Thursday, August 14, 2014

I Never Did Cry \ Marked

Nancy: The deserts of the Southwest have seen so many deaths – even the map warned “Jornada del Muerto” on the contour lines of the land.  It was a place too dry for raindrops or tears. 

I Never Did Cry

I never did cry
there was a window
comings and goings
how do you feel
pain is private
why do the clouds hang on the mountains
leaving the basin dry
they’re waiting
screams are currency here
too many faces
is there anyone to call
dammit I can’t get a vein
the window is
and the lightning flashes over the mountains
they told me
one day
I never did cry
but it rained, once
outside the window
you could watch the drops
disappear in the dust

Alan: Dystopia enters slowly, through innumerable tiny cracks and fissures, until finally – looking back, looking ahead – too late, we notice.


Marked from birth – leaf
foot, petal toes
pressed, printed,
tucked away –
if I wandered too soon
from life, my mother
would have at least
this to weep on.

One day we lined up
in class the nice
stranger dressed in blue
blue hat & shiny badge
inked our thumbs.  So if
we went off in the car
of another nice
stranger there would be
this of us left.

Another time I noticed
half-domes bulging
like Sputniks
from the ceilings of the
five-and-ten-cent store
chameleon-eyes watching,
tracking.  I was never
alone again.

Now they are everywhere,
slim swiveling boxes
recording; more – tiny –
hidden in walls, trees,
lights, eyewear, clothing,
under skin.

For a time barcodes
inventoried us like fruit
or dry goods.  QR codes
scanned to our personal
sites & histories.  Clumsy.

Gait, face, demeanor,
voice, iris, and finally
thoughts make everything
public or if not public
known to some.

Once it was enough
to be free or at least
uncaring.  It was that way
in post-war Honolulu
mid-50s Coronado
suburbs made for kids
on bikes, cul-de-sacs
and cut-throughs.

Now I know
how my sister died
and of the sadness
surrounding us.

Now I am secure
and can menace no one.
Now it is better.
They say, watching
and listening over me,
now it is better.

“Marked” is from a work in progress, Annals Of The Nearer Soon (preliminary title).

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