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or the Rape of Poetry

As if some Ivy League Rapunzel
waits to let down her metaphoric hair,
the university press editor
pontificates on "academic poetry"
and other intellectual fairy tales
that keep the heroine safely ensconced
in her ivory tower.

I’ve come to warn you.
Escape before the Academics
finish walling you into
their uptight epistemologies
and concrete definition;
Beware the princes of Academia, Rapunzel.
Given the choice between you or tenure,
they'll publish you until you perish
gasping for a breath of original thought,
Legitimizing their blindness,
they hoard knowledge
as if their alphabetic pedigrees
give them the right to control you
and save your beauty
for their sightless eyes alone.

Jump Rapunzel!
Climb down.
Walk among the people
who sweat, bleed
and make love,
crying out
in weary frustration
at the ugliness and monotony
of their seamless lives;
Without your lyric beauty
they may miss
the transcendent moments.

Sing Rapunzel,
Sing for the dreaming girl
who colors snow blue,
who will grow to
bleed and scar,
value questioned
and questioning
Her translucent soul
offers scant protection
for her earthbound body;
you are her mother
and she will need
to join your song.

Sing Rapunzel,
Sing for the agricultural worker,
family farm swallowed whole
by ravenous Agricorps.
He needs your song
so that when he closes his eyes
he can still reclaim
golden treasure of his own wheat field
and the filigree of a spider's web
spun in the corner of his own barn door.

Sing Rapunzel,
Sing for the homeless man
in a coonskin cap and dreds
panhandling at the bus station;
he hears your songs
in his head,
even when you are silent.
He has no voice
but yours to tell his story.

Rap with the inner city kid, Rapunzel.
Go into the 'hood to find
the disenfranchised urban bards.
Their bastard cadences and righteous rhymes
seethe with a virile artistry
that frightens the university eunuchs.
Angry sons of Beat fathers,
they know how to howl
and their audible power
could bring the tower down.

Sing for them, Rapunzel.
Sing for them all.
Sing to save yourself.




bridesmaid reception
Princess Peach - Empress of the World

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