Friday, May 29, 2020

2 Minutes. Go!

American Cop

Everybody freeze, now thaw; don’t worry son, just the small hands of the law. The small minds of a few programmed automatons, the diminishing returns of oaths vomited from lurid mouths. It don’t matter where it started, but it started in the South. 

The underworld is full of darkness, and the confederate flags wave from rusted pickups while black children play. Just another day.

It’s a disease, this hating, this anger. It’s cultivated inside you, curated. They say, come on down to the outrage store, pick a minority to blame it on! Don’t matter, brother. It’s all a con. 

Epstein didn’t get killed in the street, but then again, he wasn’t forging checks.

Don’t you know you can’t trust Science? The answers you seek are in a book of fables, stories told by hucksters and visionaries, twisted by Kings and Kindgdoms. For Profit. 

Salavation ain’t free, boy.

You want security? Find a scapegoat. You want Happiness? Bezos will trade you some for a little more gold to line his coffers. Or he says he will.

I’m sick of writing this bullshit, and I think I’ll stop. This is a day to see the American Cop. Do you see him? White face with square jaw over schoolboy war fantasies and hard-boy tattoos. See this fucker? This fucker is going to kill a dude in broad daylight. In the street. With witnesses. On Camera. Because he FEELS small. You see that fucking fascist? And the guy next to him. And the two guys accelerating the murder? You see him? Good. I saw him, too. And I’m not going to let y’all forget this time.


  1. Replies
    1. I love these four words - Everybody freeze, now thaw
      it's very graphic. they're really effective.

      Very powerful. We were discussing this subject last night. As a people we are supposed to be advanced, but racism still exists.

    2. "Because he feels small." More and more, this is the giveaway, the tell. Deep down and often entirely subconsciously, they feel worthless and small and mean... which makes them act worthless and small and mean.

    3. This hits hard. Yep. "Because he feels small." and "Everybody freeze, now thaw." I can hear the beat this rap.

    4. In AMERICAN COP, the underbelly of hate you evoke is raw, filled with deep-south malice. "Fables...hucksters...twisted...profit." Like your lock-jaw insignia, you chew over the hard details of this killer's psychological landscape, with the fury of biting discovery.

  2. It was the middle of the night. I heard the sound of a single whip crack, slowly, repeatedly. Wanting to make sure no one was being actually hurt, I crept up form behind a tree to take a peek, ready to holler for help if needed.

    You met my eyes and gave me a sweaty smile.

    I backed away into the darkness.

  3. Freckle

    It is but a freckle,
    A small brown spot.

    It’s here to stay, though
    You see it as a blight
    Ruining this vista,
    This clear, empty plain.

    But it is there by design
    To highlight, to differ,
    To offer a uniqueness
    In contrast to the other.

    It is but a small echo
    Of difference.

    1. This is a cute mini-dissertation on being unique. Speaking up for freckles, everywhere. :)

  4. Bow after rain

    A splash of colour in the sky,
    Delicious curve drawn on high.
    This floating prism calls
    Upon the humidity of rainfall.

    Shimmer of yellow, purple, red,
    Keeping hope and nature fed.
    An imaginative arch, catch-all
    Of our childlike dreaming scrawl.

    1. I like your free verse, and I like your more traditional verse. The four words that rhyme the third and fourth lines of each stanza suggest the sound "aw," which in turn suggests the poet's awe. Love the last line!

    2. Thanks. I hadn't noticed that. I was going for innocence and awe fits.

    3. I like the rhythm, the pictures. I see small children coloring their feelings.

    4. Thanks. It was from their eyes.

    5. You capture the delight inherent in all those colors of our feelings, looking up at a rainbow. I love 'Of our childlike dreaming scrawl.'

  5. Jude eyeballs her sixteen-year-old granddaughter through gaps in the milling, pre-march crowd—old, young, black, brown, white. While it’s heartening to see the diversity, Jude doesn’t feel as charitable about the young man who has captured Mira’s attention. Her dewy young face is tipped up, smiling, as a boy dressed in sustainable fabrics, his hair in a bun, spins his web of bullshit.

    She allows the possibility that he’s sincere, but Jude has a radar about these things. There’s always the guy who comes to the protest hoping to get laid. She of course fell for that guy, over and over. For all she knows he’s still doing it, somewhere, salt in his pepper beard, yellow toenails peeking out of fraying Birkenstocks. Still scamming on hippie chicks with all his “I knew Dr. King” bullshit.

    Knew of him, more like. The way kids now are so ignorant of history, he could probably get away with that lie.

    Not with Mira, though. Not with the granddaughter of one of earliest flower children, who’d attended so many marches, protests, sit-ins and the like that she’s lost count. Stop the War. Save the Whales. No Nukes. Occupy Wall Street. Black Lives Matter. Nasty Women Unite. She’d done it all. Each arrest, each bout with tear gas or pushback from the cops a badge of honor.

    The boy curls his hand around Mira’s shoulder. Jude stiffens. There will be talk of this in the car, on the way home. One of those “don’t tell your mother” conversations, of which Jude and her granddaughter have had plenty. Including the one about where they were going today. Mira’s mother is what some overly clever futurist deemed a “helicopter mom.” Jude disagrees with labelling but gets the archetype. She will forever see Bethany hovering over her one and only child, booking playdates and language labs and soccer practices and Suzuki-method violin lessons, not a spare moment of that child’s life unstructured.

    Surely marches for racial equality will not meet with Bethany’s approval.

    Jude would take that blame when and if it came to it, but for now, it was better Mira’s mother didn’t know.

    “If she blows about it,” Mira said on the way into the city, “I can tell her it’s, like, community service. That’ll look good on my college applications.”

    Funny but not funny. The Disneyfication of civil rights. The social media packaging of the right to peaceably assemble. Today’s march even had a logo. Jude refused to buy the T-shirt.

    There are speeches; Jude melts into the crowd. No one recognizes her anymore, and just as well. Leave it to the young. Leave it to those who will carry on when she and her generation are gone.

    The revolution might be televised, but it’ll also be YouTubed, tweeted, Instagrammed, SnapChatted…and, Jude hoped, not as easily forgotten by the next shiny object.
    They start moving as one, this sea of colors and shapes and sizes.

    Mira comes up on her left, falls into step with Jude.

    Jude glances over, allowing the silence. Then: “So, do I get to meet your friend?”

    Mira snorts in derision. “Please. He was just scamming on me, the dickwad.”

    Jude pulls her granddaughter into a side hug, and smiles.

    1. I think I matched her smile at the end.

    2. LOl, like granny, like granddaughter. Jude is a colourful character and I want to go back in time to her on marches and to meet Mr Pepper Beard.

    3. Like a good classic short-story, you turned the reveal at the end, which connects us to the mutual bond of awareness these two ladies share. You weave a tapestry of backstory with Jude and her considerations, just wafting us through her thoughts. A finely layered piece.

  6. It was a brutal event to witness, and now we all have. Watching that video on CNN from Minneapolis made me feel physically sick, and reveals all you need to know about 'murderous intent'...the way Derek Chauvin was deaf to George Floyd's final pleas of "I can't breathe," and calling for his mother, and Chauvin leaning into the pressure on George's neck, with his hands in his pockets. For 9 minutes of cold-blooded calculation. A white man blatantly executing / lynching an innocent black man in front of the public, again, and not in any self-defense, he had 3 other cowards keeping 'his six,' looking out for witnesses. In any and all organizations, the executive leadership always sets out the company philosophies, establishes the protocols which are sent as guidance down the web-lines of social and business structure, as to the accepted behavior to follow. And then consider POTUS 45 quoting a racist cop from 50 or so years ago...and the last 3 years of America being plunged into a dark age where ethics and human compassion have become debased. Masks are off, and the racists are driving the country. Now, what is everyone with a human conscience going to do about all of this? There is humanistic legislation, 3rd party watch-dogs, and community building that truly needs action. NOW.

    1. "Masks are off, and the racists are driving the country." So much happening in this short sentence, so many angles.

    2. My heart is also breaking, shredded. I also loved that line David quoted.

    3. David, Laurie, you are both so inviting. I appreciate that you high-lighted a specific segment, David. And Laurie, thank you for sharing your empathy, as these events are hurting us all.

    4. Thanks, JD Mader, for inviting me to this writing community intersecting and vibing, on your blog :)

    5. I'd pick out the same line. It's a video I can't bear to watch. It's strange how society has come so far and we brag about what technology we've developed, and yet some parts of humanity are still in the stone age. It's disgusting. Whole sections of America can't breathe. It's time their voices were listened to.

    6. You said it, Vickie. And not being able to breathe, is one of my greatest fears...but just look at all those people of all colors, showing up and being there! Sustained.

    7. Always brother. Sorry it took me so long to get here. The plainspoken truth in here is so powerful. I love the same line as the rest of the gang, but I also admire the straightforward delivery. These are words that do not need dressing up.

    8. Thanks, brother JD. For the good word, and for sharing your friends.

  7. I'm just expressing myself regarding the tragic execution of George Floyd and the current peoples' clash. Anyone with a heart must be outraged by this. Anyone who has ever felt oppressed, must be outraged. It is unbelievable that black people in 2020 (or is it?) are still being hunted in the streets, not just by predator police, but also by deranged hicks without a lick of kindness between their eyes. The North American system needs safeguarding versus institutionalized racism. I am terribly worried about for all the protesters out there. Rubber bullets being fired in Los Angeles. This is serious. So proud of LOS ANGELES! The protesters were not rioting, and despite police aggression, only targeted police cars for damage. No looting, no property damage, just the police trying to battle and push people out of peaceful assembly and protest. To quote the Minneapolis Mayor, "The World should wage war against racism."

    1. I saw a video of a sheriff asking the crowd of protestors what they wanted, saying he stood with them and then marching with them - as did the officers with him. That gave me hope.

    2. That was an amazing moment, Vickie, for showing there are human hearts on the other side of those shields. The sheriff did not even require body armor, connecting with people. Gave me hope, too, for humanity and this conflict.

    3. Indeed. You are heard. And this is a time to lock words to paper: impressions, feelings, exasperated cries, and calls for justice. Keep using your voice, brother!

  8. A single bell tolls like clarity on a dry hill.

    “You come here now for what?”

    “I am looking for nothing you would understand, Father.”

    “But you were banished from the convent, Sister.”

    “That I was.”

    “Then you are no longer one of God’s chosen. You are lost, one of the sheep.”

    “With all respect, Father, I unchose myself. God had little to do with it.”

    “So why are you here?”

    “To get what’s due to me.”

    “And what is that? Regard? Respect? Sorority? Because you’ve thrown all that away.”

    “No. None of that. Vengeance is probably the closest word.”

    Father Bangalter hesitates, and that’s all she needs. The former Sister Mary of the Seven Dolors, now known simply as Mea Vulpa in her Louisiana beatnik dream, draws the thin-blade locking knife she’s thumbed many a time to trace its edge, looks regretful in the face of this enormity, and then leans almost intimately and skewers the priest’s left eyeball, dragging it out of its socket like a whelk and holding it like a dripping trophy in front of his remaining eye. He is screaming, of course, because his sense of the world never included a horror like this ever finding him, and she smiles ruefully.

    “You ready for all the payback, Father?” she asks. “You know how the sheep feel?”

    He screams the vernacular of pain translated into the dialect of outrage and the dawning idiom of grief.

    She waits with sumptuous patience until he quiets, his occasional sobs hiccuping under the great gothic roof like echoes of all the doves that have ever nested here.

    His silence is like a ravine across a landscape, his brow a flock of migratory birds. Hatred might even be dawning in this, his very first day, but it’s too late; he has never nurtured it, not even close, and he’s met a match so far beyond him that his own tidal skulk is the frail lap of a wave within the deep vast spread of the tsunami.

    He’s always thought of heaven awaiting him, but for the first time in his life, the grey sentinels of doubt begin to gather. If such evil exists here in this eyeblink world, what or why does anything matter? What if the unbelievers have called it? That this is all she wrote and the ghost dies with the bones?

    “Wait!” he says. “I understand. I get it.”

    “I doubt you do, but why would you prolong this?”

    “I don’t know. Stupidity? The mercy of our Lord?”

    “Not mine anymore. Let me finish what I started before the sun is fully set.”

    “But I get it. This is your atonement.”

    “You think you do, but you don’t. A whole entire train passed you, and you’ve barely caught up to the caboose.”

    “Sister. Don’t make me feel alone.”

    “But you are alone… Father. And you never balked at making others feel the same.”

    “Hogwash. You don’t know my dreams.”

    “You’re right. But you never even thought to ask about ours.”


    The indifferent world beyond is starting to burn, so no one is ever apprised of the torment of this single priest under the pitiless aegis of this former sister of mercy, this sister of so many, many dolors.

    1. I wasn't expecting that when I read the first line. Lady Vengeance. She's getting hers. The whelk of an eye... gruesome.

    2. You show 'one of the sheep' stepping into changing the power dynamic in such an incisively shocking cut. I enjoy the 'feeling images' of "Mea Vulpa in her Louisiana beatnik dream." And "all she wrote and the ghost dies with the bones" is a tasty line.

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. A Poem a Day (161): Fracture

    A jagged point
    Lodged in deep,
    A split in skin.
    Blood flowers.

    This historic bruise
    Buries in deep,
    Seeking to fester.
    Pain spirals out.

    A wound to remind
    Of broken hearts,
    Their spiky roots
    Winding into you.

    Fires fan flames,
    Chasing justice.
    Ashes lost voices
    As sirens wail.

  11. Can you handle a world where we’re all made equal?
    Can you put down your guns, surrender your slogans
    Stop looking for something to happen--again?
    Can you just take a second and imagine your brother, blind to the color of his skin?
    Can you look at your sisters and feel their pride
    Without finding victims or some way to shame?
    Can you see a world where making a buck,
    Is just as good as making art?
    A world where setting the world on fire
    Is not the same as making change
    Can you set aside your differences
    And still go after your dreams
    When the earthquake is shaking you, making you think it’s all coming apart at the seams?
    There’s no more need to keep up with the Joneses
    They moved out a long time ago
    So what if you could see
    That what you’re worth
    Is not about your money
    Or precious property
    What if it’s about your kids
    The old folks, the forgotten
    And your responsibility

    Equal don’t mean that we’re all the same, or look the same or want the same; it ain’t about the past
    It ain’t about security
    Don’t come with any guarantee
    It only means we all got a voice
    A chance to chase our happiness
    A chance to make a choice.
    Nobody can steal our dream if we claim it
    Can’t kill us in the street
    No one needs to celebrate our martyrs
    If we claim our own authority

    But can you handle being equal, really equal, in the end?
    Can you honestly declare,
    Yyour life is more that what you make,
    What you eat, where you live, or what you wear?
    Do you know that nobody can steal your dream
    But dreams need work to come true?
    Think about that hard, my friend
    Can you call yourself equal
    And not better than?
    Can you give up your rage and turn that page?
    Can you work for a future we cannot see?
    Can you open your hearts
    And arms and minds?
    Because if you can’t, you can’t stand with me…


Please leave comments. Good, bad or ugly. Especially ugly.