The First Strike

the twin flags 
on your car — 
flag of Confederacy,
flag of Union; seeing that

you’re heading into
the same bar
I’m going to; letting

my hands brush
my pockets —
clipped-on knife,
cell phone; checking for
pepper gel snapped to
belt loop;

whether — and when —
first strike will make
more sense;

choosing to recall
that there’s no accounting 
for The Dumb who fly
the flags of 
betrayer and betrayed
with equal pride;

choosing to recall 
that both flags
are red, white, and blue;

returning to calculating
when the first strike
will be required of me —
perhaps not today

but soon.

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

4 responses to “The First Strike

  • Jack McClintock

    Okay, Mr Brown, so you see the world for the frightening, fraudulent foolishness it really is… Well, now you’ve gained wisdom, haven’t you…
    The Knowing
    Blistered hands strain to grasp
    the subtlety of rhymes
    composed by indolence.
    Self indulgence steps across
    the bodies laying in its
    way, the ragged inconvenience.
    And everywhere, meanness finds
    reward for injuries done
    to innocence. Who’s to blame?
    Amid the welter of faltering
    relations and self betrayal,
    where is wisdom; where’s peace?
    Somewhere in the depths of
    our souls lie the still
    waters of ageless wisdom,
    but we go searching for our
    reflection among the stars,
    and end up lost in the mirror.
    All that’s possible cries out from
    inside. A box, within a box,
    within a box; power existential.
    I sing the human being! Wizard
    warrior, become savior of
    reality. Embodied introspection!
    Turning fear into life force, we sense
    blood within the stone that
    is mankind’s heart of darkness.
    Savageness is tamed, like some
    mystical brute thing that
    stalks and kills for sheer delight.
    Before entering Valhalla, reason must
    lay bare its terrified breast in an
    act of mindless faith, and leap from security
    muttering a prayer for the dying,
    on lips which tremble and
    murmur of how brave we all must be.
    Someone please, save us from
    the knowing. Faust, help
    us in this hour of self-revelation!
    God have mercy upon our open
    eyes. Forgive us the awful sin
    of vanity, to think, to know, to be.
    Ex-nihilo, send mercy’s bullet to
    snatch the fruit of the mythic tree
    of knowledge from our shaking hands.
    In the waning light of day, knowledge
    is neither good nor bad, only
    fruit, to be consumed by the soul.
    The arrogant and vicious are wise
    in their way. One must be dark,
    to fare well in such a hungry world.
    Unsettling verse from, Mad Jack

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