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Tuesday, July 15, 2008


by J.M. FitzGerald

A true record of a man like me
explains how extinction creeps in among the wise genus.
If I'm so smart, how'd I let myself go?
Compartmentalization. I thought I knew everything.

Or wanted to. Vanity.
Accepted what I was told and didn't check.
No idea of my dependence, I opened my eyes,
told the fall was flight.

The "civilized" are addicted to an unctuous combustible substance.
Oleum. From the Latin, olive oil. Greek olive.
Used in plastics, pesticides.

Within 193 nations are approximately 6 billion humans,
a tiny percentage of which is not addicted at all.
This is the natural man. The addicted often refer to these as "natives."
My people "evolved" from them.

As a child, I wondered why they wouldn't rather live
like us, in the city. That's laughable now.
The words native and natural come from the same root.
Earthen, dust filled, fashioned of dirt.

The natural man can live where he is born.
He grows not only in that place, but with it.
Actually, it grows him, for a purpose. They are one.
All I noticed was gas shoot to $7 per gallon, and it was over.

J.M. FitzGerald is a writer/attorney in Los Angeles. He represents the disabled by day, but at night, represents the darkness. He attended UCLA and the University of West Los Angeles School of Law, where he was editor of the Law Review. His first book, Spring Water, the fictional story of the mental life of a psycho bottling plant shipping clerk who poisons bottles of water and ships them to Los Angeles stores, was a Turning Point Books prize selection in 2005. Telling Time by the Shadows, a book of poems of love and longing, was released in April, 2008. Unpublished works in progress include Primate, the fictional tale of a sign-language speaking chimp allowed to testify in court, and The Zeroth Law, a work of creative literary non-fiction comparing the beliefs of the world's major religions to history, myth and science.