The Rip Post                                                                                              

Don’t you want to have
A handy label in which to live
A comfy cubbyhole
All take and no give?

Call yourself this or that,
Cling to an identity. Perhaps
A slogan or two, a buzzword
Or three, as good as any
Academic degree.

Put a Post-It on your brain,
Scan the sands for a sweet
Refrain, sure enough you're
On the margin between
Thick and thin, brace
Yourself for the flood
About to begin.

You’re wearing a nametag
That declares yourself to be
“Phantom Elevator,” and
You’re reputed to be a guy
Who lives in a tree, waistcoat,
High hat, spats and all.

Pleasant glades festooned
With flowers like doubloons
Are to be treasured, like
Clifton’s redwood womb.

Cozy and warm, you can
Assume any form across
The universe, no need
To rehearse, you’ve
Shed the curse, of
God, religion and all that.

Contemporary motifs
Are profoundly vacuous,
Industrial bas reliefs,
You can’t stand the
Squiggles. They give
You overwhelming grief.

Mismatched moustaches,
Kahlo eyebrows and
Cosmic critiques. You
Risk nothing by proclaiming
Universal world peace
And meting punishments
To those who will not cease
In their subversive greed.

Strive to be pure in
Thought, word and deed.
There’s a name to be
Lived down, so skip the
Quest for fame and
Dispense with banners
Proclaiming new eras,
They’ve already passed.

---Jack Oakes 5/7/07



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