the old world
kelly schirmann

from MHPQ1

There are so many things
I am trying to understand
What kind of light
I want to look at most often

My new thing is unqualified empathy
There are so many rituals
I have to work to not deface

There are so many people
vying for the world’s attention
and I am trying to understand this too

What makes a person
turn away from their own beliefs
& how do we deface that instead?

There is a twisting happening
between the downtown buildings
and the sky that penetrates them
I am lucky to see it
though obviously
it has destroyed my life

Empathy is necessary
if you wish to move beyond
the world we can no longer pretend
we had nothing to do with
A song this sad
shouldn’t let you just
walk right into it and get stuck

Several thoughts happening at once
is no longer considered inefficient
but I am not here to criticize

I am here to remind me
of what walking outside
used to make me feel

Empathy is necessary
but when can we all lay down?
I learn through photographs
about the way our visionaries
have to die

I had a dream last night
that red-haired boys
wearing clean shirts
were beating me with sticks
This is not to say
anything / really
People have worse dreams than that

Empathy is necessary
in the drafting of a new clean cultural myth
In the rough drafts we are lying
but it takes a lot of lies
to move forward

Does that make sense

Care For Others
is what the internet tries
and fails to make me feel

An opinion is just one of itself
It floats on the earth’s big water
It follows its curvature
which is to say
it leaves you where you are
while reminding you
that there is somewhere else

In my dreams
my dreams are fathers
come to shove the learning of me
down my mind

If I am alone
how alone am I
and for how much longer?

I want a new word
to worm itself into my head
& die there

I want a wide field
to cut my path in
on my way through the old world
that never needed me at all