A Politics of Pain

By Anonymous

Friend, now there’s a riot. Watch the bald guy

with the Pinochet shirt who punches through the black

bloc with haymakers and hate and the phalanx

of cops does nothing. He bleeds and doesn’t care.

His name is Tiny, and he’s a real bastard

that’s for damn sure. Tiny’s the kind of guy

who’d say bomb them back to the stone age or might is right

or who’d throw my friends out of a helicopter.

Flashbangs burst, the magnesium sparkle dazzles

the busted storefronts and everyone runs away, but Tiny

runs around the intersection with his bloodied fists

in the air like it’s V-J day, like the bomb just went off

and declared him President. He’d like that.

But it’s already worse than that, friend—

don’t watch the news. Instead, watch

the stark propaganda that appears and disappears

on the phone poles down the avenue

like a magic trick, a differential equation of politics.

But this is a politics of the body.

No matter how often a bonehead like Tiny

terrorizes the streets, remember that words

won’t drive him out and that he can’t understand love,

not here. Now, clench your fist. This is a politics of pain.

 

[This post was originally published in the fourth issue of the Seattle Worker, available now!]

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