Seeing Through It All

A Poem by Scott Orlovsky


I wish we had x-ray vision

politically-correct color blindness
only envisions shades of gray

this bland and boring cortical masquerade
disguises the aquarium of colors
that contains the celebrity of our skins

I have never seen a black man or a white woman
as the purity of these spokes on the color wheel
appear transparent and empty like phantoms

without a spectrum of thought and feeling
without the explosive essence of stars

We appear as reflections of Gaia's body
we drink of nature's nectar and radiate her charms
soft yellows, browns, peaches, tans, and reds

when cold we turn blue like the depths of her oceans
when hot we blaze red like her fiery core
we grow pale when frightened
become green with envy
pink when embarrassed
and even glow after a great lay or filling meal

I wish we had x-ray vision

red to violet mantra of restriction
prohibits our peeking beneath the surface

where the heart harrumps
where lungs expand and contract with life

the similarities of the biological landscape
bulldozed by the rainbow's mind-trap

we supplant the ignorance of our natural similarities
with ethnic, religious, and economic similarities
synthetic semantic inventions of our culture

language generates ideology
systematically dismantles our intelligence

alphabetical dogma encapsulates perspective
tunes out the static of a dreamscape
of diverse and unique experience

diction paralyzes judgment in narrow-minded views
and ideologists fear, hate, denounce others
who challenge their bankrupt ontology

their isms curse humanity with doctrines
replace mythology with orthodoxy

social Darwinism


identification with vapid creeds
slavery to ideology
that spawns the righteousness and revenge
of empire

a television zombie world of marketed control

theme music
continuously running ticker tape
of Huxleyian hypnopaeda

to tantalize the senses
to memorize the parochial ritual
to harmonize the zombies
along with the fife and drum of the state

who has control?
who has control?
who has control over your reality selection?

i wish we had x-ray vision

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Poetry on Swans


Scott Orlovsky is a World History & Cultures, and an American History teacher at Clifton High School in New Jersey. He has a BA in History from the Johns Hopkins University and a MA in History from the University of Colorado. Orlovsky's writing has appeared in the Greenwich Village Gazette and he regularly contributes his columns to Swans.

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Published July 7, 2003
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