September Poem 53: I am Not Racist but… Now You Think I am Going to Say Something Racist

I am in the underrepresented class

Of straight, white, American male. The “I-

am-not-racist-but…” of identity

Politics. The disenfranchised too big

To study too untalented to do

A damn thing in sports. The raised by a

Single mother that made just enough money

To keep food on the table and a roof

Over our head. The raised by a mother

That had to work two shifts every night to

Keep us just off public assistance. The

Go see his dad on the weekend but have

No male or female role model in the

House. The be without parental super-

Vision the rest of the time. The how the

Fuck did he stay out of jail and off drugs.

The it wasn’t because he didn’t have

A chance. The this is the last time you’ll hear

Me talk about it because it makes me

Sound racist and sexist if I have an

Opinion on anything. The don’t work

Hard because it takes hard work. The don’t do

The work because you are smart enough to

Know the shit without it. The don’t get a

Good job because you let yourself be that

Loser. The don’t write poetry because

That is for other folks (Not that there is any-

Thing wrong with that.). The don’t read books if you

Are a real man. The don’t go to college

Because you barely made it through high school

Without dropping out. The don’t go back to

School because you are too damn old. The don’t

Go back to school because you are too damn

Broke. The don’t go back to school because if

You were smart you would have been through college

Years ago. The don’t follow your dream because

You never had one in the first place. The

Don’t follow your dream because you have to

Earn a living. The why the fuck didn’t

You pay attention to what you were told

Before you ended up with that useless

Fucking English degree. The what are you,

One of them folks that wants to write poetry?

(Not that there is anything wrong with that.)

September Poem 51: The New Wild West Show

The yellow sky and blue white hills that rose

In the autumn of the earth. The cold and

Sometimes snow of the Smoky Mountains kept

Out the tears when looked on in a certain

Eye. The old man’s spitting years sputtered through

Like cleaning up. Like the skin from a dead

Snake, he pealed the bark of the mulberry,

A fiber to weave his back while also

Staying Cherokee in the November season.

He made his time in the casino to

Trade drink for play and wondered if this should

Be life to rob the weak to pay the poor.

To pay the weak to rob the poor. To pay

The cowboy to see the Indian play.




Stand Up and Signify

Ever the man in the horned helm

Standing in public protest of himself.

The long raking scrape off self-scourging.

The deep clean slice of a limber switch.

The ache of waking to find her.

The pain felt good.

He had the self to soul.

Intense blue of close cropped hair.

Metal rings pierced through.

Black painted lips.

Aggressively feminine the wrong ways.

He wanted another try.

To be strong.

To be masculine.

To be in control.


September Poem 49: The Red Field Guide

Dressing your kill on your knees. The last leaf

Falls. The story ends. Your wood shed. A roofed

Pile that you built. Old pallets, scrap wood,

And an angled flat roof you covered in

Left over scraps of tile. Your cabin.

Warm from your seasoned wood. It had been her

Present to you. Or your present to you.

Your dream. Your refuge from her. From never

Ending shitfits. Angry that you cooked your

Own meals. Angry that you invited her

To eat. Angry. And why? Because of your

Mannerisms. Because her father did

Something. Once, before you knew her. Something

Like nothing you had done. Blame without end.




September Poem 45: Loosen Your Tie, Mr. President

3 a.m. Twitter rantings. The frequent

Bouts of spirit writing. Fingers pecking

Like a field full of hens rushing in on

A computer keyboard in the midst of

A falling handful of feed. The morning

Covfefe and the nicknames like red neck-

Ties pulled so tight. Raining down fire and

Fury like rocket man. Like you’ve never

Seen. Like the storm’s urge of goiter flowing

Over his weak chin. And the circular

Purse of lips like a hanged man grasping for

One last breath of air. Fighting to hold on

To purpled tongue thrusting from rush of blood.

A half waking dream holding to something.




September Poem 44: Kraven the Hunter

When was the last time that you heard from him?

Can you believe you are still mad? All this

From a simple two lines of text. It had

Been so long, yet you allowed yourself to

Blaze. To spark the old man’s breath that caused the

Long ash to fall. Because it’s better, they

Say. Famously so. The memories. They

Crumble as you cut. The Fries. I’m sure he

Would have treated you. He realized that you

Were married with faith in foods like the French.

The cool. The air conditioner people.

Cut the people. Enjoy the line digging

The channels for wires to atone for

What he’s done. Would you give his redemption?