Daniel Brick

Gold Star - 87,843 Points (June 10,1947 / St. Paul MN)

Conundrums - Poem by Daniel Brick

"It is painful to say these things,
but it is painful also to stay silent."


I have been told erasure
is illusory. I have been told
there is a middle layer
between the front and back
of a single sheet. Whatever you
try to erase seeps onto that layer,
mingles with words, letters, punctuation
marks, doodles trapped there, and -
SOMEHOW - organizes a piece of fiction.
The two most recent results of this
most recondite process are two novellas,
that were secretly entered in the Booker
Prize: They both won! And no one knows
"what" the writer is. Notice that is not
"who? "; it is "what? "


I have been told if you break
someone's heart out of callousness
or spite, The Furies will haunt you
like a modern Orestes, whose six years
in therapy have achieved zilch. There
is irony here: These processes we call
"The Furies" are outside of causality,
so how can they impact our sensory world?
And what force or entity regulates
the moral balance revealed
in the suppression of the callous
and the spiteful? How are these qualities
recognized and measured? Is there an agent
behind the operations of things or beings or? ?


An epidemic rages in a country separated
from ours by a narrow isthmus. With stunning
speed and efficiency, we have built a wall
along our shoreline. Our navy patrols
the coastal waters. They give refugee boats
one long-distance warning, only one. This policy
is sanctioned by our Supreme Court. Permit
me to explain. By now, everyone should understand
triage. We are applying it on a larger scale.
We don't need all these people on one planet.
The immense population probably causes epidemics.
Rational politics sanctions this policy. Triage
works - for the privileged minority. If God wants
to do an ungodly thing, he can intervene and save
everyone, we humans only save those humans
who can benefit humanity. Our philosophers sanction
this policy.

Topic(s) of this poem: morality, politics

Comments about Conundrums by Daniel Brick

  • Bharati NayakBharati Nayak (2/18/2020 11:57:00 AM)

    In the modern scenario, we are one world.All people are connected.We can not think of isolation.There are conundrums facing the world population, be it corona virus, threat of nuclear war, refugee problem or terrorism, that are man-made or natural required to be solved jointly.We can never separate these issues on moral, religious or political lines.They are a threat to mankind and require all countries come together to fight together. (Report)Reply

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  • Liza SudinaLiza Sudina (2/17/2020 12:52:00 PM)

    Interesting to read to read this phylosophical poem, but it is really a conundrum to me, probably because I don't know the details about Booker Prize or politics. I feel that you convey pain about migrants, the wall, that relations become dehumanized? And furies are really scary. (Report)Reply

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  • Glen KappyGlen Kappy (2/17/2020 10:01:00 AM)

    daniel, i relate to the opening quote. in the second part, i laughed out loud at " whose three years in therapy achieved zilch." and there, as to your question about how the qualities are measured, they're personal, no? God knows our intentions; it's not one size/judgment fits all. in the third part, it's all too typical for those in charge not to apply their rationale to themselves and those they love. -glen (Report)Reply

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, February 16, 2020

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