Trayvon Who? by DB Cox

Posted in DB Cox with tags on September 12, 2016 by Scot

 

in the men’s restroom
at the local waterhole
just above the urinal
these big black letters
are scrawled: “FUCK TRAYVON MARTIN”
just below someone has added:
“TRAYVON WHO?”
i lean against the wall
& try to estimate
the weight of these words
how do you calculate
the implications
bound up
in such weary musings
is there any way
to alleviate
that much hate
how many more ashes
must be sacrificed
to the wind
how many more bones
must be fed
to the ever-busy
ever-needful beast
before it is satiated
i stand
i wait for it to come
a revelation
an explanation
something
anything

silence

a void
as cold as jupiter’s moons

i walk out the door
& lose myself
in the white noise
of rowdy patrons
re-fighting
the familiar unfinished battle
against the ever-encroaching
doo-dah
living & dying
in this rotting ghost town
of collapsing cotton mills
& overworked churches
a paranoid world
where fear
accumulates like dust
in every dark corner

Trayvon Martin died
from the hole in his heart
facedown in the blood
& rain-slicked grass
the unfortunate demise
of another nondescript
nobody
Ellison’s “Invisible Man”

Trayvon Who?

CHARLES CORNELIUS NEWTON by LYNNE SAVITT

Posted in LYNNE SAVITT with tags on September 12, 2016 by Scot

 

because i’ve reached the ripe old age of 69
i check the obituaries regularly searching
for what man is still going strong after me
this week i found my children’s father died
in 2015 at age 69 at his home in ohio
this pediatrician left the country to avoid
child support & never recognized our son
or daughter after he stole the blue cross
check when our daughter was diagnosed
with insulin dependent diabetes at age 6
we ran into him once when my kids were
13 & 14 & he hid in his car & locked the doors
when i called his name the only other time we
saw him was a week before our son turned 21
& he took me to court to try to avoid paying back
child support he was now living again in the U.S.
we were babies when we married & i left him
happy to be free raising my kids alone working
three jobs in court he said, “i’ll hurt her the only
way i can through HER kids.” in his obit they
are never mentioned but he NEVER acknowledged
them in life why would they be acknowledged in death?
none of his declared interests had changed
& oddly enough his dog named jackson has
the same name as our daughter’s dog named jackson
he still loved his college basketball & the horses
nothing seemed to have changed except
his third wife who insecurely called herself
his soulmate in the obituary i sent my kids
in an email & neither of them had anything to say
about a father they never knew, ‘’why do you care?”
asked my daughter the truth is i never thought
about him MY CHILDREN are successful
joyful people with super kids of their own
the three of us a fatherless family
we swam the choppy ocean of life
reaching the shiny shores on our own
your loss charles cornelius newton R.I.P.

A SMUG POEM BY Mather Schneider

Posted in Mather Schneider with tags on September 12, 2016 by Scot

The belly-up guppy still moves his lips
at the stupid world
as if everyone should be ashamed
to be walking the land and breathing the air

because they are unsure
or because they are angry or hesitant
or have not heard of a particular
newly minted acronym or legalese footnote
or because they can see two
sides to things, or
many sides to things. God,
smugness must be

the ugliest of human attributes, show me desire
for sex or revenge, show me humiliation
or mutilation, show me
sadness, madness, will to power, will
to self-defeat, show me doubt, love, hate, show me
courage to confront Jesus show me anything
but smugness, anything but the social
media revolutionary in his transparent

gold suit, snob-slobbering his gob of 30 character all cap
dismissal, the pc hot issue
parrot-fish jogging behind
a baby stroller wearing Rush Limbaugh
earphones, or

the world-peace glib-flipper like a push-back
mob-peg bubbling
with delight at the slightest scent
of weakness from the man of the
wrong color, wrong mood, wrong opinion, of any man
alone, of any man
who is not perfectly comfortable
in a waterbed of dreadless quiet, of any man

out of whack,
of any man not stroking with the current, the smug
twitter-porpoise following
the pipers of American
this, American that, or the
liberal arts education steward, always
going with the numbers, the statistical cesspool, the MFA
soul sucking monster of smugness,
the spell-checker

of the soul, the rule-eel, t-crosser, the reference
pointer, precocious teenager
who has never had
his eyes dotted.

There is a slimy scaly hypocrite
within the smug man, there is always some
bed of coral
from which he speaks, while he enjoys his
food sprinkled to him daily,
even if he speaks
of being deprived,
even if he speaks of going hungry
it is a lie, a smug lie,
the smug man is a man for whom
the current system is functioning brilliantly
even if he preaches
change he wants nothing
of change, the smug man chuckles
his witty derision, as if he can hardly spare

a breath to belittle you, his salty pity, his
titters

reverberate
in the glass bowl
where he so happily, so smugly
floats.

Drunk Driver Kills Young Lady’s Dog by Donal Mahoney

Posted in Donal Mahoney with tags on September 12, 2016 by Scot
Melanie cried for hours the day 
a drunk driver ran over her dog
a week after she had an abortion.
She loved that dog so much 
she told her mother she knew 
Ollie was now in heaven barking 
as the angels blew their horns.
Her mother softly daubed her tears.
Nothing worse than losing a dog.

Seaside by Matthew J. Hall

Posted in Matthew J. Hall with tags on September 12, 2016 by Scot

it isn’t the salt air
or the birds
or happy childish memory
of happy childish laughter

nor is it escape
a break from the city

nor a gathering of thoughts

it isn’t about
peace or power

or the absurdity
of existence

or the recklessness
of a manic-depressive god

it’s just about
standing on this rock
and looking out

THE DAY ANNIE PASSED AWAY by A.D. Winans

Posted in A.D. Winans with tags on August 15, 2016 by Scot

The day Annie passed way
I sat outside Martha’s Coffee Shop
In the heart of Noe Valley
A bird hopped up on to the table
And I fed it crumbs from my scone
And he hopped up on my hand
And gave me a puzzled look chirped
Three times and flew away

The day Annie passed away
I put on a Miles Davis record
Black Hawk 1962
And recalled the night
His magic drew me in
Like a tidal wave

The day Annie passed away
Jazz trumpets burst the eardrums
Like artillery fire
The four walls collapsing like
A row of dominoes

The day Annie passed away
A bank of clouds made their way
Across the sky like an armada of Viking ships
Set sail for Valhalla

The day Annie passed away
Bob Kaufman read a poem to God
A drummer threw his sticks at the moon

The day Annie passed away
God punched a hole in the dance card
One last time
Birds sang dogs barked cats purred
The day Annie passed away

all reason in stillness dies by DB Cox

Posted in DB Cox with tags on August 3, 2016 by Scot

i sit in this monochrome room
nodding into the dusty half-light
that filters through air holes in the ceiling
my fists are down to the bone
from pointless pounding
against stone
my heart is wasting away
one burnt-out cell at a time
nothing in this gray box is real
not the bench where I sit
not the filthy
sweat-stained mattress
on the floor
not the now meaningless words
of defiance
scratched into concrete walls
ancient rallying cries
that once burned blood red
gone cold
as the nameless men
who breathed them

somewhere
a steel door slams
the “laughing man”
makes his way down the corridor
carrying his “tools of persuasion”

i have nothing of value to give up
i have become a “lab animal”
for the imagineers of torture
twisted men in white collars
who stand with the guards
& watch as the fat man
in the tan uniform
puts the puppet through his paces

when the blinding beam of light
is turned on my face
they expect a show
i will not let them down
there are no longer any limits
to my capacity for pain
i have learned to play out
the implications of my sacred role
in this comedy of suffering
every inquiry & response
from the repetitious interrogation
has been burned by time
into my brain

when prodded with the electric baton
i ask myself the standard questions
& reply with my usual denying answers
i am both the “inquisitor” & the “accused”
to prove to myself
that I still exist
i must hear
the sound of my voice…

“Prisoner number 99, where is your brother, Aali, the terrorist?”

“I do not know this man.”

“We will free you if you tell us where he is.”

“I have no brother.”

“99, are you not a religious fanatic and radical terrorist?

“No. I am a military veteran of this country and recepient of the “Silver Star.”

another searing jolt
i do not scream
i begin to cry
the idiot tears of a madman
the audience is amused
by this one-man inquisition
the fat man howls
with derisive laughter

i am a ghost in imaginary revolt
abiding
inside a bone-cold manhole
where no banners fly
no drums roll
no fires blaze
there are no dying screams
from the martyr
no holy names to invoke
all reason
in stillness dies
with only the wind
to howl
& lament its demise