Poetry

The Sunshine State Isn’t Everything

I’ll say one thing about Florida:
water pressure.
Let me say another thing:
palm trees, greenery,
sopping wet scenery,
beaches everywhere
where people are too beautiful,
disregard for human health,
stupid wealth,
the funniest billboards I’ve ever seen,
river queen, bugs aplenty,
whole cakes in diners,
expanding Shriners,
cemeteries groping for the living and the dead,
red hats on heads,
let me leave,
can I stay,
is this grief,
my family,
everybody spreading ’round the country like a –
don’t say that –
but it’s true,
if I want to hold everything that’s dear to me,
I’d need to be
a supersonic bird,
or the soil,
or a world.

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Poetry

It’s Our Car, Baby

Y’see,
if I’m driven,
then I’m just
a car.
A vehicle, a
vessel.
I don’t want to live like that,
I want to be
in control.
(At least some of the time.)
So I’d rather be drivin’.
Let’s take turns
at the wheel.
We’ll switch off:
driver <–> shotgun navigator.
I’ll smile
and share the ride
with you.

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Poetry

Book Smarts

“You’re so literate”
she told me,
with stars in her eyes,
as though reading is the pinnacle,
and I felt like
the whitest man,
a most colonial man,
as if books didn’t only get me dreaming,
and thinking, and never doing.
The day I harvest my own tomatoes
while I listen to a hand-built radio
is the day
I’ve finally learned something useful.

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Poetry

Meat Grinder Blues

They are not always the boots of empire;
sometimes they are the stocking/stalking feet,
sometimes they are the padded heels,

the
unsaid thoughts,

the quote facts and figures unquote,
history mangled by white pages,
neighbors estranged by zoning laws,
nature deranged by droning saws.

And now this:
vacation.
And now this:
self-care.
And now this:
libations.
And now this:
underwear.

Now this
money-drenched hellhole.

The world has been turned into a sack of coins,
politicians, the burglars:
purloining all our futures
for just one more vacation home.
How many homes do they need?
How many homes have they destroyed?

We cry, we bleed, we …
How many nights will we lose

restful sleep
for empire?

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Poetry

Where Do All the Bones Go?

And how do foundations work,
when there’s nothing but rocks
and probably dirt, I assume,
but I’m no expert
so let’s not presume what’s exhumed –
excuse me.
I got ahead of myself.
I saw a picture
of a beautiful museum
built on rocks by the sea,
like, RIGHT BY the sea,
and one of the comments said
“It’ll be really sad when it falls in.”
I don’t want that future.
So what kind of sutures
are sewn into cut-open land
to hold that structure there,
as sure
as a closed hand?
My words aren’t technical enough,
and some aren’t technically right,
but, well,
I just
wonder about these things.

I dream of a world
where all the buildings stand forever
and all the bones stay together.

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