January 11, 2015

R.G. Evans


Agamemnon loved the black sails
of Achilles because they didn’t belong to Troy.
Americans stopped worrying and learned
to love the bomb because the bomb was ours.
When we look into the mirror and see
another’s face, we love that face like our own.
Je suis Charlie, says the western world
as a way to mourn those who died
because their pens were free.
“I am the liberal in this debate,” Bill Maher
says. But liberals, he says, need to wake up.
“Pussy nation,” he calls us because we refuse
to take up ploughshares and rattle them
like sabers against Islam. Hundreds of millions
support these deaths, he says. In the guise of entertainment,
Bill Maher tells Jimmy Kimmel, “If they were beheading
Catholics in Vatican Square, don’t you think
we would rise up and do something?”
No greater truth about free speech ever written than
“The best lack all conviction while the worst
are filled with passionate intensity.”
No matter who boils that cauldron—
liberal, conservative, jihadist or crusader—
fire used for heat is just fire.
Not like fire used for light, like the torches
that lit the way for Priam—that ancient pussy—
to confront the great Achilles and prostrate himself
for the body of his beloved son.
Mr. Maher, I prefer my mirror empty
to one that makes me look like you.
Je suis pussy, if that is what it takes.

Poets Respond
January 11, 2015

[download audio]


R.G. Evans: “After the Charlie Hebdo massacre, Bill Maher was a guest on Jimmy Kimmel. Some of my liberal friends worship Maher as if he were the media’s antidote to Bill O’Reilly and other conservative pundits, but I’ve always thought of him as self-serving and dangerous, liberal though I am. His comments to Jimmy Kimmel, included in this poem, only solidified my regard for him.” (website)

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