Postcard from Island Gulag #669A

Hi all !

Having a great time here in post-modern poetry.
We’ve been on the island since Sylvia Plath croaked in ’63.
It’s been a bit smoggy and verbose   incoherent   gratuitously cryptic, but the prison-guards are super-nice and they let us write Haiku once in a while. There’s this MFA creative-writing place just up the road from the gulag, it’s really charming. They publish a chapbook that 4 people on the island read. They also host workshops, like How to Find Your Authentic Voice and Pushing Language Beyond the Boundaries. Last night we saw some non-identity-politics-driven verse in the nearby wilderness reserve. It had beautiful plumage and made totally weird sounds. (Hey Dylan, you’re remembering to feed my muse, right? Don’t let her out after 5 since she might stay out all night. She does NOT like the free-verse abstract work. Feed her the structured message-oriented stuff to the right of the literary-elite class. Thanks ☺ ) Anyway, we’re trapped on this island so if you find someway to get us off, do your best.
PLEEZ tell the editorial prison-guards that we are working on our English Lit degrees. And send the Maya Angelou and Adrienne Rich books soon !!!!!

Rita Dove’s Bookshelf

PROMPT:   draft a prose poem
in the form/style of a postcard




Virtue-Signaling vs. Eco-Shaming

Which of these two strategies is more useful for educating the divisive and reactionary members of our globally diverse society? Let’s briefly examine the two approaches:

  • Virtue-signaling is effective when trying to compassionately guide the unenlightened into a more conscious and socially-aware mindset, for example: an acquaintance lets you know they voted for Trump in November; you gently remind them that they are a misogynist racist Nazi buffoon and that fascism must be resisted by our enlightened choices. You then affirm that you are proud to have voted for the female candidate, who represented diversity in a progressive and global context. This clearly and publicly shows a more compassionate and humane choice and attracts like-minded people to the Good side.


  • Eco-shaming is a desirable strategy when confronted by unsustainable financial collaboration on the part of environmental criminals. Imagine yourself at Whole Foods. Someone is observed about to pick out a whole-wheat vegan frozen pizza. You, however, are aware of this particular brand and the inherently unjust social practices involved in its production. Rather than rebuke or denigrate your friend, you can gently steer them toward a more humane choice by saying something like:  wow — I can’t believe they even SELL that brand here. That is a totally environmentally unsustainable pizza produced in a sweatshop. Great choice. Way to perpetuate social injustice… then scowl and walk away. This may help the would-be purchaser to reconsider and thus support a more conscious vendor. You can then feel good about having contributed in a small way toward the moral evolution of a less-developed soul.

It’s up to you which method to use depending on the situation. Be creative and see if you can come up with other compassionate ways to help move our society toward a dystopic Politically-Correct Orwellian nightmare.