Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Poem worth a five minute read

Poetry by Jeff Poniewaz

Why Young Men Wore Their
Hair Long in the Sixties

Because they could feel the deforestation of the Amazon
breathing down their necks even then,
Because half of the world's trees have been cut down
since 1950,
Because even as kids in the '50s they could feel
the wilds dwindling, and were given crewcuts
soon as school let out for the summer,
Because they didn't care if some bigot
thought they looked like girls--
they were unmistakable male to themselves
and weren't afraid to accept the female
half of their soul and love the Mother Earth,
rejecting the macho Earth-rape of civilization,
Because they had to become long-haired Indians
to expiate the genocide of the Indians
by their European-invasion
boatpeople greatgrandparents,
Because even their European Paleolithic granddaddies
all had long hair before they cut down
the forests to make room for cities
with barbershops right next to butchershops,
Because they had to make up for all the baldheaded skeletons
the Nazis kept as deathcamp slaves,
Because though they dug Buddha's bald head
they liked getting high
in other ways besides meditation,
Because Jesus was crucified for having long hair
by crewcut fundamentalists who went back
in a time machine to make sure he'd be
the Only hippie on their holycards
Because Einstein's hair burst from his skull in protest
of radiation sickness making people's hair fall out,
Because Eisenhower's bald head was succeeded
by Kennedy's boyish shock of hair,
which got blown off his head the year
before the Beatles came to America,
Because Elvis's duck's-ass outraged the '50s
as much as the Beatle-cut outraged the '60s,
Because Stokowski let his mane fly illuminated
on album covers decades before Billy Idol,
And long-hair music has been letting its own long hair down
much longer than "Roll Over Beethoven,"
Because even short-haired hepcats like Charlie Parker
let down the long hair of their souls in their jazz,
Because James Dean's pre-Elvis noncrewcut rebel
is a nobler symbol of the '50s than Happy Days,
Because haircut conformity's a sellout to getting a job,
Because Whitman shook his white locks at the runaway sun
while loafing on a hill of summer grass,
"And now it seems to me the beautiful uncut hair of graves,"
he wrote observing the flowing grass,
Because Industrial Revolution lobotomizes our mammal brain,
Because military-industrialism barbers the heart
with bayonets,
Because "patriots" yearned to razor the throats
of bearded longhairs during the Vietnam War,
and yearned to shave off their balls as well
to make perfect eunuch robots of war
albeit Bob Hope pimping Ann-Margret
to the about-to-die: "Remember, boys,
this is what you're fighting for,"
Because Moloch lusts to blow their balls off in battle,
Because Jim Morrison flashing his phallus
in the face of the Vietnam War
got busted for obscenity,
Because Rock'n'Roll pit its ecstasy
against the nightmare madness of war
(tho rock promoters scalp rock fans
as much as ticket scalpers do),
Because hair longs to be long,
Because even when we die our hair wants
to keep on growing forever,
Because every wild horse loves its flowing mane,
Because long hair means a wilderness
and short hair means a lawn,
Because John Muir said the first thing they do
is cut down the trees and the second thing
they do is graze sheep amid the stubble,
Because the first thing they do in
a prison an insane asylum or the Marines
is shear off all your hair exactly like sheep...

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