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Saturday, July 30, 2011


by Steve Hellyard Swartz

The National Organization for Marriage held a rally at the New York State Capitol
in Albany on Sunday

So there they were and there was me

An unwelcome ant a-scurrying, seeing what he could see

On my way downtown, I passed some of the bums and knaves and glory grabs of history

I passed some of the more famous nom de guerres of recently

Iosev Jughashvili aka Joe Stalin
Vladimir Ilich Ulyanov aka Lenin
Josip Brodz aka Tito
Adolf Schiklgruber aka Hitler
Ernesto Guevara aka Che

It was a hot and breezy summer day

The National Organization for Marriage had set up a little table staffed by smiling women and hard-nosed men
The National Organization was handing out bumper stickers and redwhiteandblue pens

I took an informal poll and discovered, to my dismay. that a majority of the people protesting gay marriage were divorced or single, so for them at least the solid union thing has not been such a hit
On my NOM pen (the one I used to write this poem) their slogan reads:
Protecting Marriage and the Faith Communities That Sustain It

I walked around some more and took some pics with my Fuji one-time use
I posed for a snap with a lesbian couple and a church lady heaped me with abuse
Funny, cuz just a minute before when I'd told her I'd been married for 17 years she'd blessed me to Kingdom Come
But when she saw me with the lesbians she screamed that I was done
She asked me how many kids I had and I being an Honest kinda Abe admitted to my beautiful one
Then she shrieked some more, and as her God is my witness, she tiraded about my gonads,
my GONADS!, how weak and withered they must be (which wasn't fun, least not for me)

I milled about some more and discovered that the good folks of NOM share their very own NOM DE
Mr and Mrs John Doe
Anonymously villifying anyone and anything that don't toe the line they toe
Mrs and Mr Doe, first name John
Peevish, Pessimistic, Pissed-Off Cons
Gaming, being gamed, up on almost nothing, dour, done for, sat upon

Steve Hellyard Swartz is Poet Laureate of Schenectady, NY. He is a frequent contributor to New Verse News. Swartz is a 2011 Pushcart Prize nominee for Poetry. His poems have appeared in The Patterson Review, The Southern Indiana Review, The Kennesaw Review, and online at Best Poem and switched-on gutenberg. He is the winner of a First Place Award given by the Society of Professional Journalists for Excellence in Broadcasting. In 1990, Never Leave Nevada, a movie he wrote and directed, opened at the US Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.