Sunday, January 03, 2010


We defame the blind,
by invoking them as a trope
for ignorance. With the deaf
it is much the same;
I have tutored the deaf,
and lectured the blind
and I find them
far better students
than those whose ignorance
is self-inflicted.
People with ear-buds in don’t want
to listen; it is a choice
against openness, albeit
a choice to connect,
at one and the same time
to sever yourself from your
locality, and attach yourself
to the pod, the download,
the matrix of what you have
you want. It’s like
what Sontag said: blindness
shouldn’t be a metaphor
except that metaphor itself
is a kind of illness.

In the library,
a young male employee is
dusting the shelves, and
listening to his i-Pod.
The body language
is ecstasy: the job rents his physique,
but his mind
is exquisitely, Jeff-Goldblum
his. I need directions, but
who am I
to ask, to inter-
rupt the feast of his consciousness
with my foreign
if all-too-human

There are profits
in the arbitrage
of attention, and prodigious
slotting fees in the free market of ideas.

Friends, co-imperialists, countrymen,
rent me your earbuds.
We are free to hear
what we want to
or not, but I note
there are reasons
for the neural pathways
from you ears
to the fear centers
in your amygdala.

How do you know
the alarm
already sounded?

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