A Poem by Drew Gardner

The Pleasure of Commonalities

Owning a great golf course gives you great power
— Donald Trump

The real-estate agent creates reality with his mouth.

Taking on the assumptions of a fictional narrative, in politics as you would with Lord of the Rings.

Hearing the narrative that immigrants are to blame for your problems. That different races are to blame.

The political and economic system based on tricking people.

The upper castes protecting the people. Protecting the people from seeing the systems, offering the people the fictional narrative in the place of looking at the systems. The authenticating feeling of victimization from the fictional narrative.

The bad positive assumptions — the authenticity, the white ethnic identity and its place in the caste system. Also — the bad negative assumptions. The fear of losing power. The feeling of needing a superior person to control you and control others. Someone to control your dreams and desires.

To identify with the exploiters because it is a painful reality to identify with the exploited.

The negative assumption that you can only deal with the painful reality by thinking negative thoughts about other people.

The mass of political power in the white identity politics dissociated from the truth of the caste system. We love being tricked by a delightful trick. We love prestidigitators.

Apart from assumptions of the narrative that a writer has given you — a creative prestidigitating writer. He is the writer of myths. Muthologos. A reality TV host poet speaks in a classic ancient style. He uses metaphor. His language is charged with emotion.

If I see incredible things that are here, like fast-moving gauzy clouds above the turnpike, then I can see things that are here in systems of the world. The One World Trade Center building jutting out dimly from the horizon through the bus’s window. It is newly built. The long line of buses crawling toward the Lincoln tunnel.

The petulant confidence man, full of his own emotional truths, addressing you from mass media, projecting what is true of him onto others. The shrewd broker capitalist of the broker state. The performer drawing out the petulance and bias of the people to turn it against them and betray their interests. It is poetic. The increasing hate crime.

Explosions are valuable in stories. The valuing of increasing poverty, valuing a system based on rigged gambling of the upper castes leading to explosions of poverty as helicopters explode in the movie. Explosions of new Hoovervilles and latifundias.

The bitter police cars waiting by the side of the road. The feeling of waiting for something that will never come creating a feeling of anxiety.

Anxious resentment leading to matched binaries. The snipers matching Giuliani’s death squads, becoming Giuliani. The information. The feeing of disconnection and dissociation. Of not knowing information about other people who are at a distance, but taking a fictional narrative as something that is near.

The feeling of hopelessness. The mass psychology. You manufacture the poem.

We agree with what we see on the internet and feel connected and empowered. The gun and the car empower us. We can do something about it. We can be the individual and the hero. We take the gun and drive to the pizza restaurant. We fire the gun to help the children. We are made out of stories.

Truth leaks out of the television. It leaks out of context, leaks out of attention. It leaks out of half-truths. Truth leaks through the phone corrosively.

Bubbles up, subcommander Marcos leaks through the facebook page. The Arab Spring is leaking through. The concentrated measurements of probability.

How could these mountain lions seem so real when I have created them in my dream? They are a danger to me. They have no detail. It can’t occur me to look for more. But they are so vivid and present. They are beautiful.

It can’t occur me to do something else. It is time to go underground.

The bus moves, unobstructed. The marchland is as it has been — extending. The trees are as they have been — branching. The sun, coming through the tinted window is as it has been — powering.

The branching and the powering and the commonality and the potential.

After a week of practicing for hours every day there is so much material I didn’t even get to. The thin layer of organic material spread over the earth.

It is such a beautiful day with dappled sunlight — why can’t it occur to me to do anything but kill ghouls?

We like the robber baron and trust him to help us. We like winners. Our losses are painful realities. We want the wealth and power to be concentrated. Concentrated in a representation.

We don’t want equal protection, but we want protection. The representative republic. We want someone to protect us from truth. Truth is un-poetic. We want a strong father.

There is a deal struck: “I’m going to take your money, but you get to be white.” The romantic consumerism. Identity dissociated from commonality.

A progressive poet congratulates himself on his personal virtue. The individualistic displays of liberal virtue. The virtuous performances. The splintering.

The Apple service toolkit.

The enjoyment of concentrating on the larger social and political world apart from assumptions in the narratives you have been given by the real estate agents of the caste system.

The enjoyment of moving away from the attachment to binary fictions. The enjoyment of accountability for the charged emotions and who we allow to steer the charged emotions.

The enjoyment of becoming attached to understanding what is going on, attached to concentration.

The pleasure of understanding systems, understanding commonalities.

The pleasure of choosing to not be dissociated.

The pleasure of defining common goals and acting on those definitions.

The joy in the feeling of hearing the systems.

The pleasure of practicing together.

The pleasure of playing together.

The pleasure of commonalities.


Drew Gardner is the author of Petroleum Hat (Roof) and Chomp Away (Combo). His latest book, Defender, is forthcoming from Edge in 2017. You can follow him on twitter at @chompaway.

The Poetry Section is edited by Mark Bibbins.