Sunday, January 31, 2010

Definitely a Whimper

I’ve seen the greatest minds of my generation
busted for malfeasance.
Dinosaurs crying glib crocodile tears.
The codpiece of tenure ripped aside like so much recycled paper.
Staggering through Bridgeport,
foul of breath from ersatz Cuban panatellas,
singing out the true stories of their lives,
fueled by Maker's Mark, Dylan and a heaped tablespoonful of self-pity.
Half-written memoirs, unfinished romains,
the glorious shimmering stank of student pussy in their mustaches.
Trapped in the afterglow of the grins of lesbian colleagues.
How they smile, bask in your misery. A far superior predator.
Marooned with sarcastic kids and anti-trophy wives,
their contempt like question marks burned into your worried forehead
by the tip of the white-hot rapier that was once your own sense of humor
but now belongs to your spawn.
Do you recall? You only went into teaching for the three free months of summer.
To disappoint your parents, write your books,
show off your scintillating repartée at readings and receptions
and shag every little slag.
Giggle when you encounter the winners. Their classrooms trouble free.
Risk averted at the very gates.
The dross propaganda of Derrida, Beaudrillard and f-f-f-fucking Foucault,
dead without a gutter, without a singular tear.
I've seen the greatest minds of my generation purple with envy.
Preaching against the national debt.
Haunted by the prospect of perpetual war,
and a singular dream where their children's children bear prayer rugs.
World's end, as the sun, a pitted, acne-infected orange,
spitting its halitosis accompanied by a bass-heavy worldbeat soundtrack,
weights and measures, whimpers-versus-bangs
God and the devil in the final World Series.

— Ivor Irwin

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


The Digital Conversion box in my head
Gets distracted by errant traffic upstairs.
Keith David: Narrator of all our lives,
pleasantly reciting all our yesterdays, for the right price.
Ken Burns all around. Ubiquitous. Educating Me.
Helping me think American.
Now that the sun, having indeed set, I
no longer a true Englishman.
Having learned to be a stars and stripes liberal.
Now I know all about
The civil war
our national forests
World War Two
Abraham Lincoln
Louis Armstrong
The faces of critics and experts. Their wiseness.
Stanley Crouch’s football head.
The nasel whine of Gary Giddins:
(His voice which reminds me of a kid I punched for no reason whatsoever in school one day,
because the timbre of his enunciation just irritated me)
Thank you all!
I now own the boxed set. The book. The soundtrack.
It's like I know Hank Gates and Simon Schama.
Now I can say, sincerely, at cocktail parties, with a straight face, that
the two greatest betrayals of the Twentieth Century were
The Pact of Steel and Dylan at Newport.
Now can we all hold hands
Shake our bling and sing
“This Land is Your Land!!”

—Ivor Irwin