The Shame of Poetry
by G. Tod Slone (September 2023)
Classified Stupidity, Alexander Donskoi
The Shame of Poetry
I am humbled by this opportunity to work in the service of poetry and to amplify poetry’s ability to restore our humanity … —State Laureate Ada Limón, Poets & Writers
Few poets dare criticize
Few even possess the capability
Of criticizing the business of poetry
The establishment control of poetry
The taming, the safe-spacing of poetry
The monetary machine of poetry
The tenured academic poets
The award-winning poets
The state poets laureate
The poet stifling of rare critical voices
Few poets can fathom why poetry only matters
For poets whose pockets are filled with money,
Who spew vacuous bullshit from privileged platforms,
Who are worthy of the praise of hack politicians,
And apparatchiks of the academic/literary establishment.
Society can only thrive if humans ignore death’s reality. —P. Maudit
seem to help
______me a bit
the death quandary,
______though just a bit,
for around the corner
stands the grim reaper
—the annihilator, the obnubilator.
And so I shall explore, until I am no more…
When poetry ends up
with executive directors,
advertising and marketing directors,
vice presidents of digital engagement,
senior content editors,
poets shop staff members,
assistant content producers,
membership and development coordinators.
education ambassadors, and even
senior vice presidents of finance and administration
—each an actual title held by elite poeticrats
___ of the Academy of American Poets—,
poetry becomes coopted and castrated,
nothing more than an arm of the monied establishment.
An independent mind must wonder
how those bearing such apparatchik titles cannot perceive
the insanity of it all and cannot bear an iota of criticism
regarding their willful entrenchment
___into that world of bureaucrat deniers.
Only immense egotists, greed for money, and recognition can explain it.
NB: Brooklyn Poets and other such organizations also boast an array of similar poeticrat titles.
to not be,
or to just be,
while not being…
A Perfect Silence
As it slowly drizzles,
upon the gray water
from the dark sky above
As I alone swim on my back,
as a lone gull nearby dips its head
silently over and again,
and the dense fog conceals the land beyond
If heaven there is, it is here now
in the absence of humanity and nothing but silence.
The Dubious Designates of Emeritus Status
One must question
the deification of professors,
in the same darkness as that of poets,
for to finally arrive into that limelight,
the deified must have mastered
the fine art
of turning the inevitable blind eye
to the ineluctable intellectual corruption,
ever feeding them with carrots and praise.
When truth—rude truth—counters academic administrators,
and inevitably it will, the selected
emeritus and laureate designates
________________will have ineluctably chosen not truth…
G. Tod Slone, PhD, lives on Cape Cod, where he was permanently banned in 2012 without warning or due process from Sturgis Library, one of the very oldest in the country. His civil rights were being denied because he was not permitted to attend any cultural or political events held at his neighborhood library. The only stated reason for the banning was “for the safety of the staff and public,” yet he has no criminal record and has never made a threat. His real crime was that he challenged, in writing, the library’s “collection development” mission that stated “libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view.” His point of view was somehow not part of “all points of view.” In November 2022, he requested the library rescind its banning decree, which it finally did. He is a dissident poet/writer/cartoonist and editor of The American Dissident.
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