Rod Kleber

Pinwheel Pinwheel

In the back of my classroom stands Blake’s car Bearing Dante’s blest Beatrice; In martial middle, ranked desks, each Packing a lexicon in undercarriage; On one book’s pressed pages, surprise!—a raised Nazi swastika. Find the kid who did it, turn him in to turn Him out? Or claim “a teaching moment,” Redeem the inditer, if woe Like that might ever be removed, might ever Cease being banal? Maybe one should give Credit—extra—for burning Hate not on synagogue wall or lav stall, But on language itself, on thought, A ready reference, a wrought Consciousness, edginess? Perhaps one must Pass on the sinner instead, deal with just The sin, that is, in all Literalness—save at least time and trouble, Change what can be changed, blacken out The offense with more ink (no doubt A “cover-up,” but what the hell)? Would “Wite- Out” be better? Or the ultimate hit, Scissor snipping, eh, bubba? We mouth each day, “…with liberty and justice For all,” and study Douglass, Twain, Truth, Addams, Joseph, Peltier, Tan, Cisneros, King, and on, but to what end? The Indian benediction is bent Backwards, blessing made curse, Love made hate, again and again, a wheeling Known all too well. Wheel, whorl, Blake-Dante Vortex, spirit-world spinning on, Esti, asti, ist, is… This then: add four More arms, close the figure, window it. More Pinwheel, if you will. Still.

Apr 14, 2015 / Books & the Arts / Rod Kleber