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Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Bridge of Babel [Warmup News Poem, Feb 28, 2010]

The Bridge of Babel [Warmup News Poem, Feb 28, 2010]

“"Starbucks is a special target because it's from the hippie West Coast, and a lot of dedicated consumers who pay $4 for coffee have expectations that Starbucks would ban guns. And here they aren't," said John Bruce, a political science professor at the University of Mississippi who is an expert in gun policy.”
– GREG BLUESTEIN, Associated Press Writer, Sunday, February 28, 2010
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2010/02/28/state/n105757S94.DTL&tsp=1
In olden times, a staff or spear
Weren't optional. The murder rate?
It topped all other deaths. The fear
Of states of nature—bloody fates—
Inspired the law and other tools
With which to tame our slaughter-ways
Like Bruegel's Babel: built by fools
Who loathed to give abstractions praise
And much preferred to raise themselves
By corridor and minaret
Above the swords. Commanding shelves
And astrolabes they thought made pets
Of stars, they charted course through space.
Departments manage mobs of folk,
Disarmed by this machine of arms,
This tower signaling our cause:
“Defer to experts. Stay on farms.
Disarm yourself. Obey our laws.”
Through habit most still don this yoke,
But others keenly feel its choke
And fight against a false facade.
This normalcy is rather odd.

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2 comments:

rToady said...

This is mostly good, it flows and reads more naturally than some of your posts. The last line is weak though; it's unclear (to me) whether you are saying that what is normal is the acceptance of disarmament or rebelling against it. Either way, I realize you were probably going for a bit of dry understatement by calling it "odd", but this seems to be a weak statement to make at the end of such a strong poem.

Khakjaan Wessington said...

Yeah, I agree. Gives me something to revise though. Don't forget end of Feb edition is coming out.