Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Challenge Poem

So when I mentioned the April Poetry Challenge, I said I might post some of what comes out of that. Why not?

Here's the second poem I wrote for the challenge--not the second challenge, mind you, but the second one I wrote. I'm not real sure how I feel about it yet, but here it is. I'm certainly open to comments on it.

Headlines

I was born two days after Nixon won
the first time. Inauspicious beginnings
in a year of strife. Bobby Kennedy.
Martin Luther King, Jr. The Tet Offensive.
I am the same age as The ODB
and Lisa Marie Presley, as Ziggy Marley
and Vanilla Ice, and no wonder
we’re all fucked up because we
all came forth in a year of strife
and we’ve never gotten over it.
I turned 32 on Election Day, 2000
the day Fox News declared George Dubya
the 43rd President of the US.
I’ll be working that one out of my system
for decades—to be forever linked
with Nixon is bad enough, but to carry
the weight of the two worst presidents
ever is a bit much to ask of anyone.
But I refuse to stay down. In ‘68
I also got Tommie Smith and John Carlos
in Mexico City, The White Album,
Cash at Folsom Prison and Lady Soul,
Of Being Numerous and North Central,
2001: A Space Odyssey and Planet of the Apes
and “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”.
It’s not enough, but it is something,
a firebreak, a seawall that deadens
the hurricane’s storm surge, a shot
of whiskey to numb an abscessed tooth.

Here's his latest challenge. It just so happens I'm working on one about seeing la grande Jatte, so if it comes out, I might post that as well.

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