Legalese

Here is a poetic passage from a legal document:

The singular shall be deemed to include the plural,
and the plural shall be deemed to include the singular; 
the masculine shall be deemed to include the feminine, 
and the feminine shall be deemed to include the masculine;
the disjunctive (“or”) shall be deemed to include the conjunctive (“and”), 
and the conjunctive (“and”) shall be deemed to include the disjunctive (“or”); 
the present tense shall be deemed to include the past tense, 
and the past tense shall be deemed to include the present tense.

 

FOR GINSBERG

For Ginsberg

“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, “
Ginsberg wrote in 1955

We, “the 60’s generation”
Sought a world
Where Ginsberg and the beats
Could live with us, their heirs.

Dylan, King, Malcolm, Baez, Newton, Steinem, Hoffman, Kunstler.
Gay rights, women’s rights, Black power, free love,  communes, peace.
Revolution!
We did not go mad; we took a shot.
Some of us kept going.

Our “best minds,” some say,
Deserve credit for Silicon Valley,
For global finance linking
New York, London, Singapore, Tokyo, Shanghai.

Their lives are distant from the rest of us.
They want wealth and poetry —
Combining Dylan and Goldman Sachs
With a smug, soft cynicism
To hide the hard edge of calculated indifference
To the slow, painful death of the poor;

What is our legacy?
We’ve laid down some markers.
Development, community, performance.
An insistence that you can’t get good public policy
And break the political gridlock
Unless you break the hold of the two
Parties on the government and the electoral process.

Our work has traction
Our approach is finding its way into the mainstream,
Inside and outside America.
There are stirrings among the next generation

There are no guarantees.
No measurement or validation.
We are content with not knowing.

September, 2017.