Isn’t This A Time?
by Lew Rosenbaum
This is a time for Big Poems, / roaring up out of sleaze, /
poems from ice, from vomit, and from tainted blood. /
This is the time for stiff or viscous poems. / Big, and big.
from “Winnie,” by Gwendolyn Brooks
Sure is a lot of sleaze to go around.
Don’t have to look far to see the vomit on the ground.
Not hard to dip your pen in quarts of tainted blood
So easy to pull metaphors from the vocal flood-
Waters pouring from vicious mouths’ roaring sound
Sure is a pile of sleaze to go around.
“Isn’t this a time? A time to try the soul of man?
Isn’t this a terrible time?!”
Dreams are supposed to make the sleaze go away,
Supposed to give you a boat to ride the flood
But I’m tired of praying for a bus bench on the corner,
Some thread to mend the hole that lets the rain in my tent,
Commodity cheese for dinner tonight.
Tired of begging for a library
Where my kids go to school.
Those dreams are small;
Dreams of what used to be.
This is the time for stiff, viscous visions,
Visions looking forward
For a home for everyone
Food on everyone’s plate
Cops with wooden legs
Schools where children learn what they need
And how they can
Where we the people
End the carmagnole of corporate vampires
And open the hiphop doorway to abundance for all.
I sing no band-aid, dreamy verses.
“Isn’t this a time? A time to free the soul of man?
Isn’t this a wonderful time!”
Good morning revolution.
Yours is a visionary poem big, and big!
The quotations are from a song,
composed and sung by The Weavers
and popularized by Peter, Paul and Mary