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new year crowd and fireworks

New Year…..

it’s the last day of what’s
considered the “year”
and the rats are here
to feast on the
remains

what a year, what
a devastating year
they cry, you can
see it — the defeat in the
eyes, the fear,
the monotony of ravaged lives
jam-packed
in shopping centers
trying to consume
their way out of
their newfound
misery

and the easily amused
sit on couches
with naïve smiles
as they binge-watch their
own life slip away

and the voices of dead poets’
float around
unheeded, and the
books of
Dostoevsky
collect dust
and the prophecies of
Orwell and Huxley
transpire right
before our
deluded eyes
as Nietzsche’s
Last Man
sits comfortably numb,
dreadfully obedient,
unaware of it all,
weak and tainted, like the idle
blood in his elastic veins, he
lashes out at any truth
that disrupts the
pleasant illusions
that sustain his
menial life

compliant,
riddled with disease, he
has found glory
in the sickness
of ease

frightened by life and fueled
by antipathy
he now preys upon the strong,
the fearless, the creators,
and paints his own feeble
nature as virtuous

and they think next year will be better.
still leaning on authority figures, still
having naïve hope in the new king,
still thinking that time redeems
the unforgivable sin
of an unlived life

it’s New Year’s Eve, and a hollow
gaiety floods the streets
along with the heavy blast
of fireworks and drunken
screams from the mob
below

i sip whiskey in a 2nd floor
window sill and watch the
madness unfold. a whole mass
of people hypnotized by the
illusion of time, ricocheting
down the corridors of memory
and expectation, never giving
the present, the only thing
real, their soul

maybe this year
is finally the year
they earn their
deaths

Author – Erik Rittenberry

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