Daily Archives: January 11, 2021

What’s Next

With dagger or dirk.
Parang or machete.
Left behind bayonet
or stake fashioned from
old bloody wood.

In their night rises
our broad, bright day.

Still, terrible’s
walking among us.
Debate’s of no use.
Once you smell blood
in your neighborhood
you cannot lose the scent.

In their night rises
our broad, bright day.

No, not with guns;
if we are to remain able
to be human again
we cannot allow ourselves
to do what’s needed
from a distance. We’ll need
to feel the shock of blade on bone
in order to remember
how much better it was to be
who we were before.


The odor strangles sometimes,
merely distracts at others, always sets
my teeth to grinding.

I walk into a discussion where it flavors the air,
try to join in and I’m soon choking so much
the others can’t understand me.

I turn to art for solace and it rises from between
pages, stings my eyes till paintings blur;
even music reeks. That job interview

stank with it; this online forum — how is this
even possible — I cannot see its words
through the miasma.

The halls of Congress,
the trading floor of Wall Street, every tower
where a titan of industry schemes: all

are thick with it; they might be tombs —
one whiff of the air in there recalls
dead generations piled upon dead generations.

Now and then I even pick it up on
a breeze through a forest, a breeze
that must have passed over a pipeline.

Sometimes I can tell it is coming
directly from me — mouth,
clothes, being. Half of me wants

to flee myself; the other half
holds my breath,
pinches off my nose,

makes me duck,
get close to the ground,
look into myself for better air.