Monday, April 29, 2013

Marching by Ben Currier

“Thousands of Occupy Wall Street protesters blocked access to several major West Coast ports
Monday in synchronized demonstrations.”
-LA Times

Oakland, California

Matthew steps out of the subway into a mass of people.
Cops push him on his way,
nightsticks holstered
next to hanging zip ties.

Gun blast shouts echo for blocks.
They drift around in a cloud mingling above everything
before dissipating.
Phrases like
Banks got bailed out we got sold out
hang in the air and morph
into a static sound.

Mark’s head is a daffodil.
The rest of his body draped in green fabric.
He leads a marching band.
He is the daisy parade,
he is the conductor.
He is ready for the gun barrel and the bullet,
but thinks music is more powerful.

In the streets his ska echoes out for miles
as the band behind him plays
his thoughts to the world.

Marissa and her spray-paint
had no idea what they were doing
when she,
clad in black,
her faced masked,
turned concrete block into dripping art
as hundreds of people marched past.

She would be going to school tomorrow in a dress
white or maybe yellow.
But here she felt like the dark garb,
And the flurry of chemical color
freed her from society, or something.
She was not sure.

Dave and Jenny
march with signs.
Peaceful Protesters
with peace signs.
They are sick of anarchists giving them a bad name.
A lot of planning goes into a protest.
No one realizes it was these two
sacrificing their time.
When they saw a black hood
and heard the rattle-snake hiss
of graffiti
in motion,
Jenny lost control.

It was easy to swing out at that black hood,
so much effort to make this happen.
The arc of an arm seems so inconsequential
until wrinkled knuckles collide with a soft temple,
the resounding crack giving weight to the action

Mark’s band
turned with the crowd
onto upper fifth.
A thousand people
and no one saw the girl
lying on her back,
or the couple
stepping away,
from the red pooling around her head.

He ran to her.
Picked her up in his hands.
How do you satiate the wound
that’s bleeding inside your skull?
Dave remembered something
about platelets and iron,
and how without it
blood doesn’t clot.
And he realized this is how misunderstanding
becomes murder.

Mark wraps her
in his daffodil body.
His pedaled neck
becoming a rose
while she bled out.

A finger in the ear
or the nose
just made the blood spray
like a garden hose,
adding splatter lines
to the spray-painted words.

The next day
Matthew wanted to see himself
on the news,
and the fifty thousand others
marching on corporations
or capitalism,
or greed.
He didn’t know what.

But when he turned on the T.V.
he did not see the masses.
The chanting and signs
the stopped traffic and
the teachers unions.
He saw a broken girl
wrapped in the arms of a
blood-spatter rose.

Author bio:

Ben Currier’s work has appeared in the Union for Radical Political Economics with Dr. Robert King. He is currently studying creative writing at Sierra Nevada College and has some previous work posted on his blog

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