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Tuesday, September 29, 2020


by Alan Walowitz

President T***p's attempt to paint New York City as as "anarchist jurisdiction" in a bid to withhold federal funding has left local anarchists feeling perplexed, amused, and eager to correct the record. "It reinforces the trope, and that's kind of fucked," Thom Kennon, a self-proclaimed anarchist and adjunct marketing professor at NYU, told Gothamist. At the same time, Kennon said he hoped the national attention would get more Americans interested in the left-wing political philosophy. "I immediately Signaled one of my comrades and said, 'Look, what a chance this could be to educate people about what we're really like." He added that T***p's terminology is also wrong, because "anarchists don't do jurisdictions, we do what's called prefigurative politics, building new more equitable worlds now." Gothamist, September 22, 2020

Now the big man, himself, the esteemed Gen. Wm. Barr
proclaims we’re living in an Anarchist Jurisdiction,
when, of course, even he must know
we would never do a jurisdiction,
even if caught dead in one,
or quite by mistake were seen passing through.
We would like to make clear to him and, perhaps, to you
we’d be open to Misshapen Scrums;
and might even try Chance Encounters,
though would never admit to being present in one.
Some of our kind—
though we do not take kindly
to being so assigned, nor to a genus,
quorum, or even a voting booth—
believe a Flash Mob could turn out to be delightful fun.
However, none of us would organize one,
nor others we’ve met in passing admit their desire
to participate in any event so thoughtfully planned,
which, it’s widely agreed, is more appropriate
for Quaker Meetings, Church Bazaars,
Minyans, festive Quinceañeras, or Street Fairs
featuring stained-glass windchimes—
actually, co-locations of any kind.
And especially, God forbid—though we do not acknowledge
any such collective knowing—
even a benign and accidental jurisdiction.
Still, we thank you for your ill-intention. 

After 34 years of teaching, Alan Walowitz is now retired from his second career—16 years—as a teacher of teachers.  He is a Contributing Editor at Verse-Virtual, an Online Community Journal of Poetry. His books are Exactly Like Love (published by Osedax Press) and The Story of the Milkman and Other Poems (published by Truth Serum Press). Forthcoming is In the Muddle of the Night, co-written with Betsy Mars (to be published by Arroyo Seco Press).