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 email@example.com.
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.
by ZORBA HASSIUM CHAOS
Cars hiss like stars
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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