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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Faithful Argus: All Three Parts:

Faithful Argus Gets a New Master [News Poem, March 20 2010]

“The authorities in southern New Jersey said Saturday that they had arrested a 16-year-old boy for activating a public-address system at a Wal-Mart store earlier in the week and ordering 'all black people' to leave.The boy, whose name was not released because he is a minor, was charged with bias and intimidation and harassment in connection with the episode last Sunday. If convicted, he could face up to a year in a juvenile detention center, officials said.”
--Kirk Semple and Nate Schweber, The New York Times, March 20 2010

Day 2
I took this job because the chinks all cheat—
In league with jews and blacks to take the jobs
Of honest men like me. Today, I'll greet
Those shoppers equally: I'll let them rob
The kykes who really own this warehouse store:
I'm just a victim in this racial war.

Month 18
The boss, he praised my cheerful, careful work.
I held my tongue about the raise I want:
To ask might risk his ire—I'm not a jerk—
A teammate ought not seek what others flaunt.
I'd rather ask for extra time, not pay:
Or else this job as well might go away.

Year 8:
The panic did not end until they caught
The kid who risked what others—we—had earned.
Rebellion's tokens: prison's what it bought,
And now the chance to know what I have learned.
Obey and follow rules or else you'll fail;
For men like us it's slavery or jail.

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rToady said...

Good, some character-based stuff. Interesting form, weird compression of time.

Ms. M. Hudson said...

As always, I enjoy your writing. In regards to this poem's topic, I wish ignorance was limited to writing. We could erase or extract ill-begotten foolery before its actions are etched upon the consciousness of humanity. Sighs.

Khakjaan Wessington said...

Toady: I was worried it would be too confusing. Glad it worked.
MsMHudson: I think the only way to understand ignorance is to get in touch with it. I thought the kid was doing a little rebellion, since he didn't say 'niggers' which I think in his mind separated a transgressive prank that toys w/ racism and what he saw(sees?) as 'true' racism. I thought that kid couldn't possibly be the worst racist in the store and thought about those smiley-pants employees who can't show a trace of who they are for fear of getting fired.

I think the teabaggers are being eaten by forces they helped unleash, that they don't understand at all. The sad reality is though that Walmart greeters are single moms, elderly people and last-choice jobseekers. I think it's all connected: I buy Zora's model of the pecking order and think that angry, confused people lash out at the first easy target. What's strange to me is how corporate slavery for a certain class of people is connected to racism--even if it tries to eradicate it under an avalanche of smiley faces and low prices every day.

It's strange how deconstructing news stories for these news poems reveals all sorts of weird themes that are perhaps only connected in our collective subconscious. I often feel like I've just remembered something I've forgotten when I write an effective news poem. Weird. And then to have others see the theme; well that's like having a strange dream and telling it to someone else only to have her say, 'hey, I had that very same nightmare.'

Thanks for reading.