The Cynical Ones

“We are the hollow men…
We are the stuffed men… — T.S. Eliot

We are the cynical ones
with gluttonous mouths of ridicule,
whispering alone in darkened rooms—
our keyboards avoiding praise—
our heads all crammed with ads.

We are the cynical ones,
the lonely together,
the lonely when apart
distrusting human interest,
trusting only in interest made.

We are the cynical ones
with ridged behavior—
wooden imitations of nurses
faining bedside manner
as empty pockets
and coffers to the sick,
weary, and dying without beds.

Life without reason, work without passion,
anesthetized meaning, talent without action;

Those who still have their wits,
who’ve not been taken by the camera lens,
weep for children with plastic parents,
but only
as a cynical whim
of ridicule: Oh, poor them.

Facts we dare not face
in this plastic place,
with words that will not arrive—
with hands that do not reach.

There is no sympathy here—
no sign from hand or lip to feel:
no smile from a park bench,
no blanket for the storm,
no voice of kindness
saying, softly, come in
out of the cold—
no cup of cocoa, no warmth.

We will be no closer
in this plastic place,
but still we primp
and put on makeup
and dance in our made-up prison
as life is used up with adornments
like Iphones and Fit Bits,
to wash in lime the mind
as navigator’s eye
blinded to peripheral images.

Out of this,
amid the peripheral vision
an image of a bedraggled man,
to whom we offer no more
than a fading glance—
not smile, nor blanket, nor kindness’s cocoa.

We live in floating castles
and wear our dark glasses
in this pseudo kingdom,
this plastic paradise of poor,
this sad celebration of silicon,
and here these false images
are praised, worshiped,
and receive the coronation of a king
under the watchful eye of a pyramid.

It’s like this.
in the plastic kingdom,
orating from IPhones,
rejoicing ourselves as captains
with hands that cannot steer—
and our penance paid to empty pews.

Life is not here,
there is no joy here
in these hills of made-up stars,
in this broken picture,
this artificial mask of actuality.

London Bridge is falling down—
the children get up and dance in rings
around the roses with their pockets full;
London Bridge is falling down—
the people build it back up again,
and the children ring—a-round and all fall down.

They are now the cynical ones—

Between the meaning
and the solemn facts—
between the actions
and the hands,
the kingdom falls—For this is the glory forever

Between the dying
and already dead—
between the indifference
and lacking response,
the kingdom falls—This suffering is very long

Between the repulsion
and unspecified stiffs—
between the impotent
and the absence—
between the impediment
and the inflating,
the kingdom falls—For this is the glory forever

For you are—
death, life—
for you is death.

This is the life the world lives.
this is the life the world lives.
this is the life the world lives—
without a life but that of death.

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