There’s a Robinson in Tulsa
milking Toggenburg goats. And one
in Sri Lanka, peeling cinnamon.
A Filipino Robinson impales tourist
hostages on stakes sharpened by
reading Mao’s little red book.
A coal-black Cote d’Ivoire Robinson
heads a football composed of
a thousand Baptist missionary socks
through scavenged goalposts, once bumpers
to a Lutheran missionary’s Rambler.
Ivoirean Robinson dreams of being
Didier Drogba, World Cup 2010.
Oklahoma Robinson daydreams backwards: Carl
Sandburg, goat-breeding poet, 1930-something. Filipino
Robinson barfs (she hates killing),
believing Maoist revolution will follow
her news-bleeding headlines. They all
are aspects of Robinsonism, that
widely-known but little-discussed adolescent syndrome.
Take a boy (a girl),
stifle his/her creativity in school/home/culture
but leave her/him daydream-time
(maybe books), and voila! Robinson.
Jazz guitar is just one
of its symptoms: add tree-sitting
in old-growth forests, teaching night-school
to interstate-incest-runaways, becoming a Ronaldinho
in a favela soccer camp, succoring
AIDS orphans in Angola while
sharing one’s own AIDS vaccine….
Look, the problem is international:
little Robinsons keep sprouting everywhere.
Best political solution? Delta Forces.
Seriously, hack UNICEF’s Christmas list
via black ops, and provide
each child named there with
a land-mine plus a manual
written in Shanghai about how
to activate it by foot.
Robinson read this parable once
in a Pied Piper retelling—
Walt Kelly’s Pogo’s Stepmother Goose—
where the rat-charmer was black
and played clarinet: “The Town
on the Edge of the
End,” its title. Its nigger-jazz
messiah spirited children away from
a Grimville where adults had
mistaken kids for the plague.
Where did he take them?
To the comics Robinson reads
religiously. Skip adult headlines, kids,
daydream among your cartoon-animal cousins.
We’re endangered species, we Robinsons
wherever. Decapitate Mom and Dad,
head their forbidding noggins into
paradise: make our only world
safe for talking goats, for
teaching lovesick orphans the guitar.