Eye Spy

Eye Spy

what do you mean

you saw nothing

you were there

that is you in the footage

you were a witness

you were splashed with blood


you saw nothing

you were looking the other way

didn’t you understand

what you saw

are you blind to the suffering

didn’t you hear the screams

the gun fire

the police sirens 

how could you not see anything

just because

you weren’t the object

because it wasn’t about you

doesn’t mean

you bear no responsibility 

you where right there 

in the middle of things

not looking up

not looking around you

not taking out your ear buds

only focused 

on what you held in your hands

January 6, 2021, Washington, DC. Endless footage of the ‘events’ that day. Patriots or insurrectionists? We have the images but hindsight filters the events to suit the viewer’s point of view. That this happened cannot be denied but eyewitness or even camera images substantiate both interpretations. Is it any wonder we often choose not to see anything.

I see news headlines, video clips about the war on the Ukraine, sandwiched between ads for strappy sandals I’ll never wear, between headlines that so & so star looks amazing at 62 in her abs revealing swimwear, incendiary bombs strike children’s hospital (what were those children wearing, I wonder). We’ve become so inured to catastrophe is it any wonder we often chose not to see anything.

In fact I think we’ve been so swamped & deadened with information overload most of us don’t even care about good news. Is that good news merely an illusion or a delusion? It’s not that we don’t care but there is so much to care about these days it’s impossible to focus on one issue without being accused of being non-supportive of another one – indifference makes one the enemy. There is no neutrality. If you don’t use gender neutral language you are transphobic.

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some people

are just asking for a slap

you know what I mean

so I snapped & slapped 

it was so fast

I hardly felt it

but it worked

it shut them up

for a few minutes

a few scant moments of bliss

of silence


there wasn’t even an echo

of the slap

my hand hardly felt it all

you know what I mean

if it doesn’t hurt me

it surely didn’t hurt them

beyond a bit of humiliation

in front of the others


I know to be slapped

is more of a social thing

if we were alone

I doubt if a slap would have happened

but with an audience

what else could I do

to teach them a lesson

about what I won’t to put up with

boundaries have to be established

so I slapped


I would do it again

only harder the next time

you know what I mean

“some people/are just asking for a slap” says what this poem is about. No subtext, no secret message or even an analogy. A slap is always a slap. In this case it isn’t meant to punish, hurt or teach a lesson but to express frustration. It is an expression of displeasure that is stronger than merely saying ‘Get of out here Veda’ & stepping away, but saying that with a slap confirms ‘I mean this, pack your bags & go.’

A punch is anger, a shove is control but a single quick slap is a statement. A punch is assault, a slap is insult. More than one is escalation & usually invites revenge. It doesn’t even have to be that hard to get the point across but hard enough to be felt. 

In movies I’m often dismayed that the blows exchanged in fist-fights seems to have no real impact – yes, I know it is stage choreography & no one actually gets hit. But I see body blows that would break an ordinary person ribs, or that wold damage the hands of the puncher – why do you think boxers wear gloves? 

I have never slapped anyone as an adult. As a kid I got in one to two slap fights with other kids that we’re more emotionally, than physically, bruising. I’ve never seen a fist fight, not even one in a boxing ring. I guess I’ve lead a very sheltered life 🙂 I have smacked a few asses, on request, which how I know the slapper’s hand hurts as much as the ass.

But as the first line says “some people/are just asking for a slap” which is why I don’t watch the news 🙂

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