"St. Matthew's Steeple" by Jess Kwiatkowski
antebellum in manors
inflexible spinsters wither
gardens growing unkempt
structures turning bereft
dwindling bloodlines dripping
final vestiges of the holy city
body sculpting scholastic
progeny of affluence
fraternities popping sororities
drinking their allowances
swapping designer drugs
trademark pastels of southern fashion
unlucky star grinders
buckling under pressure
nicotine liquor amphetamines
rent ballooning exorbitant
wages petrified minimum
clinging fingernail to decaying property
panhandling cosmopolitan streets
homeless faces changing
sixstring strumming same
unaddressed flows dope
lacing the veins
tattered lives ribbon the thoroughfare
generations of freemen
removed predictably north
realtor checkmate proletariat
yuppie upstarts filing
signed paperwork gentrifying
the most charming city on earth
motley artist specters
playing alternative culture
expressions riotous swelling
then silent slumbering
wandering beaten streets
composing verse to address distinction
"Continuum" by John White
We are seeing a continuum a millennium some come to change others derange I want to break the cage and arrange my own pace. I can't wait some day our hearts will rid of hate and fate has ways to make things change.
I'm not a capitalist I'm a futurist. A synergist environmentalist a home chemist for demolitionist sentiment humanist and intimate.
Dynamite might make the deaf hear left ear ringing the bomb still singing breaking race tracks taking the demons back unearthing a syntax of urchins searching for purpose.
Searched us, demeaned us and beat us dehumanized and laid dark eyes, tired minds, handcuffed for our stand up. Jailed failed rocks hailed from the people. One last chance to pray at the steeple.
Judge said guilty with a toothy smile and filthy guile the vulture would happy that the race horse had won. Me not bought out by the seed of greed the demon tree will never corrupt me.
Day of judgment is coming, if there is a god I hope he is one of understanding. Last chance to speak fall off feet to my knees and I hope this changes anything. My death row words.
See yourself a revolutionary hopefully visionary spreading light glaring caring and carrying blinding bright bearing the torch of peace of mind rewind class structure find numbers discover one another in a fair society we can work and raise a family cut down the demon tree where vultures breed plant a new seed stop racing tracking money unify and watch fields blossoming.
Credit talk dark and scary
There’s Disney Diversity, which is like
[a mulatto, an Asian dude, and a white-ass cheerleader walk into
and the world applauds with force smiles,
none the wiser that their repressed insincerity
is the punchline].
And then there’s the not-so-pleasant, frowned-upon,
[real] diversity, which is like:
watch me pop a Klonopin or 5, and
get down with the preps and the prostitutes,
all smokin’ too much of this or that…
with the 50-year-old [white, male] Harvard scholar,
who’s too damned brilliant and lonely and sleazy
for his own good,
with the marine-to-be citadel cadet who is
conflicted about his orientation… sexually,
and nationally [“I know America is a corporate, materialistic,
tyrannical force, persecuting the weak;
but if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em,
with the starving artists and soccer moms all their sipping coffee,
with the train-hopper, the tranny,
the redneck ex-con with tats on his face.
Diversity ain’t a pretty thing, prescribed, premeditated,
and pre-packaged in a rainbow little bow.
It’s full of grey-area, paradoxes, and confusion.
But conviction to one man, is close-mindedness to another;
And open-mindedness to one, hypocrisy to another.
The Houses of the world hold their own diversities
Each occupy within them different memories
Some with walls full of open spaces
others covered in paintings and faces
All bearing their disparate smells
The aroma of love or the putridity of personal hells
Patiently sitting pretty in their little rows
Or up on a hill all alone
The houses of the world
Each home to unique tales
Some abandon because of their ales
Everybody just wants a roof over their head
Nothing compares to having your own bed
Taken for granted by the rich
Desired more than anything by the less fortunate
All artwork by Rebecca Jane Hooper