Thursday, February 07, 2008

Alvin Toffler, poet

I didn’t know Alvin Toffler wrote poems! The one that appears in Anthology of Magazine Verse 1980 was first published in Antioch Review, which ought to mean something. (Does it?)

Alvin Toffler is famous as a futurist – you’ve read Futureshock, haven’t you? I read some other book, too. Megatrends? I remember finding his thinking worth the engagement, though I’ve long since forgotten specifics.

In “The League of Selves” he seems to be arguing for the interchangeability of individuals. If Oswald hadn’t shot Kennedy, it would’ve been someone else. History made him do it?

Sighting down the silver barrel,
crosshairs on his temple
I could Kennedy his cranium …

“Kennedy his cranium”! Kennedy having become a verb meaning to shoot a bullet into.

I could Kennedy his cranium
or Luther King his eyeballs.
I could RFK his chest
or Lincoln his lung.

Lincolned lung!

RFK would be the opposite of CPR?

The poem ranges through history with “the League of Selves” (they all seem to be assassins), killing the Archduke of Sarajevo, splattering the gore in the room Hitler just stepped from (oops!).

”If history books had holes …
where names like Ray or Booth appear,
I’d find a different way
to manifest my destiny.”

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