What vaunted ignorance do we chew the curd of
when newspapers hold a spyglass to the events of the
world and TV smears vacuums on the structural spine of context?

What spectral light takes shape in the unbridled
approbation of the adored and castigation of the abhorred?
In our minds it is as though power derived from the
generosity, patience and humanitarian instincts of
a kind old man! Yet behind platonic cave shadows rising on
our Internet screens, actuality bleeds in stoic rhythms:

Refugees who teem into Europe are not insects to be organized
on a child’s ant farm. Yet they do not belong to our insular group;
so, their privation, their dead children drowned in
the Eastern Mediterranean are not of our concern.

We eat in special ways. We cast anti-Americanism off as a
psychiatric disorder to be solved by soft power propaganda.
Our wars are woven into liberty gift baskets and the
spying weaponized aircraft that hover person-less above
are not birds of terror but merely designed to murder our numberless enemies,
who we’d like to free…We may, in fact, be the first nation on Earth
that believes in order to free people,
we must first mass murder them.

Sunlight, gazing tunneled wave bespeaking of heroics
and internal goodness, is the media-wrought energy that
fuels our 325 million homes. We can rest assured; we
aren’t responsible for daily war and mass murder – nay,
indeed! We are responsible, instead, for international security,
free trade and bringing freedom to people across the world!
If perhaps we have failed in any of these undertakings, it’s
either the result of flawed execution or that the world is an
ingrate to our altruistic, Herculean efforts.

We sit at home in inoculated homes, war and mass murder far, far away;
Our favorite news programs conveniently fail to remind us
that it is we who are the beneficiaries.

As a prolific author from the Boston area, Peter F. Crowley writes in various forms, including short fiction, op-eds, poetry and academic essays. In 2020, his poetry book Those Who Hold Up the Earth was published by Kelsay Books and received impressive reviews by Kirkus Review, the New Age and two local Boston-area newspapers. His writing can be found in Middle East Monitor, Znet, 34th Parallel, Pif Magazine, Galway Review, Digging the Fat, Adelaide’s Short Story and Poetry Award anthologies (finalist in both) and The Opiate. His books That Night and Other Stories (CAAB Publishing) and Empire’s End (Alien Buddha Press) were released during the week of Friday the 13th in October 2023. Read other articles by Peter F..