hunting the unforgiven

 I find it wild and a little unsettling to see my country focusing on witch hunts as the ranks of the unforgiven grow, though the feeling is matched by the redemptive quality which forms in our cultural atmosphere each time someone’s longheld secret is released and truth stands up finally to power.

This year we have witnessed several figures of great power in Hollywood and the District of Columbia and Manhattan blasted on Twitter and sued and denounced on mainstream media, and a few who have been stripped of power, in those cases where they are clearly (if not by forensic evidence than by the numbers of allegations and survivors) guilty of abusing and betraying the public trust by their actions.

How do I reconcile my mixed reaction to these media moments of horror and truth and compassion? I was once guilty of betraying public trust. Day by day, for several years, I have been working my way back to respectability. Society is giving me a chance to learn from my mistakes. A life cut up by addiction. I left myself behind and lost my mind.

Only god knows if I will make it tomorrow. My past is history. Today I do my best to participate in life and help out, bringing all I have learned with me wherever I go. Sharing. Caring.

What of these public figures whose pasts have caught up with them? Outcasted from society and unforgiven? Why does it disturb me to see them disfigured and disrobed from their fraudulent personas? Isn’t this justice and long overdue?

I guess it’s sad to watch people die that way, publicly, and sometimes their loved ones have to die alongside them. Meanwhile the victims of their crimes survive. It is unsettling to uncover what they have lived through, the survivors. I know because I am one, too.

I wonder where forgiveness fits in, when it comes to the unforgiven? I wonder if there’s a certain hell where healing never starts? A tail end and no beginning. And how it came to be this way?

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the crime scene is permanent

Her great eyes fall on us

while we are looking

the medium
the monster

we give our all
to thank her
for the ocean

lackluster commentary
washes up on the shore

the droppings
of opinion
hit and run
hit and run

the crime scene
is permanent

she spreads us
lost and luster
thin sometimes

in a minute hand’s
wide circling
lenient spin
sometimes

we do it
to ourselves

the hours
artfully wasted
the body
hardly moves

text necking in our photo
editing booths

manipulating
the age off our faces

pixel worship
while life gets scarier
out there

help me
i have forgotten
what’s real

i don’t wanna regret
all this screen time
like some washed up
porn star

even that
must be real

god let me fall back
laughing in your arms

at a bar
at a laundromat
smoking reds

caring