Life Outside the Tank

You say we don’t understand your experience.
So we ask.
And you say that it ain’t your job to educate us.
Which is true, but doesn’t help solve the issue.
And solving the issue’s not your job either,
But that don’t mean you aren’t allowed to try if you want.

Which is why there are your stories out there.
Stories we get to read if we find them.
But they aren’t everywhere.
They aren’t common enough that we see the nuance just by breathing.
Because it’s not your job to educate or to fix.
And because of the cheap-shooting, foul-mouthed,
Logical-only-when-it-suits minority.
Those unhappy few who spew hate at anyone who dares to
Not be a bitter little pill
And who deserve

To be treated like human beings.
Because that’s how it works.
If humanity, decency, and virtue are about more than my tribe’s gonna kill yours,
Then that’s how it works.
They don’t have a right to come to your forum and talk shit about your faith.
The don’t have a right to come to your post and make jokes about your mother.
But they do have the right to be treated like a human being.

Because Kant’s idea that we make the rules
So we treat you the way we want to treated
Has problems.
But if you turn it round:
Create some rule about treating others the way you don’t want to be treated?
The clue’s in the name: Tnak.
Because, that’s not just an idea that will tank society;
It’s muddled thinking too.

Because we all share one experience:
Someone smacks you round the head, you want to smack them back.

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A Stick To Beat One’s Tongue

Poetry is hard to define, but one of the common guides for what is “good” poetry, is conformity to tradition: does this poem follow the forms of Latin verse? Does that poem fit the structure of Shakespearean sonnets? Does this tanka reference the season and have a metaphysical shift in the middle? And such fitting of a time-honoured pattern while retaining fluidity and voice would seem a satisfying goal. However, these verse-forms might have a structure built on sand.

Cityscapes by Anthony Khayat (ed.), Sara Khayat (ed.), Gabby McCullough (ed.), and Willie Watt (ed.)

Cityscapes edited by Anthony Khayat, Sara Khayat, Gabby McCullough, and Willie WattRevealing the immense power of individual perspective to turn even the most banal of experiences into a meaningful event, and then adding the counterpoint that this makes each person responsible for their life being banal, this collection suggests that the real cityscape might be the spaces between the buildings. Vibrant, emotive, meaningful, yet also fun, the works make full use of the human mind being both the first and ultimate white space.