Sleeping on the nuclear switch
The cicadas buzz up a storm
A summer heat of bliss
Dissociative ecstacy lying in the grass
In the dark of the night the black cat roams free
Sniffing around the garden of weeds, then disappearing into the dark
Standing in the doorway as I wake at 9 am
We all go through the spiralling trials of life and also the spiralling realizations
Depersonalization disorder should plague the oppressors more and the oppressed less
Although there are good kinds of depersonalization, not disorders
Searing the visual cortex with a sun fired perception of beauty with a side of beer and cigarettes
The cat finds her courage
Bigots against the mentally ill and outsiders infest the local coffeehouse
Deeply unimpressed I take my business elsewhere
Realizing that I was not imagining them continually gossiping about me
Little birds flitter in the street; get out of the way of the oncoming car, you little fools
Overcast and bright today
And it is time to shower and get coffee (elsewhere)

Sandy Tolan: The Flute at the Checkpoint

Originally posted on Vox Populi:

The Everyday Politics of Confinement in Palestine

The SUV slows as it approaches a military kiosk at a break in a dull gray wall. Inside, Ramzi Aburedwan, a Palestinian musician, prepares his documents for the Israeli soldier standing guard. On the other side of this West Bank military checkpoint lies the young man’s destination, the ancient Palestinian town of Sebastia. Fellow musicians are gathering there that afternoon to perform in the ruins of an amphitheater built during Roman times. In the back seat, his wife, Celine, tends their one-year-old son, Hussein, his blond locks curling over the collar of his soccer jersey.

Ramzi is in a hurry to set up for the concert, but it doesn’t matter. The soldier promptly informs him that he cannot pass. “Those are the orders,” he adds without further explanation, directing him to another entrance 45 minutes away. Turning the car around, Ramzi then drives…

View original 2,646 more words


Originally posted on Dark Matter:

Originally posted 1/7/2006.

i was 15
a man grabbed me from behind
i turned and cut him
did not stop to see what happened
ran as fast as i could back to the party

two friends helped me
scrub off the blood
someone else
lent me a shirt

i went home that night
my parents never knew
i have watched the news for years
still don’t know what happened

why nothing has ever happened

she was really pretty and
if i could have recalled her name
i would have called her

i am still trying 

at 17 i stole a book of robert bly’s poetry
and later had him sign it
this was wrong in so many ways

i still have the book

i should have called her
i should have called her
i should have called her
who was she

who am i that i thought i could call her

i should…

View original 142 more words

Rise Again

Originally posted on unheardunspokencogitationum:

So life hasn’t been smooth lately
Or perhaps for a long time now
Success looks like a dream lost
In infinite horizons of uncertainty
But listen carefully to your voice
You aren’t meant to accept defeat

The world is no longer confined to
Your imagination, it’s real and brutal
Throwing you off balance completely
You spend days questioning yourself
Stop looking over the closed doors
You have the courage to face life

One day in the future you will look
Back wishing to tell yourself to not
Be scared for you will not just survive
You will be rise above adversaries
This is who you were meant to be
A strong human being with a soul

In the world where individuality dies
A little every day in the rat race
You stand out for you’re more human
Believe in yourself against all odds
Many will tell you to accept failures

View original 64 more words

Anastasia Awakens

Originally posted on takingthemaskoff:


“I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything; but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.”

I walk into the jail. It is my first day as the new supervisor of the medical unit. What a great opportunity to change things with this job. I did not know why they hired me to do this job. I had at the time 10-12 years working in psychiatry and this was a jail, which is mostly medical I thought.

I was there for a few minutes, and met the staff members. Right away there is a behavior code called and we are to rush to the cell to see what it is. I follow along and watch. We get to the cell and there is where I would first meet Anastasia…

View original 3,778 more words

Political Art

Originally posted on Dark Matter:

Old poem.  Reposted tonight just because it felt right, in this moment, to think again about the limits of political art — dates back at least to 1999, 2000?  Appears here in the “Poems From The Slam Years” page. Has also appeared in various anthologies over the years, and various journals as well.

a print of “Guernica” hangs on the foyer wall
above the drink table
here are the famous horse and the upraised human face
they’re screaming as the hors d’oeuvres are passed

and on the facing wall
behind the buffet
hang two photographs
carefully chosen for tonight

in this one is a girl we have seen before
running and burning on a road in Vietnam years and years ago
back then she was trying to fly to safety
on the innocent strength rising along her fiery arms

in this one is a man we’ve also seen before

View original 355 more words

A split in the mind and a break in time
Flying through the air backwards
Crack Crack Crack
Come back to us Come back to us
Sticking the knife in a bit deeper
A long way to the big bucks
In the edge of the alleyway
Done and Done and Done
Blending a tithe of spirits
Spirits for which men go mad
A certain plank in the Eritrean waste
The slump of the conscripted
Deanalyzed however not sleeping peacefully
A shift in the diagnosis for the funds
Sleep, young one, just Sleep
All that you need to know
Nothing is to be done
On and on and on we go
Needing no one’s permission
Slipping over the tracks –
Closing with bells

United thoughts remove the blocks
Brick by brick taking Down the walls that surround
The heart of dust ignites
Not one to be outdone the other relaxes his grip
Seeing forward and making it real
Extending gripping arms in every direction
Seeing not the thoughts of shadow
Killing all that stands in the way of bliss
The hearts and nerves begin to beat all in time
Seizing mightily, injuries all around
A grip is regained and consciousness again expands