Showing posts from July, 2020

The Waiting Room

The door slams shut with a loud bang. We left all our belongings secured at the entrance. From whom? Them? Or us? Burly guards, made bigger still by Kevlar vests, Open doors to let even more walking wounded in. It seems no one ever leaves. You sit and wait, quietly cataloging the others. It’s hard not to notice the transvestite explaining the best way to slit someone, Or the shivering girl with the tears streaming down her face. People wrapped in thin hospital blankets wander around like a strange cult Or lay like cloaked cadavers on couches. A boy and his dad cheer on the ballgame While they systematically snack through the vending machine. They both agree to avoid row 4 – the “healthy “ food. The game is long over as they sit still waiting for a room. The boy’s hands are spotless as he repeatedly cleans them And bobs his head to a tune only he can hear. A young man dressed nattily in a prep school uniform Sporting reform school initials Is stealthily watched by his two male companion


What is all this sorrowing? Warfare, famine, homelessness is not just an illusion. Who has not been beat down? The world can obstruct all vision. It can drive a lance through your heart. What is all this sorrowing? Who does not feel the weight of the world with its burdens? Certainties are uncertain. Laws can be backward and falsehood puts some people in charge. What is all this sorrowing? How can our hearts maintain? Look at your peers and see the pain. Our station in life is under attack by those who thrive on adulation. They live for the standing ovation. Idiocies are the way of the world. Why make the fools victorious? Who crowned and raised these fools? I can hardly wait for the end of this nightmare. Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal - West Covina, CA

My family died in a fire wreckage when i was six

Tonight, i lit a bonfire before me. I plant a stare till the faces of my family appear like fireflies. At age six, my eyes knew the gallery of fire. I saw how bodies fell & melted away like candle wax. I was named after a city with many tombs. I glow in aloneness amid the rhythm of those burnt bodies I tried once setting my body ablaze to know the definition of fire. Perhaps I was the only song left in God’s head. My tongue carries the salt of an archipelago. It vacates my mouth to taste the scars on my body. a friend once told me that i may never contain sweetness. At age twenty-one, I wish to name this body a fallen object from the sky and ask God why his wings are so brittle to clasp me. Emmanuel Ojeikhodion - Nigeria

Vine Water

Heat and the ants on the thatch of a wicker mat, you slip into the river like a lily, bare to the waist, vine hair draped in pale tangles. Colored pebbles roll smooth beneath your feet, the fragrance of lilacs sways from the bank, the water of blackberries, redolent, the pierce of a blackberry thorn where we bled. Sun buzz like cicada song in the overhanging trees, the willow tree glint emblematic as the thin wing mark on your arm turns to bronze. June air and the flame azalea lights the mountainside, the river becomes a circle at your emergence, the branches curl and bend with the river emerging, a green bird takes the ring of your palm to the sky. John Swain - Kentucky

The poor should be unheard and unseen (unless it's good T.V.)

the poor should have the grace to look poor, be dirty, be bruised, be dim, be vicious, be sinners, be thin, be dressed in rags, be small, be bony, be slow, be sad, be silent, be mad, be bad, be glad for everything thrown their weird way, be on their knees, be on all fours, be animals, be prisoners of their own dreams, be dead quickly, be organ donors, be cheaply made warriors, be unquestioning, be consumers, be recycled,be guilty bleeders, be murderers, be child killers, be incest T.V. stars, be circus clowns, be subjects for docu soaps, be charity cases, be drunks, be junkies, be tramps, be artless, be heartless, be strangers, be bad sons, be bad daughters, be grateful, be quiet, be ogreish, be whoreish, be loveless, be rutting machines, be thugs, be proudly soundly beaten, be jailed, be starved, be patronized, be poisoned, be suicided,be driven insane, be street characters, be workshop exercises, be passengers, be pedestrians, be unheard and unseen, be sick, be disease ridden, be


You shit in the hand that feeds you You spit in the faces of brothers and sisters who shared your fate You dine on your own hypocrisy and you are well fed I know you, I know your kind, the hero of your own story, I see you, I see you wash over mistakes with bloody hands your bloody tongue paints the picture of the man not the monster, never the monster. Andrew Talbot