Daily Archives: August 28, 2014

An Actor Prepares

Originally posted 12/16/2009.

No one photographs him
more than once
after they realize
that the only pictures
that show him happy
show him onstage.
All other images
make him look like
a pillar of salt.
Apparently, to fake
confidence in the future
he requires an audience.

What’s his motivation?
He gave up everything
to gain a spotlight.  But

that smile you see up there
is genuine, if fleeting.
Stick with that.
Next time, use no flash.
Catch him standing there

in his natural setting:
darkness all around,
pretending like mad
that light is the Sun.


Originally posted 12/26/2009.

They’re scared because they have seen
a delta shaped object
outlined with lights
over their suburban heads

They say
“I don’t know what it was”
but they lie
to themselves

Neither the future
nor the extraterrestrial world

brought these triangles of dread
to the space above their heads

No aliens up there — just
a grand and terrible ghost
come to haunt them
in the shape of the Mississippi Delta

bearing dead history
forgotten languages

rapes and suppression
negation and killing

The slaving
and pillage
of many generations
do not simply disappear

but rise into the common ether
and hover
often unseen
but always there

legacies in the night
making selected random viewers
think of genocide 
send their children inside to hide

They shiver in the air
outside their handsome 
stolen homes
and living standards

and so in partial reparation
for history’s 
extravagant misuse
of darker beings

comes a raising
of fear in the bellies
of those who have not paid it
enough heed