I dreamed of an oscillating fan built to temper and tame near-feral cats. They called the fan The Cat Whisperer. What luck! For I co-habitate with near-feral cats who shit where they please, rob the birds of every song, and carve my furniture to shredded signs of true ownership. I turned on the demo unit and the fan whirred to life. I wanted to believe The Cat Whisperer would work. I wanted to tame that which the wild had first dibs. I wanted to interrupt nature so friggin’ hard.
Come up, come up
Let us show you the attic
Easy now, mind the dust
Mind the dust everywhere
Stand up, stand up
Tall now, look around now
There’s a box of old books
Too fragile to read through
Those cobwebs in the corner
The prior owner’s condition
Gaps in the insulation
A real character builder
Now step over here
There’s something to see
Look down, look down
Yes, that hole at your feet
You see? Sleeping soundly?
Not knowing you’re up here
And oh! how you’ve wondered
And held your suspicions
How easy we’ve made it
For you to never stop watching
Never stop, never stop
Who’s she dreaming of now?
First published in the 2010 version of Kansas City Voices by Whispering Prairie Press.
It won’t take long to read.
It’s called Economic Relief.
If you like it – share it far and wide.
Old man on sidewalk
Jogs past Yoder sign, grabs it,
Rips it, runs, smiles
We were all so arrogant, yes,
to think it wouldn’t happen to one of us
though all of us are dying a little every day.
A maudlin fog grips the city
that you’ll never see again.
A million icy particles suspended
right in front of our noses,
too tiny, too gray to make out as individuals.
Your son and wife are in Florida.
Only they know why.
In Florida, waves of melancholy
lick the dirt-sand shores.
In Florida, seagulls gripe about their diets
so the children feed them Alka-Seltzer
and watch them fly away.
The children hope to pop the birds
like balloons past their prime.
In California, children also hope to pop the seagulls.
The children have turned toward a cruel science.
Where will we be when the fog and the cold lift
and all homes but one are warm and lively;
when the ladybugs think they’ve found holes in the windows
then spend the rest of their lives
in a pane-centered community;
when the rainwaters drop and the rivers brim with water poisoned
by our desire for more life and our desire to grow,
grow as fast as we can?
Where will we be when the woods
call us back to make love in the forest,
to make masks of shed bark
and clothes from fallen logs?
Where will we be when you won’t;
when you won’t ever again?
We were all so arrogant, yes,
and arrogant still.
Our children are ignorant and growing.
The trees promise a wild, quiet fog.
Ice hangs from the leaking gutters.
This is an unusual Shots in the Night show. Tonight’s show is about our city, its people, its feelings, and its life, described through poetry by local artists. If you think you don’t like poetry, you are in for a pleasant surprise, because many of these poems are more like storytelling.
Featuring: Gregory Cenac, Linda Kay Davis, Patrick Dobson, Sharon Eiker, Kathy Hughes, Silvia Kofler, Will Leatham, Michelle Pond, Jeanette Powers, Jason Preu, Larry Welling, and Brandon Whitehead.
Poems read by Rosena Baumli and Jason Preu.
Join Fountainverse: KC Small Press Poetry Fest organizers Jason Preu, Samantha Slupski, and Brandon Whitehead as they welcome Nathanael William Stolte of Buffalo, NY and Cringe-Worthy Poets Collective Press. Special guests, Chigger Matthews aka Matthew Haines and the one and only #bathtubpoet, New Jersey’s own Damian Rucci!
The return of BDUB 4000, the original robot poet will be the star of the show! Don’t miss this funny and piquant event, which brings some lightheartedness and humor to poetry.
No cover, but LOTS of amazing books will be available! Bring cash for poetry to stir the soul and tickle the heart!
Cannot be accused, are not
And who was Joshua anyway but a common man come to tell the common man how to get by in a world like this?
This here world built on rich men’s dreams in rich men’s eyes for rich men’s bodies.
You see, a rich man ain’t got to love nothing. Only thing he’s got to do is open his purse and say the word.
Hell, sometimes it’s better if he don’t say any words a’tall, just hush it up all quiet-like so there ain’t no trail, ain’t no truth to the matter.
But a poor man’s got to love everything to get by in a world like this, a world he’s set to inherit.
Got to love that what itint fair.
Got to love that what puts him down.
Got to love that what hates him just for watching the same goddamn blue sky.
Got to love that what hates.
Got to love
that what hates.
Got to love murder by the ruling class, stuck through with a handful of rusty nails, up on some old dirty wood, bleeding out over all creation just so the other poor folk’ll keep in mind: all your days you got to love that what hates you ‘til this here world sets you free at last, free at last.
In mythology, the giants were birthed from the blood of Uranus’s castrated prick wherever it splattered across the womb of Gaia.
The earth sometimes takes issue with the heavens – and can react in most uncontrollable ways.
Still, the Olympians killed the overgrown with the help of the mortal, Heracles.
In economics, continuous growth is a virtue, coupled right alongside a few humans’ endless creativity.
Earthly wealth often forgets the heavenly birthright of the tired and the poor.
Still, money talks and human capital jaywalks with the help of a demographic fighting its long-term survival.
In biology, we call continuous growth a cancer.
A body sometimes rebels against itself to save itself with no awareness that it’s ending itself.
Still, the old gods watch the new giants’ invisible hands; the old gods quietly wait for a new Heracles to nock an ancient, accurate bow.