The ‘I Ain’t Dancin’ to All Your Negativity’ Rag

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Slap down the people with the negative tone
Offer them gum so their mouths have something to do
Tell them to leave your happiness alone
Reply that that hatefulness rag doesn’t do it for you

Offer them gum so their mouths have something to do
Point their compasses toward the trees and the flowers
Reply that that hatefulness rag doesn’t do it for you
Whistle, warble, caw and guffaw to the birds perched in the bowers

Point their compasses toward the trees and the flowers
Explain that life’s too short to hang with that negativity crap
Whistle, warble, caw and guffaw to the birds perched in the bowers
Escape as soon as you can from the haters and their hating trap

Explain that life’s too short to hang with that negativity crap
Tell them to leave your happiness alone
Escape as soon as you can from the haters and their hating trap
Slap down the people with the negative tone

The form is a pantoum.  The inspiration is the pandemic negativity that has seeped into almost every aspect of communication and entertainment.  The cause is something I’ve coined “rectocornea” or “rectocornealmoutharrhea,” where one’s vision is connected to one’s posterior, providing the patient with a… bad outlook on life.  The cure begins when one admits to having a problem.  “Hi!  I’m Bill and I’m addicted to constant trash-talk.”  “Hi, Bill!”  Too often, however, the patient seats (if you’ll pardon the expression) the cause somewhere else.  More specifically, with someone else… mother, father, sibling, religious figure, politician… the person who sold them the lemon of a car they are driving, etc.  The truth is, no one can make you or me act, think, speak or write miserably; it’s all on the individual.  I’ve decided I’m tired of hearing it all, reading it all, being asked to stomach it all.  Life is just too short to put up with other people’s crappy attitudes!  Feel free to disagree.

Posted on Open Link Night at dVerse Poets Pub.

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62 thoughts on “The ‘I Ain’t Dancin’ to All Your Negativity’ Rag

  1. You are channeling my thoughts on this one. No TV, killed my news apps, read the food mags in the grocery store line. I like the strong voice of this poem and the strength of character it displays. Bravo! BRAVO! Oh, and that title is hilarious!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Björn! The problem, I feel, is that no one wants to listen. Everyone appears to listen while they work up their response, gather their ammo (so to speak). If people could get over the “I’m right so you must be an idiot” mentality, then maybe we could make real progress, focus on relationship, and get back to the arts. Does my Viking ire show? 🙂

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  2. I so enjoyed this. I call it fecal vision – can’t see for shit – . I am so sick of all the negativity too and how every thing has to be political. Yeppers – give them gum to give their mouths something else to do

    Liked by 2 people

  3. A tricky rag for sure, bordering on flat-assed, butt-plugged, shit for brains blues. One of the reasons I dig writing poetry, versus essays or scatological rhymes on outhouse walls, or verse in the dust on cars–is that we exist today as recipients of instant knowledge of nearly every event within moments of their occurrence. The pope belches & we get “breaking news”, some of it fake, tedious, anger provoking, tear-stained & heartbreaking. Overkill leads to cranky fatigue & negative undulations of emotions, crying havoc, embracing chaos, nd/or writing poetry. See what you did there?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. thoroughly enjoyed the poetic form and the sentiment behind the creation of this rant! I must remember to carry some gum with me in future there are a few people t I know who could use it. Negativity drains and I support eradicating it, we must wake up happy that we have a new day to explore life and not allow the ones who pull us down any control over our thoughts. Truly brilliant and brave post!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I SO AGREE! When I was an office manager, my boss used to say “An office reflects its manager”. The sweeping miasma of negativity today perhaps reflects the juvenile vitriolic tweets emanating from you know where. Your poem was a breath of fresh air!

    Liked by 1 person

    • While I do agree I expect more from leaders than I’ve seen of late, I have to admit my disappointment in office holders can be traced back farther than the current batch of occupants. My personal politics is summed up in a line from a song by Steelers Wheel: “Clowns to the left of me; jokers to the right.”

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Paul! I am quite amazed at the response this poem has gotten! The form is easy to do… getting the wording so it makes something strong and cohesive poses a bit of a challenge. I’m glad you enjoyed it, and concur with its intended message!

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      • Made me think of this story….It is said that one day the Buddha was walking through a village. A very angry and rude young man came up and began insulting him, saying all kind of rude words.

        The Buddha was not upset by these insults. Instead he asked the young man, “Tell me, if you buy a gift for someone, and that person does not take it, to whom does the gift belong?”

        The young man was surprised to be asked such a strange question and answered, “It would belong to me, because I bought the gift.”

        The Buddha smiled and said, “That is correct. And it is exactly the same with your anger. If you become angry with me and I do not get insulted, then the anger falls back on you. You are then the only one who becomes unhappy, not me. All you have done is hurt yourself.”

        Liked by 1 person

      • Very true. No one “makes us” do anything. We may express it that way, but we are only attempting to abdicate our personal responsibility for our… (fill in the blank… anger, thoughtlessness, blindsidedness). There is also a story… from Zen tradition, I believe. A man is in his house at night when a burgler breaks in. The man is reading holy writings. He tells the robber, “Do not disturb my reading; my money is over there.” As the robber heads for it, the man says, “Don’t take it all; please leave me this much.” Before the robber leaves, the man says, “Say ‘Thank you,’ please.” Later the robber is caught and brought to trial. The man is called in as a witness. “Didn’t I tell you where my money was? Didn’t I tell you how much to take? Didn’t you say ‘Thank you’ before you left? This man is not a thief.” After being acquitted, the robber became the man’s disciple.

        Attitude it everything — ask any pilot.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I taught it to several classes of tenth graders once. A young man came up to me later and said he figured out the moral of the story, and was going to try to live it out. Progress.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Love it, love it, love it! (It was a little wordy, though, but I hesitate to complain lest I be kicked out – 🙂 ). I totally agree that so many people want to blame their bad attitude on someone else. I have a great friend who once explained it this way. If we act badly because someone else acted badly towards us, then we have given them control of who we are. I’m too much of a control freak to do that. Keep up the positive vibe!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. First of all, the use of the pantoum was great. Second, the topic SUPERB! I can’t read the paper anymore, definitely not the opinion page. One of the problems with rectocornealmoutharrhea, is that it is so very contagious, as proven by the epidemiology.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great pantoum! Like villanelles they bring you back around to your original thought – but this is well played. The idea of a rag (or a blues) both of which I have used as poem forms myself being fitted to a pantoum to my knowledge is unique and it worked great! The sounds felt like a real rat-time band – all shouts, hollers, toots, and strums. This is very successful for me. I’d print it if I were an editor.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for the offer. As for the need, you’ll know, Charley, whenever my voice shivers towards the dark side, blurring reality with imagination in an ominous manner. I suppose, for some of us, it takes more than just us willing ourselves away from negativity, but we need friends along the way … while hoping not to have dragged others down with our burden. Well, we all hit the wall sometimes, don’t we?

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      • Ha! More like being compelled to maintain sanity than seeking relief. Once out of the dark, I tend to hate what I wrote in there … but you guys took those nasty pieces so seriously I sometimes wonder if I were a better poet mad than sane. (But then I don’t think my struggle is diagnosably bad.)

        “Point their compasses toward the trees and the flowers … Whistle, warble, caw and guffaw to the birds perched in the bowers” — this is profound … For the soul to peek outside the window is to trick it into opening the pesky curtains — the way to let the light in. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes! You have hit on two essential understandings. One is that most poets are better poets when they reach the end of their restraint (or sanity… or sobriety). Hence the subtitle of my blog. The second essential understanding is that we are creatures that require a certain amount of outside exposure. To stay only inwardly turned takes us beyond poetic crazy into gibbering madness.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, yes, “the end of the restraint”. That’s the perfect word. The way you explained it made total sense. Just like … throw everything we’ve got in order to take off … but aim far enough to not overshoot our runway. There’s real treasure for me in this dialogue. Thank you, Charley! (Btw, I’m always a fan of your subtitle.)

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