January 9th 2019

power went out
another line came down
they still don’t have the one
from last week restrung
that’s the one snapped
caught old lady Beverly in the head
froze her to the spot
scorched a hole through her skull
got her brain and she danced
as the children laughed and threw bricks
the police aren’t available
until Saturday
but since the city won’t pay
weekend rates
they’ll cordon off the repair zone
on Monday
then the electricians can work safely
without fear of the dogpacks
or the human element

all the businesses
were robbed of valuables long ago
now they’re simply burning the blocks
initially it was said to be insurance scams
but nobody I know
remembers when the last time
a company paid out
not on a legitimate claim anyway
Dad says it’s a laugh
there’s no such thing
as an insurance scam
insurance is the scam
so he got us a vet
bad case
missing half his face
screams horror every sleep
Iranian acid bulb
clipped him across the bridge of his nose
so that’s part of what’s gone
I can’t look at him
how Anna manages to pay his salary
the way she does
is beyond me
she says he cries after
every time
the president decreed
any soldier
still physically capable of combat
who suffered some yellow-bellied
mental disorder
be dishonorably discharged
stripped of benefits
and barred from the VA
thus a veteran
can be a real economical security hire

I wish it would rain
the heat on the garbage heaps
is stinking up the neighborhood bad
I’ve never seen so many flies
they’re buzzing all around the homosexual
they hung him from the blue gum
when was that – three weeks ago
there’s nine more up there with him
but they’re too old to attract vermin
I wish we could move
I don’t like living
across from the hanging tree
but the local municipalities
and private interests
who’ve seized the interstates
can’t be trusted to let us pass
as far as back roads, oh, no no no
Dad thinks we have enough cash
but there’d be nothing left
when we got where were going
and no guarantee it’d be better
I have a job here he says
and there’s not a lot of good places
to go when you’re black
we’re in one of the best now
and you can forget Europe
we missed that boat
three years ago
there was a time to get away Anna says
and we missed it
damn, the stench is bad


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