Challenging the rebellious images of poetry…

1. The early morning poem reference…

“It’s 1AM, 2AM, 3AM, 4AM and I am here,
exploring Life and emptiness
while the world sleeps.”

Look everyone poets are rebels!
They stay up late!
Great Gawd Amighty!
They’re heathenous rebels for sure!

Well, I don’t know about that, but I
for one am worried about poets that
write these early morning poems.
They may very well be suffering from
insomnia, a treatable affliction.
There is nothing rebellious about insomnia.
They should consult a physician.

Besides…the world is not sleeping.
Somewhere, it’s 9AM and these poets are late for work.

2. Copious references to drinking, taking drugs and/or

reference Charles Bukowski, Jim Carroll

Well…two of these three things
are legal pursuits in this part
of the world. There is nothing
rebellious about abiding by the
law. There is nothing rebellious
about lining the pockets of
major, worldwide conglomerates
while your body implodes from
using their products. There is
nothing rebellious in being
Whitey’s bitch or paying
for the joy of getting fucked.

On the other hand, taking drugs is rebellious.
It is illegal. Breaking the law constitutes
Rebellion is cool!
Yes…it’s true. You are cool.

You are as cool as an orthodontist’s son
from Peoria, Illinois shooting up in Daddy’s
basement wood paneled rumpus room.

You are as cool as a lumber salesman
from Oshkosh, Wisconsin doing lines
off an end table at a Motel 6 by the
airport in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

You are as cool as a crack whore
wandering the traffic circle
in Riverhead, New York.
Come on, $2 man, I’ll take you to heaven.
You don’t have $2?
How about the change in your ashtray?

You…are cool. I want to be just like you.

3. Poems or lines of poetry about…*GASP*…sex

“Her pubic hair was like candy floss
and I…I was very hungry.”

Sex shocks and titillates. Poets
employ lyric, sometimes graphic
images about sex to shock and to
titillate thier readers. Shocking
and titillating things could possibly
construed as rebellious. I suppose.
I just wish poets would spend less time
writing about getting laid and more time
actually getting laid. If they did this,
then there might not be time for them to
write poetry about getting laid.
Because, frankly, reading
poetry about getting laid
is the sexual equivalent of
diet soda. It’s a pale, pale
imitation and all things
being equal, you’d
rather be fucking.

There’s absolutely nothing rebellious about drinking
diet soda.

4. Feminist poets who believe it is rebellious to write about

“My lotus seeps the crimson of the Earth womb Mother …”

In your face male domination and hegemony!
This was indeed rebellion back
in 1957 when there weren’t any gay people,
when the world lived in various and many
closets, when proper people just didn’t discuss
such things. But this is 2004…
This is not so much rebellion
anymore as, “Oh…you too?
Poor dear. But was a poem
about it really the answer?”

Besides…Kathleen Hanna
reached the pinnacle of
this mountain long ago
at a rock and roll show.

You can look it up.

5. Conclusion…
I should have a long stanza
here about what rebellion really
is. There should be a long
catalog with several examples
of what rebellion should be.
There should be a recipe
for everyone to follow so
they can make their own perfect
rebellion like a chocolate souffle.

This is what other poets and writers
do after pointing out life’s
fallacies, myths, half truths and lies.
In other words, “Here are the lies
according to me. These are the
truths according to me.
Don’t trust them. Trust me.”

I’m sorry, I have failed you.
I don’t have a catalog or a list
or a recipe for you to follow.
I thought I did once,
but I was very wrong.
I don’t know that you
should trust me any more
than these other poets
that pretend to know
about life
about rebellion
about shit.

I’m sorry, I have failed you.
I’m sorry, we have failed you.
I’m sorry, you’re on your own, kid.
I’m sorry, we are always on our own.
I’m sorry.


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