Category Archives: poems

A MADDman’s Dream (Poem)

The current Chairman of the Board of Directors of Mothers Against Drunk Driving is not a mother, or even a woman, but a man named William Windsor.

“The founding president of MADD, Candy Lightner, left in disgust from the organization that she herself created because of its change in goals. ‘It has become far more neo-prohibitionist than I ever wanted or envisioned,’ she says. ‘I didn’t start MADD to deal with alcohol. I started MADD to deal with the issue of drunk driving.’… Mothers Against Drunk Driving has clearly become not simply anti-drunk driving or even anti-impaired driving, but anti-alcohol.”

From the website Mothers Against Drunk Driving: A Crash Course in MADD by David J. Hanson, Ph.D.

A Maddman’s Dream
by Rob Roper   July 31, 2014

With your mercenary army
of lawyers and judges
cops and clerks
parole officers and counselors
politicians and breathalyzer companies
The enemy has been conquered
The nations put in their place
The ruins at your feet

A religious state
sober drones hard at work
The jails are full, the bars are empty
The brewmaster and winemaker’s craft a lost art
the restaurants serve diet soda
The Devil’s juice replaced by cancer juice

You push people off the grid
productive workers now criminals
the creative class driven underground
Logic and Reason nowhere in sight
the Policeman’s word is Law
a fascist nightmare

You show pictures of little Suzie
killed by a drunk driver
but according to your own statistics
75% of all accidents are caused by sober drivers
But you don’t care about their victims
do you?

And what about your victims?
Breadwinners thrown in jail
Fired from their jobs
Shamed and disgraced
Lives destroyed
Shattered Families
What about all those little Suzies
whose moms and dads got DUIs
went to jail
lost their jobs
and committed suicide?

You lowered the BAC limit
from .12 to .10 to .08
and now .05 in Colorado
Two drinks and you’re a criminal.

DUI roadblocks
Unreasonable searches and seizures
Civil liberties crushed
under the MADDman’s boot.

Arresting people for sleeping in their cars rather than drive drunk!
or waiting for a cab!
riding a bike!
for doing the right thing!
Obviously this isn’t about public safety, is it?
This is about money
money for the DUI Industry
and for your neo-prohibitionist political agenda:
bringing back prohibition
one step at a time.

Heart disease kills more Americans than any other cause of death.
Studies show that moderate wine consumption
drastically reduces the chances of heart disease.
But you want to jail me for having two glasses of wine with dinner.

You raise the drinking age from 18 to 21
Old enough to vote
Old enough to be tried as a adult for a crime
Old enough to join the army
You can get your legs blown off in Iraq or Afghanistan
but you can’t have a beer
Brother soldier!  Sister soldier!
You should be fighting the Taliban at home!

First they came for the drunk drivers
and I did nothing
because I don’t drive drunk.
Then they came for the 18-to-20 year-olds
and I did nothing
because I was over 21.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to defend me.

The world is not a better place.

A Billy Collins Poem

I’m going to write a Billy Collins poem
I’m gong to write about
the poem I’m writting about
right now
What I’m doing
Where I’m sitting
Very self-aware, you know
Like “Budapest”
or “Tuesday, June 4, 1991”
or the best, “Workshop”
You know, Billy Collins-style
very conversational.

How does he pull it off
without sounding cute or pretentious?

Maybe it’s because
in the midst of the conversational style
he throws in a great image
or a devastating metaphor
to remind you
that he’s the real deal.

(A pause while I take a swig
from my vodka tonic
The vodka tonic I made
in a beer pint glass
2 shots of vodka,
1/4 of a lemon squeezed
then 1/8 of a lime
and tonic water.
Now back to the poem)

How did you like that clever digression
with the drink recipe?
Just the sort of thing Billy Collins would do.

I’m sitting on my front porch
in Denver, Colorado
It’s June 26, 2008
A beautiful early evening
like all Denver early summer evenings
I should say it’s 7:30pm
(notice my concern for detail)
This is my favorite time of day
Perfect temperature
perfect light
I sit out here everyday that I can
at this time
and write
or read poems
I watch my neighbors walking their dogs
and I have a drink, of course
It tastes so good after running.

Oh I forgot to tell you
Usually after work
I go up to the local park
and run 2 miles
it keeps the fat off
and lowers the stress
then I shower
and sit on the porch.

I should say something about the flowers
I love flowers
So I’ve planted a bunch in my front yard
And I have planter boxes hanging off the deck
or mini-deck
that is my front porch
half of the ones I plant die
I’m not a good gardener
But I’m learning and getting better
I like the amazing colors
and amazing shapes
They make me happy.

So I’m sitting on the front porch
on a beautiful Denver evening
drinking a vodka tonic
and writing a Billy Collins poem.

No devastating metaphor
simile or image
but dude
this is like
only my third poem
or something.

-Rob Roper

Your Last Day (poem)

My brother Mark died in Feb 2007 from brain cancer. His last days were spent at a hospice. I got this idea yesterday and wrote it down.

Your Last Day
by Rob Roper Dec 7, 2007

It was cold
and snowing, lightly.

You didn’t open your eyes
You couldn’t talk anymore
We talked to you
but we didn’t know
whether you could hear us
We talked to you anyway
just in case.

But most likely you were dreaming
and the dreams were probably wild and exotic
All dreams are
Time and people and places
are juxtaposed, inverted
disassembled and reassembled randomly
It all makes sense in the dream
Then you wake up and think, “that was weird”.

But of course you didn’t wake up.

The next morning you passed away.
And the snow stopped falling
And the sun came out.