This Ubiquitous Assimilation

Always absorbing

Everything everywhere

All the time.

With the images

Always provided

For me,

How am I

To imagine

Anything of my own?

This Ubiquitous

Assimilation drains

My originality

And kills

My creativity.

 

I’m told what

To eat, what

To wear, what

To think, how

To act, where

To buy, how

To pay, when

To leave, and

Who to love.

 

I am plagued

By Doublethink.

I deliberately

Believe in lies

When I know

They are false.

I willingly play

My part in this

Marketing holocaust

Twenty-four hours

Per day for

The rest of

My life.

 

I am bombarded,

Like the ocean,

Day after day

With thoughts that

Are not my own.

I am an empty

Shell, defenseless

Against the onslaught

As long as I

Choose to stay

Plugged in.

 

My attention span

Is shorter than

My penis

Thanks to the

Programming I adopted

From a culture that

Demands robotic-like

Behavior.

My phone beeps,

I reach for it

Without so much

As a thought

For what I

Was doing before.

 

We are trained

Monkeys, lab rats

For the powers-

That-be. They

Rake in billions

Per quarter and

Dull our senses

With entertainment,

Sugar, and drink.

We assume we

Have a choice,

But do we?

Try to unplug

For even a day

I dare you!

 

I wish my

Mind had a

“capture screenshot”

Feature like my

Phone so I could

Watch my thoughts

Like a movie for

Just one day.

I would be

Appalled to discover

Ninety-nine out of

A hundred screenshots

Were purposely planted

There by a

Corporation vying

For my money.

 

That one thought,

One cool drink

In a desert

Of dry skulls

Might be of

My daughter’s genuine

Smile when she’s

Not worrying.

Or my son’s

Embrace before

Bed last night

When he really

Wanted to convey

His love through

Nothing except

His hug.

Or of my dog’s

Tongue gliding

Across my soul-

Patch while our

Exhales mix into

The same space

And we appreciate

One another apart

From any words.

 

Another thought out

Of a hundred

Might be of

My wife and

How she manages

To love me

Even when I’m

Impossible to love.

Her strength and

Her beauty compel

Me to try to

Be a better

Man, a better

Lover, a better

Father, a better

Human being.

She believes in

Me even when

Belief in myself

Has disappeared.

 

Out of millions

Of thoughts pouring

Down on my

Mind like a

Torrential thunderstorm,

I’m lucky to

Have even a few

Of those thoughts be

My own that

Weren’t planted there

By another. I

Cherish those

Authentic moments

(when I am

Able to recognize them

For what they are)

Because they prove

I am still alive

And can still

Think for myself.

 

Those moments make

Wading through bullshit

Up to my chest

And sifting the

Ashes for a spark,

Worthwhile, because

Those rare moments

Create one thing—

HOPE! Hope

Keeps us all

Moving forward

Even when all

Seems lost. Hope

Is what squeezes

Through the cracks

When life feels

Pointless. Hope is

Reading another’s

Authentic prose or

Poetry and feeling

“Me too!” Hope

Is the invisible

Force that pushes

Us all down

The river. Hope

Is the current

That propels us

Through life. Hope

Is all the Auschwitz

Survivor had to

Wake up to every

Morning. Hope

Is why I pick

Up my pen and

Press it to the page.

 

Some days, actually

Most days, I ask

Myself what I

Am doing with my

Life. I wait

For an answer.

And I wait.

And I wait.

And I wait.

Back to work I

Go, the ex calls,

My dog gets

Neutered, my wife

Has an emergency

(at least she

Thinks it’s one)

That I must fix

My son wants

The new Kobe’s

My daughter needs

New tires, I go

Work twelve hours

Again tomorrow, the

Insurance is due

In four weeks, taxes

In eight, mortgage

On the first every

Month to pay

For this palace

That feels like a prison.

 

Where was I?

Oh yeah, my

Life? When will

I get around to

Writing that novel?

Who will notice

My talent and

Offer me time to

Figure all this

Shit out? Does anyone

Really care whether

They are being controlled

By a system

Designed to suck

Every last dime from

Their meaningless

Existence before they

Return to where

They came from?

Is it even possible

To create a life

That wasn’t already

Created by a previous

Version of myself?

Is my present

Self nothing more

Than a slave to

Yesterday’s Self?

It all reminds me

Of those books I

Used to read as

A kid where I

Got to choose the

Outcome of the story.

The only difference

Is I can’t read

Ahead and pick the

Best outcome. I

Can’t guarantee that

Waking up at four

In the morning and

Writing for three hours

Every day will

Produce any meaningful

Outcome so I sleep

Until the last

Minute and have to

Rush out the door.

 

Is there any point

In trying to succeed?

Am I a rudderless

Ship? Do I

Mindlessly drift in

The winds of my

Culture? Is this

Life something an

Otherworldly force

Chose for me?

When Ali said

He was the

Greatest did he

Know that before

Saying it or did

He say it and

Then have to

Back up his

Big mouth?

So what if I

Said I’m the

Greatest writer since

Poe, Wittman, or Nietzsche?

Do I believe the

Part of me that’s

Laughing out loud or

The part that comes

From the same

Otherworldly source

That brought me,

And Ali, into this world?

 

Remember those

Screenshots of my

Mind I mentioned?

Millions per day tell

Me not to try,

Don’t wake up early,

Get sucked into a

New show, ignore

Your health, scan

Facebook, Instagram,

Twitter until eleven

At night. Keep doing

What you’re doing and

Eventually you’ll

Catch a break.

But that break

Never comes and

It never will. The

Lotto office apparently

Forgot my address.

The long-lost

Relative with the

Truckloads of cash

Must have got robbed

On his way over.

The obituaries are

Full of dreamers

Whose ship never

Came in. They

Believed the lie

That their church

Or their government

Told them. “Be good

And be obedient,

Give us your money,

We’ll invest it for you,

We’ll take half of

What you’ve earned,

Thank you, and

We’ll keep you safe,

And barter with god

On your behalf. Just

Promise not to

Think for yourself or

Listen to the

Conspiracy theorists

(they’re just a bunch

Of crazies anyway).

Go see that movie

You’ve been dying to

See, get drunk with

Your buddies, smoke

A little weed even

Though it’s not legal

In your state, just

Do whatever you need

To do in order to

Not really pay attention to

What’s going on.

We prefer you alive,

Barely, but not so

Alive that your passions

Wake you up enough

To think for yourself.

You have to

Understand, a large

Group of people who all

Think independently and

Authentically can’t be

Controlled and manipulated

As easily as we prefer

So, please, keep doing

What you’ve always done.

Oh, by the way,

Your favorite team

Is playing at eight

Tonight. Pay no

Attention to the

Mind-numbing and

Mind-altering short little

Videos we play

During every timeout

And halftime. Those won’t

Hurt you a bit!”

 

Always absorbing

Everything everywhere

All the time.

With the images

Always provided

For me,

How am I

To imagine

Anything of my own?

This Ubiquitous

Assimilation drains

My originality

And kills

My creativity.

So I shut off

The television

And all the

Voices in my

Head by meditating

For an hour.

 

o-MEDITATING-FIRE-facebook

 

Peace My Friends!

 

Travis

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