Terror Maintenance

Names change but the in-house
inferiors inventory remains.
At the ends of each day,
the alphabetical order sags with labels,
dog whistles, and euphemisms.
Warehouse management
and stock control foremen determine
when to leave barn doors ajar
and when to declare open season
on bottom-shelved people.

Out-sourced hate only goes so far.
The obvious primitive tribes
and backward venturing dolts
in the wilderness tire out
the armed missionaries
in all-terrain vehicles.

Reflection and assessing within
route out the lazy tales
and short cuts in the party line.
If not comparison, then the story
that the mob memorized and narrates
all day and night judges for value.
No antidote, anecdotes win with laughter
or a declarative brief death sentence.


The leaky denial system sinks
into death terror-sweats,
into the desire fire in the body,
and into experience/language impossibility
unless family, friends, neighbors bail.

Bucket brigades from port to starboard,
fore and aft strain to smile
while dumping overboard anxiety and fear
into the deep blue despair tides :)
“Have a good day” insists!
Words and business-at-hand hold
for the hull where neurosis wears
four gold stripes on an epaulet
with anchor insignia and bell bottoms.

Admission squirts and gushes
from holes into hold along the draft
and below the water line and sick bay.
The ballast tank loses balance at birth.
To keep from seaing, boys and the gullible
bob and gasp in the harbor gale.
The salt stings when in the wounds.

“Once upon a time…”
and “happily ever after…”
the corks that plug, function to save
the drowning victim when strung and sung.

Carrion Song

Citizens self-censor for CCTV
documentary series Human Life Patterns
and for GPS capture devices,
playing Fred and Ginger during commutes
while sleepwalking into despotism.

Enthralled in the opportunity to be seen
each performer without costume
or back stage or rehearsal drones on and on
until algorithms zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

The poet, whose job description states
“warn the people” writes for editors
who don’t live under desks
and possible readers busy paying off debt.

Using cameras, earbuds, and incentives
shapers nudge and mould into cemeteries
to allow the homo Deus species births
without sapient fear, protest, or riot.

Damp from spittle the clarion call
molders and rots before eyes find
and after a genus corrupts unless
something more than alarm
invests in numbed nerve endings.

Life-Long Learning

The exits leak but bolt to deliver
attendance at the Anxiety School.
Clocks peal at learners for attention.
An apple peels at eye lids.
Only the student pleas.
Around every quad corner change
threatens with death.
Can the math genius figure out?
Can the language whiz decipher?
While small stakes play out
the melodrama for classroom and class,
from the core, terror eats and squirms
through to the pupil in eyeballs,
to lips, to fingertips.
Lab rodents train for crawling
over the dead bodies.
Every passive moment still,
every hand thrust into the air,
every jog to memory and back…
Worn by fear, denial stretches
from the foot to the scalp.
The human puppet stiffens
from a primal sneeze to the coffin.

Thought Controls

The friction and flooding information
sensors calibrate for readers:
The industry-produced bliss current
and thinkers don’t mix.

Deluges dilute until stream-resistance
surveillance dumps in the abrasives,
time and money, to wear down fact checker,
dot connector, and imagination initiator.

Called in only for emergencies, e-engineers
experiment in sandboxes, on rock piles,
and with dog muzzles, while measuring for affect.

Too busy commuting with cliché
and platitude, the debtor and dance partner
exhaust until rabbit holes riddle the day.

Whole nations sleepwalk into tomorrow
owing breath to singers channeling television.
Two shackles each and motivational GIFs
chew on literature, peruse until geniuses
begin springing up all over.