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?
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.
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.
Time travel is not what we think it is.
There are no wrinkles, no loops,
no grandfather paradoxes waiting
with cold hands to snuff us out
when we inevitably drink the wrong
A&W Root Beer the night of July 4th, 1992,
causing us to flirt with John instead of Bill,
and, well, we know from there…
or when we stumble upon our past selves
taking a poo with Reader’s Digest at hand
while visiting Grandma’s trailer
the weekend of April 11th, 1987,
so young and constipated we were,
we reach out to our surprised face,
our old face hovers in the door frame,
watching our wrinkled hand reach out
knowing full well we’re violating
The Timecop Principle and how selfish
are we to come back in time to prevent a history
because we’re in an unsatisfactory now
and unwilling to entertain other futures
forgetting that there are no anti-photons,
that light travels forever
and that Jean Claude Van Damme
is neither physicist
nor guidance counselor.
We can walk around the block
in the time it takes us to listen
to Wang Chung’s ‘Dance Hall Days’,
so I wanted to write a poem
tying the song’s lyrics
to observations made along the way.
For instance, I’d quote,
“And take your baby by the ears”
as we stroll by the police station
while employing certain literary tools
to highlight comparisons between the cops
and now-faded pop stars from the 1980s.
And I’d somehow tie together,
“And you need her and she needs you,”
to urban gentrification
and how pushing away the poor has somehow
escaped potential developers of downtown Kansas City, Kansas
despite wholly reshaping Kansas City, Missouri into something…else.
And then I’d end the poem repeating,
“Dance hall days, love, dance hall days
dance hall days, love, dance hall days.”
But without a smoking sax solo,
the entire affair seemed hopelessly missing
that something wholly necessary for lasting greatness.