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Letters to CPR: Marcus Bales responds to Richard Blanco Ballyhoo

Posted By the editors On May 9, 2013 @ 10:00 am In Letters,Poem,This Month | 5 Comments

Editor’s Note: Marcus Bales responded to the CPR’s recent series of articles on Richard Blanco’s Inaugural reading with this poem.

 

Identity Poetical by Marcus Bales

Identity Poet:
I am the very model of identity poetical,
My bio and my craftsmanship are blankly antithetical.
The more that I’m selected for my principal ethnicity
The easier it is to gauge political felicity.
I sort my varied heritage to pander and propitiate;
I foreground this or background that: I emphasize and vitiate.
And if you ever query me for qualities or references
I’ll happily supply you with a range of gender preferences.

Chic Chorus:
And if you ever query him for qualities or references
He’ll happily supply you with a range of gender preferences.
He’ll happily supply you with a range of gender preferences.

Identity Poet:
However you may orient you’ll find my echolalia
Reliably in tune no matter who is inter alia;
I’ll be a cheerful carnivore or modest vegetarian,
Or find a distant ancestor Hawaiian or Bulgarian.

Chic Chorus:
He’ll be a cheerful carnivore or modest vegetarian,
Or find a distant ancestor Hawaiian or Bulgarian.

Identity Poet:
Whenever I convince you I’m a mirror that’s reflecting you
You’ll get a nice warm fuzzy from the image I’m projecting you;
However odd your group may be, its ancestry meandering,
I’ll find in mine appropriate identities for pandering;
However far from mainstream sex your inclinations vexed you all
My own will echo yours in ways surprisingly contextual;
I’m pleased to be whatever I can be that I’ve inherited,
So long as you don’t ask me what my poetry has merited.

Chic Chorus:
He’s pleased to be whatever he can be that he’s inherited,
So long as you don’t ask him what his poetry has merited.

Identity Poet:
Since craftsmanship and excellence are both let go to pot right now
My multiethnic poses make my readings very hot right now.
I cut and pasted attributes until one day eventually
I found that I was reading very nearly Presidentially.

Chic Chorus:
He cut and pasted attributes until one day eventually
He found that he was reading very nearly Presidentially.

Identity Poet:
I write my grants explaining how I’m disadvantaged fearfully —
They expiate their guilt and then I spend their money cheerfully;
I copy out the grants in lines that ragged rightness glorified
And know I’m doing something right since formalists are horrified.
I’m easy if the audience is phallical or yonical
So long as what I claim to be is taken as canonical;
Transgender, straight, or gay I came to read to, not to marry ‘em —
I don’t care who they sleep with if they’ve paid my honorarium.

Chic Chorus:
Yes, straight or gay or trans, he came to read to, not to marry ‘em —
He won’t care who they sleep with if they’ve paid his honorarium.

Identity Poet:
There’s really nothing to it, it’s a metaphor, not mystery,
Since everyone’s a victim in the distant mists of history.
My claims for art are like my antecedents: theoretical;
I am the very model of identity poetical,

Chic Chorus:
Our claims for art are like our antecedents: theoretical;
We are the very models of identity poetical.


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