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Michael R Burch Mar 2020
Come Down
by Michael R. Burch

for Harold Bloom and the Ivory Towerists

Come down, O, come down
from your high mountain tower.
How coldly the wind blows,
how late this chill hour ...

and I cannot wait
for a meteor shower
to show you the time
must be now, or not ever.

Come down, O, come down
from the high mountain heather
blown to the lees
as fierce northern gales sever.

Come down, or your heart
will grow cold as the weather
when winter devours
and spring returns never.

NOTE: I dedicated this poem to Harold Bloom after reading his introduction to the Best American Poetry anthology he edited. Bloom seemed intent on claiming poetry as the province of the uber-reader (i.e., himself), but I remember reading poems by Blake, Burns, cummings, Dickinson, Frost, Housman, Eliot, Pound, Shakespeare, Whitman, Yeats, et al, and grokking them as a boy, without any “advanced” instruction from anyone. Keywords/Tags: Harold Bloom, literary, critic, criticism, elitist, elitism, ivory, tower, heights, mountain, winter, cold, frigid

Rant: The Elite
by Michael R. Burch

When I heard Harold Bloom unsurprisingly say:
Poetry is necessarily difficult. It is our elitist art ...
I felt a small suspicious thrill. After all, sweetheart,
isn’t this who we are? Aren’t we obviously better,
and certainly fairer and taller, than they are?

Though once I found Ezra Pound
perhaps a smidgen too profound,
perhaps a bit over-fond of Benito
and the advantages of fascism
to be taken ad finem, like high tea
with a pure white spot of intellectualism
and an artificial sweetener, calorie-free.

I know! I know! Politics has nothing to do with art
And it tempts us so to be elite, to stand apart ...
but somehow the word just doesn’t ring true,
echoing effetely away—the distance from me to you.

Of course, politics has nothing to do with art,
but sometimes art has everything to do with becoming elite,
with climbing the cultural ladder, with being able to meet
someone more Exalted than you, who can demonstrate how to ****
so that everyone below claims one’s odor is sweet.
You had to be there! We were falling apart
with gratitude! We saw him! We wept at his feet!
Though someone will always be far, far above you, clouding your air,
gazing down at you with a look of wondering despair.
Brent Kincaid Oct 2018
Many are hamster-wheel humans
So punch-drunk from assuming
They know the way things work.
The wealthy urged them to elect jerks
To run this country into the ground
And turn it into the worst place around.
It’s a sad tale, a ***** of a story
Where those with guts, don’t get glory.

It’s a horror story, like in scary flicks
Where when men in suits get their kicks
Imprisoning brown people and kids
And laughing about the bad they did.
Afterward, they say others are to blame
But make no attempt to hide their game.
They put thousands in jail and charge them
And sing out loud their lying anthems.

They say fake news is the real McCoy
But, the real news they say is a ploy
Honest people want to stop the plunder
That, up ’til now, they kept hidden under.
But now it’s in the open meant to appease
Ignorant white people that are hard to please.
They want whites in power, think that’s nifty,
No wonder they elect only those who are shifty.

Too many quit learning in school, after ABC,
And they have no use for the land of the free.
They liked how it was in eighteen hundreds
With slaves, inhumanity to those they plundered.
They got up in arms when a black man won
And the class war was once again begun.
The very rich told lies to change the rules
People began to act openly like rapacious fools.
This is the country of which we were once proud.
It’s right now being destroyed by the elite crowd.
Forget pre-Madonnas
We want to get away from all the self-proposed Shakespeares that think their opinions matter more here
Humanity should rid itself from elitism and stop being insincere
It would put our contributions in the clear.
Jesse Sutherland Aug 2018
In vacant masks
We hide the veins
Where the sickly blood
Flows within us
Like a raging, hidden
Flame divided
Beneath a blanket
Of expectations
Of lacerations
Of blocked
Methods of filth

Where we can act
As though we are better
When someone leaves
Or mistreats
Or walks away
Or makes them pay
We sit with our hands
Together like some morbid
Altar boy drunk on
Some misconceived
Notion that we are
Brent Kincaid Jul 2018
Hut, two, three, four
What do you think you are fighting for?
Four, five, six, seven
Invasion is the path to heaven.
Seven, eight, nine, ten
If it doesn’t work, do it again.
Six, seven, eight, nine
If innocents die too, never mind.

We need to clean things
Wipe lessers out of the place.
They’re a total threat and
Weaken our beloved race.
We don’t have time
For anyone sick or poor
We must go somewhere
And fight unreasonable war.

Helping the weak and sick
Costs too much money to allow.
Besides, there are among us
Suffering rich people right now.
This land owes it all to the rich
So, we must do all we can
To support them with each pitch.

So, hut, two, three, four,
Now you know what we’re fighting for.
Three, four, five, six
Now, none of your liberal tricks.
Five, six, seven, eight.
Don’t question your betters, that’d be great.
Hut, two, three, four
We are who you are fighting for!
Brent Kincaid Jul 2018
Southerners said “You’re white!”
They’re black, and that’s not all right,
But you’re okay because you’re white.”
But that’s not right because I’m not white.
I’m sort of a pasty pinkish beige
So, why is it the rage to say white?
And black? That is usually the wrong tack.
I know people that say they are black
And others yak about black folk
In hateful, racist jokes, but they too
Are not black. They’re color runs from
As light as a cup of milky tea
To the color of a kukui nut.

So what is this black and white crap?
It’s a trap for some who don’t know
What to call other people because
They’re trained to call other people
Some name besides just people.
It has to be what color people
Trained under school bell and steeple
To talk this way and veer away
From the point they are making,
The risk they are taking by seeing
Something else besides a human being.
Instead they focus on something unreal
And therefore manage not to feel.

It’s really so sad, and so demeaning
To zap so much meaning from someone
Who has a life, loves, joys and pain;
Let's remain aloof from giving names
And incorrectly worded colors to them.
Don't pretend that you are being kind
When you teach yourself to be blind
To the beauty and the joy of boys
And girls who are not from your race
And to replace love and opportunity
With fear, suspicion and enmity.
It is quite simply a common tragedy.
Brent Kincaid Jul 2018
They chose to call it The Freedom Tree
Because in their ultimate wisdom
They felt it represented all of mankind
And their famous bid for freedom.
But all the while they didn’t really intend
For all the people to enjoy it.
They meant the right people in their laws
And selectively chose to employ it.

It stood in the center where battles were
And where some patriots had died
And from the beginning they ignored many
And abused them far and wide.
They argued that they were not really people
These of color or unaccepted belief
Then subjected them to the very horror they
Themselves had come here for relief.

So this was The Freedom Tree so named
By some kind of patriotism that chooses
Who gets to live, and love and prosper
And in the end, decide who loses.
Maybe they should have chosen a name
That said what they thought was right;
Maybe the name should have been
The Tree of Freedom For Everyone White.
A Simillacrum Jun 2018
(The Suspicious Oracle shifts in their booth, then stands from the table to sway into the light. They sweep the dust from their clothes and flash a smile.)

It's been noted. Oh,
my observation is go.
Perceptive circuits
caught the web
where it stretches

Words, words, words,
beautiful pontifications
Words, words, words
eloquent romanticisms
of the empathy empty.         n.            devoid

(The Suspicious Oracle removes a bill from their coat and presents it to the audience.)

In blood these names list
the elite who seem to
herd together,
and at the gate
keep the risen.                           .
     ­                                                                 ­               .clean

The searing ray of
justice past due
will melt the
chains save
for the
A Simillacrum Jun 2018
Even when you
express your thoughts
in a respectful way,
you'll find more
often than not,
you'll be told
you're wrong.

This is a tactic of those
hidden behind
status and clout.
They'll silence
your little voice
as they keep
right in your face
and shout.

You're entitled to yours
as they're entitled to theirs.
I want you to know, though,
those who refuse to let you speak,
have already decided inside
that you don't deserve autonomy.

Don't argue with the ill intended,

It's not your job to teach.
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