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Pearson Bolt Sep 2015
did you know
if you earn $34k a year or more
you're in the top 1% of all the world

if that's the joke then
where's the punch-line
did i miss it somewhere
in the attempt to justify
political suicide

how could that appease
those of us groveling on our knees
living hand-to-mouth
from paycheck to paycheck
as the world's 80 richest billionaires
who control 50% of the world's wealth
do whatever they **** well please

by all means
fact check me if you don't trust my
ridiculously overpriced master's degree
in literary cultural and textual studies
because let's face it
we've all heard the jokes
an English diploma means jack-****
in this morally bankrupt economy
where literacy is literally repressed as a
way of keeping the downtrodden oppressed

a healthy discussion where we ask
critical questions is the natural synthesis
of any democratic debate and
challenging each other is a stellar
way to cultivate the intellectually irate but
let's not divide and instigate after all
unnecessary altercations over
trivial factoids only distract
us from the realists' explanation

we are ******
the world is burning all around us
200 species perish every single day
as we exorcise fossil fuels
and melt the polar ice caps
pumping oil into gas-guzzling SUVs
and CO2 into the air we share as

we poison the wellsprings of hope
with idiosyncratic politicians
who force idiotic semantics
down our throats until
we choke and splutter and mutter
beneath our breath about
how things used to be and how
we'd be happier if we just followed
passively like gentle sheep adhering to
the edicts and decrees of the
corporocratic oligarchy

see
i'm not standing here defaming
or complaining on the contrary
i'm stalwart in proclaiming that
if we don't pause to consider
the way we're fanning
the flames razing this
planet we will no longer
have a globe to call our home

with all due respect
there's no chance in hell
that i'll just sit back and laugh
while the Empire grows and
consumes life liberty and happiness

gorging itself on the apathy of
the well-adjusted privileged white kids
who don't blink twice at the
homeless transgender teenager
hiding out on the stoop of a
fair-trade coffee house to avoid
the Florida rain or the corpse
of a drowned emaciated Syrian toddler
buried face-down in the sand
or the arrest of Sandra Bland for
failing to use a
turn signal or put
out her cigarette
tell me how such
a mundane gesture of
defiance could warrant
the admonishment that
tied a noose around her neck

the 1% is not a people group
it is an idea nurtured at the behest
of capitalist demagogues
that inundate our culture with
fantasies of American exceptionalism
let's face it the only thing exceptional
about this lackluster nation
is the fact that we have the world's
largest prison population per capita
due in no small part
to vindictive laws that target
the poor and clap them in chains

it isn't Us vs. Them
that is the nefarious toxin that
brainwashes and destroys
community and philanthropy
if we would truly call ourselves
lovers of humanity than we must
muster the humility to admit that
we all have certain degrees
of light and dark
each of us on a spectrum
oscillating in stark contrast

it is We the People vs. the State
that three-tiered hydra that
guards the estates of the elite
and leaves others starving out
in the streets
a system predicated on
setting the classes against themselves
a self-perpetuating leviathan
looming god-like overhead
nurtured by the treatises of
outdated 18th century philosophers

the social contract is a lie
i didn't sign my life away
on some dotted line
so that my freedom and
independence could be usurped
by the stupendous guise of
capitalism masquerading as
the harbinger of harmony

we're not demanding economic
equality but fiscal equity
a concept that each man
and woman and child can
live and love in
comfort and in health and
worry not for the future
generations because a system
of slavery no longer exists
to inundate their lives
with shallow labor
'till they perish

if we sit idly and watch our
culture continue to chortle and
spiral into the idolatry of political celebrity
we may forget that the people
have the capacity to
reclaim our stolen dignity
hoarded by the specter of power

Foucault once wrote that dominance
cultivates resistance and i am the
expression of that latter people's movement
one aspect of an anthemic chorus
singing in unilateral unison as
the glass castles of the State come crashing down

equal to each and every sister
brother to seven billion
rebel with a cause
now
tell me
will you join
your voice with ours
'cause trust me we need
all the help that we can get
I write a lot of political poems. This is one of 'em. The other night at an open mic, a comedian—trying to be clever, I presume—pointed out that if you make $34k a year or more, you earn more money than 99% of the world. This is my response.
Pearson Bolt Jul 2017
we fell like a swell of rising seas, swarming the capitol city:
D.C., a bastion of vitriol, bigotry, and inequality.
we were demonstrating in the streets when she kneeled on the concrete,
a bit of scarlet chalk treasured in the palm of her hand. all around,
people were dancing, singing, laughing. she smiled to herself and peered
over at me when she thought i wasn’t looking. a paisley red bandana hung
from her neck like some outlaw out of the wild, wild west,
challenging all authority. grim cops looked on, faces obscured
by matte-black helmets, guarding the twisted tower looming over our globe
like an ancient deity out of time and space, a leviathan effacing the world.
she etched a symbol of defiance and solidarity into the cement and, in that moment,
she embodied anarchy, the mother of order, a guiding north-star.

***

Turnover spills from the speakers. she hums along, her foot on the dashboard, tap-
tap-tapping along in-tune, attuned to the road, nose buried in an Angela y Davis book.
North Carolina interstates fly past us and i wonder absently
if the words hit home for her, too:
losing you was like cutting my fingers off.
you can catch a glimpse of grief
in her eyes if the morning light’s just right,
filtering like a double-shot of caffeine into your bloodstream
through the forest canopy flanking the highway.
you can feel the melancholic heart-ache lingering
like old wounds even time can’t seem to heal whenever she forces a smile
and pretends to be—if not happy—then at least “alright.”

***

authenticity is our only refuge against the creeping ennui,
the choking vise-grip of social hierarchy. how seldom do we rise
like lions from slumber? shake off these chains of misery.
empathy leaves us crippled constantly, wishing we were dead—
believe me, i share your burden. it’s been said that our integrity
is the very last inch of us, small and fragile. yet, within that inch,
we are free. so, braveheart, find your feet. this dying world so desperately
deserves a love as beautiful as yours, yearning to set the captives
against their masters. and when we shake the streets once again,
pirouetting beneath a banner slashed with black and red,
beloved, do not forget that you, too, are endlessly adored.
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
Pearson Bolt Feb 2017
a phone call
from area code 772.
Jensen Beach, FL.
a retreat beside the waves.
a refuge built
so far away
to keep you safe
and help you
recuperate.

i slide my thumb across the screen,
busting the chains of my purgatory.
you pause briefly,
right before you say, "Hello, Pearson."
your inflection hangs
on my name,
as if to hold me
in your mouth.
i linger in your lungs
like the smoke
from your favorite
cigarettes.
when you breathe
me out, i hear the sigh
of relief, signaling how much
you'd hoped i'd pick up.

you say, "so,
tell me something new."
a detail i neglected to include
in one of the daily letters
i'd sent to you. absently,
i search for a subject.
anything. but all
that comes to mind
is, "god, you've no idea
how much i've missed you.
it's so good to hear you speak."

five minutes. that's all.
i wish i'd had more time.
i would've used my tongue
to gently ply
your contours
and tantalize your mind.
i once built a home
inside your psyche.
a dragon usurped my throne,
but only temporarily.
i returned with an army
of those who'd die
to liberate you.
so permit me to feed
your creativity,
enabling your addiction
to my free-verse.

don't mind me
as i continually use
my poetry to clean
up the place.
i'll weave you a tapestry
of multicolor. you've kicked
the habit, but you still fancy
the way my lyrics get
your knees knocking,
your body quaking.
you couldn't quit me
even if you wanted to.

so, i'll remain
in the secret places
of your brain, building bridges
across rivers of synaptic gaps
until, one day,
you'll find me spray-painting graffiti
in your dopamine cathedral.
you'll ask, "after all this time?"

and i'll say, "always."
i'll plant new seeds
until i run out of letters
to string together. with each
polyrhythmic twirl,
a dexterous melody
will exacerbate your ecstasy,
each stanza a slick finger
slipping beneath
your skin, leaving you
calling out my name again.
Pearson Bolt Apr 2017
you keep your lighter
sandwiched in a niche amidst
the Spirit cigarettes
you carry, a spark
hidden in the breast-pocket
of the jacket you borrowed
from me several months ago
and neglected to give back.
like Prometheus, pilfering fire
from the gods, you stole
the warmth from the stars
and built a hearth
in my chest, a warmth
nurtured by the mirth
that tugs at the corners
of your mouth every time
you laugh at my expense.
i'll cherish your candle close
to my heart, even when life
inevitably tears us apart.
everything ends eventually,
but at least we lived
as if we'd never burn out.
National Poetry Month, Day 5.
Pearson Bolt Oct 2016
over six hundred thousand seconds
have passed since i heard from you
ten-thousand-some-odd minutes
have stretched between now and the moment  
your name last illuminated a digital screen
a hundred and sixty-eight hours
since we bid each other adieu
one bleak week weak-kneed
beneath the guillotine of agony

and though i'm still far from immune
i've started ******* poison from the wounds
siphoning the anguish you left in an absence
perforated with melancholy spells
and existential hells that leave me
writing poetry at 3:00 o'clock
in the ******* morning
mourning friends who became lovers
only to turn to strangers once again

am i expecting too much of you
does the blame fall squarely on yours truly
or do we share this guilty burden equally
if it takes two to tango then certainly
it must take two to kiss but
patriarchy has me questioning
everyone and everything
most of all me
wondering if i ruined our fragile unity

but if i know one thing
it's that your lips gushed when i brushed them
with my fingertips and i still hear the faint gasp
as you begged me to dip within
inviting me with your breathless panting catching
like sugared candy on the tip of your tongue
intermingling with the sticky-sweet scent
of sweat and ***
you whispered my name as you came
on a moonlit drive home and held my hand firm
like it belonged inside your contours

i'll set my phone back down on the pillow
where i wish your head laid beside me
and pray to a god i don't believe in
to break insomnia's grip so i might slip beneath
a comforter of dreamless sleep
only to wake and find your name
displayed prominently beneath
the time and date
Pearson Bolt Mar 2017
disciples stumbling
in and out
of the darkness—
blind faith
in this or that
substance.

abusing
the psyche
with sycophantic
fantasies of liberty.
one step after the other.

the needle, the crackpot,
the Bible. all symptoms
of the same psychosis.
trade one god for another.
nothing but crutches
crafted from driftwood.

i have a problem
with a program
that fails 90%
of the time,
purporting to save
addicts by hooking
them on another
worthless fix.
The 12 Step Program doesn't work. Trading one addiction for another is a recipe for disaster.
Pearson Bolt Apr 2017
you are a kaleidoscope
of oscillating multicolor.
a spectral spectrum,
at once
elusive and constant.
i couldn't decipher
your wavelength  
if i wanted to.
instead,
i lie awake
every night
and pretend
i'll be fine
without your fire.
i can't seem
to find the nerve
to douse the flame.
so i spin Jane Doe
and let Converge
sing me to sleep.
your name
is still my password.
National Poetry Month, Day 25.
6
Pearson Bolt Sep 2015
6
six weeks later
i can still taste the
faint scent of liquor on
your breath the remnant
of our most recent tryst

the way you bit your
lip and grinned at me
your eyes flashed with
forbidden mischief
when i asked
if i could kiss you

we entangled
ourselves for a moment
extricated from the miasma
of complications our
bodies speaking words
in an ancient language
too sincere to
be misunderstood

six days ago
you asked me not
to write anymore
poems about you

i'd made you shake
your eyes rolled back
with ecstatic envy
in rhythm with  
an ode in the vein
of e.e. cummings that left
you quaking on the
brink of bliss
waging an internal war
fighting the impulse
to release the avalanche
of affection latent in
our day-to-day conversations

why stop the flow of words
tell me true my friend
my love
my muse

riddle me this
what would you have me do
when every line i pen starts
and ends with you
Pearson Bolt Dec 2016
i built god in your image.
an entity guised in black, clutching
half-a-pack of cigarettes, erudite
and attractive, smoldering
as dark matter, spinning incessantly
like a compass distracted by a magnet.

heaven was hanging from your lips,
momentarily adrift, caught like a meteor
en route between two planets,
tethered by tendrils of gravity.

agony
is continually waking
to your absence.
life wouldn't be hell
without hope.
"If god did not exist, it would be necessary to invent [her]."
- Voltaire
Pearson Bolt Aug 2015
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 for each of us
to see the world independently
unaligned with ignorant ideology
untainted by nefarious nationality
but nurtured rather on the premise that reality
is the faculty of the mentally complete
who realize if we don't pause in our
crusade to exterminate each other we will
ultimately deplete what it is that makes us

sentient beings possessed with the will to
determine our own future
divorced from the vestiges of arbitrary
authority we might still muster the courage
to reject this putrid dichotomy that inundates
every aspect of our humanity with utter
lies and disjointed hypocrisies

we dare feign innocence when
blood saturates our hands
from the drones bombing
Yemen to the murdered children in Pakistan
our politicians are manufacturing new enemies
with every shot that rings out above
blood-soaked foreign lands
our taxes are their supply
endless war is their demand

it's written in our hallowed declaration
of independence which—of
late—seems groundless and impotent
that each of us are intrinsically
entitled to life and liberty
and the pursuit of happiness and that
it is not merely our right but our
obligation to abolish this
representative republic so destructive
to those ends

anarchy is our next great adventure

after all it seems glaringly clear to
me that there are few distinguishable
differences between the eighteenth century
monarchy and our present day corporate oligarchy
the interests of the people are mitigated to
pitched elections between two indistinguishable
political parties that infuse our world not with
democracy but with hegemony
they're content to watch the world rot

this is not the land of the free
it hasn't been since bison roamed
across midwestern plains and
Native Americans communed with
the Mother we all share
everything changed when white
puritans fleeing persecution
spread religion like a festering ulcer oozing
poison into the zeitgeist psyche
a hive-mind mentality that fosters
brainlessness and stifles free inquiry
gods gold and glory

we need to learn to disobey before
it's too late to erase the mistakes of
the apathetic elite who've apprehended
our liberty and co-opted our ingenuity
for projects feeding capitalist insanity

we must rekindle the insurrectionary spirit of
the creative, dedicated minority
who rose up in the 50's and 60's and
fought not with fists and guns
but with words and deeds
against war and poverty and
white supremacist patriarchy

nurture the embers and fan the flames
of the Black Lives Matter
organizers swarming the stages of
defunct politicians like Hillary Clinton
and Bernie Sanders who propagate
the status quo
pour gasoline on the fires raging
in the camps of Occupy
in Oakland and Wall St.
our modern day dissidents serve time in federal
penitentiaries for blowing the whistle
languishing in exile half-a-world away
they wear Guy Fawkes masks and hack
anonymously from the deep web
exposing state secrets and war crimes
sometimes they look a lot like you and
you'd best believe they look like me

no longer can we trust self-styled
leaders of the free world
if we labor to cultivate our
own communities that vaunt
authenticity above authority and
integrity instead of inanity
perhaps then we might recognize that
the impetus rests within the crux
of self-acceptance
and we all will say in unison
it starts with me
Pearson Bolt Apr 2016
one thousand and thirty-six miles
are What Separates You From Me
i've been avoiding the records
we'd spin as we drove down
I4 and A1A

you swore you hated this washed-up town
nestled in a fly-over state
but i cannot escape the way
you grit your teeth
when you first cursed my name

so i'll hide you in the back of my throat
hang you like a corpse
from an out-of-commission larynx
deadened by an absence of anthems
we used to breathe in unison

choke back my melancholy
'cause all my friends lose interest
whenever i recall your face
and i can't say i blame them
i just wish i could agree
that i am better off this way
Pearson Bolt Sep 2017
a knotted rope
hangs like a halo
over my head.
hope inscribed
in fragile reveries misread.
phantom limbs entwined
inside this bed
are nothing
but a cancer that leave me
wishing i was dead.

sleeping on street-corners
awash in yellow light,
haunted by the ghosts
of twilight’s resurrected life.
pervasive city smog
smothers distant nebulae.
restless,
i claw at my own skin,
desperate for respite.

the door
is cracked and ajar,
but you don’t want me
anymore.
so sew my eyelids open,
dig your needle in my skull.
tattoo tattered fragments
of memories i can’t forget.
Pearson Bolt Dec 2015
frigid homeless shivering
on Bank of America’s
front porch step  

propped up by
oligarchic investors and
solipsistic one-percenters

and we pass by
in apathetic
self-absorption

we are brainless
enraptured  by smartphones
while the State bombs
our neighbors

mutilating children
sowing seeds of terror
with every abuse of power

we convince ourselves
that there's an afterlife
and raze Earth
as we raise hell

the only home
we’re guaranteed
infinite growth in
a finite world
consuming joylessly

inculcated
inane and
vain beyond
all measure

we’ve ravaged the planet
we will all die

alone
As I walked through the streets of Orlando on the way back to my car after a show, I saw a homeless man sprawled out beneath the awning of a Bank of America. This poem is dedicated to him.
Pearson Bolt Mar 2015
the last time i feared dying
i was a twenty-year-old man
who'd just found out that
his best friend
was already dead

when i realized
god was a fraud
and this world was all
any of us
will ever have and
heaven is nothing
but a shadow of a sham
i promised myself i'd
never fear death again

i'd settled on the conclusion to
no longer live in
self-righteous delusion
rejecting collusion with the fork-tongues
whispering easy lies
fingers crossed

i traded my soul for a critical mind
and the Good Book for literature
art and science

and for the better part of
three years i lived by my own code
and apologized for nothing

but now i'm afraid to die again

it first happened on a moonlit night
we were both sweaty from days spent in lively theme parks and seedy concert halls
craft beer bars and quiet stardust cafés

a spirit of compassion
stretched
between you and i
like so many sinews
lashing ligaments
inseparable insufferable invaluable

and then it happened
beneath a careless canopy
sandpaper roof
grating tiles
pink flesh
soft insistent
fingers roaming
in out
hair
over under
clothes

common sense has been usurped by
human connection
emotional frailty

i do not want to die
i will fight against that
cold goodnight
i want to live in moments
like this
death can wait to attend me

i am weak i
can't loose the noose that ties
this millstone to the ***** in my chest
it drags my heart downwards
deeper into the abyss
which stares back at me with eyes
as vivid and intense
as a newborn galaxy
spewing clouds of hydrogen gas
in some endless
alternate universe
Pearson Bolt Apr 2016
the sun hangs itself in a noose of evening gloom
as we swear to gods we don't believe in
we'll be different  
that you and i will remain entwined
by the rhizomes rooting us
to this earth
and to each other

though the flame of romance may
one day flicker and fade
like the silver lighter in your trembling
half-frozen fingers each time you
light your cigarettes in Lamoni’s frigid winters
we promised to remain enshrined forever

but the words best friend have been redefined
how can i ignore the moment's hesitation
before you meet my eyes or the wings
of carrion fluttering in our chests
feasting on the flesh of crushed butterflies
that fled the prisons in our stomachs
choked within a chrysalis of expired affection

left with remnants
of an evanescent tryst birthed
beneath a new moon
as an intergalactic sky
sighed with bliss at our first kiss
reminding us we were born in the hearts
of dying stars and borne across the universe
to these moments that leave us
transfixed and effervescent

did those same suns foretell
that anguish would usurp the home
i built you in my mind
and love would die on a midnight
drive to Blythedale, Iowa

a reminder that always
is a little white lie
and its inflection denies
sincerity and integrity
in the heady high of affection
But always is always and always is valueless. I wish I'd never heard her speak a word.
- Jordan Dreyer
Pearson Bolt Apr 2015
twenty-three trips around the sun
just another insignificant planet
crowding a broiling ball of
hydrogen gas in one
of some hundred
billion galaxies

it's hard
not to wilt
by comparison
not even a quarter of a
century and for all i know i could
very well be dead tomorrow buried
three days hence never to walk the earth again

i am an amalgam of every person i meet
each event in this tumultuous tragedy
modifies me just as i alter the
universe with ripple effects
expanding ever onward
out into the cosmic
embrace of the
abyss

squeezed
out like paste
stretched like string
theory across parchment
paper—thin and fragile as i
hope in vain for some semblance
of significance to be lent to me on loan
if i want it i'll have to make it all on my own

but i'm growing older with every passing
moment and i'm not so certain this is
the route i've chosen anymore
i'll still carve my name into
this Earth but not for me
i'll lay down my life not
for my legacy but
for my neighbor
for all those i'll
never get to
meet

not out
of some youthful
idealism or ardent
child-like naiveté but
for an idea that's bigger
and brighter and better than
myself: universal brotherhood
peace and love goodwill towards
all lifeforms with whom we share this
tiny blue dot that we call planet Earth

and while i know i will hardly make a
difference in the grand scheme
of things at least i can say i
died a lion never living
on my knees

instead
i tried to live
my life so *******
brilliantly that even
Death feared to take
me into the nothingness

twenty-three trips around the sun
almost a quarter of a century
i won't let them steal my
hope from me i refuse
to bow to apathy i
stand strong on
my own feet
and say i'm
free
Having a birthday on Earth Day gets one thinking about the planet and its insignificance in the cosmos. If such a gigantic floating rock has no meaning, then our lives pale in comparison. Yet, however inevitable intelligent life may be in a universe with some 100 billion galaxies, each with hundreds of millions of stars, I like to think that there is still merit in choosing to treasure this moment. The entire universe has distilled infinite uniqueness in every organism on Earth. We are all star stuff.
Pearson Bolt Apr 10
they say lightning
never strikes
in the same place twice.
an energy
the best minds
could not tame—
electricity shattering
amethyst atoms,
violent and brilliant
and free.

purple is the color of our energy.
firework flowers detonating
magenta and blueberry
at the periphery of the pages
where you spilled
your lavender blood
for my eyes only—
a display of intimacy
breathed in the quiet
of the witching hour
the first night we spoke.

your voice
resurrects.
you slice through white space
like a warrior goddess,
deft and dexterous
acid rain chaos
ubiquitous vengeance
upon your enemies—
cloaked in the raven-feather
mantle of Morrigan,
a phantom queen.

you bring death
from a thousand cuts
of your ball-point pen.
Pearson Bolt Jan 2016
the song remains the same

short
frantic
fast

thirty seconds of
aggression and
distortion and
******* punk

radio pop follows a formula
where experiment is anathema
and the flavor is bland vanilla
even lines of simple rhymes
gently fragrant cadences
for inane entertainment

unlike crooning ballads that
meander through soundscapes
pondering existential enigmas
in time with rhythm and blues
the banjo strings accompanying a
shadow on horseback riding on towards
a sunset setting the world asunder

we are all concertos
symphonies of solemn symmetry
a myriad of harmonies acquiescing
to the meaningless tunes of the universe
whipped hither and yon by the whims of
chance and happenstance in this
tumultuous hurricane of existence

some songs have not yet reached their conclusion
one began the moment the galaxies were painted
in broad-strokes across a tapestry of vacant space
still more have lost a beat they can't repeat and remain  
forever frozen in anthologies kept in some ancient
library in an extra-dimensional plane
presided over by Father Time
a blind watchmaker created by the words that
sprung forth from cracked and withered pages
containing endless evanescent anthems
This is a poem about music that isn't about music.
Pearson Bolt Jan 2016
we abuse our
most precious tool
the human psyche

misuse the recognition of patterns
in inane sameness
epiphanies of apophenia
misguided musings muddling
our addled minds

wasting brainpower on
fantasies of deities rather
than scientific discoveries and
emancipatory philosophies that
could liberate us from the
miasma of modern life

inquiry is free
"The human talent for pattern-recognition is a two-edged sword: We’re especially good at finding patterns, even when they aren’t really there — something known as false pattern-recognition. We hunger for significance — for signs that our personal existence is of special meaning to the universe. To that end, we’re all too eager to deceive ourselves and others."
- Neil deGrasse Tyson
Pearson Bolt Jan 2016
hand-me-down lessons lifted
from leather-bound tomes
in iterations of half-hearted exultation
but i found definition in negation

i am the antichrist

for false hope mingles with
crippling self-doubt and
cerebral self-mutilation leads
inexorably to intellectual suicide

i won't follow the death drive

rejecting fantasies of faith
in order to
overcome the world
my struggle is undertaken

alone

i will not sacrifice
reason science art philosophy
for a paternal phantasmagoria
or pastoral paradise

black sheep weren't born to follow
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.
Pearson Bolt Feb 2017
you set my neurons firing
like an arsonist in the foyer
of the old abandoned church
built within the synaptic gaps
of my brain matter.

burning bridges was the only way
to keep from sinking with the anchors
chained to my feet.
i find myself, instead, adrift
inside your bloodstream.

so scrape the match and watch phosphate
sputter like the final gasp of a dying sun.
let the shaft of wood tumble end-over-
end into the kerosene amassed at my feet.
raze what's left of me. set me free.
Pearson Bolt Jan 2016
most days i daydream of
traipsing past New Zealand streams
hopping from stones as the rivers
rush past beneath our feet
walking on water like deities

in my mind we play tag like children
in the streets of Venice
criss-crossing over a myriad of
bridges interwoven like fabric
threads in an awning tapestry

and i take your photograph as
you extend your index and middle
fingers in the universal sign of
everlasting peace and smirk out of
the corner of your mouth the way you do
when you know i'm looking

the sun-kissed snow would fall in drifts
in the Swiss Alps as a chill wind numbed our skin
and the mid-morning breeze played with our hair
and we sang songs that echoed
through canyons carved by Father Time
and Mother Nature's scandalous romance

or maybe we'd just stand within the Guggenheim
sheltered from the elements
our fingers interlocked as we wordlessly  
studied the museum's latest exhibition
and you'd rest your head on my shoulder
as you traced the Deathly Hallows
etched into my wrist with
your fingertips and you'd
be the first to break the silence

i wonder what the artist was thinking
when he shot this black and white image
do you think the shadow in the lower left
means something significant or is it
just a trick of the light

and we would stand
statuesque at the foot
of sepia photographs
two additional installations
of artwork
Pearson Bolt Feb 2016
a derelict dream
of financial prosperity
gleams in each
deceiving smile
he offers the
photographer

white teeth
dead eyes
the film cannot
capture its
soulless subject

attention
shoppers

swallow the cyanide pill
and get in line
disregard humanity
engage in
intellectual suicide

sheep
mewling for a
millionaire's autograph

a Saturday morning
cartoon villain
with a pair of
henchmen and
a Yankee's ball-cap
who'll never realize

poverty isn't an
asset one can monetize
capitalism addles
brain cells and sets
brother against brother

a snake-oil peddler
selling hope for
$26.00 bucks a book

but when the people
have nothing left
to eat they will devour
the rich instead and
we are running
out of bread
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.
Pearson Bolt Sep 2015
a black flag is suspended
above the garden in
my front lawn
it flexes in dawn's sweet  
breeze and ***** in the
mid-morning sun then snaps
in afternoon gusts
before weathering the storms of
early dusk and ultimately subsiding
into the relative serenity of an
uncertain twilight

a black flag prepared to
face the elements once more
at a moment's notice

even now i hear it slapping and cracking
as if it were possessed by
the manifestation of the people's will
an outcry indignant at the indignities
humankind and this good earth have suffered
at the hands of faceless men and
women who succumb to
the illusion of dominance

i take that black flag down
whenever i go out my front door
i fold it up into a tiny handkerchief
tuck it neatly in my breast-pocket
where it rests mere millimeters
from my heart as i do what i can
to teach my students to live
with such vibrant tenacity
that their very existence is
an act of rebellion

i wear the black flag around my neck
every time i go to shows it
soars behind me and i
feel superhuman as i stand and
sing in tandem with a myriad of
friends in the throes of some
melodious cadence harmonizing with
down-tuned guitars and pile-driving percussion
the rest of the galaxy and i lose track of
space and time adrift  
in the rhythms of resistance

i tie the black flag around my head
to keep back the sweat beading about my
brow every time i bend down and
break my back once more for my
corporate overlords who can no longer
see the forest for the trees let alone
be somehow appeased by the simple joy
of sharing books with random strangers
their eyes are glazed green with envy
and i wonder when they sold their
souls to the devils on capitol hill

i wave the black flag at protests
as we occupy the streets and
feed the homeless and cheer
wildly for complete liberty
in time with the beat of drums
our footsteps aiding in a
procession that shakes the houses of
decadence capitalists lurk within and
causes the corrupt to tremble
with trepidation as they turn to one
rich white neighbor after the other
and ask one another
what have we done

like no flag before it and no banner since
the black flag waves all humanity away
from the precipice upon which we lean
so perilously teetering over the edge
flirting with death inches away from
a bottomless abyss

its blackness stands in stark contrast
from the blue hues that evoke oceanic
divides or the red streaks symbolizing
bloodshed or the white blotches that elicit
some tacit implication
of supremacy and exceptionalism

it is black
whole and uniform
indicative not of segregation and
national barriers but of unity
universal fraternity that comes not
from conformity but out of a genuine
desire to recognize the inherent dignity
of all humanity—even those with whom
we might vehemently disagree

there is not a shred of
cowardice in the black flag
it means no surrender
it recognizes no authority
it is not subservient to a titular country
but predicated on the principle that
freedom equality and responsibility
are not trigger words for
selling successful political campaigns
but are the natural and inherent virtues
that make us sentient human beings

the black flag defies
the oligarchic minority and
returns once more to the wellspring
of individuality and community and in
doing so produces a space where
originality is the centripetal force

power to the people now
invert the stars and stripes before
turning them to fuel for the fires
in our chests like Prometheus we wrest
divinity from the gods masquerading above
us in the halls of congress and the senate
white houses are not temples of worship
we have it in us to create a community
where we don't need representation
where we determine our own future

revolution is a lived concept

a black flag is suspended
above the garden in
my front lawn
it flexes in dawn's sweet  
breeze and ***** in the
mid-morning sun then snaps
in afternoon gusts
before weathering the storms of
early dusk and ultimately subsiding
into the relative serenity of an
uncertain twilight
Pearson Bolt Nov 2016
i cannot count the times i dreamed
of you and i in the streets
interlocking fingers
marching
surging sure and steady
to percussion footfalls
and songs of solidarity

but you held another hand
last night as we screamed
until our lungs cried out in atrophy
and though a revolution
without dancing
isn't one worth having
it seems i can't keep the beat
I am in love with a girl with forest fire hair, a mockingjay, (a)muse...
bee
Pearson Bolt Jan 2016
bee
a bee drowns amidst
expansive hyperbole
it sang an anxious plea and
she deigned to give it new wings

the sun falls on her as we sit
and drink coffee in front of
East End Market and speak
amicably about the tumultuous
events that've occurred this past week

i tell her how my heart fluttered
when she paused to save an insect
most write off as a nuisance even
as they gorge themselves on honey and
despite the fact that without bees
the world would also lack
fruits and veggies and
nuts and seeds to grow
new fauna from the fertile
soil of this ambivalent earth

without these enigmatic evolutionaries
who pollinate this planet
and permit humanity to persist
in spite of our knack for
cultivating catastrophe
our ecosystem would collapse
in complete and utter defeat

now it seems that i'm the one
floundering in sea foam green but
i'm not sure if i'm worthy
to hold the gentle hands that
save tiny bees
Pearson Bolt Feb 2017
Seraphine wields her dagger like a torch
to illuminate her path—a figure at once
youthful and monolithic. Mother Earth
caresses her as flowers bloom amidst
the bloodbath. the old skulls of dead
fascists rest in silver platters. three arrows
plunged into the hearts of charlatans,
an Iron Front, disrupting decorum.
the celosia petals burn like a bonfire
around Seraphine as her nāgī coils
like an ouroboros, slyly smirking.
Seraphine works the blade back and forth,
sawing through the ****'s neck, smiling
while decapitating the demagogue.
This poem was inspired by the cover art and content of "Against the Fascist Creep." I intentionally chose a Hebrew name for the poem's protagonist.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/287421267/against-the-fascist-creep-poster?ref=pr_shop#
Pearson Bolt Jan 2016
on the drive home i
spotted an absurd billboard broadcasting
a benign worldview an asinine
sign espousing a single word meant
to inspire endless iterations of hope and
worship in one bisyllabic phrase

believe.

it had a period
at the conclusion
as if this was
the end all and be all
a sycophantic
intonation that insinuated
pseudo-religious proclamations
independent of rational
thought and evidence
a foregone preclusion
to excluding others
on the condition that
they didn't share the
exact same faith

ironically
the billboard advertised a
multi-million dollar company  
Morgan & Morgan
a law firm masquerading
beneath the pretentious
pretense of their slogan
For The People
as if they were god's gift
to the city of Orlando
but if they were truly devoted
to the precepts of Jesus i dare say
they'd spend less time gloating
and more time defending the poor

'cause when you're making thousands
of dollars an hour on someone else's
pain and misfortune i somehow wager
the radical rabbi who entered Jerusalem on a
donkey would have a thing or two to say

what would the world
look like if the people
who call themselves Christ-followers
quit spewing sermons on billboards
and focused instead
on their savior's
greatest commandment
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
Pearson Bolt Sep 2017
at peace, you breathe
in somber cadence,
a masterpiece blossoming
as the sun wakes from sleep.

shaded in multicolor
like a painter’s palette,
wrapped serene
in a nest of sheets.

the natural *****
from your hip
to shoulder creates
a canopy,

a perfect spot
to rest. rise and shine,
Beloved,
there are better days ahead.
Pearson Bolt Jun 9
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 Apr 2015
don't dig up
old bones
leave the past
buried

with the wreckage
of desecrated memories
drowning in the swells of
the tempest

let them rest
in Mariana's Trench
deep in inky shadows
on the ocean floor

scattered across the galaxy
in the wreckage of a helium bomb
flung far into uncharted space
forever and ever
ad infinitum

i'd say
i'll see you in hell
but we both know all
too well that
hell is other
people

and all the devils are already here

flattery can't assuage catastrophe
this was doomed right from the start
only the good die young
a maxim ringing with deathless promise
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
Pearson Bolt Jul 2017
the rocking chair creeks on the back porch.
she cradles The Hobbit in her lap,
sips black tea and brings the joint to her lips,
carried away in an airborne ship of smoke
to Middle-Earth, an escape
from the tedium of 9-to-5s,
consumerism and bored housewives.

the cars **** by but she can’t hear.
she slips through the fabric of time
and space to the upside down. flipped
around with another page to hang
on the precipice of bliss implicit
in every interlocking sentence.

here, words cannot hurt, only heal.
within these holy septs, sacred texts
lead us to truths beyond the veil.
she who reads
has lived a thousand lives
in a fraction of the time.

i want to dive behind her cold brew eyes
and peruse the passages of synaptic gaps,
meandering along neurological paths,
for not all who wander are lost.
the human mind is like your favorite book—
once it’s been opened,
it can never again be truly closed.
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"
Pearson Bolt Jan 2017
this morning,
before we hung out,
i read back
over the sexts
we sent
when i caught the bus
home from Atlanta
this time last year.

i'd never thought to
count how often
i made you shriek
that night
(nine times.)
every time i'd read over
that catalogue of texts
i just seemed to get distracted,
recollecting how your
fingers slipped
between your legs
with nothing
save my poems
and silver tongue
to guide their rhythm.

when we stumbled
across Michael Faudet's
***** Pretty Things
mere hours later
in our favorite coffee shop,
i laughed at the irony.
somehow, i knew 1:00am
would find me writing
about that all-night drive again.

when you wake to see
this poem illuminated
on your screen, i hope
you'll grin at my audacity
before plunging your hand
once more between.
i hope you think of me
when you reach the brink
and whisper my name
between rattled breaths
when you *** beneath the sheets.
Pearson Bolt Dec 2015
i buried god
in a shallow grave
just in case

i always put stock
in the old stories
maybe he’d claw and
scrape his way back
to the surface
and save the day or
else say it’s
too late for me
i’ve gone so
far astray

i once saw god everywhere
in hip-hop records and
Saturday morning cartoons in
coffee bars and concert halls
but i can’t seem to find him
anywhere anymore

i think it’s for the best
Pearson Bolt Feb 2016
she says she loves to
play with fire but i'm the one
always getting burned

pour some kerosene
at my feet and strike the match
such an exquisite

inferno of sweet
agony siphoning my
entropy if we're

all destined for dirt
sooner or later then let's
go out bright tonight

they say it's better
to have loved and lost than to
never love at all

and every single
poem i pen seems to start and
end with you hidden

between lines that lack
the proper punctuation
my love tell me true

just where am i to
go when my heart screams yes but
my head whispers *no
Pearson Bolt Sep 2015
last i heard you were
reading Oscar Wilde's
The Picture of Dorian Gray
have you mustered the  
courage since then to
exhibit authenticity when
you say
i love you

to the golden girl
staring back at you in the mirror
can you peel back the
veil obscuring your self-image
to see a little clearer

ten months
since we last
exchanged
circumstantial
pleasantries

funny

we used to converse every day
c'est la vie is what i imagine you'd
have to say for yourself after all
it always did sound like an excuse
constantly reclusive your
imaginary deity the
only refuge you've ever known

so wander despondently
refugee of refuse
pilfer from the gutters
of garbage some semblance
of purpose some pretense of
predestination to validate your
meaningless existence

**** it up like
the rest of us
there's no rhyme or
reason for the so-called
seasons of life

you're a fair-weather
friend and though i might've
crossed oceans for you then
i don't mind you
out of my life

you should’ve paid closer
attention when they
once told you
be careful if you
befriend a writer

they'll make you
immortal
even when you
just want to
die

i guess that's life
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?
Pearson Bolt Oct 2016
i still remember the way
your fingertip traced
the Deathly Hallows
tattooed on my wrist
writing the word
Love in cursive script

we built a palace of palms
while our arms laid a foundation
flying buttress knuckles
and stained glass lips

your hand
was the first church
i felt whole within
and for a fraction of a second
i almost believed in god again
Pearson Bolt Jun 6
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 Dec 2015
how many times will we
draw lines in the sand
just to see the brine of
the ocean wipe them
away once again on
the whims of the next
ebbing effervescent tide

sandy structures on stony shores
granulated particles shifting
through our pruning hands
abject images of refracted light
glinting with frightening veracity
off the shards of shattered revelries
reflected in broken glass bottles
that still smell faintly of alcohol

bring the cigarette to your lips
e
  x
     h
        a
          l
           e
             silhouettes of m
                                          i
                   ­       x   i            l
                     a            e        k
                  l             s        y
                  a
                     g            w
                         y    a

in the evanescent starlight as we
recline on the beach and the
waves lap greedily at our feet
drowning us in the uneven
flow of the unknown  

i wasted time building
castles on shifting sand
Pearson Bolt May 30
i know no bliss like getting lost within
the endless expanse of your genius.
trace the chasms of space-time
right to their origins: a big bang
rupturing split atoms, sending
every ounce of matter cascading
into the blossoming cosmos—
spiraling outward for all infinity,
unfurling like the petals
of some intergalactic carnation.
i cannot fathom a better metaphor
for the majesty of your psyche.
you are the monastery where i seek
solace from this miserable existence.
i could stand amidst these hallowed halls,
stretching out all around me,
admiring the stained-glass windows
set like so many precious stones
for all the days of my life
and still come away dumbstruck
by their effortless incandescence.
let me bend back the pages of your brain
like my favorite book: well-loved, highlighted,
and fit to burst with the scrawling pen
of my annotations. feed me, Dark Strider.
nourish the broken bits of my spirit.
wild and free, unbowed, unbent—
you answer to no one. you deserve
nothing more and nothing less
than a thousand-thousand poems
written to commemorate your existence.
you are an encyclopedic library displayed
in kaleidoscopic multicolor, i want to drop acid
and wander, psychedelic,
through your neurological pathways
from this day until my very last.
if i could, i would fold this world
like a map to bring me closer to you.
you incite deathless joy
and take away the pain.
your mind is the cathedral
where i finally find god.
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
Pearson Bolt Feb 2015
close as
two molecules
inhabiting the
same cell

distant as the
chasm of
space-time
stretched out
from the Big
Bang to the
Modern Day and
beyond

it is meaningless circumstance
that's stranded us
in tandem
aloft on this rock
adrift in aimless

emptiness

no god presided
over your eternal fate
no endless author
provided the tragedies of
this less than perfect
existence but

all things considered
coincidence consistently lacks
the necessary evidence and
i'm practically convinced
at least
for the moment

that some semblance of
divinity lingers in both
you and i and in
this infinitesimally gargantuan
space between

us
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.
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