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Tuesday, April 26, 2022


by Chad Parenteau

We swore an oath. Does anyone remember the oath?
Free speech is essential, whether or not we recall it.
They continue to take our freedoms away. Can anyone
tell me what those freedoms were? I don’t recollect 
putting any of those freedoms back on when my mask 
came off. Who took my mask off? I can’t remember 
everyone who voted for me, but I know everyone did, 
and the only way I can win is if everyone forgets that 
I won. Protect the integrity of elections. If this could 
happen during the time of my election, whenever that 
is, I would really appreciate it. Remember when Black 
Lives Matter and Antifa fought over who would storm 
the capitol,  or so I’m told by people I can’t recall. Political
power  comes from the barrel of a gun. Mumia Abu Jamal
said that, according to my notes. That wasn’t free speech 
when he said that. Has America proven those words 
to be true? I’ll have to get back to you if the smoke 
ever clears. There’s two schools of thought to research. 
One of them is CNN, which lies about me. The other 
is NewsMax, which uses my complete sentences
but omits everything else I’ve ever said in my life, 
which I may or may not have said. I don’t remember.

Chad Parenteau hosts Boston's long-running Stone Soup Poetry series. His poetry has appeared in journals such as Résonancee, Molecule, Ibbetson Street, Cape Cod Poetry Review, Tell-Tale Inklings, Off The Coast, The Skinny Poetry Journal, and Nixes Mate Review. He serves as Associate Editor of the online journal Oddball Magazine. His second collection, The Collapsed Bookshelf, was nominated for a Massachusetts Book Award.