Spreading the Misery in this Holy Season

As a little boy

I walked out of my

Bedroom and looked

At the little nook of

Books cradled against

A pale, blue background.


It was there I saw a copy

Of Les Miserables and

Knew enough even as

A nine-year-old that Les

Must be “The” and Les Miserables

Must mean The Miserable Ones.


Ever since those days

I’ve thought about how it

Isn’t just the French who

Are miserable. I’ve agreed

With Thoreau that people

Live their lives in


Quiet desperation and

How that surely is

A form of misery. And

Then I think about

The History of Mankind

On the History Channel,


And how humanity always

Seems to turn for relief from

The misery of quiet desperation

By realizing that misery

Loves company and so

Inflicts misery on other


Desperate ones by (in some-

What historical order) clubbing,

Bashing, spearing, slicing,

Dicing and shooting first

With rocks shot out off canons,

Then bullets out of muskets,


Then bullets in magazines

In high-powered rifles and along

The way atomic bombs dropped

From planes as a way to get

Out of their own misery, but

If it feels so good to vent all


That desperation by spreading

It around, how come desperate

Men in their teens, twenties and

Thirties once they have blown

To smithereens little boys and

Girls and some adults


In elementary, high school,

College, grocery store parking lots

And movie theaters, turn the Glock

9mm on themselves after all that

Spreading?  Surely, if that spreading

Is the answer, that would

Have done it.

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