Sunday, January 31, 2010

voices and fists

There was that one Summer when we all agreed that our voices were stronger than fists.

And we went tumbling down into a world of metaphor and 3am debate on metaphysics.

When we were young and thought our words would reshape the world.

If only we could talk one on one with everybody.

Sparring them, delivering left hooks of perfect syllogism and haymakers of analogy.

Thinking, knowing that the only punches we would feel would be the thud of our hearts against our chests.

As we skim read Bakunin, called ourselves Anarchists and plotted the revolution.

Printing presses were going to be our machine guns.

A thirty second television advertisement was going to turn the Southern Broadcast Region into a Hiroshima of free-thinking enlightenment.

When we were high on home brew beer, badly cut speed and the untenable arrogance of youth.

The group momentum sent us onwards, carried us onwards, always onwards.

We were sure that Summer was our May 68.

Our voices are stronger than fists!

Our voices are stronger than fists!

We shouted, our rallying cry for the weak of arm and the hoarse of throat.

Every day there was a static in the air.

We got arrested and released.

We stole photocopy credit from our bosses and gave out pamphlets showing wrenches stuck in gears.

We ate food from dumpsters and it was all lifestyle revolution.

We didn't know about the working classes and we hid our private school educations to claim 'proletariat'.

It was as much Kerouac as Kropotkin

Our voices are stronger than fists! we shouted,

Until we found out that no one ever lost three teeth at 3am outside KFC, City Mall, from someone's voice.

Our voices are stronger than fists! we shouted,

Until we realised that no one ever went to hospital from a cop's voice.

Our voices are stronger than fists! we shouted,

Until the liquor ran out.

Until the job offers came.

Until you moved away.

Until pot became your own personal revolution.

Our voices are stronger than fists! we shouted.

Until we realised that swift knockout is maybe better than the slow erosion of empty rhetoric and the same grating voices.

And I am still shouting.

'My voice is stronger than my fists'.

But I'm lifting weights.

And I'm keeping quiet.

And I'm counting down the days until I can punch myself out.

For all the shit I ever talked.

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