Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Four poems by Russell

by Russell

The Ethos of Capital-isthmus

What pay is this? Some chit now long past due
to get us roundly up an d out the door,
to squeeze a measly buck, scratch out the score,
and shuck, to gutted towns, our shell-shocked crew?
Like hell you’ll clear us out and push us through,
demanding, time-cards swiped, we quit the floor
and not – like peevish children – scream for more,
but take our bullied selves elsewhere for brew!
I tell you, China’s coast is far from clear;
and China’s sum of us is no less dim.
So go now – take your cash where it may still
win hearts and minds oblivious of cheer
and will, no doub t, find skillful hands to trim
the scrim of your next threadbare, off-shore thrill.


Any Dope Can Write a Ditty

Any dope can write a ditty
without pity, without hope;
only one was really witty
while he scribbled: Alex Pope.


Patriot Act

I live and dine off a small plate of freedom.
I eat their sacred flag. My spittle blends
with stars and stripes into a bilious puddle of gray history.
And then I pick from my chill teeth the remnants
to spit upon the embers.

Or maybe nothing now more happy,
more germane to my inalienable pursuit,
than to pluck those stars and set them free again;
to peel those stripes and paint your body
white, red and royal blue – the dyes of our equality.

Then, at last, to wrap us in re-whitened flag
and bind us to a tree – some tree of oak-like liberty:
you and I in “sidious,” frank fraternity.
Come kiss me, kiss me quick, you tree-bound beauty.
And let me know the stars and stripes of you!


Ode to a New Boss, and Brief

Let’s obfuscate,
then calibrate

while Muzak raves
in vapid staves
throughout our
Pater Naster.

If I restore
his sycamore,
and you replace
his plaster,

how can we both
respect our oath,
yet dump this

First off, we’ll use
his cell to muse
with friends in

then come the dawn,
with garbage gone,
we’ll find his key
much faster –

and at the gate,
we’ll militate
and discourse on

but finally blow
off our brief boss,
and FaceBook some
new master.

Editor's Note: The Ethos of Capital-isthmus was previously published at PW Review (Nov., ’05), then again at Chantarelle’s Notebook (Feb., ’09); Patriot Act was first published at MadHattersReview.com (February, 2005); and Ode to a New Boss, and Brief's original version was published at Zygote in My Coffee (September, 2005).

Author bio:

Russell lives and writes on a small island off the East Coast. The island is called ‘Long’ and his borough is called ‘Brooklyn.’ Like Hobbes, he believes that “life is short, brutish and nasty.” He also believes, however, that – like this tiny clod of an island – art is long; and, with Donne, that no man is one, entire of itself – either an island or a work of art. Russell’s prose, poetry and photography have been widely published both in print and on the Net. His first book of short stories will be published in the fall of ’09 by Faraway Journal. This is his first appearance at Clockwise Cat.

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