Joe DiMaggio (new version)

Posted: November 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

The other day I posted a poem called Joe DiMaggio.

After I posted it, a talented fellow poet of my acquaintance (Meme), pointed out that the juxtaposition of the content of the poem with the title didn’t work. There was a story behind the title, but DiMaggio himself had a very troubled history filled with abuse, especially towards his one-time spouse, Marilyn Monroe.

I read up and couldn’t agree more. I considered changing the title of the poem but instead I added a verse.

Here is the new version.

Joe DiMaggio

Where have you gone, Bob Dylan?
We could use the
Call from the wilderness
And a voice of a generation
To stand up and say
Enough is enough
And it is time for a change
But be careful
Because not all change is
And the times they are
A’changing back
To a simpler time
When men were men
And women knew their place,
Birth control was god’s will
And abortions were kept in
Back alleys.
Workers were just parasites
And Lady Justice had
A direct line to societal
Cheques and balances
Where a verdict was tied
Closer to bank account And skin tone then
Facts and evidence.

Where have you gone, Margaret Sanger?
We have come so far
Yet watching the systematic
Dismantling of women’s rights
Under the guise of
Financial conservatism
And religious determinism
Feels somehow unreal
Like watching a parallel
Dimension where
Don Draper chauvinism has
Remained static for forty years
Instead of being forced under
Wraps behind a veneer of
Progressive civilization.
They are building a
Sexual prison where
Women’s bodies are public property
And roles are proscribed and
All aided and abetted
By well-meaning men
Who think that dictating
Dress and behaviour and
Calling it freedom
Isn’t another word
For misogyny.

Where have you gone, Tommy Douglas?
As Stephen Harper lines up
His strike busting goons
Carrying briefcases
Rather than axe-handles
Forgetting than a union
Is a joining of strengths
And an attack on unions
Is an attack on people,
But when the right
Doesn’t care about rights,
Cries for a fair deal
Are all that is left.

Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio
As the nation turns it’s lonely eyes to you?
Conflating talent with heroism
While not all obsessions are created equal.
A career of piling up the hits
Didn’t end with him hanging up the glove
But we keep protecting damaged men
Instead of dealing with the damage
Without concern for those women
Not wearing the away team’s uniforms.

And where have you gone,
Martin Luther King Jr.?
Oh wait, I know that one –
He was gunned down for
Saying things that challenged
Society because
Words can be dangerous.
But how far have we come
If now all a black man named
Martin had to do to be shot
Is wear a hoodie
In a community designed to
Keep him out?
We inherited a world
Moving away from wives as
Property, workers as serfs
And pride in a White America
And we have sat back and
Watched a backslide to
Regressive double-speak
Like Family Values and
Moral Centers.

Do not be complacent.
The snake is speaking in tongues
And it whispers stories of
Fear and control.
Do not be complacent
As the right continues
To plow us under
Using economic leverage
To get us to agree to
Do not be complacent
Or the world is already theirs.

  1. […] I went to Urban Legends to see Andre Prefontaine perform and ended up volunteering to slam. I did Joe DiMaggio, which I had debuted as a sac at the CapSlam earlier, and Angst again. I didn’t win (I think […]

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