Monday, June 5, 2017

"entertainment, one drop at a time" by John Reinhart, Frequent Contributor

entertainment, one drop at a time
John Reinhart

swallowing lighter fluid a drop at a time,
certain death, which is billed as entertainment

sitting to listen, lighting fires spark by spark,
Promethean promise, feared as spare change

flying, fancy ribbons, confusion in battle,
the spear point promising time, moments

dying cells, organisms, stars, universes, hive
collapse through the smoke, light in the clouds

change the visions, the fairy tales, implode
a star to swallow the light

vacuum a carpet soaked in lighter
themes, swallow of light

Poet's Notes
I remember reading a book on circus tricks that described the valuation of circus acts - all entertainment, really (just think of football) - as a sort of payment for the performer's gradual death, made especially clear in the example of fire breathers, who swallow a small amount of lighter fluid every time they perform, slowly poisoning themselves. That may be a sad or drastic view of entertainment, but is also one view of wage labor. Generally, our society views wages as a compensation for the time spent slowly dying at an occupation. Yikes! With this view, it is perfectly reasonable that some people make great efforts to take up occupations that pay well, however depressing on all fronts. The redeeming value of all this is that there are other ways to view the relationships between people and money and occupations. 

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