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My Tender Brilliant Holiday Poem

i come to you as a prophet speaking words of woe and warning words about the quote mark holiday season quote mark those among you with ears to hear listen i am not going to spend this holiday season making sure i keep in mind the plight of those less fortunate than myself i am also not going to resist the evil spirits of excess and crass commercialism and boldly create a hand made human scale sustainable solstice celebration i am not going to strike a blow against the modern disintegration of the family by bonding with my relatives over a traditional meal at grandmas house i will also not be weeping, or even silently contemplating, at any of the 42,000 retellings of that one story we all heard about the Prince of Peace sleeping in a straw filled box angels filling the night with song while the three mysterious wizards appear to deliver their obscure gifts i will not be searching for, or scrambling to live out, in any way shape or form the true meaning of christmas i am a prophet, hear me, but not a clear eyed crazy prophet speaking the truth that all are blind to see of the deeper and more real, which everyone is missing i am a prophet in a foreign land i have run here in terror and i urge you all to do the same flee while there is still time, hide, before it finds you, the nightmare machine, the horrible contraption we made, now rampaging out of control, which wants to make things more meaningful. it is an insatiable beast which promises you gifts of penance and permission, which it never delivers you will never be centered or loving, or generous or faithful enough to keep you safe from its demands that this christmas be something more than the disaster you had last year i am certain that i will probably sing the songs that the angels sang, with candles lit and the congregation standing find some way to make suffering less and celebration more, among those who find little reason to celebrate gather with loved ones, eat, and laugh, and do a jigsaw puzzle, while talking about space travel but i offer none of these to the beast, i do them surreptitiously, and safely hidden, avoiding the notice which produces unsurvivable pressure to do them well enough to last a whole year. instead, i want to make certain that next month, there will still be something left of me, to do them all again.