Wednesday, 22 December 2010

William Doreski

The Revolution Will Be Televised

Comrades, the time has come
to seize the means of production
I wrote in my latest memo,
earning a crooked smile from the dean.
Dusk as drab as old sweat pants
crawls across the quad, dousing
my dream of overthrowing worlds.
You think I’m merely boyish
because like Dostoevsky

I want to face a firing squad
and let revolution enter me
like a swarm of killer bees. Laughing,
you share your iced coffee with me.
Why do you suppose the straws
have become alert as antenna,
quivering while the TV rants
of oil spills and massacres, and suits
explain why their public crimes

deserve praise instead of censure?
What does it mean to want to seize
the means of production
the workers have long ago retired
and we academics produce
only a dreary and muffling fog?
As we drain the coffee our foreheads
bump like dueling elk, so we duck
shyly away from each other.

How often we’ve sorted headlines
by degrees of horror, sharing
our modest grief. The revolution
next time will surely be televised.
But when we stand like Dostoevsky
and the rifles nod but refuse
to fire we’ll feel belittled
by the books we’ve read and loved,
the iced coffee freezing our veins.


Jenny said...

"the iced coffee freezing our veins"

Great closure of a great poem. Thanks for it, William. Welcome back anytime.

Ande said...

The poem is so right. It's an absolutely terrific piece. Thanks for it.

Unknown said...

"Sometimes," said the handsome, smiling thief, "I want the frame, much more than the picture."

"And sometimes," said his pretty, lonesome wife, "I want to watch my TV show."

First lines of the last stanza reminds me of early Eliot. Probably not a complement to some, but surely meant as one. Thanks.