Poem for Ammosexuals : NaPoWriMo #21

Ammosexual

There’s just something about a man
with a big package
concealed and carried or swinging free.
Is that a 9mm in your pants,
or are you just happy to see me?

Bullets and barrels are cylindrical
and the way they fit inside my mouth
can’t just be coincidental,
I’d suck fire from his machine gun
know what I’m sayin’?

I don’t mind unsolicited glock pics,
they get me hard like a carbine,
make me want to fuck in gun oil,
to taste metal in sweat and saliva,
to feel the sensation of steel

as it slides and glides
inside my locked and lubed ass,
a cold but pleasant penetration,
then maybe we 69,
his hands around my pistol-grip stock

and my lips and tongue stroking
the long rigid shaft,
fingers probing inside dark empty holes,
a night echoed with our gunshot moans
until we’re both spent, filled with hot lead.

Death factories : NaPoWriMo #19

Life in a firearm factory

America the assembly line
of machined metal and mechanized death,
the safety-goggled eyes and oily hands
wiped on aprons like butchers
in a meat shop, the tiny screwdrivers,
etching tools, and the steadfast resolve
of building that which built a nation with death.

Inspected for quality, inspected for failure rate,
inspected for accuracy, inspected for safety,
each weapon fired at least forty times
past the door that forbids loaded firearms
of any kind, except the ones made inside,
hand-crafted and precision-assured,
checked to insure deliverance
is an unimpeded death.

The workers file in six days a week,
they punch their time cards
and sip their coffee from stainless steel,
they store lunches of sandwiches
wrapped in plastic and potato chip bags
in latched boxes in lockers,
they watch the clock just like you,
counting the minutes until shift’s end,
those hours between themselves
and the faces of their husbands and wives,
the welcome comfort of clean sheets and a pillow,
the warmth of a lover’s body
next to them at night, a sleep-weighted arm
draped over their waist like waiting death.

It’s a job like any other job,
except in the ways it isn’t,
each weapon cleared for shipment
a potential murder or guaranteed tool of war,
a serial number traced by the ATF or the FBI,
another statistic measured and cited
on the nightly news alongside images
of their week’s work with death.

This pistol stopped a robbery,
this pistol was used in a robbery,
this pistol shot a single mother,
this pistol was fired by that single mother’s son,
this rifle held off insurgents,
this rifle was used by an insurgent,
this rifle took 17 lives, took 22 lives,
took 26 lives, took 42 lives,
in Texas, in Florida, in Connecticut, in Nevada,
this rifle did just what is was supposed to do,
I built it, inspected it, went over every millimeter
before sending it out into the world
like a parent hoping the best
for his children with death,
and this is the right of every American.

Repealing the 2nd Amendment : NaPoWriMo #18

Repeal

Impossible to repeel a banana
once the skin is off—
the fruit must be eaten
before the air turns it black,
like a buckshot poison for the gut.

Impossible to retract words
once expelled from the throat
through the tongue teeth and lips,
no ticky tack paper to be rewound
into the lungs on a spool,
no apology to make the spoken unmouthed.

Impossible to unbreak a law
a mirror a precious vase
hurled against a wall,
the criminality remains
like spiderweb scars
caked white with dried glue
in the cracks of the skin.

Impossible to unchange
that which has changed,
to put every stone
back in its home on the range,
to shovel the snows
back to the peak the avalanche unleashed,
to uncarve the canyons
and straighten the rivers once snaked,
to smooth all wrinkles
from a traumatized brain.

Impossible to unpull a trigger
once it has been pulled,
no bullets on strings
stopped and reversed
at the cock of a hammer
or pulse of the heart,
the shot will stay shot
as the dead will stay dead,
even if you remove the slugs
from their bodies or their heads.

What’s done cannot be undone,
what’s made not unmade,
only destroyed burned down
dismantled piece by fucking piece
like an empire of matchsticks
oblivious to the frictions
of their blue tips against red tips
working like a war on common sense
until smoke becomes spark
becomes a heaping mound of ash
for others to write their declarations in
and start the whole damned thing over again.

Poem for Anthony Borges : NaPoWriMo #12

Between Death and a Door
~for Anthony Borges

Death doesn’t knock upon the door,
it demands to be let through,
but there are those who refuse to listen.

These seconds seem small
waiting to die, nothing between the end
and the now except this barricade
of flesh leaned against hard wood
and heartbeats pushing blood
out of the body and onto the floor.

This act is selfless, to stand
in defense of the helpless,
to feel an entire existence
kept in the balance
while something faceless
sends its bullets ripping
with white noise and white flashes
through muscle, through lung,
through sound shattered bone.

Five strikes of the iron bell
to stave off twenty more,
five ear-splitting bangs
of skeletal fist pounding
against one shaking frame,
five brushes of bony fingers
against tear-streaked cheeks,
a world condensed down
to the scent of cauterized skin,
to the sound of shrieks,
to the sensation of breath
as a dissipating echo
in the mind.

And when you wake up
in the hospital bed,
your body feels less than your own,
a host of surgical scars
and open wounds no suture can close,
you hear them call you hero,
but you know it isn’t so
you just did what had to be done,
and now, just want to be left alone,
to heal, to feel time return itself
back to that steady second hand
where every tick of the clock
isn’t another triggered gunshot.

Death doesn’t knock upon the door,
it demands to be let through,
but you, you refused to listen.

Another gun poem : NaPoWriMo #10

A penis is a warm gun

The measure of manhood
can’t have a snubbed nose,

this open carry seems indecent
in the presence of children,

yet, here we are, waving
our dicks around like trophies,

impregnating the air
of coffee shops and grocery stores

with that curdled milk odor of death.
Shooting off at the mouth,

shooting off from the hip,
stroking these polished barrels

and stocks in orgies of masturbatory
fear mongering for what?

A good guy with a cock
keeps his happiness at home

and shines up his chrome
to internet porn when he’s alone

like an ordinary homophobe.
Maybe it’s less manly

to keep your junk in your drawers,
to keep your chamber cleared,

to keep a pistol only capable
of shooting six girls before needing reload,

but at a certain age it becomes obscene
to think of anything but a future

where the young can decide for themselves
which wounds they’d prefer to die from.

The Weapon of Ownership : NaPoWriMo #9

A person is a weapon

A gun is just a tool,
something for the red cloud of violence
to seep through, an arterial spray
that spatters the canvas
of homes and city streets
with chaotic disregard
for where its color will land.

Remove the tool,
and this violent fog
will still leak from our pores
like blood-tinged sweat,
finding a new outlet,
be it fist, or tooth, or stone.

What is a law, but a rule
meant to be broken?
There will always be forces
that work against
this cohesive reality,
atoms vibrating themselves into fevers,
shredding the silk curtains
from the windows,
pulling the skin from the bone.

The human animal is not to be trusted,
one thin sliver of glass
separating consciousness
from instinct, separating words
from gut-throated howls
and knuckles dragged
through dust and dirt,
these tight circles
of territory, not to be infringed.

Convince a man that he owns the world
and other men cease to have faces,
become thieves wearing shadows
coming to club the light from the skull,
coming to plant a different colored flag
on this hill of nameless graves.

This is the primal law
written somewhere beneath the jaw,
remove every weapon from the Earth,
melt the steel, burn the wood,
pluck every fingernail, pull every canine
from every snarling mouth,
and we would still find a way
to choke the life from the other,
to lay claim to this body,
to prevent sharing sips
from a single glass of water.

NaPoWriMo Poem 5, Gun pastoral

Second Amendment Pastoral

If guns grew on trees much green would be gone
from the world, replaced with gunmetal gray,
perhaps a pink camo dogwood here or there,
the rest turned reflective and dark,
like American hearts.

The hills would become congregations
of slouching, heavy boughs
cloaked in deathly funeral-like robes,
a procession of morose ghouls
producing their yearly harvests
of yet more life-taking tools.

How long before the weapons
outnumber the souls, outnumber
the blades of grass in the yards,
outnumber the stars?
And yet, the hands reach up
for such deadly fruit,
just to feel something colder
than the memory of a mother
with black opioid eyes.

Is this the utopia we deserve,
land of breath by Russian roulette,
land of nitroglycerin smoke,
black residue left on the fingers
of the firing trigger fist,
land of forests where the wind
through the limbs
sounds like a chorus
of haunted pitch pipe barrels
whistling in the key of apathy.

If guns grew on trees, we’d tell the children
not to climb them, to build their play houses
in the graveyards instead,
just to shorten the distance
between growing up and playing dead.

Gun violence poem NaPoWriMo #3

A gun speaks

Find me saddled and snug
against the warmth of a woman’t thigh,
on the inside, tucked into a garter.
Find me hidden beneath socks
and loosely spilled ties
in a bedside table, or squeezed
between a mattress and box springs.

There’s nothing I like more
than being cradled
in a palm, cruel and callous,
not sweaty at all,
ready to deal out death
the way I spit out smoking shells
like teeth from a street boxer’s mouth.

Find me on a hustler’s hip,
on a policeman’s hip,
on the top shelf of a lawyer’s closet
or the back glass of a redneck’s Ford.
Find me under the gas station counter,
under the driver’s seat of a war vet,
under the pillow of a man who can’t sleep.

I’m here, never more than a reach away,
never more than a moment
between the deep breath
and a thumb on the safety switch
between the silence and the sharp calamity
of a split-second decision,
an exit wound the size of infinity.

Find me loaded, always loaded,
in the seconds that speak like bells
like air raid sirens of the heart
like 911 calls where the operator shouts
“Slow down! Slow down! Try to stay calm,
help is on the way.”

Find me fingerprint clad,
blood spatter like liquid veil,
discarded or still vaguely grasped
in the limp hand of a child,
of a broken thing,
of a moment once fulfilled
that can never be undone.

Give everyone a gun

Armed and conscientious

Give the teachers guns
loaded with gold stars,
give the students guns
loaded with confetti and noise.

Give the politicians guns
loaded with indisputable facts,
give the media guns
loaded with human hunger.

Give the religious guns
loaded with bread and wine,
give the atheists guns
loaded with zeroes and ones.

Give the racists guns
loaded with rainbow light,
give the terrorists guns
loaded with human rights.

Give the film stars guns
loaded with pine cones and water,
give the lonely guns
loaded with glitter and lube.

Give the destitute guns
loaded with thousand dollar bills,
give the corporations guns
loaded with human joy.

Give the military guns
loaded with whoopi cushion farts,
give the pacifists guns
loaded with music and laughter.

Give the children guns
loaded with unrealistic ambition,
give the parents guns
loaded with wet ammunition.

A poem is a gun

If poems were firearms

Another disenchanted youth loads his backpack
with weapons, the heavy oil stink of black metal
and copper clinging to his pink and sensitive fingers
like chalk dust and graphite from hand sharpened pencils.
He’s spent the night memorizing Dylan Thomas,
loading clips and carbines and lubricating slots and slides
with metaphor and simile, with adjective and verb,
the lasting impressions of a concrete image.

The bell sounds and he drops the weight from his shoulders,
crouches behind a line of plain gray lockers to unzip his bag,
no one paying attention, he’s just another student in another hall
in another school in another town of America,
where the kids form packs and cliques as easy as amino acids
build ladders in the blood, and he’s up, and he’s done thinking
about whether this is right or wrong, red or blue,
he puts a barrel to the forehead of a beautiful blonde
and bang, fills her brain full of Shakespearean sonnets.

The kids begin to shriek and scatter like seagulls chased from beaches,
bouncing off each other and into the walls, falling down,
trampled by sneakers and boot heels and twisted ankle soles,
as the shots echo in rapid succession, leaving their words
like bruises on the flesh. A boy whose only desire from the day
was to ask Maggie Mae to the dance, suddenly compares her face
to the sun, wants to tattoo his heart with rhyme, to leave verses
like postcards from his hormones inside her mailbox at night.

Another finds that his appetite for carving curse words into desks
is suddenly replaced with Gwendolyn Brooks’ “we real cool,”
a girl stops taking selfies and starts speaking in iambic pentameter,
another throws her phone into the toilet and jots down five lines
in a three-subject notebook that previously held only her name,
a teacher suddenly realizes he’s shown favoritism to white students
and has an entire chapbook of poems about racism in his head.

Slowly, the crowd loses its panic, as more and more students and faculty
hit by the power and ferocity of stanza and scheme
feel their lives take a sudden change, a nod toward beauty
gone too-long ignored, their faces slackening then glowing with grins,
one by one they realize they’ve allowed their lives to be consumed by lies,
to forego existence for mere reflections of selves in palms,
and they line up like believers after the pastor’s psalms, saying, “Me too. Me too.”