Poet Ed Sanders (“a bard, a poet who takes public stances,”)
once wrote, on a torn leaf of toilet paper later smuggled out of jail
“To live as ‘beatific
together” to which I add:
“Only love can bring back courage or else despair”
and create something mystical out of this mud
Dude says, “somebody just shot me in the head!
I can’t pay attention to that! YOU pay attention to that!”
So I crawl 150 feet to the next gas station
the air is thick with smoke
acrid with bad science
but what took us this far must walk us back out again
because there is no receding into tomorrow. Brother says
“Cop just shot me in the back of the head!
Won’t somebody PLEASE help me get onto my feet
and into the emergency room?
… into the charity ward… that ain’t there no more?”
If we had no future tense, would we
have come this far in science, or would we
live longer without it?
Planning and patience, if you can
see beyond the next few seasons
consider doing new things in a different way
Would you be more likely to observe
all of the colors of the seasons of the year
and disobligate yourself to them, and
look for a way to overpower that nature
that otherwise is in your bones? Brother says,
“You all got us into this mess, now you got
to get us all out of it. Do I look like I invented the automobile?”
I am shifting weight from foot to foot, like
I got to find a place to pee
Brother’s got a point there, but
how many people in my immediate vicinity
are actually profiting from all of this cancer?
How much more waterfront property can we sell around here?
Short term rentals are much more
popular these days. All along the coastline
forests are losing their footing; rising water crowds
the feet of plants and they drown, roots
salty with intruding Gulf water.
Summer’s coming & the whole damn mess is crawling over Elevator Hill.
And it’s taking with it
All of the people who can afford not to think about it
I’m going upstairs among the clouds
Oh, but summer’s just dawning
and its teeth are grinding, glaring
down upon the fleet
of taxicabs stuck in traffic
on top of the bridge.
Dennis Formento lives in Slidell, Louisiana with his wife, artist and yoga teacher, Patricia Hart.
Formento is the author of Spirit Vessels (FootHills Publishing, 2018), Cineplex (Paper Press, 2014,) Looking for An Out Place (FootHills Publishing, 2010) and a couple handsful of chapbooks and broadsides.Since 2011 he has been organizing local readings in New Orleans and in Covington, Louisiana for 100,000 Poets for Change, a world-wide movement for peace, ecological sustainability, justice and cultural exchange.