Thursday, February 17, 2011

Vade Mecum

                                                       Go with me

As cursed by words as by the lack of words.
Dilettante of scars. Dictator of nerves.
In Madison the streets look like Bahrain,
so full the tyrants believe they must kill
or be killed, the crowds adamant with rage
in this absence of taking their complaint
to heart. Those who would deny their own hearts
always, insistent on having their way
now that these crowds of common people speak,
who were never ordinary, their hands
empty, their hearts full, their voices lifted . . .
The crux of the burden they carry weighs
upon us all, even the dilettante,
the dictator. Try to separate them
inside, take an X-ray of scars and nerves,
see how this goes into that and stops there . . .
on the outer banks of the pillaged skin
a blade slicing crossways tattoos the name
you have savaged with your mirth and brought grief
to the bone. Her joy is turned inside out
by your delivery of the laughter
that catching in the throat, flays all the words
that follow. There are more important lives
than yours, those in the streets of the world, say . . .
no silence compels them to be quiet
when the rich growing fewer send their rant
down to the poor, their numbers increasing,
fed up. A statehouse of materiel
covered by tarps awaiting appeasement
of those who order other hands to arm
and flank them round and leave no space unmanned
to fire on the crowds, whatever’s needed
to cast a pall over those who refuse
such insult . . . they vow to never submit,
for they recover power in their words
to overcome what is called condition

and speak what the human has always known.

(17 February 2011)

copyright 2011 by Floyce Alexander

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