Saturday, January 19, 2019

The Mad King (a poem by Kevyn Knox)

Knock knock!
Who's there?

The past!     Back again!

Days of black face and minstrel shows
Of separate water fountains and lunch counters 
Of separate schools and separate rules

Days of mammies and little black sambos
Of riding in the backs of busses
As if Rosa Parks never sat her ground

Days of mockingbirds and buffalo soldiers
Of Strom Thurmond switching sides
And Ella not given a seat at the Apollo

Days of Jim Crow and Steppinfetchit
Of a white washed silver screen, both big and small
And Walt Disney's own blatant black crows

Days of Brown vs. the Board of Education
Of miseducation, of misdirection
Of little Ruby Bridges, just making her way to school

Days of being spat upon for wanting to learn
Of a governor telling you to go back to Africa
Even if you were only from Tylertown Mississippi

Days of separate but never ever equal
Of no peers on television or in adverts
Hollywood and Madison Avenue, white on white

Days of the lynchin' tree in every small town
And police brutality at each potential traffic stop
Almost as if it were still today, oh how we have grown

Days of old cowboy stars calling us snowflakes
For not taking to their coy racism, their ugly racism
Their ugly taking back of their perceived loss of privilege

Days of Watts and Harlem and cotton eyed joe
Of name calling children and first ladies on the web
As if Barack Obama hadn't ever given us hope

Knock knock!
Who's there?

Oh those were the days!

Back when girls were girls and men were men
When a woman knew her place and her mouth
When a girl knew better than to speak out, speak up

Back when a gentleman held a door for a lady
but still slapped her on the ass as she went through
Leered and sneered and catcalled too

Back when she knew how to fry it up in a pan
and still never ever let you forget you were a man
A number one, top of the heap, king of the hill

Those were the days of wine and rose gardens
Of hen parties and Tupperware nightmares
Of white picket fences to keep you in your place

Before Billie Jean beat up the man
Before Steinem made you burn your bras
Before Kamala Khan was  a superhero

Before equal pay for equal work
Before Elizabeth Warren & Alexandria Ocasio
Before Rey ever held her lightsaber

Back before you could be everything you wanted to be
When privilege ruled the roost, cocked the cock
And clothes hanger alleys were the final solution

The female body being controlled by congress
The womanly thoughts being controlled by man
Almost as if it were still today, oh how we have grown

Those were the days of Don Draper and Richard Nixon
Of Marilyn naked and dead behind locked doors
Of arranged marriages and forced relations

Oh those were the days when a cock beat a cunt any day
Those were the days when Herbert Hoover was a rockin'
And gee, our old La Salle ran great

Knock knock!
Who's there?

The gay old days of yesterday!

When boys were boys and men liked men
When a kiss was so continental, but aghast
To the straight establishment and moral code

Those pre-Stonewall days of beatings and bullies
Of back alley trysts and secret rendezvous
Of the love that shall never speak its name

When the Cary Grants and Claudette Colberts
The Jimmy Deans and the Joan Crawfords
Had to hide their lavender loves away

When Adam and Steve, and Carol and Eve
Had to hide their so-called shame away
The subjects of those taboo pulp fictions

The gay old days of underground burlesque 
And being a stat in the latest edition of the DSM
A mental disorder instead of the love or lust that it was

When a disease, a plague from a sadistic god
From a made-up deity, ravished the community
and all the president said was nothing at all

When Matthew Shepard was strung up
Beaten and left to die, the norm of the day
When a beating was the best a boy could hope for

When a bakery would not bake a cake
Or a drugstore would not take your takes
Almost as if it were still today, oh how we have grown

When a marriage was between a man and a woman
And a bathroom was designated to your genitalia of birth
And gender roles were mercilessly defined

When pronouns were unheard of, not worried about
And the LGBTQIA was just a random series of letters
An unprotected series of letters, by any law of the land

Knock knock!
Who's there?

Yesterday!   Today!

Build a wall! They chanted at rallies
Not like Reagan tearing one down
But build a wall and keep them out

Mexico will pay to keep Mexicans out
The taxpayers will pay for their mistake
The mistake of 62,984,825 voters

As we slay slay slay the brown man from our shores
100, 200, 300, a thousand hate crimes in his name
Murder, maim, and kill in the Mad King's name

Those with voices unlike ours, names unlike ours
Those with skin and hair and clothes unlike ours 
Those with gods and goddesses unlike the land of Oz

Like the internment camps of World War II
Like the Jewish ghettos of yesteryear
Like the no Irish, no Italian need apply

Xenophobia running rampant in trailer parks
Islamophobia keeping heel on Park Avenue
A nationwide hatred for the Muslim, for the Mexican

Rallying boy scouts like the Hitler youth
Demonizing the undocumented human being
No human being is illegal, no human being is a lie

A yesterday of a fear of the foreign hordes
Agents swooping up families in the dark of night
Almost as if it were still today, oh how we have grown

Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses
Yearning to breathe free, but given no quarter
Given no warm place in the manger even

With not so silent lips, Amerikkka, great again
Shuns shuns shuns this wretched refuse
Build a wall, ban a people, there is no hope here

Knock knock!
Who's there?

Pence and Putin and The Donald, oh my!

The day has come, the piper has piped
The divide has widened in Amerikkka
And yesterday is not gone, but making a comeback

Science is being called out by skeptics
As if this is the Dark Ages, the pre-enlightenment
The Earth is flat once again, even if it is obviously not

Dinosaurs never existed and we never landed on the Moon
A religious fervor has taken this nation
And all logical debate is gone with the winds of war

Come down here with us #45 tells us, tweets us
We all float down here they say, and they pray
And then conspire to take our healthcare away

Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell and their GOP
The Cryptkeeper Conway and Heil Hitler Steve
Worse and worse everyday, and some don't even see

Families torn asunder, Mothers watching Fox News
Tales of woe and Tweets of madness
When will this national nightmare be over!?

Knock knock!
Who's there?

Yeah, this joke just isn't funny anymore

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