Lg_image_of_scolds_bridleThe glitterati
the critics
the populists
you will lose if
you write about Israel instead of Palestine
if you speak of Republicans not Democrats
if you emphasize feminism over patriarchy
if you ask why reverse racism isn’t decried with equal equality?
if you don’t apply fake tan by Spring
if you don’t die your roots when white scream shows through
if you say no to invitations to museum openings
if you don’t pretend you like fish chowder in New England
you will lose
if you can’t fake an orgasm
if you can’t pretend to be happy
if you can’t do a 5K and apply the bumper sticker
if you want more than a box with four corners
if you need truth over societal cacophony
if you pick staying home over social gatherings
Oh god, home, the empty temple of feathers
if you read a book that’s not on Oprah’s list
if you don’t like Jane Austin or Billy childish
if you approve of Brexit
if you want peace but also believe
sometimes in war
if you need a fix and everybody has been juicing since 2004
if you still smoke in your mind if not in your hand
If you bathe rather than shower and eat figs with unwashed hands
if you like drunks and melt-downs and unwell folk
over gyms and workaholics and hipster beards
if you don’t think a woman over 50 is invisible
If you want to touch her like this, just here, yes
if you don’t believe in knee-jerk vaccinations for HPV
if you think Shingles is a symptom of grief as much as
an arms worth of plague
if you like honey more than jam
you will lose if
you don’t shave into a triangle or wax
if you try to grow daffodils instead of cacti in the desert
if you don’t get your flaws frozen off at the secret dermatologist
if you gave up wearing push up bras when they hurt
Hey boys, get a life
if you didn’t remember all the eighties top hits nor cared for boy george
if you read instead of talk with your mouth full
if you don’t want to retail and you buy second-hand
if you think the planet should depopulate not reproduce
if you think choice
isn’t a dirty word
if you think rape
can happen anywhere
if you believe justice
is owned by man
if you think cars
cost too much and clog up the landscape
you will lose
by opting out of the din of most social media platforms
you will lose decrying our
infernal need for attention,  narcissism
and selfishness abounding
you will lose when you go on vacation
and see only the misery of the local
starved by tourists expectation,  fired upon your return for taking time off and not taking your phone
you will lose when you expect small talk
to be vanquished and long conversations
about life to resume
don’t wait for the bleep
don’t hold your breath
don’t anticipate
that sometimes you must lose
in order to see