Caveat: as fast as I can

I present a flashback to the mood of this blog 2 years ago – when I often posted contemporary songs I thought would resonate with my middle-schoolers.

I continue to believe Taylor Swift is one of the best songwriters of the current era in the pop genre.

What I’m listening to right now.

Taylor Swift, “The Man.” The context for this song, is, at least partly, her ongoing legal battles with the condescending record company execs who absconded with her intellectual property, and who are, perhaps not coincidentally, men.

Lyrics.

I would be complex
I would be cool
They’d say I played the field before
I found someone to commit to
And that would be okay
For me to do
Every conquest I had made
Would make me more of a boss to you
I’d be a fearless leader
I’d be an alpha type
When everyone believes ya
What’s that like?
I’m so sick of running
As fast as I can
Wondering if I’d get there quicker
If I was a man
And I’m so sick of them
Coming at me again
‘Cause if I was a man
Then I’d be the man
I’d be the man
I’d be the man
They’d say I hustled
Put in the work
They wouldn’t shake their heads
And question how much of this I deserve
What I was wearing, if I was rude
Could all be separated from my good ideas and power moves
And we would toast to me, oh, let the players play
I’d be just like Leo, in Saint-Tropez
I’m so sick of running
As fast as I can
Wondering if I’d get there quicker
If I was a man
And I’m so sick of them
Coming at me again
‘Cause if I was a man
Then I’d be the man
I’d be the man
I’d be the man
What’s it like to brag about raking in dollars
And getting bitches and models?
And it’s all good if you’re bad
And it’s okay if you’re mad
If I was out flashin’ my dollas
I’d be a bitch, not a baller
They’d paint me out to be bad
So it’s okay that I’m mad
I’m so sick of running
As fast as I can
Wondering if I’d get there quicker
If I was a man (you know that)
And I’m so sick of them
Coming at me again (coming at me again)
‘Cause if I was a man (if I was man)
Then I’d be the man (then I’d be the man)
I’m so sick of running
As fast as I can (as fast as I can)
Wondering if I’d get there quicker
If I was a man (hey!)
And I’m so sick of them
Coming at me again (coming at me again!)
‘Cause if I was a man (if I was man)
Then I’d be the man
I’d be the man
I’d be the man (oh)
I’d be the man (yeah)
I’d be the man (I’d be the man)

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Caveat: Poem #1253

Within

Where Iron Factories spouted grey,
There I dwelt by Mahhalian shores.
So Doctor Hubert came with a Word,
For plastic Angels of the new Hell
City; for mind-slaves of Its hurt.
There I became blest--his Apostle.

Wind beat a slime to a sandy shore
There I began to hear of his word.
And from a dead-empty, bloody Hell
All the eyes glossy-dull by a hurt
The Rats fled; became his Apostles
So he promised to remove the grey.

Said he: No one can refute my Word
There I said: Amen! Ruin this Hell
Dr. Hubert!  Destroy my deep hurt!
He smiled: follow me, my Apostles.
Showing us how to survive the grey
Leading us to a candy-green shore.

Dancing, we were far from any Hell
Hoping, we failed to feel any hurt
Loving, thus were we his Apostles.
Plastic melted; we denied the grey
Eyes flickering/reflecting a shore
Free, happily alive with his Word.

Under a rock, the centipede hurts,
And he crawls, to sting an Apostle
Leaping, then he dies cadaver-grey
He's left to rot on a slimy store.
I run; I search for His holy Word,
The rats return whispering of Hell

For Hope, thus I became an Apostle
Then the rat-emperor came in grey,
And drove us to a cadavered shore,
Erected a cross for harmless Words
Removed the candy, revealed a Hell
No! Not Dr. Hubert.  Not the Hurt!

He brought Apostles to the shores,
He destroyed hurt with his Words--
But Hell revealed the Grey within.

– this is a “guest poem” – not by another author, but by me, but written 37 years ago, in the fall of 1982. It is a sestina, in form, with an additional constraint revealed in the use (abuse) of the mono-spaced font. The poem was “lost” for most of the intervening years, but turned up in a box that I was sorting through in recent weeks.
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