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Morgan Alexander Sep 2019
So there we were on the cliff above the railroad tracks, the Missouri River Bridge in the distance. We’d armed ourselves with sticks, rocks, and pellet guns. We were a ragtag militia, all fight and no war.

The roar of the oncoming train drowned out our planning for anarchy and unfocused mayhem.
The five of us waited, unsure how to take best advantage of the rolling brown and yellow Union Pacific. Dan looked at me and wiped the sweat from his face with his *** Pistols t-shirt.

“Let’***** it!” Rob said. I didn’t want to, but I couldn’t say no. If I said it was wrong they’d have laughed and done it anyway. Tingles ran down my legs. I leaned against a nearby cedar and craned my head in the direction of the oncoming train. From our vantage point on the bluff amongst the trees, the unwary conductor would never see us. I waved to signal the others as it arrived.

The ground shook as the train roared below us. Deaf from its passing, we used hand signals like the guys in Red Dawn. That’s it! That’s who we were! We were the Wolverines! And I was the scout who had just spotted a resupply train that was carrying logistical necessities like...

“Cars! *******! This one has cars on it,” Kevin yelled. The other soldiers all gathered rocks and threw them at the passing supply train. I yelled “Wolverines!” as they pelted the evil communist convoy. The four of them joined me screaming the same. My blood boiled, and my face went hot as I embraced the guerilla tactics.

I was dumbfounded when Rob picked up a boulder... and lifted it over his head like a weightlifter. As it flew through the air in deliciously slow motion I thought for sure it was just going to drop straight down the face of the crumbling bluff. Then, with accuracy too precise to have been planned, the boulder crashed through the front windshield of some red Ford, and due to the speed of the passing train, blew through the back glass before tumbling to rest on the hood of some blue Chevy below it.

Dead Flippin Silence

“Rob! *******! That was awesome!” someone said...Tim, I think.

Rob stood with fists pumping in the air. He won today, and he became the captain of our squad. I picked up a much smaller rock and threw it, watching as it clanged helplessly off the train’s metal siding. The Russians would surely come looking for us now, and this was a hit and run raid. We bolted from our perches and sought other opportunities to hit the Commies where it hurt!

We really wanted to be Anarchy!
Circa 1989. Watch the old Red Dawn and pretend you're too young to know better. (Also that it hasn't aged poorly). Also, listen to the *** Pistols. If you can't... It's on you. :)
Lilli Sutton Apr 2019

Sometimes I think I can get through anything.
Wrong again – except, I made it to the city
with my patience still intact. I liked the early morning
best, deer in the wheat and crows in the corn.
Midday the sky turned blue and warm wind
rolled over the Ohio hills,
but I was too sick in the backseat to notice.
No matter. Indiana gas station as the clouds
start to roll in. Here the land is flat
and brown and empty. The sky
comes down to touch the earth and everything
goes gray. Finally I’m behind the wheel
and I wish it had been like this the whole way.
I can go fast on the highway and it feels
like traveling back in time, cruising in reverse
the way we came back from Utah years ago.
When the heavens open I’m not scared –
I’ve met god before, just like this – Midwest
melody of rain against the pavement,
or just the song of shutting eyes.

But I didn’t sleep last night. I was too busy
thinking about all the songs I’ve forgotten.
When you’re old, music is supposed to help
you meet yourself again for the first time.
I wish that could happen now – so I pick songs
that matter. Missouri is warm and windy
and it takes all day before I can escape. The arch,
the Mississippi – portrait of a city
that I know must be so ugly on the inside.
Or maybe I like it here. I read O’Hara
in the hotel room alone – I don’t have words
to fill a city that way. The din of beautiful comfort
resonates within this bubble – I stay back,
linger by myself.

What a long day – it’s only 10 in the morning
when Katharine convinces me to fly back.
So I picked out all those songs for nothing –
oh well. It’s not the first time
I’ve done something in vain. Puddles standing
on the sidewalks – it doesn’t matter
if my shoes stay dry. I am guilty
of the default answer – I don’t really want
to hear the question, I just want my voice
to be the most important sound in the room.
At the same time, I don’t like to be the center
of attention – I dissolve to the edges,
wait until I can slip through the cracks unnoticed.
Later we bond about Thursday’s drive –
how we were both afraid, but didn’t want to say it.
I can’t keep my eyes open on the plane,
but I also can’t sleep. Dusk comes faster
than it’s supposed to – we miss an hour.
On the tarmac in Virginia the wind is dry and hot –
it’s too warm for March, and I don’t know what
to make of it. I wait on a bench for my friends
and beside me, a woman cries, but I don’t say anything.
I’m always at a loss for words around strangers.
On the hour ride home we try to figure it out –
what we’re each saying in our coded conversations.
All weekend I heard words, but never the right ones –
for all the intricacies of human language,
it’s insurmountably difficult to tell you how I feel.

So I’m not in St. Louis anymore –
but for the sake of consistency, let’s pretend.
I could have ridden back with the twins today,
flat farms giving way to the rolling hills of the east again.
Maybe that’s why today feels like an undeveloped dream –
I only have one side of what should be a full circle.
At the farmers’ market we eat jams and chocolate,
and Michelle pets every dog. The air is cold and sweet –
I notice the hint of green around the edges of the trees,
the bright yellow of forsythia and the crocuses.
We’ve arrived at the in-between: soon, I won’t remember
winter, but I have a feeling that what has followed me
the last few months might stick around.
Louder than my voice, You have spoken in me
Deeper than my longing, You have sprung eternal
Beyond my foresight, You are prophesying to me
After all my reason, You are unimaginable (unfolding unimaginable things)

Before my expectation, You've exceeded what is conceivable
In the most secret place, You consume completely
And deep calls out to deep

Above a kingdom's reach, Your reign overcomes
Beneath the meaning of existence, Your laws dictate reality
At the moment of seeking, You have sought and found
Greater than my strength, You uphold the infinite (and I within it more carefully)

In the fulfillment of time, You are waiting
With the wisdom of ages, Your ways are everlasting
And deep calls out to deep, whispering your fullness:

"If there is faith, You are believed."
"If there is hope, You are looked upon."
"If there is love, You are reflected."
In the Boondocks of the Ozarks
Salty caramel smelt of August
Swathes stench of rotten trailer parks
Imprisons barren mid-west dust

Feral fevered kids a hunting
For to cool; shoot up, or drink
Arthritic railroad; tie and shunting
Ferrous old town wretched on the brink

Since the cease of mine and logging
Depletion of iron lead and zinc
Nag horse too dead for flogging
Folks futures draining down the sink

Some respite in the summer heat
RV’s; tourists and campers for trails
Like blackfly plague pick off the meat
Fly fast; escape as another harvest fails

Dark currents pepper darker mood
Intolerance grinds in the daily way
Resentment bread as only food
At someone’s door the blame shall lay

In the graveyard of the Ozarks
Rednecks dance on industry tombs
Burn brown smoke spice. Moonshine sparks
Oblivion; no life. Back to mothers' womb

©pofacedpoetry (Billy Reynard-Bowness 2018 – All rights reserved)
The sultry heat of an American Mid-West summer in a dying old mining community full of drugs, devoid of hope!
A May 2018
People talk about Tornado Alley,

The part of the U.S where I live.
They act like tornadoes touch down every week in May through October,
Like storms go through every other week.
Like everyone’s not scared and they’re always calm.

The truth is,
Tornado Alley’s not like that.

Tornado Alley is worrying
When a tornado touches down only five miles from your house,
Your family’s in the basement,
Wondering if everything’s all right,
And if your house will be damaged.

Tornado Alley is praying a storm will pass,
The ever-looming threat of a supercell,
Swirling clouds above your roof,
The sky a nasty green and purple.

Tornado Alley is taking everything you have for granted,
Then being scared when it’s threatened.

Tornado Alley is knowing tornadoes exist,
But being thankful that you’re not in San Francisco,
Or Hawaii, Florida, the coasts.

Tornado Alley is flat plains and wide open spaces,
Not being afraid of a storm,
But of what lurks when the beginning is over.
Brent Kincaid Mar 2017
I got off the bus
At Eighteenth and Vine
Everything in the window
I wanted to be mine
Beautiful shirts there,
Suits, shoes and hats.
But I couldn’t buy them
No, I couldn’t do that.

I was the wrong color
For Matlaw’s, He said.
That place was for coloreds
And rich pimps instead
Not a tow-headed white boy
What hasn’t got much sense.
I went there that one time
And, I haven’t been since.

But, oh I wanted that suit,
With cranberry hat and shoes.
Even though I had no place
To ever wear it, I knew.
But, I love that store there
On eighteenth and Vine
Even though I knew nothing
In that store could be mine.

The bus went by there
Every day I passed it by.
To this day, I grieve
And never understood why
A Caucasian market
Like I represented
Might go there inside there
And be soundly resented.

It wasn’t a good thing
It’s just how it was then
Before the civil rights thing
Would finally begin.
Yes, I never knew colors
They way others did.
But, what did I know?
I was just a young kid.

But, oh I wanted that suit,
With cranberry hat and shoes.
Even though I had no place
To ever wear it, I knew.
But, I love that store there
On eighteenth and Vine
Even though I knew nothing
In that store could be mine.
Ok, I didn't want to do this
but there's rules that you must know
Etiquette to be followed
A line that you must toe

Listen very closely now
I think you all should try it
The things that you will now learn
About a protest and a riot

Firstly, have a purpose
Just random shouting, that's persay
If you do not have a topic
Then all the new folks go away

Throwing bricks at coppers
Breaking windows on the street
Is this a sign of protest
Or is it idiots in heat

No signage, and no speakers
Just random yelling for a cause
This isn't a good protest
Just breaking random laws

A protest has a purpose
It presents a point of view
A riot is an ugly thing
Which one is right for you

MLK could run a protest
Make a point and get things done
All without a mob forcing
A cop to use his gun

The rules really are simple
Keep the young ones all at home
For people in glass houses
Should really not throw stones

A peaceful resolution
From a protest is the goal
But a riot is just aimless
It puts the city in a hole

Victims of a riot
Are not the ones who are to blame
They're just owners of the business'
Who get caught up in the game

Next time that you protest
Protest rioting instead
It will turn out for the better
And nobody will end up dead
Martin Narrod Mar 2015
I called to give you a rearrangement of irony and a bucket full of Jews, I tailor made a rebreather because the past connections were used . Indeed, just like a crossview that encouraged stars to collapse, then did a fix up for the X's and O's so every oxymoron followed with a laugh. A pail of shrubs, an ounce of yore, yesterday you were following your very own bated breath. Up until you challenged yourself to a duel, you didn't look so bad for a disastrous mess. Harms' Way could be the place in town where odds go to get even, or it could be the street where Blow-Pops aren't just made, but also handed out to toothless citizens. We the captured, please and thank you, sir and mam until our captors go, like if you imagine  The Godfather in The Graduate, describing how the Komodo dragon roasts. We haven't made it thru a single day since they've come in packs of seven, but today we'll have the chance to share some face time with the hours that we are being given.

Misty-eyed, mournful, and very sorry walked in separately from the yard. They drank cold-filtered PBR and joked about all the kids they may have fathered. Has it been four weeks or just four days, since the Ferguson, Missouri Captain resigned his post? I was always taught that for a captain to go out, he or she must go down with their boat.

In time where boredom lays around with dynamite by the loads, tomorrow remind me of the basorexia I've had since we met not long ago.
When white men spit hatred through spiteful lips,
what will you do? Will you raise your fists?
When a white man kills a black teen without blinking,
will you turn from protests to riots without even thinking.
You want to prove something?
Prove that there is nothing a white man could do to break the black community.
Show that you will never fight fire with fire. Keep MLK alive, let him live in your city.
Beat hatred unconscious with love, and drown it in peaceful protest.
For, Mike Brown's death was only a test.
Just a feeling I get, being a minority.
roxy Nov 2014
i am an ashamed american. this
     is supposed to be the land of the free.
please. tell me what is free about ferguson,
     missouri. is freedom enlisting three
policemen for an armed white protest and
     hundreds of riot police for a peaceful
colored one? please. tell me what is free?

why is racism a 21st century problem?
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