Kant Be Any Other Way

The actions that our people entertain
should function well as universal law,
at least as far as Kant’s philosophy ordained.
So, let the proud electorate guffaw,
while those who served their interests are defiled
by people who would scarcely last a week
without protections that they’ve hence reviled
in order to secure the ends they seek.
Oh, they will face the justice that prevails,
despite the approbation of the mob
who seem intoxicated by the tales
of what a failsafe, comprehensive job
they’re doing to the hapless victimized.
But rogues who give societal support
to them in such a way that minimize
their crimes – as though legitimized by court
decree – hurt more than any brief assault
where juries castigate the one at fault,

and vindicate the victim’s injury.
If not, our social contract’s in arrears.
Do they think that our Bill of Rights is free
who go about adjudicating peers?
So, lest they get deprived of what they deem
is just for those who’ve served democracy,
I hope the fellow denizens of fiends who seem
to entertain ad hoc autocracy
bestow on them a sample of the same
beneficence they smugly delegate
to others, wanting any dose of shame.
Leave rank emotions free to legislate
the justice folks deem fit for this man’s grief,
that woman’s pride, and any hotshot’s pique,
and render it the governing motif
of people’s justice, howsoever bleak
the consequences for finagling folk.
We’ll see then how they’ll bear beneath its yolk.

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.