Karen Greenbaum Maya

For me, disobedient means breaking rules. This may be inconvenient or disruptive but it is not necessarily doing wrong. Of the many actions in my poem, the destructive ones are not disobedient, and the disruptive ones are not harmful.


TOC | Next

Blow Yer Mind

After the ACLU meeting, we dawdled in his dad’s old Volvo. Then, the fuzz:
Buddy, show me your driver’s license. Even in Santa Monica, 1967 cops were scary.

Chiquita banana stickers on his wallet didn’t look witty now, more of a hex:
drugs were on everyone’s mind, so to speak. Grass. LSD. Mellow Yellow.

Every one of us loved Star Trek, thrilled to Spock, didn’t mind Chekhov.
Freedom of speech in The Voltaire, furtive purple mimeo, got the ACLU

gung-ho for our little group. Our motto:  I will defend to the death your right to say it.
High school principal, wrestling coach, would have crushed us honor-student editors

if he hadn’t lusted for Samo High to sweep the quiz meet regionals.  Our
joint lunges for the buzzer, our hunger to show off and use the IQ,

kept us scoring points at those dinky desks until the trophy was all wrapped up,
lying low by buzzing loud. Also, I couldn’t have told pot from oregano.

My squeaky naïveté got me on the masthead, and the invitation,
nifty sign of favor, to be emblem for freedom of the press, dream

of a future with eloquent kids taking chances on causes worth the vitriol
police and the Silent Majority slammed our way. (Small silence, much squawk.)

Quite a crowd gathered in the park that spring night, a SoCal samaj    
rallying to the calls:  let speech be free, get out of ‘Nam, make skirts mini.

Samizdat was worth the risk I took by sneaking out of the house, out of purdah.
That cop enjoyed toying with us. We knew he could bust us. I could just see calling

up my mom from the police station and getting grounded for a year, even if
vile stepfather Jim had been sprung after driving drunk only two weeks before.

Why, you ask, didn’t I follow their rules? They handled me like a stoned
XXth Century Fox, long before the Doors went druggy and deep and psychotic.

Youth gone wild, me for sure, typing sober cries for room to breathe, a job
zone riskier to inhabit, a more lasting rebellion, than smoking marijuana.


Karen Greenbaum-Maya, retired clinical psychologist, German major, two-time Pushcart nominee and occasional photographer, no longer lives for Art, but still thinks about it a lot. Her poems and photos have appeared in Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, Off the Coast, Lilliput Review, Blue Lyra Review, Measure, Conclave, Women’s Studies Quarterly,  B O D Y , and The Centrifugal Eye. Kattywompus Press publishes her two chapbooks, Burrowing Song (2013) and Eggs Satori (2014).  She believes that if you want to hit someone with a fish, you should just hit them with a fish, unless you don’t have a fish. (See  http://cloudslikemountains.blogspot.com/2012/08/overheard-from-three-14-year-old-boys.html)