kokopelle: Black Cat (cat black)
“Immersion Blinds” is about the inclination of conservative parties to strike out at a world that defies their accepted tenets. Their struggle has the goal of maintaining the status quo. At the other end of this perceived contest are people who suffer injury and death, acceptable causalities for those who are blind.


Immersion Blinds

When the entire world is safe
normative in all its realms
immersion blinds those within
to realities that are hazardous
when speech is weaponized
blunt to the bearer of the words
a mere game to win or lose
losers must be found to play.

This imbalance hides from sight
for those in power’s seat
they care to maintain a place
with conservative as their motif
when dialogue flows one way
fears are not the same
it’s about power sought for self
endangering those on the fringe.

The slight becomes ego’s wound
asking for harsh recourse
dogma states all the rules
tenets prodding actions on
the hydra with a thousand heads
the crowd is the bully’s friend
sent to suppress a minority
unable to resist in the same.

War becomes their sole career
gains are notches on the belt
blood is the satisfaction
taken on the edge of talk
when the entire world is safe
except for the victims sought
immersion blinds those within
to the crimes they celebrate.

2017. Sean Green. All Rights Reserved. 20170704.
kokopelle: Black Cat (Cat - Black)
“The Saddest Laugh” was prompted by two events. The first event was a friend writing about their discontent with the New-Age mantra “love all people because we’re equal in our stardust status”. They thought that the sentiment ignored conditioned racism, with love really being “owning your conditioned ignorant racist bullshit and asking others to own theirs”. The same day I listened to “The Tracker” by Chad Zunker. It is a story about a young man, in his 20s, who was a survivor of the foster home system. He goes against a political conspiracy and (eventually) wins because he struggled through his early life. In a flash-back, his adult girlfriend says that he should forget his past. He can’t, and by twist of story, succeeds where other would fail because of that past. Both of these themes, that of being blind to other peoples’ struggles, and the fragility of the privileged state, are somewhere in my poem.


The Saddest Laugh

If survival is not a task
part of how a person lives
one can wonder if privilege
is their stomping ground
the red flag is lack of risk
a lack of tears, retaining life
bones not broken, honor held
this isn't how the others live.

The calm persists in ivory towers
blood isn't spilled for freedom's cause
because elevation has its perks
freedom from the trials of men
immunity from the pains of life
that confound the unfortunates
are the realm of pillared folk
who may deny the anguished yokes.

Rights inferred without thought
the hand of fate plays favorites
with greatest joke played on all
is a belief of a shared life
here is the saddest laugh
the protected are contributors
facilitators that can resist
the very pain they inflict.

Now consider where you stand
when compared to wounded ones
I honor those who battle life
thus inflicted by catching up
contrasting with bequeathed ease
with fickle fates this may change
count your blessings while you can
while looking out for the aggrieved.

© 2017. Sean Green. All Rights Reserved. 20170628.
kokopelle: Frank n Furter (frank_n_furter)
The legal events in Indiana sicken me. This was brought home by an internet commentary that asked how those who were “expressing their freedom of religion” would determine the transgressors. Would it be by their dress, their lilt, or the company they kept? Would length of hair and manner of clothing fully reveal the religious deviants amongst them? This brought to mind the methods used in the past when a group of people were determined to be unwanted outsiders. Clear identity was necessary for the protection of society. The poem “Rainbow Badge of Shame” pursues this line of thought.


Rainbow Badge of Shame
Poem for Day 090 – 20150331

I wear the rainbow badge of shame,
my own multi color patch,
to mark me as a outsider,
intruder to the blessed,
in all the public places.

One finger in width,
half a palm in height,
easy for all to see,
so none may be tainted
by my unholy frame of mind.

The baker must see it present,
my armband of singularity,
in order to make most proper,
by Fascist law made legal,
his exclusion of my identity.

Freedom is the goal of all,
the ability to exclude,
because humanity is too fragile,
unable to be accommodating,
for those different from you.

Beat the badge transgressors,
those different snuck amongst us,
release the dogs, break the windows,
give just lesson law enabled
to those who think they are their equal.

I wear the rainbow badge of shame,
to show my unity with my brother.
Baker I need not your bread,
you are more inhuman than these,
those you name your enemy.

© 2015. Sean Green. All Rights Reserved
kokopelle: Frank n Furter (frank_n_furter)
Several online discussions got me thinking about why some people are treated unfairly by groups, and even have to lie or suffer to remain at peace with the group. The concept of outliers came to mind, and that is what I want to explore here.

What is an outlier? The dictionary says that an outlier is something that lies outside the main body or group that it is a part of, someone who stands apart from others of his or her group, as by differing actions, beliefs, religious practices. Synonyms are outsider, nonconformist, maverick; original, eccentric, bohemian; dissident, dissenter, iconoclast, and heretic.

The synonyms are very telling. Groups do not treat nonconformists, dissenters, and heretics well. The challenge is that the main group does not know how to handle an outlier, a person who has differing actions, beliefs, or religious practices. A group has its normal standards of social interaction. However, in relating to the outlier, the group’s normal standards of relating do not apply, and friction results from the interaction. The outcome is unfair to the outlier person, but the group is incapable of addressing the disconnect because of their underlying social dynamics. The group legitimately cannot deal with the outlier.

I am a privileged person by some standards: White, upper middle class, and over forty. This would seem to squarely make me part of the social groups I interact with. This is not the case, and in fact I am also an outlier in most of my social groups. Why? The answer is my spirituality and world outlook. As a shamanist and psychic, and pretty opened minded guy on some really controversial topics, I would easily be labeled as dissenter, outsider, bohemian, and heretic by my contemporaries.

What can I, and other outliers, do when faced with the very incredibly uncomfortable position of being an outlier? The options seem to be: leave, languish, or lie. I could walk away from the groups, but in my case I enjoy my job and don’t want to leave it just because I am spiritually the very odd man out. I could like revel in my outlier status, trumpeting my differences to my peers, but I would have a miserable experience as my peer’s quiet derision was the 1000 pound gorilla in the middle of the room. I instead lie, hiding behind a mask that shields my outlier status from the group’s attention.

Are the options of leave, languish, or lie fair? NO. Are they reality in the social web we call life? Yes. Can I legitimately protest and fight the situation? Sure, but the wisdom of the decision, and to be frank, the relative sanity of it, seems to lay in the degree of my choice. Did I choose to be part of the group, or is it something I am stuck with? If I am stuck with it, for example, if I am born into a society in which I am naturally an outsider by gender, race, or creed, than I should protest in an effort to educate others and better my situation. It may not help, but I can at least try. If I voluntarily interact with the group, and my being in the corporate workplace is an example of this, than I am going to have to choose my option and then suck it up.

That’s my $.02 on being an outlier. Summary: do what you can if you are involuntarily an outlier. On the other hand, don’t act the innocent victim if you choose to be an outlier. Life is not fair, especially when it comes to social groups and you are the outlier.

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