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An Obscenity Trial

An Obscenity Trial by Michael R. Burch The defendant was a poet held in many iron restraints against whom several critics cited numerous complaints. They accused him of trying to reach the "common crowd," and they said his poems incited recitals far too loud. The prosecutor alleged himself most stylish and best-dressed; it seems he’d never lost a case, nor really once been pressed. He was known far and wide for intensely hating clarity; twelve dilettantes at once declared the defendant another fatality. The judge was an intellectual well-known for his great mind, though not for being merciful, honest, sane or kind. Clerics called him the "Hanging Judge" and the critics were his kin. Bystanders said, "They'll crucify him!" The public was not let in. The prosecutor began his case by spitting in the poet's face, knowing the trial would be a farce. "It is obscene," he screamed, "to expose the naked heart!" The recorder (bewildered Society) greeted this statement with applause. "This man is no poet. Just look: his Hallmark shows it. Why, see, he utilizes rhyme, symmetry and grammar! He speaks without a stammer! His sense of rhythm is too fine! He does not use recondite words or conjure ancient Latin verbs. This man is an imposter! I ask that his sentence be the almost perceptible indignity of removal from the Post-Modernistic roster." The jury left in tears of joy, literally sequestered. The defendant sighed in mild despair, "Please, let me answer to my peers." But how His Honor giggled then, seeing no poets were let in. Later, the clashing symbols of their pronouncements drove him mad and he admitted both rhyme and reason were bad. *** A well-known poet criticized this poem for being "journalistic." But then the poem is written from the point of view of a journalist who's covering the trial of a poet. The poem was completed by the end of my sophomore year in college.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2020




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