Friedrich Nietzsche drawn by Hans Olde.
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A Nietzsche Sonnet Six Pack
by John Kendall Hawkins
I. Turin, the Official Story
The ghost of Friedrich Nietzsche haunts me night and day,
his philological lessons come home to roost
in the most mysterious ways -- amor fati?
Are you sh*tting me? What's next? The king's Jacques Tati?
The Quiet Guy who gets his gist from Marcel Proust?
What's this? The seriousness of a child at play?
Turin: Fritz takes pity. The whipping of Der Wille
zu Macht, it seemed to him. He horse-whispered, he goes,
Pssst! do you like my caricature, points around,
I'm the God who made this mess. Nietzsche's words astound
the horse, who answers back, Drop dead. I'll bite your nose.
Superman collapses. Nother Fool on the Hill, eh?
Had dear Fritz offered a carrot instead, maybe
that horse wouldn't have been served later, with gravy.
II. Turin, Take 2
In an alternate version of the Turin fall,
Fritz is biding time, when two hooks pass. He whinnies,
whores-whispering, you might say; he's ready to ride,
goes, Hey, how much do you charge to swallow my pride?
Joking, of course. But off-frame one of the sinnees
recognizes him. His sis goes, Your words appall.
Elizabeth's hip companion was Lou Salome,
Nietzsche had once been her horse, whip in hand, ready.
She too was nonplussed by the guttersnipe's taunting
and when she saw that it was Fritz, his manners wanting,
she threatened to beat the thit from him, so heady
was her temper -- Fritz! Did you really say, Blow me?
Nietzsche ran to the familiar 'whores' and hugged them,
cried, What was I thinking? But they turned and mugged him.
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III. If You Go To Women, Bring a Whip.
Lou Andreas-Salome, O how the name plays
through the harp strings of Russian counts, Europe's fittest,
Nietzsche's Ariadne, Sigmund Freud's sis-mother,
Rilke's Eurydice (To Hell and back!). Brother,
to see her in that cart, whip raised to Ree and Fritz,
you can just imagine the menage trois hoorays.
There's no doubt she was the Ideal Fem incarnate
who brought the sugar and the salt, the MSG;
she made men think; she was the reason why we eat
Chinese and an hour later you want more treat.
Why, the fellahs had never seen a mind so free.
Nietzsche let her go, we are told, but said he'd wait.
Don't know, Lou'd be just another fatale today,
so many women with raised whips out there. Oy vey!
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IV. Killing God Was Too Much for Wagner to Bear
f*ck Wagner, most people would say these days. Not me.
There's the usual debate over his value.
Folks saying, if not for the mad king faerie
living in the Disney castle, warm and cheery,
the debt slave composer would have died in jail. True?
Maybe. But what happened is he set music free
with his chromatic tones, shades drawn implicitly,
lip-doodling at times, progressing and falling back,
music requiring bespoke instrumentations
to express his range -- high strung wisps, bass temptations --
and what themes: the death of God, love's complicity.
Nietzsche loved to hate him, musical ubermensch
who tossed it all with the Christian Parsifal stench.
'Sono qua, nel bunker, dietro mura d'acciaio mentale, spesse novanta psicocentimetri'
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V. Fritz Was No Angel
A lot of Nietzsche fans, and I count myself as one,
are defensive about his clear misogyny,
and some critics paint him as an anti-semite
worse than self-loathing Jews, like Kissinger, so tight
with Nixon, and Sydney Gottlieb who helped to free
"special" Nazis, just after their Holocaust fun.
Nietzsche despised anti-semites, but his sister
married a proto-Nazi and fed him Uber;
she pushed Der Wille zu Macht on the little dasch
with the art school dropout mein kampf paint brush mustache
all nein nein nein bunker mental German luger.
Just don't blame Nietzsche for sieg heil Hitler, mister.
Nietzsche was no eugenicist, social darwinist
maybe. Classic daiquiri, feminist twist.
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VI. What Doesn't Kill Me Wears Me Down
There are lots of lessons learned from reading Nietzsche.
Question authority. Trace meaning to its roots.
Reject the slavish mentality that would rule
by fiat, arrested development so cruel
its fascists require you to put on their stomp boots.
And remember Nietzsche doesn't rhyme with peachy.
The Nietzsche Fan Club used to seem so exclusive,
only the few really understood his meaning,
like Marx (Recall those college berets and smoke curls?
The intellectuals who got all the hip girls?),
but nowadays Nietzsche has pop culture gleaning
his massage. Kelly Clarkson, "Stronger." Obtusive.
Some see Ubermensch in the Singularity.
Although it's dangerous, I await clarity.