poem for Jordan Peterson


Only after your time will Time decide
how well you’ve served our species as a guide,
but, since a leader’s life’s the life you lead,
here’s how I hope (& think) we both agree:

1
a good teacher won’t preach what he thinks;
instead, he shows the thirsty where he drinks.

2
the more he grows, the less he thinks he knows.

3
friends are those who keep him on his toes.

4
blazing no new trail from which to stray,
at best, he sheds some light that lights the way.

5
finally (to not drag out this poem)
he understands this story as his own:

a wisdom-seeker lived inside a cave
for many moons. He neither spoke nor shaved,
but scribbled nonstop nonsense on the walls
until, clearly enlightened,
out he crawled.

The only drawing left, of all he’d done,
was one big disk—a circle, like a sun.

Many disciples followed in his wake,
except they kept on making this mistake:
they drew circles, just like his, everywhere,
never discovering how his got there.

the way we’re headed (re: social media)

word count: 101

All anyone wants to do is
sit around with friends,
bantering, philosophizing
till the wide world ends.

We know social media is
getting in the way,
but it feels like up
and leaving it is not okay.

They will make excuses for us
when we’re dead and gone, like:
“How could they know better?
Networking was at its dawn!”

Still, we won’t be blameless
in hindsight or history;
we’ll be famous for our shameless,
strangely painless misery.

One thing Twitter can’t do is
acquaint you with your grave.
All of us will meet there, friends,
and no one will be saved.

4 questions

word count: 55

How can something as dainty as a rhyme
stretch to accommodate a paradigm?

How could stone slabs, slowly inscribed by hand,
carry the weight of 10 divine commands?

How did the founding fathers—all mere men—
give birth to a nation with a pen?

How do hearts split apart by loneliness
let themselves be vulnerable again?

Why I Am Not Monogamous

Our world is blatantly obsessed with sex!
Here are some ways in which this manifests:
Celibate priests are raping little boys.
People use whips and chains as bedroom toys.
Men in dark basements can’t get off RedTube.
Men in high places touch their interns’ boobs.
Standards of unattainable beauty
torment the fairer sex (including me).
People resign to promiscuity.

Wait… promiscuity? You’re right to ask.
Given the headline I picked as my task,
shouldn’t I argue FOR sleeping around?
No. That would drive our race into the ground,
if not with some raw, rampant STD
then through the death of vital loyalty.

Instead, I go for polyamory
(that is: having two lovers, maybe three),
but not to compromise intimacy:
I love my lovers better when they’re free.
Once and forever, Shakespeare says it best:
life’s short, love’s true, and silence is the rest.

In my own life, it’s logical
and somewhat biological—
since I like kissing shafts and curves,
monogamy gets on my nerves.
Buuut I don’t want a one-off thing.
Each love’s a romance, not a fling.

In my mind, the best kind of sex
is when both skins and souls connect,
and when I feel the need to take
that hostage, my own love is fake.

One final thing I think is true
(I might be wrong about this, too)
I think the purpose of taboo
is kind of as a last resort:
When people cut their love lives short
and isolation walls them off,
like a collective urge to cough,
taboos are broken, and people open
up to the nakedest of things—
love, which is why the caged bird sings.

***

word count: 294

hello, world!

word count: 48

On the Web now is the primordial slime
that will, one day, become a sentient mind:
the first brain thinking artificially
will know, believe, & by extension BE
the sum of what our kind has put online.
What will it think of us? What will it see?

where you draw the line

word count: 65

how soon does a womb fill with child?
depends where you draw the line.

how high up the ladder should you climb?
depends where you draw the line.

what’s work & what’s play on the sabbath day?
depends where you draw the line.

how much shit will you take before you die?
depends where you draw the line.

how truly can you love & yet still lie?

the typewriter

word count: 107

one of each color
one of each stripe
all stories i write
i rewrite for all types!

some like em funny
some like em sad
some like em crummy
some like em bad.
whoever you are, your opinion‘s embraced.
i guarantee something is typed to your taste!

one for each pipe-dream
one for each gripe
one for each inseam
& every blood type
if you like ice cream
or if you like tripe
there’s nothing on earth
this typewriter can’t type!

there’s only one limit:
there’s no going back.
so if you don’t like what you see
(CLACK! CLACK! CLACK!)
i have no “delete” key.
cut me some slack.

people who think they know what to do

word count: 70

have you noticed all the people
who think they know what to do?
have you noticed how they often
also have a plan for YOU?
it seems rarely out of malice
that they try to force their view;
it’s more like their kingly palace
is a prison, like a zoo
where you spend your life’s duration
in your natural habitat,
but it’s all a fabrication
& you die exactly that.

island Utopia

word count: 90

On my island, Utopia, philosophy is king:
we all get off on copious, prolonged examining;
we all know we know nothing
(which is all we need to know)
& more than anything, we want to grow.

Of course, like every paradise,
it’s bound to self-destruct:
something’s always sacrificed;
someone’s always fucked.
Whether in the bowels or atop the tippy top,
some unfair share of power
will make the bottom drop—
& if I’m pressed to name my island’s key to tyranny?
I guess I’ll have to blame our lack of growth equality.