returning to a better time
a halcyon
bygone days of a fake White Eden
 
I have no fuzzy warm feeling
for the past
for
pundits                                                            politicians
                                                                                                            even poets
who claim
                                                            to be
                                                                                                                                    the voice
                                                                                                of this nation
 
I do not keep portraits
of past presidents
in my office
on my wall
or even on the dashboard of my car
                                                            (no Gods there either)
 
I go not to the street
                        to sing
                                    the body electric
of the people
                        by the people
                                                for the people
                                                                        for there is
                                                                                                no PEOPLE
                                                                                                                        only people
bodies and minds
            hands and thighs
                                    hair and cries 
coming together to form communities of conscience
a neighborhood watch
to protect
                                    their loved ones
                                    their peers
                                    and to guard their soil and air and water
against predators
            and white supremacists
war profiteers
            and predatory lenders
political fixers
            and mortgage brokers
militia members
            real estate red liners
and they do it all
            not simply to stand and be
counted on
as some
            presidential
            candidate’s
            Firewall
 
Sure,
voting for the lesser
of two evils
is as American
as apple pie
and paeans to mom
staying home
and making 70 cents
on the dollar
but it churns my stomach
makes me see Green Eyed Monster Super PAC dark money suits with semi automatics
leaping like sheep over the counting fence I use to sleep so I may meet tomorrow and oppose the smug badge of unearned meritocracies, kleptocratic mechanism of the imperialisms of mind and membrane
 
Thus I propose that I must stand and be counted among those
daring to expose
Fear’s
            willing
                        executioners
 
My vote is not a coat I will throw down
to cover muck and mud, racism and greed
to step over profits from
 
injustice           the climate crisis                                                          misogyny
racism  ecocide domestic violence                  party politics
                                    subprime lining                        child abuse                              pornography
drones
fur farms
casting couches
co-pays            judicial activists          original intentionists​
Iran
            Guantanamo
                                    Guatemala
The School of the Americas                                          undocumented workers
                                                                                                                high density feed lots
 
Stop and Frisk SCOTUS Assange and Manning and Snowden​
                        treason charges
                                                            Deep Water Horizon
whistleblower archipelagos of the jingo gulag
 
My vote is no substitute
for joining those who have grown
immune to the blandishments
                                                of PR wizards
                                                their 1% firms
dialing for Fear dollars
as they conjure up
images of
                                                wolves
                                                whistle blowers
                                                Muslims 
                                                            different colors
                                    Castro Cubans
                                                          Sandinistas​
                                                   the national shadow
                                                          Tupamaros​
                                                                        an animal planet
                                                Chiapas
                        Woman
                                                China
                                                            the indigenous
African Americans                  Latinx                          the transgendered
                                    migrants          and      asylum             seekers
                                    and what they have seen
                                                of prisons
                                                of ICE
                                                of Wounded Knee
                                                of child separation
of what policing means of what reparations are of what pay equity will deliver of what Jews know about a Just God’s 20th century absence (and how this now applies to the treatment of Palestinians) who say it is impossible to build a green world to come and who want no accounting of all of the Iraqi dead
 
I know I have missed too much with this list
but what I will say is
each of us who knows better faces
a dire need
to conquer FEAR
                       
since it is an Establishment weapon
confronts the task
of inventing
a new politics
to clean out
maleficence
in our institutions
and it is because of this   
that I will vote
for the lesser
of the Fear Party’s two evils
                                                holding my nose all the way
knowing that while Fear will still carry the day
I will vote for Fear’s B Team
and their Captain
                                    who claims
                                                            He should be
                                                                                    president
 
And since Team B
can be defeated more easily
I will opt for it
since while not exactly weak
it does seem feeble
and after it pulls off its unlikely win
the job of taking it down
will be easier                                                                                                   perhaps
 
But let me be clear:
 
Because
I
believe
in
freedom
            from
                        fear
I
            want
                        someday
to         vote                 fully     against
 
FEAR
FEAR FEAR FEAR FEAR FEAR FEAR FEAR FEAR FEAR
so
let me state 
                        for the record
how
                                                                                    come November
my ballot
should
not
be read
as an endorsement.

 

 

Jeremy Nathan Marks

Jeremy Nathan Marks lives in London, Ontario. Recent prose, poetry, and photography appear/will be appearing in Mobius, Dissident Voice, New Verse News, The Blue Nib, On the Seawall, Chiron Review, Floyd County Moonshine, Literary Orphans, Apricity, and The Courtship of Winds. Jeremy recommends the Center for Biological Diversity.

 

Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Sunday, April 26, 2020 - 22:34