In Memoriam

Inspired by “Fuck Your Flag” by Sunflower Punk on Splain You A Thing. READ THAT FIRST to put this poem in its proper context.

 

In memoriam:
A democratic Union
Justice
Tranquility
Defense of the commons, of the common people
General welfare–generally, how well we fare
The blessings of liberty
Too many of ourselves
And our posterity

In memoriam:
Liberty
Justice
Democracy

In memoriam:
All that we who built this nation
—built on the land we stole from those we killed,
built by the backs we broke of those we whipped—
ever claimed the flag stood for

In memoriam:
Sandra Bland
Aiyana Jones
Tina Fontaine
Marsha P. Johnson
Annie Pootoogook
Dawn Crey

In memoriam:
The Stars and Stripes

In memoriam:
America

This is, I must remind you,
Memorial Day

 

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She Stands In New York Harbor

She stands in New York Harbor,
where once She greeted those
who came by ship from Europe,
from the Old World to the New.

She stands in New York Harbor,
and has hardly heard a word
spoken in Algonquian
since She gleamed bright-penny hue.

She stands in New York Harbor,
near to Brooklyn, Newark, and
the Bronx: elites of coastal cities—
clearly haven’t got a clue.

She stands in New York Harbor,
and She thinks upon the words
inscribed there at Her feet,
for all the world to view.

She stands in New York Harbor,
Her lamp aloft beside—
is it a golden door?
Can poor brown folks come through?

She stands in New York Harbor,
and thinks that blood runs red
from queer and straight alike,
from trans and cis, from goy and Jew.

She stands in New York Harbor,
and realizes how white
the children are of those
that Ellis Island welcomed through.

She stands in New York Harbor,
a melancholic blue,
and She wonders if the name
of “Liberty” is true.

She stands in New York Harbor,
where once the Poet Laureate
was wise-one Audre Lorde,
who knows what we must do.

She stands in New York Harbor—
did Jefferson set sail
from here to France? Did Sally?
What are we to construe?

She stands in New York Harbor,
overlooking Stonewall Inn:
“What signify a few lives lost
in a century or two?”

She stands in New York Harbor,
reflecting on the truth
of the “tree of liberty”’s
manure and poisoned root.

She stands in New York Harbor,
and refuses to despair.
She’s here for all; She will be,
though that wasn’t always true.
Some find in certain famous words
there’s justice to pursue.
The Declaration? Why, it’s still
there in DC for all to view!

 

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if you are in the dark, may you be visited by a spark

shadow cast over all the earth
(earth my body)

black snake leaking filth into the rivers
(water my blood)

inhuman persons spouting smoke into the sky
(air my breath)

smoke and snake and shadow
and it seems too hard to fight
the night’s so dark and dismal
and it seems there won’t be dawn

that’s when to light a candle
that’s when to be the spark
life is not quite that abysmal
you’re a player, not a pawn

(fire my spirit)

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if you are in the dark, may you be visited by a spark by Alex Conall is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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Neurodivergence

I’m driving in the fog.
My headlights show me little
but gray.
I hardly see the painted lines.
My hazard lights flash.

A sign gleams briefly out of the mist.
Speed limit 50.
I’m doing twenty
and am not yet to the Maryland line.
At this rate I’ll never
get to Oregon.

Behind me, a rush of honking,
headlights glaring in my rearview,
a blue pickup swerves around me
as though I am deliberately obnoxious
or driving recklessly slow

or as though its driver
can see there is no fog.

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Neurodivergence by Alex Conall is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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shades of silence

silence is a red, red rose
the aroma of romance
that beloved knows not of

silence is an orange leaf
drifting to the ground
to dry and brown and blow away

silence is a golden eagle
skating through the sky
seeking a jackrabbit

silence is a green grass blade
growing taller than the rest
the mower hums so loudly

silence is a blue, blue sky
listening with calm
a gentle breeze

silence is a violet crayon
skating ‘cross the page
expressing without words

silence is a white sidewalk
leading to my parents’ door
no footsteps to be heard

silence is a black midnight
stars sparkle up above
solitude and peace

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shades of silence by Alex Conall is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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I Dream of a Land

I need your help to imagine what world we want, and I need your help building it in tangible ways, starting right here, right now. This isn’t a metaphor, or just a call to action. Let’s do this right now, slowly and deliberately, with each other. There is work to do.

Dr. Driskill:

I can’t help but be reminded, since you brought up Audre Lorde, that “the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house”. I’m white, of course; it is likely that almost anything I do constitutes using the master’s tools to repair and expand the master’s house. (Certainly including my job, which I keep because I like being able to pay the rent, medical bills, and student loans.)

But your mention of Lorde, in context of imagining “what world we want”, also reminds me that “poetry is not a luxury”.

Continue reading “I Dream of a Land”

teardrops in the shower

crying in the shower
where it won’t show a track
crying for my country
as it turns the clock back

sobbing in the shower
for it’s not safe to stay
in this country that so hates me
not safe another day

weeping in the shower
for I don’t know how long
where will I go? what will I do?
how can I, so hated, stay alive and strong?

breathing in the shower
air and water are our life
let them hate me. they won’t win.
I will live. I will live.

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teardrops in the shower by Alex Conall is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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The Morning After Election 2016

I am seeing stories.
Trans people terrified
that they won’t live to see
another chance to vote
for those who’ll let them be free.
Even if the midterms
arrive their scheduled day—
which we’re not banking on.
(Of course they will, we pray.)
How many of these people
won’t live to cast that vote?
How many can survive that long?
How many stay afloat?
I am seeing stories,
and each story’s ringing true,
because I’m one of them.
Mom, I hope this pleases you.

Continue reading “The Morning After Election 2016”