It operates as a refuge for a civilizing element in short supply in contemporary America: honest criticism
was right!Support The
and my dragon the sheep.
Neither was happy in the year
he was born.
The detective walked the edge
of parkway, the gold button
on his lapel flaming in the sun,
and nothing was there.
The letters were neat and careful,
though they misspelled Zionism.
The swastikas were balanced and well shaped.
The glass walls of the childrens
classroom were blotted with those red
and black marks
and the sun came mottled through
the paper wed taped to cover.
The teacher told them
Someone has damaged
the classroom and the synagogue,
her words slow and tensely neutral.
So graffito should evolve to this.
And we to herebrain
numb, heart racing, waiting
for an oriental or Talmudic miracle.
This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 14 February 1996, on page 38
Copyright © 2014 The New Criterion | www.newcriterion.comhttp://www.newcriterion.com/articles.cfm/vandalism-baumel-3661
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The Kennedy Phenomenon: "Watching the Kennedy Train-Wreck"
The Kennedy Phenomenon: "The Many Misjudgments of Richard Hofstadter"