In the sixties
we sought a world
where Ginsberg and the Beats
Could live with us, their heirs.
For my friends and me
That meant a world where giving
Is more important than getting.
Where equality and harmony
Trump success and self-aggrandizement.
Gay rights, women’s rights, Black power.
Free love, communes, peace.
We tried to change the world.
Our “best minds,” some say,
Deserve credit for Silicon Valley,
For global finance linking
New York, London, Singapore, Tokyo, Shanghai.
Drawing on the cultural momentum of the 60’s,
They have connected the world.
And their thin veneer of concern,
Even their philanthropy
Hides the hard edge of calculated indifference
To the slow, painful death of the poor.
You have to credit our “best minds.”
I gladly use their products.
I want more than connection.
I want to go where we can touch.
Is this a question of politics
Political activism can take you there.
The activist credo
Says to soldier on.
My friends know better.
Who have committed
To being human together.
And not just because
It makes us more effective.
We’ve laid some tracks.
We’ve elected a Mayor.
We’ve built a program for inner city youth.
We fight to save public housing.
We fight to open party primaries.
We’ve sought development
Through new ways to
Perform our lives.
I’m running out of time.
Transformation remains distant.
Poetry is a way to touch.