Martin Willitts, Jr

How Can I Be Silent?

There are so many things that are wrong,
it is impossible to wring my hands of all of them.
They need to duck tape my mouth.
They are probably reading this.
Nothing is secret anymore.
It hasn’t been secret for a long time;
we just chose to ignore it.
They do not want us to remember the past.
They tell us to brighten our teeth and keep to the right.
But what is right?
They tell me what is right, in my sleep,
when I eat cornflakes, when I tie my shoes.
There are many things to believe
but only if you believe in the right things.
I will dental floss my car.
Some of the messages I tend to get confused.
Greenhouse gas is good for you.
Unions are causing the collapse of millionaires.
We should accept third world wages
and perhaps secretly dream we all become slaves.
This is right-thinking.
If this is right-thinking, then I want none of it.
When a nuclear power plant releases gas in Japan
hovering over the world like a glowing dragon, the press
pretends it is not serious. When genocide continues,
it is considered good business practices. When we drill
for natural gas with carcinogenetic chemicals
which makes water fizz out of the tap, the companies
say it is safe to drink but will not drink it themselves.
We all allow this to happen.
It is simple to ignore the news, be glazed
in front of the television, drink tepid tea and vote
whatever we are told is right.
We believe whatever we are told.
If you are reading this then you are being subversive.
You will be investigated and you will enjoy it.
You are being followed. Don’t look.
Act like everything is normal.
Drink wholesome milk.
Guess the right price along with the Price Is Right.
Buy a vowel from Vanna.
Drive the biggest gas guzzler and be proud.
Stand in the unemployment line and hope you're acceptable.
Worry about the poor misfortunate billionaires.
They have it tougher than the rest of us.
Pity the poor billionaire.
Right makes Right.
Left makes everything dangerous.
Get it right; or get out.
If you are reading this, you are “undesirable”.
If you stopped reading this a long time ago, you are lying.
Corrupt greed is good for you.
Just remember that and you will be OK.
Silence sounds like this…….

Martin Willitts Jr recent poems appeared in Naugatuck River Review, MiPOesias, Flutter,, Muse CafĂ©, and Caper Journal. He was recently nominated for two Best of The Net awards and his 5th Pushcart award. He has four new chapbooks: “The Girl Who Sang Forth Horses” (Pudding House Publications, 2010), “Van Gogh’s Sunflowers for Cezanne” (Finishing Line Press, 2010), “True Simplicity” (Poets Wear Prada Press, 2011), and “My Heart Is Seven Wild Swans Lifting” (Slow Trains, 2011).

(author retains copyright)