our stories in our own words

The government tells us
Artists to tell our stories
Much as we would like
To tell other stories than our own

The government does not insist
It’s a little government
With its little mind sitting
In the big mind of every citizen

Its words are not our words
It would be a mistake to think they were our words
And its stories are boring

A long time ago
Then was our time to be iconoclastic
In the temper of those times it was natural
To listen to the government and do the opposite

I don’t need to tell you but it was the same at many points in history
As if there could be a break from the past by the sheer number of stories
And the amount of different words from different places expended upon them

As if waste confirmed consumption
As if sheer amount consumed had something
That at a certain degree exerted a more than natural force

And as if entropy itself conferred something solid and solemn upon a culture
Against a sacred rite of speed and solemnity
Our stories could be no different
Caught between the two forces of present time and a human scale eternity

And I wonder now
Our stories in our own words
Will they be stories?

Will they be words?
When we have finished with them
When we all
Will have done with them