This was written while studying at L’Institut Catholique in Paris, France on a scholarship in 1994. Fancying myself an expatriate during my short term outside the U.S. in my mid-twenties, I just had to expound on the shortcomings of my own birth-culture. It was originally written in French. I’m frankly in conflict about what I wrote. The concepts resonate so clearly for me in light of current day society, more than they did back when I wrote it. But I also believe there is a common fallacy that throughout history things are getting worse all the time while they are really getting better.


Cracks run through these walls
like lightning in the sky
But our walls weren’t built to last
These cultural tenements, these words
were not created to endure
but to excite, incite, and die

The cracks run deep in this concrete desert
 and the acid rain searches them all
 for one last morsel of uncorrupted metal
 some nugget of iron to rust

These billboards sell things that don’t exist
 in a plastic currency
 The images on this screen are ghosts
 who pass, who pass, who pass — without trace

Cracks run through these faces
like rivulets of rain
But these bodies weren’t built to last
These physical tenements, these limbs
were not created to endure
but to excite, incite, and die

These people
 exposed in their clothing
 hide behind their nudity
 These people
 will die of starvation with the last bite of their meal

Cracks will run through excitement
 crumbling it to boredoms
 while the sun searches the desert
 for some vestige of color to fade

The cracks will run like rivers
because nothing is made of marble anymore
and the incandescent suns and the gasoline rains
will search, will search the cultural plain
for one last, incorruptible

— July 1994

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