Saturday, January 21, 2017

day TWO

Flags

I was a cub scout for all of an hour and then they laid that oath on me and it was all over
What a waste since I look really good in blue and knowing how to start a fire
Inside a soaking city would make me the handiest poet in town
In school I mumbled my way through prayers and pledges hand over heart head down in appropriate shame
The priest would say surely you've sinned more than that and I wished that I had
(Sure, I'd masturbated in a church rest room but I wasn't going to tell him that)
I taped a penny to the form I cut from the Sunday paper and mailed into the RCA Record Club
Agreeing to years of refusing the album of the month (I bought some Van Halen tapes & bailed)
My friends spent every minute of every day at St. Raphael's inking devil signs and nazi flags into every surface
The more astute at scratching out stars would sketch Ol' Dixie as well coz why not what the fuck
Then talk Sabbath, Maiden, and Zep at lunch while punching each other in the head metaphorically
My notebooks went sans artwork, my desk never tattooed by my own hand, and I never touched any of the girls' breasts
I suspected these things were related but I could never take it seriously and still don't
There are things in this world that you shouldn't worry about and others that should break your heart always
It's all confused and it's getting more confusing (I don't even know what I'm writing about here)
Someday I'll figure it out or maybe I won't whatever I still look good in blue and flags and oaths
make for lousy art

--Kristofer Collins



Kristofer Collins is the owner of Desolation Row 
Records and the books editor at Pittsburgh Magazine.
He is the publisher of Low Ghost Press.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Day ONE

inauguration day
oh to be a fly
on the plush leather interior of that limo
carrying the president and the president-elect
to the capitol building
to complete this national slaughter of democracy
obama and michelle sitting silent
after having given eight years to this ungrateful land
across a seat from that bloviating jackass
and his blank of a trophy wife
it’s a good thing that trump has small baby hands
the way he’ll be waving those little appendages around
pointing out his ugly ass hotel
frantically looking for his android in the pockets of his suit
so that he can get one more dig in at his enemies
before this violent sideshow
becomes the given state of the world
bet he still won’t be able to look obama in the eye
you can always count on a coward for consistency
i do wonder what they’ll really talk about
obama with a library on the tip of his tongue
and trump barely able to articulate a sentence
i guess there’s the ratings
on celebrity apprentice to rake over the coals again
or trump could talk about how
huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuggggeeee the crowd is
more white faces in the mob than a KKK rally
it’s supposed to rain that afternoon
so maybe the orange-faced paper tiger
will have one his make america great again hats on
so the toupee doesn’t get soaked
maybe obama will give the fool a last little bit of advice
how not to tweet world war iii
or the way that tricky door works on the oval office
or maybe he’ll let the racist prick sink
into his own narcissistic quagmire
daydream hawaii and be done with us all
we the people deserve us much
all the same it’ll be an interesting limo ride
and maybe being a fly on all of that plush leather
wouldn’t be the best thing
with all of that juvenile bloodlust that trump has
swirling around in that vacuous head of his
a poor fly wouldn’t make it one d.c. block
before trump crushed it with a gleeful smile

and all the malice he’ll give to a brave new world.                                              

Thursday, January 19, 2017

DAY ZERO

One can waste a lot of moments trying to be profound. I know that because what you’re reading right now is the end result of that very foolish endeavor. To be honest I’m not a very profound person. I’m gut and reactionary. What is to be said of today? I could use the words dignity and eloquence to describe the eight years of the Obama administration, but over the past few weeks the words have become overused despite how well they fit. I’ll say simply that I’m going to miss the man, his family, his administration, and the way that President Obama tried to steer this nation toward something resembling a collective empathy.

Simply said: the story of America is a story of immigrants. The incoming president and the collection of domestic terrorists otherwise known as the GOP may not recognize that, but it’s true. Be they the people who were enslaved and brought here against their will, brutalized, traumatized, terrorized and demoralized as they built this nation, or ones who came here of their own volition; America is the story of the “other.” It would do us all a good service to remember that over the coming four years.

It is also important to remember who we are. Collectively. Individually. What makes us. To quote the great Bruce Springsteen: “Who we are, what we’ll do and what we won’t.” It’s important to remember that because we’re going to be tested. The elements out there that will take power at 12:01 PM on January 20th, 2017; they want us to forget ourselves. They want us to forget our compassion. They want us to forget our empathy. They want us to forget our sympathy. They want us to forget our humanity, our very OWN dignity and eloquence. They want to make America great again by taking us back to a time when the rights of women, LGBTQIA, and people of color, when the rights of incoming immigrants too, didn’t mean a whole hell of a lot.

That isn’t to suggest that we’ve blossomed into a full utopia. A simple look at police shootings of African Americans, particularly Black males, and a look a domestic violence and rape statistics against women, and assaults on immigrants show how very far we haven’t come.

This refashioned WineDrunk SideWalk blog is no longer a forum for my own writing, but is not being transformed into a forum for resistance through art. Resistance to Trump. Resistance to the incoming GOP apocalypse. Back in November, still reeling from the election (but not surprised at its outcome at all) I made a call to poets, writers, artists, etc. to come and join me on this blog. Many have and I thank them. Over the next 1460+ days you’ll be seeing my writing and the work of many others on here. I hope you enjoy. I hope it makes you think. I hope it helps keep that part of you that those motherfuckers in Washington D.C. are going to try and strip down and trample all over. I welcome others to join. Email me at Winedrunksidewalk@gmail.com with your poems, your rants, your painting, your drawings, your photos….hell gimme what you got! IN THE BODY OF AN EMAIL PLEASE.

We’ll come out of this alive….well….most of us will.

To close I’m going to give you the sweet and sour. The sweet is an email that my father-in-law sent to his daughters the day after or a few days after the election. Its very own dignity and eloquence made me want to use it to set the positive tone of this blog. Don’t worry they’ll be plenty of negative. But my father-in-law’s story is an immigrant story. His story is an American story.
So….ladies and gents and all others I give you Big Ron:



Hi girls

Though a few days have passed since the election and the anger had subsided somewhat, I still have this hole in my soul that will be there for at least four years.

I'd like to tell you something - I grew up in the 50s and 60s and l saw firsthand what America was then. I used to say when the next generation comes along things will get better. 

And it did. We elected the first black president and i thought we were finally going in the right direction. 

Here we had a chance to elect a woman for president and break that glass ceiling. That didn't happen. 

I came to this great nation as an immigrant and I may not have accomplished personally everything I wanted but what I'm most proud of are the strong daughters that I have and that I know you'll fight to break that glass ceiling. 

I may still see a Madam President.

I love you all more 

Love,
Dad

....and....the sour:








Stay vigilant and strong

peace
jg


Monday, November 14, 2016

On The Return of WineDrunk SideWalk

Hello all

Well….I had myself a nice long week….how about you?

First and foremost let’s remember that we’re still alive, that we’re still here, and that that motherfucker Donald Trump better be ready for one hell of a fight…because we are. There will be no unity after this election. This isn’t your typical winner loser here (of course we actually WON the election). Instead of the standard, lying bullshitting Republican in the White House we get a racist, sexist, xenophobic, rapist, illiterate, orange-faced, baby-dicked thousandaire, reality TV con man. If Donald Trump wants unity in Trumpland he better buy a dictionary and look up the word.

I didn’t intend to bring WineDrunk SideWalk back. YES I SPELL IT AS SUCH. I had intended to spend 2017 editing and revising my novel, The Poet, and basking in the glow of the first female presidency. But that didn’t happen. Instead America revealed itself to be the same racist nation that it always has been….thanks White Folks. For the first time in my life I’ve been having a hard time looking people in the eye: women, minorities, etc because I know what people who look like me have done. I know how people who look like me have betrayed years of progress. At a time like this you just have to wonder at how cruel and vicious of a race you belong to. You wonder what it is that you can do to somehow make the insurmountable right again.

In some small way WineDrunk SideWalk will be that for me. I plan on spending the next four years, EVERY GODDAMNED DAY, posting poems ( and other stuff) on this blog that reflect not only to doings of the deplorable human beings we will soon have running the United States government, but the violence and hatred that Donald Trump has helped unleash here on the streets.

….but I NEED your help. 

It’s simply not possible for me to write 1460 poems, no matter how much material Trump will give me…at least until he unleashes the nukes or rounds all of us up. So I need all of the poets and writers and photographers out there to help me. What I want/hope is that you will send me your poems etc. that reflect the impact of the Trump presidency on America and the world. On days where I simply have run out of Material I plan on posting the work of others in order to keep this thing going daily. Of course you will be credited for the work. I will also need some gatekeepers for this blog. Because I do intend to have a life with the requisite vacation days and whatnot I will need trustworthy people to run this blog in my absence. I’ll be reaching out to you folks in the coming weeks.

You can email me your work the following address: winedrunksidewalk@gmail.com

NO ATTACHMENTS!!!!!  even if I know you…..put the writing in the BODY of the email!

So…WineDrunk is back. Our first post will be on January 19th, 2017, the day BEFORE Inauguration Day. Or as I’m calling it: The Last Day of America.


Hope to see a lot of you in the fight.  Anyway….here’s two new poems.

obama shook the hand of a bigot

obama shook the hand of a bigot
in the white house
in front of the press
obama took the hand of the bloviating
half-senile, orange-faced, baby-dicked,
racist, sexist, xenophobic, short-attention spanned
thousandiare, groping, child raping, man-child
and gave it a hearty shake
for peace
for unity
for america
obama shook the hand of a bigot
with over four hundred years of racism hanging over his head
with his legacy in jeopardy
with all of the progress of eight years disappearing in the dust
with fuck niggers written on manhattan walls
with black lives don’t matter and your vote doesn’t count
echoing through this once promised land
obama shook the hand of a bigot
while flags with swastikas flew proud over sand diego
and white nationalists planned inauguration parties
while hajibs were ripped off the heads of muslim women
and a black co-worker of mine said,
i knew they hated us, but damn i just didn’t know how much
obama shook the hand of a bigot
as old white men wrote american obituaries in the press
and left us hanging to go off to tend their gardens
as white kids went on twitter in black face
with the confederate flag hanging behind them
as middle school students shouted in lunch
build that wall! baby, build that wall!
as four trans people killed themselves
because they saw no other way to salvation in america
obama shook the hand of a bigot
who will be the president of these united states
who called the deaf retarded
who mocked a handicapped reporter
who said to treat women like shit
who said women should be punished for having abortions
who has fourteen sexual assault accusations against him
who advocated killing terrorist families
and a registry or a ban on muslims
obama shook the hand of a bigot
who advocated shutting down mosques
who thinks climate change is a hoax
who wants to sue the news media for reporting the truth
who has been endorsed by the KKK
who praised putin and kim jong-un
and now has his hands on nuclear codes
who has a list of atrocities so long and gruesome
they could be a poem in and of themselves
obama shook the hand of a bigot
while online some inbred, hick white dude told me
to stop acting like a fucking baby and get in line
as latino churches opened services
with hate written on their walls in maryland
as black baby dolls wear nooses in buffalo
as cops shoot and pepper spray protestors
for the last five days and counting
as seig heil 2016 rears its ugly head in philadelphia
and all over the country
obama shook the hand of a bigot
in the white house
in front of the press
for peace
for unity
for america
and the coward couldn’t even look him in the eye.


comply flee or die

rafael says
these days you either
comply flee or die
leaving el salvador was the hardest thing
he ever had to do
where he and his wife had a livestock business
and two kids on track for college
leaving their home, their family and their friends
because the local gang
wanted their son for a drug mule
then beat him up when he refused
because the local gang
wanted their ten year-old daughter for a wife
because they said they’d kill them
if they didn’t turn over their kids
rafael says,
the gang put the dead body of a boy
in front of their home to show that they weren’t joking around
so they went north with only what they could carry
hit the packed migrant shelters in tapachula
near the guatemalan border
but still the gang tracked them down
so they moved on toward the boarder
rafael says,
these days you don’t go it alone
you travel as families
sometimes up to fifteen at a time
these days you’d rather put up with america
and its racism and its walls and its donald trump
and its patriots waving flags at busloads of your kids
telling them to go back home
because back home to what?
police informants and the violence
your boy turned into a drug mule or killed
and your daughter gang raped in a metal shed
your spouse shot dead in the street
like it just happened to fatima
rafael says,
this is a refugee crisis
and you don’t migrate to america now
for the dream, man
rafael says,
you do it for your kids
you do it for your life.                                                    

                                                                                                


Sunday, November 13, 2016

Return of WineDrunk SideWalk.

hello all

I'll save the real info for tomorrow
but....WineDrunk SideWalk is coming back on January 20, 2017

Thursday, October 6, 2016

national poetry day poem of the day 10.06.16

in celebration of National Poetry Day.....an original.


paddle me party

i don’t remember
what i’d done
some first grade infraction
that had pushed it too far with the teacher
but there i was in the principal’s office
with all of the other bad boys and girls
from grades one through six
crowded around the old nun’s desk
her images of mary and jesus
benevolently looking down
at all of us from the walls
blessed porcelain white saint francis statue in the corner
periwinkle rosary beads hanging like a noose
there was one boy bent over the desk
i could barely see him from behind all of the older kids
just his waist, his horse-brown belt
where the dress shirt tucked into navy blue slacks
but i could see sister laurentia
her pale, virginal face calm and poised
her black habit and cat glasses and puckered un-kissed lips
a true bride of christ
with her golden crucifix around the neck
the wooden paddle held aloft
like some sacramental offering
i couldn’t make out what she was saying either
those nuns talked with such holy softness
even when clutching a child’s arm to black and blue
pulling a child’s hair as they frog marched one down the hall
but i could hear the paddle when it went SWOOSH!
hitting that kid right on his ass
the way he cried as the SWOOSH! SWOOSH!
came two more times
before she sent him back into the crowd
humbled and humiliated and sobbing
our pre-pubescent savior
our martyr, our sacrificial lamb
because sister laurentia let the rest of us off
with just a warning that afternoon
after we recited one our father
promised her at least three extra hail marys
the next time we went with our class to confession
and that we’d always be good
from now until god the giver of this life
gave us our last earthly breath.                                     


Monday, October 3, 2016

Drunk Monkeys: Writer of the Month

Hello All

Drunk Monkeys has it's awesome Election 2016 issue up right here: HERE.
They've been kind enough to make yours truly their Writer of the Month, so
do us a solid and check out the issue....oh, and vote...unless it's for Trump.
FUCK TRUMP

jg