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Why Did You Bring Me Into This World?

“‘Dad.  Why did you bring me into this world?’

One day, I will be asked this question.  And, I will not know how to answer it. I simply do not have an answer for it.  He will ask me one day, probably sooner than I would like, ‘Dad, you knew the world was falling apart.  You knew the destruction was too much to fix. You knew there was no hope anymore, that every generation here on in are condemned.  You knew. Why did you bring me here?’

I know he is capable of changing it, but he knows that this is not his burden to bear.  When he asks, he will know I forced it upon him by bringing him into existence. I helped, collectively, to create this pain, destruction and disaster then selfishly brought him to life to saddle him with this impossible fate.  

How do I tell my son that I was selfish?

How do I tell him that my want to experience fatherhood was greater than the responsibility I should have had.  He will ask me this because he knows I am intelligent. Because he knows that I am a leader among my community, and that I am someone he and my little town look to for truth, for direction.  He will ask me this because he trusts me, even though nothing in that question elicits such; He trusts me even though I suspect he understands that, just by merely bringing him to life, just by conceiving him, I have severed the bond of security he could have ever had for me.  With me.

I try talking with him now, to maybe explain a justification to him before he gets to that point.  I try to teach him that it is not too late. That we can make changes, and we can take steps and that, little by little, we will chip away at the problem and make this a better world.  I try to pave a path of consciousness for him, of awareness. To encourage him to be the change the world needs. But, I know at some point, he will resentfully reject this.  Self-loathingly, I hope he does so, because I want to be proud of him.  But, when that moment of ‘pride’ arrives, I know I will only have shame, because I will not have a pure and honest answer for him.  I will not have a believable answer for him.

I tried to believe in the hope of youth, as I was taught.  I still try. And I try to teach and encourage, as my career dictates. But, I know I do not lead by example, only with words, just as my father did with me and his father with him.  However, they believed in their hearts that what they were doing was right. I knew I wasn’t. I know I am not. I know it was the ultimate act of apathy to bring him and his sister into this world, and when he asks me this dreaded question, I will know he is asking because he understands this too.

‘You place hope in me when you take no action yourself.  Didn’t you have hope at my age?  Didn’t your parents say You will be the ones who will make things right? Who will change the world? And what happened? The pressure became too much, dad, right?  You realized the world was too big. And you gave up. You all did. And created us to pass the burden on to.  What you have created, what your parents have created, what your grandparents have created is not finished and in the past, to be  simply fixed now. It is still ongoing. Faster. Greater. How can one generation withstand so much pressure without being broke at some point?  We fight now, but, we are not up against what has been. We are against a destruction that is. We are up against You.  We are up against Tradition and Habit.  We have the fire of youth, but the winds of age are too strong.’

Maybe I brought him into this world because I really did naively think that he would fix the mistakes I cannot stop myself from making; that he would inspire me, teach me. Because that is what my parents believed, and although I was not strong enough, I still believe he is.  Can I tell him this? That our mistakes, our false beliefs just keep mindlessly getting passed down? Because life just gets too overwhelming? That, at some point, he will be no different than me (if he gets the opportunity) and will pass on the same false hope to his kids? Will I be able to look my son in the eyes and tell him that I did not start this fire but, since I could only seem to fan the flames hotter and stronger, I needed to create him in order to throw him into the crucible with me? Maybe to appease my guilt? Maybe to hear him justify these habits of mine?

How does a parent, a teacher, a mentor, tell a 12-yr-old that the entire world is waiting for them to be our leaders, because we have experienced too much life to be that for them? How do I make him understand that the light of hope has not been extinguished, but we ‘mature, responsible adults’ have nothing left in us to fuel it with? No more wind to grow the flames of optimism? That habit is our devil, fueled by a lifetime of entitlement with never a glimpse of consequence to our gluttony?

We all may have had good intentions, but what will my answer be when he asks me, ‘Dad, why did you bring me into this world? Knowing I was only going to be sacrificed?  Knowing that I will have to suffer with every breath for your mistakes?Knowing I would never get to live a full life? A better life? The life you got to live?’”

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we reap what we sow

The lady who runs the cafe down the street asked me during one of our conversations about alternative ways of living and my preference for voyeurism when it comes to this particular collapse of western society, “…but don’t you ever feel guilty for not doing anything?”  I appreciate her because she is honest, and curious.

“I do not because what is happening cannot be stopped.  I look at the world historically, not presently.  This collapse needs to happen because it is what the people have chosen.  Remember, not all choices are conscious.  Most choice we make daily are simply habit.  And, because it is what we all have chosen, have sown, whether we want it or not, it is what we will reap, it is what we need.”

To me, the gun debate we are having is a trite exercise of our limited will to demand change.

To me, the presidential nominating process could not have chosen two more picture perfect candidates for which to portray in total exactitude the modern day teams of the “left” and the “right”.

To me, the terrorism argument is utterly and abhorrently riddled with hypocrisy among our obsessions with what it means to be at war and peace.

To me, anytime anyone says, “How did this happen?” or, even worse, “I cannot believe that this happened!”, it furthers the notion of our willful ignorance by believing that all things in this world are a result of random factors rather than a blatantly predictable circumstance due to every single decision we have ever made, whether singularly or collectively.

Tightening OR loosening gun laws will not end the deaths.  Other major countries have more guns per capita than the States and they do not use them to kill each other.  It is not about guns, it is about the accepted hatred and suspicion of each other, it is about locking ourselves inside out houses with our televisions and our safety and our comfort and fearing everything outside of those doors.  It is about the glory a killing receives, the media, the movies, the restructuring of our entire legal and constitutional system because of the actions of one, single person.  It is about a medicated species who has intentionally, deliberately rewired its own brain without accepting the consequences of doing so.  It is not about guns.  It is about the vitriol we have for each other; and, somewhere deep, for ourselves.  Guns make for great headlines.  Guns make for great TV.  Guns get our adrenaline going, then gives all sides a voice and an outlet for our rage.

I sit in the corner and watch it all collapse because why should I help something I do not want?  I didn’t prescribe to the hatred, to the righteousness, to the greed.  I do not prescribe to the above.  I was born into it, beat into it, spent my entire youth memorizing the patriotism.  I was fed credit cards and student loans and by 18, I was completely obligated to this standard of life, this system.

I have asked the questions and I have seen the answers for myself.

So, I watch it, as I would watch a building collapse.  No amount of effort by any amount of people can hold up a stone civilization once gravity has taken her command on it.  But the sight of it is, in a literal sense, awesome, and quite rare, especially if this is the generation’s-long process of creating a new world order or the rapid natural selection of the human extinction.

Who We Americans Really Are…

 

I am not one who thinks favorably of voting in the traditional sense on a national scale.  For many years, I have felt that it is a waste of energy, excitement and effort in this particular country given the structure regarding voting.  In my country, our vote does not count, never really has and most likely never really will.  We are not a direct democracy.  I can argue the semantics of that statement with anyone (and I know that I am right) but, there is no point to do so.  The reason I say there is no point is the very same reason I am writing this at this moment.  The reason is because we the people are helpless and will hold onto any belief that makes us feel that we matter, so we refuse to accept otherwise.

I was discussing this with a friend, expressing my disappointment in the rise of Hillary Clinton, and in the sad ignorance of the liberal minded, the cowardice of the libertarian and the inaction of the anarchist.  “This is a political revolution,” is what I have been hearing from people who are in support of Bernie Sanders, but, all this “revolution” really has become is a match that sparks but never lights.  It’s a tale as old as time.

Then a good friend says to me, “The closest thing to a real revolution right now is Trump.”  Because of my disdain for Donald Trump,  I initially disagreed with that statement, but the next comment he said changed my mind.  “He is almost the perfect representation of the American society: Greedy, disconnected, self-interested and shallow.”

The revolution we may want (we being the fiscally-conservative-socially-liberal) is not the revolution we have because the revolution we want takes work, investment and above all, personal sacrifice.

Trump and Sanders are the so-called “outsiders” representing the bookends of the two sides of our personality.  They are supposed to be upending the government to bring about the country that we have wanted, not the one we have had to live with for all of these decades.  However, Trump is clearly going to win the nomination and most likely the presidency; Sanders’ match is refusing to light.  I thought about my belief in voting and my friend’s deduction of Trump and that is when I realized that perhaps I am not entirely correct, because he is absolutely correct:  Washington IS a representation of we the people, and Washington is an indictment of our laziness, of our lack of self-sacrifice, of our passionate and willful ignorance. THAT is what Trump’s revolution represents, taking the veil off of Washington as an entity of parental responsibility, breaking down the courtesy of politics and exposing the reality of what people in the United States are truly willing to work for (or not work for).  The rise and popularity of the popularity of Hilary Clinton is no different, and someone like Bernie Sanders might inspire, but ultimately will not endure.

Ideologically, most humans can simplistically be placed within the categories of the selfish, the selfless  or the apathetic.  The fact that a man like Donald Trump is much more popular than anyone else in this election cycle is truly representative of the majority of the people he will be representing (even if it IS a slight one).  The selfless are too few in number and the apathetic only bolster that “self-interested, shallow, greedy disconnection” that the modern-day American has come to embrace and become.  Our vote does not matter because, for whatever valid reason we might give, we are never willing to dedicate all the energy and resources of our lives to work to support that vote.  Simply speaking, we are not willing to be the change we wish to see in this world.

Of the people. By the people.  For the people.  When you look at this election, understanding who The People are is quite clear.

 

 

af

a different perspective

Today, three lives ended, dozens more were maimed and thousands were changed.  I read the news and everyone proclaims such shock at unspeakable horrors; Click onto Facebook.com and endless statuses are speechless, except for the thought of “how could this happen” or “why would someone do this”.  I sat on the train as the news broke and all I heard was cliché after cliché, catchlines of disbelief, astonishments of vain suffering

It is so difficult to be an honest voice in a moment of tragedy.   Because, when I hear about a Boston marathon, a Newtown senselessness, a September eleventh catastrophe, I don’t wallow in the pity of the subtle suffering of American tragedies, I immediately force myself to think in realms of global perspective.  Because I think that it is sweet that when a few of our own die, the viral nation comes together in mock solidarity against unspeakable atrocities, but the truth is that our fallen are but a microcosm of the realities facing a world we so easily exploit yet take no responsibility for.

Today:  Fifty-five killed, 300+ injured in a series of explosions.  Forty civilians killed in targeted attacks by a corrupt government.  At least twenty-nine dead and fifty-eight injured in one suicide blast.  Twenty-five children dead in targeted air and chemical attacks.  Thirty-seven killed and hundreds injured in yet another earthquake.

The numbers above are only a small amount of those taken daily around this world yet only today do I hear sorrow on the tongues of those who are crying and hearthbroken over three individuals who share the burden of the rest of the world.

I do not condone nor make light of the events that occurred hours from my hometown, in a city I have often visited and often loved.  But what I do condemn is the shock and disbelief of a righteous people who habitually acknowledge only that which occurs at the tip of their nose yet hold no true regard for the lives taken as a result of that righteousness, as a result of the greedy necessity of our comforts.

Personally, I am neither surprised nor distressed about the events of today, though I am saddened.  But, most of all, I am angry…in a complex way that I cannot seem to comprehend.  Any senseless loss of life is just that…senseless, and stupid.  What I cannot understand, and what I fear I might never will, is how can the people of this nation claim to bleed such compassion towards humanity and the atrocities of our commonplace habits yet often know nothing about and care nothing about the real perils the bulk of mankind must live with daily at our expense, at the expense of our luxuries and greed, of our obtuse obsessions?

What truly bothers me about the events in Boston today is how we could, still, be so collectively ignorant to our hypocrisy.

ART, NOT DEBT is Launched!!!

Hi there everyone.  So, I would like to believe at least one of you has been wondering where I am and why I have not posted in a while.  Well, I have been working on a new project called ART, NOT DEBT.

It started like this.  Years ago, I was watching a football game and thought, If 1/3 of the people there gave me one dollar, I’d be debt free.  After years of not having the nerve to start asking people for a buck, a really close friend of mine pushed me over the edge where logic meets insanity.

$15,000 in debt; 15,000 people; 15,000 poems.

That’s right.  I am asking you for one dollar.  And, in the realm of paying it forward and re-creating a world where art and not commerce is our major influence, I will dedicate my life for the next few years to doing the most soul-satisfying thing I do…Writing Poetry.

$1.  That’s it.  Won’t you help??

http://www.artnotdebt.com

http://www.facebook.com/artnotdebt

 

THANKS and See Ya Soon

Anthony

Coming Soon…

Hey everyone,

 
Just wanted to drop a quick blurb to let you know the reason I have not posted in a while is because I am working on a crazy new social experiment.  I will be launching it within the next month or so (and will still try to post some old poems now and then here) so hang tight…

So, until then, scroll  down to read some of my thoughts and poems, feel free to comment and drop me notes and I will be back shortly to let you know about what insane wackiness I’m working on next.

 
Anthony

 

My Mountains

I always seem to convince myself that my resources are tapped.

I always know I am great

I just believe I am empty.

I often find the courage,

it’s the confidence that seems to hide.

So, I tend to do what’s necessary…

trust in the simple fact

that life just keeps on going…

it’s been here before

it will be here after

one step in front of the other

when eventually, moments arise

moments when I am out of body

moments when I am away from home

far from my country

wandering strange mountains trying to befriend strange people

Read the rest of this entry »

Farewell Poem (23 July 11)

It seems that all the ghosts are coming out for a haunting…

The chaos is creating pressure

testing us for what we stand for

and we are crumbling;

I am running

you are pushing

and it feels like everyone else is just laughing.

 

We are both stranger than truth

but we seem not to care;

no effort to hang on.

 

We used to be romantics and dreamers…

When did we make love a consolation prize?

 

I’ll be flying over this great country soon

not knowing where I’ll be going

preferring to remain ignorant about some things.

I know another adventure is beginning

and I wish you were going

because somewhere over the past year

we both offered up our selfishness for unity

combining our energy to experience life rather than society;

to climb low and fall high and fly right beside God’s endless land.

 

I have seen my dreams and I miss making them real;

they become a burden when held in only two arms

and I suppose that is why we live…

but how sweet it would have been

if you were willing to trust

and stuck by me

along side me

and chose life over labor.

 

 

af

i remember

I remember the way it was

I remember feeling like I did not matter

I remember becoming a number

 

I remember that day

I remember all of the days

I remember the arrogance

I remember the smirk

I remember the proof

I remember we the people not caring

 

I remember the smoke

I remember the anger

I remember the loathing

I remember the hatred

I remember the world pleading for unity

I remember the defiance, the solitude

I remember the lack of remorse

I remember, over and over, “with us or against us”

I remember the disgrace

I remember the declaration

I remember the pictures

I remember the lies

I remember the second declaration

I remember pitting citizen against citizen

 

I remember the closed door, the back door

I remember the surveillance

I remember bill after bill stripping my rights naked

I remember the scandals

I remember the torture

I remember the division

I remember the collapse

 

I remember the acceptance of social sin for the safety of the voter

 

I remember schools getting packed

I remember jobs being lost

I remember bombs being made

 

I remember staring at the blank television screen where the coffins draped with American flags should have been.

 

I remember zero sense of sacrifice

I remember never being asked

I remember being encouraged not to

 

When you ask me about my bias and my scorn…

When you mock me for being too angry in this life…

When you question my honor and my motives…

When you remind me that it is all in the past…

When you scold me for recalling that past…

 

I remember

 

I remember the cowardice of this citizenry

I remember no accountability for our current condition

I remember the people of the republic accepting no responsibility

 

Take off the masks

Understand why

Question instead of answer

 

Until that time

I will keep remembering

I will hold strong to my beliefs

 

I was there…

I remember

 

af

 

a short one-act

ONE

The “Devils on Horseback” arrived.  One of the first things I read this morning when I woke and bought a paper.  Generally I skip past this part.  It’s been happening for so long that it’s always going to be there, so tomorrow I’ll check it out.  They’ll be something about it tomorrow.

Of course I’m concerned.  Of course I care.  And I plan on doing something about it…to help in some way (give a donation, maybe volunteer, have a fundraiser).  You know what I would love to do?  To get out and travel too?  Save up some money, raise some also (it’s for a good cause), and go there for a couple of weeks.  Go there, join some organization, and get hands on.  It’s time that I do something about it.  No one else is.

When, though?  When?  I guess in the Spring I can do without work for a few weeks.  That just means I have a lot of work to do now to cover my ass when I’m gone…bill-wise and stuff.  Shit, that’s a lot of money, though.  I know, I know.  Let me get some research done.  In the meantime.  Start reading up, talk, organize a group…Just need to…Just need to smoke first…

TWO

Now why are you getting so hard on yourself that you are smoking right now?  That you did?  You keep on saying, “Well, I would do that if I didn’t smoke.  I am a hypocrite, I am this, I am that.”  But right at this moment you are sitting at your computer writing thought after thought…CREATING, right now at this moment, and you turn it into something that is evil, complacent…Find excuses why it isn’t good enough and why you should quit because of your family or your brother, or these girls you don’t want to date or this or that.  THAT is the hypocrite, my friend.  THAT is the one in your mind.  Not you, not you soul, this little monster you’ve created in your mind that keeps on telling you it’s bad it’s bad it’s bad…Is it bad?   It is not bad and you better shut that pruned fucking face up right quick before we are getting it on.  That’s right, little white boy can get Miss Harlem Ghetto on your ass too.  Cause we building an army too, and no matter what, we are winning.  We got a lifetime ahead of us and we are winning. Do you mind that?

THREE

We are the controllers of our own destiny.  We are the people responsible for the other people in the world.  We are to hold ourselves highest and understand that each and everybody else is doing the same.  I am not the center of the world…I am a part of it.

These thoughts are not unique.  These words are not original.  The motivations, the insults, the ignorance, the education, the dreaming…we’ve all heard them, known them.

That’s not what this is about.  This is…

Today I went searching through magazines I have, papers I’ve saved, the news fresh off the press.  This is about us living so far in our worlds that we have lost the sight to see that we are nothing, our struggles are nothing in comparison to what our lifestyles are creating in places that, to us, are merely recycled paper.

FOUR

“When the [Devil’s on] horseback arrived…Jidah Zakaria had no where to go…SO the 80-plus-year-old woman remained inside her hut and prayed [they] would overlook her.  They Didn’t.  Zakaria’s straw hut was torched while she was still inside.  In an instant, the burning structure collapsed on top of her, searing the flesh off of her arms, legs and back.”  (Rich Schapiro, NY Daily News, 16 Dec 06)

I picked up a magazine with a famous funny-man on the cover and back on page 342 of 363 pages, there is an article about one block, in a torn city down south, that hasn’t changed on bit in well over a year.  There’s another magazine with pictures of that same town, same area, a year ago and discussions about them and still, there is nothing, NOTHING different about this amazing little village.  The consistency in their lives are amazing…praiseworthy.  Then again, it’s easy to be consistent when you have no home, no faith, no hope.

THREE

We are the controllers of our own destiny.

TWO

Now, why are you getting so hard on yourself.

ONE

Of course I’m concerned.  Of course I care.  It’s just…

FOUR

Something.  It’s always something.

XTRA

You need to take care of yourself…It has to be about you first.

FOUR

 Always something.

TWO

Enough to make us ignore that we are not the center of the world…only part of it.