this sadness is an ancient creature

A year of plague,

A year of fire storms,

of the deaths of clever

friends and brothers,

of being a refugee,

of watching confused citizens,

watching the angry mob swarm.

pestilence and famine

draw differences so sharp

inequalities come glaring

into life and death relief

the mob is here to bargain

do you care

what you believe?

White Privilege, Cops and Knees

Nineteen fifty-nine, before the bricked-up

storefronts of today’s Rebecca Avenue,

cousin Willie and I were fighting

with all the fierceness twelve year olds

muster when they’re faced with losing position

at the table. All the tables. On the street.

We broke the shoemaker’s plate glass window.

Willie pushed me through it with one great heave

and I grabbed, took him with me into the store,

onto the floor.

Mr. Ingomar was startled, and angry,

on the phone to the police instantly.

Cops are humorless and frightened most

all the time, ‘cept when they’re humorless

and facing pre-teen boys that one day

will be men they’ll have to stand against,

maybe, so they present how menacing they can be.

The steely-eyed one coming into Bjorn’s

that day was stern and threatened destruction.

But no one touched anybody else.

Well, Willie kept throwing jabs

all the way through the lectures

and the only knee involved was

the one I nailed Willie’s butt

with on the walk back home

to face our parents’ wrath.

2020’s Disease

Wilkinsburg, city of churches,

a suburb of Pittsburgh,

ravaged by Polio,

the summer disease.

Frightened parents,

Doctor Salk’s vaccine.

Every child at Johnson’s

School was marched past

Nurse Smiley to Doctor

white coat and his instruments.

All the fathers exhaled,

moms went back to jarring condiments.

The deaths were talked of constantly,

newspaper pics of iron lungs in rows.

The battle of the century was won

but foot soldiers left on crutches

were all children on their own.

Now another epidemic tornados

through the countryside unfettered.

The viral casualties invisibilities, all that can be shown.

All the Lizards Acquiesce

The Republicans are showing their support

for smashing the American Republic in favor of

a fascist cult leader. They’re sick of democracy.

It hasn’t gotten them anywhere in the last 40 years.

Fuck democracy that means a cruel oligarchy

makes all the rules and gets all the money.

The senate of Rome eventually became the

rubber stamp of dictatorship and an empire

was born .. is that an argument for tyranny?

That’s what the Republican senators and congressmen

are waiting for .. other fascists to impose

a tyrant on their people. Whoever it is,

it has their consent. It’s a sad day, a stern test.

They will kill their miseries with AR-15s

aimed at election workers just doing a job.

No sir, there was no tricky software flipping votes.

No sir, we never once saw Elvis stuffing ballots in his coat.

Published by Mike Zone

Mike Zone is the former Editor in Chief of Dumpster Fire Press and managing editor of Concrete Mist Press. The author of Screaming in the End: Poems and Stories, Fuck You: A Fucking Poetry Chap, Shedding Dark Places (almost), One Hell of a Muse , as well as coauthor of The Grind and Razorville. A frequent contributor to Alien Buddha Press and Mad Swirl. His work has been featured in: A Thin Slice of Anxiety, Black Shamrock Magazine, Horror Sleaze Trash, Better Than Starbucks, Piker Press, Punk Noir Magazine, Synchronized Chaos, and Cult Culture magazine.

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