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Pearson Bolt Jun 2019
she sits sun-kissed by the window.
white rays burst around her head,
a halo refracting off her glasses.
a cigarette streams idly from one hand,
a purple highlighter is poised in her other. the cap
is ******* off and balanced between her teeth
as she runs the ink across the page,
murmuring along to the theoretical text
beneath her breath. Scottish highland green
eyes follow along, digesting,
questioning incessantly. she looks up at me,
an inquiry flowering on her lips. “don’t you think
we’ve outgrown birth metaphors?” she asks.
“why can’t we say the revolution ‘explodes’
or ‘blossoms?’” but just think:
the very pages of the books we read
are given to us by the Earth—
wood pulverized to parchment,
imparting hope, as if this very planet
is tattooing insurrection in its flesh.
Pearson Bolt Jun 2019
i wish i could put my fist
through this wretched city,
march straight down Monroe
to the capitol building—
that flaccid, *******, hideous tower
looming like the tomb of god
over Tallahassee.

this bastion of neoliberalism
sits in the heart of a red state.
escalating rent and gentrification
go hand-in-hand on occupied Muskogee lands.
statues commemorating genocidal colonizers
defended by neo-Confederate bootlickers
keep watch over Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.
everywhere you look in this college town
you’ll find indigeneity reduced to a mascot.

so let’s introduce a little anarchy.
we’ll clash with riot cops
armed with tire-irons and Molotovs.
occupy the academy, transform the cafeteria
into a people’s kitchen. teach freely
on Landis Green. come, dance
with abandon and reclaim these tired streets
from those beset on our alienation.
Pearson Bolt Jun 2019
there’s a certain serenity to be found
standing on the precipice of a continent,
lost in the expanse of an ocean
unfurled like a map, extending out
to caress the earth’s curvature. the seas
sift as i stand on hourglass sand
and forget the seconds slipping
past, stuck in the liminal space
between the hour and minute hands
on the clock—if only for a moment. here,
i feel smaller than the grains that cling
like salt-and-pepper to my feet. peace
drifts in the ebb and flow, eroding
this old soil. wash away my cares
and let my soles sink deep.
Pearson Bolt Jun 2019
some days it seems sorrow
stems like thorns beneath
the leaves of intellect. sun-starved petals
wilt for want of water, desperate
to slake their thirst on summer-showers.
the process of photosynthesis forestalled
by the ambivalence of the heavens.
hedge rows turn to labyrinths in the mind,
droughts sap the vigor that bleeds
from trees we planted like solemn columns
in this temple we call the human psyche.
a pestilence has settled in, a dank fog
that rankles our resolve and strips bark
like armor from the human spirit.
weeds rose from fecund soil, strangling
all that once grew here.
Pearson Bolt Jun 2019
plant a bullet like a seed
within the contours of my head
and witness all the carnage
that will flower in its stead.
i swear i’m fit to rupture
from all the sorrow in my skull.
hairline fractures spiderweb
across these brittle bones. rip apart
my rib cage and sow a garden
in my chest, let the buds blossom
as i’m finally laid to rest.
turn my flesh to compost
so something radiant
might grow, i’m sick to death
of soaking up the sun’s incessant glow.
forget me like wilted petals yearning
for a drink. don’t pretend to miss me
when i finally sink beneath.
Pearson Bolt Jun 2019
every white wedding is exactly the same.
kitschy mason-jar centerpiece displays,
thirsty flowers in ornate vases,
lace-trimmed tablecloths and country-pop
songs blaring from the stereo.

welcome to cookie-cutter suburbia,
copy-and-pasted from half-a-hundred
Pinterest boards depicting
indistinguishable scenes
of smiles stretched paper-thin
on spray-tan painted faces.

my tongue is a skipping record,
regurgitating the same vapid
conversation ad nauseam,
stutter-stepping through
an indistinct refrain:
“how’s school going for you?”
“oh, really? an English degree?”
“and just what do you plan
to do with that, exactly?”

bourgeois blather follows flagrant patterns.
drunk uncles splutter racist rants
at this posh reception, but i’ve been told—
no matter what—don’t stir the ***.
avoid any and all discussion
of the current president’s
child concentration camps,
the war on immigrants,
or the escalating tensions
with Venezuela and Iran.

i am sick
to my stomach
of self-indulgence:
watered-down punch bowls, patriarchal
vows to god and government. “i do,”
an endless ******* feedback loop
droning tediously until my ears bleed.
sing the same hymns over acoustic guitars
while vocals peak in microphones.
reread 1 Corinthians 13:13, beg your deity
to bless the BBQ pork and beans.

dance along to the Cupid Shuffle
and be sure
to always follow the rules:
birth, youth,
college, marriage,
work, death.
Pearson Bolt May 2019
the first time i choked on tear-gas,
we were standing in the heart of the Empire.
the scent of capsaicin still smarted
as we fished our medic bags for water-bottles
to flush our comrades’ eyes. we did not weep
for the revolt. we were at peace even as we knew,
beyond a shadow of a doubt,
we were ******.

the black bloc, three thousand strong,
had raged through the streets of D.C.
overturning dumpsters, torching limos,
taking hammers and crowbars
to Bank of America windows
with gleeful abandon, a sense of endless,
militant joy. it would be
anarchy or annihilation.

the spontaneous insurrection
of the antifascist demonstration
was an inferno hotter than the dumpster-fires
we’d left like signal-flares in our wake.
for a moment, there, we could feel
the ******* quaking as our feet
shook the Earth, stepping
in-and-out of Lovecraftian shadows,
eldritch horrors of doom gloating over us.

but we’d been kettled,
cordoned by cops in riot gear,
cut-off from all possible routes of escape.
faceless phantoms clutching cudgels
to bludgeon our conflagration
into submission. and then
the call came. “this way! this way!
we found an exit!”

immediately, the cops swarmed in,
their momentarily vindictive arrogance
shattered by the freedom that rang
like church-bells in a half-a-hundred voices.
“this way! this way! we found an exit!”
motorcycles turned down the alleyway,
sirens screaming, echoing off the tenement halls
and only one of us possessed the sense to intervene.

for a moment, she stood alone.
a single figure, holding up her hands
and shaking her head, refusing to let
the ******* advance. but courage
is infectious. a moment later,
another joined her, then another,
until all of a sudden a half-a-dozen
of us stood shoulder-to-shoulder, shouting,

no pasaran! you shall not pass!”
we waited for the billy-clubs to rain
hell upon our shoulders, but still
we remained steadfast, anchored
by the weight of our conviction
and the hope that even if we fell
the rest of the bloc would escape
to wreak havoc another day.
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