Two Poems by Cassandra Dallett

All Roads Lead to Tent City


study the supervillain
grab your semi-automatic
watch the Bundy’s,
hold your package
the tribeswoman
looks like your mother
we order DNA kits to trace ancestry
the companies are keeping
our spit for whatever this dystopia holds
we’ve watched too much SCi-FI
or not quite enough
cause the fool on the hill
has the gold and the crown
Pepsi finger on the button
poor and brown are going down
think of ours as township, favela, reservation,
encampments, squatters, illegals, aliens
build your shelter out of cardboard signs
Please Help
there are people all around us
we’d thought ourselves different
a membrane of respect in the unbroken
till one day with no resume left
as they’ve marked us all felons
we realize toothless
man in the wheelchair
amputated off-ramp beggar
is us
there never was anything just.



the sixties again

and I’m born.
All that Public Enemy-
I was raised on, Paris, and KRS,
finding revolution between lines in Short and 40.
I watched the whole movie last night with no joy.
Recognized the OG, dated a hundred of him-
cold blooded to everyone but his Moms.
It was too late for her-
room crowded with meds, mismatched afghans,
dirty walled Victorian.
We all bitches-n-hoes till death bed.
I can sing you all the lyrics-
all the shit dudes rapped they never would-
do for us.
pussy-money-weed prayer.
Isn’t it all strip-club-church
Chris Rock blamed the misogyny on crack.
He wasn’t all the way wrong-
so, we back it up, flip it, rub it down
our asses so full of love and anger-
we fuck with a vengeance.
Search the tender part, near iris.
Pillow talk dumb shit
you search for a nugget to love.
I loved a thug once,
because he was the only person I ever knew
who spoke in metaphor.
Sometimes you got to ask yourself,
is this dick worth this conversation?
Young MA wonders why the whole world
wants to see her strap
and you think about it,
while he fucks you.
You’re never present.
These times tumultuous
as when I birthed, Nixon Moonwalk
Whitey on The Moon
They killed Fred dead.
We still war, we still march,
I need a gun -a survival plan.
There is a big dick in office
with a little dictator complex.
The oligarchs are coming-
shore up your scarcity walls
that’s that bitches’ n hoes mode.
So bendable and expendable
makes pulling the trigger easy
me or him, me or her-me.
The future doesn’t look like we thought it would-
a kid called thug wearing a dress made of Prince’s lampshade.
small liberties slipping through fingers
unable to pull the breaks.
We roll back.
The only one who gets me-
is an OG on Telegraph outside the liquor store.
He looks me up and down,
says, Hey you remember Blondie?
filling my heart of glass like a fish tank in Vegas
Amazon is the monkey on my back.
Assorted cardboard boxes come-
filled with bags of air
Pal is my Pay.
Maybe I just be buying
random time
and things to fill it with.

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