Poem

Obiter Dicta

Abnormally crass

NY Times

Books section

9/12/01

“What should those

who have lost

friends and family

in yesterday’s

terrorist atrocities

read?”

I don’t know

looks like

no one

pays poetry

any attention

at least

outside

a few

that already see

it has no inside

refer the poets

in turn

to Richard Price

Observations on

the Nature of

Civil Liberty

Part II Section iii

“Of the Policy

of the War

with America”

And yet

we imagine ourselves

ill used

in truth

we expected

to find them

a cowardly rabble

who would lie quiet

at our feet

they have disappointed us

risen

in their own defense

and replied

by force

they deny

the plenitude

of our power

over them

and insist

upon being treated

as free

communities

this has provoked us

and kindled

our governors

into rage

1776

notebook

entries

pages apart

collapse

years

the only

method is

empathic

After Goya, James Perry

by Erik Noonan

Erik Noonan is from Sherman Oaks, California.  He is the author of the poetry collections Stances(2012) and Haiku d'Etat (2013).  He lives in San Francisco with his family. You can find his Medium account here.

who am i?

   Photo Credit: Key Soto

who am i?

to be birthed

on this side of validated dreams

far away from a wall, a fence, a barrio, or a movement

that must claim that their lives do matter, too

 

who am i?

a person of (pale and blue eyed) color

who decides when and how

to celebrate

her one drop rule

her mixed match blend

or when to melt into

a palette of non-identity glamour

 

who am i?

to be placed

in so many of the right boxes

to be placed

at so many of the right times

 

who am i?

what did i do different

than They

than You

 

but who am i?

not to live out these american dreams

that shall otherwise go, (rest)

Undreamt

 

who am i not?

if not They

if not You

 

they told me

to take my deserved place

among the limited amount of stars

who dared an entitled belonging

 

yes, see they told me

and maybe i would start to see

only maybe

(because i was taught to believe)

and that maybe

(because i believe)

in They, in me

i mean even they keep telling me

that

 

maybe i do

maybe i am

maybe i am, We The People

 

more than They

more than You

 

stitched, placed

into

Red

White

& Blue

my boxes

my stars

my breath

my beauty

my thoughts

my being

my i

my White blood

sometimes

often

Deserve

need

Breath

Voice

Place

Dreams

 

more than They

more than You

 

and me

and i

and we,

 

These Deserving people,

Have worked so hard, (Goddammit)

To wash away

This one drop of color

And those never lived

and unremembered

blues

 

by Vicky Munyoz

        by Fallujah.

Misplaced Persons

(Photograph by Marcelle McIntosh)

When I climb into bed with my mother, I try to hide away from the world.

One day my baby brother also joined, typical for him to do so as the mama’s boy.

For him it was routine and acceptable, as for me being a college grad, not so much.

As my baby brother clambered into his favorite spot,

My mother looked at us and playfully said “I take no refugees ! “

while fluffing out her king-sized pillows.

I stayed anyway and had a restless sleep,

Wedging my new nose piercing into the cartilage.

My body notices the intrusion and fights it, rejects it.

By morning I try to painfully remove it to relieve the swelling.

Blood, clogged and crusted around it.

The titanium stud was sinking in, becoming one with my flesh.

Like the shrapnel that must have struck those in their homes in Syria,

Unaware in the night that they would not see morning.

Leaving children behind,

who become misplaced, motherless, fatherless.

No beds to crawl into, no one to crawl next to and sleep.

To feel safe and secured by.

It’s like these people are falling off the Earth as it rotates, and it’s up to us,

the ones stable enough to set out nets to catch them.

Open up our King sized, kingdoms.

We must join in and do it together, not with scissor fingers but with our hearts on our sleeves.

Not to instinctively become territorial and fight

As if our resources will be threatened.

Why make other people’s life a living hell, when you already know

that they tried to escape it?

Inhaling the ash of it burning around them,

Drowning in the endless ocean

It’s so easy to reject what you don’t know.

What you feel does not belong.

What to you seems out of place.

When you can crawl into the comfort of your own bed.

 

By Marcelle McIntosh

                 by Fallujah.