I sent this short poem to several newspapers as a letter to the editor but none chose to print it. Is that because I explicitly call bigots bigots? Or do they just shy away from verse? I don’t pretend it’s a terrific poem, but there are some times when you want the broad brush and the bold statement. As Louis MacNeice said, in 1941, “All poems are not written the same way. Critics forget this. There are occasions for flatness and hyperbole, for concentration and diffuseness, for regular and irregular form, for both the unusual and the obvious, for uplift and understatement.” Anyway, I’ll publish it here; maybe somebody will find it and stick it up on their bulletin board or refrigerator:
SOME VERSES VERSUS BIGOTRY
The bigots are building a ghetto again,
this time for the lovers they hate.
They want to change the constitution,
invoke the power of the state
to wall off anybody they find odd
with ready-made bricks made of words
left over from invoking law and God
last time to keep out “the coloreds.”
Their hatred is what I’m afraid of,
not my gay sisters and brothers.
True and false are the two kinds of love
and there aren’t any others.