April 5, 2019 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Phil Roeder photo



I.B. Rad




Reductio ad Absurdum



In our American republic,

when members of a “minority” band together

to pressure elected officials,

it can result in more supportive,

even fairer governance

(think civil and gay rights),

but when “identity politics”

is taken to all but racist extremes

with advocates implying one race and gender,

“white men,”

shouldn’t run for our presidency

because they can’t fairly represent “minorities” and women,

at times also declaring, “It’s our turn,”

as if the presidency were an equal opportunity gig;

well, that’s where I have to part company.

So now let’s do “the shoe on the other foot” check

by inquiring, “Can women and minorities impartially represent white men?”

How would most candidates feel about that?!

(Actually I don’t find such representation problematic.)

But besides, concerning classic “old white guy” politicos,

are Sanders, Trump, Bloomberg, and Biden all the “same?”

Anyway, that’s enough, we’ll move on.

Since “minorities,” “women,” and “white men”

are non-homogenous groups,

is it illegitimate to ask

whether an African American

can speak for a Mexican American,

or an “Hispanic” Mexican American,

an “Hispanic” Cuban American,

a rich white guy, a poor white man,

or, as previously broached,

can a woman truly represent a man,

a man, a woman

or…, well you’ve got the gist,

when unscrupulous identity mongers

push their divisive politics to its’ “bitter end,”

can anyone acceptably represent anybody

other than themselves?






Talking to the Man in the Moon*



In 1969, during their historic lunar walk,

who’d have thought

astronauts Aldrin and Armstrong

might also have been conveying

a tribal admonition

to the man in the moon?

Months earlier, at a high desert moonscape

in the western United States,

they met an elderly Native American

who was puzzled by their behavior

and, after explaining

they were training for a lunar landing,

the man disclosed he and his tribe

believed sacred spirits lived on the moon;

then asked them to pass a secret message

to those holy spirits, in his native tongue.

And so, after rehearsing the words

until they could articulate his lines verbatim,

they returned to their base

repeating them to an interpreter

who broke out laughing, chortling it meant,

‘Don’t believe a word these people are telling you.

They’ve come to steal your lands.’




*   Based on an anecdote found in Yuval Noah Harari’s book,“Sapiens, A Brief History of Humankind






I.B. Rad

I.B. Rad lives and plays in New York City. This somewhat controversial poet is widely published with much of his work available on the internet. His most recent book, “Dancing at the Abyss” was published by Scars Publications.”

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