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- Aug 2017
This war is not a cleanse,
Red is not the color of water*

He promised a bloodbath, he delivers
Blood in his hands, he waves
His men with guns, in rage
All those against him: a huge price they paid

and if you still think this is normal,
if you still think this is for the common good,
you
are part of the war
you are the weapon
you are the gun

the gun that killed innocent lives and called it "collateral damage", the gun that pushed cops to **** lives to meet their quota, the gun that went from one hand to another to another and was finally kept hidden by the man on the chair

"How well would you sleep tonight?"
"Brother, why do you have blood on your hands?"
Antino Art Aug 2019
I am the only Asian in this bar right now.
Be my friend!
I will check the box of your social diversity quota.
Granted, I only speak a mispronounced fraction of
my immigrant parents' native tongue.
Ala Jackie Chan, I do not understand the words coming out the mouths of anyone on that massive continent (Russia included) that I appear to be more or less from.
But, I do eat spaghetti with chopsticks.
I am mystical as
fox, or Kitsune, in Japanese folklore.
I can hit you with wisdom worthy of a fortune cookie as fast as Google can tell you that the Philippines is nearly 2000 miles away from China. I want to say I'm from an exotic island where they play basketball in sandals and drink soda from plastic bags- like, A-level material you could make a movie out of in Slumdog Millionaire fashion and get awarded for your romantic portrayal of poverty you think is three worlds away from home. But nah, I'm just a kid from South Florida. Paved driveways and cul de sacs. But I do pump both fists in the air watching Manny Pacquio PPV fights on a bootleg stream. Beyond that, I'm probably the worst Asian there is. Not the crazy rich kind with a PHd. I dropped out of engineering after one semester and cannot solve a rubix cube. I never learned kung fu. Though I'm learning to face the adversity of becoming a single parent after my daughter's home broke in two. I write marketing proposals to pay the rent and poetry to fight without fighting in the spirit of Sun Tzu. My eyes do not slant in the direction of your narrative. I once ran in a pick up game where I caught the nickname of Yao Ming. Yao, I am 5 foot 8. Though I fall short of expectation, I can still check your diversity box on the way down and do a cool pen spin after to punctuate my intellectual prowess. I also happen to own an assortment of Japanese swords made in China, which I intend to use as heirlooms. This is what cultural colonization looks like: me, in a bar, the last samurai standing confused in an age of melting pots, Korean tacos and Asian slaw made by corporate imposters with names like PF Chang. What in the slaw is Asian? I wish I knew!  I wish I knew the true value of my heritage to be worthy of carrying it forward. Like how my grandfather planted a Malonggay tree in our backyard whose leaves my mother would pick and boil to make tinolang manok -the Filipino version of chicken soup- as a weeknight staple on our dinner table. I can barely soft boil an egg for instant ramen. Or how my motherland's socioeconomic gap tooth smile is so wide that it drove over 10 million of its native sons and daughters off its shores to find work overseas as servants on cruise ships and hospitals to feed the families they barely get to see. To follow their trail blazing footsteps, let me be the second generation tipping point where some form of cyclical tradition breaks. That way, I can raise my daughter free of predetermined scripts. So as the worst Asian in this or any bar, cheers:
to being the first of a new kind.
Mark Oct 2019
Barnyard ****, just raised a city born, sort of a chick    
Even gave her the surburban name of Sandra Dee Fonda
A pretty slow blonde critter, some even say, short of a tick      
Bred way-down and far-away, ‘bout 70 miles yonder            
Y’all be knowing dat Hick-Hop thang, is what it‘s all about            
While hootin’ and scootin’, never let ya kissin’ cousin, flake out
Hee Haw, said it all, when we were a pickin’ and a grinnin’
Ask Goober, what’s dat ya doin’ and what’s dat ya diggin’?  
 
Perhaps I may yet die, with my boots still placed upon            
Cowards never really stay around here long enough             
To actually become real cowboy shootin’ stuff, my dear            
I say, ‘Hang ‘em first and try ‘em later on’            
My life was always threatened daily            
That’s why, I went out heavily armed, just like an Israeli      
         
I’ve been invited to the Marty Party, along with Brother Brown
But, I thought killing a man, was my one and only, speciality
Even drafted a business proposition, for this exact locality
Since I’ve had the market cornered, in da middle of downtown
From Cornfield, Alabama to Deadwood, South Dakota            
There’s no import or export taxes, so no **** amount of quota
So, me, you and even that Clay Ellison, will be riding a winner
Even after killin’ that Chunk Kolbert, straight after his dinner  
 
Perhaps I may yet die, with my boots still placed upon
Cowards never really stay around here long enough
To actually become real cowboy shootin’ stuff, my dear            
I say, ‘Hang ‘em first and try ‘em later on’            
My life was always threatened daily            
That’s why, I went out heavily armed, just like an Israeli        
           
They’ll be gettin’ da same amount of ice, as Knoxville            
But the rich will be a gettin’ it, in da summertime            
While the poor will be a gettin’ it, in da wintertime            
If I owned Texas & Hell, I’d rent out Texas & live in Hell            
So, don’t ever think about, hittin’ ya mother with a shovel            
It’ll leave a dull impression on her already fragile mind            
I’m not afraid to die, as a brave man fighting shall            
But I wouldn’t wanna be killed, like a dog unarmed, so please be kind            
           
Perhaps I may yet die, with my boots still placed upon
Cowards never really stay around here long enough
To actually become real cowboy shootin’ stuff, my dear            
I say, ‘Hang ‘em first and try ‘em later on’            
My life was always threatened daily            
That’s why, I went out heavily armed, just like an Israeli            
           
I see a good many enemies around me, who will walk            
But notice mighty few friends, that are willing to talk            
They would then, drink right smart            
They could then, scrap right smart            
But, I didn’t come here to talk, I just came here to hang            
Just a peekin’ through, the hour glass thang  
 
Perhaps I may yet die, with my boots still placed upon
Cowards never really stay around here long enough
To actually become real cowboy shootin’ stuff, my dear            
I say, ‘Hang ‘em first and try ‘em later on’            
My life was always threatened daily            
That’s why, I went out heavily armed, just like an Israeli.
Victor D López Dec 2018
Your husband died at 40, leaving you to raise seven children alone.
But not before your eldest, hardest working son, Juan, had
Drowned at sea in his late teens while working as a fisherman to help
You and your husband put food on the table.

You lost a daughter, too,
Toñita, also in her early teens, to illness.
Their kind, pure souls found
Their way back home much too soon.

Later in life you would lose two more sons to tragedy, Paco (Francisco),
An honest, hard working man whose purposeful penchant for shocking
Language belied a most gentle nature and a generous heart. He was electrocuted by
A faulty portable light while working around his pool.

And the apple of your eye, Sito (José), your last born and most loving son, who
Had inherited his father’s exceptional looks, social conscience, left of center
Politics, imposing presence, silver tongue, and bad, bad luck, died, falling
Under the wheels of a moving train, perhaps accidentally.

In a time of hopelessness and poverty, you would not be broken.
You rose every day hours before the dawn to sell fish at a stand.
And every afternoon you placed a huge wicker basket on your head and
Walked many, many miles to sell even more fish in other towns.

Money was tight, so you often took bartered goods in
Exchange for your fish, giving some to those most in need,
Who could trade nothing in return but their
Blessings and their gratitude.

You walked back home, late at night, through darkness or
Moonlit roads, carrying vegetables, eggs, and perhaps a
Rabbit or chicken in a large wicker basket on your strong head,
Walking straight, on varicose-veined legs, driven on by a sense of purpose.

During the worst famine during and after the Civil War, the chimney of your
Rented home overlooking the Port of Fontan, spewed forth black smoke every day.
Your hearth fire burned to to feed not just your children, but also your less
Fortunate neighbors, nourishing their bodies and their need for hope.

You were criticized by some when the worst had passed, after the war.
“Why work so hard, Remedios, and allow your young children to go to work
At too young an age? You sacrifice them and yourself for stupid pride when
Franco and foreign food aid provide free meals for the needy.”

“My children will never live off charity as long as my back is strong” was your Reply.
You resented your husband for putting politics above family and
Dragging you and your two daughters, from your safe, comfortable home at
Number 10 Perry Street near the Village to a Galicia without hope.

He chose to tilt at windmills, to the eternal glory of other foolish men,
And left you to silently fight the real, inglorious daily battle for survival alone.
Struggling with a bad heart, he worked diligently to promote a better, more just
Future while largely ignoring the practical reality of your painful present.

He filled you with children and built himself the cross upon which he was
Crucified, one word at a time, leaving you to pick up the pieces of his shattered
Idealism. But you survived, and thrived, without sacrificing your own strong
Principles or allowing your children to know hardships other than those of honest work.

And you never lost your sense of humor. You never took anything or
Anyone too seriously. When faced with the absurdity of life,
You chose to smile or laugh out loud. I saw you shed many tears of laughter,
But not once tears of pain, sorrow or regret. You would never be a victim.

You loved people. Yours was an irreverent sense of humor, full of gentle irony,
And wisdom. You loved to laugh at yourself and at others, especially pompous fools
Who often missed your great amusement at their expense, failing to understand your Dismissal, delivered always with a smile, a gentle voice and sparkling eyes.

Your cataracts and near sightedness made it difficult for you to read,
But you read voraciously nonetheless, and loved to write long letters to loved ones and friends. You were a wise old woman, the wisest and strongest I will ever know,
But one with the heart of a child and the soul of an angel.

You were the most sane, most rational, most well adjusted human being
I have ever known. You were mischievous, but incapable of malice.
You were adventurous, never afraid to try or to learn anything new.
You were fun-loving, interesting, kind, rambunctious, funny and smart as hell.

You would have been an early adopter of all modern technology, had you lived long
Enough, and would have loved playing—and working—with all of my electronic
Toys. You would have been a terror with a word processor, email, and social media
And would have loved my video games—and beaten me at every one of them.

We were great friends and playmates throughout most of my life.  You followed
Us here soon after we immigrated in 1967, leaving behind 20 other Grandchildren.
I never understood the full measure of that sacrifice, or the love that made it
Bearable for you. I do now. Too late. It is one of the greatest regrets of my life.

We played board games, cowboys and Indians, raced electric cars, flipped
Baseball cards and played thousands of hands of cards together. It never
Occurred to me that you were the least bit unusual in any way. I loved you
Dearly but never went far out of my way to show it. That too, I learned too late.

After moving to Buenos Aires, when mom had earned enough money to take
You and her younger brothers there, the quota system then in place made it
Impossible to send for your two youngest children, whose care you entrusted
Temporarily to your eldest married daughter, Maria.  

You wanted them with you. Knowing no better, you went to see Evita Peron for help.
Unsurprisingly, you could not get through her gatekeepers.  But you were
Nothing if not persistent. You knew she left early every morning for her office.
And you parked yourself there at 6:00 a.m., for many, many days by her driveway.  

Eventually, she had her driver stop and motioned for you to approach.
“Grandmother, why do you wave at me every morning when I leave for work?”
She asked. You explained about your children in Spain. She took pity and scribbled a
Pass on her card to admit you to her office the next day.

You met her there  and she assured you that a visa would be forthcoming;
When she learned that you made a living by cleaning homes and washing clothing,
She offered you a sewing machine and training to become a seamstress.
You thanked her but declined the offer.

“Give the sewing machine to another mother with no trade. My strong back and hands
Serve me well enough and I do just fine, as I have always done.”
Evita must have been impressed for she asked you to see her yet again when the
Children had arrived in Buenos Aires, giving you another pass. You said you would.

You kept your word, as always. And Evita granted you another brief audience,
Met your two youngest sons (José and Emilio) and shared hot chocolate and
Biscuits with the three of you. You disliked and always criticized Peron and the Peronistas,
But you never forgot Evita’s kindness and defended her all your life.

You were gone too quickly. I had not said “I love” you in years. I was too busy,
With school and other equally meaningless things to keep in touch. You
Passed away without my being there. Mom had to travel by herself to your
Bedside for an extended stay. The last time I wrote you I had sent you a picture.

It was from my law school graduation.
You carried it in your coat pocket before the stroke.
As always, you loved me, with all of my faults that made me
Unworthy of your love.

I knew the moment that you died. I awoke from a deep sleep to see a huge
White bird of human size atop my desk across from my bed. It opened huge
Wings and flew towards me and passed through me as I shuddered.
I knew then that you were gone. I cried, and prayed for you.

Mom called early the next day with the news that you had passed. She also
Told me much, much later that you had been in a coma for some time but that
You awoke, turned to her without recognizing her, and told her that you were going to
Visit your grandson in New York. Then you fell asleep for one last time.

I miss you every day.

[   To hear a YouTube reading of this poem in its entirety, you can visit the following URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OX6w1Pwe7gI   ]
from Of Pain and Ecstasy: Collected Poems 2011, 2018
Lucas Apr 2019
bleak rot
traces static cube rim glasses
and chases the quota
of the sum
of the total
of the whole
into a long and tall and capital I.

I am red of ear, slink of wrist,
and marrow;
fuming like a full tread insect.

slanderous geology
as tongue speckling glory
is ****** and lowly
on the cowgirl trail
showing it's back
as it's best
and trading weekdays
for poor metals.

fibrous, numinous
radiology. sulking and wading.
tributary becomes runnel
becomes mighty becomes cash
becomes pulpit, or pulp.
Michael Marchese Nov 2019
Unheeded the warning
To not take to leading
An empire fleeting
Succeeded in meeting
A global trade quota
In breeding consumers
Like coca and cola
Place orders for new world
Disorderlies
Bordering
Neighbors in anger
Like free-raiding slavers
The ones who engrave
Condemnations
On strangers
Enflaming the tensions
Like Union secessions
Reclaiming your pensions
Like dispossessed peasants
Then pleasantly selling you
Greater Depressions
Inflating the price
Of each stock
Market crashed
As they’re harkening back
To the Gilded Age past
Mistakes made
By the master class
Fascist gas mask
Clasping racist ace cards
In their draft-dodging grasp
And enrapturing masses
Like pastors on acid
As faster the natural disasters
Leave gasping
The aftermath zeros
To sift through the trash heap
As scraps keep providing them
Something to eat
And that “just so it” psyche
No shoes on their feet
To compete in a race
To the top
Of the bottom
To watch it all topple
Like Hillary Rodham
Back down to this limitless growth
Swinging rope
And a hope and change slogan
In some brighter future
Where data-brain-drainers
Collude with polluters
And looters
To root out the suitable
Next active shooter
As losers keep playing
To win
Movin’ in
To the city
Of opportune sin
Get some skin in the game
Make a name
For your lack of fame
Minimum wage
And escape from the cage
That was sub-standard living
Conditions before
The New World Bank
Salvation
Uplifted the poor
With more freedom to choose
Than a grocery store
How to rot the core
Of this for-prophet war
Against forces that still
“Have-not”
Settled the score
Dada Olowo Eyo Feb 2019
Looking at the heart wrenching image,
Moved my whole being to tears,
Laying lifeless, bloodied,
Entry wood to her temple;

The husband craddling her head,
Tearfully looking down,
At the love of his life,
Never again to cheer his home;

She left the home that morning,
To oversee elections,
To serve her fatherland,
To contribute her own quota;

But all she got,
Was a bullet to her head,
The robbing of her life,
Abrupt end to an unfolding story;

Two children have lost their mother,
Parents have lost their daughter,
Sibblings have lost their kin,
And a husband his confidant;

Would she like many others,
Be a little statistic,
Some unfortunate incident,
Lost to unending callousness?
A woman was killed while working as an electoral officer in one of Nigeria's bloodthirsty states in 2019 elections. She has left two children and a husband. What's next? SAD.
My mind becomes cluttered.
Since I was a kid.. the simplest of thoughts add on  top of one another.

even though there is a big lack of stimulus
Like a television with one hundred channels demanding "A  view"
the "medical clicker" is lost and your brain seem's "too full to align with clearing itself back to  complicity..".
You are full in the head..newer ideas are next to impossible
temperament becomes askew
The "treatment" is "stimulus"
the doctors mistake such as "mania"
Since a hyperactive child never grows..the energies never cease, as well.
Blind eyes, who fail to "look outside an unorganized box of practioner's recycled thoughts,"
could ever help (neither the victim nor the prescribe)
to place on the right pair of glasses
Such failed views .. clarity.. shall never be  something that  they "see" in order "to grow" or are willing to "grow with" refusing newer education and treatment grounds  
An open page of a "still unfinished book"
Such meanings
which all who need to be "open eyed" enough to be able to show them in order "for  them to ever  know"
To teach the afflicted
"How to channel the energies and the focus"
as you mind's eyes are "in need of glasses"
Give the wrong treatment
and the medicine can burn out clearer views
than the regimens he's tried and deemed "the only one"
Not one size fits all
Look to the old, however, might be a mix with the new?
"Not every remedy is addictive or harmful"
"nor does one pair of glasses clear the visions of all.."

just as these so called "experts say"
to " save your life is the quota"
not "how many cases in which the practitioners have half-way  saved.. walking on egg-shells..to save  their own careers"
(Shells)


It makes another successful life
from a once cluttered mind
to loyalty and honor of the one who had helped him
Such a a once lost patient does keep in his now "clearer mind."
Who cared more for the advancement and quality of life of the one who asked for his "helpful hands"
Not "Magic hands"
"openness" is always the "better mixture" of "pills and therapy"
The vision cure that always seems to be the math equation that leads to successful medical group and their great sounding cliche and "medical change and reprimands."
Not afraid in sticking up for the betterment of their one client
then such additions of success become an army
of the "grown children"
with the right "pair of glasses"
that see more than just a "glass" half full, however, "the world."

Now, this bright and more colorfully lit world will shed light to those left "in the blurred dark"
as the once lost were found and the found shall become part in healing
those professionals who chase "selective cases" like "hungry sharks."
This long poetic entry is in support of those with Adult or Childhood Adhd and have received the wrong treatment. Until the right and trustful treatment regimens and practitioner was found.
  Adhd is hell. A lot of doctors protect themselves, instead of who they are fighting for. I know that with the right treatment (older medication  and therapy" or newer medications and treatment" A doctor must be open to even invent a treatment process, that can help, rather be routine and destructive.
Aspen Welsch Mar 2019
I know what you’re all about because you’ve told me.

You’re against using medicine and chemicals.
Unless I put them in my body and they become the permission slip for you to *** inside me.
Somehow this feminism pill that is supposed to liberate me is really liberating your ****.

You’re against plastic surgery.
Until I need it to fix this unbroken vessel which you can’t help but make comments about while we stand naked and on exhibit in the shower.

You’re against hurting women.
Unless it involves “hog-tying me and carrying me around like a brief case.”
Then it’s just **** and what you’re into.
I guess I should work on finding the pleasure in that.

You’re against me using a ******* chef’s knife to cut pizza rather than a pizza cutter.
Until it becomes an opportunity to tell me I’m doing it wrong.
I’m going to dull the knife you are so cunningly waiting to shove in my back.

You’re against giving in to unhappiness.
Unless it’s an excuse for you to ignore me.
I forgot I already reached my frown quota and you were given the free infinity pass at birth.

You’re against eating meat.
Unless it’s human meat because you aren’t above cannibalism. How many of us have you chewed up and **** out, anyway? I am just one more unassuming girl to be preyed upon.

You’re against pessimism.
Until it’s your life, your opinion, your need to rain on everyone’s parade. You say I don’t see the silver lining in the clouds, but it’s because I’m consumed by your storm. The entire sky is overcast and I can’t, or won’t, be the rainbow every single time.

What is a rainbow anyway?
Depending upon which way you look, it vanishes into nothing. Beautiful, but transparent and fleeting. I give you pleasure for a moment and then I am forgotten.
I am a refraction.
A bending light.
Invisibility spreading it’s legs wide open to give you a smile in fabulous color.

You shout these qualities in your autobiography like I’m supposed to give you some type of award.
The reality is that being in a relationship with you means constantly teetering on the balancing beam of a double-edged sword.
The only thing you’re really against is me.

On day 1 you told me you were an *******.
And I thought you were just exaggerating.
sondering Jan 2019
Publishing a Woman

they don’t write books
about women like
me

but we get all the looks
the haves, the have nots
those here for the taking
here’s what they took

a smile, maybe?
a tear
that’s too senile, an old
fairytale  in your ear

i hope you won’t like what you’re about to hear

they don’t write books about women like me
they write books about women
women who storm but don’t storm in
women who are ripped from heaven not
torn by sin
some women
lose
you’ll hear about them in the news
but they only write books
about women who win

what is winning?
i don’t know there’s no answer
but they write books about women who conquer
women who tower
and occasionally, the ones who cower

when you read those stories you
are grateful for the lines that make you bow down to her
to her strength,
to the lengths she’d go to the great lengths
the way you feel reading that line about her
fangs
in the eye of your mind
does her shadow far away hang

that’s the funny thing about language though
does it feel, or does it show
words can hurt but sting
more when they’re written
there’s no place for women like
me

but if you want a story
a story they’ll read
the lines have to be re written
time to fit your *** into those jeans
find a publisher to make you fit in
youre something new
but the quota only takes a few
don’t quote me but
i need a character they want to *****

so just act a little more damsel
but only fake the distress
i don’t want someone who causes unrest
that boyfriend didn’t pass the test

but here is something, a little less mess.
cause darling, you’re so blue
they don’t write books about women like you, it’s sad but it’s true
i don’t know what you want me to do,
it won’t sell, my publicist will probably go straight to
hell anyway
but
you’ll find your way
just not here not
in my office today

i’m not a character
doesn’t fit the public’s eye
feel like stone strong but
you’ll just get belittled and
it’s not like we don’t want women in the spotlight
of that hospital they sent you to, i think it’s too dark to real
realize don’t you realize women like me like her like your mother are real
ly pushing it here, there not a space for that kind of dark and drear
i could almost become that woman you want right here
right now
be a heroine a
bloodthirsty villain
something you could sink our teeth into
if first i don’t surrender myself to you
that’s what you wanted to hear
but here’s something from the women like me
a word is more powerful unwritten
and the word woman is loud and clear
#woman #woman #woman
Vin DeStefano Sep 2019
Make your choices son,
and be decisive.
The world makes quota,
for men like you.
"Mind over Heart,"
requirement entails.
I'm confident in you ..
.. your love never fails.

Be a guard son,
a protector of family.
The world has it out,
for men like you.  
"Let us in,"
the faithless say.
I'm confident in you ..
.. you're stronger by day.

Give yourself to GOD son,
a spiritual sentinel.
The Lord is hunting,
for men like you.
"Spread my love,"
I pray you will.
I'll always love you ..
.. when I've gone still.
<3
For the man I hope to raise.

— The End —