“This week, we’re talking repurposed consumerism and Greece’s future with artist Lane Collage and how “Austerity” is Greek for “Could happen to you too, America!” Next up, Anthony Freda drops some knowledge for political artists. And isn’t it about time we started paying attention to Congress? Here are your cliff’s notes. Finally, it’s a bummer that Ben and Jennifer broke up but we really need to be focusing on ALEC. Nick Bernabe of the Anti-Media shows you how. But first, let’s take a train ride through the progress of our time…” ~ Occupy.com
I Watched a Train Hit a Butterfly
Poem, and spoken word art performed, by Eleanor Goldfield:
Jet-lagged and numb, my mind sagging and dumbfounded, I found this creature on a gray day captivating. Airy and light against the darkened hard steel, I stole a moment to feel. Sounds blurred and muted, I followed this dance in a peaceful soft trance, like being led on a ballroom floor, your feet barely touching, your body succumbing to this sway and that sway, trusting the way your partner will take.
Inspired by this random encounter, and just as a smile spread across my face, a train sliced through this space, barreling bold, like the cold-hearted progress it drove. Still on the platform, scanning the tracks like a lover whose eyes got a glimpse of raw passion, I soon came to see that all I had seen had now passed.
What a metaphor for life, the beauty, the strife, what a parallel to our tear through the world we all share. What a potent piece of this paradise lost, so perfectly placed, as I smiled once more, and stepped on the train.
Once inside the shaking site, slid down a sleepy synapse simmering. My mind’s eye ensnared by a new scene, a countryside where neither bitter nor sweet are rare. Beauty and greed can’t see the forest but not for the trees, but the crooked steel beams now keeping the peace. Behind barbed wire fences our underpaid scents are told to enjoy what we’ve got. Prisons like lesions on suffering skin, just a small taste of the sickness within. Lakes, rivers, take what you find, leave nothing behind but the stench of a greed never quenched.
‘For sale’ signs on boarded up windows, the proud open-sense line, sighs from a far-away time when ‘buy local’ wasn’t a slogan, ‘American made’ not just a name to toss up in speeches, hoping the legions will believe we can get there again, and we could.
But not on this path, this progression of progress obsession, has taken us down, never up. A runaway train mainlining madness, side effect sadness, taking the pills only make you more ill. And don’t say it doesn’t phase you, not your problem because this ain’t your town, your street, and if they’d just work harder, become a self-starter, I wouldn’t need to plead their case.
Pass these towns, how could you think, believe, that the crumbling old dilapidated cold is all because you’re better than them? That life dealt no favor, no gold/silver ladle to all those who’ll never need know what it’s like to be low, that you’re simply special, or your brand of hard work is harder than theirs. And after so many years of blood, sweat and tears, they’re still at the bottom, and you at the top. Nothing trickled down, only up, moved up.
But out of this window, a sick twisted ride, serpentine on the left and the right, you’ll see all that could be and all that once was. An American Dream ripped at the seams, torn, broken, beat. Like a butterfly on train tracks, a sad side effect of progress.
Get off the train.
- Lane Collage’s art work: LaneCollage.gr
- Anthony Freda’s work and commentary: AnthonyFreda.com
- U.S. legislation in simple terms: 4usxus
- July 22 StopALEC event: StopALEC Fest 2015
- Learn more about ALEC: ALEC Exposed.