The Dr. Is In

in Poetry

Dr. Wes

Ruled by Gravity

Periodically I'm minding my own business (OK I have none, so what? So it's just that much easier, isn't it?), when along comes somebody saying, "You know what your problem is?" And I say, "My shoes pinch?" And they say, "No, you ignorant twit, your problem is that you have no vision, you're too lazy to take the trouble to visualize a better world for yourself. That's why you're stuck in never-ending poverty; if you would visualize a universe in which you are wealthy, it would happen!"

So I think, "Yeah, visualize a universe, a better universe, the future, I see a distant future, a far-flung interstellar empire ... "

And every time I do that, I find myself in a MacGentrification Universe. I can't imagine a far-flung interstellar empire without a Nordstrom at every space-highway crossing, next to a Borders Books, next to a Planet Hollywood, next to a generic Art Museum with its own copy of the Hammering Man, copy # in the octillions. Daffy and Bugs welcome me to a Warner Brothers retail outlet, Mickey wants me to buy a cell phone ...

Meanwhile, a copy of the Hammered Man is perpetually preparing to enter the <your business name here> Symphony Hall, not quite finding the door, while his fleshy friends and relatives take their interstellar credits to the nearest <your business name here> Gravity Free Ball Park.

Or to a Nike store. The Nikes are, in my vision, I can't help myself, made by who else but oppressed inhabitants of colonized planets that nobody with money lives on because they (the planets) are not only dirty and disease ridden, but they have (shudder) gravity, which is the one thing the Middle Classes of the coming Interstellar Age cannot stand.

There simply must be a way to escape gravity. But you say what about the Shingle Butt creatures of Rigel 7? They're not going anywhere that involves up, surely ...

They have no vision! Really! And besides, they're lazy. That's why we have to put them to work turning our space sewage into workable chemicals and making our space Nikes. Nikes for our feet. Nikes for our knees. Nikes for our heads. Nikes for our butts. When you're free of gravity you have a whole new set of needs, you know, you could bump something, bruise something, you have to take precautions ...

We do it for their sakes, to make their pathetic lives that tiny bit more meaningful. For a life that has nothing to do with Nikes is a sad planet-bound life, a gravitatious life. At least the Shingle Butts get to look at them longingly before they're boxed and shipped. "We got your vision right here, Shingle Butts," we would be saying, in a thoroughly compassionate way. It's all about escaping gravity. Or just escape. I'm sure that's the way Mark Sidran and the City Council have been feeling since Rick Reynolds put them on the spot recently.

With everybody, and I mean everybody, focused on where it is illegal for homeless people to sleep at night, Rev. Reynolds finally managed to get across to Sidran, and through him to the City Council, the question that has always been on the minds of the homeless. Namely, you've told us where it isn't legal, we all got that, thank you very much. Now tell us where it is legal.

It's all about gravity. If it wasn't for gravity we could all sleep standing up, couldn't we? We could sleep standing up with our feet tied to a fire plug, as long as we're standing nobody would mind, it's those obscene prone bodies, people actually visibly sleeping in plain view of the sensitive classes, the higher people who have the right by virtue of their advanced wealth to be liberated from even reminders of gravity.

I see this as the beginning of a whole new trend in legislation. We are so used to asking our legislators to tell us what we can't do. Instead, I envision a future in which we look to legislators to tell us what we can do. Thanks to improvements in communications technology, it will soon be possible for legislators to be able to update us on our legal options in real time… As opposed to fake time I suppose, I don't know, I just wanted to say "real time" because I like the way it sounds, and I'm really getting into this future talk.

It's all about gravity. Our economy is improving by leaps and bounds, so why are some people not flying along with it? Gravity. Gravity pins them down. "They got to pull themselves up by their bootstraps." "But they don't have any bootstraps." "Then they have to envision bootstraps." "Envision where?" "Up there" "Up there is illegal, you said so." "Oh. Sorry."

© Dr. Wes Browning:

2129 Second Ave., Seattle, WA 98121 (206) 441-3247

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