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Monday, March 06, 2006


by Robert Dunn

In your country, your Constitution separates
Church and State; in our country, we separate
Theater and State. No actors, thespians, stand-
Up comedians, musicians, performance artists,

Or whatevers are allowed to hold public office.
Opera singers are the worst—they drown out
Our political orators without even breathing
Hard. Even our street mimes are considered

Weapons of Mass Discussion—they’re the
Most vocal mimes you ever saw. Time was
When the opera singers and the street mimes
Would hold impromptu public debates—and

Scare the fish so badly our maritime industries
Would suffer a recession. Our International
Airport had been known to complain about
The noise. Not the best way to keep tight hold

On the Chamber of Deputies. And you could
Never trust an actor—things got so bad the
Politicians couldn’t stand the competition.
We remember that President of yours, and

Besides, would you buy a used car from a man
Whose main source of bread and butter was to
Provide the voice of a cartoon sponge? We
Don’t think so! We even pulled down our

State Theater and build a ShopoholicMart
In its place—we’re taking no chances.
At least when you give a ShopoholicMart
Employee money, you get change. Usually.

And, as an added safeguard, any performer
That loses an Academy Award in his field
To another artist will be hanged while polishing
The camels, whichever comes first.

Robert Dunn is the Editor of Medicinal Purposes Literary Review, the erstwhile host of the Poet to Poet cable television show, and he has appeared in such publications as Krax, Imago, Mobius, Art Times, Rattapallax, Nomad’s Choir, Critical Perspectives in Accounting (go figure), and Pegasus. His full-length collections of poetry include Zen Yentas in Bondage, Guilty as Charged, Cannon Fodder, Playing in Traffic, Sunspot Boulevard, and Horse Latitudes.