Shittiness as an Aesthetic ProblemI could turn my back, turn off the news,
And live most splendidly. I'm rich. I'm
Male and white, and my home's buffered
From the misery and poverty of other
Places by unending upscale suburbs.
I'm not bothered by police when driving
Or out on the sidewalk. No one stares
And calls me names, or gropes me in
Congested spaces. Why, then, am I not
A man who sits in clubs and bars with
Others of my sort, guffawing at the latest
Racist, sexist jokes, and saying Blacks
And women and the queers are just too
Sensitive? Because I understand that I
Am privileged as those others aren't.
I'm not a better person whose own
Efforts brought him such success.
I once was poor. I've known misfortune,
And I know that that's what it is. It's
Not a punishment that's earned.
Perhaps aesthetics are the reason
Why I must remain engaged. The smugness
Of my smirking peers, their cruel words
And what they do, revolt me. They are
Ugly, and, as you might guess from my
Surroundings, I like pretty things.
Poetry by Lawrence Beck
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Written on 2020-10-16 at 23:45
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