“No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.”
–Martin Luther King Jr.
My collage/poem “The Alternate Inaugural Address 2017” is up at the ERASE-TRANSFORM Poetry Project: “Beginning with the inauguration speech, we seek submissions that take that rhetoric and draw out life-affirming poetry.”
I printed out Trump’s inaugural speech and cut up all the words and put them in an envelope, selecting nine words to use for my poem.
The rest of the words I glued randomly in an overlapping spiral around a photo of the stars.
In the center I collaged the speech I wish had been given that day.
You can read more about the project and submit your own transformed speeches here. And do read some of the other wonderful spirit-lifting poetic speeches that have been submitted.
My thanks to editor Kelly Lenox for printing my poem/collage. And thanks to Trish Hopkinson for her post about the project (and all the wonderful information she gathers for writers on her blog).
From of killed but spaces why? morning reply no what.
Where? more it when? tomorrow killed has and.
Black another questions wear gun color of sorrow and again just;
Remain will the empty.
I wanted to acknowledge Las Vegas. The dVerse prompt to ignore grammatical rules seemed a good way to reflect our country’s continued loss of syntax. But when I went to write something it just seemed I had nothing more to say. A quick look through the MTM archives counted at least 13 previous posts related to gun violence. Remember the shootings in Kalamazoo in February 2016? That’s what the black grid above was done for.
The two faces above? Victims of Dylann Roof in 2015. And below, cops killed while sitting in their patrol car in NYC in 2014.
Gun of again another why? color more empty is sorrow remain.
Of killed killed;
From what and the just black spaces;
Has and will no it questions shots unfilled.
Morning where? when? Tomorrow
Every day 88 people die by gun violence in the United States.
To make the poems above, I took what I had written for Kalamazoo, and plugged it into the Dada Poetry Generator. I did it about 15 times; all the results were pretty accurate as reflections of my jumbled feelings, and I chose two to use in this post. You can see the original poem here.
Jimmy Kimmel said everything I want to say and more in his monologue the other night.
Charlotte Bacon, 2/22/2006
Daniel Barden, 9/25/2005
Olivia Engel, 7/18/2006
Josephine Gay, 12/11/2005
Ana M Marquez-Greene, 4/4/2006
Dylan Hockley, 3/8/2006
Madeleine F Hsu, 7/10/2006
Catherine V Hubbard – 6/8/2006
Chase Kowalski, 10/31/2005
Jesse Lewis, 6/30/2006
James Mattioli, 3/22/2006
Grace McDonnell, 11/4/2005
Emilie Parker, 5/12/2006
Jack Pinto, 5/6/2006
Noah Pozner, 11/20/2006
Caroline Previdi, 9/7/2006
Jessica Rekos, 5/10/2006
Avielle Richman, 10/17/2006
Benjamin Wheeler, 9/12/2006
Allison N Wyatt, 7/3/2006
Rachel Davino, 7/17/198
Dawn Hochspring, 6/28/1965
Anne Marie Murphy, 7/25/1960
Lauren Russeau, 6/8/1982
Mary Sherlach, 2/11/1956
Victoria Soto, 11/04/1985
once again we ask:
why? no answer. no words left.
a prayer: have mercy.
All art from previous posts on the occasion of death by gunfire in the news.
Working on a mystery, going where it leads. Into the great wide open under skies of blue. Will you sail into the heavens, constellations in your eyes? A red-winged hawk is circling.
White light cuts a scar in the sky. Take it to the heart; face up to your soul. Stand in the moonlight. You belong somewhere you feel free.
The shape of the mist–
feels like something from a dream–
you’re learning to fly.
Songs quoted: Running Down a Dream, Into the Great Wide Open, The Dark of the Sun, You and I Will Meet Again, Luna, The Waiting, You Can Still Change Your Mind, Only a Broken Heart, Wildflowers, The Waiting, Learning to Fly
Words from Tom Petty and Colleen’s poetry challenge.
leaves rattle like bones
through bottomless clarity–
azure autumn sky
This exquisite leaf was found on Broadway last week.
and eyes refuse sight.
can be posed,
nor answers given. Light is
erased. Dust and blood.
The news we see now is overwhelmed with US–our own politics are so chaotic and overwhelming that what is going on in the rest of the world seems almost to have disappeared. This Headline Haiku was done by me months ago, from what seems to have been a different lifetime of everyday concerns and headlines.
But people are still dying in, and fleeing from, Syria. And the world still seems paralyzed in response.
My two previously posted Headline Haikus about Syria are currently appearing in the exhibit “We the People: Political Art in an Age of Discord” at the Barrett Art Center, in Poughkeepsie, NY. All the work in the show is posted online here; Trump is definitely there, but not always front and center.
Out of sight
eyes and ears closing
out of mind
desperate lost abandoned
Is this will divine?
Politics is local, but we are connected in humanity and survival with all the peoples of the world. We should not forget that.
All is black,
disguising the hole
in the sun.
The light won’t
swallow the scream inside you.
Songs still. Won’t you come
penetrate, cleanse, wash
Prayer eclipsed by Hell, the
wind stealing you gone. The rain.
The storm. Whole. Black.
Another voice lost far too early, this time to suicide.
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, claiming the lives of over 40,000 Americans every year, 50% of these with guns.
If You Know Someone in Crisis Call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service is available to everyone. The deaf and hard of hearing can contact the Lifeline via TTY at 1-800-799-4889. All calls are confidential.
poem for dVerse Quadrille #34 storm