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Could be I’m on a mission:
Convince the entire world
I am the World's Greatest Living
English Language poet;
Of course, genius such as mine
Goes generally unrecognized until
The posthumous crowd weighs in.
And yet, wouldn’t it be nice?

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Yes, wouldn’t it be nice?
(The Nobel Prize,
Tribute at the Kennedy Center,
A MacArthur Grant,
The Presidential Medal of Honor,
Reverent BJs from hipster groupies . . .
The Poet Laureate in his vicarage,
Enjoying my sweet twilight celebrity.)

(Cue “Guys & Dolls” soundtrack: “What's in the daily news?
I'll tell you what's in the daily news.”)
23: Beheaded at Nigerian Election Rally!
Amanda Knox Gets Away with ****** Again in Italy!
Kung Pow: Silicon Valley Penisocracy Crushes Ellen Pao
German Crash Dummy Co-pilot Flies Jet into the Alps!
Hilary’s Emails Are *****!
Sierra Leone Ebola Lockdown!
Iran: Kooks with Nukes!
Sri Lankan President’s Brother Dies from Ax Wounds!
Saudi Diplomats Evacuate Yemen!
Stampede at Hindu Bathing Ritual, Bangladesh Kills at Least 10!
Simply put:  THE WORLD IS IN A STATE OF ****.

Perhaps it’s time we turn again.
Seek solace in poetry—
“Yeah, chemistry,” insists my Sky Masterson,
My “Guys & Dolls” alter ago.
Surprised? You shouldn’t be.
All poets are gamblers & moonshiners.
We polish our chemical craft,
Sweet-talking the distillation apparatus,
Getting us, getting at linguistic essence.
Cunning linguists are we.
(Colonel Angus, are you back?)
Oyez! Oyez! The gavel raps:
“The Curious Case of Sam Hayakawa.”
We open this hearing to determine
Whether or not S.I. Hayakawa—guilty of
Numerous crimes against humanity & other
Professional Neo-Fascist “entrechats.”--
Whether or not he merits a kinder, gentler
Wikipedia BIO.
(Wikipedia ( i/ˌwɪkɨˈpiːdiə/ or  i/ˌwɪkiˈpiːdiə/ WIK-i-***-dee-ə) Wikipedia)
We open this forum, focusing on his
Courageous stand against the
SDS & Black Panthers, part of
An unlikely coalition: The Worker-Student Alliance
& It’s rival, Joe Hill Caucuses.
Da Name of the Place:
(“I like it like that!” Hot Chelle Rae-“I Like It Like That” lyrics| Metro Lyrics www.metrolyrics.com Lyrics to 'I Like It Like That' by Hot Chelle Rae. “Let's get it on, yeah, y'all can come along/Everybody drinks on me, buy out the bar /Just to feel like I'm.”)
The name of the place: San Francisco State,
1968-69, the longest student strike in U.S. history,
Led successfully to the creation of
Black & Other Ethnic studies programs
On campuses across the country,
And, one could argue,
Gave the green light to
Osama Hussein Obama,
Our first Uncle Tom President.
But I digress.

ACTING SFSU President, Dr. Hayakawa—
Perpetual audition, the pressure on,
Feisty, independent-minded & combative,
Screaming at that skeevy student mob:
(Skeevy as in “He bought the thing from
Some skeevy dude in an alley.")
Declaring “A State of Emergency,”
Calling in the SFPD, whose
Inexplicable slogan says”
“Oro en Paz,
Fierro en Guerra.”
Archaic Spanish for
Gold in peace,
Iron in war, by the by,
For you holdouts,
Those of you who still
Think the “English First Movement”
Breathes life still.
I’ve got more news for you:
That crusade died long ago,
Locked up, dark & shuttered,
Bank Repo thugs, their thick
Neck muscles flexing from side to side,
Sashaying across the parking lot,
Like John Wayne on steroids,
Right up to the front door.)
The SFPD: San Francisco city fuzz,
(As they were known at the time) &
The California National Guard, as well,
Obstreperously, generously catered by
Governor Ronald Wilson Reagan,
(Early stage, Alzheimer’s at the time.
But still very much “The Gypper,”
Still chipper in Sacramento.)
Ronnie--keenly interested in
The Eureka State’s congressional clout,
Lassoes a seat in the U.S. House of Lords:
AKA: The U.S. Senate, SPQR.
It’s still hard . . .

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Still hard to believe that California was once
Rock solid in the clutches of the GOP,
Gripped tightly in the Party’s
Desperate talons. But the grip slipped,
Slipped in the slip-sliding 1970s.
It got harder and harder . . .

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Harder and harder to remind
Leroy & the rest of his ebony posse,
That it was Abraham Lincoln—
“The Great Emancipator” himself—who was,
Our first Republican President.
The Emancipation Proclamation:
That toothless rhetorical flourish,
Based solely on Abe’s
Constitutional authority as
Commander-in-Chief,
Not on a law passed by Congress.
It was just Abe blowing smoke
Up their ***** again,
Just an egalitarian blast from
His Old Kentucky past,
A youth spent splitting rails,
Busting his *** just like
Any plantation ******,
A stark plebeian commonality,
Too deeply etched to be ignored.
Poor Abraham Lincoln:
Probably a **** Creek crypto-Jew,
Neutered by the opposition:
His very own Republican majority Congress,
Another example of the GOP
Shooting off its own foot, right up there
With Mitt Romney’s "47 percent of the people,”
The rhetorical gaffe which cost him his
Second & final shot at the White House.
But I digress.

Senator Sam S.I. Samuel Hayakawa:
That inscrutable Asian fixer, is now U.S. Senator,
Republican, California, 1976-83
Pulpit-bullying his Senate colleagues,
Fiercely opposed to transfer of the
Panama Canal & Panama Canal Zone to
Panama: a diplomatic no-brainer; Duh?
Their freaking name is on both of them.
Senator Sam, obstinate & blustering:
"We should keep the Panama Canal.
After all, we stole it fair and square.”
And Hayakawa, later the driving impetus
Behind the Far Right “English Only” movement.
His co-founding an "Official English"
Advocacy group, U.S. English;
Their party line summarizes their belief:
“The passage of English as the official language will help to expand opportunities for immigrants to learn and speak English, the single greatest empowering tool that immigrants must have to succeed."
That’s how they sold it, anyway.
In sooth: just old-fashioned nativist
Anti-immigration hysteria.

Hayakawa: always the high achiever.
Hayakawa: The Great Assimilator,
Preaching his xenophobic Gospel:
“Immigration Must Be Reduced!”
Aryan rhetoric, of course,
A bi-product of radical authoritarian nationalism,
A movement with deep American roots.
Senator Sam: a Japanese-Canadian-American,
Always tried too hard to fit in.
Sam, comfortable in Chicago during WWII,
Not personally subject to confinement,
Advocated that Japanese-Americans
Submit to FDR’s 1942, Executive Order 9066.
“Time in camp, will eventually work to Japanese advantage."
Later, during the Congressional debate over
The Civil Liberties Act of 1988 . . .
(Passed the House on September 17, 1987 (243–141)
Passed the Senate on April 20, 1988 (69–27, in lieu of S. 1009)
Reported by the joint conference committee on July 26, 1988,
Agreed to by the Senate on July 27, 1988 (voice vote) and
By the House on August 4, 1988 (257–156,
Signed into law by President Ronald Reagan 8/10/88.
He opposed $reparations for WWII internment:
“Japanese-Americans should not
Be paid for fulfilling their obligations."
Some guys, I guess, would say, or
Do anything for Bohemia Club membership.
Plagued by night terrors, nonetheless,
His Manzanar nightmares, his vivid
Imaginary experience at other Japanese
Internment Sites: Tule Lake & Camp Rohwer.
Stalag (German pronunciation: [ˈʃtalak])
Stalags, infamous still,
“Stalags ‘R Us,”
Still palpable memories for
Issei ("first generation")
& Nisei ("second generation").
See: 323 U.S. 214. Korematsu v. United States
(No. 22: Argued: October 11, 12, 1944.
Decided: December 18, 1944.140 F.2d 289.
The opinion, written by Hugo Black,
Chief Justice Harlan Stone, Presiding.)

Hayakawa: a strange duck, of course,
But we mustn’t ignore his strong credentials,
And I’d like to disabuse anyone here
Of the notion that it was anything
Other than his academic record
That got his case to this Forum.
Oyez! Oyez! The gavel raps:
“The Curious Case of Sam Hayakawa.”
So begins this fractured Pardoner’s Tale,
This petition for forgiveness,
The Capo di Tutti Capi,
Presiding: the original Italian mafioso,
His Eminence--the Vicar of Jesus Christ,
The Supreme Pontiff
Pope Paparazzi of Rome!
Roma: the only venue large enough to
Dispense dispensation of this magnitude.

Hayakawa: everyone says his C.V. is “impeccable.”
But did anyone ever freaking Google it?
Just where did Professor Sam go to school?
Undergrad? The University of Manitoba,
Truly, by any Third World Standard
A great bastion of intellectual rigor;
Grad school? McGill and U Wisconsin-Madison.
He was a Canadian by birth,
His academic discipline was Semantics.
(As in “That’s just semantics,”
That all-purpose rejoinder in any argument.)
Professor Hayakawa, The Semanticist,
He taught us: “All thought is sub-vocal speech.”

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Hmmm? We think in words.
The medium of thought is language.
If you grok this for the first time,
Let’s stop to celebrate our enlightenment,
With a cultural nod of respect,
We salute our Islamic brethren.
Radical Islam: the new bogeyman,
Responsible for keeping lights on in Alexandria,
Paying the defense & intelligence bills,
Sustaining that sinister
Military-Industrial complex
Ike warned us about.
Hang in there, Mustafa, old buddy.
Like the Cold War, this insanity
Will eventually blow over.
Orwell’s Oceania will reshuffle
Its deck of global grab-***, and a
New enemy will suddenly appear.
Big Brother, as always,
In the full-control mode,
Simply put: on top of the situation.
So Hurrah!
Allāhu Akbar. “God is Great!
The Takbīr (the term for the
Arabic phrase: usually translated as
"God is [the] greatest.")

“All thought is sub-vocal speech.”
What a simple, yet profound insight!
Just a short hop, skip & jump to the
Realization that, perhaps, the clarity
& Power of our minds can be groomed,
Improved upon by mastery of—
In Sam’s case, anyway--the English Language.
Was this, perhaps, the germ of U.S. English,
The political lobbying organization
He co-founded, dedicated to making
English, the official language of the United States.
Hayakawa: a wooly conservative of his own design;
No wonder Governor Reagan loved him.

Dr. S.I. Hayakawa, a colorful and polarizing
Figure in California politics during the 1960s and 70s.
Can we forgive his daily afternoon naps.
Asleep on the floor of the U.S. Senate,
Leaving California so pathetically,
So ostensibly under-represented.
Senator Sam’s comatose presence at
Washington-on Potomac; the
District of Columbia.
A long time ago,
In a distant galaxy . . .
Far, far away.

TEAR GAS.
Alas, long before he got to Washington,
Long before ever setting foot off campus,
He called for tear gas to
Disperse those pesky college kids.
I repeat myself for emphasis:
He authorized the use of tear gas at SF State.
Tear gas: a lachrymatory agent?
Actually, a potentially lethal
Chemical agent . . .
(Yeah, Chemistry!
To wit: Sgt. Sara Brown,
Referencing “Guys & Dolls” again.)
Outlawed for use during wartime,
Banned in international warfare
Under both the 1925 Geneva Protocol; & the
Chemical Weapons Convention;
“Tear gas:  a weapon of war against
The people. We believe that
Tear gas remains a chemical weapon
Whether used on a battlefield, or city streets.”

Thus, history will be your judge,
You unleashed tear gas on college kids,
So I wouldn’t expect a rep makeover
Any time soon, Ichiye-san, my ichiban friend.
Nat Lipstadt Jun 2013
Father's Way: Tell me a story, Dad

What power we possess,
when the innocent demand,
at the time of cozy bed and sandman,
"Tell me a story,"

To gentle the monsters
in the closet of their heads,
grant them a peace naive that's lost after
they learn the D words, disappointment, death,
Till then, promises unfettered, the best yet to come.

The story, you, grantor, they, grantees,
Scent their dreams,
perfume their dreams,
sprinkle their safety net, blanky, rag doll:
- scent with mom's hairspray and dad's special smell,
musk, balsam, gasoline and body odor

- scent with cherrywood falsehoods to caress,
till morning's burnished glory ascends,
thru window, tenderize the cheeks of my babes,
prep them for the truths to be learned that day.

In tones most imploring,
glances fawning,
tis us, they do deceive,    
for adult arrogance demands
in God we Trust, that they,
will believe our words,
will indeed, make them rest
till new day's slow and subtle dawning

Tis the same tomfoolery that leads us
to drink repeatedly from the trough of
best laid plans and self-deception

You believed your own narrative
will be the one he scripted,
while standing day-dreaming,
sweating on subway platform,
admiring beaches and beauties
from station walls lifted,
waiting for the train
that only eventually comes,

that train, that station, whose smell reminds you
of mom's hairspray and dad's special smell,
musk, balsam and motor oil, and body odor,
a ******* reminder of dreams yet uncrystallized,
and stories your father told, unrealized,
tho train has come, they have not

Write me a narrative, Dad,
and please advise
if tinker or tailor will be my trade,
fix my details, dear pater, par example,
pick my institution of higher learning,
my future alma mater, on my day of birth,
promise me gentility, no harm no foul, mirth,
All the days of my life.

Please advise if I shall be a
wife abuser, communist, or a ****
****** poet/user,
word rich and pocket poor,
stealing ideas from everyone,
red blooded or blue~green,
a true believer, a born again,
an agnostic, my own truths, to disabuse

tell me father, will I die warmed,
surrounded by generations of my progeny
or in pauper's grave, a life long ward of
one true mate, in loco parentis all of my days,
a child, a dependent, of noster paternal state?

Please Pop, pick wise,
the life and lies, the faces and disguises,
I will need employ to achieve success
in the eyes of my reading beholders,
who own the liens on my soul
because of the promises I believed,
when you sang me
glowing lullabies of my future days,
how everyone would love my stories,
my poems, someday...


June 11, 2011
Updated on Father's Day 2013
Many notes but the only one my father told me was about the white and black horses and their misadventures, a half a century passed, and I can feel his mustache, his goatee, tickling my senses.
Deb Jones Aug 2019
As I crawled away
I could hear you crying
The hitch of your breath
As you tried to make sense
Of something senseless

I stopped  
And started crawling to you
Like every other time
Blood dripping down my chin

I wrapped my arms around you
To comfort you
I said I needed to go to the hospital
You had kicked me in the temple again

We quickly came up with
An improbable story
One that had nothing to do with reality

Our hospital was small
Everyone knew me by name
I could feel their eyes on me
Tracing the bruises shaped
like boot prints on my back

They called the police
But I wouldn’t talk
Just looked away as they offered
Empty promises of protecting me

I frustrated them
I swallowed my words
Because...
You sat in the car
Waiting for me
Holding our child

And you were the only family I had

Do you want to know why
I finally ran?

We were in the car
And I changed the radio station
And you...

Oh, so casually said
I was going to get it
when we got home

There was none
Of the uncontrollable rage
That I pinned my ideals on
That I was saving you from

We got home an hour later
And you methodically
Closed all the drapes

Hit me a few times while I stood
Against the wall in the kitchen
Ground zero for most of my pain

Your heart wasn’t in it
Your eyes not enraged
Just distant
Everything was perfunctory
Each of us playing out
Our assigned roles

Seven years
For seven years
I molded and created a monster
While you, just a boy
Lost your morale compass

I tried to save you
While drowning myself

I was a little girl
when I married you
Manipulative
Manipulated
The way children do

There was no down time
I was hypervigilant
Exhausted, trying to keep up
With your mercurial ways

Punishing myself for a simple
Forgetful moment that set you off

I wasn’t allowed to read
While you were around
You tore the last chapters from my books
That was the greatest injustice of all.
Funny, isn’t it?

All the physical, mental and ****** abuse
It was my escapism I missed most
You were jealous of anything that I did
That wasn’t about you.

I had to go to bed when you did
Even when my mom and sisters visited and waited in the other room

If I could slide out of bed
Without waking you
I felt accomplished

If you woke I had to stifle the cries
As you buried your hand
Deep in my hair
Shaking me like a stuffed animal
For daring to disturb you

Why did my mom allow that?
The one time I went to her
She sent me back to you
Saying it was my bed to lay in
When it was really her
That first put on the clean sheets

Marrying me at fourteen
To a boy of nineteen
One I only knew a week

To liberate me from foster care
Where I may have been safer
Emancipated from the courts
A woman the moment
My beloved mom signed me away

Sometimes
You showed me your gun
Waving it around
Empty threats of retribution
As I made empty promises
To love you forever

You wouldn’t shoot me
I wouldn’t give you a reason to

I feel melancholy when I think
Of that little girl

I accept what I allowed
There were so many
terrible things you did
But I was the catalyst
Some part of me still
Holds that belief

You were never punished
You skate through life
Rudderless
Your moral compass
In pieces beneath your feet

Because, because? Why not?
The victims you leave
Harbor your secrets
Scared to say things out loud
Scared of you

Stigmatized  
Most of all scared
Of how others would measure us

So all the times I crawled towards you
All the times you cried
Became our self imposed roles
When I should have left the first time you hit me

I remember it vividly
Standing outside against the wall
Of your brother’s house
As you slapped me again and again

I had never been hit
Like that before
The shock of it all
You trying to make me agree
With you
That I was looking too long at your brother

No answer was ever good enough

When I ran
I ran so fast
And so sudden
Along my preplanned route

The almost debilitating fear
I had to overcome
Running towards my future

You did find me.
It was the last time I was hospitalized
And the worst time
Because of you

Found unconscious
During a welfare check by my neighbors

I protected you.
I survived you

I loved you

At the same time I pointed you towards your own future
I feel sick to my stomach when I think of you.

But our son grew up
To be a honorable man
Strong and proud
And I did that.
Without you
I did that.

He was worth that seven years
Can you understand?
Rustle McBride Jun 2016
I stand here today
alone, brokenhearted,
to say
I do not understand Love.
No, not at all.
Its easy when new,
or newly unparted,
when the flame of desire outshines every flaw.

But, when seen through the eyes
of three decades behind us,
it doesn't seem all that thrilling,
that new
or that grand.
It wears like a harness with the weight of forever.
So tell me,
then why is it in so much demand?

I've been told,
while its true,
that your heart is a muscle;
it doesn't get stronger, but weaker from use.
I thought I knew better.
I thought I was Rustle.
But that granite presumption
she did disabuse.
Nat Lipstadt Jun 2014
June 11, 2011
Updated on Father's Day 2013


Father's Way: Tell me a story, Dad

what power we possess,
when the innocent demand,
at the time of cozy bed and
sandman,
"Tell me a story,"

to gentle the monsters
in the closet of their heads,
grant them a peace naive that's lost after
they learn the words that start with D,
(disappointment, death),
till then,
promises unfettered,
the best yet to come.

the story,
you, grantor,
they, grantees.

scent their dreams,
perfume their dreams,
sprinkle their safety net, blanky, rag doll:
- scent with mom's hairspray and
dad's special smell,
musk, balsam, gasoline and body odor

- scent with cherrywood falsehoods to caress,
till morning's burnished glory ascends,
thru window, tenderize the cheeks of my babes,
prep them for the truths
to be learned that day.

in tones most imploring,
glances fawning,
t'is us, we,
them do deceive,    
for adult arrogance demands
in God we Trust,
that they,
will believe our words,
will indeed,
make them rest
till new day's slow and subtle dawning

t'is the same tomfoolery that leads us
to drink repeatedly
from the trough of
best laid plans and self-deception

you believed your own narrative
would be the one he,
your dad scripted,
while standing day-dreaming,
sweating on subway platform,
admiring beaches and beauties,
from station walls lifted,
waiting for the train
that only eventually comes

that train, that station,
whose smell reminds you
of mom's hairspray and dad's special smell,
(musk, balsam and motor oil, and body odor),
a ******* reminder of dreams yet uncrystallized,
and stories your father told,
unrealized,
tho train has come,
they have not

write me a narrative, Dad,
and please advise
if tinker or tailor will be my trade,
fix my details, dear pater,
par example,
pick my institution of higher learning,
my future alma mater,
on my day of birth,
promise me gentility,
no harm no foul,  and mirth,
all the days of my life.

please advise
if I shall be a
wife abuser, communist, or
a **** vanilla
****** poet/user

word rich and pocket poor,
stealing ideas from everyone,
red blooded or blue~green,
a true believer, a born again,
an agnostic, my own truths,
to disabuse

tell me father,

will I die warmed,
surrounded by generations of my progeny
or in pauper's grave,
a life long ward of
a one true mate,
it,
in loco parentis all of my days,
making me a child, a dependent,
of casa noster paternal state?

Please Pop,
pick wise,
the life and lies,
the faces and disguises,
I will need employ to
achieve success
in the eyes of my reading beholders,
who own the liens on my soul
because of the promises I believed,
when you sang me
glowing lullabies of my future days,
how everyone would
love my stories,
my poems,
someday...
Reposting - first posted here 366 days ago...
Jack Turner Apr 2011
You stand at the crossroads,
You thought you had it all.
Now that you've been brought low
You see the story's whole.
Left with your heart - no soul -
Wasted time while you've grown old.

Your whole world is face based.
Whatever you hoped to gain
And all that you've laid to waste,
Is due to the fact that
You thought you could get by with a pretty face.

Now since it's the path you chose,
Please, don't let me disabuse you,
As you enjoy the cause and effect.
Be it the pleasantries
Or if it's all the pain.

You made your way through life,
You did it all.
Men, money, mansions, more -
You had no wants,
You had the world on hold
While you held your court.

Riding around, one guy to another
From rags to riches, and then back to rags.
Riding your fortunes as a swell on the seas.
Walking the streets for money,
And sitting sweet on Daddy's dollar.

In time, the years wore on:
The parties went, a storied song,
The nights were long with drinks aplenty,
Debauchery and fun, so was your motto,
And when the party was over,
You, the only, not left sober.

Left to feel your pain,
Left with all you squandered
As you wear that eye-shadow - I believe the color is called regret,
Something that is so unbecoming on you,
Only eclipsed by that scowl,
Remembering days when you were stunning.
Mrs Timetable May 19
I wished to paint
The brown birds
Outside
The color
Of our son’s blue eyes
Inside
To my amuse
Which part did
I disabuse
The part were you can
Wish
Colors on birds
Or that we have
A son
And his eyes are
Blue
BLT challenge word of the day “disabuse”.  Sorry it’s so exiguous
Megan Sherman Mar 2017
I swing the torch from side to side
The visionary light by which I abide
Basks me in resplendent glow
As I go dreaming, rocking to and fro
Embarked on magic ride

This is the dance. It tells a truth
A kind of vision rare, forsooth
I canter round soul's shire on enchanted hoof
A siren of iridescent youth

The knowledge of my path does sooth
And to my sullied brain it does amuse
In it's form I have faith and trust
Stoking, kindling my spiritual lust
To disabuse the ruse

— The End —