poem by Michele Rodriguez

I always flux from confidence to complete lack of belief.
Confidence is what everyone wants.
I sometimes can’t stand everyone.
Sometimes is my friend.
All this energy just busting to get out,
Where to put it?
Why do I have to have all of this you in me?
Yes, I’m talking about you…and you…and you too.
It’s like I want to squish all of you inside me,
but still I wouldn’t be satisfied
unless I could get you to finally do what needs to be done.
That’s right, I know what needs to be done,
but we’re always listening to those who forgot what needs to be done
and buy into that everyone wants thing instead.
We forgot that little voice which was why we first began.
We did all the work and bought the fashion instead of the force.
We told ourselves we had to do it.
Is it always the artists who are sharing the important truths?
Their kind of truths we have to reach for and search deep
and even when we think we’ve got it
you never really know what’s there.
It’s up to you…they say.
I can’t interpret it for you…they say.
So we put it all together just for one day…
The innocent child, the corrupt politician, the artist,
the stupid blonde, the football player,
the one who just got laid off and drinks to get drunk,
and the one that got promoted who drinks to toast themselves,
the scared as shit single mother and the selfish boy charmed ex father,
the bored housewife and the pushover, door opening, husband.
the CEO who thinks his value is only in dollars
and the businessman who seems more like a magician
SHOVE them in here,
each and every generalization and stir it up, stir it up,
all this pent up energy until it has to explode,
or we have to face one another, and realize,
the actual truth is we’re all each and every generalization
just waiting to happen.
The answer was kindness and understanding all along.
On each and every path for everyone
even when you sometimes hate everyone
and sometimes seems like your only friend.

two poems by Billy Burgos

The Hubert Alleyway

I’d decided days before
it was where they converged
at the mute end of sleep.

The Hubert Alleyway that
bordered the flat asses of graffitoed
walls and hairy back gates.
Waffled on the chain link
fences in a slow boil.

The barely capable garages
that yawned at dawn and
again at dusk. Ate the Towncars
and Devilles of old women.

But it wasn’t this or then.
The moments that nudged life along.
It was when life lumbered softly
in self conscious obesity.

After the kitchen lights
In the rear of homes go black
and the drunks have argued out
their angry voices. Left with only
the weeping parts of life to ponder.

And the only figures still standing
Are the homeless Freezers
with doors dismembered. Maybe
a stray over killing an old
couch with spray.

All the things abused and beaten
like the Merchant traveler
In some Christian parable.

And down further, where the
darkness ends abruptly without
reason (there is no logic to this place)

Where it grates the paint chipped
walls and light has nonchalantly
passed over with its beam,

and the only life is the stray
Pit with swinging teats. Childless and
barely alive, but still staggering.

I’d decided days ago on this place.
Judged it as “evil” in my daylight mind
while tossing the junk over the gate.

Reasoning in mind that the
Frigidaire steel and injected plastic
would be gone by morning.

But only now, with the clock
ticking past midnight and the
sounds of things shifting about
In the back alleyway do I dare
Question at the “how”

Karma

We are occasional
beings at best. Maybe
the karma of a moment
in time. Blended within
the fabric of quark and ether.

We are not the solidness
of our earth but merely
the epitaph of its existence.

Or maybe less. A billboard
that narrates an ephemeral history.
A blemish that heals and
scars for a fraction of time.

We are emotion more
than we are motion.
Only in love or hate do
we coruscate like pinheads
lodged in the blank cushion of mass.

And only when the heat of
such emotion sparks us bright
and lights the space within the
quinquennial goal posts
do we leave a permanent mark.

Only then do we recrudesce,
and truly live beyond existence.

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