David Lohrey, Adoration of the Morons

Adoration of the Morons

Is it the bacon? There is something going on
and I wonder if there’s something in the maple-flavored
smoked bacon that’s served now in our cocktails.
The sticks of pork used to stir our margaritas, the slivers of pork rind
that are mixed in our ice-cream: there’s pork meat everywhere –
even in our cereal – just as we are taught to make Muslims feel welcome.

Something’s up. I notice now that when you disagree with someone,
it has become acceptable for them to throw a tantrum
like a 6-year-old before bedtime.
Men and women tear up if you say you don’t accept their arguments.
When you differ, they panic and strike out, like drunks used to do in old movies.
They cry, then they threaten to call their lawyers.

Demonstrators, and we’ve seen them for years, from Berkeley to the nation’s capital –
remember the Million Man March? – are attacked in the streets, pepper-sprayed
and assaulted by marauding thugs who claim to represent the truth.
They dress in black, like Japanese Nintendo, but lash out like the religious nuts in Iran.
Soon they’ll be splashing acid from motorcycles. People like Nancy Pelosi say
these are good Americans just expressing themselves. Issuing death threats is accepted when someone hears something upsetting.

There must be something in the water. These are not the same people I grew up with.
We were not allowed to interrupt when other people were speaking.
It never occurred to us to call our debating partners fascists or Nazis
even when they talked nonsense. They were good Americans with different opinions,
that’s all.  My best friend in all the world loved Nixon. Another hated Reagan
but I never thought to scratch their faces, never mind puncture their tires.
It would have never have crossed my mind to do so any more than I’d call the police
on my father for scolding me or for whipping my ass.

If it’s not the pork or the tap water, it must be the same shit that’s been causing autism.
Haven’t they proved that flu shots burn out the brains of small children?
I get a shot every October during flu season; this must be why I’m losing my mind.
If I were normal, I wouldn’t tolerate opposing views. Maybe if I weren’t autistic,
I’d have a black suit with a hood and a mask and I’d run around punching people who support the President. Maybe if I hadn’t contracted this neurological disorder, I, too,
would be set on this furious path of self-righteousness, shouting at the top of my lungs
and spitting in other people’s faces.

I think like a woman in the 1950s. My mother used to tell me to keep my voice down.
My father always told me not to interrupt. My teachers wouldn’t let me tell my classmates to shut up or call them names or touch them. If I did, our Principal, a big portly gent named Dr. Brookes would use his paddle and make me apologize. They all told me to stop making a fool of myself. They all said they wouldn’t have it.

David Lohrey is from Memphis. He graduated from UC Berkeley. Internationally, his poetry can be found in Otoliths, Stony Thursday Anthology, Sentinel Literary Quarterly, and Boxcar Poetry Review (CA). In the US, recent poems have appeared in Poetry Circle, FRiGG, Obsidian, and Apogee Journal. His fiction can be read in Crack the Spine and The Broke Bohemian.

David’s The Other Is Oneself, a study of 20th century literature, was published in Germany last year, while David’s first collection of poetry, Machiavelli’s Backyard, was released in August by Sudden Denouement Publishers. He lives in Tokyo. 

If you enjoyed David’s work, read his short story, Camel Milk and Bedlam, published in Issue 8.

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