I’m having a hard time understanding why I wasn’t invited to participate in this lecture series. If ANYONE knows ANYTHING about being human it would have to be me. If there’s one thing in the world that I can claim expertise in, it would be this. In fact, I may be THE world expert on being human. Whatever. Here’s a poem I wrote on the subject a few years ago:
We are forged in a blazing refinery
Spewing black ash and sparks.
The backwash of ancient alchemy
Erupting forth in flaming arcs.
We are works in progress
Liberated from rubble,
Fire granting us egress
In a glowing crucible.
Tongues of flame unravel our bonds
We are relieved of our dross and left purified
Naked, we lie in shimmering ponds
To await the next process by which we are tried.
We are alloyed, coerced into transformation:
We are strengthened, or made more malleable.
Our baser selves bettered by the amalgamation:
By virtue of borrowed traits more valuable.
We are extruded, rolled, tempered, annealed,
Poured into die casts, pressed into molds.
Struck by hammer blows, our song unsealed,
Then flattened into sheets, or crimped into folds.
We are worked over by many hands
Wrought with inspired artistry
Or artifacts of belabored plans
Endproducts of earnest industry.
And after the art or the manufacturing,
Are we in unpathed waters, on an undreamed shore?
Jewelry, carburetor, or some leftover thing
To be melted again and reused once more?