Monday, November 30, 2020
They’ve buried the dreams underground, I think.
We don’t seem to have them anymore, the dreams.
So I think it must be that someone disposed of them,
did away with them—maybe put them underground.
When we dig for the world that others left behind,
we find jewelry or tools—we sometimes find bells.
The bells no longer ring or make any kind of noise.
Perhaps they’ve been buried underground too long.
Like our dreams or visions. The other lives we live.
Sunday, November 29, 2020
Saturday, November 28, 2020
"Would you come into my Parler?" said The Spider to The Fly.
"There's news for real Americans -- the MAGA girls and guys!
The way into my Parler is up a winding stair.
If you have a brain or conscience, just leave them out there.”
“Oh yes, yes,” said the little Fly, “a place to bash and blame
those party-pooping liberals who fact-check all my claims!”
--Eric Robert Nolan
Friday, November 27, 2020
My calico cat cannot wait to be served. She thrusts her head under the spoon. Today she got a strand of tuna on her head. Her ear twitched, but her mouth kept eating. Vanity and greed struggled in her. As they do in Donald Trump. But cuter in the cat.
--Cheryl L. Caesar
Thursday, November 26, 2020
Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Maybe it has finally hit home as power clenches
To dust. The president does not use the term “stolen”
as a euphemism, where he was beaten by an upstart
Who captured the imagination of a people and surprised
the political world. No. This is a bully taking a bike or
Milk money during school hours and when caught he
demands the victims prove otherwise. Stolen, the way
Petty criminals roam neighborhoods late at night searching for
an easy opportunity like unlocked cars to ransack for coins
Or guns - things people are too lazy to take inside. Stolen
by breaking an oath to uphold his sworn duty, a long-
Standing agreement between the government and its people.
The broken promises of this country are stitched into our DNA
And the spilled blood absorbed into the soil. Do not be fooled
what the president wants to take has been taken before. The ghosts
Of the betrayed rise from their graves. Our common shared
ancestor is an enemy that has eaten all the low-hanging fruit,
Yet still hungers for more. Agreements drawn and re-drawn
like gerrymandered districts cut and pasted to form a wall.
The voices of a choked history tried to warn us. Their warnings
echo through the South, the Black Hills and Wallowa Valley - a roll
Call of the displaced from sea to shining sea. They've told us: to thieves
honor is for the weak, blood inconsequential, and power is their gold.
Tuesday, November 24, 2020
front of you
Monday, November 23, 2020
I know right where it is—in which room, on which bookcase
and on which shelf of that bookcase. And that isn’t always
how it goes. Sometimes I’ll scramble for hours in my place
looking for a book, a record, or some small scrap of paper.
It’s a first edition, ex-library, no dust jacket. And I believe
my mother got it for me at John King in Downtown Detroit.
The bookplate on the front pastedown indicates that it was
withdrawn from Marygrove College. The “Due Date” label
on to the rear flyleaf shows the last check out was in 1988.
I wonder now, in 2020, who decided to withdraw this book
from the library back in the late 80s or early 90s, decided it
to be a volume the library did not need on hand any longer.
Tucked in at “Lying in a Hammock…”—and of course at
that poem—is Naca’s short, handwritten note, scrawled in
her neat cursive on the back of a scrapped photocopy from
a book entitled Transcendental Wordplay. Her note reads:
“S.S.—The one day you’re not around! ♥ KNaca”
The note now must be over 15 years old—closing in on 20.
It’s just a little thing. A scrap of paper. A bookmark now.
But I love how it can remind me of those days years ago.
The days and nights. Those memories. Of times far gone
and away. Not to say that they were the best times ever.
Just different. Just not now. Vivid images I can conjure—
riding on the back of Naca’s motorcycle on Fifth Avenue,
or at a small party in some apartment dancing with Emily.
Or maybe at Brandon’s place with Bruce Lee looking on
as Brandon did his impression of all four guys from U2.
Time, time. Always time. The world spins its ugly spins
until it finds something beautiful again. And it carries on.
It carries on.
Sunday, November 22, 2020
Saturday, November 21, 2020
I can hardly believe
that Trump has gone.
It seems too good to
be true, like I'll wake
up to find it was all
I have no idea what
Biden will be like, but
even as a symbolic
gesture it feels good
to get D.T. out of the
I believe what Dylan
said " Don't follow leaders. "
But if that is the best
we could get to be
the leader of the most
powerful nation on
Earth, then we really
are looking sick.
We can't rejoice yet,
no one can even get
together for a party.
But it feels like a
line has been
crossed, I hope that
That we can think of
love, instead of hate.
Sharing rather than
shunning. Unity, not
You may say I'm a
dreamer, but I'm not
the only one.
Friday, November 20, 2020
in the face of the plague
the jazz man
in the dull yellow light
drunk before the evening falls
trying to light his smoke
from the wrong end
you can hear the stones playing
the décor is a cross
between halloween and christmas
a sure sign we’re in that lull
that marks the middle of november
the bar is packed
only on one side
men drinking in flannels
and dusty ballcaps
sit close in the muted holidays lights
the white light of the television
they are a portrait
of a time before this time
a remembrance of things past
sitting here on 5th avenue
e.j’s bar & grille is defiant
in the face of the plague
a death wish waiting to come
but ain’t no one worrying about this year
ain’t no one caring about the next
there’s no 250,000
dead bodies to count
just one beer down
another coming up
some empty stools down the other end
and one guy looking here outside
at the masked faces hustling home
waiting on the jazz man
to get his head straight
figure his whole cigarette thing out.
Thursday, November 19, 2020
as disappearedthe numbers explode
60, 70, 80 thousand plus
daily, imagine this
they aren't sick
imagine they disappear
now think of supply lines
of information, product
think of the disappeared
think how a supply line holds
as people disappear
this is not a half full
half empty scenario
trusting systems that refer
to people as flock, as herd
forgets the individual
supposedly the one thing
this twisted experiment
was founded on
the individual is mostly myth
humans turned to groups early
in the evolutionary cycle
to adapt, to, as a species, survive
this is survival with no guide
all malfunctions bare
what if the herd is another manipulation
another chance for power
to fill a vacuum, even if it can't hold
the damage is done, the damage
is far deeper than imagined
no one with power will save you
no one with power can save you
now think again of the sick
think of them again
Wednesday, November 18, 2020
Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
Americans voting a lot!
The president’s lying, corruption and treason
has not been forgot!
The Donald, The Donald, ’twas his intent
to topple elected government.
He rallied a mob of gun-toting hayseeds
to bolster his own autocracy.
But good people braved the long voting lines
and remembered to mail their ballots on time.
Most of the voters were not confused
by InfoWars, O.A.N. or Fox News.
Joe Biden’s poll numbers are closing in!
Holler boys, holler girls, let the bells ring!
--Eric Robert Nolan
Tuesday, November 17, 2020
Monday, November 16, 2020
George Reeves was my Clark Kent.
My man of steel. My Superman.
My truth, justice, and dare
I say ,my American way.
But black and white television
went the way of the dinosaurs
with a boy’s homespun
innocence hot on raptor tails.
Though my attention
as a young man drifted
to the newsprint on the back
pages detailing the agony
and ecstasy of New York
City sports, a journalist still
cradled the cache of reason
to comprehend my world .
While a bad apple here and there
dropped salacious ink along
with cheesy pictures to push
risqué trade, fearless news folk
from the Cronkites to the Breslins
gave the straight dope to keep
us in the know and protect us
from the evil men bred in money do.
So when those in power
lash out in cowardice against
those who champion facts,
in order to camouflage their vile
intention of stomping the throat
of those who dare address
the oppression, perhaps you will
see that my trust is not blind.
Much respect to the driven
men and women attaching
their bylines as witnesses
to the atrocities we owe
to ourselves to understand ,
for failure to do so can only
denigrate the democracy which
allows us enough light to see.
Sunday, November 15, 2020
Saturday, November 14, 2020
Friday, November 13, 2020
does it feel
to have daddy's hand
up your asshole so deep
he can actually move your lips
to speak his words?
we're not buying it, pal
we can see
what's in the background
what you're trying to block
with your big fat head
and your slick black preacher's hair
we can see the vultures pecking
at yesterday's one thousand corpses
we can smell the sour milk stench
of lies and death
as your wooden teeth chatter
"Move along! Nothing to see here!"
Thursday, November 12, 2020
Wednesday, November 11, 2020
GhostsSharp as a tack and working
mind and body to the bone
for pennies on the dollar so
his family can eat three squares
for at least another day but Jesus's
fingers ,usually so steady plying
wood despite carrying callouses,
scabs, and splinters, now not able
to keep the level straight as he keeps
hearing footsteps and whispers
and when the dawn unfurls the last
edge of the night Jesus is gone.
Maria selling fresh beefsteak
tomatoes at the market by day
and making the open mic by night
where the words etched from
her quill thread together like
the stems and petals of lilies
into a quilt of language plush
with passion and a dozen poetry
lovers in the house clap hands
but walking on clouds to her car
she's pelted by rotten fruits thrown
by rednecks until Maria is gone.
What looks like some sadistic
statistic algorithm reads like
prose to Karim whose fingers
dance upon the keyboard like
a virtuoso pianist doing
a Beethoven boogie woogie
with lines and lines of computer
coding to keep the bad guys at bay
till the bits and bytes are misread
with hysteria over a too smart
dark skinned man who knows
now only that Karim is gone.
Kiana's Kitchen was once just
a Susie bake oven churning out
chocolate chip hockey pucks
but shadowing her mother's
every move led to a love
of cooking and a culinary
career with a restaurant
in a quiet little town where
people wave and smile until
out of sight when a match
lights kerosene and the eatery
smolders until Kiana is gone .
If not for barriers braved
by the countless before us,
no one would exist among us.
A shame that the land
where it costs nothing
to dream but blood and sweat
as spilled by the spirits
buried in graveyards across
the promised land fosters
not community but fear
and hatred of those
so very much like us.
Tuesday, November 10, 2020
THE SMELL OF DEATH“A revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery; it cannot be so refined, so leisurely and gentle, so temperate, kind, courteous, restrained and magnanimous. A revolution is an insurrection, an act of violence by which one class overthrows another.”
As a Vietnam veteran,
A regime change mercenary,
I can still smell the smell of death
Fifty-two years later of the three to five million
Civilians the US murdered in South East Asia.
Now, the smell of death lingers in the streets each time
Another black man is murdered by the police,
Its smell getting stronger and stronger
Each time the orange-tinted fascist authoritarian white nationalist
Stirs his storm troopers into bloodlust action,
The desire for extreme violence and carnage,
To defend the “freedom” to put profits over people
As the election for the 46th president nears.
It’s the smell that permeates the divide
In the disunited states of amerika.
It’s the smell of a failed state
Collapsing upon itself like a black hole,
Sucking the energy and livelihood
From its disenfranchised and marginalized citizenry.
It’s the smell of malice and hatred
And vulgar meanness in the hearts and minds
Of tiny nonthinkers, lacking compassion
And empathy for humanity
And their fellow man.
It’s the same kind of smell
The tangerine-tinted fascist made
When he said, “I could stand
In the middle of Fifth Avenue
And shoot somebody
And I wouldn’t lose any voters.”
Gun sales are up in amerika.
I hear the sounds of weapons,
Small arms: pistols and rifles,
Locking and loading.
In all probability,
There is an orange-colored fat chance
The new civil war is about to commence.
Monday, November 9, 2020
for max vankain 33 with pittsburgh
smoky skies choke
eight days of clean collars
a paint brush manifesto
spilled across church walls
in a world where the rich
had always been rich
the poor were forgotten
and god was undecided
in 41 with pittsburgh
ramping up for mobilization
smoky skies choke
your mother country occupied
another eleven days
to a world where the rich got richer
and the poor saved their blood
for a future that god
was undecided about
in 63 with pittsburgh
ready to sink into clean skies
and the promise of renaissance
this manifesto empty in prosperity
the rich got richer
the poor struggled endlessly
god as an entity was undecided
you, you had had enough
this world, cruel as you’d seen
you walked into the sea
Sunday, November 8, 2020
In the best country in the world
in the best hospital
with the best doctors
the best, the best of everything
and you, snuffle breathing
hard pain like a knee
pinning you down
by your thick neck
in your fever dream
you kick up the dirt
path through the trees
to the mountaintop
under the creamsicle
moonlight and you
alone, alone you
crest the final crest
of your lifelong self-
pity, the always
victim of the others
your sweat rancid
orange dye running
you glance down, down
from your gilty pinnacle
to another future
spread out below
like a plaid picnic blanket
in a dandelion meadow
in a forested valley
full of raucous birdsong
you can see now
a good life is
of all the lies
you've told, tell
to turn away
to the mirror of the sun
to the story you've told
all your sorry life
and you wake up
like a side of pink ham
roaring, rasping you
burst back on stage
start up the rampage
the liar and the fury
from your gilty balcony
above it all
above the rest
of the damaged world
Saturday, November 7, 2020
SENDING THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS TO THE WHITE HOUSE
They don’t want to know what I’m thinking. I’d still send
my thoughts telepathically but I don’t believe in telepathy.
I don’t believe in prayer either, but I’ve been praying anyway
as though hoping it could, this once, get me what I want.
People with more power and money than I seem to think
thoughts and prayers a sufficient response to anything.
They offer them to victims of natural disasters, diseases,
and violence. I apply them to poor political decisions.
They never define their thoughts nor reveal their prayers.
I suppose, like a birthday candle wish, to do so would jinx it.
I try to be discrete hoping that will at least keep me out of the
hands of the secret service, homeland security, and the DOJ.
With the West Wing now a hothouse of viral contagion, it makes
me wonder if my thoughts and prayers may have worked after all.
Friday, November 6, 2020
Keeping the Answers to Myself
Man, I rather stay
on the shelf than
pout to the dilated
Sing my song of
Not understood or pampered,
skim “their” answers featured
on bumper stickers and yard signs.
Keep to myself,
than walk away
with my integrity
than become belligerent…
while worshiping hidden
Thursday, November 5, 2020
like an angry meth dealer
pissed that he was
that he was
kicked out of his
rental house for turning
the garage into a meth lab
tRump will trash the
the carpet, throw
feces all over the walls
bust up all the toilets
shoot out each
sons air rifle
and throw a huge
drunken rager with
all of his unholy
well, he will
at least sit on the
Lincoln bed and cry
in his MacDonald’s
Big Mac and plot
Wednesday, November 4, 2020
Tuesday, November 3, 2020
Monday, November 2, 2020
Sunday, November 1, 2020
of playing chess with a
amuses my dark side
to no end
i dont get to
evil laugh often
until they give up
of every thought
and i evil laugh them
each for each
one by one
and to a one
or useful words
at the adult table
the kiddies either
where i practice
my evil laugh
and insults flow
some sage advice
dont dare bring
begs my graffiti abuse
on a solid brick wall
i will not
your failed effort
protection of the rock
you crawled out
but i will
let darwin know
that you are ready