"Politically Incorrect" and "Hearts of Stone"

Politically Incorrect

Channel Five flashes footage of my house
The newscaster’s tone not quite as condemning
as the word NIMBYs he keeps repeating
Referring to us who object to the bill
that wrote a half-way house for recovering drug addicts
on our once-quiet cul-de-sac

A head count of nineteen
that continually changes faces
And their non-recovering acquaintances
who rip in and out at all hours in low-rider cars
and souped-up motorcycles

Drug pushers who have added
our cul-de-sac to their address books
Driving by daily to sell their religion
with the dogged determination
of door-to-door Mormons

The newscaster doesn’t show me on daily walks
carrying pepper spray in one hand
Personal alarm in the other
Nor does he come inside to see the Colt 45 beside my bed
He doesn’t play a recording of sirens from squad cars
that carry away bleeding naked women
who smash our car windows
and raise blood pressures with baseball bats

Probation officers who re-regulate the rules
by placing sex offenders here
And temporary turns into years
or until the perverts expose themselves
again to the public

Men who lay in the middle of our street
in shards of whiskey bottles
And boarders on bad trips who get
locked out of the House for breaking the rules
Then kick our doors demanding money

Would the politician who wrote the bill want his children
to open the door to the stink of unkempt men
gathered in a gang on the driveway next door?
Encounter their smoking, swearing and sizing up
of the children’s pubescent bodies?

Would he let his children play in the backyard
with humans howling like banshees
and vomiting over the fence?
Send them to the school around the corner?
How about when the vet says their pet rabbit
was kicked to death beside that fence
as he shows the shape of a boot
depressed in its chest?

Would the politician think this a good place
for his grandchildren to visit?
If so, I have a house for him
Even a steal-deal on it since the value
has been diminished by half

This then would be his house
on the evening news instead of mine
Only the newscaster would be saying
Here is a lawmaker who lives by his own laws
No NIMBY is he

It could be his presidential logo

And if for some reason
he didn’t feel this house fitting for his family
he could buy it for an investment
Like the half-way house owners bought theirs
With programs paying $800 a month per renter
And nineteen times that wedging its way into his wallet
He might want to rent out every house on the cul-de-sac
And retire from politics all together



Hearts of Stone

Saffron feathers fall from my thesaurus
Souvenirs of the last visit to my daughter's house
where a cockatiel confines in a cage
An injured-winged gift left partially opened
by some cat in the middle of a street

Survival of the fittest and no just cause
for the stone of sadness that moved
like a blood clot through veins to clog my heart

when someone left a canary
at the dump locked in its cage
Or because pipes of fat are shoved repeatedly
down a duck's throat at a foie gras factory
Or owners attach steel spurs for a cockfight

I place the feathers back in the book
to mark pages bearing words
like maleficent, facinorous and belluine
Disguises that the brain bequeaths the heart



"Politically Correct" was previously published in Quill and Parchment. "Hearts of Stone" was previously published in Presa



Ellaraine Lockie

Ellaraine Lockie’s thirteenth chapbook, Tripping with the Top Down, has been recently released from FootHills Publishing. Earlier collections have won Poetry Forum’s Chapbook Contest Prize, San Gabriel Valley Poetry Festival Chapbook Competition, Encircle Publications Chapbook Contest, Best Individual Poetry Collection Award from Purple Patch magazine in England Competition, and the Aurorean’s Chapbook Choice Award. Indivdual poems have found their ways onto and into journals, anthologies, broadsides, buses, rented cars, bicycles, cabins, greeting cards, key chains, bookmarks, mugs, coffee sack labels, church bulletins, radio shows and cable TV. Ellaraine teaches writing workshops and serves as Poetry Editor for the lifestyles magazine, Lilipoh. Photo by Alexis Rhone Fancher.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Monday, July 2, 2018 - 21:05