The Women's March

It was both an exorcism, and a revival.

The light blessed down on us, diagonal, through the broken architecture of downtown Los Angeles. Gold that only comes with the ecstasy of mass enlightenment.

There were taco trucks, and men in pink fur coats with sequin hats, and women with “pussy” beanies. I saw grandmothers with walkers, and suffragettes in full, turn-of-the century regalia. Infants and gangsters. Angry hippies, and happy bankers. Families, and gender-fuck punks, and people in cars, just stuck in the middle. The feeling was exalted, but there was something starkly grounded as well. This was the beginning of the next four years, and pavement is hard.

It was nearly 2pm, Farrah and I were on our way back to the bus, but the exodus away from the march was as beautiful as the journey in.

 The Goddess had called, and all the souls came out.

 I’ll go back to that morning.

 

The Beginning

morning pic MArch.jpg

Mom knocked at the front door, very emphatically, at 7am. She was sure I would either be asleep or very nearly asleep. I was awake, but horizontal. I threw on my robe, and willed my knees to bend, through the sleep-stiffness, down the stairs. I opened the front door with my “of course I was awake” face, and she put on her “ok, I stand corrected” face, but we knew we were bullshitting each other.

My two-year-old girl was still asleep, so mom hung around downstairs for a bit while I got into my marching attire. I’d decided on black denim overalls, low black converse, an orange tank under a gray cap-tee. I thought layering would be prudent, because LA weather (either underdressed or overdressed). This was dubbed a women’s event, so I was kinda dressing for my girls, but it was really a political action.

7:45am, I made it out of the house, leaving my little one with grandma. Mom did her marches already, when it counted the first time. My mother marched through city streets in NY and Chicago in the late 1960’s - arm-in-arm with dashikis and turtle-necks and bellbottoms and Americans of all colors, though street valleys between glass and stone towers. A steady river of civil disobedience. She told me they looked up to see the buildings lined with police snipers.

She gave me tips: Don’t look into cameras, don’t get filmed, don’t sign anything, don’t get separated from people you know. Now, with a camera on every human in the city, some of this is impossible, but the intention is the same. Political action is peace, on the razor’s edge. The country is fluttering like a leaf again, a strong enough gust, and we split.

 

The Ride

Don’t underestimate re-radicalized, senior-citizen, Jewish folks. They’re wild these days. The youth never left, and now they have the title of being elders to excuse long oppressed, delinquent behavior.

My uncle started the car. Squeezed into the back left seat, power-texting like a millennial, I could’ve cocooned myself in the social media zeitgeist fever-dream, but I had to look up, the energy was too live. My mom's friend,Cathy, started talking about how she marched in 1968, and my aunt chimed in - then, peeling out from the parking spot, my uncle did a shoulder-to-the-wheel U-turn, and I felt G-force I did not think possible from a compact hybrid.

January 21st, 2017 had begun.

My uncle pulled into the intersection on the red light, looked right, looked left, then he gunned it right through. My aunt reacted,

“We don’t need to run lights, let’s not get pulled over!”

My uncle threw up his fist,

“Revolution!”

Everybody laughed. Suddenly I felt cool, like I got to be in the car with the bad kids.

hybrid fire with tracks(colorized).jpg

We met up with my cousin, Farrah, and walked to the bus in our padded jackets and mittens, in freezing 60-degree Los Angeles winter. We talked about the inauguration, and quickly it moved from a sense of being appalled, to a deep base of purpose. We talked about how lucky we are to live in one of the American “bubbles” of social progressiveness, and diversity.

Two Asian boys ran by us in yarmulkes and tzitzis.

We also acknowledged that our sense of comfort, in such a safely diverse niche, is one of our greatest enemies. It’s a false sense of security.

The bus arrived mostly empty, but stop by stop the energy changed, and we began to cheer for every group of protesters we picked up. Impromptu chants washed up through us, and out the windows.

Farrah, a bespectacled, partially faux-hawked, Pilipino chick, and I, a black/mixed-race, wild-fro chick, looked like a lot of LA smushed into two people.  We talked about how LA has so many little contained worlds within its boundaries - how it’s easy to feel like an outsider in your own city. 

The bus pulled over in the Jewelry District downtown. We thought we’d get in closer to City Hall, but the street was barricaded.

We walked under construction over-hangs and passed closed jewelry shops. At some point, we realized we didn’t have to walk on the sidewalk anymore, and when we spilled into the street, the vibration became real. Something about downtown LA, without cars, with only the sprawl of human movement, was holy. There was a wandering impulse, as we neared the first crush of people, sensing our way into this. Some were in a hurry, all were in muted ecstasy of expectation.

 

The Roar

 

The power of the sound took my breath away.

Down, blocks away, somewhere from the deep throat of the avenue I heard it like a wave approaching. It was pure catharsis. One mass voice. I looked over at Cathy, Farrah, at my aunt and uncle.

I had my “Did you fucking hear that?” face on.

They fucking heard it.

The waves kept coming. We were so far back that we couldn’t hear the speakers, but we could detect their speech contours, their pitch, their intention, punctuated by the roar of thousands. I hiked my black converse up onto a planter, and climbed up to try and see further. The pigeons were weaving in and out from behind the buildings, circling in long, morphing flocks.  Another wave of human voices reached me.

There were two levels of the crowd, the people, and the paper words, hovering above in every color. It was a canopy of rainbow unrest. More and more came, some were angry, some were hilarious, all were sincere. I could tell you about the signs, but only pictures truly do them justice.

 

The Eyes

I came down from the planter and walked back to my group. Nature was calling me, and Farrah had also received the call.

We broke from the group, and struck out on our own. I was breaking one of my mom’s cardinal “Protest march rules,” but there really was no choice. Half a block up, we caught sight of open glass doors.  We followed a mother and her daughter who had their “I need to pee” faces on. The security guard told us that the passage way went straight through the building, and if we took the exit at the end of the hall, we’d find places with food etc. 

The exit door opened up into a closed-off alley, lined with small storefront restaurants. It was like a large, square, cul-de sac, hollowed out underneath a building. Yet another alcove of LA I never would’ve known about until a day away from car culture.

Finally we hit a pizza joint, with amenities. We took care of business, then Farrah and I split a slice, and watched the front door as more and more needful marchers spilled in, seeking these restrooms. Everyone had to buy a slice. It was not bad for business.

In the growing concentration of persons between buildings, a profound thing had begun to take place. Everyone’s phones seemed to be on the fritz, spotty connections at best. Thousands of Angelinos were looking up for the first time in a decade, and talking to each other. We talked to a couple who lived mid-city, a little hipster looking, knit scarves and hats. We talked in solidarity words about the changing national atmosphere, and the only thing unsaid was how beautiful it was to find so many others whose hearts were full, and heavy, like ours. We didn’t need to say it because, for once, everyone was looking up, and it was evident in the eyes.

 

The March

When we left the pizza joint, Farrah narrowly escaped some dog refuse on the sidewalk. Her shoe got a little nastified, and she had to crip-walk for 10 minutes, dragging her foot over every grate we could find. It was not unfunny. When we brought our heads back up from the mess, we saw a river of humanity bisecting our direction, and turning down the street towards the center of downtown. It had begun. We crossed tight into it, and turned with the crowd.

I willowed for a second in a wave of dizziness. A little nausea, as I got hit with the enormity. Chants broke out “MY BODY MY CHOICE!” “NOT MY PRESIDENT!” It was a microcosm of the full body of humanity. All of us moving in the same direction, linked in presence and time, but completely individualized within our momentary intentions. This man was lifting his daughter, that woman was screaming with her girlfriend, these women were solemn-faced, marching with a banner about rape survival. All unique lights in one energetic flow. I had to sit down.

The street we were on was an unofficial march pathway, because all the streets in downtown were completely overrun. Amazingly, a huge percentage of the trapped motorists were totally down to be caught in the tide.

A man was honking his horn in rhythm, sympathetically with women’s chants, and a police woman was hanging out, arm bent in her open SUV window, just smiling.

I didn’t even notice when we actually got to City Hall, because the crowd had gotten so thick. It was like ComicCon for feminists and progressives. It was, at once, invigorating and  claustrophobic. Marijuana wafts had been visiting all day, and continued to grace the atmosphere, so I started to breathe more deeply when such breezes presented themselves, in the hope of catching a little mellow. Might’ve worked, or maybe it was just that we found some space in the din, but I felt that we had reached the heart of it near the official stage. We made it up some stairs, and once we got a little height, the scope was apparent. There were signs with vaginas, but just as many about non-gendered issues.

Los Angeles was mad. Los Angeles was together.

Los Angeles was woke.

My personal favorite.

My personal favorite.

This lady rules.

This lady rules.

 

Works as either a "twit" or "twitter" joke.

Works as either a "twit" or "twitter" joke.

 

The Way Back

It’s a primal sensation, when a herd of your kind pivots and moves. My God. We were all here for each other. The sunlight was shameless, and anger was transmuting into pride. In this city of millions, so fractured and decentralized, nobody was an outsider.

The city offered up food carts, and trucks, tables and folding chairs.

We passed a shirtless African American man shouting “Black Lives Matter! Brown Lives Matter! All Lives Matter!” Everyone who passed him joined the call and response.

 

We got back to the intersection where Farrah and I had joined the march, and there was a gap in the intersection. On the other side of the street we saw another concentration of people, and another stage. A wave of seismic roar washed back to us.

We didn’t mean to, but we got lost in it. The density was even heavier than the earlier crowd. The pressed intimacy with strangers was beginning to push my panic button, but then I looked up. My heart became full with West Side Story impressions – people were hanging out on fire escapes, climbing up and down the ladders between buildings. Faces on all levels, stories above, and down on the street. I wanted to reach out to everyone, saying, “I didn’t know you were all here, all the time, why have we all been hiding ourselves? We’re not meant to be alone through this.”

We made it back to the clearing, just as Miley Cyrus took the stage behind us, and ran into some suffragettes.

I was beyond exhausted, but I felt the city was just revving up. There was a different energy of action for every person I passed. This was far from over.
This IS far from over.

That’s when the light blessed down on us, diagonal, through the broken architecture of downtown Los Angeles. Gold that only comes with the ecstasy of mass enlightenment.

There were taco trucks, and men in pink fur coats with sequin hats, and women with “pussy” beanies. I saw grandmothers, and suffragettes. Infants and gangsters. Angry hippies, and happy bankers. Families, and gender-fuck punks, and people just stuck in the middle.

 

It was an exorcism, and a revival.

 

All the souls came out.

 

Lee

I’ve been to the front, and I bring word.
I sat next to Red America. She wasn’t who I thought she was,
and she was talking to me, and she was wearing a pink sweater, 
and we sang a nursery rhyme.

Everything she said was propaganda, wrapped in a glow of “forbidden truth.” None of it was forbidden. None of it was secret.
None of it was truth.

I’m going to tell you some things. Not because I want to disseminate this misinformation, but because it’s out there, and for a lot of people, this is their truth. Understand, I’ve been beside myself, turning this experience over in my mind. I’d love to hand it over to you with the moral closure and clarity of an after-school special, but I don’t have the perspective yet. 
All I can do is tell you what happened.

My two-year-old daughter and I made our way through check-in, airport security, and to our gate, weathering only three breakdowns, one of which was mine. We pre-boarded, found our seats, stuffed our stuff, and overhead compartmentalized. We sat for a moment. She experimented with the bounce capacity of her seat.

We got up to use the restroom, and when we returned, the window seat in our row had been filled by a middle-aged, blonde woman. Pleasant face, she said hello.

My daughter was getting fidgety before take-off, so I made a subtle apology to our row-mate. I gave her one of those looks that says, “I have a toddler, she’s a good kid, but yes she exists, so I hope that’s not a thing for you.” The woman was cool about it, said she’d just come from helping her friend with her little kids, and she was used to it, she liked kids. I felt very lucky that she was my row neighbor. We talked lightly about kid stuff for awhile, then we took off.

Once the air terrain and the toddler energy smoothed out, I looked over and noticed the book our row-mate was reading (we’ll call her “Lee” from here on). I’m not going to print the name of the book, because I don’t want to give it any publicity, but I will say it involved the words “secret societies.” This clued me in that Lee had leanings either towards the fringe Right or the fringe Left. The two sides meet and overlap on certain conspiratorial subjects. So of course, being a chronically curious type, and also an “X-Files” fan, I had to ask her about a book with a title like that.

She smiled, and tucked her hair behind an ear. She was pleased to talk about it, and though she was reverent about the author, she gave a vague answer, saying it was about “a lot of things.” She said if I really wanted to know, she would tell me, but she could talk about this stuff forever, fair warning. We had 2 ½ hours, and the baby was behaving, so I was down. I asked her to tell me. I was expecting a nutty jaunt down the UFO, or Bigfoot, or paranormal rabbit hole, maybe a little “Hollow Earth Theory.” That isn’t what I got.

She closed the book, pointed to the cover, and leaned in closer. She said that the book uncovers the way “secret cultic societies control the media,” to sway mass opinion and knowledge. I’ve heard this before, and certainly it is fact that corporations have manipulated media to sway mass opinions – the most notable to my mind, is the cigarette lobby, casting smokes as being sexy, fun, and even healthy, for decades until science prevailed. But it wasn’t a mere marketing thing for her, Lee jumped onto a subject I never saw coming: The Sandy Hook school massacre.

I made a confused face when she said that – which prompted her to explained that the Sandy Hook mass shooting was a faked stunt, created by the government, in order to whip up public support for gun control. That nobody was killed, and that the school was fake.

Now I knew, fringe Right for sure.

I didn’t respond, because I was hit with two conflicting emotions. On the one hand I was horrified about the callous dismissal of the deaths of children, on the other hand, I had an impulse to laugh at the madness of the theory. This clash of horror on the verge of delirium, would last for the rest of the flight.

By now, in the brand new Trump era, I’ve heard several stories of Lefties and Righties getting stuck together on plane flights, and the twitter rants which ensue, or public shout-downs. I always thought that if I were in one of those situations I would take the bull (shit) by the horns, and do a beat-down for the blue states. But this was not a public show of force, I did not feel assaulted, deliberately or personally – just appalled.

She went on to talk about how glad she was that Trump had been elected.
“I mean, I wasn’t like, that into him, but as a Libertarian I don’t want anyone taking guns away. I mean most of the guns taken away wouldn’t be from criminals anyway.”
Lee talked about two other massacres, Pulse nightclub, and the Boston bombing. Both stunts. Nobody died. All the people at the nightclub in Florida were actors, how do we know? Most of them had IMDB pages. Proof.
I nodded.
She said that we don’t need the media to tell us what happens at these things.
“Why should we trust one reporter, when there are hundreds of people talking about it on YouTube?”
These “reporters” are, according to her, of equal or greater value, substantively, than the press, since the press is biased towards the left. According to her.

I realized this was not going to be a conversation, this would be an overview lecture on post-truth America. She continued, as the eye of her conspiratorial lens dilated, internationally.

Lee feels we should deport all immigrants, close all the borders, and stop helping other countries altogether. The conversation turned to Syria. I said, “It’s a very complex, and tragic thing.”
She was passively unsympathetic to the plight of the people, just like she was about the domestic shootings, almost as if there were no civilian casualties, it was just another vast game of intrigue.

This was a moment where I could’ve taken a political stand. I could’ve argued with this woman, over policy, and history, and basic human decency, but I asked myself if this was a teachable moment – I read her – these theories were her bedrock. She had already told me that, by profession, she was the editor of a particular Libertarian magazine, so she considered it her job to cultivate these conspiratorial versions of everything. She was not confrontational, she felt that she was teaching me, and I recognized that was true, horrid though it was, and that I was about to learn a lot about the world beyond my sphere.
I decided not to give any opinions for the duration of the flight. 
I decided to listen. No matter what.

“Ok, so my theory on Syria, well, a lot of people don’t like it.”
I nodded. 
 She told me that the “real story” is that ISIS is involved, also America, but Russia is innocent in all this. She said that Hillary Clinton wanted war with Russia, which Trump is trying not to do, and that peace with Putin was the most important thing. She said that Russia is in a bad way right now, the people are suffering, and Putin is a great man with whom we should be allied. She said this with a tone that this was obvious.
She also mentioned that when she brings this up around her family, they…
“...shut me down, they don’t let me talk about this stuff because they were all for Hillary, but don’t they know she just wanted to start WWIII? I mean c’mon.”
“Mm hmm,” I said. 
 For a moment, I got a bigger picture on Lee. She was the outsider in her family. The more you listen, the more you learn about the teller, and why they need to believe what they need to believe. She wants some truth in a world that is changing and is making less and less sense with the way she was raised. She does not want to feel the pain of America’s domestic failures against its own people, so she lives in a mental space where those failures don’t exist, they’re all conspiracies, dictated by mysterious dark forces.

Instinctively, I felt for her, but my empathy would soon freeze again.

I continued, “But what about all the people who are dying? Families?”
She didn’t brush off the question, so much as she brushed off the condition of the people as being an actual tragedy. She said the Syrian refugees are “not all Syrian,” that the true reason for the existence of refugees (I realized she was referring to ALL refugees in the world, as a block) from anywhere, into Europe and/or America, is to overtake white populations. To render extinct the “white race,” by people who would come to their countries and “outbreed” them, to bring about the White Genocide.

I didn’t breathe for a few seconds. I was looking at a White Nationalist. A real one.

I had a gut reaction to protect my daughter. I put my arm around her tiny shoulders, and looked down at her. She was obliviously coloring on a napkin and singing to herself. I was glad she wasn’t old enough to understand this conversation going on, literally, above her head.

Several times during the flight, Lee pointed out how beautiful my daughter is. Several times. My multi MULTI-racial daughter. And she said this to my face, surrounded in voluminous Afro hair, my brown skin, and my scarf with Sanskrit and Buddhist imagery on it. It did not occur to her that I am everything she is lecturing against. She could not see the people in front of her.

Back to the lecture….

Lee went on with talk about percentages and figures relating to American racial demographics, and how whites would be outnumbered soon, how this should not be allowed to happen in the white, Christian nations, like America, and European countries.

Her body language was open across the middle seat, and she was leaning in, like we were having girl-talk about sex positions. She knew that her words were kindling, and didn’t want to start a fire with other passengers, but she was just so pleased to have found someone who she thought was a confidant (I was praying nobody heard her, and thought I was complicit.). At this point I took out a blank, lined, book, and starting taking notes. She was pleased for me to do so, as she felt she was bestowing knowledge. I told her I wanted to look up some of this stuff when I got home, because it was so interesting and I’d never heard it before (thankfully she was unfamiliar with dry sarcasm). I had my pen at the ready, waiting for her to drop the white supremacy agenda, the big plan, so I could report back – but there was no revelation, beyond further and further depths of regurgitated bigotry.

(Names are blurred, because I do not want to drive any publicity toward the authors she mentioned.)

(Names are blurred, because I do not want to drive any publicity toward the authors she mentioned.)

She went back to Syria. 
“Want to know the real reason for the fighting, altogether?”
Of course I wanted to know. Let’s go all the way down the rabbit hole.
“Sure, what is it?”
“Ok well, a lot of people get offended by this...” A thing she no longer had to say to me. 
I nodded.
She explained that it all had to do with the grand Zionist plan of Israeli expansion. That it’s truly the Israeli government, working with America to expand Israel through Syria. 
I asked her to elaborate.
She began to talk about the “true intent of the Jewish people.”

I’ve been around anti-Semitic talk before, because most people don’t know I have any Jewish heritage. I’ve heard a lot of it, actually, but it was passive and tasteless, nothing like this. It’s always been an ethical choice, for me, when to step in and correct someone, because it involves “outing” something that isn’t obvious about myself, “dropping the J-bomb” as I’ve referred to it, and frankly, that can be dangerous. Certainly, in this situation, it was getting harder to honor my self-imposed oath of silent learning, but this day, I chose to listen. I was not going to change her heart in one awkward plane flight.

She went on to say that the Jews run all of the banks and industries (an old conspiracy stand-by). 
I said, “like… you mean all Jewish people?” 
She said that 80-90% of American Jews have no idea what their religion really stands for, what it really means, and what the “Jews who run things” are actually trying to do.

In one of my few attempts to interject a pivot on perspective, I mentioned that all religions came from ancient texts, and all ancient texts say weird things, and modern followers of those religions leave certain parts to history – like Christianity abandoning the acceptance of slavery. This didn’t seem to get anywhere, because she was convinced this did not apply to Jews. Or Muslims btw. But then, in one of many twists in her logic, she laid into evangelicals for being too rote, for helping Zionists, and said that she wasn’t even sure if Jesus existed. So Christianity, to her, was an emblem of whiteness, and American-ness. 
Only as a secondary function, was Christianity a source of spiritual inspiration.

I needed to take a breather. I pretended to look through my bag for something.

Right then, I looked down at my daughter who was face down in the middle seat. She had discovered that she had two hang-nails on her middle fingers, and she had her little arms fully extended to both sides, middle fingers out, wildly “flipping the bird” in all directions. 
This was exactly how I felt. 
Lee did not notice.

The stewardess came by and I got a snack, Lee got some juice. We refueled before Lee jumped back onto her train of thought, and asked if I wanted to hear her theory on WWII. 
“Supersize me.” I said. 
I didn’t actually say that, but that was how I felt. Hit me.

She sounded, when talking about pre-war Germany, like she sounded about Putin’s Russia. Like she was describing a wounded animal, in need of support and sympathy. 
Then came the line.
“Hitler, who knows how bad he really was.” 
 I felt the need to laugh, because I’m a big Mel Brooks fan, and it sounded like a thing he would say before a satirical song and dance number. But this was the other side. She un-ironically compared Hitler to Trump, as a “problem solver.” A weeder-out of problem demographics. She said they were Work Camps, not Death Camps. That he didn’t want to kill anyone, could’ve had them deported – he just didn’t.

I was looking at a Holocaust denier.

There was a lull in the conversation. 
We still had around 30 minutes to go. I shared some peanuts with my daughter. Lee commented on how beautiful my daughter’s eyelashes were, and said she was so smart. My girl jumped up and down on the seat waving at the people behind us, unaffected by what Lee had just spilled all over her mother’s consciousness.

We didn’t talk for about 20 minutes. She went back to her book, and I played with my girl. The plane began the descent.
I felt Lee, one seat over. 
I felt her presence, calmly reading. 
I felt the both of us, moving in the same vehicle, in the same direction, to the same destination.

She has a fantasy that keeps her mentally safe. People who believe like her, they do not want to allow themselves to feel the pain of America’s true failures. The realities of racism, sexism, and classism are too uncomfortable, and require too much personal examination. “Good vs. Bad” is easier to stomach than “progress takes time, effort, forethought and sacrifice.” It’s easier if a shadow government, perhaps run by a religion which feels foreign to you, is secretly pulling all the strings, and causing all the suffering you cannot imagine God would allow. So those people must be evil. That makes it a clear “us vs. them” one-step thinking.

As much as I felt like I should hate her, I did not hate her. 
I felt familiar with her, in that she had shared the things that matter most to her, and I had received them without (outward) judgment. 
I felt her isolation. 
I felt that we were two women who felt lost, and truly wanted, in our drastically opposing ways, to make the world better. 
This was our greatest point of division, and our greatest bond.

Just before we landed, my daughter started singing a song. 
Lee looked over and said,
“That’s one of my favorite songs.” And smiled.
We landed on the tarmac, all three of us singing a chorus of “Pop Goes The Weasel.”
.
.
.
Some of you are going to ask me how I sat there. 
Some of you are going to tell me you would’ve gotten up and changed seats. Some of you would’ve argued her or, righteously, gotten in her face. The way I looked at it, walking away from her would’ve been a lateral move, would’ve gained no ground for me. It seemed to me that my choice was to learn, or not to learn.

The Answer

1/11/2017

I’m writing to God on a dinner napkin.

 

In my bratty ennui,
deeply moved in perfunctory ways,
smug in the dream that history has unfolded in my favor,
I’ve been alarmed at violence, but not sparked.
Rattled by injustices, but not awakened.

 

I’m writing this half drunk.

 

I don’t believe in the rapture,
but I feel the crust of the Earth, and the firefly souls upon it.
Your delinquent children, throwing stones.
Throwing prayers away in bursts of shrapnel.

 

I’m bracing for something.

 

We are calling out
from within your holy architecture,
vibrant in reverberation,
waiting for the echo back.

We are all sitting
in lust and terror of the answer,
transfixed upward,
waiting for the sky to crack.

For Dr. King

Sunday morning, January 15, 2017

 

I woke to gospel cadence in my mind.

Clap children.
Amen.

Stand up on your creaking ankles,
laugh at the bone snap.
Glory wakes up every day,
arthritic.
Praise is a dusty hat, 
trimmed with Sunday’s busted roses.

We are gathered here today,
as we were gathered yesterday,
as we will gather tomorrow.

All irises
ice blue to coal,
open with hope.
Wet with memory.
Red with glory, waking up every day
on snapping ankles,
to march
through dusty roses,
over bridges,
through glass and golden towers,
on pain of love.

We are so heavy.

We are heavy with rolling storm
but we can carry it together.

In our hearts
we all hold the thunder
of The Preacher.

I Asked America How He Was doing

11/9/2016

Don't fuck with me
I'm a desperate man.
I have within me the volumes of mania.
The books, leaf by yellowed leaf,
of caged animals.

Of naked, spider infested, strung-out Christians.

Pick-up trucks of countryless patriots
skidding unholy errands past the black church mothers, 
shrieking slogans of the bent cross.
 

Dairy farmers, white to the elbow,
sick in puss and sad, infected, groans of beasts. 
Sick of elevation of church mothers so he elevates his brothers from beneath a white sheet.

I covet, in my chest, the text of fury, and I pace this slab in toxic, ink sweat.

I am the verse, and I am the cursory dismissal of verse, 
in the name of spit.

Chasing Grace

12/2016

I'm chasing grace these days.
I'm starving for it.
Wide tongued,
lapping at the morning drippings
of dream lessons,
obliterating in the full wattage of dawn.

The news says
there will be changes.

I'm chasing, graceless,
half dressed and inebriated.
Any God who will listen,
I am your acolyte.
Show me the peaceful war.

The news shows children
with ash in their hair.

I'm changing, un-gracefully.
I'm not eating properly.
I think I'm in love
with a wish for love.
I'll spin the prayer wheels,
or light the votives,
I'll bless the wine,
or bleed on the altar.

The news says
they say we are not people.