TEDxUCLA 2011: Minding, Mining, Mending, Mapping
Spoken word performance: “I would love to tell you…”
You know, the tragedy is this: now the focus on family values has become nonexistent. So reality TV shows raise children.
And children are giving birth to babies, and babies are being auctioned off to the highest American bidder, and you know, Americans have always been wasteful.
And the global waste is billowing out of smokestacks that have since outsourced all of the available work to India, where English is a third tongue, and third worlds in my mind have always been first.
And first, I should have called you, I guess. I should have called you instead of updating my status on social network sites.
So no, I’m not well. Yes, I’m struggling. And I’m gonna try to go tonight. Y’know what? I probably won’t go because the truth is I don’t know if I’ll have enough gas to get back home and I would never tell you that because I’ve always died to stay a poet.
Just that I’m too involved with my own self-loathing to genuinely ask you how you are.
So how come? What happened to the days prior TiVo? It must have vacated with the serendipity of hugs and left with the art of writing a thank-you note.
Yeah, gone are the days of sitting in maroon parlors discussing comings and goings of current events.
I have not felt the grit of newspaper soot between these digits. And these fingertips no longer have calluses from holding Ticonderoga Instruments because I always MacBook to keep things moving. And yet I am still.
But gone today, the days of coming by with chicken noodle if you were sick. See, now I would rather send you an e-cauldron of broth via Facebook.
So where did the time go? When it was wax emblems on parchment, inside detailing the details of everyday life, like purchases, birth, marriage, longing, lust, monotony, and kindness?
You know, mornings aren’t what they used to be. It’s no Folgers, misty awakenings with terrycloth robes and so you see now the best part of waking up is Red Bull, Monster, and a 5-Hour Energy shot in your cup.
So where did we go? When did we replace sanity with insatiable? Or say, humanity: you need to sit in the back and let the mass consumerism drive? Or consciousness please recede? Or cognizance take heed because it is time for the ATMs and the MP3s to determine a human’s worth?
But I should tell you, I have no humanity left. You see, I’m guilty of not stopping to smell the dandelions, and I haven’t taken my hands out of my pockets to give a handout in some time, and I’m always texting before I speak in the morning, and the dawn is interrupted by the illumination of my cell phone and I know that the cosmos are upset with me.
So I would love to tell you that I would regain rhetoric and find a human thread of compassion by the end of this poem. But you know, Rome wasn’t built in a day. And America has built its reputation on hundreds of years of discovering lands that were already inhabited.
So I would love to tell you that I would be human again in time to end this piece. But all I can give you is my poetic word that I am dying to live again and just be. And that? That’s an idea worth sharing.