A Few Simple Ground Rules
having been wearied out for many years with offering vain, idle, visionary thoughts, and at length utterly despairing of success, I fortunately fell upon this proposal
– Dr. Jonathan Swift
Children are like the homeless
in that neither should be sodomized.
It’s been said that we’re all
a roll of the dice away from being
homeless. It could be argued as well
that in some cosmic casino
we rolled the dice and ended up being born,
a circumstance that leads most frequently
to childhood. I’m more interested,
however, in vulnerability than chance.
Businessmen have offices in fancy towers,
places to make decisions in cities
that have been designated power centers.
I’m not sure who makes that designation
or upon what criteria they make it.
A designation is a decision that has to
do with classification. Those who decide
and designate are candidates for sodomy.
It’s easy to imagine politicians as well
occupying a space both physically
and psychologically where they might
decide upon, get a hankering for
if you will, a little sodomy in the afternoon.
It’s interesting to note that almost all
politicians were at one point children
but very few were ever homeless.
As for homeless children, regardless
of their aspirations to public service
or political power, they should not be
sodomized. The decision centers of their brains
are not fully developed. On the eve
of their eighteenth birthday they can go
downtown in pursuit of sodomy.
At that point they’re consenting adults
and may pay, well they should probably not pay,
a homeless person to sodomize them.
That’s not to say that the homeless should
not be paid for services rendered.
People end up on the street because their skills
are undervalued, which is not to imply
that the homeless as a group possess a set
of skills that is distinctly sexual in nature.
Childhood strikes me as a natural enough condition,
but you’d have to convince me that homelessness
is a natural state of things. A boy tumbles
down the stairs of a grand hotel, loaded
up with too much of the visiting dignitary’s
luggage. He breaks bones and ends up
a beggar. Or he successfully juggles
the luggage down three flights of stairs
and through a maze of breakfast tables set
with hundreds of dainty coffee cups rattling
on their saucers. The dignitary tips him well,
pats him on the bum, asks where one goes
for opium and silk pajama bottoms. And by the way,
young fellow, he adds, have you happen to have
seen an older gentleman around these parts
speaking publically about sodomizing children
and the homeless?
There’s a fellow, says the boy,
with a little satchel of writings who often
speaks publically about NOT sodomizing children
and the homeless. On that point he is very clear.
On all others, he demonstrates confusion.
He can often be seen taking notes as the strangest
and most accomplished orchestras perform.
They say, deep in a trance, he turns himself
into a wild yak or an enormous ball of fire.
Glen Armstrong edits a poetry journal called Cruel Garters and has three recent chapbooks: Set List (Bitchin Kitsch,) In Stone and The Most Awkward Silence of All (both Cruel Garters Press.)