Thursday, April 14, 2005

PBB Brown-Bag Poetry (4/14)


two snakes,
eating each other
by the tail,
hard to tell
which one to
and which to


i'm tired of my own
bullshit and vaguery.
i'm tired of trying to
sound more intelligent
or poetic or inspired
than i am. it's f**king
thursday, i'm swamped
with work, and all i can
think about is whether
or not the doctor will
tell me tomorrow
that i have cancer.
now is not the time for
flowery prose, or deft
allusion. now is the time
to think, and to pray.


do i disappoint you?
do my slips and trips
into R-rated language
cause your serpent's
tongue to snap with
disappointment and
reproach? (do you
really want to know
my response?)
pardon please
that troublesome mote
in my eye and, if you would
be so kind, extend your
sainted graces to me,
a poor, perverse sinner
scratching and clawing
his way through a world
that is turning out a bit
differently than he
expected. by the way,
while you're prescribing
solutions to my
"mote" problem, why
not take some time and
look at your "beam" issues--
or is that too tricky? your
meddling in my life is
'ministry', after all. taking
care of your beam would
imply responsibility, or
worse yet, imperfection.


i watched Paul watch
the white men leave in
droves, the foreigners who
paid him lip service for his
good service then left him
to die with his wife and
screaming babies. i watched
his boy cry, covered in blood
not his own. i watched the
bodies pile in the gutters.
when Paul told his friends
to shame the West into action,
i felt shamed.

i was only 13
when the madness turned
neighbors into enemies, and
the innocent were hacked at
the root like bamboo or summer
wheat. i did not consider the
very existence of genocide,
not even when reduced
to more easily digestible, explainable,
ignorable "acts of." i was a boy,
and had no power to define
foreign policy, to change how
one nation treated another
(like a dark-alley stranger).
i was just 13, and i still feel
i was guilty. the blood of a million
dark-skinned Abels cried out
from the ground, and
the LORD heard, even when
I did not, when my Uncle Sam
would not, when the greatest coalition
in the world stood shackled in
their powder blue chains.

i say again,
how you must weep, El Roi,
how you must weep.

No comments: