As if the world had four corners—in one, a war;
in another, a revolution against uninvited restrictions
on what one could think. In the third,
messages on microfilm tied to the ankles
of caged birds with teeth and talons pacing
and bickering about what "mine" means.
In the last, alone, someone dressed as the 21st century,
skyscraper hat, flat-screen glasses,
stood at a table wondering about side effects
of medications and reward systems that are triggered
when boredom is bred in brains.
In a parable of panic and habit, a pilot landing
a crippled plane is like a country
where fearful rulers destroy dissent and whatever remains
goes from bad to worse. Sleep tight, you martyrs.
And you criminals who killed for a narrow share
of power and a few rotten spoils.
Enough is enough.
The corners converge, causing the globe to grow smaller
than all of time times space divided
by every petty difference.
The girl newly dead on the sidewalk says,
"Excuse me, but—
what kind of moral force is brute moral force?"
TODAY IN SLATE
The Ebola Story
How our minds build narratives out of disaster.
The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola
PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer
The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics
A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers
Welcome to 13th Grade!
Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.
The Actual World
“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.