Like Voltaire in a Frenzy 


17

Like Voltaire in a Frenzy

I am in exile from prosperity
I study the downtrodden
Minorities, elderly, disabled, the poor
I’ve become one of them to

Realize what it means to be human
Perfectly happy in struggle and stress
I wonder why this is, for poetry
And prayer, and meditation

It’s the gardening of the spirit
In this culture of materialism
Sometimes to live you need friends
Partners, lovers, inspiration

Cajoling life from festivity
Scolding life from monotony
Screaming life from anonymous cities
Cleverly hoping to civilize

I am in exile from justice
I face discrimination, I would know what it means!
I eat poisonous GMO food
I am becoming obese and with diabetes

I hold religion up as an icon of identity
But I believe in the human spirit
In how to overcome adversity
I’ve met my match in this generation

Too poor to be a father, too poor
To know how to be patient like a peasant
I become my own revolution
And find in society a kind of apathy

That the uncomplaining stars understand
But in my lucid song, I do not
I suffering a martyr and I doubt
The world is a kind or good place.

Question & Answer


4

Question & Answer

We are the not famous poets
We celebrate the common person

Black, Hispanic, Chinese, gay, Trans, Disabled
Senior, teenager, semi-homeless, poor, impoverished
Please excuse this poem

A poem has no right to make a dollar today
Only to celebrate the breathless holiday
Of art, the tragedies of living

The news doesn’t talk about
The violence in impoverished lands
Where billions have no enforcement of law
They talk about the privileged

It’s a state of affairs run by the entitled
Were you born in an entitled nation?
Where you have the luxury of

Talking about God or the state or art
There are human beings out there
Who if they wrote a poem it would be

About survival, about how not to be
Drowned by immigrant traffickers
Off the coast of Italy, or how

To move to a county with some semblance
Of prosperity, those would be words
Worth hearing, but how many have no voice.