Sunday, August 9, 2009

2 poems by Keith Higginbotham

"Alex Trebek's Moustache"

i wonder if anyone noticed
last night on jeopardy
that alex trebek
had a moustache
until the commercial break
about halfway through
the show

did someone say
the moustache just isn't working
and maybe made him
shave it off

or perhaps
looking in the monitor
i want to have
a different look
for the rest
of the show

these are the mysteries
of our times

"The N-Word"

Benjamin said the n-word
in class the other day

He went to the neo-Nazi rally
last weekend at the state capitol, which
he kept calling “the court house”
for some odd reason
and no one bothered to correct him

Not that Benjamin is a real neo-Nazi or anything
He’s a “liberal,” which around here
means the same as You Fucked My Wife
but Benjamin is a good guy and he
would never fuck my wife even if I had one

So Benjamin was talking about how
he hated the neo-Nazis and the reason he
went there in the first place was to oppose them
and then he quoted one of the neo-Nazis:
“We need to get rid of the n-word.” Only he
didn’t say “n-word”; he said the actual n-word

So why did a sweeping shard of guilt
come Jerry Falwelling through my
midsection? I didn’t say the n-word;
Benjamin said it
But am I, as Benjamin’s “superior” supposed
to kick him out of class, reprimand him
although he used the n-word in a derogatory
fashion not against the enemies of
the neo-Nazis but to the neo-Nazis themselves,
or feed him to the lions?

This is getting pretty complicated, but
I started to wonder about my safety
and whether my Buddist-like passiveness might
just land me in jail, or worse
bad student evaluations, even though most of them
don’t know what the Internet is

And what the hell is offensive anyway
I’m offended by the g-word, the j-word
the k-word, the z-word. Come to think of it,
I’m pretty much offended by
all words

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