My college philosophy professor,
just returned from years of study 
at a famous university in Belgium,
was heady with concepts on Being 
and Time— He'd say, does a donkey 
concern itself with being 
a donkey or a bird concern itself 
with being a bird? No, but humans 
must by nature perennially concern 
themselves with being certain types 
of persons. I suppose some part of this 
is true: some days I believe I can do 
things; there are infinite possibilities! 
and other days when all I want to do 
is eat carbs and cry. According 
to Heidegger, who I learned 
was banned from teaching 
for a number of years because he 
was sympathetic with the Nazis, 
humans are the only ones who ponder 
and define for themselves what it means 
to be a being in the world among others. 
The world should be like a house where  
we can live and make for ourselves 
a place of comfort and familiarity. 
Or a snail shell into which a small,
sinuous body can be left undisturbed
to coil into the library of its own 
solitude. But the horse is out there 
trampling the field or dragging a man 
other men have strung to the reins 
like a plow; and the boy who whistled 
like a bird in front of a country store 
has his eye gouged out and his head and
face beaten until it is almost the same 
liquid blue as the river. Every night
now, in streets thick with smoke and
tear gas, some beings swing clubs 
and fire bullets while other beings 
fall or stand their ground. 



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