A Poem for Anti-Intellectualism and Reverse Snobbery
Pink Floyd put it well
When they said they didn’t need “no education” —
They referred to teachers
Who berated children,
Who used arbitrary authority
To control weaker human beings.
It’s easy to assume abuse is thought control,
All teachers petty tyrants,
The purpose of education the diploma.
“Pick up a gun,” they tell me. “Put on a uniform,
The government will pay for more education.”
“Great!” I say. “But what if I’m deaf or have flat feet?
What if I’m a conscientious objector?”
“You’re supposed to be smarter than me,” they say.
An essay on change, stars, and rock ’n’ roll saints
The Dream: The 1980s version of the rock band Jefferson Starship had reunited and were performing “Sorry Me, Sorry You,” a song from their 1984 album Nuclear Furniture. They appeared to be rehearsing for a music video or concert, though no one else was around.
The band’s leader, Paul Kantner, had died, but the other members of that era — vocalists Grace Slick and Mickey Thomas, lead guitarist Craig Chaquico, bass and keyboard alternates David Freiberg and Pete Sears, and drummer Donny Baldwin — were all present and looking much…
A Poem for these Times
I grew up in the middle of the Midwest
Where football is perfection
And working on cars is what men did,
Where we read books about people on the coasts
And in other lands who lived their dreams
And became their dreams and created dreams
I live in the middle of the Midwest
Where we look down on people who live on the coasts
And in urban areas, where people who trill their r’s are exotic
And people with dark skin know their place
And God meant marriage for a man and a…
On Expectations, Elections, and Pop Culture Messiahs
Language warning: This essay uses a four-letter word twice. If you don’t like four-letter words or the repeated use of same, move on.
The dream: John Lennon in 1967 stepped out of the Indica Art Gallery in London. He was virtually unrecognizable as the mop-topped Beatles guitarist. His hair was thick but swept over to one side of his forehead. He wore granny glasses for the first time and sported a bright blue shirt and black sweater vest. As he glanced down the street, a man approached. Behaving as a gentleman, Lennon held…
A Personal Ode in Poem
Today marks the day
The band first performed live.
I never saw them then. I was a toddler
Living landlocked seventeen hundred miles away,
But San Francisco with its Golden Gate and Haight-Ashbury
Served as runway for Jefferson Airplane,
A six-piece who created their own music and mythology:
And a never-ending quest for hazy paradise.
Grace Slick wasn’t with them then;
Their famous singer didn’t board for another year.
Paul Kantner and Marty Balin served as “pilots,”
Their first crew consisting of blues guitarist Jorma,
Upright bassist Bob, drummer Jerry, and contralto Signe.
I am not a lion or tiger or wolf.
If I must compare myself to nature,
I will be a tree,
Tall and proud,
With roots that run deep into the soil
And branches that stretch into the sky.
Every scar on my skin
Speaks to the weathering of time
And the abuse of others
Who mistook my silence for license
To do as they pleased.
Yet I remain,
A survivor of many storms
Nourished by the light,
Unburdened by yesterday or tomorrow.
I am unique.
I am unlike my brothers and sisters,
And they are unlike me,
Author of super-hero/sci books, False Alarm (2015), The Power Club (2017) and The Secret Club (2020). He lives on the fringes of the middle of the Midwest.