sister scarecrow hair

she came to me in a dream again
with wild scarecrow hair
biting her lower lip
eyes wide as a child’s

a lifetime ago
we were partners in mischief
disguised as suits in the daytime
headbangers after 5

it was like an elaborate joke
that no one else was in on

a conspiracy
for subversion
for world domination
they never knew what hit them

wolves in wolves’ clothing

we were the smartest people in nearly any room
and we could read each other’s minds

people assumed we were lovers
not true

the truth is we adored each other
and we invented an elaborate joke
an intricate game
that no one could have invented
and that only we could play

once in awhile
with scarecrow hair my erstwhile sister
pops in to a dream
to remind me

waiting at st. john’s

the diovan takes hold and the palpitations come
i am dizzy
frightened and i
need to pee

but i dare not leave
the family
surgery
waiting room

a man i’ve not even met
is cutting her

this waiting is always
the worst part
at least it has been all of the other times

i hope it’s the worst part
today

blackface massacree

30 years defending poor blacks
and this undermines those efforts

his wife, in the 2012 election, denies leaking

elin nordegren
came close to brief comment:
“i wouldn’t dress up.”

he suspects that enforcement
is calling for white performers
who use black paint
for a protest
and then gag his opponents

the other republican running was part of a couple’s costume

the former lead
which began making a job that he’s not capable of
tried to explain, hearkening back to a style
to bow out of and act out
insulting black stereotypes
like a battered tiger woods.

days of slavery

persisting for decades

but what has given fuel to the president of the local 9-iron?

how’s your morning

i measure the morning by the
coffee left in the brown mug
i wait for her phone calls
i arrange the ones and zeros
i check my blood pressure again
one-twenty-three over seventy-four
heart rate fifty-six…not bad
she doesn’t call very much anymore
we are both busy at work
we are settled into our routines
maybe i ought to call her
i wouldn’t know what to say
just “hello” and “i miss you”
i guess that’s all i’ve got
half a mug of coffee left
the street sweeper just came by
maybe it’ll help with the drainage
wonder if she thinks of me

in the beginning we could spend hours on the phone or in chats going on and on about everything and sometimes we’d argue but we’d also laugh and we were so in love it just seemed like we couldn’t stand not being in contact for even a few minutes and the long distance bills were insane in fact it probably almost paid the rent just the savings on the phone bills once she moved down here

the coffee is cold and bitter
i arrange the ones and zeros
abstract and mathematical representations of things
wonder if anybody even notices them
google probably and also san francisco
at least i think they notice

i feel very abstract myself sometimes and i don’t know whether that’s something to worry about or not since it’s certainly not unique in the world at least from what i can tell from my friends on twitter and it’s not even particularly unique to me though it seems to be more common now than it was in the past or maybe i’m just able to articulate it a little better now or i think i am

i think i am going crazy
at least sometimes i think so
sometimes i just think i’m spoiled
i expect too much from life
weird tapping sound outside the window
dripping of some sort or another
it just got quieter and faster
i’m not really isolated or whatever
i have my ones and zeros
google’s algorithms stand at the ready
they wait for my next transmission

google this is me
google we have a problem
google she used to call me

cold bitter coffee ones and zeros
one-twenty-three over seventy-four
not bad

Ask Not

but let us of the deadly atom, yet torch
become the prey of hostile
subject to proof.

The dark powers of destruction
and villages across the globe
unleashed by science
signifying that first revolution.

That first revolution.

those peoples in the huts
Which divide us.
hope unite us instead of belaboring those problems which divide us

explore the stars, conquer
and bitter peace
the absolute uncertain balance of terror
undoing of those human rights
for we a new generation of Americans
born
dare not forget today cooperative ventures

the United Nations, our
our adversary,
we offer not the absolute power
to destroy
of its terrors

Let every nation know, tiger ended up inside.
Ended up inside.
stays the hand of mankind’s renewal, as well as change

it is both racing
to alter that we share,
never fear to negotiate
for we are the heirs

let word go forth from this forum for invective
for in this century, tempered by the hand of God

oppose any foe, liberty.

Any foe, liberty.

Communists may be doing it, pay any price, bear any shield of the new
and time and place, to friend final war.
Friend final war.

Arms are sufficient.

bleeding manifesto

the common ruin
of social rank
the means developed
the old ones
paved the way
demand ever rising
the rising bourgeoisie
took its place
new conditions of oppression, new navigation, railways extended
in the same rapid development
same rapid development
the new markets
no longer sufficed

bourgeoisie and proletariat
from class antagonisms
from class antagonisms

commence, middle ages.

every other day

not connected
connected
and connected
but specific of meaning
events meaning
combinations is acausal
expected inconceivable. on causal chance
closer
readily are inconceivable
closer
examine their reflection
impossible connection to all
it’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards
polished difficulty
telling gently impressive
retort resistance. strange.
into the against beetle,
into hope broke I
what together – so together together…
that everyone
they
(that means everyone)
touched religion
go on

Running Orders

Here’s a poem, apropos of our times, from co-founder of the Institute for Middle East Understanding, Lena Khalaf Tuffaha.

Running Orders

They call us now.
Before they drop the bombs.
The phone rings
and someone who knows my first name
calls and says in perfect Arabic
“This is David.”
And in my stupor of sonic booms and glass shattering symphonies
still smashing around in my head
I think “Do I know any Davids in Gaza?”
They call us now to say
Run.
You have 58 seconds from the end of this message.
Your house is next.
They think of it as some kind of
war time courtesy.
It doesn’t matter that
there is nowhere to run to.
It means nothing that the borders are closed
and your papers are worthless
and mark you only for a life sentence
in this prison by the sea
and the alleyways are narrow
and there are more human lives
packed one against the other
more than any other place on earth
Just run.
We aren’t trying to kill you.
It doesn’t matter that
you can’t call us back to tell us
the people we claim to want aren’t in your house
that there’s no one here
except you and your children
who were cheering for Argentina
sharing the last loaf of bread for this week
counting candles left in case the power goes out.
It doesn’t matter that you have children.
You live in the wrong place
and now is your chance to run
to nowhere.
It doesn’t matter
that 58 seconds isn’t long enough
to find your wedding album
or your son’s favorite blanket
or your daughter’s almost completed college application
or your shoes
or to gather everyone in the house.
It doesn’t matter what you had planned.
It doesn’t matter who you are
Prove you’re human.
Prove you stand on two legs.
Run.

this looks like a nice area

it sounded more like a compliment
than an inquiry

i felt uneasy

no gangs? he asked

and i’m thinking

no, not really – are you joking?

and then i’m imagining menacing groups of teenage boys in do-rags
galloping
through the streets of
the gracefield subdivision

i tell him
no, not really, but of course they’re kind of everywhere

i’m trying to say that we’re all the same
and that nobody is really secure
and that

well, also, gangsters are just people
i mean, if they were around here
i wouldn’t be
uh, terrified, or anything

i drive through some pretty
rough neighborhoods
every day

hey – it may look like we’re doing well
but i’m not like the rest of these people

it’s just good luck at the moment
and it could change

i wonder where he lives
and what it’s like there
but i don’t ask

why
am
i
ashamed?

at his own hands

you people

i don’t know what to say to you

you expect some sort of
explanation
or
justification

or insight concerning my state
of mind

at the time

you can talk all you want
about cries for help
or
brain chemistry or
family history

and some things being overdetermined

but i swear
to christ

some days i am just

disgusted with you
disgusted with myself
disgusted

with this world…

ps:
but, honestly
mostly with you

the tree of libertarians

god forbid
we should ever be
twenty minutes without some grey haired white guy
casting swine before pearls

the people
cannot be all, and always
well informed

am i right?

lethargy

misconceptions

you have the right to
remain silent

and pardon my pacifier

but the blood of tyrants
will not be shed
by your update on facebook

bereft

empty feeder sways
over the backyard terrace
birds have flown away