Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Eugenicist

(April poem a day, assignment 4)

According to Wikipedia
Someone who believes in
“the applied science or the biosocial movement
which advocates the use of practices
aimed at improving the genetic composition”
of human populations.

Noble goal until
I look at my brown, queer, gimped body
and realize they were/are
often discussing my genetic fitness
and ask them who are they to judge
this life, this flesh
they don’t inhabit.

Strange thing
is you can't always spot them.
They hide.
Afraid of the sun
like too many rodents.

The Eliminated

(for Tucker's writing assignment on World II)

Doctors, nurses, and midwives
told parents of schools, of treatment centers.
Later, in letters home,
sudden, child deaths attributed to pneumonia.
All the while they carved into tiny, blameless bodies;
stealing pieces of the murdered very minds
for future medical research.

When some parents,
grown wiser at news
of another facility “pneumonia” death,
refused consent, threats abounded…
Removal of all children, even the able-bodied,
or sentencing to “labor duty” which in the Fuehrer’s era
meant a slow, starved death.

By 1941,
over 5,000 children were executed
according to Wikipedia.
Numerous other sources list death tolls
as impossible to estimate.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Pluses and minuses

Author's Note: This is the first poem from Robert Lee Brewer's April Poem a Day Challenge that I thought worthy of posting. Assignment "What would the world be like without you.

(with gratitude to deceased poet Laura Hershey)

Two more dead 18-year-olds, a decade ago...
newspapers would’ve discovered them
blue and frostbitten one morning
from sleeping in a stairwell at UMass
and make some callous comment about
New England winters are unkind
to the lodging less.
Now one’s a dad.
The other still a work in progress.

One less ADAPT freedom fighter
willing to place body and budget
in cross hairs to secure an end to
institutional bias.

One less person who dared today
to -as deceased mentor put it
in poem that decorates workspace-
“ show something you’ve made
to someone you respect
and be happy with it no matter
what they say."

One less queer, brown, gimp, chick poet
who adores obliterating bigotry
and sharing self story across multiple generations.