Daily Archives: June 9, 2017

Another Anthem

To be fair, right now I’m mostly
whistling as I pass
this nation-sized graveyard.

I have been dissatisfied
with every option 
that’s ever been presented to me.

Yes, I could have claimed
the easiest identity
and tightened my grip

on a White illusion of 
safety; could have
raised a banner 

on behalf of the Native
that lay hidden in me and 
fought a valiant, visible

losing war; could have straddled
that weathered fence and swung 
a leg on either side of it until

it broke under me
and I died as stupidly as I would have
if I’d chosen anything else.

I have America to thank for 
these choices, I know: 
a choice of skewers, a plethora

of demises. In the long run
we’re all as dead as flagpoles,
no matter what flags we fly.

Is it worth the fight at all?
I’m comfortable saying no,
for the moment at least. Right now

I’m sitting in smoke and mirror land,
thinking about writing new music
in case songs survive what’s coming.

They’ll need lullabies, dirges,
everything from ditties to pretties
to small hymns to whatever is left

of the nature we’ve grown to know.
The only song I hope
they will not need again is

an anthem.
As I wait and fret
about the end, I pray:

whatever choices I have left to make,
let me never have to raise my voice with others
in such a song as that.


I wanted to give up
on poetry

but I kept falling 
into it and sometimes

I was wet with it
when I got up

and sometimes
I drew my finger

through the wetness
and sometimes it was 

dew and sometimes it
was blood and 

sometimes you could see it
after I was done and 

sometimes it said something
or looked reasonably 

presentable and sometimes
I presented it and 

people sometimes said
it meant something to them

and sometimes it meant 
to them what it meant to me

and so sometimes I still 
call myself a poet and say

I haven’t given
up quite yet.