Concerning a Victim (ME) of the Mid-Century Persecutions:
by Mitchell Chavis In the early mornings I drafted petitions concerning my "unmemorable demise." To the local Chamber of Commerce, Bob Taft, the Demiurge of Americanism: Mickey Mantle But mailed none. Beyond all the wrong turns of my life yet there was another twist. Mail couldn't be sent by someone who didn't exist. I ate breakfast on these casual impossibilities. It wasn't after all, my mind or sense of humor I'd lost but only my arcane vocation --Physicist Freed from the gravity of theory, I've risen into a world without doubts The right to experiment, it turned out, was a political gift, and one for which (as the newspapers put it) I was "particularly unfit" "Dear Bob Taft, This is to announce that I am no longer a man, but have become something more real-- I am a fear." By means of photographs, fingerprints and a few prosaic lies I'd publicly been hypostatized. My affinities became facts, I was faithless like my data, I deserved to disappear. I'd driven forklifts, worked the night shifts and once for seven months tarred asphalt roofs with two Sicilians who never spoke but to swear. I'd learn about whatever I'd ever known, my senses remained my own and I could tell the weather from the movement of the birds, sleep out of doors, befriend stray dogs. I knew which churches had soup and beds and which fed you the kingdom-to-come Suffering is the most spurious form of wisdom. The world through which I ghosted went from one hell to another Those secrets I might have divined were gone Who pulls your strings, those blue bastards? Knowledge exists in relation to everything And life is a sentiment that's easily set on fire. Sometimes at night in my jailed room I thought of the precision of energy Matter hissed with purpose I dreamt of freedom... and sleep. © 2002 Mitchell Chavis. All Rights Reserved.