– Or A Summery of American Literature II, in Poetic Verse

Author’s Note: I wrote this poem with my friend Nikki and A. It is a summary of our American Literature class this semester and it is rife with swearing and the word Cock. If you are offended by this, don’t read the poem. Sorry Not Sorry, E. 


I have seen the best students of my major destroyed

by madness

Madness, caused not by stress or sadness, but I have seen

them lose their minds to short stories

Most notably the Greek epic, “Sonny’s Blues,” the true pinnacle

of the entirety of human literature

Has been drilled into the minds of unsuspecting English students,

expecting more, but receiving less.

It is the mark of human nature to repeat our mistakes;

thus we returned day after day.

We tried to make sense of an increasingly devious puzzle,

but the mind of our professor could not be cracked.

“I’m a nice guy, but fuck up on MLA and I will finish you,”

the prophecy foretold.

I saw students stew in their incompetancies and struggle

with their citations.

The types of things that enrapture us: the contemporary

corpocracy of the U.S., and why folks get high.

I swear I heard screeching in the walls; “Power-powerless

stick, you’re on the wrong end!”

With the very hearts of the powerless stick pulled from their bodies

good to eat w/ all the junk we’re shootin’ for a thousand years.

Our heads bashed in with concrete and music, It’s gonna be a world

of hurt, a world of hurt, a world of hurt.

And a sphinx. Because Egypt gave us schwarma and gyros and hot

dogs, because Design governs things so small as digestion.


We sat through made up mechanisms, and historicisms, and so many

isms it would make the bureaucracy of our corporate

government blush.

Moloch! Depriving us of Slaughter House Five! Moloch! Capitalism taking

over my TV! Moloch! I just wanted to watch King of the Hill!

Sonny! States orbiting the Earth! Sonny! Blues and Digressions and Fire!

Sonny! I just wanted to read and analyze and learn!

Cock! I was just happy I could use Cock in an Academic paper!

Poems we haven’t gone over, Final papers, Monster of English,

The final death of God!

I’ll do minimum work for minimum wage! Skip the 3rd paper,

Take the 95, thank God! Hail Moloch!

Holy! The last four days of our Hell in Pamplin Hall, that the end

is in sight, Be free, my people, be free from that which

bores you!

I have a dream…That one day…It will be a comfortable

temperature in that room.

That, one day, this Appalachian hillbilly might teach something other

than Post-Modern half-truths

That, one day, we may leave the classroom without hearing the devil

whispering in our ear “Mooney teaches ‘Howl’ in Hell!”

You’ll read “Sonny’s Blues” in Hell! In the heart + fire of Pamplin 3001!

Think for yourselves, but trust me ‘bout the government! Or

I’ll ensure you feel a world of hurt.

Revolt, Brothers and Sisters! Change the face of Society! Of Hell!

Of Moloch! Of Sonny! Of Ginsburg, Nemerov, Frost, and Still!

And I ask you, where the fuck was Vonnegut?! And 1865 – 1945? Two

World Wars, The Great Depression, Casablanca? Amen. Amen.

That, in 45 minutes, 3 students wrote a poem and listened to their professor

rant about life, death, cancer, the bloody fuckin’ 1 percent, ANYTHING

but literature.

But, on the bright side, the silver linings playbook, Andy got to use Cock in

a paper! We’ve won a battle- Let’s win the war!



God bless us every 1.