Caricatures

Caricatures

the obnoxiously
affected
effete and effeminate
caricature of the 
intellectual 
asks rhetorically
will you raise the fist
or take a kneel
when the tyrants
come calling?

then
what this obnoxiously
affected
effete and effeminate
caricature of the
intellectual
fails to ask
rhetorically
is if
standing
with hand over heart
and the waving 
instead of the burning
of flags
whether pavlovian responses
to anthems and symbols
and the donning of uniforms
when his tyrants
come calling
aren't the same
goddamned things
already
as a kneel
a raised fist
and a different uniform
to a different set
of tyrants

failing to ask
by rhetorical redirection
since the evidence
of tyranny
is as much in the offices
as in the streets
or classrooms

this caricature
of the intellectual
plays the same fucking game
which he criticizes
so beware
of the bullshit
the parlor tricks
of either cups or cards
for directing your attention
toward the tyranny
ahead
instead of the tyranny
stalking
right behind your back

beware
of these caricatures
whether effete intellectuals
or brazen bullies
or oddballs, freaks and outcasts
all stalking us
seeking to roll us
with their bullshit
whether it descends from the heavens
or bubbles up
from the earth

beware
these dishonest
charlatans
these evangelists
of history and politics
playing to an audience
not realizing
they're an audience
let alone the marks
of one side or the other
lecturing to us
like school children
the truths
of only one side
to the obfuscation
of all the other truths
just like 
the truths of history
we were never taught
in elementary school

question
their tricks
for what they're 
intended to do
instead of playing along
as the willing
complicit
mark or rube
shelling out
another buck
knowing you're gonna lose
with the ball
always under
some other 
cup
but too fascinated
by the slight of hand
to ever understand or accept
you're just
their 
mark
or some elementary school
lass or laddie
pledging allegiance
while being fed
another elementary
version
of yourself
and our histories

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