Pecking Order

Pecking Order

the group
finds ways
of folding 
the complexity of you
like refined sugar
or flour
into itself

the group 
finds ways
like the allowable amount
of mouse droppings
in peanut butter
of folding you
into it

it finds ways
of sifting out
your ideological impurities
or grinding them down
to powder
for the easy
folding of you
into their
recipe

that's how the group
defines you
and in turn
you accept yourself
in accordance
to its needs
and how your
particular
set of dispositions
and temperament
once purified
fills it

there's peer groups
with ideologies
more like
clear
running streams
than murky
scummy
frothy
still-standing
stagnated
cesspools

you may find yourself
in the peer group
of cesspools
and stagnation
you may find yourself
within their pecking order
where you gain 
more
than another
in one way
and lose more
than another
in some other way

but you accept it
as fair
you accept the rules
where everybody gains more
by losing a bit
too

you accept it
cause it's the only way
to survive
in a filthy
diseased
cesspool

so you agree
to the net gains
offset
by particular losses
except
for the universal loss
of the unfettered freedom
to evaluate
the cesspool
for what it truly
is
or what it even
has the potential
to become

for the present ways
of understanding 
and validating
the cesspool
the ways
it's been understood
are a necessity
for keeping it
mildly habitable
by keeping the group
working together
in unison
for maintaining
the frail and feeble
dynamic
of man's survival
within his chosen
wretched
environment

the main thing is
in order to participate
in this system
of gains and losses
the main thing is
you gotta affirm
like all the rest
that stagnation
is just as good
as any other system
including
more pure
more free flowing 
streams

you gotta affirm
that more pure
more free flowing 
streams
are unattainable ideals
are whimsy and romanticism
if not
utter illusions
or outright
lies

and you gotta accept
most
of the cesspool's 
morality
and cultural norms
cause to reject them
is to immorally undermine
the system
that everyone's agreed upon
and everyone
benefits
from

that agreement
to never undermine
still
gives a little leeway
for a little rebellion
and freedom
so the baby
can have its healthy cry
before falling off
to sleep

a morsel
of freedom
like everything else
that fortifies
the system
a tidbit of freedom
like everything else
as just 
another tie
that necessarily binds
the whole thing
together

and that's 
as much your job
to help keep 
the ideology bound
whether your niche
within the pecking order
is leader
or follower
is laborer
or intellectual
it doesn't matter
since everyone
ultimately gains
through our accepted
and particular forms
of losses

so you'll need to accept
that it's better
for everyone to benefit
from the poisoned
fish and foul
of the cesspool
than only
a few

you'll need to accept
so as not to undermine
the ideology
and the system
it supports
that the poison
in its extreme
is a necessary condition
of our living

unless you decide
to go afoul
and astray
into the wasteland
nakedly defined
by your dispositions
and temperament

naked
except for your reason
and emotions
out into the wasteland
where all the other accessories
that meant so much
to your peers 
mean 
nothing
in the wasteland

off into a wilderness
on your own
where your dispositions
and inclinations
of course
are still 
parts of you
like either clay
or sand
handed over
to the wiles of nature
to form
you
as it will
into something
unimaginable 
by the most confident
of men
forming one another
with their ideas
floating
like frothy 
brown scum
on the surface
of their cesspools

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