Archive for May, 2009

Slingshot …by Christopher Robin

Posted in Christopher Robin on May 22, 2009 by Scot

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The poetry of the streets has a slingshot
aimed right at your cozy metaphor
the poetry of damaged youth
whizzes by on a skateboard
with a perpetual hard on for Lady Luck
but she won’t flash her tits
for just anyone
the poetry of no risk
refuses to get a tattoo
just in case it
decides one day to
get a real job
and can finally move out of mothers basement
the poetry of contemplating garden snails
has too long admired its own belly button
the poetry of self-infatuation
will honor itself with a 15 minute parade
while the patrons of the Open
Mic try to chew their own legs off
the ghost of Joey Ramone runs
with scissors through the gardens of nostalgia
snipping the dead-heads
from warbling hippie roses
the poetry of the streets says:
here is a bag lady
with a head full of wind chimes
throw your sonnets out the window
and feed her-
the poetry of the streets
turned Lenny Bruce into Christ
timeless poetry knows deep down
the time is now
but flesh and time are both liars
and that God
does not really love the meek-
and only the slam poets
will inherit the earth

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He wasn’t even 19…by Tammy Brewer

Posted in Tammy Brewer with tags on May 17, 2009 by Scot

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He was 15. The boy who shot another
boy for being gay. He could’ve been tall

or short. Or fat. Either boy, really. But
the boy who was gay wore makeup

to school sometimes. That was freaking
the guys out, said a 13-year-old

in the news. With each shot,
whatever happens in the classroom

stays in the classroom. We are taught
to sit behind desks. Preferably in equal

rows. So that standing on the other side
is like looking through the barrel

of a shotgun. How it must feel to come out
at age 14. Like a clay pigeon waiting

to be thrown into sky. Without wings,
they say a gay student is 5 times more likely

to be bullied. It is something we will look at,
said an official. Like trying to fix a broken

speedometer cable. And the car is going
way too fast. When you live in Georgia

it’s easy to say whatever happens in California,
stays in California. It is the wild west, after all

to be young and gay. To say look at this
picture when I was 19. Asleep

on a train. Trees and graffiti rushing by —
Wake up, girl. Wake up.

the UAW killed my daddy…by Karl Koweski

Posted in Karl Koweski with tags on May 13, 2009 by Scot

two days before the union vote
Hydra CEO, Dick Whitaker,
drove his BMW roadster
down from the corporate offices
in a last ditch effort to avert
a UAW victory

as the third shifters leaned back
in their folding chairs,
perpetually tired and
ready to just get it all over with,
Whitaker stepped in front of the assembly
and loosened his tie for a third time.
a calculated move
as though by easing the ligature
around his neck
was all it took to gain the confidence
of a roomful of machinists
who’d had their wages frozen
the last two years
and their benefits chipped away
to nothing

for the third time
at this third meeting
Whitaker allowed his eyes to mist
and his voice crack with emotion
when he announced
the union killed his father
with the cold certainty
of a bullet to the heart

to hear Whitaker tell it,
his daddy was the best damn paint mixer
DuPont Industries had ever seen.
he could match paint
with a precision
no computer could compete with.
when DuPont went union
it nearly broke his daddy’s heart.
with the union promises of
competitive wages, retirement program,
and employee rights,
his daddy knew his time at the
factory was numbered.

and he was right.
four years later, DuPont decided
they no longer needed his expertise.
however, considering his time invested,
they were willing to offer him
a position at a DuPont plant
located clear across the country.

clear across the country,
Whitaker repeated.
my daddy lived his entire life in Iowa,
except for his time serving
our country in the Air Force.
the decision to leave the only place
he’d ever really known
tormented my daddy.
it ate him up, made it so
he could hardly sleep at night.

here, Whitaker turned away from the assembly,
dabbing at his dusty, reptilian eyes.
after a reasonable amount of silence
and two shoulder hitches,
he faced the machinists.

the last time I saw my daddy,
at the Kinnick stadium
where I was a starting cornerback
for the Hawkeyes,
I barely recognized him,
so great the toll the union took on him.
his… his… heart… gave out on him
at the end of the third quarter
of that game.
now, I have no doubt in my mind
the union was responsible for his death.
after the union came into DuPont,
my daddy was never the same man.

now, I’m not going to tell you how to vote.
I only ask that you think of your children
and what kind of effect
a union shop will have on them.

the workers glanced at each other
with equally dazed what-the-fuck expressions.
finally Roger the raised his hand
and stood up, nervously addressing
his boss and co-workers.

I feel for your loss, Mr. Whitaker.
I, too, lost my father to the unions.

Whitaker tightened his lips in sympathy,
or maybe to kill the creeping smile.

my father, Roger continued, was at a bar
when a teamster mistook him for the guy
who pissed on his camaro and
punched him in the face.
two years later, my daddy died of
pancreatic cancer.

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perfect earth… Jack Henry

Posted in Jack Henry with tags on May 8, 2009 by Scot

jack-henry

she said, good girls don’t do that
and i smiled, but you are not a good girl, in that sense
there is that, she said
crowded streets swallow us
i can barely breath
wet heat lays atop my skin
bruising my ambition but not my need
nothing seems to touch, especially the sky

i don’t know if we should, she said
but we’ve already done it twice, i said
i want to
i know…

we met the night before, by accident it would seem
my host abandoned me for an 18 year old cigarette girl
with Bambi eyes and shiny teeth
alone from my corner i watched boxers and dancers
move with equal precision

her skin is the color of perfect earth
rich and full, eager to blossom, to stretch, to yearn
eyes that watch my every step, knowing the
conclusion before i begin

i pull her into a doorway and kiss her
we don’t do that here, she said
of course you do, i’m not naïve, i said

my hands move down her back, never
leaving smooth skin, her flesh cool
against a rising sun
this isn’t love, she said, it’s just the moment
let’s not waste it, i said

the television plays in the background as unwashed children
play in dirty streets, the sounds of electric rickshaws and
motorbikes cough up through my window – a ceiling fan
complains every fifth turn – an elegant sky turns vermilion –
there are oranges in a bowl on a table near a train station –
nothing but static on a fifty year old radio –
i am languid in a pool of sheets – a soft breeze drifts across
the Ganges – she left a note sprayed in delicate perfection,
i leave it sealed and settled and head for the door

BETWEEN DISBELIEF AND SUNLIGHT…by Brian Morrisey

Posted in Brian Morrisey with tags on May 4, 2009 by Scot

I am more interested
listening to
coffee-shop frat boys
groan how much

they hate poetry
than blowing my cover
to sneer out of the

corner of a poison smile
igniting the fuse

of a poetry bomb
about to explode

with no remorse

On streets
crumbling at corners
from a jaded American dream
in the head
of pregnant mother nation
too fat to mow
along that white picket fence

I live to see
the first black president
parade white man’s
insecure warfare
bleeding trigger-finger

behind fear’s revolver
pockets emptied
buy some promise
from a future
only accepting credit
for beautiful resistance
in drunken sway
between disbelief and sunlight