Archive for November, 2016

The Wind Carried Away The Cotton Wool by Charles Joseph

Posted in Charles Joseph with tags , on November 26, 2016 by Scot

For Federico Garcia Lorca

When in Spain I touched a cobblestone
touched by the blood of martyrs
and never did I imagine
that the work of a bevy of bullets
could strike my soul with so much force
traveling all the way to me from the past
but it did, and it still does.

So since I can easily be erased
and you can easily be erased
I’m sure we can all agree
that a poetic death doesn’t really exist
regardless of how much a country
tries to whitewash their history.

Because sooner or later
a beautiful museum will be erected
and it will be filled with all of
the bones they’ve collected
and tickets will be sold by the pound
because a good old fashioned
death is a joy forever —
until you are the one who’s been
blindfolded and murdered.

Movement by Cassandra Dallett

Posted in Cassandra Dallett with tags , on November 26, 2016 by Scot
It’s more than love
some kind of worship.In bed we are safe
from bullets
splintering the wood fence outside.

In bed they cannot touch us.
Till we reach for devices
and information
when death seeps in.

The ugly roils our stomachs
we rock each other.

I scratch your afro
you scratch my bleach blonde
the dogs are tangled up with us too.

Out there it is all
heart breaking, breath taking news.

The all-lives-matter folks
consumed with fear of Sharia law
we hand them mirror
say look at this terrorist.

The good food in our belly sours
when we see children comforting parents
more parents mourning children.

Over and over they say
we should all have guns.

I don’t want a gun I’ll take my chances
with the sagging fences and wagging dogs.

When we go down
we can go down together
I’ll go down on you and you’ll go down on me
the place can burn while we’re drowning.

Somebody will post live video
while following Pokemon around
why track you
when you can do it for them.

Drones the size of bumble bees, honey
missiles aimed at our heads.

We have a well armed police force
who miss the smell of Bagdad
the power of boot on flesh
crush of bone under wheel.

Every day I buy time between you and jail cell
every night we spend what is bought together.

We can’t join marchers on freeway ramps
We are chained together in our own movement.

Scratching poem
and song from one another’s scalp
with a love more like worship.

A Message To Donald Trump #3 by Michael Grover

Posted in Michael Grover with tags , on November 26, 2016 by Scot


The neighbors across the street
Two men, I assume they’re together
Never really asked
Haven’t talked to them much,
But they’re always pleasant
Early evening they are usually
Drinking on the front porch
I haven’t seen them since the election
Only an american flag flying upside down
Next to Buddhist prayer flags

The Years We Remained Anonymous by John Dorsey

Posted in John Dorsey with tags , on November 25, 2016 by Scot


waiting for history to moan our names
to carve our initials into a tree
that we can no longer find

the moonlight is no longer happy
just touching the skin of generations
& the road back home
is muddy with blood

there is very little peace

in any of it.


Posted in A.D. Winans with tags , on November 25, 2016 by Scot

born at home premature
under the light of a full moon
I walked the jungles of Panama
fed off Beat Mania
in the streets of North Beach

Shaman poets sang in my ears
under a bed of stars young
women with dresses
that clung to firm thighs
damp dark cavern
wet as morning dew
peach fuzz dinner
drew me in devoured me
like quicksand
the sweet fragrance of the past
mates with comrades long dead
as I walk back into my birth
work my way through
the sound of water

the wind propels me
towards my destiny
my boyhood gone
like an old jalopy used-up
rusting in an auto junkyard
I head toward the comfort of the now
nailed to the cross of the past
in the language of the present
with no words to light the fire
as I carry the memories
like a mountain climber
with a heavy backpack
vague memories of my mother
singing me to sleep
and the chill of waking
the tongue of dawn cold as dry ice
the hawk sweeps down for the kill
a dog howls at the moon
a cat yawns in boredom
the universe draws new boundary lines
fragile as a new born
the monkey rides the master’s back
the coo-coo bird moves backward
into the clock
fearful police lock and load their guns
black boys moving targets
in the night
voter suppression laws to keep
the voting down
southern barbecues with
rednecks hungry for black “boy” stew
gone the passion of revolution
sell out satisfaction to
the status quo
the night hound of death
stumbles into the day
the rich roast the poor
like a pig on a spit

labor unions turned into mannequins
fuel the fire of Wall Street
the war machine moneymakers
bleed the blood of our youth
like an undertaker dresses the dead

the Roman Senate proceeds unabated
turn out gladiators like machinery parts
endless parades marching bands
and waving flags played out
like a Disney Land production

slaves without chains
government without representation
this nation of criminal politicians
the ghost of Custer rises like
a creature from the lagoon
creeps through the night
like a faceless Santa Claus
with a bag of Indian scalps
Allah competes with the Pope
for the rights to the head of Jesus
beheaded by ISSA barbarians
back from a night of slaughter
as the congregation stumbles
like a drunk into the future
carved out in the hands
of a gypsy fortune teller
as I wait out the night hours
in solitude
shut out the demons of insomnia
like a faulty light switch
the holy of the unholy
money exchangers
make and pass new laws
laws that feasts on the bones
of the poor and dispossessed
a future where animals
turn into animal crackers
and wingless birds hop frantically
around the dinner table
with carving knives in their breasts
serve themselves up as holiday feast
the angels occupy the cheap seats
at Yankee Stadium
God sends down a bolt of lightning
dismayed at the flawed diamond
he created in his image

comply flee or die by John Grochalski

Posted in John Grochalski with tags , on November 25, 2016 by Scot

rafael says
these days you either
comply flee or die
leaving el salvador was the hardest thing
he ever had to do
where he and his wife had a livestock business
and two kids on track for college
leaving their home, their family and their friends
because the local gang
wanted their son for a drug mule
then beat him up when he refused
because the local gang
wanted their ten year-old daughter for a wife
because they said they’d kill them
if they didn’t turn over their kids
rafael says,
the gang put the dead body of a boy
in front of their home to show that they weren’t joking around
so they went north with only what they could carry
hit the packed migrant shelters in tapachula
near the guatemalan border
but still the gang tracked them down
so they moved on toward the boarder
rafael says,
these days you don’t go it alone
you travel as families
sometimes up to fifteen at a time
these days you’d rather put up with america
and its racism and its walls and its donald trump
and its patriots waving flags at busloads of your kids
telling them to go back home
because back home to what?
police informants and the violence
your boy turned into a drug mule or killed
and your daughter gang raped in a metal shed
your spouse shot dead in the street
like it just happened to fatima
rafael says,
this is a refugee crisis
and you don’t migrate to america now
for the dream, man
rafael says,
you do it for your kids
you do it for your life.



Going Backwards by Tom Hatch

Posted in Tom Hatch with tags , on November 25, 2016 by Scot

I lived mostly 2 decade after world war 2
Most mornings I would be more or less insane,
The newspapers would arrive with their careless stories,
The news would pour out of various black and white devices
Interrupted by attempts to sell products to the unseen.
My parents would call friends on party line phones
They would be more or less mad for similar reasons.
Slowly I would get to my pen and paper,
Make my drawings for others unseen and unborn.
In the day to night I would be reminded of those men
Brave in Nam setting up signals across vast distances,
Considering a nameless way of living, of almost unimagined values.
As the lights darkened, as the lights of night brightened,
We would try to imagine them, try to find each other,
To construct peace, to make love, to reconcile
Waking with sleeping, ourselves with each other,
Ourselves with ourselves. We would try by any means
To reach the limits of ourselves, to reach beyond ourselves,
To let go the means, to wake.

I lived in that second decade after the world war
We/they changed the world
Now others want to change it back six decades ago.
With niggers and beaners and gays in the closet
One step away from suicide
Women with open coat hangers
Muslims not a problem then
They say we should have known back then
And killed them then they think.

the Pig won again by Mark James Andrews

Posted in Mark James Andrews with tags , on November 25, 2016 by Scot

democracy is hard
democracy is ugly
in amerika
the amerika that wallows
in ignorance
in racism
in sexism
in the one religion
in gun love
ah, ignorance
personified in the heartland
with voters voting
against their own needs
against their own interests
a sick throat cutting
& capitalism?
it’s a greedy Pig
that’s got to be fed
& the Pig knows
the fear buttons to push
to keep getting fed
in the Kingdom of Fear
the Pig won again

immurement by Paul Koniecki

Posted in Paul Koniecki with tags on November 24, 2016 by Scot


-for Freddie Carlos Gray Jr

the world is a moped of jungles and noodles and dust

the cask of amontillado is on fire

i fold a bivouac of policemen selfies

baltimore is burning

immurement needs no help

more people speak hindi than english and this

testicles are the minority

i catch myself running circles

take my word for it and do something

reason has two very different definitions

the day is a calamity

the night is a pumice of silent anxiety

shouting occurs

yawning excuses in the face of our dogged sincerity is executed

belies immurement
and fire

gravity yawns oxygen laps
yet baltimore on fire continues to exist

freddie gray no longer exists

black holes of morality in the fabric of a nation in decline are made of this

perhaps edgar allan poe has gills and wings

where together they go nice places

when we are dead we can go anywhere

content with the super-volcano under yosemite

happy in our spines

amphetamine christ by John Sweet

Posted in John Sweet with tags , on November 24, 2016 by Scot

and you w/ yr faded blue wings and
that i am tired of distance

that i am a believer in
both depression and resurrection

an addict and a savior but
this is nothing
special in the age of relentless fear

will you vote?

will you pull the trigger?

such limited choices for a
country that promised us everything

a lot of starving dogs but no
shortage of overdosed whores

no shortage of hypocrites
spewing meaningless platitudes

man spends his whole life being
some greedy motherfucker, spends it
being some righteous saint, and
no one notices any difference

we are living through the
numbered days of minor kings who
crawl through alleyways of filth

who would rape their own children if
it gave them more power

and you w/ yr pale grey thoughts and
me stumbling like tiresias
through cold october sunlight

that i am afraid for my sons

that each poem is a
confession of failure

yours and mine both