There's No Ism Like Fascism

by Robert M. Smith

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i have a hang-up
i love military parades
military parades & leather
i even love getting arrested by the police,
you know when these tough guys six foot tall storm
into your house wearing those uniforms they wear & they
ask you about your political views, don't they?
i love being interrogated, man to man,
being threatened with torture,
man against the elements,
i have a hang-up
yes, military
parades

furthermore, i love the lovecalls of crickets & wolves
when walking from town to town in the hollow of the night
in the vast darkness, reeling in the roller coaster
of drinking in myriads of stars in the international sky.

i also love it when my baby daughter reaches out
her little arms to me, meaning, "pick me up, daddy,"
& she feels warm against my chest, & i sit in a rocking
chair, reading her the story of the three little pigs.

i loved smoking a dime of grass & waxing giggly
& i'd laugh so mad i'd fall off my chair, & i'd see colours
in the Van Gogh posters, & we'd walk the detective streets
wearing shades so no one would detect how bloodshot our eyes were.

and i used to love boozing in clubs, watching jazz musicians
play till they puked, & then we'd flock to the back room
at the break to toke up, then someone would tell a joke, & we'd
step into a zen dream of booze pollution with brains frozen.

another source of fresh excitement was a good
demonstration, with loudspeakers raving & banners waving,
& we'd get so high on the adrenalin & synergy of the crowd, & we'd feel so righteous, because the Cause felt right.

hitch-hiking in a gang is also fun, if one of you stands by
the highway, while the other guys duck in the ditch, & they're smoking up hysterically, until some straight driver screeches to a halt, & you breathe in deep with long hair blowing in the freewind.

yes, i even enjoyed going to A.A. meetings, & listening dead still to a sobering speaker mumbling a drunkalogue,
& i'd know half the freaks in the room & it felt like a class reunion, because we've all been there, crazy.

also, you can get converted going to revival
meetings, & you'll be dancing in church, belting out
those godawful hymns, & the preacher makes alliterations,
& the Spirit exalts your little hearts, like wind in sails.

can you remember nights in coffee shops, with obscene
cigarette smoke circling & coiling around, as some poet read
a print-out of his latest, & the coffee was like ink,
with posters on the wall & the congregation was off the wall.

but then again, i love military parades.

October 11, 1993


Robert M. Smith is a recycled teenager who thinks he is an underground cult figure. He writes about the revolution and Jesus and doesn't know the difference. In fact, he is a middle-aged parent who lives in Montreal with his two young daughters and translates for the government.
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