February 1, 2017

For Brigid, with Julia – Lauren Kennedy

We will not shrivel into the sunless end of the world.
It's our slick, spearing, budding time.
We will not be able to resist.
We will swell, uncaring, with urgency and dream colors.
We will be devoured, ignored. We will be failures. We will be joined.
We will arch with the pulse of living time.
If we are left, we will be opened.

A wholly mammalian moment
is vulnerable, and on the anvil.

A hammer rings!
She fixes things
A hammer rings!
And makes things
that break people,
like swords,
and poems.

And with her, for
the liveliest of reasons,
the arrival of
the most violent of seasons.

Oysters – Michael Bone

The tide will try
And rip you dry
Oysters hold on tight

A fish will flow
The waves will grow
But oysters stay and fight

When octopi
Are scared to die
They hide out in a lair

But take a side
Against the tide -
You'll find a pearl there

When I Was Warned – Kris Wheat

I was warned I would have to resist,
that I should resist temptation,
should resist boys in leather jackets with cocaine,
should resist gluttony, greed, all sins.
I was warned I would need to fight
against these.

I was never warned
that I would have to resist the very institutions
that are supposed to protect me.

I was never warned to resist the government,
that a time would come where I would need
to stand up for myself and for those who can’t stand up for themselves.

I was never warned
that the government wouldn’t follow law,
that I should be wary of peace enforcement,
that police may or may not help me,
that courts may or may not help me,
that my country’s leader may or may not help me.

I am not fighting against temptation.
I am fighting for what has been taken
from me, from others.
I am fighting to be seen as human.

first pull up, then pull down – Theresa Desautels

this thin, delicate toilet seat cover
meant to protect my butt from germs
resists its long history
of convenient perforation
and now acts as a goalie
to my captured poo.
this tissue-paper-butt-napkin
has me cleaning shit off my ass
where it really shouldn't be
like a 28-year-old toddler
who can't hold her coffee.

But Wait, There's More – Matthew Weiner

Rumination is like fleas. You know,
the ones that set up camp
after your roommate adopts a tabby cat
from below your kitchen window,

its fur fohawked in bunches
like it's tried to clean itself again
but still hasn't figured out how.

Rumination, like the fleas,
begins as an invisibly pregnant worry
but gives birth to an army of annoyance;
a slow barrage of concerns,

each one leaping to safety
just as it's been spotted,
only to be hastily replaced

by doppelgangers more motivated
to drain you of confidence
one consequence at a time.
As they bleed your control

do your best to recall
that unlike the armored assailants
imported by that trojan cat,

their extermination doesn't require
a fog of fumigated pet store poison —

                                             only a breath.

Porch of US – Charles Hunt

Other then
the small part
Under that couch
that's filtered A million farts

Sun charred veneer
Explains the glaring remains
Of the resistance
A weathered exterior
Chipping away
into the blind deaf breeze
Apathetic insects agree
In need of tradition nutrition
And housing
Ripping wisps of doubt
On corners of
experienced imperfections
Exposing vulnerable strength

The rain puddles
Where resistance is retained
The puddles are fewer
than last season
time for a new coat
If we make it through this
Crazy storm
Should have applied it

Twisted and Resisted – Izeck Hempseed

There once was a dude who resisted
Let’s not get this all worn and twisted
Sat up in his grave
Said: “I need to shave!!!!..”
Then found out his phone number was listed
Dude made sure that he had a strong wrist
And he gathered up all of the grist
He made it that way
Ripped off Sally Mae
And this story now has a great twist
He then found a frog he had kissed
Which made him a little bit pissed
Green was the shame
Jealous of the name
Then he and the frog raised their fists
Electricity ran through the vein
But the ohms made them run really lame
Gotta plug it back in
So the sin can begin
And we all can get some of the blame

What Was Unsaid – Celine Bean

Like hives, my cheeks burn
And a piercing pain in the chest
Teeth clamped,
Blood becomes the flavor of resistance

Stuck beneath a walnut of fear
Centered in my throat
My words, like refugees
Barred from entrance to the free soil of my tongue

Where freedom is found
When they finally reach the ear
Of a kind stranger, or a friend

But not today. Not here.
No one will find acceptance in such a state of fear—
That walnut
Blocking the air that helps us see clear

Keeping words in my throat
(Me, unwilling to speak them)

Keeping people on a boat
(US, unwilling to trust them)

* * *
What is it that we need now?
To swallow, perhaps—or throw up
Purge ourselves of the malignant mass,
The beast within—let go of inner resistance!

Take up the arms of the outer Resistance—
And Out the walnut head spewing “alternative facts”,

And the walls come tumbling down—
Words freed, beautiful and true
Human lives, saved and opened to the new.

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