i know of poems that linger    before the mirror yet convey truth   

poems with ego    with wit    with sensibility

i know poems that intend    that mean    that be  

poems with eros    that entice    & flaunt desire like cliché

i know many    postcard poems    keepsake poems    gilded for anniversary


STILL, WE NEED A NEW POEM    that’s full of friction & force    void of euphony

imagine a poem that traps you between walls    & clenches its fist in your gut –

how it rips the fabric off your back    but cleaves you in heat waves

a poem that grips a child by its lungs    while its mother flails about

a poem that’s a girl gasping for air    or a father howling in nameless pain


imagine what such a poem could do!   that crumbles dams    turbines    power lines    factories

that thunders in the middle of a festival     avalanches the city hall    shows its bloodied face everywhere there’s fun     or work    even in the bedroom    the spa   the bar  & so on


a poem with no hashtags    no placards    no petitions

but shuts down schools    offices    malls    hotels    hospitals

it declares no RE-VO-LU-TION     yet everyone is out    flooding the highways


that is the kind of poem i have in mind:

that feels like a woman tearing off her hair    a man cutting his chest with blade  

that feels like a tower crashing into a café     a train hurtling into a casino


a poem that bears the heft of disaster    & sounds the collapse of what we covet

that paints the mania     of what we believe we’ve tamed    or long defaced

picture a poem    with the violence of oil on water    of flares scorching the sky

ugly as the stench of what is left    of turtles or whales    toxin-ed by human greed

a poem full of rotting squids    & swallows    & starfish    & squirrels    & skunks    & sharks

motley species we’ve killed    since we forged god out of money


a poem that neither fudges    nor adorns fact    but sulphur(s)    & burns through our bile

even as it bewails the biosphere    what Nature loses every minute we inhale


what i mean is    we need more than one poem –  

we need an OUTRAGE of poems   a STAMPEDE of poems    

a RIOT of poems.