Suspicious Behavior


Please report any suspicious behavior —
The warning repeats, robotic as Satan’s heartbeat
I approach concourse B
swimming through another recording
music piped into this airy arc of skybridge
as disembodied as that warning
surreal as this landscape
Indians’ recorded chanting
flutes and drums swirl, voices keen
savage irony of Native American exploitation arrows forth
straight as the progress they say we can’t stop
Maybe it’s an auditory trojan horse
and warriors prepare to leap into our pink heads
through our silvered ears and conquer us today
re-take this land, starting with DIA skybridge?

Dark sudden grip of Homeland Security.
The lines, the paramilitary uniforms, the recorded warnings —
It’s like a freshly conquered nation here.
Within the fascist shadow, I remove
coat, scarf, belt, shoes, computer
many plastic bins hold my life sliding away.
Stripped down in an endless lineup
faith-based commuting
we watch helpless
as belongings disappear
through the evil conveyor belt of radiation
Big Brother thinks he can see inside my heart —
no fucking way, or he’d never let me fly.

“Miss!” some guy is calling, “Miss!”
I look around and there, inside a glass box
like a giant Barbie on display
a middle aged white dude
shoeless and beltless
taps to get my attention —
“I think my cell phone’s in with your shoes.”
Behind him, uniformed goons
are running wands over another freedom loving body
He speaks to me as if nothing — him in the box, me in my socks
the radioactive wanding, or his words — are strange.
I check — “Nope. Not with my shoes.”
I silently wish him courage and move on towards the skybridge
the dematerialized chanting voices.
Indigenous spirits hover amazed
What won’t these fools put up with
in the name of safety?
They must be cracking up, wherever they are now
as if this ridiculous theater can keep us safe
from millennia of karma coming down like poison rain
Everywhere around me people are re-lacing their shoes
putting their shit back together, comforting their children
waiting in wheelchairs to be scoped and wanded
A display of adaptation — our most dangerous superpower

Under the video, “The Extreme Ice Survey”, I stop
my habit, to pay homage to this nightmare unraveling
No one ever watches this show, it seems, but me
and I watch everytime
breathing my mortal breath to this insensate pixelated loop
the glaciers of Antarctica, time lapsing, collapsing
no way to adapt to this
but we do
On the screen, glaciers crash down
travelers pass, eyes averted
as they do with homeless on every corner —
Don’t look.
The threat level is orange.

I stand there
shut my eyes
sink into my root
bend knees, shift weight into the left leg
Tai Chi — a counterbalance
Distant glaciers surrender to the urgent flow of music
gateway of wrists, shoulders, elbows open
beside the ice-fields-dissolving screen
Relax the elbows. Shift weight. Turn.
At the lowest left hand corner
a tiny human figure in an orange anorak
faces the vastness, like science
I hold the world, like a human
Step out.
The music flows all round me
Relax, I say inside, relax
face the ruined fields of ice, step
follow my hips swinging slowly to the corner
face airplanes taking off and landing out the wall-tall window.
Nobody stops. Nobody slows. No one dares
to watch me trace
this ancient pattern of gratitude
here before the shredding world

Airplanes zoom off with the speed of glacial collapse
time lapse, the madness of motion
just grasp the sparrow’s tail.
Music tumbles as ice tumbles,
urgent as planes speeding off
as instantaneous adaptation
as unseen departure times near
a barely contained panic oozing in the air  
I slow it all down
the melting poles, the latte-inhaling people
the jets blasting off and landing
Lift. Turn. Single whip.
The terror alert has been raised to Orange.

But the ice is clean as prophesy
this story unfolding, our only future
our response— air travel.
The sign beside the streaming video images says
We believe that global warming is a non-partisan issue
How the fuck did they get to put this video display here
facing runways—did they win an Irony Grant
win in a tie
with the chanting tribes hovering over the sky bridge?
White crane spreads her wings
brush knee
shift weight
Stand in the middle like this
invisible, like they are—
the convulsing ice, the native spirits, the endless war, the irony

I’m standing inside a bubble of freaky otherness
it’s the only thing bold enough to survive here
I’m moving on, sideways through the world
past cameras and badges
incessant uniforms & warnings
Please report any suspicious behavior
I’m looking for a public phone, a public clock
how suspicious is a human body lacking a cell phone these days?
My phone book is an actual phone book
I have to ask strangers the time
stand fearless in my skin without a screen to shield me
make eye contact
here, in this public space
absent of public clocks and public phones
The threat level has been raised to orange.

Fucking liars—it’s been orange for 9 years
Suspicious means you don’t blend
I don’t blend
also, I’m invisible, and how suspicious is that?
Another oxymoron to toss on the irony pile
looming taller as glaciers shrink to puddles
floating balloon-like above the disgrace
of race relations & a melting planet
& the guy in the box
& the lines of passengers who live inside
unquestioned security
as giant billboard images of happy shiny people bear witness
to all the stressed out, miserable crowds rushing past
as the Dow Jones flows past on tickertape
How do we just keep going forward?

This culture is a blender
engines of denial
cruelty of privilege
worship of ignorance
whirs us all into brutally indifferent blades
and if you don’t grab hard
hold fast to the ragged edge of the farthest wall
you’ll be shredded by the jagged teeth
— homogenized
I'm holding fast
the roar is all there is
it substitutes for our screams
If only we could run
all our machines on cognitive dissonance
cos that shit'll never run out
our hearts stilled to obedience
waving our flags with our shoes in our hands
Please report any suspicious behavior
i really don't know
where the fuck
to begin

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