Susan Sontag, the Belle of the Upper West Side


She leaped into the room

With genius she’d presume

Her ego was her groom

A braggart in full bloom


Her hair was frosted, grave

Her voice was poised, thought brave

She’d lead us from the cave

On a road she’d deign to pave


In the sixties, she steered left

At fashion’s chic request

She’d drink Chablis with zest

Superlatives surpassed the rest


She claimed illness wasn’t metaphor

But called the white race, “cancer”

With a febrile verbal score

She was a lie’s enticer


And then in Nineteen Eighty-One

She made a sharp turn right

Mr. Reagan had just won

And revolution seemed trite


And so in New York’s Town Hall

She said causes were passé

A loud political brawl

One should never dare display


She said it’s time one did one’s work

The stuff that’s monied and mean

Idealism was beserk

It’s time to make the trading scene


And New York got lots of latte stores

And rents rose like helium

We multitasked at lots of chores

Consigned to capitalist tedium


And when Serbia was attacked

She showed her enmity

In Sarajevo she staunchly backed

The Nazis’ progeny


And so now that she is dead and gone

The truth we must exhume

She spoke like an Oxford don

But rode a witch’s broom


Dav id Gottfried, Copyright, 2007


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