Two Poems by Michael Grover

Crack

I had a friend a long time ago
His name was Peter
He told me the first time he smoked crack
He heard distant, cosmic train horns
Every time he did it after that
Was just to see if he could hear them again
Peter said he was chasing the train
Money hungry
Trying to appease a greedy Cuban wife
& a crack habit
Peter got progressively crazier
As the pressure built inside him
Pressure he had self inflicted
It kept building & building
Until his wife moved out
He was smoking more & more

I used to work with Kenny
In a shitty phone room in L.A.
He would go in the bathroom & smoke crack
We would hear him banging on the walls
He’d come out & start calling everyone names
Kenny would sit at his desk
& shoot us all with his fingers
I always hated Kenny
Until I got to know him
He became my best friend in the office
We were cruel to him though
We made jokes about crackhead Kenny
Kenny would laugh & play along
Kenny told me about MacArthur Park
I had to see it
I could not live through him
So I walked through it time after time
I didn’t do anything I just witnessed
It was like a prison
Police snipers on the building across the street
To keep the sick contained
People smoking crack
Right in the open
As long as they did it
In this area
It was like walking into hell
Or something like it
Only I was allowed to leave
& returned by choice

I know I cannot live vicariously
But I have seen so many lost in it
Peter & Kenny included
I have seen so many people
Lost . . .
____________

For America

I have seen you
Passing through windows
Of cars & Greyhound buses

I have seen you
Sea to shining sea
Only took three days

I have seen you
Through eyes of visionary hallucinations
Into other dimensions

I have seen you
Sun or snow for christmas
East coast or west

I have seen you
I sit on my Mid West perch
Watching men speak for you
Corporations speaking for them
One that says he is the voice
Of you & all of us
But that’s all just talk
I was working the polls
When he was elected
I watched women cry
After they voted for him

I have seen you
Men think they can buy you
& buy US all your children in the process

I know you’re not
Conservative
Liberal
Control freak
Violent
Aggressive
Patriarchal
A plantation
A reservation
A ghetto
A prison
Abusive
A pit bull watch dog with lipstick
Actin’ all friendly but you’re really watchin’ US

I know you’re not
Military intelligence
Endless war
Embargoes
Oppression
Slavery
An arizona law
& the abuses
I know you’re not
Because I have seen you

I have seen Arizona
& wondered why those rocks over the road
Didn’t just fall down on my car
I have seen you

I know you’re not
Christian
Jewish
Muslim
Buddhist

But I have never seen
A for sale sign
Over your ass or mine
Guess it was there all along
We never saw it
We never saw it coming

When I write Poems
They’re not for you
But it’s okay
They were not love Poems
They were way out political rants
That cursed you with a lower cased a
Some of them bad
Some of them good
But all of them for you
But they weren’t for you

They were for something sinister
I couldn’t see
Projected itself as you
Did evil in your name
Acted like it desecrated itself
Then acted like it did something about it

But that wasn’t you
I have seen the true you
& I pray that vision never dies
I live for these sessions of word play these days
I feel like its all that keeps me going

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2 Responses to “Two Poems by Michael Grover”

  1. Jason Hardung Says:

    good shit mike.

  2. i’ll say!

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