Killing Socrates

by Gerard Donnelly Smith

March 1, 2004   


All men are mortal.
Socrates is a man.
Socrates is mortal.

Ergo Socrates can be killed.

Socrates is a threat to The State.
Threats to The State must be removed.
Socrates must be removed.

The removal of Socrates will not silence Socrates:
Even his voice being carried breath by breath
threatens The State.
His voice must fall silent, so his breathing must end,
so too those who breathe his words
must fall silent as well.

Clearly our ends must silence him completely,
or his threat to The State will continue;
however, to truly silence him we must stop
not only his breath, but every breath
that carries his voice from citizen to citizen.

To finally silence Socrates, we must destroy
the supporters of Socrates;
dismantle their lines of communication
by isolating anybody breathing Socrates;
we must track their movement, and limit
their associations, discover what they read,
decipher what they write to uncover
their Socratic conspiracy to bring
democratic consensus to this Republic.

We simply need the right opportunity
to sway popular opinion; an outside threat
would do, or a national tragedy, or some
natural cataclysm that would shake
the very foundation of society, then
we'll blame those Socratic traitors for teaching
moral relativism.
Then it is decided; first we kill Socrates.

Oh, there is one more thing: It would be nice,
if we could all profit from this affair.

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Poetry on Swans


Gerard Donnelly Smith, a poet and musician, teaches creative writing, literature and composition at Clark College in Vancouver WA. CERRO de la ESTRELLA (Logan Elm Press, 1992) was chosen for The Governor's Award for the Arts in Ohio, 1992. Excerpts from THE AMERICAN CORPSE (10 poems) were published in Apex of the M in 1995. He is the current director of the Columbia Writers Series, an Honorary Board Member of The Mountain Writers Series, and co-advisor of the Native American Student Council at Clark College. He has also organized readings for Poets Against the War.

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Published March 1, 2004
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