Anderson, Dinh & Chaos

by POETS' BASEMENT

Black Friday: December 14, 2012

by KEMMER ANDERSON

 

Darkness shrouds the dead.

Gun-sight eyes shoot around the world:

A magazine of bullets reads through our minds.

 

An assassin needs no scope to find a victim

Or rope to hang a priest from Hitler’s scaffold.

You don’t have to check in to the Lorraine Motel to die.

 

The school for assassins plays at the movie theater

For an audience of random targets

Or in a classroom of children just learning to read.

 

This dance of death needs no partner,

Just a cradle for an assault weapon

To rifle our world into a horror beyond belief.

 

A chambered catharsis waits for the automatic squeeze

On the trigger to begin the scene. Hallucinating rage

Screams beyond the stage of a Greek tragedy.

 

Car bombs explode outside a school in Damascus.

Bullets cut through the flesh of first graders

In a Connecticut classroom. Teachers die

 

In this script spoken through the eyes of a gun barrel

Before they can read the mind who conceives such terror

In a country blasted by a liturgical fantasy for violence.

 

If the innocence of light flickers in the distance

Beyond this earth, can a candle alter reality?

A star guide new magi? What is left to write?

 

More death fugues? Block letters on a tombstone?

The ABC’s of gun control? The rite to bear arms?

Or 26 new obituaries for the town newspaper?

 

We are swallowed by an elegy of silence, searching

Notes for a requiem to columbines, stones, and children

Sung by an unknown choir digging for meaning.

 

Kemmer Anderson can be reached at kanderso@mccallie.org.

 

 

Elemental

by LINH DINH

 

Shovel toothed, funky in profile,

I, John Dodo, am son of Camden.

Beneath boasting of a city invincible,

I’m two boarded up windows. I am a

Well-painted mural of kaput industries.

Who touches these, touches my void.

 

Once I shoveled coal, tamed pig iron,

Strung bridges. Erected. Now I strut

Up and down Broadway, dazed,

Fingering coins, aiming for chicken.

 

Pants low slung, crack peeping,

I’m son of Bethlehem. I peddle

Christmas mart, push Sands.

I patrol dying mall in Buffalo.

 

At dawn, in McArthur Park,

Los Angeles, I piss and scratch.

Legless, I buff Hollywood

Plaques, pose as monster

For tourists who undertip.

 

I push charity condoms, body oils,

High class looking purses, low class,

High definition porn, incense and sox.

 

Lying on news, ads and cardboard,

I browse, RECOVERY IS ON COURSE.

BUM SIGHTINGS DOWN. LATTE SALES UP.

BRITNEY SEEN IN ODD COLORED SHOES.

JUSTIN ALARMS FANS WITH FAKE HAIRCUT.

 

As I sleep, an asswipe sneaks

Photos, then gives me a buck.

Strung out, I will suck and fuck,

Excuse me, until I get my fix.

 

Like a cliché, I press nose

Against steak house glass.

Soon I will break that glass.

 

Linh Dinh is the author of two books of stories, five of poems, and a novel, Love Like Hate. He’s tracking our deteriorating socialscape through his frequently updated photo blog, State of the Union.

 

Absolutely Unrelated

by ZORBA HASSIUM CHAOS

 

Cars hiss like stars

unbated

the pubic region dry

like the desert,

I, too am dry and uncertain,

praying for rain in a pantheon of dry gods,

recovering alcoholics all

writing quatrains like they’re

goddamn Nostradamus or something,

as if Orson Welles would come along

and narrate my life’s story

like I was some fucking genius

with a complex about the Canadians, but really

who am I kidding?

 

“Kid, you ain’t who you think you are.”

 

Zorba Hassium Chaos can be reached at zorbachaos@gmail.com.

 

Editorial Note: (Please Read Closely Before Submitting)

Poets Basement is now on Facebook. Find us as http://www.facebook.com/poets.basement.

To submit to Poets Basement, send an e-mail to CounterPunch’s poetry editor, Marc Beaudin at counterpunchpoetry@gmail.com with your name, the titles being submitted, and your website url or e-mail address (if you’d like this to appear with your work).  Also indicate whether or not your poems have been previously published and where.  For translations, include poem in original language and documentation of granted reprint/translation rights.  Attach up to 5 poems and a short bio, written in 3rd person, as a single Word Document (.doc or .rtf attachments only; no .docx – use “Save As” to change docx or odt files to “.doc”).  Expect a response within two months (occasionally longer during periods of heavy submissions).

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