Preamble to the Unicorn Rainbow Poem

Photograph by Jose Padua
The Unicorn Rainbow Poem will not be
looked upon kindly by the establishment,
will win no popularity contests, will be
deemed unfit for intellectual consumption
by people in possession of massive widescreen
televisions, and suburban residents with
four car garages who believe that charity
begins at your second home in the Hamptons.
The Unicorn Rainbow Poem will not be reprinted
in any anthologies that matter, will not be chosen
for Best American Unicorn Poetry, though a horror film
will be produced in which the line “Who put this
motherfucking poem in this motherfucking
anthology?” is spoken a third of the way through,
giving voice to the unspoken fears of the population
that in worlds even more dangerous than the one
we live in now, this sort of thing could happen.
The Unicorn Rainbow Poem will not protect you
from home invasion; the exotic people you fear
so much will still come through your front door
without bothering to knock or offering you a copy
of The Watchtower or subscriptions to magazines
you’ll never read, and as usual you will end up
shooting yourselves rather than defending yourselves.
The Unicorn Rainbow Poem will do nothing
to bring more justice to the world, Ayn Rand
will still be read by people who are under
the mistaken impression that it’s real literature
and not pubescent fantasy that’s the equivalent
of looking into a mirror and saying “I love you”
with a straight face then smiling sincerely
like a B-Movie actor from 60s selling cigarettes.
The Unicorn Rainbow Poem will be denounced
on the news by all major broadcast and cable
networks and on the internet as the reason why
you are no longer free, have to wear a seatbelt,
and are urged to eat healthier food by the tyranny
of the nanny state, even though you drive like
a maniac and really could stand to lose a few pounds.
The Unicorn Rainbow Poem will be blamed on
every street corner and on every highway billboard
and on every popup ad as the reason why
corporations are struggling to make a profit,
why you’re always in debt, and why a guy
with a name like Antwoine or Carlos wearing a hoodie—
so tall, so magical and so frightening—is waiting
for you to get out of your car so he can ask for
directions to the nearest library or bookstore in this,
his endless quest at finding something reasonable to read,
as he slowly makes his way home through America.

-Jose Padua

Photograph, Burger King Sunset, by Jose Padua


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