Sherman Alexie's New Poem "Hey, Look, the Abyss!" At The Stranger
Sherman Alexie recently published a new poem on the web site The Stranger. Alexie's poem, Hey, Look, the Abyss! examines genocide and our touristy, outsider look at human rights violations. How do genocides occur? Through comfort-based inaction, apathy, and ignorance.
Here's an excerpt of the long poem found on The Stranger's Slog:
Years ago, in Germany, my wife and I waited
For a train to visit Dachau. So morbid, so strange
To be a tourist of genocide, especially as descendants
Of the Native American genocide. So morbid,
So strange to take a fucking train to Dachau, as if
It were part of the show. And, damn, how I laughed
And laughed when the train, due to arrive at 11:25 a.m.,
Arrived at exactly 11:25 a.m. "In Germany," I said
To my wife, "the trains should never arrive on time."
I have previously written a poem about being a tourist
Of genocide—about visiting Dachau—but I wonder
How the experience has changed. I imagine the tourists
Now take solemn selfies in Dachau. Though a few idiots
Must take smiling snapshots, too, as in, "Look at me!
I think genocide is an amusement park!" Hell, maybe
Genocide, dripping with objectification and commerce, is
Read the rest of the poem at the Slog.