the infinite spaces between everything

they really do have picket signs with slogans and yell

“have mercy” and other things like that then there’s

a big black man named Moses who guides

you through them and may just make a snide remark

(if you’re lucky) to maybe help you feel a little better

before the suction

and it will probably be a sunny day

cars will pass by

cars filled with humans oblivious to the pain

and profundity of a concrete and stucco one story building

holding the remains of people broken

even if we don’t know it

and we will know it at one point

when the sun shines that certain way it did that day

above the asphalt holding imprisoned fossils

of invisible dreams

never to be

[The fat man in the liquor store]

The fat man in the liquor store

Held as many cans as he could

He was respectable in that place

And when it was time to pay

Numbers were spewed

Profit margins of his business

Slurs of magic numbers

A different set

For a different day

All arbitrary

$497 $316 $1,232 $671

They stood in wonder

How could a weekday make

more than a weekend

It was said offhand

But it measured their lives

The lanky clerk and

The fat man in the liquor store

It connected them

A Poem For Now

You walk to the beach

I’ll walk to the bay

 

If only you knew

How to swim

 

We might cross paths

Again some day

 

No matter how long

It’s been

 

The television keeps

Going except

 

On different waves

Each year

 

We become obsolete

And never intercept

 

Although with hope

That our fear of death

 

May join us

Again in the end

 

No matter

What it will now

Whirlwind Magazine Issue #1

All summer I’ve been working on Whirlwind Press’s magazine release, and finally here it is. This issue collects poems and art together from a diverse range of voices, all of which bear witness to injustice as well as beauty in urban and natural environments. We’ve gathered local poets and artists as well as some nationwide and even international contributors for the debut issue. The launch party was hosted at the nation’s oldest journalist club, The Pen and Pencil, and it was a huge success, a full house, and featuring big names like Nzadi Keita, Jim Cory, and our founder, Lamont B. Steptoe. Visit us at www.whirlwindmagazine.org to learn more, and even submit some poems and art of your own!

 

The cover for Issue #1 from "Basement of Night" by Theodore Harris.

The cover for Issue #1 from “Basement of Night” by Theodore Harris.

Feed the Piranhas

the shooters are invisible

supposedly firemen light

the fuses that cause colorful explosions

above the beach and boardwalk filled

with herds of tourists sparks spread

in predicted paths towards the abstracted above

ash rains on wood and even eyes aimed upwards

in arcs traced thousands of miles east

the holy land erupts again the chosen

play master over women and children

consumed by fire indiscriminate flames

blood pours and lies brew

a lover asks repeatedly “what’s wrong?”

there’s no answer fireworks disturb

too few Americans everything out of context

everything commoditized

young men in blue uniforms and holstered death

machines and boyish faces pimples and crew cuts

or even mohawks in mockery of the extinguished natives

laugh and flirt with teenage girls

a few feet away in a makeshift aquarium

more teens gather a boy dumps the contents of a plastic cup

down a pipe as two girls film the scene with smart phones

they gaze waiting at the tank now clouding

under a sign that states

“Feed the Piranhas

a live goldfish!!!

$3.00 each

Or 2 for $5.00″