By Noah R. Gataveckas
When you see it
the best you can hope is a snapshot,
a segment on the news
between sports fumbles
and the weather report
and you know the anchor’s fakin’ it, too –
that cookiecutter countenance, false concern
s/he’s as bored as everyone
The Veins of Nationalism
Admit it’s not good
but also it’s necessity –
Must implies can.
So tell me about the enemy
and how he’s coming after me
and that he’s fixing like a fiend
to feed upon the blood that runs
through our family streets
Defend us from the ghettos
we destroyed to save
Meanwhile backyard poverty wails for nurture
as Motown erodes into no town.
You know it’s a sad awful day when
black and blue shades trembling
left to live in unlit hallways
listen for lost heartbeats: signs of life
It’s a whole other front
across 8 mile –
new cold war
civil as hunger.
So call me evil –
scourge of humanity,
prince of darkness,
wrong of rite.
Books on books,
biscuits we pass
but don’t dare bite.
Lessons of history
descend the family tree
in their original wrapping.
Like treasured heirlooms
just sit on the shelf
mapping our brutality.
Barbarism: Poetry After the Holocaust
Aside from this, not much to say;
an afterthought, a video game,
a distant noise heard in the night
thru dreams of digital candlelight,
a party theme for protest walks,
a cause célèbre for charity jobs,
an industry of complex scale,
an enterprise too big to fail.
In sum, a word for nothing more
than whizzing hiss and market roar:
the background hum of day-to-day –
the aim that sets the parts in play.
That is, until it shoots this way
and drops on our front porch;
then naught will ever be the same
as twas the time before