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Archive for the ‘The girl opines’ Category

America First

America First

Dismembered, one stroke of the pen,

One dollar at a time—

 

The arsonists are in charge of the fire station.

 

Destruction plumes, forcing fumes

To an indifferent, hazy sky.

Books and art in the sulphur flames

Crackle and snap alongside

Food scraps for the aged and

Melting plastic eyes of children’s puppets—

The radio hisses its last static,

Then silence.

 

The water leeches its lead,

Flowing down the strip mine scar.

A fiery freight car carries the lost

To the pyre on the River of the Dead.

 

In this deconstruction of the administrative state,

We’re all going to be deconstructed, destructed and

Tossed into the mass grave of alternative facts.

 

What did you expect?

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She Persisted

she-persisted

“She was warned.

She was given an explanation.

Nevertheless, she persisted.”

 

-U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell

 

She persisted.

 

Binders full of women—

Latina, African American, white, transgender, gay.

Hole-punched all of us,

Paraded for your agenda,

Served up for your pleasure.

 

Scold bridled in an iron mask—

Padlocked, depressing our tongues.

Crazy emotions and shrill voices,

Bite at the bridle.

 

Sweetie, you’d be much prettier if you smiled.

 

Silence need not equal silence.

We have choices.

 

Oh, we nasty women,

Centuries of us—

The smell of us in our words,

Our sex, our power, our voices.

 

Strapped and dunked and sunk we rise.

We nasty.  We trashy.

 

No.

 

We persisted.

 

Those words,

May well be my first tattoo.

After the scars heal,

It will be pink and perfect.

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I am humbled. . .

amazon

This  evening, I was testing the search terms I created for Peggy on Amazon.  One was “confessional poets.”  I was shocked where I came in the random algorithms.  It may be arbitrary, but it just made me happy and humbled.

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Day One

pussy-gat

We pull on our pink caps,

Hand-made woolen symbols of our flesh.

Armor for the storm.

 

We take to the streets,

A powerful sea, defending our right to be.

 

This is not about women,

Immigration, religion.

It is about our humanity.

 

You will not tell me who

I will love, or not.

 

My health will not be legislated

My body will not be legislated.

My beliefs will not be legislated.

 

My right to be

Will not be legislated by dark men in stiff navy suits.

 

What I hear and see,

Is not my country—

 

If I am angry,

Then so be it.

 

I have words,

I have breath—

My sisters and brothers stand with me.

 

You will not

Make America hate again.

 

 

 

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American Poem.jpg

A nuclear pompadour

Releases

Buried collective anger.

 

Integrity and humanity cease.

The world becomes much stranger.

 

Incandescent lies,

Breach of the fragile peace,

Fear the money changer.

 

What his billions buy,

The mouthpiece,

Of the clear and present danger.

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I don’t buy this business
About 50 being the new 40.

It’s an excuse,
When the AARP stuff shows up.

Oh cool,
I got the discount card.

I’m not old;
I am PRIVILEGED.
I am a smart shopper now.
I can get 20% off at Best Western.

But who the hell wants to see
Brad Pitt on their magazine cover?

And tell me,
Why the Cialus couple never shares a tub?

I mean, why do they bathe side by side?
In separate tubs?

Wasn’t that the purpose of Cialus,
To get rid of the separate tubs and bedrooms.

Where does all that water drain?
Where is the towel rack?
Where are their robes?

Oh my children, there’s no going gentle
Into the dermatologist’s office
For that Botox shot

It hurts.
A lot.

And when that perfect Pilates instructor
In her $100 Lululemon pants
Puts you on the rack
To get rid of your menopause midsection spread
I can assure you

That hurts too.

I will not go gladly
Into the days of elastic waist pants.
I will rage, rage against the dying of

In fact. . . .

When I am 85
I will slam a hole in the podiatrist’s wall
With my tennis ball walker.

And scream at the top of my lungs

Keith Richards rules!

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In his book, The Anxiety of Influence, Yale Literature professor Harold Bloom talks a lot about the often tenous relationship artists (especially poets) have with their predacessors. For years, I struggled with the voices that came before mine. Would I ever possibly create something of that calibre? Would I ever measure up? It became, for me, a paralyzing influence, one that lasted decades.

  • These days, the voices that came before are a comfort. They inform my work. They have shaped who I am today. If I find myself mimicing tone, or cadence, or even an image or two, I now do it with intention. It is an homage, a gentle tip of the pillbox hat.

  • Therefore, in no specific order, here’s a brief list of those who came before. Consider them my poetic parents if you will:

  • T.S. Eliot: No one could pull a classical reference out of the hat with so little effort. Some of the best cadences around. My dear old grandad, if you will.

  • James Scully:
    Taught me everything I know. Master of the purposefully placed line break. I am eternally in debt to this man.

  • Sylvia Plath: My poetic mother. Check out “Daddy”

  • More to come. . . stay tuned.

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