Gord's Café

For Walt Whitman
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For Walt Whitman
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For Walt Whitman & American Myths

While Walt Whitman waxes eloquent
growls & yawps drapes all human endeavors
with purpose & meaning turns away
again & again from humanity's pettiness
of paranoid fears jealousy resentment
unabashed hatred & disdain of his comrades
reduced to pawns in his pursuit
of selfish aggrandizement
& not gentle or fierce love for others-

poor deluded poet & prophet
seeking inspiration & visionary
fantasies of humanity & our dealings
with one another forgetting the bile
& spleen the meanness of our spirits
our souls but excess baggage
to the mass of our kind
only a few crave its truth-

wishful thinking Walt Whitman
desiring to stop the engines of history
which lead to savage war
even war he sentimentalizes
waxes eloquent about America
her democracy & justice
rarely speaks of his nation's hypocrisy
her lust for power
would he be so wistful now
after a century of unabated war
gripped in genocidal madness
the millions left to die in desert camps
in sweet Ethiopia tossed into the gas chambers
by ancient mythical hatreds
in Europe & Africa
in Tibet & Mongolia
in Central & South America
in Mexico & The USA
former slaves lynched
by the bastions protectors of the faith
& of the white race who claim to be
the keepers of the light of Christianity -

Noble savages turned into demons
to be subdued in America
but they are neither white nor Christian
so their fate is fixed to be slaughtered
til only a remnant remains
a thorn in America's side
an unseen token of America's barbarism
its clannishness its xenophobia
fearing distrusting hating all
who are different
Old poet prophet hang your head in shame
what glory is there in slavery & genocide
what glory is there in the lynching
of black men for imagined crimes
by angry bigoted mobs -

Walt Whitman what myths do you promote
defending America without concern
for truth & justice
would you call for a revolution
when tyrants despots madmen
& the lovers of war & of the rich
are the ones calling the shots
when those who protest are beaten
& shot to death in the streets
when the lot of the poor grows worse
each year as the homeless fill the streets
in every city even across from the White House
but those in power politicians generals
old cronies lawyers bureaucrats
never see the poor & the homeless
they are invisible to them
spending their money propping up some despot
despised in his own land
while Americans have become fearful
paranoid violent gun-totting
semi-literate shallow greedy arrogant brutes
insisting on conformity the tyranny of the majority
each person to be melted down in the melting pot
where all become the same
where all become identical
individuality being the enemy of the state
& the people -

all those tens of millions
fed into the meat-grinder
of the twentieth century
some look like Whitman
for the good even there
in the senseless slaughter
in the midst of mounds of bodies
tossed into open pits
set on fire flames raging
the light of the world
ashes filling the sky
reminding us all of our legacy
but Walt Whitman & the school marm
the sentimental weak minded poet looks away
fills his head with glowing fantasies
of the good men do finding
the good that is not there-

it is man's distrust
outlasts forests & rivers
flourishes as cities flourish
jealousy & envy rule our hearts
only fools speak so of enduring love
man's inhumanity to man
is steadfast with the passing years
& the passing of generations-

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