There is a diversity of outrages in the daily briefings
On evidence, you can see the cookies crumble, the towers
Tumble, you call your transgender friends and they just
Want to punch the next guy who says something stupid
You know like a fetus is a person or a fetus is not a person
Or a fetus is not a fetus, but an imaginary tic in Lacanian scholarship
You could say stuff like that and you’d be vulnerable to many assaults
To the body, to the spirit, to your use of empirical research, how
Dare you find science the basis for your conclusions about climate
Or geology genealogy biology- –flow charts abandoned in computer files
or destroyed—the hard copies stuffed in garages possibly in
Virginia or maybe Maryland. Are we not entitled to know where
Our ideas are stored. The ones that speak to invention or justice
Or measure the desertification of the Great Southwest? The head
Bureaucrat claims no knowledge of censorship—polices change
And really when you think about it, there are so many ways in which
Nouns do so little harm, make little mischief, mask the very bad
Tastes in somebody’s mouth when culling a list of words whose
Meanings double, triple because they are no longer to be used
The transgender patient is vulnerable to evidence-based procedures
Resulting in a fixed fetal position as a diversity of science-based
Articles list her dis ease with the status quo. Blah Blah Blah
Oh no, you cannot
Ask for mercy in this land or justice or love really,
you cannot ask for that.
But your outrages can be many, diverse, various, pointing towards
The heartless cock pecking at his twitter feed every other dawn.
Patricia Spears Jones is the author of A Lucent Fire: New and Selected Poems and seven other collections. She is the winner of the 2017 Jackson Poetry Prize from Poets and Writers.
Inspiration: The arrogance of the current administration, but more troubling the current culture’s contempt for science, ironically married with contempt for the “other,” i. e. transgender persons, really enraged me. Those seven words combined that arrogance and contempt, plus reminded me of why Whitman asked American poets to make bold work that calls out the awful actors in our midst.