The Sunday Poem: Rich Boucher... Protest Is Over (If You Want It)

Rich Boucher continues to wander the streets blasting those six-guns of irony.  His take on the Occupy ABQ movement is bound to provoke thought and reaction.

A past member of five national poetry slam teams, Boucher moved to Albuquerque in 2008 where he has been performing and writing ever since.  He is a contributor/editor at localpoetsguild.wordpress.comHear him read at his website.

Protest Is Over (If You Want It)
At the Occupy encampment
I saw the pretty neohippies
on the phone with the police;
I saw the pretty neohippies
diving out of the way
of the drunk, knife-wielding
member of the 99 per cent
they’d been sleeping here
all this time to speak for;
I saw permits issued
to those who wished to occupy
and my mind began to bathe
in the white, foamy question marks
of bewildered confusion;
passing by patchouli freedom tents
and young, urgent information kids,
I saw a Cadillac sticker
on a deadhead’s backpack
and I knew right then
that irony had won the war.

--Rich Boucher

Poetry submissions are welcome.  Email

Views: 290

Comment by Margaret Randall on January 8, 2012 at 9:38am

I like this poem a lot. You avoid the obvious in order to explore complexity. I especially love "patchouli freedom tents." Until we can accept the ways in which the system makes inroads into our own thought and actions, until we can look at the ways in which "the enemy" has set up residence in all of us, we aren't going anywhere different. Rich's irony always hits home. Thanks.

Comment by Julie Brokken on January 8, 2012 at 11:35am

three thumbs up!

Comment by Rich Boucher on January 8, 2012 at 11:48am

Margaret, thank you so much for your words. I think avoiding the obvious really gets it. We don't live in a binary, 1 versus 0, off-on world; we live in a world leavened in shades and degrees.

Comment by Rich Boucher on January 8, 2012 at 11:49am

Julie, thank you, also, for your thumbs! All three of them!

...wait. Three of them?

Did you have some Monsanto food lately?

Comment by Merimee Moffitt on January 8, 2012 at 12:26pm

hot damn if'n that ain't the truth--oh my this slumber has had me down and I have been woke up and shaken!  Hallelujah  Hallelujah!!!

Comment by Dee Cohen on January 8, 2012 at 12:35pm

Nice poem Rich with your usual sense of wonder/mistrust. It's good to see things through your eyes. I always pictured the Eagles Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac as a beat up old hearse looking Caddie -double irony. Thanks, Dee

Comment by Rich Boucher on January 8, 2012 at 12:36pm

Merimee, thank you so much!

Comment by Rich Boucher on January 8, 2012 at 12:38pm

Hey, Dee - thank you so much! You got it down, with the wonder/distrust. I'm glad you liked the inversion of the Henley lyric, too. I was hoping folks would catch that...

Comment by Rhiannon on January 8, 2012 at 2:00pm

Great job!  I know you normally stay away from "political" poems, but when you write one it's always very thought provoking.  

Comment by Rich Boucher on January 8, 2012 at 2:23pm

Rhiannon - thank you so much for your words! And yes, I don't normally pull towards the "political" because I pretty much always feel "apart" from it...


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