Poetry of Louie Crew

by Louie Crew

Click on the titles to hear the poems read by Dr. Crew.

Negative, Jesus, Five Times Now

Negative, Jesus, five times now, but still
not sure. I'll test again in six more months
since John has likely been exposed. He'll spill
his fears to none, nor even hint he hunts
beyond our bed. I'm sure he'd never use
a condom--least of all with me, his wife.
he's too afraid the two of us will lose
our golden reputation.
     Secret life?
Why can't he see I guessed it anyway?
I want only him, not what people think;
I've always known that part of him is gay.
So what? Should that alone make him shrink
from me, not share his need?
     Our need's not sin!
From isolation save us, God. AMEN.

Psalm 1B

Miserable is the person who never talks with the ungodly
    who goes out of the way to avoid sinners
    who never can see life critically.
The self-righteous live by the rules of the elite,
    and by these rules are they compulsive day and night.
They are like trees planted in a swamp, moored in every flood of fashion.
They seem to endure, and whatsoever they perform is always noticed.

The humble are not so; but are free,
    like leaves which the wind drives everywhere.
Therefore, the humble shall not sit to be judged.
    nor shall the gentle join the congregation of the proud.
for God knows the ways of them all,
    and only the self-righteous shall perish.

The Trickster Through History

Friends, Romans, countrymen,
    welcome to the Coliseum.
It is a lovely afternoon here in Rome.
    My name is Tiberius Cicero
and I am delighted
    to be able to bring to you live
the fight between the fierce Christians
    from Antioch
and Caesar's choicest lions.

The Emperor and his mistress
    have just entered the regal box,
and the lions are ready behind the gates.
      We pause from this brief message from...BLIP

Uhn, is it dat dis is ready, nicht vahr?
    Scuze, please, hallo, hallo, ah, yah.
Goot evening, ladies and lords,
    Herr Luther has been contained,
we are glad to report,
    and these protestants in Hamburg
just died a most fitting death,
    bleeding slowly for their upstart sins.
The Cardinal is dining tonight
    with his friend from...BLIP

I don give a shee-it
    if it's Jefferson Davis hisself;
I tole you we can't start
    no broadcast until this here slave
has been whupped.
    Tell those women just to natter on
and eat up some of my hickorynut sandwiches.
    That's why we have so many slaves anyways,
so's they can be like Marie Antoinette
    and have lots of silly things to do
that takes lots of time.
    Now, you, boy, bend your butt
while I tell you again that you are not supposed
    to be raising your head
in the presence of a white woman
    ever agin, you hear me?...BLIP

Now if you can take just one more
    lash out of this,
here's the BIGGIE!--
    Revolution is not really a spectator sport.

Louie Crew is an emeritus professor at Rutgers. Editors have published 2,201 of his manuscripts, including four poetry volumes. Crew has edited special issues of College English and Margins. You can follow his work here.
See also Wikipedia. The University of Michigan collects Crew’s papers. Contact Crew at lcrew@andromeda.rutgers.edu

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