FEBRUARY 5, 2013 7:16PM

Not Without Shame - poem (a re-post)

Rate: 10 Flag

I look into human eyes
and close my heart.

I look into human eyes
and close my heart
as I goose step by
with sudden-dead eyes.

I, never Mother-Teresa bold,
too often join the ranks of the cold
who every day pray
God's looking away
those seconds it takes
to make one's escape
(eyes extinguished and averting)
from Creation's sibling so hurting.

Too needy, too scary,
too smelly or hairy.

Sure once in a while
I offer change with a smile
but more often than not
when I am caught
in the line of a look
breathtaking and deep,
hungry, angry, bleary, weary, at peace
or one good-humored and intelligent
(for some reason the most repellent)
I recoil like lightning
from the heart-rending sighting
with such defiant frigidity
I'm in awe of what's with me.

So instantaneously and ashamedly at a loss ...
dear God, what would it cost?
Could not such a simple eye connection
promote two souls' resurrections?

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My first day of working in NYC, a co-worker offered this advise: "if you want to survive in this town, don't make eye contact with the crazies...and they are all crazy." R
Hm well.
Yikes.

look into human eyes
and close my heart.”
Happens . eyes aint all meant to be gazed into that is for sure!
I look into human eyes
and close my heart
as I goose step by
with sudden-dead eyes.
(good camouflage sudden death eyes)

See u got ahold of an odd god, with this:” every day pray
God's looking away
those seconds it takes
to make one's escape
(eyes extinguished and averting)
from Creation's sibling so hurting.”

My god says enjoy it that is why I MADE IT>
~
.
Sure once in a while
I offer change with a smile
but more often than not
when I am caught
in the line of a look
breathtaking and deep,
hungry, angry, bleary, weary, at peace
or one good-humored and intelligent
(for some reason the most repellent)
I recoil like lightning
from the heart-rending sighting
with such defiant frigidity

~
How come ? cuz:
I'm in awe of what's with me.
So instantaneously and ashamedly at a loss ...
dear God, what would it cost?
Could not such a simple eye connection
promote two souls' resurrections

Ohh easily. Gotta train your eyes to look. What is there to look at aint scary at all.
It is just you looking back for as Eckhardt said,
The same eyes you see God with/god sees you.
Yikes.
As a former New Yorker I am very familiar with that quick look away. When I had extra money I used to give it but it is pissing in the sea. Nevertheless, when I gave, it helped me.
Its not half as bad as it used to be, at least around Penn Station where it upsets the tourists. I remember when I worked on Seventh Ave in the early eighties you would have to pick your way up the stairs into daylight over prostrate winos and bums. I don’t give them anything and I never have except for a dirty look. Most of them are there for a reason. Don’t get me wrong I’m not excusing in any way, shape, or form, the way America treats its poor but most of them are there for a reason. I work to hard for my money to buy a stranger their next fix.
If somebody needs a fix or a beer or a hamburger, it's not for me to tell them how to run their lives. Maybe the nextfix is all they need to think a bit better. Anybody who talks about "hard earned money", unless he works in a coal mine, a sewer or a diving suit is bullshitting. Money comes at job and most jobs are just a way to put in time and earn a living with what you know.
the streets haven't changed much in all these years except the homeless seem to be getting younger
To clarify the above comment, I sincerely mean that I enjoyed this poetry.
Okay Jan I almost never comment twice and you now I love you (I was worried about you. I was going to drop you a PM but that was not possible since OS’s messaging system didn’t work) but you are letting your bourgeois roots show. When I worked in the city I worked on dye floors for furriers. Try doing that for a day if you can stand the stench. If you can then do it for 25 years and see if the benzene fumes don’t give you lung cancer. My father lasted less than 20. Sometimes I worked for the Hudson Bay Company on 29th sometimes Lebergals over on 27th. My job there was to bring bundles of fur from the warehouse so that they could be graded and priced. Or on the mink floor of the Hudson Bay Company's the fur bundles would be bid over at auction by furriers from across the globe. When I didn’t do that I would pull racks of furs out on 7th Ave for the various small manufacturers in the area. I basically took whatever job I wanted for the winter because my family helped found the fur workers union. That involved fighting in the streets and being branded a communist subversive but that’s a story for another time. Maury Montaug and Ratlin George the Jewish and Black guys who ran the union would just tell me whatever was paying the most at the the time. It always involved back breaking work and being on your feet, sometimes 14-16 hours a day if you wanted to make the money. It wasn’t no easier in the summer time when I would swing a pick axe and push a wheel barrow in the burning hot sun for 10 hours a day in my construction business. This ain’t no ode to capitalism as everybody on here who knows me knows I despise capitalism with a singular passion that I don’t think any of you bleeding hearts can match. Hard work feeds a mans passions. Whenever and wherever I worked I always worked next to poor Blacks, Whites, and Hispanics who if they didn’t do just what I was doing would be out there on the streets laying next to the winos.They weren’t because they chose not too but instead they choose to work hard and feed their family's. As a card carrying “Working Class Hero” I appreciate your sentiments but they simply do not stand up when held under the microscope of life. As a scientist you ought to appreciate empirical reasoning. When we allow ourselves to speak from our passions instead of our reasoning we hold ourselves up to ridicule by the paid propagandists whom the capitalists who have hijacked the American dream pay all to well to ferret out our weakness’s. Passions have their time and place my friend that’s why I threw my Bhagavad Gita away but they are put to far better use on the battlefield or in the bedroom than in the arena of debate.
Thanks for the repost. It is survival instinct and it is brutal. The courage to help is so fragile.
@Jack Heart

The term "hard earned money" is a shibboleth for people who object to any government public assistance on the basis that there is something God given in the rights to ownership. Ownership is a social right created and donated by accepted rules of any society and some societies also demand responsibility for that donation in the willingness to aid the less fortunate members of society. That is why I object to the term although I concede you might well wor hard for your wages.

I also feed wild birds or perhaps a stray dog or cat or two and I make no demands that they live any special type of life for whatever few bits of food I can give them. People, even drug addicts and alcoholics need help and encouragement that they too are part of humanity but it is something very internal with them to get themselves straight. I have no general solutions for how this can be done and I doubt there are any. each person is an individual problem and if I can somehow demonstrate they are not hated for being in trouble I try to do that. It is an immense problem and I live well below the poverty line but I do what I can. I am now 87 years old and have no general way to earn money and am, because of my age, excluded from much of society's earning capacity. I cannot let that make me hate people who need help. If that is bourgeois, so be it.
I don't feel comfortable giving spare change to strangers. It's a different matter when I know them personally. I have been spending a lot of time in "downtown" New Plymouth over the last 8 months collecting signatures on a Green Party petition. I have come to know two of the mentally ill street people really well. If they need money, they come up to me privately and ask for it. Usually they have a good reason for their benefit running out. I don't like to embarrass them by asking them to justify themselves.