When You Cancel Me
When you cancel me someday
(Don’t say you won’t; that’s what they always say)
Don’t fail to strike me down with righteous zeal
And have no sympathy for how I feel.
Upon my missteps concentrate,
And focus your well-founded hate
On crimes that only I would do;
Let accusations, noise and blame ensue.
The errors I have long denied,
The flaws that I have held inside–
Don’t fail to take the maximum offense;
expose them all. Spare no expense!
Make my example to be shunned,
Identifiable by anyone,
Arrange it so, if anybody tries
To come to my defense, they’re ostracized.
Demonize and level harm
Towards all the things I use to charm.
Impugn the clothes I wear, my looks,
and criticize my taste in books.
Ignore please, all of my good deeds
Move boldly, with remorseless speed,
De-emphasize my contributions
And only speak of retribution.
And with each phase of your attack
Ensure nobody has my back,
And friends and loved ones find it hard
To justify the least regard.
And do not cease the hellish clamor
Until I’m crushed beneath your hammer,
Never again to raise my head,
Alive, but functionally dead.
Once you’ve assassinated my behavior
Please do me this simple favor:
Describe your vengeance without shame
By calling it by its true name,
Not, (heaven help us) “Cancelled”, please–
Say “Murdered” when you speak of me.
But don’t be shocked when it’s all through,
To find that you’ve been “cancelled”, too.
-Jim Meskimen. July 2023