Tuesday, June 2, 2020


I remember 1967 – 2020

1967  I remember sitting Ronnie’s backyard
          Listening to the tanks roll down Gratiot
          To help quell the riots in Detroit

1967 I remember Ronnie’s dad telling us
        His two black workers had called in
        To say they wouldn’t be into work
        They were staying home to protect
        Their homes and neighbors from rioters

1967 I remember my dad coming home from
        Work at Chevy Gear and Axle and telling
        Mom and I how he saw white men
        Breaking into stores and looting

1967 I remember the tv news and the pictures
        Of what they called race riots

1967 I remember that even then I knew they
        Were more than just race riots
        They were people who had enough
        Of brutality, of racism, of poverty

2020 I watch tv news from Minneapolis
         Police brutality, poor people rioting
         I remember the years between
        And know we have learned nothing

2020 I read the news about racism
         I hear about a child threatened
        To have the police called because
        He was walking on his own street

2020 I read about a woman calling 911
Because a black man bird watching told
Her that her dog needed to be leashed

2020 I read the President’s tweets and
Listen to his words and know
The dream is still deferred
Yet, I remember the dream

2020 I read, I watch, I remember

--Tom Blessing

Monday, June 1, 2020


When The Virus Is Over

When this virus is beaten,
when the lockdown is over,
and we'll all be partying
in the streets.
There will be a financial crisis
like nothing seen before.
Every country in the world
will be in more debt than ever.
It'll make 1929, or 2008 look like
losing a pound coin down
the back of the settee.
That's when the real shit will
really hit the fan.
When every government in the world
is going to be making cutbacks
that will make any other depression,
or recession we've been through,
seem like nothing.
Nothing at all.
We're going to be seeing things
I shudder to think of.
In the good days when the
virus is over.

--Ian Copestick

Sunday, May 31, 2020


Strategies for Surviving tRump Virus

Shelter in place.
When venturing forth to buy groceries,
wear gloves and a mask.
Stay six to ten feet away from others.
Wash every stitch of clothing
as soon as you’re home.
Clean every surface with disinfectant.
Carry Chlorox wipes in the car.
Wash hands constantly.
Do not touch your face.
Shun crowds like the plague.
Be grateful you can afford delivery services.
Order take out/curbside pick up at least once a week.
Confer with your doctor via web-based video.
Try not to binge overeat.
Keep busy to avoid going insane.
Give your cranky husband plenty of space.
Exercise, work in the garden.
Read all those books on your shelves.
Attend Zoom support group meetings.
Ration exposure to Internet news.
Eschew clueless television talking heads.
Avoid obsessing over rising infection and death rates.
Subject yourself to antibody testing.
Tell yourself things will someday improve.
Persuade friends to call out conspiracy theories, lies.
In November, demand change and vote blue.

--Jennifer Lagier

Saturday, May 30, 2020


Eco Syphilis

This earth rolls old through fading sun
as all partake of all
yet few return from feeder's lure or feathered palm
interest on said sin

Let other purse our sloth rehearse
refresh without refrain
for fascists flee from failed fight
to worshipped imagery
which doubted doubles pain

When tables turn
most mock concern
and ramble on in shackles
dogs of dust neglecting trust
entranced by past disasters

Since truth be known 
by no known tome
until enhanced and factored
let's be done with rough rerun
membrane's sour remorse
pre-paid replies
defacto lies 
return our lives to act/or.

- Steven B. Smith

Friday, May 29, 2020


the minneapolis police department
third precinct is on fire

let it burn for the cops
let it burn down their brutality
let it burn for the racists
who hide behind their guns and god
let it burn up the false white innocence
let it burn into the blood-soaked soil
upon which this nation was founded
let it burn for the people
who care more about buildings than bodies
let it burn because black lives matter
let it burn for rapist, racist trump
tweeting out his hate
in his kremlin-bought office
let it burn for his national guard
let it burn for the whole trump crime family
let it burn the gop
let it burn and make america great
let it burn for George Floyd
let it burn for Ahmaud Arbery
let it burn for all of the black transgender women killed this year
let it burn because there’s too many names to mention
let it burn institutional racism
let it burn the patriarchy
let it burn like corporate media
playing putty into right wing hands
let it burn up your bootstraps
and your bullshit american dream
let it burn like rebellion
let it burn like a flag
let it burn like useless thoughts and prayers
let it burn into the ground
until there’s nothing
but dust and embers
and when they do this the next time
because they will
let it burn
let it burn once again.

--John Grochalski


Thursday, May 28, 2020


Meanings of the Word “Urban”

Of course,
there was
that one time
at a national teachers’ convention
when people gasped
when Nell was introduced
and middle America learned
she taught at the Urban League School

And while
its been a minute
since someone asked me
with wide-eyed desperation
if I encounter black people
because of where I live

And I always fail
to find the language
to tell those who used to
how I feel
when I’m surrounded
by the bougie whites
in my city neighborhood

But I also remember
after Rodney King
an activist was on a talk show
talking about how
police academies recruit
with ads in
Soldier of Fortune

Promising policing
as the ultimate
in urban warfare,
American citizens become
enemy combatants

And I think
how that was almost
thirty years ago
and those Soldier of Fortune
recruits are now
sergeants, captains,
and commissioners

--Matthew Ussia

Attachments area

Wednesday, May 27, 2020


quarantine blues

there are
at least half a dozen neighbors
whom i’d send to slaughter
when this virus is gone

the guy who talks on his phone
in front of my living room window

the guy who washes his car to bass

and the guys who rev their motorcycles
who look more like bankers on furlough
than hell’s angels

the old italian man who screams all afternoon
in his pigeon english
to the guy with the prick-jock face
who buzz saws in his van

a brand-new enemy list
for a band new normal

the governor says
we have to practice patience and empathy
if we’re going to get out of this

but the governor doesn’t have pot-head joe
blowing weed into his kitchen window
at seven in the morning

while he shouts to his buddy
(a self-social distance away)
blasting heavy metal in his car

a contact high for sure

i’d like to make some contact
brew up some toxic masculinity at its finest

but there’s so many dead here
all i can do is shout from the window
and stew in my own juices

start drinking the minute the sun tilts
in the chemical sky

daydream my old life

while the couple in matching surgical masks
let their kick-me dog drop a deuce
in front of my living room window

a steaming pile of shit
that they won’t pick up

as they binge-watch tv on their phones
at max volume

like they’re the only two people in brooklyn
trying to make something of a day out of this mess

this polluted
and disease-riddled world.

--John Grochalski