David Fleming
It's All Academic   www.davidflemingsite.com   
Trashy Poetry

  • November 18, 2014

I wish I could say that I am always tickled to see my alma mater in the news, but these days publicity is often painful.  That is the case with today's Inside Higher Ed story about WVU faculty having to empty their own trash cans.  All I can do is fall back on poetry, probably dross in its own right.


"'Empty,' the Emperor Said"


Sometimes trash connotes so much more than trash,

Remnants of some residue more sordid,

More sacred, certain to invoke anger

About the assumptions less transparent

Than the clear plastic bags that line the cans

Now to be emptied by the credentialed

Employees unaccustomed to menial

Activities deemed beneath their place.


Recycling is merely another term

For doctoring, without open deceit,

A conscious act vital to save the earth

From the lazy and from the uncaring

Masses these employees set out to save

With sustainable sorting of papers.


What is being easily disposed here:

Banana peels, Poland water bottles,

Or the faceless janitorial staff

To balance the new emperor's budget?


Trash is sometimes more about cash,

Just as stance is sometimes more dance.