Mass-Produced Reverence

Sound kernels baptized on behalf of holy veterans flick my face,
shot by elastic radio waves,

striking my eyes, stinging sights into a pixely Warhol style of
vomiting violent neon signsβ€”
kosher brands and canvased advertisements,
Public Service Announcements:

rows of SPAM cans burping tobacco spit over the sides,
rows of green gun barrels with purple flowers flailing out and into the mud,
rows of Marine wives and children with faces blue and black and yellow and

CRACK. Another sharp kernel. SMACK. Another automated sentence.

Like postcard stamps punched out
one right after another
sending out to all corners of the States
the message of conditioned reverence:
blessed art thou for being Saved by the Military.

 

For my sister.

Murder on Your Tongue

Photo by Mateus Williams via 41.media.tublr.com

This is what I hear
When out of that heart
You speak:

Like grown men of an African bush tribe
Clip-slipping their feet in the hot dust
Around a broke-fire
White dark dirt shoves up
Out of the roots of the earth and
Races up on the heels of them and over the high-topped feather headdresses of grown men
And rising up and out the sound of an overwhelming shout of challenge and victory and defeat
As the sound rages out of their muscle-y burnt bodies and their heart beats
Step-step faster
Outβ€”
Run
Outβ€”
Shout
Outβ€”
Live

And then you are
The one who ran ahead
To shove his spear first into the lions mouth
But got torn in half by its jaws.

This is what I hear
When out of that heart
You speak:

Death to mother
Your sister
Your brother
To your lover

Like every other somebody out there
Is a lion that needs to be taken
Down by a man
Like you.

Poem originally published in Promethia Literary Magazine, Spring 2013.