Wednesday, May 5, 2021

A Pandemic of Lies and Hate: A Poem Against Racism and Ableism


A poem for my students
inspired by the Spring 2021 syllabus:
Eugenic Monsters: A Seminar on Race and Disability

Our minds and worlds change
By the power of new mutations
That scratch, burn, and slash at the walls the old theses
And the monsters always escape

This semester we grew together
At a distance of at least five feet apart
Hearing the call to tell the stories
Of our restitution, our chaos, our quests.

And beloveds, we know the traumas
Ancient and new keep haunting us
From generation to generation
Unless we face scars on bodies and our institutions

Indeed, it is only by looking
That we will begin to see our own stares
And behold how our monstrous eyes
Kept us from seeing one another or ourselves

For long we have lived under the tree
That drops fruits unlike those that came before
Apples and Macs, all sorts of dirty computers
In spectrums of crazy pynk and classic black

Far from this tree we roam
Letting go of our isolation
Learning to enjoy our isms
And to speak in new ways

In queer trees we rest
Dotting paths of transitions
With lilies and pink flamingoes
Towards horizons of letting go and trying again

We know we best be careful
When we step out onto this road
For we know it will take us under hill and over mountains
Seeing the world open below with infinite individuality

Along the way we hear confident men calling
Towards the circus, towards the crusade
Promising misleading information
That lead into the chasms between truths and lies

Yet your minds and your hearts will grow
Stronger, nimbler, more flexible
Able to contemplate the Twilight
And the Gods of the Upper Air

Whatever Love or Larceny
Brings you out of this world
Keep open to unexpected otherness
And you will learn to live with mysteries

The future of this monstrous world is yours to write.
So stay focused, don’t forget the small things,
Because a single stone can bring down mountains.
What you know, what you do, what you say, what you think matters.


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