Spring means beauty, open and hidden rushes in and out.
Black top, fuchsia mini, stiletto heals, whining about dining
at a better spot, so she yanks her boy southward exposing
thigh tattoo, she’s the open type. Gray sweats, gray hat, pulled
low due to plastic surgery is even more alluring, but she doesn’t
even want friends to figure out who she is with until those
eyelids flatten out. They try so hard here because beauty is the
only sure-fire way to “marry up,” just like anywhere else.
Now even more spoiled than their American contemporaries
these Seoul university tarts, dressed Gangnam style, forty kilos
soaking wet, unable to complete even simple chores
their grandmothers still do with ease, they float from
one-nighters to two month attachments until finally
assured their men can keep them better off than Daddy
down in Gwangju did. Of course he’s in debt due
to all the private academies, plus Seoul tuition, so his
little girl better score the right man, or what was all
the investment good for? Love as a commodity is nothing
new, it’s damn near universal that people want to add
moving up economically to the list of what makes a good mate.
Onward Native Sons!
Life mimics sci-fi
as brain tumors grow
from our phones, leaders
with drones leading on
collateral damage charts
while eight types of drugs
mix with sports, sex and
talk to smooth war’s transgressions.
You hunker down, plant
peaches, figs knowing
what you teach
now could save him when
prices soar, bullets fly, jets
break silence, sonic
booms forever shake
neighbor’s cattle, rattle dogs,
but these details never
peace movement, or was
fad, easily dismissed and
futile? Stand rebels,
go forth until death!
New Above, Old Below
Donuts, Not Manna
Chafed red hands dangle under
A dungaree coat. Faded threads
Except for purple lettering: Camel.
This dude’s a mechanic, works fifty
Hours under cars. He’s never read a poem.
The scowl of poverty greets you
From a face, still beautiful, behind
Blonde hair. She decides she can’t
Afford a donut and walks out without
A morsel, without a sip, without a poem.
Is there poetry in the wind shaken
Locust trees? Maybe behind the
Wheel of an F-250? No. You
Can’t blame words for hiding. This
Isn’t the right era to sit writing lines.
Can anyone drag a poem out of fake
Wood paneling on a rusting family
Wagon? Is there any beauty at all
In the design made by cracking
Blacktop? Words like people cower.
James of Manning, South Carolina
I’ll bet you think the caste system
Is reserved for India or the far east,
But what of the American man
Who volunteers to sweep
The butts and trash you throw away
From the sidewalks and lots:
Then he comes inside to ask if
You can spare a fiver from the slot.
Of course you can’t but you
Give him a hot cup and he goes away.
Which he does because there are
Other lots to sweep today.
I’ll bet you think your job is safe
Handing out donuts, coffee and tea.
It’s not if the boss across the street
Picks a foreign locality.
And what of the man who sweeps so well
And his kids who he never sees?
Do you ever stop to think or tell
Of his life of misery?