The Center for Literate Values ~ Defending the Western tradition of responsible individualism, disciplined freedom, tasteful creativity, common sense, and faith in a supreme moral being.
P R A E S I D I U M
A Common-Sense Journal of Literary and Cultural Analysis
16.1 (Winter 2016)
If George Shirley’s poetry continues to become more political, it can only be because politics continues to intrude upon our private lives.
I am Hater, watch me snore.
Read my email. Search my drawers.
Mount and program ToiletCam.
Bug my laundry. Log my SPAM.
Why not simply ask my view?
In a nutshell: I hate you…
Hate your Super Nanny nag,
Hate your X-Rays in my bag.
Hate how Dobermans harass
Failure to stay off your grass;
Hate how bloodhounds chasten victims
Fleeing your plantation’s system.
Most of all, I hate your dense,
Haughty, erudite contempt:
Pampered, insular, aloof,
How I hate the help you give
When you tell me how to live:
What to eat, when run a lap,
Whom respect, what joke to crack—
Really hate your mandatory
Lectures on the placatory,
Thoughtful, proper, and polite:
“This is how we slice our pie:
“Hold knife thus: one piece for thee,
One for me… and one for me.
Pay attention! This is how
We dissect a sacred cow.
“How we from reality
Spare neurotic allergies;
How we trigger an alert
When your bluntness some may hurt.”
Whom to touch in lust, and where
(Lest true passion too much dare);
Different gender, sometimes; same,
Always—but consent obtain.
How to shun—all else above—
Stupid bourgeois dreams of love.
Naughty, naughty: never cling
To another human being.
Only cavemen make a nest
(Hairy heterosexual pests);
Only fascists seek a lair
Off the grid of Kindercare.
I profess I hated you
Enough to punch you black and blue;
Through your high-uplifted snout
Could have kicked your buttocks out.
Might still do so, if perchance
Some lame elevator jams;
But, as for the other risks
Wherefore my name fills your lists—
Pipe-bombs, rifles, wired tick-tocks,
Ryder trucks with sacks of Scott’s,
Anthrax smeared on envelopes—
These are how a nanny copes
When she overthrows the State;
Brave hearts lodge not such complaints.
Sounder minds make for the exit:
“Audience subtraction” method.
How you hate that strategy!
How it galls your vanity!
Prophet from the mountain preaching—
But some back-row type is leaving!
Stop him! Cuff him! Take him down!
Black suits, bundle him downtown,
No rights read! A viral hate
Are all who won’t participate!
What a pompous ass you are!
How I hate your baleful star
Rising in the moonless night,
Having snitched the copyright
To lunacy. I’ll find a sky
Where that star will never rise:
Maybe in the desert West
Where the rattlers have no legs;
Maybe in the Smokies, deep
Crouched along a thicket’s creek;
Cable, plumbing, call reception
Purged—a life past your conception.
Hater me! Wild animal:
Set me free and watch me go!
Threat’ning no one—but my song
Needling your delirium.
I am Hater, watch me soar
Over border, out of door!
But your drones watch me already,
Your love’s taxes poised to levy.
George Shirley lives with his family in the Clemson area and travels throughout the South Carolina region in connection with the growing home-school movement.