World Enough and Time
for Fred Durst
Hunched with their i-pods, their faces freeze
as the culture keeps on streaming:
West Coast to East, ghetto Cinderella to cowboy chic,
grunge to cyberpunk, hiphop, Brokeback, gangsta,
players and haters and hackers and users—morphing species
from Kid Rock to Kid-A to Eminem and Dr. Dre.
Let’s watch Pink kick Britney’s ass! Fabolous!
Young Jeezy says trap or die,
and I say what’s goin’ on? and where’s Superfly?
Give me my Beatles and my Stones, my Ziggy Stardust.
Yeah, I sang along to hope I die before I get old,
but unlike Keith and John I didn’t mean it.
Now I’m trying to pour Marlowe into their heads
in this fifty-cent world of mp3 and school sucks.com—
“To the Virgins…” is good for a laugh,
and Macbeth is bloody enough to last, thank God,
but Chaucer is most malleable of all …
… so here’s the dream I have. The sistah from Bath is talking:
Now it was back in the DAY
when fairies had their WAY, that
there was a young hottie walking all ALONE
when along came a knight and he JUMPED HER BONES!
Now that was FOUL! He went WILD!
Muthafucka gone and RAPED THAT CHILD!
So the king calls him in for a CONFRONTATION,
Says, My brother, you forgot your CONSECRATION.
Now I gotta uphold our REPUTATION, so
the only thing for you is DECAPITATION.
But the queen say YO! …
and on we GO…
their heads nod along as I tell them so…
Yet we all know that the word goes on
from Sappho to Salmon Rushdie to Russell Simmons to Lil’ Wayne to—
well, me here, and you—the Word endures,
for these children too.
In their heads, the wind is full of ghosts tonight.
They know what it means to be invisible.
They should not go gentle into that good night.
No matter what I say or do,
the shadow of Time’s winged chariot still falls swiftly
across their faces, blurring them like watercolors.
Passionate shepherd and nymph still sing that old golden duet,
and I watch them find their own songs, one by one.
David E. Poston