HomePoetryHow To Human

How To Human

Listen to this poem:

Parents teach their children how to human
speaking in confident-sounding voices
to hide the fact that they do not know how to human.

Self-help gurus write books called How To Human
which they promote on talk shows with confident-sounding voices
to hide the fact that they are terrified.

Pundits tell us all how everyone should be humaning
speaking with confident-sounding voices
to hide the fact that they’ve been faking it this whole time.

Immense philosophical treatises have been written,
world-shaping religious texts authored,
claiming to know, claiming to have the answers
to the question of how to human.

And beneath all those confident-sounding answers,
there is imposter syndrome.
There is confusion.
There is anxiety.
There is fear of being recognized
as one more clueless ape mutant
in a world of clueless ape mutants.

And beneath all that,
beneath the confident sounding How To Human stories,
beneath all the imposter syndrome and confusion and anxiety
and fear of being found out,
there is humaning.
Just there, unembellished,
in all its sweating, belching, eating shitting glory.

The human itself does not know how to human.
It just humans.
The air goes in and out,
the food goes in and out,
one foot follows the other,
and then one day it lies down
and doesn’t get back up again.

The humaning does not need meaning.
The humaning does not need purpose.
The humaning does not need worthiness.
The humaning does not need accomplishment.
The humaning does not need goals.
The humaning does not need the weird “Am I humaning right?” soundtrack
riding around on its back all the time
like some kind of freaky parasite.

The humaning is an end in itself.
All its fleshy pleasurepain.
All its juicy sadnessjoy.
All its crackling sexualitycreativity.
The ineffable rune whales swimming in its depths.
The prismatic titans fucking in its forehead.
The ecstatic moaning of its veins as blood plunges through them.
The great AUM of the cosmos reverberating in its bones.

Nobody know how to human,
not even humaning itself.
But the humaning happens anyway.
The humaning always happens anyway.

We can let go of our weird parasites
and trust that.




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Latest comments

  • I do not understand why there are so few readers using the “LIKES” in the line just above the title. Instead of the number “1” that you see, there was a “0” before I clicked on it. And it is very often the case that I am the first to click (or second or maybe third one)


  • We can now create an entire fleet of UFOs invading NYC air space.
    A convenient tool to help people become a little more nuts than they already are.

  • Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, I’ve forgotten what his name was before he changed it to what it is today, but the meaning of his present name has something to do with the messiah, but I’ve forgotten what. Never met the man, but now as a home less person I find it even more strange that I met his daughter, the spy, at least by her claims to bring down her father. But like most Zionist folk lore that story only makes sense if you turn the story on its head. To make a long story short, a short time later her daddy apparently ordered Mossad to have my son and mother murdered. So, as you all know Mother’s Day just passed and my mother still hasn’t risen from the grave. Yet, though, this coming Sunday and the two following days are the feasts of the Jewish holiday of the celebration of Judgement Day. As you’ve all heard our good friend Ben has ordered the extermination of Palestinians in Israel; the killing is going on at this very moment; America, Canada and Australia are next. For Christians and Muslims this is what Jesus refers to as the end of the AGE.
    According to the present patriarch of the Rothschild family the messiah is coming from his family, but not with the Rothschild sur name, but with a sur name from the Illuminati, a descendant from the sister of the first wife of King Henry the 8th of England .
    And, then there is this from the website the, ‘Now Word’, by Mark Mallett, ‘the Messiah isn’t coming, the Messiah is already here”.
    Does Benjamin Netanyahu, believe that too? There’s a belief that when the Messiah comes all will be forgiven. Is that why Netanyahu acts now to exterminate all non-Jews from Israel before this coming Judgement Day?
    Seems as silly to me as the belief that you can somehow hide knowledge from an an all knowing, omnipotent God, yet some seem to think so; but I will tell you this; it was shortly after after my 3rd birthday that I called out God’s name, and rather than answer my question directly he said, “they will teach you about a God but that is not me”. I can tell you that no such God as he has existed since the goddess of love, with all her prostitutes male and female. She is the mother of the heavens and he is the father of the universe ✨
    You may remember a while back about how physicists were trying to create a subatomic particle that they nick named the the God particle; why? Because they believed that there was a possibility that by creating it it might destroy not just this planet, but possibly the entire solar system. Certainly worth the risk; don’t you think? Hitler didn’t, that’s why the Nazis didn’t have a nuclear bomb program, because they didn’t know if it would be stoppage. But, obviously, the people who have brought us this world have no problem with playing God with our lives ever, even we have no viable enemies that can harm us. So, what do you think? Is it really the Tower of Babel that they have a problem with?

    • 956 51421 EST
      King Von:
      With respect, let me say: “sorry for your loss”.

  • At this precise moment, a Tigaru mother is mourning the loss of her daughter while living without electricity in Adigrat, an Amhara street child is sleeping on the sidewalks in Addis Abeba while his stomach rumbles with hunger and an Oromo father in Jimma is beset by anxieties trying to figure out how to protect his family from non-ending flares of violence that target his children based on their ethnic identity. These heartrending scenes are not hypothetical scenarios, they are occurring throughout Ethiopia without bias to identity or ideology.While the rest of the world is paying scant attention, my birthland is teetering on the precipice and nearing an implosion as generations of undealt pains and unresolved injustices are fueling sectarian violence that is leading a nation that survived intact for 3,000 plus years on the same path that decimated Rwanda. The conflict that is taking place in Tigray and the violence that are rippling throughout the country is but an outward manifestation of the deep agonies that are embedded in the hearts and minds of almost every Ethiopian back home and throughout the “diaspora” who have been scattered by the winds to the four corners of the world.

  • Caitlin, CONGRATULATIONS, Darth Vader must be consider you as a credible treat to his evil empire, I have never seen so many Special Force, disinformation ops on your website before. You may only have a direct following in the thousands, but your words more like than not are reposted many times, giving you a reach of millions, and possibly even billions

  • Spread this far and wide – this is what is coming !

    This is what is happening right now !!

    Netanyahu is murdering Palestinians in their OWN homes on their OWN lands !

    These are horrific crimes against humanity – possibly unprecedented in any civil society !!

    Happening right NOW !


    Iran have had enough as well !

    Israel could well be playing their final card before some very serious damage is done to the Stolen/Apartheid/Zionist state !


  • This is what is happening right now !!

    Netanyahu is murdering Palestinians in their OWN homes on their OWN lands !

    These are horrific crimes against humanity – possibly unprecedented in any civil society !!

    Happening right NOW !


    • Don’t forget Britain’s Lindemann Plan in WWII (Google it). Churchill’s scientific advisor, Professor Frederick Lindemann, submitted a plan urging that German working-class homes and their inhabitants be targeted in preference to military objectives. The war cabinet approved the plan and it went into action on March 28, 1942, when 234 aircraft attacked the old port city of Lubeck. It had no military or industrial importance but was chosen because, as Air Marshall “Bomber” Harris remarked, the city was “built more like a firelighter than a human habitation.” Its old medieval houses and cathedral were obliterated, by what Harris termed “a first class success” of the RAF. Two months later a thousand aircraft dropped high explosive and incendiaries on the medieval town of Cologne, burning it from end to end, killing thousands. This pattern of deliberately killing defenseless civilians would continue until the war’s end, on the theory that murdering their wives and children and destroying their homes would damage the morale of Germany’s fighting men, rather than motivate them to show no mercy to a merciless enemy.
      Lindemann was a Jewish émigré who had been expelled from Germany. This was “the good war.”

  • Day Dream by A.S. J. Tessimond

    One day people will touch and talk perhaps easily,
    And loving be natural as breathing and warm as sunlight,
    And people will untie themselves, as string is unknotted,
    Unfold and yawn and stretch and spread their fingers,
    Unfurl, uncurl like seaweed returned to the sea,
    And work will be simple and swift
    as a seagull flying,
    And play will be casual and quiet
    as a seagull settling,
    And the clocks will stop, and no one will wonder or care or notice,
    And people will smile without reason,
    Even in winter, even in the rain.

  • Funny isn’t it? If that poetry was performed by a black youth in the inner city of one of our many GULAGS in the good old U.S.A., they would probably be gunned down in the middle of the street the very next day, and be denied medical care in one of our very fine Mossad controlled hospitals.

  • Not sure why comment didn’t get through the first time, but here is goes again:

    I love the original voice. So far my favorite of Caitlin’s poems are Fingers of Light and Aspire to Greatness. Over at The Chained Muse where I regularly publish new poetry, we have a lot of discussion about what it means to write timeless poetry, as opposed to something which is merely modern, or contemporary.

    The great poet Friedrich Schiller once put it well when he wrote, “The Artist, it is true, is the son of his age; but pity for him if he is its pupil, or even its favourite!”

    Caitlin embraces her age, but she is by no means its pupil, or it’s favourite!

    Great stuff.

  • You know sometime to really learn something you have to go back and read again.
    Now reading is just one way to learn and it is a good way for sure, but sometimes listening is better.
    In fact, come to think of it, it is almost better to just listen and then you can decide what to do. This is a bit of wisdom from an old fella who has learned to listen.
    The only time to not listen is when somebody is trying to kill you.
    Then, it is time for defense and be swift with it if it needs to be.
    So, if I was the next guest on the show, after Cal, I’d query this. Could you prove me wrong on that? Am I wrong about listening to others?
    I’m interested to read what you have to say, but I doubt there will be a response because how can you prove somebody wrong when they are just listening to what you are spewing? Can’t be done.
    That, simply put, is why it is better to be on the defense. Much less costly as well.
    Prove me wrong.
    Peace is easy,
    and fuck the reCAPTCHA, I’m done talking about that, but the time just now is as follows:
    1324 41221 EST

    • For those who are sticklers, make that a 51221.
      Some things are obvious and Israel’s leaders need to be diminished and it needs to happen in a New York minute.
      Let it be so.
      1327 EST 51221

    • Fuck this guy. It takes having a lot of shit you never deserved to get so far up your own arse. The self assured way he spews garbage is a form of anti-poetry, I find it even more annoying than NYT articles. Just knowing there’s so many like him, dribbling sociopathic children in adult bodies should scare the bejesus out of you.

      • 830 51421 EST
        Who and what are you scared of Luke?
        I’m concerned about all the anger. It has been a consistent theme in all the posts of yours that I have read. I think it is misdirected.
        If you don’t care for the poetry, then don’t read it, and what is so good about being an “adult” if all you are is angry all the time?

  • What a magical poem/symphony/whirlwind. Therapeutic to all who really listen. I cannot believe the stuff you write, Caitlin.

  • “Humans are of no benefit to the planet “

    • Your wrong about that.
      Do you want me to prove it?
      parking meters, 3,4,5 3×3

    • OK, I’ll do it simply.
      For 1, the “planet” in your imagination would not even exist if not for humans.
      That proves it.
      free pass

  • I want to know who the next guy up is, and then if I can, I’ll prove this guy wrong!
    Nice poem.
    bicycles 4,6,7 3×3

  • Thanks Sister.
    There are paths into the truth of this.
    “Seek and ye shall find.”
    (not truth, just some information and thoughts about stuff)

  • Caitlin’s poisonous petals of poetry.
    (That ain’t a criticism).
    Erich Fromm put it succinctly;
    ‘To have or to be’
    Or, as Ramana Maharshi said:
    ‘Be as you are’

    • Or as I say, its not your soul, its not my soul -its arsehole.

  • … or, as Lao Tzu says, “the one who speaks doesn’t know, the one who knows doesn’t speak”.
    And also “success is as dangerous as failure and hope as vain as fear” (both of which Bob Dylan combined – wittingly or not but poetically enough – in Love Minus Zero/No Limit in writing: “Some speak of the future, my love she speaks softly. She knows there’s no success like failure and that failure is no success at all :o)

  • I don’t confess to any particular religion. But reading the poem came to think about Jesus’ remark “Man see himself as in a mirror”. (I.e no directly, no “strait on”. I don’t understand why so many people can’t find this. They are fleeing it. It doesn’t exist to them).

  • Another brilliant poem by the fantastically lucid Caitlin Johnstone.

    We should let go of our weird parasites.

  • I have perhaps not seen a better argument in opposition to the avalanche of “this is right” and “this is wrong” that is constantly descending upon us from the Psychopaths In Charge. They are no more valid than if they were insisting what color underwear you must wear, at the point of the very same gun. I say “perhaps” because I have witnessed quite an abundance of such argument, and may have mentally misplaced a better one.

  • How to Dog

  • I love you Caitlin. So grateful for your voice.

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