I’m sure they’re paid very generously,
but what does that say about us?
That we’re too weird and shiftless,
too undone at the seams
to participate fully in the general welfare?
Really, the way we laud these poseurs
and plastic mannequins is, in a word, retractable.
Are we not able to make
ample use of our own moving parts
and their functions? Of course we are,
but the point is, they’ve taken it upon themselves
to restrict how those parts are allowed to move.
And certainly, this is an injustice
of gravest magnitude, requiring far more
than a mere “attitude” adjustment to rectify.
It’s one thing to be in possession of wings;
it’s quite another to be in possession
of the knowledge of flight.
Catch you on the flip,
phantasmagoria of inner light.
The next big blight
is waiting to stop us in our tracks
and make off with the general welfare
in a blur of bigotry, fear, and self-loathing.
Mind the arithmia, dammit,
take it to heart.
For the young upstarts
will indeed have their day in the sun
and in the shade as the mood requires.
We lit these fires for their specificity, you know,
and for the hope the flames contain.
Manic dialectics only raise the stakes
of our frenzied enterprise.
This war will not be won in dollars.
I know only of the way it was read to me,
in droning whitewashed monotone.
The table of contents cracked
in six or seven places,
divisions widening with each new passage.
Somewhere, the message
struggles to keep its head above the water
forcing its way through
to the sullen core of the experience.
The water weighs on me tenaciously
as it adds to nothing but itself.
The message drowns despairing
as was foretold. And surely
the old heads atop the heap
will seek their advantage here,
as they always have done
with varying degrees of success and subtlety.
But now the years have stretched
their skin too thin to conceal
their weathered cranial bones,
and all can see finally, that
such bones are meant to be broken.
Another bout of blathering
about apocalyptic straining
of sinew, nerve, and brain.
Another tepid rain
failing to rinse the body clean.
Another one for the road,
she says by the skin of her teeth.
And when those teeth
shed their skins? Then
we’re in deeper than ever,
admitting defeat with the rest
of the entourage, and the fete
we made of our attraction
assumes a rather damaged
hangdog look. And to think –
of all the wrong turns, twists
and misdirections, this
is the one we took.
once so reassuring
through my tender nerves.
and stormy swerves
have dragged us further rightward
than ought to be acceptable.
Only the most contemptible among us
have been deemed fit
to push and pull
the many levers of power,
and it shows.
It shows through the haze
of tear gas and flash grenades
and rubber bullets
and in the eyes of every blackshirt
that ever dared to cut a Black life short.
“It can’t happen here.”
But I know better.
Halfway to the halfway point,
she ups and puckers her mouth
at the scrolling pixelated stars.
Nothing like a bath of backwoods night
to rinse away the day’s debris,
the smudges on the soul.
She steals away a moment
to loll among the whispering grass
and dumb drunk flowers
and the moment reclines
across the hours with a hefty sigh.
She takes in the fragrance of that breath,
feels high and mighty as it moves
deliciously through her lungs.
All her mother and father tongues
retreat into the bruised warmth,
but she doesn’t feel abandoned;
on the contrary, soft currents
of liberation electrify her very being.
How sweet it is! not being compelled
to conceptualize or categorize.
With a smile, she rises
lights a cigarette,
and sets herself in motion, a comet
cracking open the dark
with a rapturous burst of blue.
Cutting the quickness with a lick,
you force a smile through
the sieve of distaste.
After making haste into a virtue,
what colors will our errors assume?
This cold room seems to stretch
10 miles in all directions,
and you flounder in the center
as it softly dissipates.
Childhood lust silently abates,
but the new calm that installs itself
in that once tumultuous space
is the perfect climate for a more refined
but wilder brand of lust
to begin gather its forces,
blue horses of pure electricity.
How long have I been under
such weather anyway?
That causes mere moments
to seem endless and whole years,
the simple flash of a camera?
And yet, from an aesthetic standpoint,
no composition is more pleasing
to the wicked heart which motivates me,
urging me onward, downward, wayward,
into unabashed ecstasy.
Let’s leave the leavening
out the way of harm,
an arm to candle us to victory
should shadows surpass.
Like the open mouth of an underpass,
we welcome all the sleeping detritus
who would seek us.
In cellular rains, we tweak
and become dangerous,
dissolving in the distance
between point A and the sky.
I’m turning on my axes to grind,
finding a task in coping.
I’m burning cultured kief
in an effort to maintain hoping.
Sudden air of alacrity
rushes through once withering lungs.
This we can encapsulate.
The matter of happening
elicits entropic strains.
For my worth,
what it’s actually,
through incandescent veins.
Times we were the streets
assailed by sheets
of burning rain.
Here lies a quandary.
And here lies a focal point.
I move to still
the screeching in my joints,
enjoining the light
of the other accidental denizens
of this industrial wonderland.
One hand raises
a cracked cup to cracked lips,
the other is caught fidgeting.
And over the pulse of traffic,
the blue wails of the Sirens…
the government people are coming.
You have no hobbies
to dissuade them.
You keep my nose clean
when it counts.
Certainly, crunch time bleeds
into eastern standard time.
Nowhere has the infection
been more irrelevant.
With shoes on, how you turn,
in the furnace, on the threshold,
in the guise of a companion.
Man the torpedoes, skipper.
You looked more interesting
in the photograph.