Bob McCloskey for Congress: 3 Poems

These are the poems I read at the recent fundraiser for Bob’s campaign

Daily resurrections

…that your passion may live through its own daily resurrection, and like the phoenix rise above its own ashes. ~Khalil Gibran

take hold to delicate earth
words carve images on empty sheets of verse
the house holds musty
the smell of baking bread
there are three new
poems in the world today
that weren’t here before

I wish
I had more strength
the sap sucked from my limbs
by birds of prey
I lie here before the next attack
and prepare my quiet insurrection

breath I take is manifesto
against the huge machine
we have yet to dismantle

I wait
for when we can plan the uprising
the birds picking at my heart
taste the bitterness of my tenacity
if you looked into my eyes
you would see clarity

disguised as tears
to fool the vultures
twenty-five steps to a stronger portfolio

1. learn to steal
2. disguise debt and theft behind legislation
3. invest in war
4. ignore the greater good
5. deify wealth
6. appreciate the poor you are eating their dinner
7. mismanage the earth and patent nature
8. patently lie
9. call theft industriousness
10. praise greed- name it success – call it spirituality
11. write a book about getting rich and wait for fool to buy it
12. affirm the laws apply to everyone
13. go for short term gains
14. follow in daddy’s footsteps
15. pretend everyone has the same opportunity
16. maintain strict double standards
17. exalt and defend privilege
18. convince the working class to aspire to be you
19. persuade the working class they are responsible for their own situation
20. hide your greed behind the flag – get poor boys to fight for oil -offshore investments – runaway shops – maquiladora labor
21. believe in your own entitlement
22. assume the divinity of privilege
23. call lack of wealth – lack of spirituality
24. invest in disparate opportunity
25. pray for the poor and kick them in the head

an artists insurrection against impending armageddon

we have reached the end of days
if we listen to the generals
the strange interpretation of biblical text
we are approaching armageddon
there is no room for artist in heaven

along with jews and other infidels
we will all burn in a sea of fire
as the generals and soldiers
these crusaders in a war for oil and empire
march through the gates of heaven

how do they envision paradise?
is there any room for imagination
beyond the brilliant justification for world destruction
these ends of days are like a funeral durge
slow measured frightened and beautiful

we march behind the soldiers
in contrast to their naked brutality
we sell flowers on street corners
chant durges on the steps of city hall
paint our forms in chalk on corporate pavement

there is more for us in paradise
than these hollow promises
we cannot march to the drummers of the death knell
i dance to the sounds of the birds and the wind
the crickets whisper to me the direction to take in battle

we fight with paint brushes brooms and sewing needles
reconstruct from the ashes of their bitterness
a sea of transformation splendor majesty
hope against the fear of sky scrapers
and the destruction of the city commons

where can i meet you
will i see you at the library or the marketplace
we have no space in common anymore
each leaf and blade of grass is patented by monsanto
even my own garden isn’t mine

in defiance i sow forbidden seeds
hide fugitive artists in my garage
stash implements of self expression behind the tomato plants
hide remedy in soup bowls
sneak books of poetry across the border of forbidden thoughts

let us gather our plows and printing presses
march out our army of artisans, poets philosophers
mothers children the disabled
we shall gather in front of the monuments to corporate monopoly
creative, we shall do more than merely redistribute wealth

let us paint a mural against the bitterness of capital
let us dance with fingerprints upon the freshly polished glass
let us reconstruct deconstruct the corporate structure
let us build a monument to hope from the finest marble
gather our finest sculptors to chisel away the corporate greed

let us create a world of wealth not measured in numbers on digital screens
abundance in the depth of paintings sprawled on canvas in children’s art classes
in the prolific dances in newly reclaimed public gardens
in the flowers that bloom organic to meet the paint brushes
in the heart that meets the hands that bridge divides of freeway and distance

the dismantled impositions of capitol and greed
they cannot take you away from me
let us storm the bastille and free those trapped behind stolen opportunities
lost dreams, misplaced hope, false divisions, broken promises
gather the dispossessed and storm the factories of death and theft

let me meet you in the public square after we have dismantled corporate tyranny
taken back our territory granting it to our children in collective perpetuity
we will reclaim this paradise with our hammers and chisels paint brushes keyboards
paint and build and dance and sing through the gates of paradise
an artists insurrection against impending Armageddon



bravo these are achingly beautiful
Posted by rheim on 05/19/2006 03:23:54 PM

This entry was posted in BOB MCCLOSKEY, POEMS by emmarosenthal. Bookmark the permalink.

About emmarosenthal

Emma Rosenthal is an artist, writer, educator, reiki practitioner, farmer and human rights activist, living in Southern California, whose work combines art, activism, education and grassroots mobilization. As a person with a disability she is confined, not by her disability but by the narrow and marginalizing attitudes and structures of the society at large. She is the founder and co-director of The WE Empowerment Center and Café Intifada, and she lives and works at Dragonflyhill Urban Farm. As an educator her emphasis has been in the areas of bilingual and multicultural education. Her experience as a grassroots organizer, political essayist and speaker has been life long and has included many progressive causes. Her work seeks to combine art, activism, education and grassroots mobilization. Her poetry and prose is impassioned, sensual, political, life affirming and powerful. In her writing she explores the use of art and literary expression to elicit an ethos more compelling than dogma and ideological discourse, providing new paradigms for community, communion, connection and human transformation. She has been a featured poet and speaker throughout Southern California at a variety of venues and programs including; The Arab-American Festival, Highways Performance Space, The Autry Museum, Barnes and Nobel, Poetic License, Borders/Pasadena, Beyond Baroque, Freedom Fries Follies (a fundraiser for The Center for the Study of Political Graphics), KPFK, Arts in Action, Chafey College, UC Irvine and Hyperpoets. Her work has appeared in several publications including Lilith Magazine, The Pasadena Star News, The San Gabriel Tribune, The San Gabriel Valley Quarterly, LoudMouth Magazine (CSLA), Coloring Book; An Eclectic Anthology of Multicultural Writers (Rattlecat Press 2003), Muse Apprentice Guild and the Anthology, Shifting Sands, Jewish-American Women Speak Out Against the Occupation, Spring 2010. Her work has shown in several galleries in the Southern California area, including the Galleries at Whittier College, and Pasadena City College, as well as Beans and Leaves Coffeehouse in Covina, CA.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s