Old Strychnine in New Bottles

How readily a social smear or slight
against a person, notwithstanding law,
becomes a celebrated plebiscite
that makes imprudent citizens guffaw.
No longer out of fashion ethnic slurs
to undermine their laissez-faire conceit.
No brown shirt bullies flashing swastikas
to scare off immigrants they’re poised to treat
by way of grassroots generosity;
just obviating contracts that they’ve signed
ensuring we get reciprocity,
once they’ve amassed the clout to change their mind.
And even as their victims stand appalled,
warped minions seem subversively enthralled.

Frank De Canio was born and bred in New Jersey, and worked in New York for many years. He's been published in Danger, Pleiades, Genie, Write On!, Red Owl, Blue Unicorn, Ship of Fools, and Dissident Voice among others, He loves music from Bach to Amy Winehouse. Shakespeare is his consolation, writing his hobby. As poets, he likes Dylan Thomas, Allen Ginsberg, and Sylvia Plath. He also attends a Café Philo every other week in Lower Manhattan. Read other articles by Frank.