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Friday, June 03, 2016


by Richard Hacken

Kenneth W. Starr announced Wednesday that he would resign as chancellor of Baylor University, effective immediately, saying it was a “matter of conscience.” Mr. Starr’s decision came less than a week after he was stripped of the more operationally powerful position of president of the university in the wake of a scandal in which Baylor acknowledged that it had mishandled accusations of sexual assault against several football players. . . . Mr. Starr was an independent counsel whose report to Congress led to President Bill Clinton’s impeachment in 1998. —NY Times, June 1, 2016. Photo: Kenneth Starr speaks to the media after arguing a case on student free-speech rights before the Supreme Court in Washington on March 19, 2007. (REUTERS/Molly Riley via RawStory)

Could some current Norman Mailer
write about the mess at Baylor,
which is so in need of journalistic prose?
Is the football program’s failure
to send rapists to the jailer
going to send it into existential throes?

Football culture says to nail her,
take a woman and impale her
when protected so that any onslaught goes.
Players hope the coach will tailor
strong defense so words will fail her,
and no prosecutor credits what she knows.

In the court: assault and flail her
and with wholesale slurs assail her,
so with craftiness your guilt you can transpose
till she seems a drunken sailor,
and you easily curtail her
own ability to witness and disclose.

With the Baptist creed at Baylor,
there’s no way truth will avail her,
since suspicion on her own sins will repose.

Now the President and Savior
of the football games at Baylor
was Ken Starr, a man to gridiron wins devoted.
Yes, Ken Starr, the Clinton slayer,
the Lewinsky-scandal hailer
(who as Special Counsel over sex tales gloated)
has mishandled accusations
of forced sexual relations,
and for this from president has been demoted.

Oh, they say that fresh raw karma
is a targeted sweet charmer
that is stronger far than energetic speech
and that irony’s sly reach
can shape attitudes and teach
with capacities designed to, well, impeach.

Richard Hacken is a poet and librarian who has published in TheNewVerse.News before. He once introduced X.J. Kennedy to the plenary session of a literary symposium via rhyming couplets, which may or may not have been gauche.