Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Fred Everett Maus: Epistemology (Nov. 9, 2016)

When I posted on Facebook

the day after the election

saying that my young Muslim friend was terrified,

that he had asked me why everyone hates

Muslims, and my big sister rebuked me—“Such

negativity! Do something for the good

of the cause”—


so I asked her how her own Muslim friends

were dealing with it, and she replied

as I expected “I don’t have any Muslim friends”—

all of this written on my timeline

seen by my friends—

and then she continued “We don’t have

that problem so much here in Texas,

but we have the issues with

blacks and Hispanics”—I didn’t

expect that part,

the open identification of

Muslims blacks and Hispanics

as issues, as problems


it was when I wrote again to end the exchange

that I (and probably not she) found

embarrassing—“I am not

going to pursue this on Facebook”—


at that moment I realized that my terror

of Trump was entangled with terror

of the big brother who long ago

sexually abused me, realized it by feeling

the same desire to protect my sister—

the sister whom I would not

call racist on Facebook, because it would

confuse and hurt her,

the sister whom I never told

about my brother’s abuse because

I knew she needed his friendship—


in that moment I saw

more clearly than ever that my

post-traumatic subjectivity

which sometimes distorts

can fix a fierce beam on the truth.


(c) 2016 Fred Everett Maus

2 comments on “Fred Everett Maus: Epistemology (Nov. 9, 2016)

  1. dbuccilli
    November 18, 2016

    Thank you for this amazing poem. So important.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fred Maus
      December 29, 2016

      thank you for reading and commenting, I appreciate it

      Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on November 18, 2016 by in Poetry, Social Justice and tagged , , .

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