February 08, 2023
our children have to learn
we need libraries
we accept children
I felt so bad for that boy
taped to the cross with
keep us safe from people
whose parents ban books
I am new to the art of erasure poems (and am deeply inspired by Dave Bonta's erasure poems -- here's a recent one that's particularly excellent.) But I found myself struggling for words this morning.
Language itself becomes debased, meaning comes unmoored, when people repeatedly insist on things that are not true. This form felt right today. It's my attempt to make meaning out of gibberish.
(The original text claims to be Sarah Huckabee's "rebuttal" from last night. If you want to read her words, you can easily find a transcript of what she had to say. I won't reprint her words here.)
While I'm here: trans rights are human rights, gender affirming care saves lives, banning books is grotesque, and God is a far vaster reality than what any single religious tradition might claim.
Updated to add: Thank you to the reader who let me know that I've been hornswoggled -- this is not in fact the text of her rebuttal, it's satire. The fact that I couldn't tell satire from reality does say something about the world we're living in, and about the degradation of truth in an era of misinformation, and about how easy it is to get caught up in the digital outrage machine. I've been reading on Twitter about horrendous anti-trans bills in Missouri and elsewhere, and the ugly rhetoric and triumphalist theology that underpins those, and I was all too ready to take this satire as fact. I should have better media literacy than that -- I should have searched for a corroborating source before getting so angry. I apologize.
Then again, I do like the poem I came up with, so there's that.