Upon Recognizing Yesterday’s ‘Well-Meaning’ Poem Was Still as Paternalistic as Ever

//Upon Recognizing Yesterday’s ‘Well-Meaning’ Poem Was Still as Paternalistic as Ever

Upon Recognizing Yesterday’s ‘Well-Meaning’ Poem Was Still as Paternalistic as Ever

By D. R. James

—1/22/17

Outside, still January, but 40 not 15,
gauzy, black-and-white woods
from The Wolf Man. Inside,
a gauzy-gray (un?)consciousness
from This White Man, half-reclined
in buttery, dove-gray leather. It’s envisioning
millions of protesting women, now back
perhaps in their individual towns,
their power proclaimed not awakened,
or still making their way back
from D.C., G.R., L.A., NYC,
Denver, Chicago, Baltimore,
Honolulu, Madison, Wichita,
Reno, Boston, Memphis, Atlanta,
Albuquerque, Gulfport, Asbury Park,
Laramie, Ashville, Orlando, Seattle,
Old Saybrook, Corpus Christie, Erie, Roanoke,
Eugene, New Delhi, Vienna, Minsk,
La Paz, Prague, Strasbourg, Botswana,
EX Village des Jeux Ankorondrano,
Dublin, Athens, San Jose, Sofia,
Copenhagen, Tel Aviv, Geneva, Liverpool,
Cape Town, Moscow, Yellow Knife, Beirut,
Buenos Aires, Belgrade, Bangkok, Boise …
Will it never, ever learn?

 


D. R. James is the author of the poetry collection Since Everything Is All I’ve Got (March Street Press) and five chapbooks, including most recently Why War and Split-Level (both from Finishing Line Press). Poems have appeared in various journals, such as Caring Magazine, Coe Review, Diner, Dunes Review, Friends of William Stafford Newsletter, HEArt Online, Hotel Amerika, North Dakota Quarterly, Passager, Rattle, The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, and Sycamore Review, and anthologies, including Ritual to Read Together: Poems in Conversation with William Stafford (Woodley) and Poetry in Michigan / Michigan in Poetry (New Issues). James lives in Saugatuck, Michigan, and has been teaching writing, literature, and peace-making at Hope College for 32 years. Read about D. R. James here.

Photo credit: Daniel Oines via a Creative Commons license.

By | 2017-08-26T16:00:22+00:00 August 31st, 2017|Categories: Issue 38: 31 Aug 2017|Tags: , |Comments Off on Upon Recognizing Yesterday’s ‘Well-Meaning’ Poem Was Still as Paternalistic as Ever