Proud American

In any case, it can’t be clear,
we see factories smoking Lucky Strikes,
belching blackness into the cancer-stricken sky.

We see G.I. Joes playing cops and robbers,
on the streets of soul-food diners, corner liquor-stores and tenement settlements.

We see high-stakes poker-players,
playing Monopoly with week-to-week paycheck maker’s money.

We see comatose masses,
hypnotized by one hundred and fifty channel sixty-four inch pornographic babysitters.

We see lawyers and liars and lobbyists and loggers and doctors and dentists and draft-dodgers
riding a never-ending roller-coaster Tilt-a-Whirl Loop-the-Loop
of no taxation without representation.

We see all this, from the microscopic to the astronomic,
and yet we live and die in darkness…

- Kurt Poleet

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“My country, right or wrong,” is a thing that no patriot would think of saying except in a desperate case. It is like saying, “My mother, drunk or sober.” – G. K. Chesterton

Contingencies

Mascara tears drizzle down her cheek,
a few more beers and it’s not so bleak.
Take me for a ride,
one phenomenal ride,
past prison bars and distant stars,
fat bass busting out my speakers,
steal a brand-new pair of sneakers,
brimming with satire ’round the campfire.
Barbarians at the gate,
fueled by nothing more than hate.
Really? A wrinkle in space and time?
Your philosophy ain’t worth one thin dime…

- Kurt Poleet

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“When everything was ready, the stranger opened his eyes, moved to the table, filled a tumbler with tea for himself and one for the beardless old man to whom he passed it. Pierre began to feel a sense of uneasiness, and the need, even the inevitability, of entering into conversation with this stranger.” – Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

Frosted Flakes

All shiny and new
just a few rose petals
mostly those petals
metallic fantastic platitudes
hissy-fit kitty-cat attitudes
warbling nightingale lost
Frosted Flakes for supper,
supper in the Upper Room
from womb to tomb
cheap cigars to rose petals
mostly those petals
just a few
all shiny and new…

- Kurt Poleet

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“What is straight? A line can be straight, or a street, but the human heart, oh, no, it’s curved like a road through mountains.” – Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire

Stray

How in God’s name
does the ivy continue to grow
look at me I know you
I know what happened
I know exactly what you did
prayers bounce off
your shell-shocked skull
tell me what’s in the bag
say it
say the words
the ice is very thin
this far away from home
take another step
I fucking dare you
the bricks are starting to fall
just like you predicted
I wonder, I just have to wonder
how the hell you knew…

- Kurt Poleet

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“At present I would prefer not to be a little reasonable,’ was his mildly cadaverous reply.” – Herman Melville, Bartleby, the Scrivener

You can’t grow roses in cement

If you’re looking for justice, just turn away,
somewhere, there must be a better game to play,
like an egg salad sandwich left outside to rot,
the have-nots languish
in a hopeless state of anguish.

To try to greet the day with a smile is a chore,
is there food to feed the children?
Not today, not no more,
enough schools to teach the children?
Not today, not no more.

The sun never seems to shine
in this lonely jail of mine,
there’s no reason to lament,
you can’t grow roses in cement…

- Kurt Poleet

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Atticus Finch: If you just learn a single trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it. – To Kill a Mockingbird

and that other one

Scamming greedy opulences
ramming speed! No consequences;
tearing down and tearing up,
bite the Baron’s buttercup!

Like lichen o’er the hill, there goes
his glasses, rolling down his nose!
Who really knows what dreams may come?
Shakespeare, and that other one.

This spinning marble keeps on sinning,
this sinning marvel keeps on spinning.
Blue eyes see blue skies,
and I am left to wonder why…

- Kurt Poleet

2-1

Carl Showalter: Would it… kill you to say something? “No.” That’s the first thing you’ve said in the last four hours. That’s a… that’s fountain of conversation, man. That’s a geyser. I mean, whoa daddy! Stand back, man. Shit. I’m sitting here driving. Doing all the driving, man. The whole fucking way from Brainard driving. Just trying to… chat, you know. Keep our spirits up, fight the boredom of the road, and you can’t say one fucking thing just in the way of conversation. Oh fuck it. I don’t have to talk to you either, man. See how you like it. Just total fucking silence. Two can play at that game, smart guy. We’ll just see how you like it. Total silence. – Fargo

Event horizon

There is no refuge from change,
such folly hides a strangeness beyond what we may know;
we’ve seen this scene above, below, inside and out.
We color our canvas in hues of doubt
and hear the calling ghosts of blatant boasts
instinctively mired in inconsistency.

So all you sinners start to hearken starkly,
for you see,
the heart is nothing but a mirrored question mark…

- Kurt Poleet

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Tyger Tyger burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry? – William Blake, The Tyger