Friday, December 6, 2019


It Is Happening

You say it can’t happen here
but it is happening here
and it’s happening to you
right here
right now
in your home
live and in color
as you watch it happen on TV
in the crumbling coliseums
packed with hired sportsmen
and disposable gladiators
and glorious ideals
disappearing ceremoniously
at the half-time show

and you can see it happening
in displays of bellicosity
and righteous self-loathing
and grandiose deceptions
and patriotic flourishes
and blitz formations
and contrived endorsements
that we sack ourselves with

and you can see it happening
in the cheap seats and the luxury suites
and in the green streets
where money shouts
and the poor are shut out
and the invisible
and the miserable are marginalized
in a malleable reality we don’t recognize
because it’s painted with a festive veneer
sponsored by commercial enterprise
to hide the graffiti of our disappointments

and you can see it happening
on instant replay
in case you missed it the first time
it happened here
before the last world war
when barbarians were inside the gates
scalping tickets
while the home team fumbled the ball

and you can see it happening
vicariously through yourself
and participate indefinitely
while it’s happening to you
even though you’re not wearing a helmet
or kneeling on the sidelines
praying for a Hail Mary
with the coaches and the fans
and the officials
who can’t stop it from happening

and you can see it happening
in the end-zone
and under the bleachers
and inside the arenas
and behind locker room doors
and on the house floor
and wherever the rabble are
keeping score
because they’ve seen it all before
and they know
it’s going to happen here
when this game is over

--Stew Jorgenson

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