Sunday, June 25, 2017

A Very Political Poem

It’s easy to get caught up
in any given slipstream 
of outrage, just pick your stalking horse
and develop a rhythm as you
bludgeon your gentler sensibilities 
day by day, podcast to podcast,
one radio show or blogpost to the other

Savoring the sweet heady mead
of hatred for Those Bastards
and this just goes on 
and on because
people are so stupid
so uneducated
and they just don’t care
those bastards….

The hell of it is
they’re not entirely wrong

This being, after all, 
the known universe’s
longest running musical.

What’s most telling
is when you break from
the cycle and find yourself 
crazy-dancing drunk 
with bubbly, refreshing

So you become evangelical
about getting others out of their 
rage cages,
you want them
to feel good like you

and you find out 
shout-in-your-face fast
there’s a reason politics
and religion were once taboo
topics at dinner
and everywhere else short of a
bloody-mouthed barroom

now the whole world is a sticky,
stinking barroom, suffocating in the 
hot, despairing minute before Last Call,
no one there but bitter, bloated 
pigwomen spoiling for a fight,
and surly bouncers looking 
for an excuse to throw you
face-first to the curb

and all you want is to get out
for a glass of clean
pure something

and laugh with cheerful

What can I tell you, but
stay clean, stay serene
amid your giddy freedom 

that dares not speak its name

Avoiding eye contact
and always, always
keeping an eye on the exits.
“Oh, so this is what we’re talking about now? Excuse me while I run for the hills.”
From the forthcoming collection Nymphomagic Electroshock and Other Middle-Aged Complaints.
Copyright © 2017 by Lawrence Roy Aiken.