Thursday, October 13, 2016

a good way out | bud osborn

One of our frequent patrons brought this poem to our attention as a tool to process A GOOD WAY OUT. The poet, Bud Osborn, was a community organizer and advocate for disadvantaged people living in Vancouver's downtown east side. "Excruciations of Compassion" comes from Bud Osborn's collaboration with visual artist Richard Tretault SIGNS OF THE TIMES.

Excruciations of Compassion

what do you do
when “the most hated man in
is the only man you knew
who loved you
and was your ganster-hero-stepfather
but molested your sister
and was convicted of raping a 9-year-old
or what do you do when a woman accused of
“flaunting contempt for the moral laws
on which our society ultimately rests”
accused in a full page sensational
suicide and sex scandal
What do you do
when this most evil woman
is your mother?
or what do you do
when the killer who shot your grandmother in
the heart
is her daughter and your aunt
who turned the gun on herself?
it’s a hell of a lot easier on me
to condemn some monster/alien/stranger
and revel in self-righteousness
than to have
these excruciations of compassion
and suffer with
the most hated humans
the most immoral women
the most extreme violence
in a scary and confusing
solidarity with the socially damned
that burns so furiously
in my blood

Bud Osborn

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