The rules of engagement are on the wane,

the game ceded to those wanting a name

as activists, agents of change who freestyle

second-hand jiving at open mics, while

others who used to think words a safe space

found themselves unceremoniously displaced.

Stand-up poets and performers, they gage

quality by applause, the dumbed-down age

rewards the relateable, it’s true

revolutionaries shun the debateable, so new

blood don’t do stuff with a  serious inflection,

best stick to a story about your awkward infection.

Mushy clickbait wins the battle each time

when poets choose peanuts instead of wine.