The truth could never be given with a word. It could never be understood with a sentence or on the pages of this text. And maybe you wouldn’t understand, but maybe you would, and if you do, then take my hand as I reach from the grave. I started writing months ago, and what began as a rant became more, and what began as therapy became even more until I saw the dark cloud that loomed on the horizon. It wouldn’t go away when I blinked; even when I cried and cut my fists, it was always there, steady and silent, waiting for me to truly understand. It was black and hard and I knew therapy could not fix it, words could not fix it, but I tried anyway, because I had to.
They just don’t get it. You can spell it out in big words,
And little words
And black and white
And you can make it as simple as possible
And they just don’t get it.
Now they call you demented
And your wife apologizes for you
And someone wonders if you were having marital problems.
But you told them, and you used a few cuss words and your rage was palpable,
But that’s life, that’s anger at injustice, that’s red blood pumping and pumping and pumping.
And they’re calling you demented and crazed,
They’re as blind as you thought, and even spelling it out did not help.
Their eyes are gone and they just cannot see the dots and lines,
but you tried.
You wrote it.
You told them.
Your wife does not get it.
Years and years, hidden under sheets. Years of sweat and tongue and she still doesn’t understand.
And that’s what makes me sad.
You left behind a black charred body, you tried to scream, a final exclamation point in your crash,
But they just shake their heads…another lunatic.
Your sacrifice was for a point the sheep cannot see.
There will be no legions behind you,
Tax day is coming and the post office will be full and the stamps will carry our money away on wings,
And little will change.
Your sacrificed life will mean so little.
Your death will be a ripple in the ocean, so faint and distant it could be nothing at all.
And that’s what’s makes my heart want to bleed.
The malls are full.
The battles wage on.
The machine grinds steady.
The freeways are crowded.
The money keeps flowing.
You could not change it.
Can it be changed?
My heart has grown weary from the failures. All the fathers have crumbled. The lies are out and as I stare, I vomit and watch them grow. Children still recite the Pledge of Alliance out of synch and they still teach that Columbus discovered America even though it was refuted so long ago. They just cannot change ignorance. Young men still sign on the dotted line, believing in honor and the vision of Country. But I can see all those cracks, not one has escaped me and I cry for the innocence I once knew and I have turned hard while the lights of florescent bulbs flicker. It is all too much. They are all lies, each one of you in suits, each one of you beneath stripes and stars. How dare you speak? You white skinned, white haired, blue eyed liars. And while those men die in roadside bombs for corporations they will never know, profiting people they will never meet, I am prepared to die. The band plays behind me, and I am a patriot. I am a revolutionary in a forgotten country of words without substance. Add me to the pile if there is anything left. Follow if you can, and if you cannot, read my words.
(Text inspired by Joe Stack’s suicide note.)