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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Fast Day 164 July 24 2010 {Riding the SMART Bus Home}

Riding the SMART Bus Home

Newly painted rainbows spill
through freshly washed windows,
bouncing off her laundered shirt
and rolling in the sheets.

Routine slav'ry of house work
holds her to the window;
waiting for him to return,
riding on the SMART bus.

The windows on the SMART bus
do not allow rainbows
to pass through where he sits in
licorice isolate.

Homeward does he turn his steps,
where the rainbow waits;
while tires slap the macadam
like an overseer's whip.

Tightly packed within the bus
are all his kinsmen's tribes;
sailors of the city asphalt
that flows beneath the heat.

Without the breath of Africa!
O, Lord ! I cannot breathe !
Without her eyes, without her face
or rainbows on her sleeve!

Detroit poem # 1
first draft

Friday, July 16, 2010

Fast Day 163 July 16 2010 {Algebra y Fuego}

US Civil War Wounded

√Ālgebra y Fuego

When I say I love you,
do you trust me?
When I say I care,
will I be true?
If I come back from far away
do you greet me,
Johnny and his gun come home
to join the prosthetic few?

Will you drive me daily
to my re-hab?
Will you buy me beer,
...  push my wheelchair?
Will you explain the fearful
algebra and fire
that guide our fatal honor
into grief, into despair?

Will I smoke the opium
of Afghanistan?
Or from Ciudad Juarez
will I do cocaine?
Wake up screaming from withdrawal -
or from nightmares;
my mind is nitrous oxide
a seep of jet methane!

When you say you still care,
will you be true?
When you say you love me,
may it inspire?
The algebra of the past
defines fidelity
and honor, but we blacken
like candy in the fire.

Spanish Civil War Poster

Johnny and his gun = Johnny Got His Gun  by Dalton Trumbo. That's about it.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Fast Day 162 July 8 2010 {Future Shock}


Future Shock

we eat apples and we spit them out,
we paint our bodies with saliva,
we chew blueberries,
and the haws;
I forget why I'm in this part of town.

we see old friends from the empty past,
and dash to re-ignite our love;
shake hand uncles,
bow to aunts
I think we have never seen before.

we smell the hollow wooden doors
with dark-light sunburn-picked veneer;
I left the car
with top down
and motor running on bright shoulder.

waiting for my daughter - don't know why:
I leave the soundstage filled with friends -
find her crying
by the car,
wondering where her daddy's gone!

pix: Samy Charnine


The story:
I left the convertible running as I waited for my daughter.
I saw old friends I hadn't seen in 20 years or more., and
ran like a handicap to get their attention. We talked, but
I wanted to get the heck out of there. Maybe that's why we hadn't
seen each other in so long.  When I returned to my car,
she was waiting with her suitcase.

hollow wooden doors

with dark-light sunburn-picked veneer;
Hollow wooden doors are the miserably cheap doors one finds in houses, new and old.
When the wretched things are old, they become dark and grimey, and in some places, the top veneer
wood comes loose; the dark-light is the grime (dark) and the newly exposed veneer base (light)...
it shows up when we pick away the veneer like sunburned skin from the back of someone we do not really
like with a fascination and sense of squeamish disgust.

The meaning?
I and my generation cannot let down my daughter and my daughter's daughters and sons.