Thursday, May 1, 2008

A Fig for Thee, Oh! Dean


A Fig for Thee, Oh! Dean
By Jack Morgan

I don’t write poems
about the Harlem Renaissance.
Because everyone knows,
that the renaissance,
like the word itself,
was French.
And the French,
like the world itself,
hate me for my freedom.

The shackles of oppression,
are applied,
like asps to the breasts,
of Egypt and her maids,
by those beneath the boot
of Italian kings,
to themselves.

You, who study pickled pigs
in pickled jars
and call yourselves poets,
curtail my fair proportion
from here to Tennessee,
and my freedom,
like a bell in a box,

children cry every night in Bethlehem,
sweeter than the letters
from twenty-six soldiers,
because everyone knows,
that race,
like the word itself,
is a lie,
because everyone knows
that every race poem
is a hate poem,

Political poets,
most of all
‘weep, ‘weep, ‘weep, ‘weep!
until I finally sleep,
monsters telling me what poems mean,
and I’ll only be born once.

who killed your passion
and your sense of dark adventure,
those places we go when we’re still awake
and we’re still alone
and the stars look like gutters in the rain.

You who lurk in daytime hours
unaware of the garish sun
who love Apollo but not the night,
that place I have to be to know I live
and that I have no will
to be poetic.
I envy you.
I hate you,
like poetry itself,
for my oppression.

New Bethlehem
looks more and more
like old Berlin,
with its wall in its center,
every day,
whose apple core boils,
but things fall apart.

2 comments:

sonic said...

Oh snap!
I hope you read that at lunch.

Jack Morgan said...

I did read it at lunch. Not everyone had the pleasure of having the dean of students asking them not to write anymore. I am lucky that way. I guess. I told the dean I would try to write like everyone else. This was my effort.