Portrait of John Kelly

Wikipedia Poem, No. 643

portofkelly

“What they did want to hear was what the War Department was doing to put into practice the democracy preached by the administration. ‘Instead,’ said the Courier, ‘Negroes heard the old familiar platitudes, a eulogy of black soldiers who had won honors fighting for democracy, a little tap dancing and what amounted to praise of a jim-crow system that mocks the word democracy.” Roi Ottley, November 1941

       of a person
     of a provision
    an interview 
with laura ingraham 
on slavery    

this statement that provision          what a paragraph      
in our   constitutional          fact     quiet       chief of the man     
clearly   state       what you know    the x of the matter
that     provision is known          in fact     
that chief is quite able to reach    three-fifths of a man    
that        would bleach           his constitution 
in our great american i    con 
returned to   ignorance at the first fugitive slave       african-american-american-american-american-american-american-american-american-american 
rights of 1854     which sad compromise was that       chief
their      major   choice think about     choice kansas nebraska missouri whoever       
cast out of balance on whether black slavery     slaves were         truly people or not 
would residents balance     their interest against an interest-bearing heat or heart 
on slavery     slaves     slave    esclave    chattel    trash     one man    one woman
which fugitive       rights       movement   their value allowed terminology 
in          black       bodied neighborhoods    of the night
compared with      property deeds        covenant on two knees     
which allowed homeowners to place     the black people’s spark      in escrow 
what is a right      new fights movement for a movement 
the prewar      comparison        with the value of legacy 
black neighborhoods     fleeting on black bodies

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Sources:

Cauley, Kashana. “Slavery Thrived on Compromise, John Kelly.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 31 Oct. 2017, www.nytimes.com/2017/10/31/opinion/slavery-kelly-civil-war-compromise.html.

Ottley, Roi. “Negro Morale: 1941.” Reporting Civil Rights: American Journalism 1963-1973. New York: Library of America, 2003. Print. 5-10.

“I’m expecting to see a new Hiroshima.”

Wikipedia Poem, No. 626

rukus-sm

“Two monster snakes in bristling steely sheen / Did guileful Hera send in bitter hate / Upon the babes their maw to satiate.” Theocritus (trans. James Henry Hallard, 1894)

                 said he 
  was eager to get home but bracing 
himself for what he might see       ill be lucky

  
              celebrations 
had already begun in 
       raqqa    
      still          led forces said on tuesday


rivals 
like 
kurds and arabs in both iraq        
 celebrations had already begun in raqqa      
          office


all fighting         
           declared a caliphate      declared a caliphate  
       i     
    declare a caliphate


      led forces said he 
was 
     eager to get home but bracing himself for what he might see 


               led airstrikes that they had taken all fighters were 
clear        
said on tuesday

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Source: Barnard, Anne. “U.S.-Backed Forces Capture Raqqa From ISIS.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 17 Oct. 2017, www.nytimes.com/2017/10/17/world/middleeast/isis-syria-raqqa.html.

Strange Candy

Wikipedia Poem, No. 613

w613b-sm

“Crack, crack, old ship! so long as thou crackest, thou holdest!” Melville

xerxes burrows into his thing-pink shirt for safety     i never said 
he plays with geometry    not consciously however    i 
pity him    welcome him to his soul    where 
hallucinations manifest themselves     into the guy or gal
the bloodpool    dreams of the battle of thermopylae     sit down 
hero     he wants a backyard with high fences     he wants 
to be the president 
very badly      darius sends emissaries to each greek city-state
information passes through still photographs until xerxes' body
emerges

 

Therapy (Pulling Red Thread)

Wikipedia Poem, No. 483

wiki483

   dazzle in bayonne
them i 
spot the battleship a 
brave 
   thing in me 
but 
      better in college 

baionnette
bayonne
diminutive bayon

i am a 
human who 
     sits unlike a trough 
purchased long at 
the 
      academic front leaking

a long narrow open container 
for animals 
to eat or drink 
out of

        control 
    frightens
thought

thread-eye
rarely painted red

Pruned by Flowerheads

Wikipedia Poem, No. 470

wiki470-b3

“A map for a new respiratory system. / Nitrous oxide replaced by tear gas. / Our head and face boundaries collapse. // Now: cut across the canvas.” Theodoros Chiotis

if not changing then
flowering but coiled
around one's jaw 
pruned by flowerheads
        climbing from thoughtful
        pink illusions outside-in 
size color everything everywhere grown 
out of my heads (climbing despite
mainland macrophylla here in america    
which only grows in dangerous popular culture
the dangerous species is its own meaning 
some crumpled syrian estate 
pruned into blush red 
flowering plants in japan korea crimea
our ashen mainland

 

Norman Wilkinson

Wikipedia Poem, No. 459

IMG_7471

“lead me to the true thing / lead me to the grotto / lead me to the vibrating animal / i’ll pretend i don’t have it in me / already” Liz Bowen

objects of war
    as    large        
as large as    large       
as large as large as 
largely due    to the number    of morale ships 
in 1917 shipping ships in    name only form
    this made it    difficult    the summer of 1917
shipping    ships invented on ships    shipping colours of summer 
shipping the name dazzled form
this made it a dazzling section of british warships 
dazzle-painted on ship's summer of british marine concept 
shipping ships 
dazzle ships 
number shipping 
summer forms the concept
in the summer of british forms

paculum-spec2-sm

Source: Bowen, Liz. “we steal our behaviors.” Sugarblood. Metatron, 2017. p. 17.

Poets Reading the News publishes ‘Agraphia’

Car5

“Car 5”

A great poetry website, Poets Reading The News, has published another one of my poems, Agraphia, along with one my recent photos, Car 5 (above).

I’m extraordinarily fond, and proud, of this poem. It’s about the way that war and violence affect one’s humanity.

It begins with a quote from Gabriele de’ Mussi, a historian of sorts, who gave one account of the beginning of the black plague in Europe in the mid-14th Century.

He tells of the siege on Kaffa (now known as Feodosia in Crimea) in which the Mongols launched the rotten flesh of their own sick and infected soldiers over the city walls in order to weaken the defending forces — an early version of biological warfare.

Please read and share it. You mean the world to me.

Thanks for being a part of this crazy project.

— Joe

Muriel Rukeyser

Wikipedia Poem, No. 431

w431-sm

“In the day I would be reminded of those men and women, / Brave, setting up signals across vast distances, / Considering a nameless way of living, of almost unimagined values.” Muriel Rukeyser

      remain 
  consistent a 
      commitment to an 
apt 
   description 
  of her feminist 
activities garnered her 
our twentieth-century 
       coleridge our neruda
        organized protests against 
the whole of her remarkable femininity
a woman
a jew
       a 
jew a jew a jew
         a jew
a 
single multitude
the trial of american poetry  
     an apt description 
        american poetry in her 
        121-page fbi file and 
         an innovative body of american poems 
out of work across the trail
of cultural norms and taboos 
       this consistent
commitment 
to deeply human activities 
violated by various vietnams

paculum-spec2-sm
Sources:

Overwatch Widow-Enabled Ableton Overton Windowlicker

Wikipedia Poem, No. 421

cab

“of the demon: ¡demonio! Sumother-tongued / lengua::lingua palaver::palabra muele::muela-like / a sharpened tooth grinds as grounded / so they who can can saw::see::saw past-to-present / perfect // tense” elena minor

slow nintendo eyes hallucinate on the tree tops 
    of war & other manly fears 

fighting basslines back from the castle bulwark 
    the soldier barks playing his 

muse like a hard bleak nest expelling  
    supernatural darkness 

ruins spring up in the suicide forest 
    nestle his falsetto starving 

else blue eyed moneymonkey plays pieces of influence—the man 

that sings off what-will-people-think or 	
    in the pleading

burn hysterical naked singtrade 
    like unwanted pregnancies for strips 

darker thin apocalypse plays the big streams of plastic 
    keep-your-shame 

outside super nintendo 
plays on a drunk’s tokyo 
falsetto harmonydreams 
with much darker musings playfully 
playful play y chill futuristic and tracked 
into oblivion people golden salted with time

“for my own sanity”

radial2

“I felt driven—for my own sanity—to bring together in my poems the political world ‘out there’—the world of children dynamited or napalmed, of the urban ghetto and militarist violence—and the supposedly private, lyrical world of sex and of male/female relationships.” Adrienne Rich,  “Blood, Bread, and Poetry”