Just Cause


left handed necrophiliacs

against cremation

schizophrenics for peace

and disarmament

Gucci fund raisers

for bag ladies


against the death penalty

the Hell’s Angels

ride for brotherly love


(Mothers of Mass Murderers Against Doing Drugs)

Cristie Cookies

Girl Guides College Saving Plan

Help Save the Sea Algae

Narcissists Anonymous

Give! Give! Give!


Yet the harbor

fills with yachts

and you can buy

exploding condoms

only $30 a pop.

Somewhere a man

is purchasing a small country

with his Mastercard.


The Cause????????

Nobody gives a damn…..

The Cause is the Cause.

Category: Poems 3 comments »

3 Responses to “Just Cause”

  1. ellen

    I have been wondering why I have no patience for this poem. Part of it is personal- one of my sisters had schizophrenia. I haven’t talked about her because she died about 19 years ago, in her thirties.

    Schizophrenia is such a misunderstood and debilitating condition. It is a profound act of bravery to live with it. Few people are as worthy of admiration and respect as those that do.

    And though I haven’t experienced it, I think the same can be said for mothers whose children have been killed by a drunk driver. They are surviving the most painful experience a person can have- losing a child senselessly- and have taken that pain and focuesed it into action that has almost single-handedly changed our society’s attitude towards drunk driving. I might owe MADD one of my children’s lives.

    So as a mother and a devoted sister, I really don’t like those groups fucked with… how else to put it? It gets my back up against the wall ;)

    Beyond that, I think the poem answers itself. People join “causes” because they are trying to fill in the missing pieces. They are trying to make connection and feel whole.

    Maybe I am missing the point of the poem?

  2. admin


    Respectfully, I think you are missing the point (but in a weird way feel honored that I upset someone with a poem, mere words that as Auden suggested, “don’t make anything happen”.).

    My point, one of many, is that there are too many organizations and causes. It becomes a fad and not something that really is about change. Just a bit of “release” and then on to the next thing…. Real causes , organizations I have nothing against. But when we start making them so specific, we really ruin things… thus, my exaggerated examples. You know what I’m talking about, that over kill our civilization is so good at – the bureaucratization of passion/agape.

  3. ellen

    I’m glad I could help you feel honored, David!

    And I figured I was having a personal reaction, since that was my toned down version :D (my mantra- do not wake the lion before her time, do not wake the lion before her time- I try ;) )

    But I do think the poem says something about why people join these groups, through the juxtaposition in some of your examples-

    Schizophrenics (people who are living in what can be seen as a profoundly disturbed state) for peace; Gucci fund raisers (people who almost haphazardly find themselves in a state of wealth) trying to appease their complacency in the economic system that also produces real bag ladies… and so on…

    We are all the same common people, looking for connection and wholeness. While the cat just took off with the mouse!

    That, for me, is the compelling aspect of the poem. Not so much that people join causes because it is the cause of the day, and they want to… fit in? Feel the surge of the movement? Get to be part of something?

    That to me is something very understandable about human nature (we are pack animals) and as long as it’s not Hitler’s Youth or the local skinhead group, it doesn’t seem to mean much to me one way or another. Just people being people.

    I also haven’t known many real joiners, so it’s a bit outside my frame of reference (not completely- of course I want to fit in too! I’m just not willing to give up anything important to do so.)

    I’ve got to say, I’ve put my money where my mouth is on that last one… I am sure, sometimes, unnecessarily! (shit)

    So feel honored away, David, cause this poem got a second course!

Back to top