Letters to the Editor Regarding the Death of Public Discourse by Sara Biggs Chaney
You say there are ashes in the water. I say if you want my new sprinkler system, why don’t you come and take it from my cold, dead hands. There are things known as points of view and they belong to places just like state flowers and regionally‐targeted grocery chains. What I mean is there is a river called never say die. As far as I know, no one has crossed it yet.
The gentleman going by the name of @sophists4socialchange mentioned foliage. I’ d like to ask him if he’s still going to enjoy the leaves when more than a million innocent children become the victims of fascism as a direct result of his uninformed, quasi‐political whims. If he knew leaves could feel pain, would he applaud their falling? If he knew children were falling (say, from a maple tree in late October) would he find the sight pleasing? We have two options, as I see it: We can hang out in tree houses for the rest of our lives, or we can damn well learn to breathe under water.
I’ve heard talk of a new species of mollusk in Missouri
that has shown the capacity for jet propulsion.
I don’t know how a rocket‐clam penetrated our borders
and made it that far out of its natural habitat, but
I think its pretty clear from this example that you don’t need
a backbone when you’ve got that kind of guts.
Did know that the latin “Mollusca” derives from mollis, meaning soft?
Maybe that’s why we’ve failed to notice the threat
these bastards are posing to national security.
If you misname something you’ll misrecognize it,
that’s for damn sure. Which leads me to my thesis:
We must abolish the teaching
of Latin in schools.
Sara Biggs Chaney teaches writing in Dartmouth’s Institute for Writing and Rhetoric. Her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Hotel America, Whiskey Island, Sugar House Review, Radar Poetry, Thrush Poetry Journal, and elsewhere.