New Villanelle– "Black Out"

Black Out

NEWARK, N.J. — The yearbooks were finally printed and ready to be picked up by students at Newark’s East Side High School — but not before some officials snapped open their correcting pens to edit out a picture of two males kissing. Described as “illicit” and provocative by Newark’s superintendent of schools, Marion Bolden, the photograph depicts a kiss between 18-year-old Andre Jackson and David Escobales.

If you don’t comply, we’ll black you out—
it’s rather simple, with marker or ink.
Don’t be a baby; don’t sit and pout.

We’d go Stepford, without a doubt,
instant consistency, or with the ease of a blink,
if you don’t comply, we’ll black you out.

Don’t be selfish, don’t you see what this is about,
take a moment, sit and think,
but don’t be a baby, don’t whine and pout.

We have an image to maintain, a certain clout,
that could be damaged with boys kissing boys, boys in pink,
if you don’t comply, we’ll black you out.

If you corner us, if you stand up and shout,
and happen to draw the media, the clink
of cameras won’t cause us to sit and pout.

We’ll utter an apology, mention regret, spout
whatever it takes so we don’t sink.
Remember, if you don’t comply, we’ll black you out.
Don’t be baby; don’t sit and pout.

7/15/07

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3 responses to “New Villanelle– "Black Out"

  1. I really enjoy seeing you work in a form like this…and I had NOT heard the news story–good for you for incorporating this/transforming this into a poem–a poem which works!

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