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Squiers, Hyde & Strauss

Ferguson

by ANTHONY SQUIERS

 

Where is the Phoenix which will raise from these ashes?

There will be none.

12th Street, Detroit was an irritation.

Rodney King was an annoyance.

Ferguson is a fart.

A mephitic nuisance,

the ruling classes have learned to live with.

 

Riots are an offering to the gods who rule us.

“The flames,” they say, “justify our decrees.”

The smoke is an incense which when inhaled,

excites their exalted rhetoric,

spiritual fancies of equality

and justice.

 

But, Ferguson is also a hemorrhagic beacon,

where the contradictions of bourgeois society

are laid bare.

It is a moment of insight,

which can instruct us.

 

Instead of overturned cars,

we need inverted institutions.

Instead of burning buildings,

we need the Constitution, conflagrant.

 

Anthony Squiers is a writer, scholar, and literary critic. His debut novel, Madness and Insanity was published in 2009 by Irish Eye Publishing. He is currently Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at the University of Kurdistan Hewlêr and has written extensively on the social philosophy of Bertolt Brecht including the forthcoming book An Introduction to the Social and Political Philosophy of Bertolt Brecht: Revolution and Aesthetics (Rodopi). His writings have appeared in a wide range of print and online journals including, Logos, eFiction Magazine, Recoil, Communications from the International Brecht Society and Eclectic Flash. He lives is Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq.

 

 

i don’t tell you everything

by JUSTIN HYDE

 

sure

 

i teach you

all the good swear words

 

where and when

to use them

 

the raw schematics

of sex

 

plurality

and dogma

of religion

 

i indulge

every pulse

of your curiosity

with all the unvarnished clarity

i can muster

 

your mother says

i give you

too much information

 

the way i see it

love is truth

strung from the tree

like a piñata

 

but i don’t

tell you

everything

 

like the guy

who broke into our car last week

 

the needles and vomit

he left

in the back seat

 

how i cheated

on your mother

more times

than i can remember

 

that i’m thinking

of breaking up

with this new woman

whose kids

are starting to feel

like your brothers

 

or the day

eight years ago

when your mother told me

you were coming

 

we were here

at noah’s

in this exact booth

 

i put my hands

flat on the table

like this

 

leaned forward

 

abortion

i told her

 

no hesitation

 

not one

single

inch.

 

Justin Hyde lives in Iowa where he works as a prison guard.

 
The End of Poetry

by EMILY STRAUSS

 

Events occur in a person’s life

so beautiful or terrible they must

be repeated to others— this repetition

a kind of ritual, a form that begins

in the body constructed of the sum

of our experience.

 

This form is the same force

that moved shepherds to name

the constellations, that moves planets

around the sun and causes poets

to set down word particles.

 

Singers write to imprint their lives

on the random pattern of the heavens

the procession of bright stars

the waning of days and moons.

 

When the universe ends, the poems

Will go with it. The words may last

Several trillion years but not forever.

 

The last blips of light they emit

Will traverse an empty space

As the cosmos collapses into silence.

 

We cannot see our own deaths.

Emily Strauss has an M.A. in English, but is self-taught in poetry. Nearly 200 of her poems appear in over 100 online venues and in anthologies. The natural world is generally her framework; she often focuses on the tension between nature and humanity, using concrete images to illuminate the loss of meaning between them. She is a semi-retired teacher living in California.

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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. Expect a response within two months (occasionally longer during periods of heavy submissions).

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Editorial Note: (Please Read Closely Before Submitting) Poets Basement is now on Facebook. Find us ashttp://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. Expect a response within two months (occasionally longer during periods of heavy submissions). Submissions not following the guidelines may or may not receive a response. Poems accepted for online publication will be considered for possible inclusion of an upcoming print anthology. For more details, tips and links to past installments, visit http://crowvoice.com/poets-basement. Thanks!

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