why I need a social media fast

48 million Twitter users
are not human.
Had you heard?
Capable of likes, retweets, follows.
How many non-humans follow me?
How many have un-followed me?
How many bots do I
follow, like, retweet?

And what about Facebook users?
Bloggers?
Are my readers real or just bots?

Does this amaze you?
Set me free.
Let me flee
Unaided to the sunken place.

Rediscovery

I thought I’d lost her poetry forever,
each page of her letters torn, discarded
in a storm my good intentions created.
Perhaps. As the oldest I always took blame
for accidents – whenever things went wrong.

I blamed my self-obsessiveness for years.
And then I found her poem in a storybook
she wrote about murders in New Orleans,
her hometown. My heart took a leap of joy!
I captured her poetry on my phone:

“When kindred flames of love unite two hearts . . .
 . . . heaven’s grace
then intercedes. Reality departs
Into a world envisioned in fine arts,
And fantasies. and dreams.”  

Left out most, but you get the sense of it.
Those lines swept a young me off my feet!
Her poetry had such musicality,
so much rhyme. Rhythm. And we were so young,
so innocent. Thirty years ago.
I’d like to see her/hold her hand again.

#ResistanceRadio

I’m laughing
I’m laughing out loud
and listening to the radio –
5.89 kilohertz
the DJ is Miss Evangeline –
speaking truths,
broadcasting live from the neutral zone.

It’s fiction.
It’s fiction traveling back in time to 1962.
It’s double fiction traveling back
to a counter-factual 1962 –
where the Germans and the Japanese
won the war to end all wars.

Now I’m crying
I’m crying out loud.
So sad about Miss Evangeline’s mother –
ovarian cancer, stage 4 –
so sad about the bomb the Germans
dropped on Washington, DC
to end the war in shameful surrender –

We used to be The Americans –
We used to be The Americans –
kicking ass and taking names
and making the world a better place –
it says so on the CIA man’s business card –
now all that’s left is radio, fake radio
at that, about a fictional time
when everything went off course.

Here is a link to Resistance Radio.

From the archives – Still Life

my ideal still life painting would contain
a non-microwave-safe cup and saucer,
a piece of ripened fruit, a wind up watch
with a leather band, and a book, hardbound,

with several bookmarks and tabs. On a desk.
And maybe reading glasses, depending
on the reader’s (and the painter’s) needs.
I’d stare at that canvas, and wonder

if my subject drank tea or coffee, hot
or lukewarm like I like it. I’d wonder
does the book have poetry inside it,
the bookmarks and tabs for his (her) favorite

passages. I’d hang it beside my wife’s
painting of the river ferry crossing.

HUD secretary

I am far less perturbed
by what Ben Carson said
than by the mean-spirited
(and dare I say it, racist)
criticism he received for saying it.

If by calling them “immigrants”
he was trying to give enslaved Africans
some sense of agency,
it may indeed be time
to correct that narrative anyway.

Many kidnapped Africans
committed middle passage suicide,
jumping off the ships.
Those who remained
hoped to make the best of it,
like all immigrants.

postscript.

& If you think you are somehow
“better”
because of the type of ship
that brought your ancestors
to these shores –
or because of the piece of paper
your parents presented (or didn’t)
at the border,
you are one sick bastard
and you have totally missed
the meaning of being.

related post here: https://thisismypoetryblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/20/blapowrimo-survival-of-the-fit/

from the March archives

It was just a line to a poem,
but it was a closing line,
that appeared after the end,
a final line that didn’t quite fit
and didn’t have an antecedent.
Sprung up out of know where,
you know what I mean?
Just rose up from the page,
put her hands on her hips,
waved her right hand,
cocked her head to one side,
and said in one breath,
“I’m staying here,
I ain’t going no where.
And I don’t give a good goddamn
about your silly poetic conventions.
And furthermore, f—– the form!”
The word became flesh,
and dwelt among us.

Sunday Haiku

Ossos do oficio –
comes with the job –
goes with the territory –
perks are burdens in drag.

(barely)