Rites of the Tear-Downers

We are at a fragile moment in the life of the Resistance, and it seems people’s nerves and judgment are fraying the longer the war wears on. Pissants scatter dispiriting remarks about like litter. Fanatical contingents accuse anyone who holds a different view of being controlled opposition. Self-righteous inquisitors feel they have the right to tell you what you should and shouldn’t write about, how you should and shouldn’t spend your time. Purported allies ambush individuals of supreme integrity, a hazardous practice Mickey Z. described to me as “doing the enemy’s work for them.”

Below are two poems that emerged from not only my own experience of being targeted by a narcissist but also from witnessing reckless allegations being leveled at friends who, like me, have no time for this foolishness because they are too busy combating genuine scoundrels with book-length rap sheets of documentable crimes.

There are people who shine like the sun, and there are people who try to steal that sunshine because they have no light of their own. If they would simply adopt the Golden Rule of do-unto-others and focus on kindling their own embers, there would be a lot less friendly fire and a lot more healing hugs and rejuvenating laughter.

This is a summons to do better, to be better, to transcend our academic differences and unite over the bedrocks we can agree on: saving lives and overthrowing tyranny.

Rites of the Tear-Downers

I understand why the narrative-believers
dismissdiscount, and despise
the truthspeakersmenticide.

I understand why the injected
duckdodge, and deny
the evidence-collectorsfear.

I understand why the trolls
mosquito-bitespitball, and hair-pull
the freedomdefendershate.

I understand why the propagandists
slurscorch, and snipe
the corruptionexposersbribery.

I understand why the politicians
kafkatrapquarantine, and terrorize
the tyrannyresistersblackmail.

I understand why the agencies
bullydegrade, and shame
the policy victimscorruption.

I understand why the governments
surveilsilence, and strong-arm
the critical thinkerspower.

I understand why the corporations
fact-chokeblitz, and bot-attack
the dangerously credibleprofit.

I understand why the philanthropaths
string-pullerspuppetstyrants, and figureheads
concentrate the noncompliantdepopulation.

don’t understand why those who claim to value truth, freedom, and love
purity-test, subvert, and side-stab those fighting totalitarianism with them.
don’t understand why they castigate, insinuate, and berate
those accomplishing substantive strides toward our mutual goals.
don’t understand why they squander life pummeling down instead of lifting up,
dividing instead of uniting, demoralizing instead of inspiring.

I’m not talking about those sharing verifiable proof of bad actors
or calling out a supposed ally for demonstrable harm.

I’m talking about the ones who presume
the power to see into others’ hearts;
the ones who proclaim the words, actions, and life’s work
of others mere masks for maleficent motives;
the ones who purport the ability to identify
the fakes, the frauds, and the phonies;
the ones drenched in paranoia, bitterness, and envy.

You know the ones.

Don’t they have any beauty to scatter,
like nasturtium seeds in a fallow meadow?
Don’t they have any wisdom to spread,
like worm castings over hungry soil?
Don’t they have any truth to drizzle,
like summer rain caressing the earth?
Don’t they have any hope to shine,
like sunlight coaxing seedlings skyward?

If they were infused with the joy of creation,
the pride of work well-done,
the satisfaction of collaboration with kindreds,
there would be no room left
for suspicion,
for spite,
for sabotage.

Their spirits would be brimming with gratitude,
their minds spinning with ideas,
their feet pattering to the next project.

They would awaken to each day
with the zeal of an otter eager to swim,
a runner lacing up her shoes,
a visionary sketching an invention.

They would be too busy
forging their own path
toward their singular mission
to notice the foibles of

They would be too wonderstruck
to wallow,
to whine,
to whisper.

So what if we don’t agree on everything?
We’re explorers, not followers.

So what if we don’t think the same?
We’re water, not stone.

So what if we don’t trod the same trail?
We’re mapping, not paving.

The tear-downers fill
their moody minds
with phantasms,
their vacant souls
with gossip,
their hollow hearts
with carrion.

They are bulimics
who can never
feel sated;
addicts who
can only find
stimulation outside
agnosiacs who
babble gibberish
because meaning
escapes them.

They whip their chainsaws
through limbs
like a toddler
stomping on snails.

They deem themselves gods,

They are the righteous heroes
of their narcissistic fantasies,
stepping-stone their way up
on the carcasses of their slain.

They sell scalps
for sway,
for spotlights,
for silver.

there will be no
one left to
no one left
to solicit,
no one
left to swindle,

And that is how
the tear-downers
clearcut a forest,
that is how they
smother a fire,
that is how they
find themselves


in a wasteland
of their own

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