Homage to a Subversive

from by Kicksville

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studio version, originally released 4/20/2007


Soon, Henry David, wind will fill the land
saluting your centenary. Do you
suppose that alma mater’s orators
at her memorial solemnities
will quote: “What branches of learning did you
find offered while at Harvard, Mr. Thoreau?”
“All of the branches and none of the roots.”
And will Concord’s divines in eulogies
of you dwell on the public scandal of
your unchurched life and unrepentant end?
“It’s time to make your peace with God, Henry!”
“I’m not aware,” the long-faced death-watch heard
you quip, “that God and I have ever quarreled.”

The pietists who con your works by rote
forswear you and themselves with servile oaths
to placate golfing clerics, bawds of the press,
snoopers, war-hawks, kept Congressmen. Silent
they stand while lying leaders make our name
odious to men, shield tyrants with our might,
huckster new-packaged servitude for freedom,
and dub the peoples’ butchers “democrats.”
The coffle of pampered house-slaves will dare hymn
you dead. Come back! They’ll turn you in. “How should
a man behave towards this government
today? I answer, that he cannot without
disgrace associate himself with it.”


from Enter the Flavor Hut remasters+, released January 20, 2010


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Kicksville Madison, Wisconsin

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