Gentlemen Only by Craig Kurtz

Gentlemen Only

“Women should be obscene and not heard.”
—John Lennon.¹

The dead white males got out in time
‘cause what was droll is now a crime;
a patted bum, a fondled tit,
‘why make such a big deal of it?’;
a bawdy joke, a ribald pun,
‘don’t be a prude, it’s all in fun’;
a tiny wink, a little smut,
‘there’s no harm done; besides, so what?’;
ah, yes, those were the good ol’ days —
‘now, drop your knickers for a raise.’
The problem’s been around before
the world was flat, or the first whore;
there’s not an honest man can say
he heard about it yesterday;
there will be heroes that are through,
they better not whine or boo-hoo;
and don’t drag in your politics —
it’s being men, or being dicks;
this isn’t just some dumb sitcom,
it’s prob’ly what dad did to mom;
you care to say who’s innocent?,
no one I know’s omnipotent.
For all the women who got burned —
millennial, the tide has turned;
there will be victims here and there,
that is the point: ‘it isn’t fair’;
they’re tearing down the old statues,
be careful, friend, which side you choose;
the world is changing, just you wait,
and hell to pay the interest rate;
they say that nice guys finish last —
best hope there’s no one you’ve harassed.


¹Anticipating qualifications excusing this remark, featured in his 1964 book In His Own Write, as youthful indiscretions later amended, please direct attentions to pages 16-17 of the 1967 Magical Mystery Tour EP and album booklet, where Lennon enjoys a striptease performance, or the 1971 US paperback edition of Yoko Ono’s Grapefruit, where, on the back cover photos, Lennon gropes Ono (photos Ono excised in editions printed after Lennon’s death).

©2017 Craig Kurtz

Craig Kurtz has written and recorded poetry since 1979. Current endeavors include Antick Comedies, a versification of Restoration plays illustrated by Anni Wilson ( and Wortley Clutterbuck’s Deplorable Poems, an opera buffa in two acts ( Recent work appears in Clinch Mountain Review, New Plains Review, Seems and Straylight Literary Magazine.

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