I never like to explain poems but here I am explaining a poem.
I was irritated, this morning, as with most mornings, at what Twitter had vomited out to the world after the announcement of the new Miss USA contest. Now I am not particular fan nor enemy of the Miss USA competition. It is a particularly American form of demeaning women by making them bark facts and do tricks but everyone enters into it with as much of a freewill as any one can ever enter into anything and it is, even though oppressive in the subtle ways that our patriarchy oppresses all women, not the worst thing that a woman can, in this day and age, experience. I am not a woman so I cannot say this for sure but that is the basis upon which I have feelings regarding the Miss USA competition. From Twitter there came various hateful comments regarding the Indian American winner. They are widely available on the internet. I shall not repeat them here. So in response to a comment made by a friend about how awful this was I appropriated a line from The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus and adapted it for my needs. It is, I believe, the most famous of all the lines and is rendered below:
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.”
Later, as I pondered my changed version I decided to change the whole poem to reflect my views, at the very present moment on social media. The irony of me transmitting this through social media is not lost on me. What can one say other than that I am a hippocrit. So be it – I find myself guilty as charged.
So here, without further ado, and a lengthy introduction which does not deserve my brutalisation, or your time, I present you with An Apology, in Advance, to the Memory of Emma Lazarus:
Not like the eyeless spawn of silicate shame,
With writhing limbs lumbering from gland to gland;
Here at our broken toothed, fiery gates shall stand
A soiled beacon with a stump, whose flame
Is the searing lie, and it’s name
Moloch’s Minion. From it’s bloodied-hand
Burns world-wide fury; her wild sockets command
The air-thick with rage that prejudices frame.
“Keep, ancient tomes, your words!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your racist, your sexist,
Your homophobic masses yearning to speak hate,
The wretched moral refuse of your inner world.
Send these, the bankrupt, lunatics to me,
I lift my stump beside the flaming maw!”