The Population Principle

Today was not the first woman to join the ranks, though uncharacteristic of the gender, of seemingly senseless workplace murderers. My curiosity was piqued because, for one, I can’t remember a single recent instance of a woman at the workplace with a gun, and an ensuing massacre.

That might sound cold, and maybe it should. There’s been more than enough to sift through. If I’m not mistaken, two made the news today. The woman in Maryland, and the kidnapping suspect with an AK-47 in Miami. So it begs the question, if the argument is going to happen regarding this violence, and whether the catalyst is small arms proliferation in society or unmanaged mental health, or some other cause, isn’t now as good a time as any.

And if they both contribute as joint factors, could there be a greater factor that’s gone unchecked, that’s busy affecting every other great tragedy on our plates.

It’s difficult not to sideline the tragedies when nature whips up disaster every fall, and every fall, our nation seems even less prepared to handle these inevitable mass casualties, than it was the year before. Even the most empathetic of us struggle to distribute our hopes and prayers evenly between the teens of Stoneman-Douglass and the toddlers from years before, to the immigrants’ children caged across the country, to those surviving floods and quakes, and all those not so lucky, and let us not forget the persecuted and the noble soldiers.

It’s damned taxing. Especially at a time where we’ve become so divided and cantankerous in our vitriol.

Thomas Malthus was a scholar and influential in the development of modern demography, which is basically the study of economics influenced by population. There’s more to the definition. Look it up.

He wrote a very influential book called An Essay on the Principle of Population. In it, he noted that human population grows unchecked at an unsustainable rate. It was published in 1798, when there were still an abundance of resources to go around.

Still, he suggested that, eventually, mankind would multiply beyond the threshold of sustainable wealth. Not currency, because that’s just a tool. Rather wealth of resource. Not just crops, but, land to grow them, soil nutrient and water to feed them. Eventually the clearing of vegetation and deforestation would shift the ecosystem so greatly that species extinction would become commonplace, even considered collateral damage for the greater good.

Once human species expansion reached that critical mass, certain seemingly unexplainable phenomena would increase. Phenomena such as severe mental toxicity, manifest in violence and inexplicable behaviour, fluctuation in birth rate in certain populations, birth defects from malnutrition, sudden disease reemergence, mutations in existing disease and increases in impact and instance.

Then, as that all took the stage, the more extreme effects of population overgrowth, or rather the byproducts, manifest in the environment.

Mass deforestation and industrial exhaust weren’t even a nightmare in the late 18th century. However, extinction and human hubris was. So he factored that in as well.

He wrote, there would be floods, quakes, cyclones, droughts, and all manner of natural disaster in quick succession. All with the innate purpose of returning balance to a strained and exploited biome.

And so, here we are. I’d read a critique of that essay when I was in the marine corps still, curiously digging through controversial lit. I’d read the communist manifesto, which led me to Darwin, who led me to Elaine Morgan and also to Malthusian logic. That was when everyone was frantic with Y2K fever. Ostensibly the first time since the Cuban missile crises, where mass hysteria went unchecked.

Of course, the sky did not fall.

Then Al Gore made a movie. And caution and reason became partisan.

In 2012, I believe there was more anticipation than dread behind the hubbub of the Mayan Calendar misreading.

But from there, I’ve watched as hopes and prayers became less and less fertile.

The U.N. Chief warned of the “Direct Existential Threat” of climate change (if left unchecked). Climate change. The Elephant in the room that none of the elephants in the room choose to acknowledge even exists.

And guns remain beloved.

Literally everything is sold as single servings, and trash continues to flow like the wine that fogs our reason by the millions.

The bees are safe for now, and the babies’ fates are up for debate again. I’m referring to the one thing we can still keep in our control.

And here’s my first opinion in this diatribe. Humanity’s overinflated sense of its own value, its sense of righteous deserving, is what’s causing the waters to rise and the bees to die and the children to murder their classmates en masse, and chicken little and the boys who cry wolf are not to blame. Not even the righteous who sit in their pews and sing hallelujah to their favorite gods.

It’s just nature. Beautiful, brutal, majestically malevolent nature and the balance of her countless microbiomes, putting to bed the hubris of another unchecked wave of her top predators.

Hopes and prayers.

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Older

One more tooth to gut

Collateral damage from

My battle waged with time

Slack flesh wrinkles 

Across sinew and bone

Hands that shiver 

Like autumn leaves 

Aching marrow 

Swollen feet

And days that fall

From calendars

Soundlessly.

Old loves

Still in hiding

Deep within me

Like old bones under

The mulberry tree.

Your Right

A simple minimalist

With a silver surfboard to soar

Across the fields of ignorants

Vomiting chaos and cross thoughts

And sickening vitriol 

A solitary headcase that insists

The system is rigged against

Him and only him

When we sit at home hungry

And listen to this nonsense.

Cause if there’s anyone the system

Has never been rigged against

It’s him or anyone able to

Physically purchase the Oval Office 

Like it and the populous were a property

To lean on.

Listen to this.

It isn’t rigged.

This is a corrupt and cavernous

And often obtuse collage of systems

We’ve developed to insure 

Precisely this didn’t happen to

Our democracy.

And sadly, no longer

This strife isn’t over who you vote for

But rather what you’re eager to surrender

And what philosophies 

You’ve chosen to shelf, just to win

Because your state is in such disarray 

Based on the fractured fact 

You’ve devoured.

Remember the late 60’s draft 

Anticipate something like that.

Own him and his thorough corrosion.

Own that this November.

And vote trump 

If your not nasty.

I’m nasty as fuck.

Static

Some sort of self employed

Pragmatic.

Feet made of bricks.

Static.

Nothing to connect

Karma

To my aquarium.
There is nothing to forget

A broken heart on parole 

Convicted of the theft

Of an irrelevant fantastic
Wading in the mud of

Mirage.

That heavy knife of fear.

There was a girl that

Liked

More than my eyes.

I miss her like rain in this

Drought.

A Date

I told the stars about your talk

All they did was blink

Knowingly, as though they knew

The way you walk, how you stick.

You got the idea of my intent

And you said, “sure.”
The morning wind, densely viscous

Struck me with its wet heat.

You were the first word

On my tongue

And I savored every syllable

And braved survival through the wait.
Gumball, anxious at the door

Sashayed his Pom Pom tail

Celebrating my arrival,

And querulous, “how’d the date go?”

But my head stung.

“I should have kissed her.”

She had a broad smile. The kind of expanse that fills you with ease. I never got that. Those rich heart rich expressions. Annie only ever gave me glimpses. She used to smile that way when she was younger, before I met her. When she was young and naive.

I wanted to let my head hang. To give up into the drunk, but I guess I suddenly had company. So I drew back, dragged my acoustic into my lap and poured my soul over it. I picked out a melody that ran on and multiplied. She poured herself something and came back with a mason jar of elixir.

She used the canvas of her bag to draw her nails across like a brushed snare, and the matted carpet like a Tom-Tom. She found the heartbeat to suit the life blood of this semi-lucid melody.

We toyed with it for a minute, until she left it to plug my Strat into the box. From it she pealed out a somber phrase of notes and trepidation. The humanity of the song came alive, without the taint of lyricism.

We played on until door was rattled by the neighbor I’d as of yet not seen.

Then, we sat. She snickered and I cast a disapproving eye. But right she was and I fell into it. We laughed too hard. It was wonderful. There wasn’t anything wonderful anymore, and it was like virgin candy.

When everything diffused. The nervous humor and carefree surrender, we sat like old loves in a cool park after the sun had fallen.

“I should take off,” she said at last, and threw her last ounce back. I could feel the hot flavor going back into her young belly, and wished I was young again. She closed her eyes and let the hard burn take effect, and I longed for the days of simply enjoying the pain. Back when I was human, and that splash wasn’t just a meal.

She pulled her black hair back over her dark printed shoulder, that dense violet Locke doing what it chose, rose up and assessed.

“So, I’m gonna bounce outta here. You’re good though?”

“Adaline?” I responded. “This is me at my best.”

“Ok. A little depressing, but I can accept that.”

She took up her bag and was out the door as swiftly as she came.

Brea

I wanted to see as she saw me
A separate sea or a
Struggling army
Of a boy on the cusp of a man,
believing that it would be me
for her
I wanted to she, through her eyes
But more through the mind
Of a people that sang
Through a palace, disarming
To me.
I wanted to feel through her skin
What a petal felt
What her own skin felt like
What metal of railing and thread
Was like
And I wanted to be inside her
I wanted to be reminded,
I was the reason she wanted men
I was the season that followed fall
She was the lung that consumed me
And that she was always
Altered
I wanted to make he falter
My the mention of my name
And oh, how I did.