Jeff Oaks

The Writing Life, Writing Prompts, Essays on the Ordinary

Month: December, 2017

Poetry Workshop: a syllabus


Sestina Using Words Banned at the CDC, December 2017

“Because everything now is vulnerable

to subjectivity only those with the proper kind of entitlement

should be quoted. Because we love unity, diversity

in any form— be it transition, transgender,

or transformation— should be ignored. Refrain from fetus

and use baby or young Christian as evidence

you would still like your jobs. There should be no evidence

there is anything that is actually vulnerable

except the rich and their children. The word fetus

can be alive or dead, and cannot vote. The entitlement

to life, love, and happiness no longer includes the transgender.

The only correct forms of diversity

are stocks and bonds, as in a strong diversity

of portfolio investments is essential. Any evidence

that life requires complexities like transgender

citizens will be removed. Remember: what’s vulnerable

is always economic; all American entitlement

depends upon it. And silence about the dead. The fetus

should never be equated with a woman. The so-called fetus

cannot be kissed in a crowd like a baby. A diversity

of citizens is a disaster to the simpler entitlement

our rich deserve. There is much evidence

of this. The rise of unions makes vulnerable

the rise of donors the way the existence of transgender

citizens throws all men into confusion. When transgender

is allowed, what will be next? The fate of any fetus

must be tied to its sex, otherwise it’s vulnerable

to bullies. Everything is easier without diversity.

This is for everyone’s good. We have evidence

of enormous cruelty. Please do not mention entitlement

as no one wants to hear they have entitlement.

No one wants to hear about the transgender

among us, whose very existence some evidence

suggests might twist the life of any god-fearing fetus.

We mean babies. Even saying the word diversity,

you can tell, can make any of us vulnerable,

and vulnerable in ways our various entitlements

can’t fix. Diversity and terms like transgender

and fetus suggest choices. Avoid that kind of evidence.”

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