“You will not replace us!”

The machine chooses its targets willy-nilly,
using one man’s heel
to crush another’s head.
Both left bruised, bleeding or dead.

You are not special
to the machine.
You are an open window,
a crime of opportunity,

possession, not power.
The machine cloaks itself
in your passions, your ambition
and cherished tradition.

It will mount your wings
to reach the sun,
knowing full well
that you will melt.

“You will not replace us!” as reported by Washington Post

Short Stack

We’re in the mood for pancakes,
polite servers with southern accents like syrup.
They butter, sir and ma’am us
and charge for the pleasure.

We cross Kings to a small park
free of seasonal tourists, full of permanent ones:
a woman with a pink suitcase
laughing and bouncing by herself;
a couple passed out together on a bench swing,
as if their shared demons melted in the morning sun.

Two men stand on the City of ________ platform
like fellow commuters, waiting to catch the same train.
A security guard walks the pavilion in easy cadence.
He says hello to us as he passes by.
We hello back, mid-swing, like these are our people
and we have always been here.

The sleeping couple shifts, the man grabs
the backpack between them, walks a few steps,
drops down to the green grass. “So soft, so soft…”
The woman stirs, looks over her prostrate partner
at us for a moment, then sinks back into her eyes,
flops onto her back, her face to the sky.

We cross the street, back to the world
of ten-dollar flip-flops, gas stations
and going places.

Manic Monday Challenge: ‘In The Mood’ — Glenn Miller Orchestra

Life (Remix #2)

Life, a continuous backing away from the edge.
Life, a slave to the money then you die.
Life, never walk under ladders.

I’m here in my mould, life.
I’ll take you up on a dare, life.
I’ll take you down the road, life.

Bitter sweet symphony, sing to me.
I’ll keep the airwaves free.
I’ll let the melody shine.

Original Sources:
The Girls. Emma Cline. Line 1
Bitter Sweet Symphony. The Verve. Lines 2, 4, 6-9
Life. Desiree. Lines 3, 5


There once was a beef BETWEEN

I was SMITTEN, stunted kitten,
mewling WHY NOT ME?

I had fallen and forgotten I was BORN
WITH TEETH, arrived reaching

with mouth OPEN, howling
let me see, let me see, let me see.


“Even if it’s not your ideal life, you can always choose it. No matter what your life is, choosing it changes everything.” Andre Agassi. Open.

Photo Prompt: satisfaction