Ars Nova

Sometimes I forget that I asked for these responsibilities. Sometimes I’m almost ungrateful to have so many gifts and so many doors before me. Sometimes I’m so short-sighted, so foolhardy that I ache for fewer paths, fewer talents, a simpler life. Then it hits me. That no one else could bear this, could hold this world up atop a bold shortcut with hands on hips and kill this catwalk life. That I couldn’t have asked for these trails, my obstacles, because they were promised to me. Struggle is my birthright and success is my inheritance. Then I revel in my foresight and chuckle at my naivety.

So Lately…

So lately my subconscious has been a mess. I can’t think straight and I’m convinced my dreams are coming to get me. I write them down in the mornings now. Pour over them like lecture notes sifting for pieces of congruity, hoping for a little insight. Close but no cigar. Some say dreams are your sleeping mind’s attempts to sort through your waking mind’s problems. My dreams are so vivid, so outlandish, so full of sensory overload that I sometimes I wake up short of breath or overcome with emotion. Even when I close my eyes there’s no solace, no peace. Some of the recurring themes are as plain as day and some others are an abstract blur like a Jackson pollack waiting for me behind my retinas. No “Oceans Eleven” crew, no “Inception” team could make it out of my mind. What am I suppose to do? Where am I supposed to go if I cant even retreat within myself ?

Inherent to Success

I stand in my own way. Block the gates to my own success; the Minotaur in my own maze. I everyday ready myself, gird my loins, to flank the vanguard and do battle with an over sized cyclops while I spin a web, weave excuses longer than “The Iliad”. But a passion, an emptiness, an un-ignorable hunger burrows through the core of me. It motivates each soldier and permeates every thought. It whispers through their tents at night, heard in every battle hymn. Everyday I got to war with my potential and fight for the freedoms that lie in everything I will become. So I fight… and yes, aahhh yes, there will be blood.

Poem for a Poet

I used to think you were so expressive, so abstract, so prosaic. I could hardly meet your gaze on those few opportunities when we did speak. All those things made me admire you. Now I hold my own and realize that you’re all those things but you’re also a flawed, beautiful, work in progress like me. And it’s those things that make me desire you.

Zombism: A Threat Undetected

As you read this, millions are at risk but are blissfully unaware. As you read these lines those millions are preoccupied with their YouTube and Facebook accounts; with their sensationalized newspaper headlines and they are content with their bustling and for the time-being satisfying lives. Each of them is only acutely aware of an indescribable danger. We feel it when we turn on the news and see ravaged people in other countries suffering other fates, from other diseases; but not here, and not us. Not in our hometowns and not to our neighbors. We have institutes and precautionary systems with haughty acronyms and emergency alarms so we need not worry. However, a threat waits on the vanguard of disaster, one for which we have no plans, no precautions. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) should include in its archives the danger that an outbreak of Zombism (the condition of being a zombie) would pose and take measures to protect United States Citizens if ever reanimated corpses infected with a flesh-eating, mind-controlling virus were to rise up against us.

First we must inquire as to why the CDC would be the best organization for such an undertaking and not a faction of the armed forces. Zombism is most like a bio-terror threat and hails from a viral or bacterial origin. These types of dealings are well within the realm of knowledge of the CDC and the mechanics of an army of the undead, more correctly known as “life-impaired” (Maynard), would best be addressed through this healthcare perspective.

Currently, the CDC provides information about diseases, epidemics, and pandemics (Office) and classifies the level of danger for each outbreak of a threatening disease. The CDC also presents information about the symptoms, cause, and preventions of ailments and even steps in to quell incidents of disease too severe to be handled by simple individuals or area hospitals. In the tomes collected by the CDC chronicling a cornucopia of diseases, not one mention is made of the threat of Zombism (I should know, I checked. The only “Z” word is Zosters).

Although the CDC is one of the most reputable and efficient glossaries providing information on everything from “African Trypanosomiasis” to “Zosters” (Office), it fails to protect us from one of the most fabled threats featured in Science Fiction the world over. Although out breaks of Zombism have been vastly unreported it is hardly impossible to think

that a combination of ailments under the right conditions could bring to life the utmost of horrors. The CDC could at least step in and rate this as a plausible threat so that observers can be made wary and prepare. In the case of the swine flu (also known as the H1N1 Virus), the CDC previously gave it a Phase 6 rating meaning that it was on its way to becoming a global pandemic (Division) and interceded with measures of quarantine and testing as well as international travel restriction. Why couldn’t such a step be taken in the way of the Zombie threat?

You may be thinking to yourself, “Well how can I spot and/or prepare for a Zombie epidemic?” and “What if a legion of the Life-Impaired are already noshing on my skull cleft open like a hard-boiled egg?” For the latter I have absolutely no advice. For the former, however I urge you to research the symptoms and precursors. Here is a brief overview: First there must be the initial death necessary for the epidemic to ensue. There must be one or more unusually gruesome casualties (Maynard). These newly dead will serve as the drones. We may look toward a bacteria that already exists and causes the death of many in a seemingly pre zombie manner. This bacterium is known as Necrotizing Fasciitis, also known as the “Flesh-Eating Disease” (Vorvick). Perhaps somehow the bacterium has the potential to become mobile by using the body of a host to consume the flesh of others. My theory is somewhat vague in its explanation for the reanimation process but there will be no need for explanation when the life-impaired (Maynard) individuals are walking the streets. There will also need to be the defenseless or isolated living inhabiting a post-war or post disease world for zombies to attack and obtain fresh flesh from.

Fear not. Well, fear less, because there are measures that we can take. There is a buzz amongst some that prompts them to be prepared for all sorts of disaster-related, apocalyptic, instances. These overly cautious, paranoid, shut-ins believe that “Disaster[s] [are] going to happen … and …will strike without warning” (Preparedness) and have put together kits for surviving a wealth of circumstances along with instructional videos and books. In these kits you can find rations for food and water as well as batteries and impromptu shelter (Preparedness). As a personal addition, I feel that hand washing can be a simple but efficacious weapon against impending doom of all shapes and sizes. Proper and frequent hand washing impedes the motility of microbes than can be transmitted through mucus membranes and into the body (Staff, Mayo). There they may result in a cold, flu, or a bloodthirsty, drooling agent of the damned. If nothing else, it makes your hands smell nice. Who wouldn’t enjoy a pleasantly fragrant hand?

To conclude, the threat is indeed somewhat real. Zombism, although a stretch, could be a viable danger to the world as we know it. As it stands, we have no established protection from such a hazard and would be left entirely dumfounded in the face of a mobilized unprecedented evil. The dead should stay that way and no amount of “Quality-of-life” arguments could change my mind. The CDC needs to take responsibility for its constituents and provide in its database public information about the symptoms, causes, and preventative measures entailed with zombism.