June 8, 2016

so I seek words to fill my empty ......................................................... what do you seek filled when no one is around ...?


photo by Edward Rinaldi






(prelude)

Atlas is still shrugging 
an outpouring of entrails to liquor amnii 
there is no need to be some other 
just another future brother father lover 
and friend I be to thee 
can happiness follow the gauntlet road home 
despite the hail of bullets and arrows slung 
with projectile intention death 
will life leave me bereft of decency 
and seeking words more and more 
to hide behind 
with no morals 
do I crawl further 
under, Edward or might I be 
the perfect uncle sam-iam
slum fed go-getter ... 
fucking mothers 
and the baby sitters 
keeping for myself 
all kinds of things 
I pretend I need ... 

reader ... 

do you want to come cage me 
for beating my meat to the punch ... 
I tell you Judy isn't home 
but you can watch the wizard of oz 
it is on an infinite loop 
with dark side of the moon 
playing along side it ...

(poem)

we headed out for the morning 
slow gait-ing our steps 
down the lane 
and into this small walled city 
through the stone archways 
we filed past 
store counter glass cases 
filled with overnight magic 

what awaits the morning throngs 
of shoppers, passersby 
and the off to work 
head bowed why 
denizens 
in suits and ties 

we heard stories 
from over the other side 
pond politics and high seas shenanigans 
building island out of remediated sand 
and scrap metal with nanobot tie downs 

epidemic of wordlessness : 

apathy swallows us 
patriotism is nationalism 
lock-stepped-goose-marching's not far behind 
faceless mobs always shouting more death please less bread 

given the wielded ones 
we strike deals, weigh privilege 
versus payment 
for pleasure 
what do we have to do 
to be a being in order 
we step towards heaven 
on top of someone else 
here it seems we must crush 
to feel upwardly mobile 
and salvageable 

the soul 
sometimes 
just a 
vessel game hierarchy 
what does one fill a life with 
on the way to what heaven 
it has imagined it deserves 

I am from Troy 
named after an ancient city 
built on greed and ingenuity
I am a tuning fork 
I am a sound disciple poet 
I hear smells become words 
I like the way they make me feel 
I am struggling to be me in America 

here, you smell what words do 
some say nothing 
some scream while others are ignored 
more still are lauded for their distractions 

love means things 
differently here 
and it is not clearly fitted to all 

I am glad I know who is John Galt 
I am glad I am not a woman 
or black or Mexican or gay or Muslim 
or thought 
of in some way 
as tortuously ugly 
in some misconstrued 
social contract 
of affection to meaning 

white privilege 
after all is a boon to me, though
no one who receives it 
really likes to talk about 
but I am a poet 
and in this country 
I may yet 
have to wear 
a scarlet letter  
for being so 

I can't imagine 
the weight of things heard 
inside the neighborhoods 
in my city and the in between spaces 
we Trojans eek out a living in 
tell you visions herding 
us with opinion, 
our thoughts chained 
to the subtleties 
of jim crow ghost whisperers 
I fear the police and I am white 
I can't imagine 
and I won't try 
to understand the pains  
or indignation(s) daily suffered 
by those not deemed American enough 
by those with guns 
and the law at their side 

I have my own issues 
to deal with 
as with being 
born with a brain 
in a constant 
state of kerflooey 

(prologue)

in the corporate news cycling 
and re-cycling we are hearing things said 
in a commonplace manner 
as if this truth is what is right 
and is meant for us to understand 
why and what keeps white men in power 

in any town 
in America 
read any comments 
in any article involving 
a white police officer 
shooting a black man 
and you're bound to hear 

< he's black 
he probably was selling drugs 
he deserved to be shot 
why try and run from an officer 
if he wasn't guilty of a crime >


well if you ask me 
we humans have triggers galore 
especially the western civilized 
modernity addict kinds 
historically forgetful plebes 
we be ...

who is to say 
we are the species 
meant by God 
to inherit 
this great earth 
I say viruses 
are better suited 
to be kings and queens
and usually 
don't discriminate 
who they kill 
with a smile too 
or didn't you see 
how the death 
of Rome 
became home 
to all we wanted to be 
once ago when the bathhouses 
were free of pride 
and prejudice 

isn't it funny how scent 
often follows us to 
the end of the poem 
like the waft rot of flesh 
left in the streets 
murder after murder 
in the still air humidity 
of Summer behind the white noise 
and coolness of air conditioning 
we sing the praises of ... 

as long as its not me 
or in my backyard 
it's fine to be American 

how do we accept this as truth
how can we become 
a normal again 
how it is we laud  
vampires and zombies 
as entertainment 
and friend 
these fine days 
in sound bite 
movie-like finality 
with scored
back tracks 
and retraced steps 
all the living 
we've done
in our different 
shoes have taken 

and from the dead 
who wore them 
with laces 
we tied their shoes together 
and threw them up over 
the power lines 
to memorialize 
how we are all 
we can be now 
leftists right wingers 
centrist mules 
drug dealers 
preachers poachers
and sycophants 
ants and hoppers 
for handouts 
governed fools 
corporate tools 
fodder fodder 
like water, everywhere ...

someone, anyone please 
ask of yourself 
who is John Galt now
and what might have he to ask  
watching another hearse 
with someone you know, pass 
on by, you decide how to pay respect 
flowers in the cracks 
growing out of the buckled walk 
you see on the way home 
will do just that 
so you pick and pick and choose 
to wish they might have had 
a better chance 
like you did, poet ...


EJR ©

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