(2020) Man in a Box

Ξ 0.313
($64.41)
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Description:

When you’re in the box
it’s not enough to push

against the walls, punch
up through the ceiling.

You’re in the land of man-
sized tissues, where two

sets of the same ear plugs
are called “Pretty in Pink”

for women, “Skull Screw”
for men, where we light

“Man Candles”—the scent
of first downs and bacon,
(read more)

When you’re in the box
it’s not enough to push
 
against the walls, punch
up through the ceiling.
 
You’re in the land of man-
sized tissues, where two
 
sets of the same ear plugs
are called “Pretty in Pink”
 
for women, “Skull Screw”
for men, where we light
 
“Man Candles”—the scent
of first downs and bacon,
 
riding mowers and tools.
Under the lid, us, is the result
 
of what sits on top of it—
a military industrial complex
 
that builds and feeds on
a scared population, media
 
that misinforms and stirs
the fear, Big Pharma ads
 
between the misinformation
telling us we’re weak, ugly,
 
limp, another commercial
of a muscled hero movie,
 
an education system reliant
on aggression and the long
 
term debt of its learners—
a culture of violence where
 
we play violence, pay for
violence, feel forced by our
 
fear to fear resisting violence.
So we “man up,” hold it all in,
 
climb the ranks, compete
for more, take the brunt,
 
grunt, hide in the box where
we at least know the rules
 
and the roles, and rationalize
living in the cave of it because
 
our fathers and grandfathers
did the same. So reinforce little
 
girls as cute, little boys as tough.
Carry weapons, think gay = less
 
manly, buy another shiny thing

for a woman until it’s worn out
 
and then work more to buy
another, bigger, shiny thing until
 
our lives are nearing the end:
fuck bedpans and hospitals,
 
fuck the people who we feel
treated us wrong, everybody
 
can fuck off except our own—
because we didn’t feel their
 
weight on the box, we weren’t
able to stop playing the game
 
long enough to see ourselves
as puppets in a far larger game.
 
But, yes, he was a good man
people will say as they stand
 
over us, as they think about
us, as they hang our photos
 
in their homes, as they tell
great stories of us good men,
 
good men who paid to play
a game and thought we had
 
a choice in the matter, good
men who will be remembered
 
for staying between the lines,
who felt flawed when they went
 
beyond them, good men who
could say don’t fuck with me
 
at just the right time, but meant
don’t fuck with me because
 
I’m already being fucked with
in ways I’m unable to break.

Man Box, by Cameron Conaway


Additional Details:
  • 3564 x 4752 px, JPEG (5.4 MB)
  • This is a signed and limited edition digital creation.
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  • You may download the full-sized creation to display or even print for personal use.

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Ξ 0.313
($64.41)