Trafficking in the Human Soul,
or How to Weather Political Campaigns
and Commercial Marketing
by Cameron Miller
They traffic in the human soul
those candidates and their puppeteers
etching fantasy and self-interest upon our hearts.
With bullets we give them in dollars
they load mesmerizers
and zap us
with weapons purchased
from merciless hawkers of debt and waste.
We are the field they walk through
picking us by Primary handfuls
before coming through with election combines
separating wheat from chaff.
All of us later burned in the fires
of their vainglory
and egomaniacal moment in the sun.
Not one ever left office
poorer, with less than going in.
Yet the even-year frenzy
syncopated by odd-year silences
dark and enslaving as it is
remains a small hazard
in the shadow of greed-mongers.
Their daily machine
skins our souls alive
ad by ad
sale by sale
image by image
lie by lie
They turn up the heat
and our hungers bubble, festering
in a stew of desire.
We want everything
We belong to them
soul and all
until death do us part.
The soul is a fragile gift.
in the cold night unprotected
in the hands of another.
When enclosed in a baggie of ego
petals, stems and all.
In the captivity of greed
Still, its seed
is always in us
apt to grow and blossom
from the smallest cue
or most demure whisper.
“Come back,” we can coo
and, “I’ll love you this time.”
It will come back if we own it
and refuse to give it away
and stubbornly hold on
even when the tugging is fierce.
even when they want to take it again
with their slick and sticky
weapons of self-destruction.
We can vote
or buy and sell
without losing our souls
but it will not be easy.
We have lost ourselves before
and it can happen again
as easily as the dog sheds hair.
find a community of resistant souls
edwin beck says
A LIMERICK FOR CAM – THO’ OF THE RARE “SANITIZED” VARIETY (e2b2)
A Preacher Who Left Cold Vermont,
As A Writer Remains Nonchalant:
To Kudos He’ll Say:
“Well My Writing’s Okay,
But I Still Feel Like I’m Some Debutant.”
Cam Miller says
Oh you shouldn’t have! But I’m glad you did. Thanks.
EDWIN BECK says
SOMETHING ODE-LIKE TO MORE
If only I could write decent poems,
Like Cummings or some semi-great,
That voice in my head might stop saying:
“Gonna’ fish or just keep cutting bait?”
Cam Miller says
If only you could!