They say, “Don’t confuse Hamlet with Shakespeare,”
Bill wasn’t an introspective indecisive Dane,
Byron wasn’t Byronic,
And Dylan never shot anyone named Grey.
But can you separate art from artist?
Could you enjoy the poetry of an unashamed
pederaster (not a pedophile!) member of NAMBLA,
Loving boys like a Greek philosopher?
Would you read a novelist you knew was a Nazi,
Even if none of his characters ever gassed a Jew?
Could you become lost in the mythic meters of
Primeval prose poems written by a serial adulterer?
What about Haiku written by a westerner who thinks
A $15 minimum wage just isn’t right?
You can’t give support to such horrible human beings,
But what if they’re too dead to profit from book sales?
Your favorite holocaust surviving Hollywood director
Turns out to be a pedophilic rapist,
Now his best made movies make you vomit
Just seeing his name on the screen.
Did Picasso’s paintings change
When you learned of his misogyny,
Or did you?
Poem #22 for National Poetry Writing Month (aka #NaPoWriMo)