a sequel to “Let’s Take the Other Bus”

Welcome, young friends, to this great university.
I am your counselor, Dr. Diversity,
here to advise you on all of your classes and
campus life, brimming with fun and perversity.

Visit our Safe Spaces in every lecture hall:
personal havens from real or conjectural
concepts that trigger you, things you don’t understand,
right-wing, offensive, or just architectural.

Here you’ll meet like-minded students (no scrutiny);
here you can orchestrate riots and mutiny,
easily shutting down lectures the school has planned,
joining together in radical unity.

As to your classes: they’ve changed quite substantially,
now that red China supports us financially.
Once we taught Plato, the Sciences, Civics and
History, Grammar, Linguistics, all agilely.

Not anymore.  Now it’s Gender Fluidity,
Feminist Lit’rature, Rainbow Identity,
Marxism 101, Eco-Oppression and
Queer Theory: all to ensure your tumidity.

Moving along: here’s our Campus Dispensary.
Stop in today to explore every sensory
pleasure without any price-tag, you understand:
name-brand protection for everyone, all for free!

And if, perchance, a young hedonist undergrad
slips up and gets a girl pregnant, it ain’t so bad.
Screenings, “Plan B,” and abortions (all in demand)
terminate “aftereffects” of the fun you had.

Follow me quickly now: time for your parents to
cough up their money to cover the payments due.
They’ll be delighted to place you in our command,
knowing our duty’s to educate students who

hate the establishment: anarchist militants,
fragile young libertines, hooked on their stimulants,
gender-less profligates, each one a firebrand,
delicate, soft, unemployable dissidents.

Snowflake “adults” who can’t handle adversity:
that’s who we train up at this university!

 

Amy Foreman hails from the southern Arizona desert, where she homesteads with her husband and seven children.  She has enjoyed teaching both English and Music at the college level, but is now focused on home-schooling her children, gardening, farming, and writing. Her blog is theoccasionalcaesura.wordpress.com

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25 Responses

  1. E. V.

    Oh, my goodness! I wish this poem had dropped an hour ago while having my tea (in my SCP mug)! Wait, maybe not; I’d have swallowed into the “wrong pipe” laughing so hard! I totally enjoyed your poem, Amy. Long live Freedom of Speech!

    Reply
    • Amy Foreman

      Your comment made me chuckle, Beth! Thanks for considering this poem “choke-worthy.”

      Reply
  2. David Hollywood

    Oh Gosh! That really impacts so firmly into my chest. Wonderful, distressing and so full of unfortunate truth and wishes for something else. Marvelous Amy.

    Reply
  3. James Sale

    About to rush out for a meeting, but just caught this before going: wonderful, Amy, your humour is spot-on, and what better than the use of feminine rhymes!! Oops – did I say feminine rhymes? Am I allowed to now?

    Reply
    • Amy Foreman

      I’m so shocked that you still use those old, misogynistic poetry terms, James! How dare poets call a “weak” syllable “feminine!” I may need to retreat to my “Safe Space” to recover from that poetic assault on all womyn!

      (Obviously, this pathetic feminist diatribe is delivered entirely”tongue-in-cheek.”) 😉

      Reply
  4. Martin Rizley

    Very funny, yet painful, at the same time, because of the way that art (in this case) imitates life so closely! I read it and don’t know whether to laugh or weep. If these things weren’t really happening on campus, it would seem like you were using hyperbole to make a point. Unfortunately, there is no exaggeration here! Dr. Diversity really lives, and unfortunately, he appears to have gotten tenure! Very cleverly constructed poem, as is the companion piece, “Let’s Take the Other Bus.” Sometimes biting satire is the best, and one of the most cathartic, responses to human folly.

    Reply
    • Amy Foreman

      You penned a perfect summation of the poem: “Dr. Diversity really lives, and unfortunately, he appears to have gotten tenure!” Thank you, Martin!

      Reply
  5. David watt

    I love this well written satirical piece Amy! Sadly, it is a true reflection of campus life, and society in general these days. A fitting follow-up to ” Let’s take the Other Bus.”

    Reply
    • Amy Foreman

      Thank you kindly for appreciating it, David! Your “Shattered Prospects” was definitely a recent highlight on the SCP, as were the Christmas poems of Martin Rizley, Joe Tessitore, and James Sale. I am privileged to keep company with poets of true talent. 🙂

      Reply
  6. Rajendra Singh Baisthakur

    If literature is a mirror image of society here is a piece of literature. Educational institutions today whether they are in East or West present the same picture. A thoughtful poem presented well with appropriate words.

    Reply
    • Amy Foreman

      Thank you for your kind comment, Rajendra, and for appreciating the reflectivity of this poem. Blessings.

      Reply
  7. Joseph S. Salemi

    I teach in two universities in New York City, and have taught at six others in the metropolitan area.

    I can assure readers that Amy Foreman’s poem is not only absolutely accurate in its description of current academic attitudes (there is no hyperbole at all in this piece), but is actually moderate and restrained. American colleges and universities are today hotbeds of extreme left-liberalism, LGBTQ proselytizing, and fanatical gender feminism. A vicious anti-free-speech worldview governs everything that happens there, and students or faculty who dare to speak out against this leftist Nazism are under the threat of physical and psychological violence, not to mention dismissal or expulsion. And the administrations of these schools are totally complicit in the situation.

    Reply
    • Amy Foreman

      Thank God for professors like you, Joseph Salemi, who stand against the tsunami of leftist ideology deluging modern universities. Keep the faith.

      Reply
  8. james sale

    Thanks for appreciating my work, Amy, that’s very kind of you. I think that SCP at its best provides a forum for true poets to encourage, inform and help each other; this does not preclude critical appraisal, and I – especially through my many reviews on these pages – do not eschew saying what I think. But I think the important thing to realise is that all criticism should be constructive and kind; there is no place, I feel, for wanton abuse – what purpose does it serve? In the last couple of weeks there have been some excellent new poems published – of which yours is one – and also a much better atmosphere of conciliatory and positive reviewing; I am so pleased to find that.

    Reply
    • Amy Foreman

      I agree with you, James. It’s encouraging and refreshing to feel artistic camaraderie with other excellent poets, based upon our mutual enthusiasm for the written word.

      Reply
  9. Dave Whippman

    A wry and clever take on a situation that seems all too real. Here in Britain, a student leader forced the removal of a plaque bearing a Kipling poem on the grounds that some of what Kipling wrote was “racist”. It would make you weep if you couldn’t laugh at this nonsense, so well done.

    Reply
    • Amy Foreman

      Thank you, Dave, for the thoughtful comment. We see a similar censorship of Mark Twain and others in this country for the same ridiculous reasons. When my children were young, I had an almost impossible time trying to locate an original “Uncle Remus” collection that hadn’t been completely overhauled by the left’s religious zealotry. The only one available in our local library was called something like “Brother Rabbit,” and had been rewritten in the devitalized language of every other children’s author instead of Joel Chandler Harris’s original delightful dialects.

      Reply
  10. Monty

    Well, there’s a first-time for everything, Amy; and this is the first time I’ve ever found myself slightly tripping-up at certain points of any poem of yours I’ve ever read. More than anything, that’s testament to the sheer fluidity and discipline of your other stuff on SCP (each of which I’ve been able to read without blinking); but it’s also testament to my (intentional) ignorance on the subject-matter, and my blissful unawareness of terms such as Safe Spaces: Gender Fluidity: Feminist Literature (no such thing; in my psyche, there can only be, and will only ever be, Literature): Rainbow Identity: Marxism 101: Eco-oppression: Queer Theory . . I imagine that one would have to live on your side of the pond to know the meaning of such terms; but I wouldn’t be surprised if they were also used in Britain (seemingly heading fast towards the same unalterable mess that the US seems to’ve been in for decades). Regardless, those terms are from a world that I’ve long since left behind; hence my privileged unawareness.

    I appreciate that the poem is composed with near-rhymes, but the word ‘agilely’ in line 16 is glaring at me (I think it wants a fight with me). Not only is it the weakest of weak rhymes; but it doesn’t seem to work within the context of its sentence (one can BE agile; but one can’t teach in an agile manner . . can they? Unless they teach sport). I see many poems from others on these pages where the author has lazily/carelessly (my terms) thrown in such an anomaly (again, my term); but I’m surprised to see it from you, Amy . . you’re much better than that! With your boundless talent, it wouldn’t have taken much to slightly change that sentence, to end in something like ‘intentionally’/’potentially’, etc.

    A question of hyphens: as I don’t know the meaning of Safe Spaces, I won’t question the potential for those two words to be separated by a hyphen; but surely the term ‘aftereffects’ is in need of one. And in the last line, does it read: ‘That’s who we train . . up at this university’ . . or: ‘That’s who we train-up . . at this university’?

    In lines 32-33, is it meant to read as: ‘We’ll teach students to hate the establishment’? As it stands, it reads as: ‘We’ll educate students who already hate the establishment before they even get to university’. (as an aside, I personally feel that a ‘hate for an establishment’ can be a healthy adoption; affording the potential to lead a truly individualistic existence . . as long as the ‘hate’ is treated positively, as in: ‘I hate that: I’m not having anything more to do with it.. I’m just gonna do my own thing’ . . . as opposed to: ‘I hate that: it’s really getting me down. They treat me like shit; why do I have to put up with it?’ That’s the difference between screwing the thing one hates . . or being screwed-up by the thing one hates!

    I don’t know nor care what students are taught these days; but one can’t admonish the system for no longer teaching Plato, or any such figure from any such period in history. Not now: not with today’s generation of western students, who’ve grown-up on their screens. To them, LAST WEEK is history: it’s all about the next ‘text’.. the next ‘twitter’.. the next ‘update’ . . . Plato?

    In spite of all the above, this is still unmistakingly an Amy Foreman poem: sarcastic; witty; sophisticated humour; clear and concise diction; strict syllabic-equality; written with genuine feeling . . and urgency.

    p.s. Maybe you shouldn’t have restricted this poem to being the ‘sequel’ to Magic Bus . . it could continue. The first one was about the kids/students ON THEIR WAY to school/college; this one is about when they’re actually AT the school/college; a third poem could contemplate the FINISHING of their studies, and what awaits them when they get out into the REAL world (or should that be ‘surreal’ world?). It could be a documentary, Amy . . .

    Reply
    • Amy Foreman

      Thanks for the comments, Monty! Regarding “agilely,” it can mean mentally quick or alert as well as physically nimble, so I think it works. This is a poem containing three-syllable rhymes, as in, the last three syllables of the first, second, and fourth lines of each stanza all need to rhyme.

      So, here, I needed a word that had the following three syllables: a masculine short “a” sound, a feminine “chuh” or “juh”, and a feminine “lee.” Financially and substantially have those syllables, though they have an “n” sound in there right before the “chuh.” “Agilely” comes closer than either “intentionally” or “potentially” in making all three of those syllables as close as possible to the ending three syllables of the first two lines of the stanza.

      You could read the last line either way, and it would work, I think. 🙂

      As to lines 32 and 33, I meant for it to imply that we’ll educate students who WILL hate the establishment, not students who already do. Basically, these are the students we’ll be educating: students who hate the establishment, students who are anarchist militants, and so on. Perhaps I should change it to:”knowing our duty’s to educate students who’ll hate the establishment.”

      Love the thought of continuing Susie and Johnny’s saga. I’ll have to see what I can come up with!

      Blessings–

      Reply
      • Joseph S. Salemi

        The problem is that these new college students are being trained to BECOME A PART OF THE ESTABLISHMENT.

        Today the “establishment” in the United States and most of the developed western world is the establishment of Left-Liberalism, globalist financial control, multicultural diversity, open borders, anti-male and anti-white bigotry, and feminist-LGBTQ viciousness. Anyone who doesn’t see that is willfully blind.

        There is no conservative or traditionalist establishment. It was destroyed years ago. When leftist professors in the schools tell students that there is, it is merely a propaganda device to help push them into further and more outrageous attacks upon religion, culture, and human freedom.

        There’s nothing wrong with your poem structurally or verbally, Amy.

      • Amy Foreman

        Well, you make a good point, Joseph Salemi. The shift in what/who the “establishment” is may make that entire line of my poem anachronistic. But when I said, “hate the establishment” I wanted it to mean “hate the traditional conservatism that once defined us as Americans.” Hopefully that’s how most readers understood it.

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