To Think and Choose in America Now

Wikipedia Poem, No. 576

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“What can I do to myself? Bones / and dusty skin. Heavy eyes twisted / between the adequate thighs of all / humanity (a little h), strumming my head / for a living. Bankrupt utopia sez tell me / no utopias. I will not listen. (Except the raw wind / makes the hero’s eyes close, and the tears that come out / are real.” Amiri Baraka, 1964

downtown
mall kill 32-year-old woman some thirty
four others injured fights date over bloodiest fights

date over
bloodiest
city’s choice

remove
statue robert e lee nationalists no plan
demolition

nineteen rally city’s choice remove
statue robert
e lee

nationalists no plan
demolition nineteen
rally city’s choice remove statue robert e lee

nationalists no plan
demolition nineteen rally
city’s

choice remove
statue robert e
lee nationalists no plan

demolition
nineteen rally city’s
choice remove statue robert e lee nationalists no

plan
demolition nineteen rally city’s
choice remove

statue
robert e
lee

nationalists no
plan demolition nineteen rally city’s
choice remove statue robert e lee nationalists no

plan
demolition nineteen
rally city’s

choice
remove
statue robert

e lee nationalists
no
plan demolition

nineteen rally city’s choice remove statue robert e
lee nationalists no plan demolition nineteen rally
city’s choice remove statue robert

e lee
nationalists no
plan demolition

nineteen
rally city’s downtown mall kill 32-year-old woman
some

thirty
four others
injuredition nineteen rally

city’s choice
remove statue robert e lee
nationalists no plan demolition nineteen rally

city’s downtown mall
kill 32-year-old
woman some

thirty four
others
injuredition nineteen rally city’s choice remove

statue robert e lee nationalists no plan demolition
nineteen rally city’s downtown mall kill
32-year-old woman some

thirty four others injuredoice
remove
statue robert e lee nationalists no plan

demolition nineteen rally city’s choice
remove statue robert e
lee

nationalists
no plan demolition nineteen rally city’s choice
remove statue robert e

lee nationalists no
plan demolition nineteen rally city’s choice
remove

statue robert e
lee nationalists no plan demolition nineteen rally
city’s choice

remove statue robert e lee nationalists no plan
demolition nineteen rally city’s choice remove statue
robert

e
lee nationalists
no

plan demolition
nineteen rally city’s
choice remove statue

robert e lee nationalists no plan
demolition nineteen rally city’s choice
remove statue robert

e lee nationalists no plan
demolition nineteen rally city’s downtown mall kill
32-year-old woman some thirty four others injuredition nineteen rally

city’s choice remove
statue robert e lee
nationalists no
plan demolition nineteen rally city’s choice

remove
statue robert
e lee

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Sources: 

Stolberg, Sheryl Gay, and Brian M. Rosenthal. “State of Emergency Declared in Charlottesville After Protests Turn Violent.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 12 Aug. 2017. Web. 13 Aug. 2017.

Baraka, Amiri. “History as Process.” Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation, Dec. 1964. Web. 13 Aug. 2017.

Protest Chord for Taylor Swift

Wikipedia Poem, No. 574

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“The good guys sat / & watched the door / the wizards crawled / from 14th St to the / outer crust” Amiri Baraka

first to oxford
with crosscutting pilgrim-mages
then to mount calvary to dialect’s grave

then back to age of baroque nicknames
to roman locks and nave
to your beloved trapped in pun
then back to pun itself
where we find the beloved scrubs
feet of dialect

On The Media

Warm

warm we link arms before the brawl breaks our ranks
we touch again     ineffectual   fist to ineffectual face
we are touched again to be peeled apart    sprayed 
toward sobbing   and held again in rapturous pain   do you remember
now   singing by torchlight?   do you remember the strange sounds
of which we are capable?   the moan the mutter
the laugh around campfire and when campfires tamp
and glow   and our bodies   just cool of a blister
kind and momentary   sister to sister
brother to brother   all else like a staircase rises up
or helps us descend   in time
it is a struggle   to keep cool   to fight with
one's own fire   the necessary stoke and recoil.

“Mocha Panties” by Arielle Greenberg

locallymadepanties

You have your skinny pants that you never wear
but that are the barometer. You have your fat pants
that you wear more than you need to. You have your
period pants that are dark and thick and forgiving
and comforting.

You have your period panties.

I have a new resolution not to wear my period
panties at non-period times. I have gotten into the
habit of wearing only my period panties and pretty
much never wearing my other panties, my nice
panties. My resolution is to wear nice panties every
day, even the days I don’t think l’m going to have sex,
even on the days when l’m going to ride my bike.

Once, in the locker room at the YWCA after tot
swim class, I saw another mom who was wearing
beautiful, chic mocha panties and a matching bra
even though she had just come from swim class and
had a kid. The panties and bra looked French, and so
did the mom. I swore right there and then to wear
my nice panties every day, even though my nicest
panties aren’t as nice as those panties were.

But then I got pregnant again and never felt like
wearing nice panties.

So that was three years ago. Exactly three years and
I am finally hoping to make good on my promise of
nice panties.

Thus far I have kept my nice panties promise for
about a week and a half. It’s been difficult. Almost
every day I reach for my period panties but I haven’t
relented. It does feel good to wear nice panties,
though it pains my heart to get on a bike or go to
sleep without sex when I am wearing them.

Even when the nice panties are not two-hundred-
dollar hand-washable silk tap pants, nice panties
are a conundrum.

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If you enjoyed this poem, please support the poet and purchase Arielle Greenberg’s fascinating, honest, nuanced and insightful book “Locally Made Panties”.

Apokellipsis

Wikipedia Poem, No. 573

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“Each eloquent spokesman // praised abnegations, offered transformation, even / ecstasies —; just renounce // sex, or food, or love.” Frank Bidart

of the nave beloved in the pun
on the name calvary above cemetery
often with kalwaria zebrzydowska near kraków

the age of baroque nicknames
roam in catholic churches
imitation of sorrows

john calva chews
roman catholic skoal
a golgotha apart

roman catholic crunch
two cans used for cemeteries
the nave named for god

special services pun around the many
like fruit flies more such complexities to essence
pilgrimages to oxford to mount calvary to dialect

calvary in the nave
beloved in the pun
the roman locks hands the cross

Family Happiness (Nondidactic)

Wikipedia Poem, No. 572

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“Overture of my voice like the flash of bats. / The hyena babble and apish libretto. // Piscine skin, unblinking eyes. / Sideshow invites foreigner with animal hide.” from Cathy Park Hong’s ‘Zoo’

they move today as was written   hold that sound
against one of

they move   today   dog hyper-aware   and read by complex formations
me she or   has gone

they   move today   perspicuous improvisational solo
explain more clearly   

they move   today it is being written   
hold it against one's   patience

they   move   today   for difference radiates 
one of us   curious dog

How to Write a Poem (Topography)

Wikipedia Poem, No. 571

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“The absence of plot leaves the reader room to think about other things. … Plots are for dead people.” David Shields

radiate what errs
as if it’s that simple
take words
mind nimble blades
being best free
let them delicate
among tantalizing ableness
let mind belong
let it glide to prayer
and grasp the error of being

Cosmopolitan Bias

Wikipedia Poem, No. 570

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“tip of finger moist from eye fluids deep breath mucus expulsion via spit deep breath yawn eyes view sky getting darker upper teeth bite outside of lower lip” Kenneth Goldsmith

the 
      forest
          thick 
with 
dread
cut by compulsive slashes
bearing no 
particular 
          reward
through the forest
thick about hunger
         masturbation
    nation
online 
video games
reading 
about hunger
   masturbation 
of crackling 
      wilderness
       a dozen cups 
of crackling no 
          particular 
    reward
    through 
the forest
     except forest
      think 
         of a dread 
wilderness
       a dozen cups 
of crackling no 
    particular reward
through the 
       forest
    except 
forest
except hunger
masturbation   
of 
  crackling wilderness
a dozen cups of 
       crackling about 
        hunger
         masturbation
online video games
read
    cut by compulsive slashes
         bearing no particular reward
through the 
forest
    except forest
except 
games
      about wilderness
a dozen cups of crackling 
wilderness
a dozen 
cups of
      eating with dread 
   wilderness
       a dozen cups of coffee
    eating hunger
masturbation 

of crackling 
wilderness
        a dozen cups of crackling wilderness
a dozen cups of 
         resource 
      rich 
      clientelistic nations 
of crackling 
wilderness
      a 
  dozen 
       cups of 
          coffee
    eating the wilderness of
       a dozen 
    cups of crackling slashes
bearing 
no particular reward
through 
  the 
      forest
thick with 
dreading 
no 
        particular reward
through the 
forest
       think about hunger
      masturbation 
of 
coffee
        eating about 
video games
reading wilderness
        in a 
          dozen cups 
of coffee
eating no particular 
        forest
          think 
with dread
      of cuts by 
compulsive slashes
   bearing wilderness
      a 
       dozen cups of crackling coffee
   without dread
would you
crackling 
cups of no reward
          through 
dissolution 

particular reward
through the 
      forest
        except forest
       thick without hunger