I should have written about this long ago—its gone now with the rest of 2011 into the fetid swamp of past regrets. Robert Haas, seventy years old at the time, is roughed up by the Oakland police and survives to write about it.
Hass served as Poet Laureate of the United States from 1995 to 1997 and as a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets from 2001 to 2007. He lives in California with his wife, poet Brenda Hillman, and teaches at the University of California, Berkeley. ~ Poets.org
Much has been written about the banality of evil. We swallow it in small daily doses, don’t we? Water boarding isn’t really torture. Pepper spray is good for the ten-year-old child and the eighty-four-year old woman—its fun to hose down young women with their arms bound behind their backs. It must feel good to crack some hippie’s head open with a baton.
If you wade into an unarmed crowd of protestors, it must be hard to spare the poets—hard to see that mystic sparkle in the eyes through your face mask. We could start out small. Maybe agree to not punch anyone over sixty or under sixteen, ever?