For My Critics — When They Find Me

‘here’s the thing — and there is really no way of getting around this –”
from A Few Good Men

There are

many things — sun rise,
wind, biting words from my pen —
that are not for you.

At least, not for you alone,
living at the mercy of your phone,
enthralled by talk shows, sitcoms and fake sensuality,
boxed illusions of love, sex and forced versions of reality.

(I saw the strangest thing just today — children reading.
books even, with pages, nothing from a screen)

is what these meanderings of thought
I dare label (tag) poetry would
be considered by those schooled
in the craft (I did throw in a
haiku and two rhyming couplets — did
you notice? — just to prove I could).

The reality, thankfully, is that I do not write
for them or you (I do for her, some, but not nearly
as often as I should), though I do appreciate
a comment now and then.

Surely it is not for the dollars (have to publish
to get a few of those), but I would dearly love
for you to buy my book (whenever it might
come out), just for validation you know,
not because the money is important to me.

Except…that it really is important to me,
I am right-wing, conservative, capitalist
through and through, which is pretty much
against the rules; poets (which I do not claim
to be) and poetry (which this is surely not)
are supposed to be above such things.

Paradoxically, I wonder if we that write,
of both left and right, will end up equally
persecuted when current events finally
play out. Already, THEY (sadly, not metaphorical)
are coming for our freedoms –health, speech,
protection, religion — and rights.

Surely, they will come for our words next (again).

The ‘power of the pen’ is somewhat
outdated — much like listening to albums
(black, flat, disc looking things — had music
on them) — now it is the power of blogs
and social media. We feel powerful
in our ability to speak our mind.

When THEY have control of the rest
of our lives, do you really think THEY
will allow freedom of expression to live on?

What happens then? When we that write
become the one percent? Ostracised and
persecuted for speaking our mind
in verse and rhyme.

Am I ranting? Possibly,
Somewhat sarcastic? Probably.

Just getting ready for my critics
when they should find me.

Book burning

Book burning (Photo credit: pcorreia)

For the Wednesday Wake Up at the New World Creative Union where they asked us to silence our critics.Also shared at the dVerse Poets open link night.


Filed under Commentary and Ramblings, Poetry, Poetry - Prompts

22 responses to “For My Critics — When They Find Me

  1. SO much to love here, Mark! There is humor and passion and anger and hope here…everything a great poem should have. Plus parentheticals, which make me happy. 🙂

  2. I think this is one of the best things you have written. Bravo.

  3. tashtoo

    Oh yes…you are a poet and once again I find myself shouting it from the roof tops (for free!) No one can wield a pen in such a manner and not feel some sense of responsibility (wink, wink) I love that you make no excuses, chew the meat from the bone, and stand strong for your words (yes…write them MORE for her MORE often!) Your sarcastic wit is a skill I most admire, especially when the bullet is shot poetically. How long do you think we have? To speak freely like this, to share conversations and opinion…I’m scared to death! In theory, capitalism should work…it’s a brilliant concept to base a nation on…but always…always…there is someone ready to bend the rules to their favor. I’m a business owner, a real estate broker, a property appraiser and a mortgage broker…this stuff is in my face 24/7 and I have seen so many good people go under as the result of supposed competition (you can bet the competitor was not playing fair) and these people lose EVERYTHING at the hands of the bank who was just bailed out! Whoops…I’m doing it again, aren’t I? Whoops, my bad…I’d love to have a coffee someday! But that would involve crossing borders…don’t get me started! lol Please WRITE ON!

    • Thank you Natasha. You are always extremely kind in your comments. To answer your question…it depends on so much. The internet and its rapid exchange of information has slowed the danger some, but we have to be diligent in watching government. Earlier this year we had the censorship threat disguised as beneficial legislation. If the blogging world had not gotten up in arms that would be law in the US now.

      I do not believe capitalism is the root of our problems (yes, it does have issues, but it is better than anything else out there). The real problem is what our governments have turned into and the intrusive, overbearing role they have come to play in the economy. My opinion, and the original intent of the US founders, is that government should be extremely limited, especially in the realm of business (lets stick to that one for now, the whole thing would require a thesis). Their purpose should be to promote growth in business, prevent unfair competition … and that is about it. Was there once a need for them to step in and protect workers from unfair labor practices? Yes, that time has passed. Was there a time regulation was needed to stop idiot companies from damaging the environment? Yes, that too has passed. Public awareness has been raised and any hiker with a cell phone can tell the whole world.

      Anyway, the biggest problem is the politicians and the power they crave. What was supposed to be serve your community for a term and then go back home and continue working has turned into a career. The system has turned from protecting all companies to favoring those that offer payoffs. One of the easiest fixes to the US system would be to instill term limits on Congress and the Supreme Court. That would return it to a service to your country instead of a highly profitable career.

      I could go on for some time, but the family is home and my blood pressure might start to go up. 🙂 Coffee is a deal if either of us cross that border. Let me know when you come to Atlanta.

      • tashtoo

        Well stated wise one! Absolute power corrupts absolutely…their agendas are no longer for the people…they are for their pockets…in your great land and mine…the governments are owned by big business and are nothing more than puppets for their corporate “personhood”…sorry about the blood pressure…but I hear what you’re saying 🙂

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  5. rosemary mint

    Great title. Love the part where you point out your haiku and rhyming couplets (I had not noticed the opening haiku).

    I like this part: “THEY … are coming for our freedoms … Surely, they will come for our words next.”

    And this: “The ‘power of the pen’ is somewhat outdated”

    Nice closing, touching back to the title. I’m not a big fan of the “rant.” But this was a fun one. 🙂

    I don’t write poetry to make a statement; I just enjoy being creative and making people laugh. So I’m pretty sure no one’s coming for me. Sounds like you’re ready, though!

  6. margo roby

    Me, I love [yes, love] the tone, the voice. This is an important poem in your poetical development. There is so much in how you say what you say that shows your maturation. The bonus: the form works with the content. I like this very much.

  7. oh you rocked this man…fun word play…love the embedded form as well…and it is a scary reality that they are coming for our voices…and depending on who is in power in the next four years may just determine to what extent that happens….really strong voice in this…use it while you got it…and make them take it from your bleeding fingers…

  8. love your honest, strong and rebellious voice in this mark… yeah…who knows what happens but as long as we can hold that pen, we should def. write on..and when they burn that books we start anew..

  9. I love that you were inclusive in this right or left world. I have theories on right and left, may write a book on that, still working that one through.
    I do love this poetry and not always rhyming as in not always perfect. Nice job!

  10. Laurie Kolp

    So powerful… lots of good thoughts. You’re brave!

  11. ihatepoetry

    Loved this pre-emptive strike. If you ever get a chance, watch Eric Bogosian in “Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll.” He does a character there who is an artist who is afraid that the government is going to get him, so he stopped creating art, he only makes it in his head where they can’t get at it. This piece reminded me of it.

    I’ve been writing poetry for 30+ years, have made about 30 dollars in royalties. That’s why I take whatever earnings and give it to charity. I feel better that way.

    Good write – Mosk

  12. You KNOW I love this one, Mark. I won’t even get started, ’cause you said it all and said it well. All I’m going to say, is, I’m going to say whatever I want to say, until they take away my right to do so.

  13. this is fabulous…. and i completely agree… everywhere you look on social media people call for some sort of censorship, and it always makes me want to say, “but don’t you see?” if they can’t say that, then you can’t say this, and on and on and on… if they have their way, it will soon be a vanilla world…
    great write!

  14. hedgewitch

    I disagree totally with the current form of conservative ideology, my friend, but I would defend with my life your right to express it. They will have to kill me before they get my words, or if I had the power, anyone’s. There is a far larger They than just those concepts of the evil controlling government, or the evil rapacious corporations–those are what they use to divide us, the big They who have consolidated such inconceivable power, wealth and privilege that they pull the strings for both. And all they care about is MORE. A fine, bitter write, with lots of nuance and little asides to the reader I love that backhanded reference to the haiku and couplet(“to prove I could”.)

  15. I think each of us need to take responsibility for our pen…yes, there will be those who come who wish to censor, silence us…will we still be willing to speak? I hope so! Fantastic piece!!

  16. hobgoblin2011

    Mark, this is a fantastic and expansive piece. I love the way you discuss poetry, what it is, who creates it and so forth. But the transitioning into societal topics, like the commentary on phones, e-readers, etc and the political section, is done in a manner that is quite appealing to me. the internal conversation, that we’re allowed in on is the tone I took, and a great one for this type of write. What a fantastic reply to the WWU. Great read. thanks

  17. I enjoyed this and that you are a right wing conservative capitalist did not surprise me 🙂

  18. The greatest ability of any writer is to grab one’s attention and pull you into his/her story (poem, tale…). To express themselves so well they hold you suspended, unable to stop until you’ve read all they’ve had to say and you walk away saying “Wow, that was really interesting!” You have a great talent for that. A lot of truth said in the lines you’ve penned. Excellent piece! (Yes, and some of us remember albums, 33’s, 45’s, and even 78’s!!)

  19. It’s as real as vinyl or a parcel wrapped in brown paper and tied with string, and it held me right thru, no mean feat for my short attention span… And it reminds me that often the best writing comes from the one percent in the less free areas/times of the world.

Some of what I write is true, some is fiction; most is merely possibility.

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