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Culture Shock

POEM: mus-z 401

The professor, trying to endear himself to the class,

told us about hearing his first kid was a boy.

Like you could know, I had just thought,

when he said it didn’t seem right––

“Babies,” to him, “are girls.”


I winced, wondering how often he infantilizes women,

and if he’s noticed Lennon and McCartney’s early habit

of turning a deaf ear to their feminine subjects’ will,

and if his hatred for Ono, to whom he assigned

the epithet “sick, twisted bitch,”

derives less from her part in the Beatles’ breakup

than from her lack of a role in disbandment.


Later he’d frame Al Franken not as a perpetrator

of sexual misconduct

but as a victim of recontextualization,

recalling the Richard Pryor joke he’d recited weeks before––

the one that’s “not very tasteful anymore

(emphasis mine, thought both his and not),

the one where Pryor fantasizes about the effects

of axing his wife.


I fantasize about recontextualizing

the twenty hilarious tags this man has raked in


about rendering them ironic and adverbial.


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