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Photo by Honey Yanibel Minaya Cruz on Unsplash

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.


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Photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplash

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…


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Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

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

For others.

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…


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Photo by Glen Carrie on Unsplash

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…


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Photo by DDP on Unsplash

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:

Stories,

Characters,

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.


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Photo by the author

A Poem

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,

Greg Gildersleeve

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.

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