POEM: Son of Elmer Gantry’s Bitch


Son of Elmer Gantry’s Bitch – by Mark Roman
This is an essay that became the current poem, but feels like it wants to be lyrics to a song.
I have more work to do…

I.
Why do I struggle in this culture so coarse?  
Why don’t I pursue profit without remorse?
Why do I want to heal, write and sing?  
And feel guilty every time I permit that fling?

REFRAIN
See scrolls, screens and stages speak to me indeed.  
So many died, some lived, that I might listen, watch and read.  
But why did Mommy transmit that curious reading itch?
Why me? Kimmy Schmidt? Son of Elmer Gantry’s bitch?

II.
Is it because I grew up Kimmy Schmidt, not boy but man?
Inside the body of that Eagle Scout son of Willy Loman?
The not yet dead salesman of creeds and policies.
Always at the Goddamn fucking knee of Elmer Gantries.

III.
Is it because I’m still technically Catholic, brother?  
Chained to a Pope enrages a father. But satisfies a mother.
A mother after whom my nurtured fears did once lust.  
A second awkward marriage averted. Back to dust.

REFRAIN
See scrolls, screens and stages speak to me indeed.  
So many died, some lived, that I might listen, watch and read.  
But why did Mommy transmit that curious reading itch?
Why me? Kimmy Schmidt? Son of Elmer Gantry’s bitch?

IV.
The student paper I wrote & published, why could I not let it go?  
That right wing Ken Doll pub crawl college boss sure hoped so!  
See he had a lot of agape to give.  If the smoking gun found sun.
Understand they wouldn’t. Especially his lady’s groom. His son.

V.
Everyone wonders why that abundant happy salesman not in my bones.  
Something completely different than Dad’s insurance.  Like mortgage loans?
Harness my wit and charms to sell whatever’s not yet criminal in this port!
Grab my “fair share” and do it before the next Great Depression or Big Short!  

REFRAIN
See scrolls, screens and stages speak to me indeed.  
So many died, some lived, that I might listen, watch and read.  
But why did Mommy transmit that curious reading itch?
Why me? Kimmy Schmidt? Son of Elmer Gantry’s bitch?

VI.
To love what you’re supposed to do is just a decision away.  
For those not burdened with too many questions to parlay.
Produce for the consumers. Why not Abide? Like The Dude?
Why so fucking depressed and homeless you silly white dude?

VII.
When the vultures steal and enslave, why don’t I in kind retaliate?
Their tactics are worldly and wise, why should I not embrace?
And so to my ground zero arrive the charity of career counselors
What the Goddamn fuck happened to all the emergency responders?

REFRAIN
See scrolls, screens and stages speak to me indeed.  
So many died, some lived, that I might listen, watch and read.  
But why did Mommy transmit that curious reading itch?
Why me? Kimmy Schmidt? Son of Elmer Gantry’s bitch?

VIII.
Doctors without board certified want to medicate my personality away.  
Soma.  For the masses.  If the theatre of Mass is not enough to assuage.  
The good citizens annoyed at the disease of my eyes that see.  
Why so stubborn?  Why not “get over it” and assimilate like we?

IX.
Why is merely being me an act of open revolution against the established fable?  
Why does imminent homelessness bring suicidal thoughts to the food stamp table?  
Mommy gave me religion.  And taught me to read.  Dark & Light, The Force indeed.

REFRAIN
See scrolls, screens and stages speak to me indeed.  
So many died, some lived, that I might listen, watch and read.  
But why did Mommy transmit that curious reading itch?
Why me? Kimmy Schmidt? Son of Elmer Gantry’s bitch?

© 2016 Mark Roman aka Mark Nehls – TheMarkRoman.com

(Rise above mere Dead Poets Societies!  Support poets when they need it most.  While still alive!  BUY autographed copies HERE.)

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Beasts of Catharsis


The two stories that jump out at me this morning fit the binary math of broadcast news: rubberneck and feel good.

  1. Teenager Stabs Himself to Death on Stage

Fellow humans have taught me I’m supposed to experience “catharsis”, the Greek word meaning, as my high school Shakespeare teacher Mr. Duda taught me, “glad that ain’t me”.  I should judge this teenager for being selfish.  It wasn’t about him.  The people he “left behind” are more important.  Look at all they did for him … before he took his life.  Our “world class” health care system did its part.  He probably didn’t even pay his bill, so serves him right.  Why was he an artist?  It was just an open mic.  Looks like the music career he “tried” didn’t work out.  Why didn’t he go get a “good job”?  You know, as a salesperson or a lawyer.  Or a doctor.

2. UCLA Signs 9-Year Old Battling Brain Tumor

What do you mean hospitals like UCLA and USC follow a policy of patient dumping at Hollywood Bowl (after they got caught dumping downtown)?  My alma mater would NEVER do something like that!  Look, UCLA just signed a cancer kid!  What concussion?  Sports heals!  Especially if I get my spread this weekend!  What are you gonna tell me next, that my church rapes children?  That the electronics I’m using this very moment are built from raw materials stolen by child soldiers?  That our entire banking system is built on lies, fraud and crime?  Why can’t I just enjoy my $5 morning coffee and pretend everyone who feels the sun like I do now hasn’t a care in the world?  Why is that so wrong?

“Get a Real Job”


This week more than the usual number of classy folk on The Las Vegas Strip made comments to me along the lines of “get a real job”. They said this to someone they had no idea was an Eagle Scout who attended college on academic scholarship, was in the mortgage industry for over a decade, founded a professional networking group, and is a SAG-AFTRA actor with 30+ IMDb credits. They just saw a street performer in a certain costume and they made some judgments. Fine. Permit me to make some judgments of the Fortune 500 companies where you think morally superior citizens might work. Of course, my judgments are based on multiple news sources laden with very specific verifiable facts. HSBC is a bank that laundered drug cartel money. The Catholic Church, one of the oldest corporations, employed and protected active pederasts. And PG&E is an energy company that killed people with cancers more painful than lethal injection. But at least the stellar employees in this 2 min. film clip professionally defending PG&E are not low life deadbeat street performer bums, right? Maybe you should do a little research before you go bragging about your “good job” … to ANYONE. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGX4nMrnxg0