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Monday, October 04, 2010

Working Class Poets Do Not Teach At University [Today's News Poem, October 4, 2010]

Working Class Poets Do Not Teach At University [Today's News Poem, October 4, 2010]

Class is for school and I knew it; it's why
I rejected that sinecure calling
Dreamy and dozy ones; lovers of books.
If you've worked in an office, with muscle,
Dullness, or other depravity known
Or unknown; then you know what the meaning
Work can confer to the author of verse
And that tenure is nothing like trading
Minutes of life for permission to write;
Where obedience matters. With passions
Thwarted to squander potential, while work—
Of the genuine type—is enriching
Bosses who send off their offspring to school:
Where they learn, like their parents, that dullness
Probably's highest of virtues. They seek
To possess all the labor and sign-off
Work in their name. At the end of the day
A professor will trump a drowned city.
Darkies will stay as anonymous as
All those janitors cleaning those classrooms.
Philip Levine will stay canonized as
'Representative Work,' as the proof that
Laborers climb up the ivory spire
With those hands that they've calloused with labor;
Claiming the worker's his brother—a lie.
As a 'working class' poet, he owns me;
Struggle and all, as I scribble while work—
It's oppression—demands that I put down
Pen and get back to my purpose: to raise
Others up high while I stoop—and not conquer.

“The growth rate for small business employment continued rising in September but at a slower rate than the previous month, and hours worked and compensation remained essentially flat, according to a report Monday from Intuit Inc.”
– Kansas City Business Journal - by Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal, Monday, October 4, 2010, 2:12pm CDT

“Search any two lines from the “Convention Centers” poems on, and the narratives they are lifted from will appear in full. Or visit the pages for Antoinette, Rachid L., Carol Y, Joyce W, Deborah J., and Tami J., and read the stories that McDaniel copied from, in their entirety.”
– Abe Louise Young, Poetry Foundation, 8.18.2010

“When disputes arise over the ownership of language, we can turn to the law, but copyright law is an irreconcilable muddle, and the law serves money first, organizations second, and justice rarely. ”
– Raymond McDaniel, Poetry Fundation, 8.18.2010

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1 comment:

J Chon said...

This is energy well-spent.