[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″

Moon Sequence

I.

Last night Luna rose

over our Eastern Sea

like no human’s ever seen.

Only one porthole view

through deathly clouds

incubating the Great Egg Harbor.

Luna rose a perfect circle

tossed by Myron, now in suspension.

Remnants of Theia reflected

 in alien orange,

brighter than Sol

(whose rays provide color

still, but not the same).

As lightning strikes purpled

the Atlantic structures underneath

the ocean rose with Luna, rose ominous,

pillars and pyramids stood naked.

Our nation, in three century utero, collapsed

off the coast of New Jersey. Another failed experiment,

another corrupted civilization left to liquid, then to ash.

II.

Fear, survival instincts in full swing

while operating machinery speeding

south on a bowed bridge looking

east as Luna rose. Death

embodied in the sky

explosions, natural explosions

in natural grandeur white death.

Luna rose as she never has

as illusions nullified fear was reality

at its clearest. Luna rose and she never will

in similar form, life and nothing in one moment.

The storm consumed the atmosphere. Consumed itself.

Atoms vacuumed into oblivion.

Bovine humans munched cheeseburgers

while driving through dark energy warping

vapid brains. Magenta tissue bled

out sentience. Luna rose.

III.

These humans were not scared

out of sheer stupidity. They felt safe

in their machines. Congested asphalt artery,

nine at night, Friday, June 13th, 2014.

Luna rose in proof of their ignorance.

She devoured particles in purgatorial drift,

planet Earth. Space shuddered Terra

dark matter pulsed into minds

people felt frightened

inexplicably. Immediate fear of blackness.

Animals froze in abeyance obeying nature.

Humanity continued to destroy,

to feign solutions, to pop pills,

to disdain their immune system

to ignore their self-inflicted wounds.

All the while precedents loomed

in the past. They never realized

they inhabited houses of Masonic stone.

Let alone understood that the Scottish Rite’s

preeminent child would fall faster

than those deemed lesser.

That the child’s scrapes would fester.

IV.

Luna rose on in spite,

out of spite of America.

Oxygen sucked out of air.

This time the fire.

Although pharaohs chose the stars

which killed their enslaved, unwanted brothers and sisters.

As the empire fell in pre-meditated fashion, the elite escaped

in Russian rockets. No more humans

needed for sustenance of the few.

No longer human humans would float

past Luna, and harvest her gray helium 3 tears.

Luna rose no longer over Earth

for there were no humans

left to see. Luna rose in witness

and condemned yet knew she could do nothing;

she vowed never to forget

until everything collapsed again. Luna rose

until the end. And as her visage faded

from the collective memory of all sentient existence,

Luna rose again, somewhere,

since death could never die.