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5.0k · Nov 2017
teeth
Pearson Bolt Nov 2017
i want my poems to have teeth.  
i want my words to cut,
to maim, to bleed.
with verses, i will raze
empires. with stanzas,
i will turn thrones to dust.
with nothing but a bit
of silver on my tongue,
i will take the life of god.

i’ll ply that same *****
like honey, taste the sweet
nothings dripping
between knocking knees.
quake and quiver for me,
let me slip, furtive
as nightshade
to sate your curiosity.

feel the weight of veracity
in these fingers patiently
transcribing forgotten melodies,
compressing ivory keys
to sing of all that was lost
and what was gained
from the process.
An ode to words given form.
4.0k · Sep 2015
phoenix
Pearson Bolt Sep 2015
i see the words floating on
message boards or perched
upon the lips of jocular hypocrites
double-standards that demand
sensual chastity and virginal sexuality
in endless iterations of irony

the concussive
monosyllabic words
slung like stones
cast like arrows

****
*****
*****

all labels for
women possessed of
the courage to pursue
their own passion

once upon a time a
Nazarene insisted a ******* had
more integrity than a rich
statesman throwing self-serving parties
so tell me why so
many Christian politicians
propagate patriarchal notions of depravity
in blanket attempts to regulate
the bodies of women

if being anti-choice was really
about preventing abortions
why do rich right-wing conservative
Republicans spend all their time
and money picketing free clinics
when the solution lies in comprehensive
****** education universal healthcare
complimentary birth control
and comprehensive child support

don't dare use the reprehensible
rhetoric of pro-life unless you're
at once anti-war
and anti-death penalty

riddle me this
what pray tell is the
difference between a jealous
religious misogynist
and a secular sexist

it's rather simple actually
while the former bases his
****-shaming on the edicts of
a two thousand year old letter to
the Corinthians inconspicuously
sandwiched between a celebration of
love and a section on speaking in tongues
the latter’s learned behavior is
birthed by a hyper-masculine culture
grounded in dominance

either way we await the day
when wild women raze
these ideologies  
with torches before
rising like phoenixes
from the ashes of
decimated passages
dismissed by intellectuals
as archaic and outmoded
deaf blind and dumb to
the vestiges of modernity
that sap unscientific
philosophies of their potency
and render them utterly obsolete

in their wake
these proud women
erase the hate
from words like

****
*****
*****

and reclaim equality
with a far more
comprehensive term

feminist
3.0k · Jan 2016
nobody
Pearson Bolt Jan 2016
vote for nobody
because nobody cares
that you're a wage-slave
that healthcare is astronomical
and college is unaffordable

nobody tells the truth
about global warming
nobody gives a ****
about smashing the patriarchy
nobody understands that
black lives matter

and since nobody
has an ounce of
integrity it's in our
own best interest
to let nobody have
all the power

if nobody can stop
the endless war and
ubiquitous surveillance
apparatus that subjects
the world to invasive
violations of privacy
then i will give
nobody my support

nobody pledges allegiance
to all brothers and sisters
and organisms on planet Earth
and feels the weight
of each life crushed
by the gears of capitalism

nobody sits alone in
the school cafeteria
nobody begs for change
on the front-steps
of Goldman Sachs
nobody pirouettes atop
a Charging Bull

nobody stares
back at you
in the mirror

a vote for nobody is
a vote for everyone
"If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal."
- Emma Goldman
2.0k · Jan 2016
sudoku
Pearson Bolt Jan 2016
i once met an old
man
who did
sudoku
with ink and
pen

black or blue
it didn't
much matter
one way
or another

so long as
it was never
pencil
he despised
pencil on
principle

on those rare
occasions
when he'd make a
mistake

he refused
to cross out the incorrect
integer

i asked him
why
one sunny
summer day
and he told me

that we can't cross out
our choices
or erase
our mishaps
we can only
turn the page

and on he went
to his next
puzzle
1.9k · Sep 2015
t(error)
Pearson Bolt Sep 2015
they say you'll never forget
where you were on 9/11
i was nine
i sat in the kitchen
and watched the television
play out the violence hour after hour
my child-like mind conflated the Two Towers
in Tolkien's literary fantasy
with these acts of misanthropy  
and i was taught at the dinner table
that very evening
that all of life could be reduced
to capital letters defining a
cosmic struggle of Good vs. Evil

and yet
regardless of their affiliation
on this defunct
political spectrum of
left left
left right left
politicians canonize a legacy of
injustice and oppression and
in order to suppress
democratic expression
they propagate the notion
that dissent is treason

because the wars we wage are blessed
by the sagely insight of rich old men
who sit safely in mansions protected by
picket fences as white as their skin
while they play off our emotions and
turn us into thoughtless sheep
content to stomach the whims of
politicians propagating vengeance

i will speak this out even
when my voice shakes
because i have seen the hypocrisy
of this war on terror
that relies on terror
to cultivate more terrorists
in order to perpetuate the notion
that Orwell posited

war is peace
freedom is slavery
ignorance is bliss
isn't it

in my naïveté
i rejected the reality of
torture and murdered children for
i nursed a secret hope that
despite the pictures and videos
that served as empirical evidence
we were still somehow
the good guys and
they were the bad guys

but Americans rained white
phosphorous on Fallujah
dropped the world's first
and hopefully last
atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki
we toppled democratically elected socialists
whose interests betrayed our self-serving agendas
cultivating a policy of extra-judicial assassination
regime change is the name of the game
just ask the CIA
they'd tell you
business is booming but
then they'd have to **** you

so i switched off my TV screen
and picked up books
i read Slaughterhouse-V
and treasured the way Vonnegut
looks at the lives of even
bees and butterflies as valuable
intoning "so it goes"
every time a living thing dies

i read O'Brien's
recollections
of Vietnam
a month later
he said that
like white lies
tall tales and
fishermen’s yarns
every war story
has a bit of truth

and i've seen the proof
in the photographs of
Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay
in the aftermath of drone strikes
that left pieces of kids scattered
across the desert sands of foreign lands

i see the toxic side-effects of
systemic violence in the eyes
of homeless veterans suffering
on the streets with PTSD
a flicker of fear livens a
deadened gaze at the sound of
every backfiring engine
as if they're a thousand miles away
on some distant shore

betrayed by their own
government once again
a Purple Heart is
a death sentence
when there are 22
military suicides a day
thanks for your service
now die in silence

like bad religion the phrase
war crime is rather redundant
and i testify not because i
aim to disrespect the
men and women in uniform
on the contrary

when i say
**** war
it is because i
cherish every brother
and every sister
who has perished in the
churning gears of conflict

they shoved tall tales of hope
for a collegiate education
and far-flung travel
down our throats
just sign here
right along the dotted line

we want you
to march into hellfire
we want you
to send missiles into
tiny huts and villages
tracking cell phone signals
we want you
to sit down
shut up and
just do as you're told

to every fallen human who
has been sent off to fight on
behalf of this
or any other
corrupt nation
i sincerely apologize
for not taking to the streets to protest
a vitriolic ideology

i regret filing my taxes
when 54% or more of our budget goes to
military expenditures so they could
stick an M-16 in your hands
and ship you off to die for abstract
and so often arbitrary phrases like
freedom and justice for all

you were robbed of your liberty
by a capitalist system that seeks profit
like a false prophet for
bank accounts soar in times of war  
and in my apathy i hammered
nails into your coffin

and i pride myself on  
being an anti-militaristic
non-violent anarchist because
i don't hate soldiers
if i did i would remain
silent and apathetic
and let the government
abuse its youth

i celebrate humanity
regardless of ethnicity and creed
which is precisely why i despise
this system that sacrifices
generation after generation for
conquest and imperial notions

pray tell
will we turn from the
error of our ways
wake up from
this terrorist daze
before it's too late
and say

the State can try to
whitewash history but
i refuse to let them
brainwash me
I wrote this poem when a woman walked out of the venue after I read a poem about overthrowing the government. She told me her son was in the military and said he had buddies who died so I could have free speech. I wish she'd stopped so I could've responded to her the way I'd have liked to. Guess this will have to do.
1.8k · Nov 2016
Bana
Pearson Bolt Nov 2016
streams of salt and H2O leak
down reddened cheeks and condense
in a golden beard. a war-torn nation,
half-a-world-away, crystallizes clear as dayspring
in an insomniac's screaming and fragile psyche
at half-past-three in the morning.
what strength must a seven-year-old posses
to persevere amidst the perversity of cluster bombs?
munitions bought and paid for with the taxes
we fork over to the United States. will her blood one day
stain our hands with crimson? will her mother's?
a girl who just wanted to read, to escape
the tragedy that inundates our surroundings,
to a magical realm of pure imagination.
where we can summon spectral stags
to save us from the misery of humanity
and learn to disarm those who would harm  
us with the charm, Expelliarmus!
the bastion where i found the first seeds that grew
into a rebellion opens its doors to you, Bana.
there's a crater where your house used to be,
rubble strewn in Aleppo, Syria. but know that Hogwarts
will always be there to welcome you home.
As I lay awake, tossing and turning, I picked up my phone and began scrolling through my Twitter feed. Then I saw J.K. Rowling RT this:

https://twitter.com/alabedbana/status/803689599444914176

The account belongs to a mother and daughter in Aleppo. The mother tweets out her daughter's thoughts and commentary on the war. These words came pouring out as quickly as the tears.
1.8k · Jan 2017
generation
Pearson Bolt Jan 2017
i was raised
by the greatest
generation.
at least,
that's what we
were told.

we were raised
at your knee,
told stories
of the American
Dream. "work hard,"
you told us, "obey,
consume, and god
will provide
for your every need."

you neglected
to mention
you'd borrowed
our only home,
a loan
you've since
squandered.

like the parable
of old,
you buried
your talent
in the sand—
along with your head.
dormant, you twiddled
your thumbs,
ignored the warning
signs of sky-rocketing
carbon emissions.

when you die
alone
you'll leave
behind a footprint
larger than your
tiny mind
could fathom.
it will echo
in the hallways
of your vacant,
dilapidated mansions.

you stood upon
the shoulders
of gods and giants,
but you gave us
a globe
unbalanced,
off-axis.

now, like Atlas,
we're left to carry
your burdens.
this yoke is heavy
and we are slight.

there's
no future
now, thanks
to you.
only prophecies
of nuclear holocaust,
economic collapse,
and the inevitable
heat-death
of the universe.
1.7k · Jan 2016
dissident
Pearson Bolt Jan 2016
he was radicalized in
the marshes of Vietnam
when they told him to fire
his loaded gun at a
group of school children

a dissident who
marched on Washington
with a Reverend and a King
and read Žižek Zinn and
Chomsky's reflections on direct
action and anarchistic philosophy

a staunch opponent of
police brutality in his
fifties he protested the
****** of Rodney King

he did not go quietly
into the black abyss but
raged against a putrescent
apparatus obsessed with control

he died waiting for the Revolution
I wrote a poem about a gentlemen I'd never met as part of an art project. The only requirement for selecting the stranger was that he/she had to appear in a photograph and I had to believe he/she was dead. This was the result.

https://twitter.com/pearsonbolt/status/692565263699435520
1.7k · Feb 2016
omnipotent
Pearson Bolt Feb 2016
we're all armed
with an appliance
of emancipation
we can nurture non-violent
defiance in a
non-compliant ethos of
antiauthoritarian self-reliance

we have the ability to eliminate the
vestiges of imperialism and
dominant dogmas that choke
and impede our creativity and shackle
our imagination to impotent ideologies

fragmented unrealities augmented
by fractures in our psyche
tendrils of theology that prey
upon our fear and exacerbate
conditioned responses that are
at once
unnatural and irrational
and lead
inexorably
to infantile expressions of
regression and fantasies of an
aggression rooted in the
suppression of dissent and
the oppression of dissidents

deities
as impotent
as our terror
of the unknown

by the promise of security and prosperity
a cabal of brutish thugs have erected an
imaginary hierarchy and demanded our
subservient obedience and reverence for
this malfeasant apparatus that leeches
our paychecks and robs all of our dignity
while somehow retaining the illusion of liberty
a delusion that festers like an open wound
a tumorous ulcer oozing foul fluid into our minds
blotting out our capacity for cultivating a
future divorced from misanthropy

so pour kerosene on this fluttering
flame of revolt before it sputters out
if we'd quit looking back and forth at
one another rotting in the gutters
checking to see if we have more to
our name than our sisters and our brothers
we might just muster the courage to overthrow
the vapid and misguided fictions that
divide and segregate us into pawns
trapped in this unending rat race
they've deemed the American Dream

harness the revolutionary tenacity
dormant in humanity's most important *****
infinite potential latent in every molecule
each neuron dancing across synaptic
gaps and fanning the embers of an engine
that gives motion to this evolutionary frame
the human brain is omnipotent
1.6k · Nov 2016
smiling
Pearson Bolt Nov 2016
i’ve long dreamt
of black flags in the streets
tonight i marched beneath
the shadow of their wings

shoulder-to-shoulder
in hope and solidarity
an anarchist professor
with a climate change activist
an independent journalist
and one of my students

as mid-November winds tugged
at her pink-and-brunette hair
she lifted a hand-drawn sign
of a gigantic sneaker
smashing a ****
and i felt
for not the first time
an enormous sense of pride

how humbling to at once
inspire and be inspired by
an eighteen-year-old
punk and artist
who asked to borrow
The Moral Imperative of Revolt
two scant months ago
then took to the streets
to oppose and depose
a twisted fascist virtuoso

for two whole hours
we hundreds owned the streets
we marched down Rosalind
Central and Orange Avenue
as protest slogans rang angelic
we raised hell and found heaven
in liberty equality and solidarity

but then the pigs closed in
cordoned to Lake Eola
to scream acquiescent rhetoric
at the fish sleeping
blissful in their innocence
beneath the jet black surface

a half-dozen cops in riot gear
astride horses loomed
ominous before us
backlit by the headlights
of the aggravated motorists
our march had forestalled

as the people abandoned the streets
we’d won so easily
i felt my chest wilt beneath
the weight of forsaken opportunity
my eyes scanned the remaining crowd

four stood strong
rooted to the concrete
by the world's weight
anchored by conviction
an anarchist professor
an independent journalist
a climate change activist
and a freshman college student

i heard the professor whisper to his student
i heard him say she'd put herself in harm’s way
that they'd lost the day when the marchers
turned their backs and walked away
but she didn’t flinch or move an inch
she stood silent and vigilant
shoulder-to-shoulder
chin held almost as high
as her ****-smashing protest sign
and her matching *******

and in that moment
i could’ve died
smiling
This poem is not about me. Quite the contrary, this poem is about my brave student. An absolute champion.
1.6k · Sep 2015
dam(nation)
Pearson Bolt Sep 2015
the invisible hand is in my pocket
pilfering everything
and there's nothing i can do
to stop it from robbing me blind

it does not guide it only destroys
personal expression under the
whims of an outmoded model of economics
capitalism
a philosophy that subscribes
to the metaphysical conclusion
that a spiritual malady
plagues every human heart
a harsh chorus that rings like a melody
of triumph in the multi-million dollar
mansions of the 1%

convinced we're born selfish
it seeks to reward us for our own malpractice
an edict predicated on social darwinism
that forestalls the possibility of future charity
as it drowns in the throes
of misanthropy and butchers any hope
of philanthropic community or basic humanity
to vanquish our more maleficent impulses

relegated to paying taxes
to ensure the illusion of security
while our money finances endless
war and police brutality rather than
healthcare or education
they know if they keep us sick and dumb
they can get away with ******

if the population shirks in horror
from the looming specter of terrorism
they can justify ubiquitous surveillance
that robs us of our right to
self-determination but
people should not be afraid of their governments
governments should be afraid of their people

they say we can't be trusted
that this is for our own good
but i'll call their bluff that
bull on Wall St. is full of ****
and like a matador i'll entice it to
lower its horns and charge
when itsjust a hairsbreadth away
i'll turn to one side and let it skewer
the slave-driver raising his whip behind me
that same skulking shadow that turns
veterans into homeless wanderers begging
for loose change in Central Park
a pale horse haunting the aspirations
of college students it
leaves the poor and
oppressed shivering after dark and
overburdens broken backs
god doesn't hold up the world
like Atlas we shoulder the globe

now watch us shift the weight

brought down by the people you tried to suppress
this is not some petty expression of vengeance
but the rallying cry of a dream deferred
exploding out to meet your injustice
mark my words

we're taking over the world
In honor of the brave men and women who protested, demonstrated, and resisted in order to ensure that future generations of workers could rely on a minimum wage, a 40-hr. work week, and benefits. We still have a long way to go. May we follow their example.
1.6k · Jul 2016
if the shoe fits
Pearson Bolt Jul 2016
it's true
the revolution will not be televised
but the fascist revival premiered
on all the major networks' corporate channels
in 1080p HD at prime-time hours

with perfect clarity
viewers could see
an oompa loompa
with an orange toupee
a xenophobe
spewing violence and vitriol
peddling snake oil while spitting venom
stirring a bubbling cauldron
spilling over in fear-mongering demagoguery
served like crack candy to the Republican elite
reveling in their privilege
cheering white supremacy

a tyrant
tirading behind a polished wooden podium
flanked by hues of red white blue and gilded gold
like some comic strip super-villain
but this obtuse excuse for human refuse
is not some Saturday morning cartoon
defeated by the heroes after 30 minutes
of selfless feats and epic deeds
a death dirge plays on repeat in the background

you can't always get what you want

meanwhile
we're holding silent vigils back home
carving the sigil of Orlando's skyline into our skin
while a snake slithers into a City Beautiful
bedecked in her $3k pressed pant-suit
leering wolfishly at a local club for LGBTQ+ youth
the downtown heartbeat
of outcasts and misfits
a Pulse
that bigotry and self-hatred couldn't *****

but tragedies are converted to cheap currencies
in the clawed hands of dynastic oligarchs
sporting the support of billionaires and super-PACs
she knows the Establishment has got her back
she'll shed crocodile tears
just in time for the photo-ops

violence begets violence begets violence
humanity's universal language
a tongue shared by despots and presidents
in the wake of stolen sanctuaries
she'll justify razing Syrian children
beneath a barrage of hellfire missiles
and predator drones targeting cell-phone signals
under the pretense of bringing the terrorists
to some sycophantic mirage of justice

we're manufacturing new soldiers
for the Caliphate to brainwash with promises
of dead gods and seventy-two virgins
machine-fed by automatic weapons
to the toothy jaws
that bottomless maw
of endless ******* war
which always vaunts
profit over people

the conceptual construct of gender binarism
becomes an imperceptible selling point
in the incomprehensible and reprehensible rhetoric
issuing from either side of the political aisle
but what will it matter
either way
an egoistic megalomaniac
has his or her finger poised over the trigger
a neoliberal warmonger and hypocritical fraud
or a reality TV star who lauds the KKK on Twitter

our only hope is found in the streets
unchained by compassion's transformative capacity
freed to utilize our minds
humanity's indomitable faculty
nurturing a community that seizes life
in anthems of liberty equality and solidarity
anarchic manifestoes penned in lines
of red and black ink

progressives will insist otherwise
they'll declare emphatically that our only choice
lies in selecting the lesser of two evils
to lead us to the brink of oblivion
but Orwell wrote the future of humanity
looked like a boot crushing our heads
that either way we'd all be dead
and the harsh reality is that the soot-stained sole
curb-stomping this country
fits both the left and right foot
The world has been on fire recently. I woke last night from dreams of hellish landscapes reflecting on two photographs I saw from the past 24-hours. One depicted Trump on stage at the RNC, looking like some Capitol stooge from "The Hunger Games." The other was of Clinton in my city, pretending to care for the LGBTQ+ youth murdered at Pulse. I wrote this in a frenetic fit of ire and outrage.
1.6k · Apr 2017
bricks
Pearson Bolt Apr 2017
when you only
see the world
through the prism
of an Instagram filter,
the spectrum's
overshadowed
by black and white
vignettes.

brick-by-brick
you build that wall
around yourself,
closed off to the plight
of every one else.
who needs borders
when you refuse to see
beyond the periphery
of your iPhone's screen?
refugees? border patrol?
endless war?

merely fragmentary
snapshots
in off-kilter
snapchats
casting grim light
on contemporary
outcasts, rebels
built to outlast
the vitriol leveled
at modern-day martyrs
by tyrants and overlords.

'cause when you neglect
to read the passages
of history, you scapegoat
the brave, can't see
the forest for the trees,
reduce the complex
to Manichean binaries
of Good vs. Evil,
Left vs. Right,
an infinite etcetera
of demagoguery.

noses glued
to illuminated screens,
ignoring the visionaries
for illusionary fantasies:
one-click—purchased
happiness, bread
and circus.
advertising
has us chasing
a feeling fleeting
as a riptide when we
ought to be rallying
on the front lines,
punching Nazis.
a black bloc
tossing bricks into
storefront windows.
There is a time for reciting poems and a time for fists.
~ Roberto Bolaño, "The Secret Detectives"
1.6k · Jan 2016
umbrellas
Pearson Bolt Jan 2016
when it rains
everyone always
takes an umbrella with
them to keep their clothes
dry or to stay fashionable or maybe
just to keep away the Rain. it makes me
wonder if i’m strange since i usually walk
around, fully exposed to the elements, Rain or
Shine. but i must admit i’m kind of jealous so i made
t
h
i
s
o
n
e
f
o
        r   self.
      my
1.5k · Nov 2016
galvanize
Pearson Bolt Nov 2016
the words spilled
out in a rush.
they dove
from the tip
of my tongue
before i could bite
them back:
i told a friend today
that i would die
for this. i have no
sons or daughters,
no cats or dogs,
not even a fish
to provide for. if i
could place my body  
on the line to depose
this fatuous fascist,
then i was obligated
to mount a resistance.
and i almost caught
myself by surprise—
my empathy congealed
to galvanize and, in an instant,
catalyzed conviction.
the tears of a student
wearing a hijab, frightened
to show her face outside,
crystallized in my mind
like a mirror, with the phrase,
"the least of these" scrawled
upon its surface.
the shouts of a student
hoisting a hand-drawn
protest sign, almost as high
as her *******,
set my heart to aching with pride
as we stared down riot cops
on mounted horseback. she stood firm
and did not falter.
and though i choked
back tears when i said
that i would lay
my life down
for a stranger,
at least i can say
my voice
did not falter.
After the election results, I had students weeping in class, fearful for their lives. Days later, I had students in the streets standing up to riot cops, fighting fascism. Moments like these galvanize.
1.5k · Mar 2017
UFOs
Pearson Bolt Mar 2017
i fantasize about stomping on the gas,
hitting the accelerator
as i approach the on-ramp
for the 408,
launching like a rocketship
headed straight for outer-space.

careen into the concrete
headlong—
scatter my brains
and body-parts across the wall
like a ******* splatter painting.

as lights blur together above me,
my head goes hazy,
dazed in this fugue state,
half-awake and thinking absently
of the city-lights
drifting listlessly overhead

like unidentifiable flying objects,
hovering over this interstate.
i wish they'd beam me up.
kidnapped by aliens,
taken to a galaxy far, far away
so i could forget
the contours of your face.
I've lost count of all the times I've made it home alive and wished I hadn't.
1.4k · Jan 2016
son
Pearson Bolt Jan 2016
son
it dawned on me as i
brushed my teeth this
cold and frigid Sunday morning
that Christianity is predicated on
caricatures of morality and desiccated
imagery guilt-tripping and manipulating
the emotionally malleable with sycophantic
fantasies of sempiternal enmity
simmering infernally within dogmatic
magma melting mundane minds

we aren't made in the
image of the invisible
and the more i study
the face looking back
in the mirror i can't seem
to find a single similarity
between you and me

you've spent nearly fifty years
in service to a deity Nietzsche buried
half a century bent-kneed but
somehow i'm the one who
needs to try an open mind

in the face of such
deafening and deadly hypocrisy
is it any surprise i rose
in revolt against this
putrid apparatus of control

it's sad
you see
you fancy yourself an image
of the Nazarene but you're
so unlike your savior
a Sadducee dancing like a cobra
to the whimsical melodies of
snake-oil peddlers so

by all means
pray for me
the clouds can't hear
your desperate pleas this
galaxy is apathetic to our
finite and fragile existence
a momentary blip on the radar of
a fourteen billion year old universe

yet you possess the audacity
to believe an intergalactic being
instilled you with predestiny so
you can judge and condemn just
like the villains in
your beloved fairy tales

tell me the truth
do you even read
the lines of red bled
across the ancient pages
of your gospels or do
you just pretend that
Jesus said whatever
makes you happy

clearly you fancy yourself
the center of the universe but
as much as i hate to be
the bearer of bad news
the world revolves around the sun
not the Son of Man

i'd rather brave the depths of hell
than grovel before your
narcissistic King of Kings
i will never beg for
you to forgive me
i freed my mind and like
a canary in a coal mine i'm
insistently pointing towards the exit
so crucify me if you will
even you couldn't escape the irony

abandon your holy text for works
of art and philosophy and science
your scriptures are a tale
told by an idiot
full of sound and fury
signifying nothing

i will not relent in my
blasphemous semantics
nor repent for my perceived iniquity
your Christ is interned within
an unmarked grave outside Jerusalem  
and before long now we
will all join him
though admittedly not in
the fashion you'd imagined

there is no feast prepared
for my inevitable homecoming
so keep your ring
a golden band reminding
those who read the
anthologies of history of
property and slavery

i'll deny until i die
i won't bind my mind to
your tepid theology
i am not the prodigal son
"I had only a little time left and I didn't want to waste it on god."
- Albert Camus
1.4k · Aug 2015
bookmarks
Pearson Bolt Aug 2015
i stick the plaintive letters
of friends and family amidst
the pages of my favorite books
they mark choice passages
concerning our species and the
fate of this ancient universe

one desperate plea for me to
return to the hypocrisy of Christianity rests in my copy of Camus's essay "the Rebel"
tucked nearby Dawkins'
"god Delusion" and Bakunin's
"god and the State" which share
a space with unholy texts on science
art and philosophy on the top row
of my overflowing
alphabetized bookshelf

on a silent Sunday drive home from
church some years ago i
once asked why it was such
a crime to believe in myself
my father imparted it was
an insult to my 
invisible creator
well here’s a ******* to 

my mythological maker
i don’t need you
i’ve got two feet 

planted firmly 
beneath me
i stand strong beside the ones
who resist a culture of misanthropy

i am what i am
a wanderer waylaid in the chasm
of gray matters
i no longer see the world in
shades of black pitch and white snow
your absolute truth is sharp
and out of tune with the
empirical realities of nature
i am not a zealot inculcated
on the drug of elitist predestination
i refute the elixir of everlasting life
heaven is a dream that keeps
us numb to the hellscapes around us

i face the unknown sobered by a
measurable cosmos which wasn't
made just for me to see
but spawned all we call
reality in the throes of a fourteen billion
year old eruption that flung planets
and stars into existence

we are amiss upon a floating rock
adrift in outer-space and instead of
utilizing our capacity for ingenuity to
cultivate a sustainable community
we looked towards the skies
and fashioned gods in our own image
we made god compassionate—a benevolent  
creator who breathed life into nothingness
we made god hideous—a malevolent
dictator deciding the destinies of the unfortunate
we engineered division where once was
sanctity and instigated violence on the
premise that one faith was better
than the other but
they all ring hollow
if you ask me

i am not a sheep and your Christ
is not my shepherd
i am not a timid and pitiable creature
stumbling along after some imaginary master
Jesus of Nazareth was a revolutionary
executed for instigating rebellion
against the Empire of Rome
he said nothing about waging endless war
in fact he urged his followers
to turn the other cheek
i imagine he'd be rolling in his grave
if he could see them know—provided
of course
he hadn't so famously vacated it

riddle me this
why do you hate two men who cherish
each other when your savior said
the greatest commandment was just
to love and be loved by one another
if the etymology of Christian is
Christ follower why not cherish the
lines of red in your holy book
your god bled and died for

even the most progressive of faiths
pale in comparison to the certainty of
evolution or the terror of global climate change
why mythologize that which we don't
understand when history shows that
we only learn more and grow with time
when we question everyone and everything
why dwell in circumstantial metaphysics
when we can just as easily admit
we don't have the faintest clue

i arraign myself against any warped faith
that privileges bigotry and arrogance
i reject the religion of atheism and
buddhism and Christianity
i stand apart from the ethos of
Hindus and edicts of Islam
i have no gods and no masters
my conscience is my only authority
i'm the only one who can
save me from me

in my father's latest letter
packed safely away in Carl
Sagan's "the Demon-Haunted World"
he informs me that i'm
the prodigal son that some
doting deity awaits me
at the gates of heaven
to put a ring on my finger and
slaughter a fattened calf for my
welcome home dinner but
how did an omnipresent god
not deign to ascertain
i'm a vegetarian
1.4k · Feb 2016
matter
Pearson Bolt Feb 2016
some 4.5 billion years ago
the atoms that would coalesce
to ***** your evanescent features
detoured to a lonely chunk of
rock aimlessly adrift in the
Milky Way Galaxy

you stayed alive by pure instinct
fight or flight
you could not thrive
yet you survived nature's
attempts to crush you in
her fearsome jaws

bits of you walked with dinosaurs
bone fragments ground to dust and
reformed over eons of evolution until
you stood upright and found a
tongue to describe planet Earth

remnants of those dead languages
live on to this very day
they inhabit the ink stains i
leave upon this yellowed page
while folk tunes croon over
my shoulder and Dallas Green
breathes a city in multicolor

a map of the universe is etched
across your face and i cannot escape
the smirk that spread with mirth
nor erase the memory of eyes
like interstellar space staring
back at me
unblinking
for 4 minutes that felt
simultaneously like a lifetime
and the space between
2 fractions of a millisecond

you came from the Big Bang
when the cells that would form
our bodies were forged in the
cores of supernovas exploding
across the cosmos and we've
been on a collision course ever since
an unstoppable force and
an immovable object
for matter
can neither be created
nor destroyed
1.4k · Apr 2015
matricide
Pearson Bolt Apr 2015
human detritus deaf to empathy
misanthropes bound by apathy
just above the dotted line we
signed our own death warrants
guilty as charged
existential and intellectual suicide

we'd rather gouge out our eyes
bury our heads in the sand
than give a moment's pause to
consider our own arrogance
**** sapiens
we carved our legacy into the globe
and we will rest in the husk
of a massive unmarked grave
a solitary chunk of floating rock
adrift in outerspace

"the fate of every successful species
is to wipe itself out"

can we harness the courage to turn away
from our vapid lives before it's too late
can we unplug our minds from the machine
extricate ourselves and learn to breathe
with lungs instilled through millennia of
evolution before we suffocate in ennui

humanity is on life-support
it's tempting to pull the plug
let Mother Nature reclaim her earth
from an entitled race of
self-destructive fools
coddled from childbirth but

there is a nascent impulse that
echoes in every heartbeat
living within our blood
to regard one another with the new eyes
science has built each of us
no longer can we trust self-styled
leaders of the free world
the impetus rests within the crux
of self-acceptance

anarchy is the litmus test
1.4k · Nov 2015
choke
Pearson Bolt Nov 2015
pull back the thin veneer
of pretense that obfuscates
this holiday season
profuse excuses of joy and peace
are hollow and brittle and leave
bitter proof of our lackluster compassion

expose the specter
of greed
dormant in capitalism
vestiges of a dying culture
the refuse of an apathetic
American people numb
to the trauma inflicted
by megalomaniacal leaders
consent given implicitly
in the complacency of obedient conformity

will we refuse to acknowledge
the stains on our hands this Christmas
red liquid misting our faces
bloodlust and endless war
there’s no
rhyme or reason
to these
sycophantic intonations
deafening these words of treason
in vain attempts to assuage guilt
with endless iterations
of false hopes and puny gods in
brainless trying to defy reality

we belie our true intentions
our self-serving obsessions
and inane consumption
hazes of the mundane  
in suburban graves

if the greatest gift is giving itself
we won’t find solace in the holy temples
of strip malls shopping centers
and corporate retail palaces
a Friday as black as our fractured hearts
witness the death of humanity
choking out all we were
grateful for the day before
I wrote this today while I stood in Barnes & Noble and watched people come and go, chasing deals, laden with shopping bags. Black Friday is a microcosmic example of everything wrong with American culture.
1.3k · Aug 2015
sciolism
Pearson Bolt Aug 2015
we labor under an oppressive thumb
not realizing the very leaders
we exalt will use that power to
hold us down

we've armed them with
the greatest of weapons
blind conformity
empty apathy
unquestioning obedience
what we believe in is a puppet

as our so-called democracy devolves
we increase in callousness
masses designed with a singular purpose
to extinguish original thought

accept or die
embrace or be ostracized
belabor the point
that your purpose is to labor forever
another slave along the chain
another cog in the machine
bent-kneed
stooped before some
corporate conglomerate
a faceless superpower
pulling the strings behind the scenes

politicians bought and paid for
shouldering the burdens of the
Fortune 500 companies
who helped them purchase their office
beholden to back alley deals
and smoke and mirror gimmicks

artists traded rebellion for comfort
now they ply their craft for profit
to appease the brainwashed masses a
morally—and financially—bankrupt populace

they catalogue our every thought
metadata ensnared in the dragnet
mass surveillance a tool to bend the whims
of the people to their rulers

we **** black kids in Ferguson
as they walk down the middle of the street
shoot 'em down as the snack on skittles
and sip Arizona ice teas
they forbid us to feed the homeless
lock us in a jail cell if we dare to disobey
city ordinances designed to keep the
City Beautiful looking beautiful
but i see beyond the thin facade

expose war crimes
thanks for your service
Chelsea Manning
that'll be 35 years in federal penitentiary
hack a surveillance network spying on
activists and protesters
can't have that
that'll be 10 years at State
Jeremy Hammond
blow the whistle on the panopticon
thanks Edward Snowden
but we've grown to adore our own shackles

fear
24/7/365
fear this fear that
fear god fear death
fear Muslims fear blacks
just don't fear the rich white straight
males in their 4k suits and crooked smiles
pay the white-collar Wall St. Bankers no mind
the 1% who've left us all behind
as they lurk in the shadows
ruining everything

a fearful electorate will bow to the
whims of its masked dictatorship
and march without thought to the beat
of the war drums

**** them
**** all of them
ISIS Pakistan Iran Syria
all the Muslim savages in countries
whose names we can't even pronounce
render weapons to tyrannic despots
so we can pretend we
don't have blood on our own hands
torture extrajudicial assassination
extraordinary rendition drones bombing
civilians in record numbers
all cards we've stowed up our sleeves
in a war that is designed to never end
fight terrorism with terrorism
revenge not justice
but if our army is abusing children
then who the **** are the bad guys

confront the ambivalence that
roars like machine gun fire
violence is never the answer
and i refuse to stand by and watch
as we wreak havoc upon this earth

our leaders are liars
our gods are frauds
we're going to have to save ourselves

the answer does not rest above
a utopic afterlife in the clouds is a farce
we've been led like sheep to the slaughter
obedience and reverence have crippled us
if we want heaven
we'll have to raise hell

stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters
in direct action cooperatives
nonviolent civil disobedience
insurrection against the State
anarchy is the answer

beat your swords to plowshares
and seek peace
1.3k · Jul 2017
(bloc)k
Pearson Bolt Jul 2017
a ****** of crows gathers
over Hamburg, carrion carrying on
with business as usual.
feeding on the festered flesh
of a gentrified populace.

in private jets coughing carbon
they fly from the west on turbine wings,
engines screaming as they dive towards a nation
secured by razor-wound walls
and barb-wire borders.

they pitched a battle in Germany,
convinced that austerity
would ******* the resistance
and give justification to premeditated violence.
but the tables have turned on the thieves again.

we are the end result of your failed policies,
globalization has destroyed our homes.
if your cabal rallies like a kettle of vultures,
you will do so behind closed doors,
cowering in your fortress' halls.

you shall not pass. watch as the power shifts
like the melting gears of torched BMWs.
we will tear the vestiges of your authority down.
we will black out your surveillance cameras,
smash your windows, and block your limos. no pasaran.

flee, while you can still run. this city belongs
to the wild ones, a black bloc, thousands strong,
dancing amidst the tear gas, tossing molotovs.
marching to liberty's sturdy drum,
equal in our solidarity song.
Solidarity to the wild ones in Hamburg.

https://crimethinc.com/2017/07/05/announcing-continuous-live-coverage-of-the-g20-in-hamburg-with-an-update-from-the-clashes-of-july-4
1.3k · Feb 2016
theory
Pearson Bolt Feb 2016
it was an inevitability
that we'd unearth the evidence
to validate Einstein's theory
of general relativity.

three cheers for the
method of science,
an appliance that
liberates and enlightens,
suffocating the miasma
of dogmatic parasitism.

pariahs can't stand beneath
the weight of empirical data.
a culture of imperialism
intoxicating inane idiots,
inundated by asinine philosophy.

ideologues instigating turmoil—
vainly believing
an intergalactic being
created the cosmos
in seven days for the
predestined elect.

to insist inanely that the legacy
of our existence could be measured
in seven millennia
is to extinguish the light
from the majority
of our neighboring galaxies.

you read the opening lines
of your holy text too literally.
open your mind to the poetry
of a reality that no deity
could ever breathe into existence.

we are not special.
our fate is tied to a
planet choking on CO2
and you deny the truth
in the same breath you
disparage any challenge
to your impotent,
imaginary friend.

**** sapiens—
mere animals
cursed with
conscience.

if you would deny
the ancestral history
of our evolutionary biology
simply on the premise
that it's “only a theory,”
then i'd invite you to put
your vain hypothesis
to the test and take a long walk
off a short bridge.
perhaps the theory of gravity
will provide with you some clarity.
Scientists recently proved Einstein's theory of General Relativity. This poem celebrates the scientific method.
1.3k · Aug 2013
shadow
Pearson Bolt Aug 2013
it’s 3:00am
again

i think
to myself
that seeing
my clock read

3:00am
as often as
i see it read
3:00pm

might suggest
that i really
ought to get
more sleep

it’s hard
though

when protesters
are shot in Egypt
when journalists
are detained with false pretense
when activists
seek shelter in embassies
when hackers
rot in prison cells
when whistleblowers
are put on trial

with all this
chaos and
injustice
i don’t understand
how anyone
in their right mind
could sleep in
peace
1.3k · Aug 2013
manifesto
Pearson Bolt Aug 2013
all my life, i was told 
to be as timid 
as a sheep.
my black wool 
may have offended the 

snowy white facade of my

former friends and family, 

but at least i shared their form.

all this time,
i didn’t realize 

the lion prowling

outside the gates 
had
more honesty 
than the
crooked shepherd 

keeping watch 
over me.

and the false security 

these walls they built around me 

could never hold a light
to the 
life outside
this hideous city 

they dared to say was 

beautiful.

lured by dreams of eternity, 

i bought into the 
story of a god 

who loved me more than 

anyone or anything.

but i saw a fire burning beyond 

these walls of hypocrisy

and chose to 
carry it instead.

i sold my soul for a rational mind, 

recognizing infinity 

was nothing
but 
a pipe dream.

i’ll carry the fire 
of humanity

in my chest,

‘cause i don’t need 

a savior who’ll 
lead my soul to rest.

i reject the greener pastures
of 
an afterlife and
embrace the 
life that i 
was
taught 
to abhor.

and while i still get sad

from time to time, 

at least i can say that
i 
don’t hate who i am 
anymore.

i spent twenty years
yearning for 
a god
who isn’t even there 

to show me the 
slightest bit 

of affection

and didn’t realize that i’m 

better off alone since, 

after all,

that’s where i’ve always been.

so i’ll start 

side-stepping 
the road of
fear and faith 
for
the great unknown 
and
all the pain that it’s 
bound to bring.

i’ll stomach every 

single second of suffering 

without the vagrant hope of a 

second life in the heavens.

it’s funny how life can be so 

******* beautiful

if we keep in mind
just how 

finite 

it really is, 

how precious every 

moment has the potential to be.

at least i can say
i 
did my best to cherish 
the
Time that i’m alive,

rather than living with
the 
expectation of an afterlife, 

biding my time 
‘till i die.

when they put what’s left of me

into the ground, 

don’t look for me in the clouds—

i’ll be decomposing 

beneath your feet.


and, honestly, 

the thought of becoming

absolutely nothing 

is far more comforting
than the 
notion of worshipping that

murderer 

they preach about in church.

i have no god, i have no king.
i don't believe in fate or even destiny.

i’ve given up on 

certainty in things i cannot see

in lieu of questioning 

everyone and 

everything.

i’m secure in only one thing: 

and that’s me.

i’ve spent far too much time 

hiding from the things that i
was taught were 
evil.

i was told to trust
an 
ambiguity

for every single thing

and, thus far,
it’s been pretty

******* ineffective.

they told me that
believing in myself 

was an insult to my 

invisible creator.

so here’s a ******* to 

my mythological maker: 

i don’t need you. 

i don’t need anyone. 

i’ve got two feet 

planted firmly 

beneath me.

and though my family might be ashamed of me, 

i can say i’ve never been this happy.

the day that i turned my back on 

Christianity,

i realized i didn’t need 
anyone’s approval
to be 
myself.

i don’t live in fear anymore.

i don’t hate myself ‘cause i quit
searching for a love 

that was never even there 
to begin with.

i won’t follow the instructions
written in a book 
millennia ago
by 
misogynistic homophobes 
and

war criminals.

i’m better off standing up 
for what i believe

than i ever was 
in
some sanctuary

begging on my knees.
1.2k · May 2015
Imperator Furiosa
Pearson Bolt May 2015
count each and every grain i
cherish them all the same
they're the only friends i have
across this endless plane of
granular particles kicked up
every so often by a storm
that shifts this desert from one
spectrum to the next like
filtering time through the sieve
of some infinite hourglass

i will drive this lumbering beast
across theses seas of sand
reclaim what they stole through duplicity
coax this hunk of junk to life
if need be to outrun the
lingering fear of inadequacy
i don't know god but i met the devil
i've been his captive for 7,000 days
a hostage of hellions obsessed
with a decadent religion of misanthropy

the shifting wind-swept dunes
my only markers on this winding road
a roguish rebel defying hegemony
manifest in maleficent misogyny
i'll strive to live not just survive in this
endless wasteland hope may yet arise
1.2k · Feb 2016
erudite
Pearson Bolt Feb 2016
how might my reality be redefined
by slipping furtively
like a hapless lover
disentangling midnight sheets
fleeing past pathways of my own psyche
to see the view from her mind’s balcony

to inhabit intergalactic eyes
sparkling and shining like supernovae
every time she parts scarlet lips
in defense of the helpless

i'd plant gardens inside her irises
water the seeds and invite the bees
to pollinate fresh thoughts and rejuvenate
an energy that could illuminate new theories
about the cosmos and its inhabitants

i want to dwell within
corridors of infinite imagination  
bridge the synaptic gaps
across rivers of lapsing memories
a lackadaisical adventurer
adrift in neurological galaxies
ingesting erudite insight

i yearn to build a home
inside the mind
of a poet
an activist
and a bona fide genius
1.1k · Feb 2016
caucus
Pearson Bolt Feb 2016
pasty white ghosts haunt
the corpse blue cornfields of Iowa
whispering wisps of smoke
shimmering shadows of the past
setting the pace for the rat race
that is the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election

senators billionaires doctors
frauds liars fools
campaigning for selection in an
archaic and outdated
form of governance

witness the spectacle
the orgastic worship
of solipsistic oligarchs
bloated by their own
sycophantic rhetoric

it's just another form
of all-American
entertainment

each orator's charismatic adage
froths forth from a
throat like a grave
pragmatism throttles hope
as we stoke the fires of
self-indulgence and neglect
the fact that we acquiesced
as another deceiver stole votes

we're choking on placebo pills
every ballot cast is another act of apathy
escapism pleading vainly for a
savior to rescue our sick society but
these hands didn't evolve so we could
collect a representative to lead us
blindly into one fiasco after another

these fingers penned  
humanity's symphonies and
these calloused palms have
toiled for years under an apathetic sun
we learned to make love
using our fingertips and
with these fists
we could chart a new path
but only if we raise them in
defiance

our only chance is leaderless resistance
"Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and ****** respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind."
- George Orwell
1.1k · Sep 2015
inquiry
Pearson Bolt Sep 2015
now don't get me wrong
i love wordsmiths
semiotic story-tellers
rhapsodists rhythmically reciting
love languages from memory
connecting disparate lines
between discordant thoughts like
gods breathing life into dust

for these steel swords we've
conjured up do not rust
nor do they cut flesh

with mouths like ink fountains
we espouse words at the whims
of pens that often seem possessed
of their own volition and
we are their mere harbingers

they slice to the quick
past bone and marrow to
the human spirit and
tap into sentience through
sophisticated sentence structure
measured meter catalyzing cadences
of consonance in confidence

so by all means
spit rhymes and chime in
on current events
i love the rally cries
that seek to stymy injustice
ridicule bigotry and
foment dissent

but don't preach at me
your words of salvation
fall on deaf ears
you cannot save me
because i'm already divine
one-of-a-kind
just like you

i don't fancy myself above
satirizing fictitious and megalomaniacal
depictions of godhood
i've found that humor
helps us navigate the
half-truths and veiled threats
that inundate our daily existence
regardless of whether
they originate from
preachers politicians pundits
or poets

****-shaming and victim-blaming
are pathetic attempts to cull dull minds
no thanks mine's full to the bursting
you think you're clever for slapping
together a couple of words brewed
for maximum effect but you haven't
got the faintest clue do you no

you're nothing but a bully with a pulpit
fearmongering and shouting damnation
mixing Church and State and business
in a trifecta of tyranny
an orgastic oligarchy
of eternal enmity

when we die we pass
into the black abyss of nothingness
each of us a blip on the spectrum of
life under constant duress
before we ultimately perish
a meaningless speck of dust on
an endless shore of who was
who is and who will come to be

this is not a nihilistic proclamation
nor an atheistic defamation of
human beings but a rational
refutation of misanthropy
masquerading as community

your love looks a lot like hatred

i seek to offer an alternative
to the endless cycles of
condemnation that sprout from
the pages of holy books
like gnarled trees bequeathed
unto us by the seeds
of false prophecies

let's face the music
we will all die alone
and there is nothing
and no one
waiting for us
no white light or
loved ones on
the other side
no arbiter of fate
waiting at the gate
to permit us entrance
to a heavenly place

if we could only muster the courage
to divorce ourselves from fatalistic
fantasies of the afterlife
that keep us bent-kneed
we might find within us the strength
to seize the day and
live life so brilliantly that

we'd create a heaven on earth
if merely we departed from the
hellish impulses that divide us
into despondent collections of
self-righteous hypocrites and
simply admit the only thing we
know for certain is that we
know nothing for certain at all

perhaps then we could salvage
a modicum of freedom from
the wreckage of shattered
egos and emaciated lies
that plague this planet
with circumstantial evidence
while relegating our liberty
and inhibiting conscience

in the spirit of free inquiry
then let us question
everyone and everything
starting with yours truly
I love spoken word and slam poetry, but sometimes the hyper-religious odes wear on me. This is an expression of that ire.
1.1k · Mar 2014
slaughterhouse
Pearson Bolt Mar 2014
strange
isn’t it

how
memories
pique our moods like
mountains

bursting
through the
stratosphere
only to be sent
plummeting to the
depths of an

abyss
darker
and
deeper
than Marianas Trench
at the flip of a

switch

subtle triggers
found in the way
someone laughs
or when a co-worker
grins
out of the corner of
his or her
mouth

i see you
in the characters of the
literature and
films we used to critique
over coffee
hiding in the vestiges
of Daenerys Targaryen
or
Mélanie Laurent

you are France
an entire country
unto yourself

the smell of the sea
clings to your skin cells
in ways i
only wish
i could

you are in every
solitary
letter of Helvetica
whispering
softly
of things that
were
of things that
are
and of some things that
have not yet come to pass

you float
in the carcinogenic smoke
of cigarettes
a silhouette
corporeal particles
i exorcise
with equal parts
relief
and
regret

every night that i
paint the town
in neon colors
of vibrant life
i write your name
when i
vandalize
and fantasize
that you are
somehow with me
maybe floating happily
in the molecules
of aerosol
spreading across the
concrete

you’re in every song
by Brand New
like the residue of
dew drying on
the leaves
in the
mid-morning
light
lingering
even as
the sun calls you

home
the way i lingered
on your doorstep
to make sure that
you made it safely
back inside your
home

i’ve come to find that
i am equal parts
melancholy
and
blithe
and
i think that i
can finally say
i’m getting better

but
to borrow
a page
from Vonnegut
i’d be lying if
i said i didn’t still
catch
myself feeling
sorry
about the things that
no longer
matter
1.1k · Dec 2016
heal
Pearson Bolt Dec 2016
the survivors of Auschwitz
put god on trial in absentia
and sentenced him to death.
a fitting end
for a supposedly
omnipotent deity
that couldn’t be bothered
to lift a finger.

if the cross was god’s
critique of power
then why is fascism
on the rise once more?
if Jesus died
for the lost sheep,
then why are politicians
evoking his name
while banishing refugees?

where was the love of god
when our cluster-bombs fell
on kids playing soccer
in Palestine
and U.S. drone strikes
stole the lives
of a wedding party
in Yemen?

if god is not surely dead
then he was never real
in the first place.
Stendhal had it right all along:
god's only excuse
is that he does not exist.

but i met a girl
who so loved the world
that she’d give her life
for a stranger in an instant.  
her name means “helper.”
she is fragile as bone
and sturdy as ancient oak.
she is the only tangible reality
in a world henceforth
without gods or masters.

and i’m watching her wither away.

so i petition
the nebulae
watching over
this pale blue dot
not to avert their eyes.
this heroine of mine,
made in the heart
of a dying star,
would sacrifice her life
for the least of these.
but i am selfish.
i want her to stay,
to stand up and fight,
poison-free.

and if the universe conspires
to take her life, then i will find
the tomb of god and bring
him back from the dead
just to strangle him again.

stay with me, always,
through the long night.
help me heal this silent planet.
if god will not love this earth,
then we will.
heal us of our war, our hate,
our addiction.
i cannot abide a world without you.
1.1k · Feb 2017
MCO
Pearson Bolt Feb 2017
MCO
an interminable illness
strands us in this terminal.
outcries echo throughout
MCO, a call-and-response chorus
encouraging us, “no hate, no fear!
refugees are welcome here!”

iron bars drop down
caging the tax-free stores
and those left inside.
swine in blue stand guard,
serving the specter of capital,
protecting private property,
leaving us to fend
for ourselves.

we march, a thousand strong,
in solidarity with those across
this divided State,
climb on their tables
and roar into our megaphones
a twenty-first century update
to Pastor Niemöller’s poem:

first they came
for the Muslims
and we said,
“not today,
*******!”
In the wake of the orange fascist's Muslim Ban, which restricted immigrants and refugees from entering this country, local activists took to MCO to protest. Our show of solidarity ultimately helped free three human beings returning from overseas who'd been detained under *******-up executive orders.
1.1k · Jan 2016
placebo
Pearson Bolt Jan 2016
the rain fell so i kept my head down
chance alone piqued my interest and
through water-logged glasses i saw
him sitting on the front steps of an
old Lutheran church built from stone
in 1886 if the proud sign on the front
lawn was to be believed

the oak doors were chained shut

it's been four years since i asked myself
what would Jesus do
instead i wondered
what she'd do in my shoes
so i offered him my last slice
of Karma Kollision and he said
god bless you and i replied
stay warm
this world is cold

placebos like religion
might work miracles for Atlanta's
rich white mannequins
but sugar pills can't fill
a broken man's empty stomach
1.1k · Feb 2017
punch
Pearson Bolt Feb 2017
the donkeys bray
and panic
when bricks
fly through
bank windows.
gobsmacked,
the ***** ogle
the trashed Starbucks
and ask,
"but...who will serve us
cappuccinos?"

the elephants intone,
"violence is never the answer"
and neglect to add
that's why they pilot
remote-operated
predator drones:
you won't see those stomped
in the elephants' stampede.
their ***** wars are covert.
peace cannot interrupt
the cash-flow.

as pigs fit armor over
bellies buttressed
by doughnuts,
they stare down
the wolf pack—a bloc
awash in black—
and slap their sticks
in primitive percussion
shouting, "do not resist,"
punctuating the order
with concussion grenades
and tear gas.

the wolves howl back, "no cops,
no KKK, no fascist USA!"
equal parts bark and bite
in the fight for humanity,
solidarity with the least of these,
laughing in the face of the State.
each time the wolves show their teeth,
the pigs shrink back
and quiver in fear,
while the wolves roar,
"refugees are welcome here!"
we will make racists
afraid again.
antifa, here to stay
so long as there remain
Nazis to punch in the face.
Last night, a decentralized coalition of antifascists, anti-capitalists, and anarchists shut down the speech of an alt-***** **** at UC Berkeley. Courageous students refused to sit by idle while hate speech was given a stage on their campus. I wrote this poem in solidarity with all those who took to the streets to resist fascism.

https://canipunchnazis.com/
1.0k · Jan 2016
black hole
Pearson Bolt Jan 2016
and it was as if
the entire universe
shrank to the size
of a microscopic dot
and found its niche
perched atop
my chest

there it lingers
spinning
at once
an unstoppable force
and an immovable object
a paradox of
time and space

void

a black hole the
size of a quark
swallowing everyone and
everything with an
appetite unlike anything
anyone in the galaxy
had ever seen

so complete was its
crushing gravity that
nothing escaped its grasp

neither fire
nor ash
not life
not death

its emptiness was total
it gobbled up the light
and garbled what mangled
remnants of hope remained
contracting on the event
horizon's scope before

digesting the detritus
in a series of  
torturous depravities that
would make even
Marquis de Sade
tremble with a mix
of shock and awe
in his padded cell as
he begged a nonexistent
god for forgiveness
1.0k · Nov 2016
consume
Pearson Bolt Nov 2016
come one, come all.
gather 'round, gather 'round the table.
you'll find your invitations—
corporations' coupons—packed
between stories of Indigenous
People, shot by militarized cops in riot gear.
Water Protectors defending the river
while a black snake rears to poison the well.
tear gas, rubber bullets, and concussion grenades
replace ragged blankets draped in smallpox.
a tradition rooted in genocide
upheld in frigid North Dakota.
no need to ponder
the lasting legacy
of a leader who campaigned
on "hope" and "change." a hypocrite
continuing a tradition of colonial
aggression, lying by omission.
just another facet
of his presidential profession.
so drown the news of a fascist's
election in gravy and eggnog,
viscous substances to gorge
yourselves on. Nazis vandalizing
black churches with swastikas
must've escaped your notice.
vacuous, preaching
that Jesus is the reason
for the season, but i think
your savior would flip
your Thanksgiving Table over.
flimsy pretenses of gratitude
discarded hours later, chasing deals
before your stomach could even settle.
your brand new 4K TV
cost you over $4K, but couldn't give you
a clearer picture. you continue to disregard
the smoke signs and headlines,
pursuing the material.
consume!
I wrote this poem this weekend, sickened by the ads and coupons distracting from the election of a fascist, the opppression of the Indigenous Peoples defending Standing Rock, and the reprehensible acquiescence of the neoliberal hack in the Oval Office.
1.0k · Mar 2016
witches
Pearson Bolt Mar 2016
witches adorn the front covers
of ecofeminist zines
in an anarchist bookstore
nestled on the Left Bank
of Seattle's waterfront

rare rays of sunlight
filter through sheer curtains
photons glimmering
through fading droplets
clinging to cracked panes
refracting multicolor

i sit in the window-seat
listening to a homeless
balladeer's somber renditions
of Jonny Cash and Woodie Guthrie
serenading the locals bustling
down Pike Street Market
while the Olympic Mountains
keep their vigil
across a lonely bay

Emma Goldman whispers
for Alexander Berkman
and i balance on mismatched cushions
considering Proudhon's insistent
inquiries while Bakunin smirks  
nursing secret heresies of insurrection

colorful posters are paper-machéd
across the walls with slogans of struggle
scrawled in sisterhood and solidarity
stickers plaster the narrow halls
encouraging visitors to Smash Capitalism!
or Read A ******* Book
as jam-packed patrons chance
sly peaks at the black flag
suspended in the back room

a faint breeze flutters intermittently
drifting across the open threshold
lifting spirits as if sifting
through grains of sand
not unlike a child
digging for answers
armed with one
monosyllabic question

why?

the banner
cheerfully pirouettes  
for a revolution
without dancing
is not one worth having
1.0k · Feb 2017
return
Pearson Bolt Feb 2017
i hung myself
from your lips
the first time
we kissed,
a transcendent
moment, shining
effervescent
as the sun.

love was the rope
i wound into a noose
on that rooftop.
an audience of stars
looked on, voyeurs
lightyears beyond.

years have lapsed since then,
but i return invariably
to those moments we spent
absorbed to the point of ecstasy
as if time were a flat circle
and i was meant to live eternally
caught between the fragments
of those seconds.

fixated by the temporary transgressions
we permit ourselves
every few months.
revolving like a planet
tethered to its star
by the insistent arms of gravity.
we're partners in crime, stealing borrowed time,
trying in vain to recreate
the first fissures
of a friendship
that fractured our lives
like a fragmentation grenade.

consistently,
i become convinced,
as time moves on
and i remain transfixed,
that maybe i was meant to love
but not be loved in return.
1.0k · Sep 2015
hell
Pearson Bolt Sep 2015
they say the road to hell
is paved with golden intentions
and they are not mistaken i
see it's latent
hidden within psychosocial declarations
of everlasting love from a narcissistic god
i don’t give much credence to
the insistent proclamations of eternal
damnation in a metaphysical realm
of torment and brimstone but

don’t get me wrong
i’ve seen hell in the
wolfish grins of pilfering preachers
in the glassy eyes of opiated masses
i was careful when i stared
into that dark abyss
knowing it glared right back at me
emphatically declaring that i
was the lost sheep
a fallen brother separated
from the good shepherd’s flock
a prodigal son isolated in
alienating atheism but

i’ve come to love my
outcast status i’d rather
rot in the dirt after
raising hell on Earth
than suffer rebirth in ethereal bliss
espousing endless reiterations
of worship for a
fictitious megalomaniac

god is dead we killed him
deicide stains these hands
in shades of scarlet and crimson
the triumph of humanity will not
fade once again to the putrid
obeisance and ridiculous reverence
or religious references to divinity

salvation lies within

two decades of dedication
to the Christian ideal
left me dejected rejecting the
shallow lies and overt
misconceptions of religion
chose to begin again in the
reclamation of self-determination
i found a dignity independent from
a deity perpetuating guilt and regret
and though i will never forget the
progressive lessons of a radical rabbi
offering a message of hope and forgiveness
i’ve found that those same tenants
are seriously lacking in the
contemporary Christian church

if your god is
omnipotent and not
merely impotent
than tell me why he
needs you to
defend him

come on coward
if you’re real
show yourself
here’s the chance to
prove me wrong
sling lightning from the skies
and take my life i’m
not afraid i’m ready to die
and part from the suffering
that inundates this existence

strike me down and remove
all doubt of your majestic malevolence
a malfeascent adolescent prone
to fits of jealous rage and
temporal temper tantrums

that’s what i thought

i only hear the sounds of
a theological clown show
self-styled scholars enumerating  
passages of mercy and compassion
in the same holy text that condones
**** and slavery and child abuse
which would be ironic if it
hadn't been slapped together over
centuries of violence and bloodshed
and used to justify two millennia's worth of
repressive oppression a
putrescent obsession with control

it's true what Sartre said
hell is other people
and we have No Exit
from the depravity that
obfuscates critical inquiry
in the immortal words of
Shakespeare the nether-realms
are emptied all the devils are here

your god maybe a figment of
fantastic imagination but so
much horror has been wrought
with his name as the justification

so forgive me if i seem hyperbolic
but it is no exaggeration  
when i declare that religion itself
is a hell from which we're still
trying desperately to wake up
The first poem I ever posted on this website was called "heaven." This is a less subtle response to that poem.
1.0k · Nov 2016
pursue
Pearson Bolt Nov 2016
if i were to ask
if you'd prefer the truth
over happiness, would you take
the red pill or the blue?

in Your Heart is a Muscle
the Size of a Fist
, Sunil Yapa
writes, "care too much
and this world will **** you cold."
but there is no greater love
than this: i'll lay my life down
for both strangers and friends.

it's true what the adages say.
knowledge may yet yield power,
but most find bliss
in fictitious myths.
the tyranny of dead deities
cajoles the soulless, self-inflicted
ignorance claps the mind in shackles,
a brain neutered by obedient acquiescence.

there is a somber courage in sobriety.
i'll deny until i die, defying the urge
to idolize a substance that distracts
the mind from misery. i choose to question
everyone and everything,
even if a clear-head invites
utter agony. conviction is certainly
a long and lonely road, but our integrity
is the very last inch of us and—within
that inch—we are free.

so steadfast, i remain
a stone anchored to the riverbed
by the weight of gravity and the rushing
tides eroding me. we'll stand strong
in solidarity with all those suffering,
opposing the specter of dominance, illusory
as a phantom, ephemeral as the passage
of time. i'll unleash an omnipotent psyche,
inspired by the insight found in the closing lines
of a punk and artist's call-to-arms:

pursue what haunts you.

if the truth terrifies you, good.
that is precisely what veracity
ought to do.
I wrote this after reading one of my student's essays. Though this poem focuses on a theme I've visited often, sometimes a fresh mind catalyzes new insight. Eternally grateful that I get to spend time learning from such erudite human beings.
1.0k · Feb 2017
routine
Pearson Bolt Feb 2017
i make love with Death every night.

during the day, we go our separate
ways, but she's always on my mind.
after work, we meet up.
same routine. dinner, occasionally.
but always drinks.

she downs a bottle
of Cabernet
with no help
from me.
the red compliments
her dress and flushes
her cheeks with pink.
i just take coffee. black.

afterwards, she needs
a lift home. i'm her dd.
the city lights blur
indigo and violet,
blossoming like flowers
in the pavement
of the night sky.

we arrive. she invites
me to come inside,
looks me in the eye,
says, "i love you."

i believe her,
even though i know
it's a lie.

the minutes hang thick.
while she sobers up,
we roll dice
and tell stories.

then, breathless and slick,
it begins in the kitchen.
gasps come in spasms, pulsing
in tandem with our obsessive—
compulsive—desire.
we continue beneath the duvet.
i sample the flesh between her legs.
she tastes like pomegranate
and bruised starfruit. her sweat
is second-hand smoke. my brain buzzes
from Marlboro Lite cigarettes.

afterwards, we lay over the sheets
as the ceiling fan rotates eternally
overhead, humming a tune we both hear
in our dreams but cannot comprehend.  
her head rests on my chest,
she loses herself in the gaps
between each heartbeat.

wordless, we drift.

when i wake, she's always gone.
the space in bed beside me
has grown cool. jealously,
i wish Death had taken me with her.
977 · Jan 2016
Pearson Bolt Jan 2016
in the words of
a reverend and a King
human salvation
lies in the hands
of the creatively
maladjusted

defamiliarize the chaos

an absent-minded apparatus
addling brain cells
checks and balances
proliferate a status quo
of enmity and aggression that
propagates oppression and
dismantles genuine political
expression for those outside
the whitewashed coffin

recognize the enemy
in our own eyes as we
eradicate the apathy that
leeches liberty and
fabricates freedom

reformist rhetoric is
too little too late
revolutions are cyclical
and ultimately infantile

so fan the flames of rebellion
destruction precedes creation
raise hell and raze the system
of enmity that pits
7.4 billion
brothers and sisters
against each other

anarchy is order
MLK, Jr.
965 · May 2016
may(day)
Pearson Bolt May 2016
they sentenced anarchy to death in 1887.
in the wake of the Haymarket Affair,
they tried in vain to hang a fifth figure
on a chilly November day,
attempted to fit a noose
on an idea that's bullet-proof.

solidarity.
liberty.
equality.

a refrain that remains in remembrance
of Engel, Fischer, Parsons, Spies,
and every man, woman, and child
whose life was robbed by the State
before his or her time.

a mantra celebrating the universal
qualities capable of unifying humanity
even in the face of an apparatus arraigned
to divide
and segregate.

we march in Chicago and Seattle,
in Toronto and NYC,
continuing the fight they began
for dignity and a living wage—
our burning rage growing to a conflagration
as we wave black flags and reclaim
the city streets from killer cops
and corporate oligarchs.

authority an illusion we will shed  
in the tides of black and red, united
against injustice.
"The time will come when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you strangle today."
- August Spies, anarchist & labor organizer

In solidarity with those protesting across the globe for a living wage, this poem is dedicated to the memory of the Haymarket 8 and every other anarchist prisoner in the world today.
946 · Feb 2016
green
Pearson Bolt Feb 2016
the marks of abandoned faith
are etched into her flesh
a sheep beneath a lonely flag
a crescent moon hidden under her arm
tattooed remnants of a dead deity
neither of us believe in anymore

with each declaration
of secularization anointing
scarlet lips
i yearn to reach out
with fingertips and rhetoric
to more intimately understand
a dizzying intellect
she shares willingly

a life plagued by faith
scarred by family
trying their best
and failing
miserably

she glances at me furtively
eyes as green as the foliage
of ancient trees
standing watch
over whispering rivers
in silent summers
long forgotten

she holds my gaze

we recognize
ourselves
in one another
there is trust
and intimacy
solidarity in suffering

she smiles
when she thinks
i'm no longer looking
After presenting papers at a conference, I had a random conversation with a classmate and colleague about life and death and religion and purpose and I was struck at once by her intellect and her eyes.
922 · Jan 2017
ark
Pearson Bolt Jan 2017
ark
we have been deceived.
corralled like tepid sheep,
fattened beef
waiting beyond
the doors of the slaughterhouse.

as pigs lick their lips,
a daemon’s death dirge drifts
listless across the
Atlantic, an erratic dichotomy
corroding rationality—
this executive edict
barring refugees.

caught without a compass,
a flotilla of ships weathering
the elements.
for forty days
and forty nights,
we’ve been lead
two-by-two
by elephants
and donkeys.

demagogues commandeered
the lighthouse, directing
our ark across
scattered rocks.
an armada
of shattered splinters,
remnants of water-logged vessels
we’d hoped to sail to utopia.

caught in the webs
we wove, droves
of drones spewing
bombs across Aleppo.

as spittle collects
on spluttering orange lips,
will we
pause
for but a moment?

collect
our thoughts.
reflect.
history is a shattered
mirror and we’ve pricked
our fingers trying
to piece the image
back together.

there’s a hunger
for blood
refracting in our eyes.
a misanthropy
that smarts and stings.

a recalcitrant population
coerced by a television
rhetorician’s clever
devices, devised
to separate and segregate
during this crisis
caused by our missiles.

there is no moral arc
to the universe. hope,
Hedges wrote, is mania
if it remains vapid
and refuses to address
the depravity of our
physical reality.

we’ve already lost.
just ask the children
barely clinging to life,
covered in the debris
of their former homes.

all that’s left for us
is to bash the fascists.
smash every illusory border
in our heads and hearts.
burn down the walls
they try to build
around us.

overturn the tables
of the oligarchs,
stuff Molotov cocktails
down their bloated throats.
open revolt is our only hope.
we’ll build a sanctuary
in this City Beautiful.
ark:

noun
1.
(sometimes initial capital letter). Also called Noah's Ark. the large boat built by Noah in which he saved himself, his family, and a pair of every kind of creature during the Flood. Gen. 6–9.
2.
Also called ark of the covenant. a chest or box containing the two stone tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments, carried by the Israelites in their wanderings in the desert after the Exodus: the most sacred object of the tabernacle and the Temple in Jerusalem, where it was kept in the holy of holies.
3.
a place of protection or security; refuge; asylum.
4.
(initial capital letter) Judaism. Holy Ark.
5.
a flatboat formerly used on the Mississippi River and its tributaries.
6.
Nautical. life car.
7.
Archaic. a chest or box.
922 · Feb 2016
glacier
Pearson Bolt Feb 2016
there is a glacier
partially concealed
melting from a climactic
climate shift revealing a
reality congealed by revolt

rebels burdened with
a philosophy that
elevates humanity
insisting we will not grovel
before a vain messiah
espousing erroneous
iterations of ideology

will the human race permit
the iceberg to dissolve
as vapid reformist
rhetoric inundates our
political consciousness with
pragmatic progressivism

or will we rise in resistance
with the radicals
fists clenched in protest and
hands outstretched to one
another rather than
lifted high in praise to a savior as we
witness the glacier solidify once more

as CO2 perforates our atmosphere
with heady highs and noxious toxins
will we succumb like dumbfounded
addicts intoxicated by inoculation
consuming the opiated semantics
of charismatic personas or will we

challenge the corrupt
with our wits about us
facing the sobering corporate
corporeality with the pride
of lions facing a den of thieves

abandon the chosen champion
of the vanguard party
we stand hand-in-hand
7 billion
sisters and brothers
in an anthemic chorus of

solidarity that shakes the
bastions of the enthroned
with the resounding shouts of
perseverance in our
non-compliant defiance

our manifestos are written
in the blood sweat and tears
we've shed for this
dream deferred
and we will not be the
silent majority anymore

the masque of anarchy
is ours to share
will we wear its visage
or will hell freeze over
before we choose
freedom
over happiness
"The choice for mankind lies between freedom and happiness and for the great bulk of mankind, happiness is better."
- George Orwell
898 · Jan 2017
monkey-wrench
Pearson Bolt Jan 2017
i brushed the tips
of her fingers
amidst the PVC pipe
as we sat
linked together
in lock-down.

our forearms stained blue
from the paint and tar
plastered to plastic,
holding down
the chicken-wire
purposefully designed
to make sawing us out
more difficult.

water protectors
chained together,
risking arrest,
the shackles a symbol
that we were willing
to trade our freedom
to save planet earth
from the 6th extinction.

sweat glued garments to skin
as the sun baked down from the heavens.
even if we failed today
to throw a wrench in the works,
still we rage against the machine,
still we sing our refrain endlessly:

*the people gonna rise like the water.
we're gonna face this crisis now.
i hear the voice of my great granddaughter
singing, "shut this pipeline down."
it's bigger than a paycheck.
it's bigger than a job.
if you won't respect our Mother,
we won't respect your laws.
http://www.wctv.tv/content/news/Hundreds-protest-construction-of-Sabal-Trail-Pipeline-in-Suwannee-410736995.html
898 · May 2017
cairn
Pearson Bolt May 2017
anxiety guillotine, hanging
from a thread, suspended above
my sunburnt neck. i'm utterly spent.
another day, back bent in the stocks,
latched in for the Kafka-esque:

carnivalesque body-horror.
shovel white-hot daggers
beneath finger-nail keratin.
bite my tongue off with police-tape teeth.
sadist, savor my godless screams.

drawn and quartered. send my limbs
to the map's furthest corners.
horseflies' aborted eggs
nest amidst maggot-infested
intestines, dangerously dangling.

turn my frown upside down.
stick a razor-blade
in my mouth
and pull 'till i grin
like chelsea.

interned within an unmarked grave,
save for the cairn made from the same stones
i flung myself upon from a great height. a wave
dashed against the rocks, endlessly rebuffed—
the sea's clairvoyance couldn't budge the boulder.
What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?
889 · Sep 2015
semantics
Pearson Bolt Sep 2015
aren't we just arguing semantics
like we always do
our hearts race at a
breakneck pace there are
two sides to every story but
even two is
far too few

we're spinning in aimless
circles hopeless amiss without
a clue as to how we ought
to navigate this disparate landscape
of emotional turmoil
that soars at moments in the clouds
above Mt. Everest peaking exuberantly  
at stars through thinning atmospheres
before plummeting to an abyss
darker and deeper than Mariana's
Trench on a journey to the center of
this floating rock we call Earth

we carry our emotional baggage on the
roundtrip non-stop four and a
half billion year long sojourn
though time and space
weathering calamities unlike
any epoch ever known to sentient life

the five great extinctions snuffed
out the light of trillions of organisms
vanished without so much as a trace
and yet this sole sensation of
depravity has me spiraling like a
kamikaze hell-bound and split
apart like a molecule undergoing
mitosis i feel as if i'm being ripped
from you and i do not have the
answers to all these questions poised
inside my mind floating about

not unlike secrets in a glass case
the steel claw descends
and tries to clasp onto
one thought from the trove but
slips loose and my tenuous grasp
on reality skips hand-in-
hand with it free-falling in slow
motion right through the
cracks in the floor

i know this might
sound abstract or absurd but not a
night drifts past when i don't wish
it was you i was holding against my
chest rather than this lumpy pillow that
lies cold still and motionless

after we first kissed i remember
thinking you tasted faintly of
pomegranate and i can't forget the
sandpaper tiles of the roof on our bare
skin or the not-so-quiet gasps
that slipped past your lips as
your hips clenched tightly about my wrist
a wet warmth spread out released in
willing ecstasy to ease my curiosity
a faint scent of alcohol lingering in
the sweet sweat of your ******
my heart still starts to shake and shudder with
a sort of anxious bliss at just the thought of it

and while you insist
you're polyamorous
i see nothing short of the
universe gleaming solely within your
cosmic eyes and i nurse the quiet
knowledge that we might
never share another
night so i will try my best
to set this love aside

yet for better or worse
i nurse the private hope
that we'll be partners-in-crime
smashing the Patriarchy and
vanquishing capitalism and traveling
the world but for now
all i want is to hold you through
the darkness and drift asleep to the
cadence of your heartbeat
one last time
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