Archive for August, 2016

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

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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

  

 

I Am Ten by A. J. Huffman

Posted in A. J. Huffman on August 3, 2016 by Scot

legged spider, trying
to find balance in a three
legged world. I teeter on planes
pretending to be flat, knowing
it should not matter. My feet remain
sticky, but my hands are gone.
I am struggling to cling
to memories and mornings.
I watch them slip through the holes
in my makeshift web,
staining the carpet as if they were
my blood.

Life of a White Child by Helen Losse

Posted in Helen Losse with tags on August 3, 2016 by Scot

In the “Good Old Days”
when she was three,
Daddy slid down the pole
with her in his arms and
bought Juicy Fruit gum
from the firehouse machine
for them to share. Neither
Daddy nor Mummy told her
about the savage murder
and the dead family’s bodies
found stuffed down a well
not far from their house
that prompted Daddy
to find other work.

One day on the way home
from Jimmy’s Koffee Kup Kafe
where she got a single-scoop
of ice cream in flat-bottom cone,
Daddy talked with a black
motorcycle cop.
Like other five-year olds,
she’d never heard the word “lynch”
and certainly didn’t know blacks
had been “driven from town”
like cattle, packed
onto a north-bound train.

She never wondered,
even in high school,
why Joplin had so few black people.
She hadn’t read the books
or seen archived articles.

She lived the life of a white child,
her yoke light, moon-glittered
like the world beneath the stars.