Death of a Circus Lion

His speech was almost poetry;
I say almost, because to claim
such subtle acts of sophistry
as conscious art is to enflame
the ire of critics, who exist
with their sole purpose to decry
encroachment on their world as lies,
and play the constant pessimist.

The world’s not ready, they proclaim,
for such a mix of show and tell;
for movements that defy a name.
The vanity of hope won’t sell
a single copy on the coasts.
Besides, a voice we cannot tell
“be silent” is quite mad; to boast
its worthiness despite our well
intentioned praise, or degradation,
seems to smack of heresy.
I ask you, in this situation,
would you dare let such things be?

In these and other ways, more sly,
the world prefers its genius mute;
no small surprise that you and I
give up such goals as our pursuit,
and gambol, as if without care,
through life without a moment’s thought
to who built our cage bars just there,
or for what purpose we were caught.

25 JUL 2005

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