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Posts Tagged ‘protest poetry’

our enemies may not come at us in planes

they may come in limousines

our enemies may not come at us wearing sheets

they may come in pin striped suits and cowboy boots

our enemies may not come at us to push their weed or mushroom caps

they may come with pretty pills with tested names like prozac

our enemies may not come at us at knifepoint to steal from our pockets

they may come electronically to take our life savings

our enemies may not come at us to share a drink or toke

they may come to lock you up for moonshine or smoking

our enemies may not come at us speaking little English

they may come unaware that they put a little English on everything

our enemies may not come at us when we’re not looking

they may come in daylight with papers from the state

our enemies may not come at us from outside

they may come from the room next door.

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2011. All rights reserved.

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This product is intended for daily use

to write, draw, scribble, scrawl

and put ideas down on paper. It does

not protect against laziness, sloppiness,

and other socially transmitted diseases.

 

Benefits of daily use may include but

are not limited to improved creativity,

more original originality, a firmer grasp

of daily scheduling, increased productivity,

and mastery of fine motor skills.

 

Use of this product does not guarantee

these results and the manufacturer in no

way implies that these benefits are typical.

 

WARNING:

Certain heavy users have exhibited serious

side-effects including irritability, anger,

anxiousness, fatigue, depression, headache,

bloating, muscle aches, balding, nausea,

changes in sexual and gastrointestinal appetites,

carpal tunnel syndrome, thoughts of suicide,

ink stained fingers, cap chewing, blue

tongue, pocket spots and increased

cerebrovascular flow. These symptoms are

typical of engaging intensely in the pursuit

of knowledge and the improvement of one’s

mental faculties and should not be taken

as a sign of misusing the product. If all

symptoms appear simultaneously, stop

using the product immediately and wait

until one or more symptoms disappear

before continuing regular use.

 

You should not use this product if you

suspect that you are intolerant, lack

a sense of humor, have no imagination

or exhibit symptoms of other psycho/ social dysfunctions.

 

Please consult a teacher for more information; literally.

 

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2009. All rights reserved.

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Now that the captain

has been freed from the pirates

everyone walking out of church

on their way to Easter brunch

will hear the story and swear

their prayers and yellow ribbons

had something to do with

his release.

I am pretty sure the pirates

have a god they pray to, too

and back at their Somali bases

everyone hearing of the lost captain

will listen and be thankful

that their prayers and deep submission

has allowed them to keep

200 other captives.

 

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2009. All rights reserved.

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(before the reverend arrived)

Cause this is when things
     can turn ugly…

.

200 laid off equines

from the republic

of windows and doors

took over the building

as its closure

meant that their living

was leaving

without guaranteeing

their severance pay

would surely be made

in exactly the same way

that the corporate dogs

from the banks

got their scratch

from the pigs

who are running

this animal farm —

but you have to remember

the addendum, my brothers,

     not that we are equals,

     but that some “are more equal

               than others.”

 

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2008. All rights reserved.

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(Drive time radio continued)
 

So now this guy on the radio

is talking like he’s afraid

it’s any afternoon between 1830 and 1834

and the one eighth blood he claims

flows through his veins must

somehow be Cherokee, Chickasaw,

Choctaw, Creek, Seminole,

or related because, he’s got

five tribe fever tonight.

 

So now this guy on the radio

is talking like he’s afraid

it’s 1846 and there are gringos marching

on his rancho waving some

crazy flag with a bear and a star

and red stripe, knocking shit over

and claiming the place he just

shot Spaniards for now belongs

to them because the missions have,

“ruined and shamefully oppressed

the laboring people of California”.

 

So now this guy on the radio

is talking like he’s afraid

it’s just after May 1882 and they’re

calling him a coolie and keep

yanking on his pony tail

and claiming that his opium den

habits is partially to blame

for why he’s got to register

his name downtown even though

he worked on the train tracks

and was just out of frame

when that last spike was struck.

 

So now this guy on the radio

is talking like he’s afraid

it’s some sort of reverse déjà vu

where he wakes up back in NYC

but it’s 1906 and he’s Ota Benga

in the Bronx, and something’s

gone horribly, horribly wrong

because he can’t understand

what anyone’s saying, but he’s

knows there’s nothing he owns

but his hands and his face

and the few things he’s got on.

 

So now this guy on the radio

is talking like he’s afraid

it’s about lunchtime on February 19, 1942

and his last name has suddenly changed

to Yoshida or Tamaka or Matsuo

and he cannot remember the last

time he saw his birth certificate

or if he has any way to prove

his children were all born

looking westward on the Pacific.

 

So now this guy on the radio

is talking like he’s afraid

it’s a banging morning

in Birmingham, 1963

and he’s a little black girl

in his Sunday best, white shoes on

and ready to praise Hallelujah

in a church basement in Alabama

at just around ten twenty three.

 

So now this guy on the radio

is talking like he’s afraid he’s Homer Plessy.

 

So now this guy on the radio

is talking like he’s afraid John Brown’s out to get him.

 

So now this guy on the radio

is talking like he’s afraid his life ain’t easy.

 

So now this guy on the radio

is talking like he’s afraid 

that you’re not listening.

 

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2008. All rights reserved.

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There is more blood in the Pyramid at Cheops

          Than there is in the Great Wall of China.

There is more blood in the Great Wall of China

          Than there is in the Roman Coliseum.

There was lots of blood in the Roman Coliseum.

          There is more blood in the Roman Coliseum

Than there is the Panama Canal.

          There is more blood in the Panama Canal

Than there is the Hoover Dam.

          There is more blood in the Hoover Dam

Than there is in the Empire State Building.

          There is less blood in the Empire State Building

Than there was on September 11th.

          There was less blood on September 11th

Than there was in Afghanistan.

          There was less blood in Afghanistan

Than there’s been in Iraq.

          There’s been lots of blood in Iraq.

© 2008 henry toromoreno

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After Nero seized the

     burned flat lands where

          thousands of Romans

     had once lived

          he constructed

     tributes to himself

          that only his wealth

     could fund.

 

This is where the next

     emperor built the Roman Coliseum.

 

© 2008 henry toromoreno

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