six unlit tiki torches

On a Sunday as I run by a balcony

I run by a balcony and am shaken

Am shaken by six unlit tiki torches

Tiki torches that burned among a mob

Among a mob of brazen men, a fire

Fire: a flame of fury stoked

Fury stoked on lies and fear and hate

Lies and fear and hate: the flimsiest torches

The flimsiest torches, just party supplies

Party supplies meant for a celebration

Celebration of joy and love and life

Love and life defiant in the face of death

Defiant in the face of death: lights

Lights in the darkness

The darkness does not overcome them

Them: six unlit tiki torches on a balcony as I run by

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a simple gesture
over and over
the bright needle
in her hand
dipping in and out
of the cream
colored fabric
little nips rucking
the surface
thread piling up
the long release
that far off sound
of thunder
something deep
like the seed
each stitch is
binding up
and unfurling

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outrage sounds.

outrage sounds.

-ly bored. pen scritches.
an Excel cell filling. a form

anonymous call
center hiss & clatter—keyboards,
mouth-breathing, vague voices—

we pretend
we are not trading scripts:

i am <NAME>, a voter in <STATE>.
i am <EMOTION> about <ISSUE>. I desire

thank you, <NAME>. i will pass
your concern onto <CONGRESSPERSON>.

all day long.
ring. reach. record. repeat.

hiss & clatter. ad infinitum.

outrage dulled by. repetition.
by dulcet tones. by calculated

alarm bells are still
alarms. pull the cord.
keep up the vigilant. ringing.


The time to act is now. I don't care who you voted for, or what your political ideology is. It's time to act.The…

Posted by Mike McHargue – Science Mike on Wednesday, May 10, 2017

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The idiots are winning.

sweet swimmer in the white
long-sleeve t-shirt.

your crema blooms &

you pontificate.

dresses. gauzy veils.

those little guppies pursing

in the back row.

what subtle motions the tiger
shark makes.

drum machine spills
liquid beats.

cut crystal tumblers

brim. all gloss
& amber.

sensuous sea

sounds. symmetrical.  

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what i know of man bodies of my own

body could fit in a small bone bowl

what i know is salt: blood sweat tears semen this pillar

is all i am at times at all times i am

waiting on rain to come wear down wash away

the lot of me  

my body is told to me to be

a hard stance of legs wide as shoulders arms

over chest & broad back & flexed hips only never the soft

mystery crying out folding unfolding in secret

never the soft prostrate position

of the dead the prone position of a laid-out body

drenched in its own exertion and breath slowly slowing

alive among many other bodies who know

little of themselves less of any other body

but salt

on the skin collecting in the corner of the eye

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The antidote.

The antidote.

this is the antidote. calm-talk. deep-breath. collarbone taptaptap. these ancient rapid-fire parts of me, myelinated slick and screaming bloody murder & fire in the theater in one breath need to ease it on down, baby. gaba it up. gobble it down. boggle a while, you know? pick up the brush. slap some paint on a canvas. don’t worry will it work. soothe to the sound of the brush. that one bright line just right, words spilled out, made flesh or nearly, the hand coming suddenly visible. that’s what we’re lurking here in the shadows for, hunt and peck, bags over our shoulders, noses to the ground. it’ll come we’re confident, even when we’re not. in those moments the breath becomes a second beast, moving in and out, stalking with us. spring-loaded with sleek muscle. lovely. waiting. patient. ready.

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At the Women’s March, Seattle

At the Women’s March, Seattle

You see us in the streets and say ‘political games’. We protest
because our bodies tell us to move. We are working out
something far deeper than regime change. We are exorcising
trauma’s insidious grip. We put one foot in front of the other,
side by side, to announce we are alive, our bodies are
good, our minds are our own. We march to survive.

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They, whoever they are, tacked on
One final second to the end
Of the year. Hateful 2016 skips

Death for one more beat, unlike
Prince, Leia, thousands of rebels
And Syrian civilians, Bowie,

Black men, gay men, hispanic
Gay men, trans-men and women,
Women, water, the democratic process

And any sense of dignity. Lucky
Bastard. I–and I’m certain I’m not
Alone–want to get rowdy drunk

(As is the American way) and break
Down sobbing at what’s passed and
What fearful unknown is to come. But

I won’t. And you? Don’t. Instead
Grab that extra fucking second
We’ve been forced through

By the powers that be that have no
Power to speak of, and live out the year
In full-throated knowing what is

Is now. Be loud about the year that took
so much. Be louder about the hopeful
who-knows? wildness of what’s next.

Press right up against the false edge
Of time, every nerve ending you
are tingling, as one we all contract

into a massive blackstar, screaming
For everything we’re worth, streaming
Full of light into the new.

That final second, overwhelmed
By such bright resolve, expends one last
breath and then explodes.

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i come upon the white flower

in the green field and stop

not now having to do anything

more than this.

the flower is present to

all that is: wind, the soft peel

of the sun, the grass.

and so i am in this moment

the soft green slip

of stalk, the white crown

and pale center

of everything. i am the flower all

the way to my roots.

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