Give a man a fish, and he will eat

Give a man a fish, and he will eat
fish. Or the man might say, I hate fish,

I hate the stink of them, the look
of them, the red-rimmed eyes that bulge

as they run out of breath; the over-
lapping scales that make for a pretense

at armor. So I say, teach or don’t teach me
to fish. Instead, sign me up and everyone else

for uniform basic income: the Joneses, hedge
fund investors, the so-called beautiful ones

who do nothing but swim in their clean infinity
fish bowls all day and stand away from us

in elevators. Give us all uniform memberships
to the open-air farmer’s market, the uniform

vehicle distribution center, the clothing depot,
the neighborhood rec center, the universal

library and digital exchange. Give us
unlimited time in adequate uniform spaces—

For taking the time with whatever we’re best at
mulling over or solving: cataloging seeds, renewing

the soil; cleaning the water, adding to the universal
chronicle of what has survived despite our doing.

 

In response to Via Negativa: Outsider.

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