Check the footnotes, the members of Beastie Boys
said to guide the listeners towards the songs they had
sampled to create their tunes.
The scientists and the researchers are told to tell the names of
those who have studied the same topics (before them.)
The poets and the writers should always show gratitude to
the individuals who have inspired them through their books
and spoken words.
Only our Creator is Almighty.
Human beings are more or less imperfect,
but yet, the one who is wiser than you and who has done more than you
should always be given credit and shown appreciation and
never swept aside like a piece of trash
to make your body and your face shine
on the cover of some ego-hailing magazine
like you’re the One and not the one who did all the hard work.
Many years ago, I became sad when I had to listen and read
the manifestations of those who were younger than I:
they were pretending that they had produced some ideas that were actually
stolen from those who were older than them and who had been guarding
and supporting a man much wiser and stronger than them.
The punks were truly punks
– both boys and girls –
with no respect and gratitude.
A few days ago, I became mad when I had to listen and read
the lyrics of those music producers who had been pretending to be
original, almost from another galaxy:
the songs were based on the independent translations of
the bite-size thoughts
taken from the books of the 20th-century mathematicians,
but the producers had not used any footnotes or given any gratitude
to the truly wise men.
Today, I’m chanting: “Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude!”
Today, I’m emphasizing the names of my masters.
Today, I’m scolding those who are trying to steal somebody
else’s work: a few letters have been sent to warn the thieves.
Today, I’m turning into the “sickening heritage nag” I always swore I
would not turn into when I was younger and observing the faces
of my elderly teachers, fed up with the class snobs and clowns.
Today, I’m the propaganda master, repeating: “Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude!”
Paula Puolakka (1982) is a Beat poet, writer, and MA (History of Science and Ideas.) Her latest articles can be found through The Burgundy Zine (September 2020 and March 2020.) Her latest poems and info can be found through Spillwords Press.