Tuesday, March 14, 2017


Mary and the Future

Talking with Mary between breaks at banjo night
I was supposed to meet her husband here
he’s having a meltdown, the current state
of American politics has him boiling
I understand, I’ve had fluttering
in my abdomen, occasional but definite since the election
I can’t escape these conversations
I don’t want to escape these conversations
it seems all of the gatherings I end up at
teeter at the point of bursting
we are celebrating excesses now for an uncertain future
we are dreading an uncertain future
we are preparing for the worst
we are asking ourselves difficult moral questions
we are all outright frightened
Mary is no different
I am no different

We talk about me maybe losing my job
as a new years gift, I’m running
the last five years in my head
2011 is the last year I was fully employed
the next year, I was on the road, living on severance
in 13 I worked five different part time jobs
for seven different places, or was it more
the last three years I’ve been employed
mostly because I was running a friends business
he was attempting a recovery from cancer
my new employer says business won’t keep up enough
for even one paid employee
each year I’ve done more with less

The conversation with Mary echoes so many
what are we doing, what can we do, how do we do
I say the same thing, its so fucking American
instant gratification, most of us asleep
while our country has been slowly commandeered
by robber barons, by fascists, by a class of people
who serve themselves, who pay politicians to serve
them. No one still wants to admit this is class war

In postindustrial America we sat and waited
our seats at empty tables no said anything
it’s a farce to believe
an industrial revolution will come again
now its an automated revolution
as such we should be working less for more
no one is saying that, like no one questioned before

in three weeks we expect easy answers
there are no easy answers from here, there never was
we’ve gone backwards, we will keep going backwards

I say, Mary this is when as artists
as intellectuals, as advocates, as allies
this is the time to build our communities
as we should have been before
from the bottom up, this is how we’ll shield our friends
this is how we’ll inform those who haven’t been
this how we start to change, it has to start local
and merge into something national
the laws of inertia apply to humans
the same way they apply to objects
now is the time for movement
she wants to believe me
I want to believe me too

--Jason Baldinger 

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