Thursday, April 30, 2020

Content Warning—A Fitting End to National Poetry Month 2020

So called Open Up America protestors have taken to the streets when others won't to claim their time in the lime light.
I was just about to post a re-tread from several years ago to close out our National Poetry Month 2020 series when multiple folks shared this stunning brand new poetic rant on Facebook.  It is raw with rage and grief but it dared to speak to what many of us are feeling during this Coronavirus pandemic cum charnel house as yahoos, cult zombies, and outright fascists parade around egged on by the White House and bankrolled by deep dark pockets demanding their rights to spit in the face of the rest of us, kill us and our loved ones.

C.S.E. Cooney
According to her web site C.S.E. Cooney lives and writes in Queens, whose borders are water. She is an audiobook narrator, the singer/songwriter Brimstone Rhine, and the author of Desdemona and the Deep and the World Fantasy Award-winning Bone Swans: Stories.  Her work includes three albums: Alecto! Alecto!, The Headless Bride, and Corbeau Blanc, Corbeau Noir, and a poetry collection, How to Flirt in Faerieland and Other Wild Rhymes. The latter features her 2011 Rhysling Award-winning The Sea King’s Second Bride.
Note—this is not for the prissy, the weak of heart, or any knee jerk on-the-other-hand types

Gun toting neo-fascists were a prominent part of the first open up rally at the Michigan capitol in Lancing.  Trump tweeted "Liberate Michigan!"  "Liberate Minnesota!"  "Liberate Virginia!"

Content Warning
if that is freedom, fuck it
i don’t want it
to walk bare as a genital wart in the mayo clinic
swollen with liberty, flying the colors of the flag
fuck it, fuck your freedoms
give me plexiglass prisons, given me wardens in hazmat
give me solitary confinement
give me an oubliette
so I can forget
you and your fanfaronade freedoms

to hold my dying elder’s hand in hospice
that is freedom
you, your ilk, you kick it to dust
you kick it to dust with your leather shoes
to meet at feast together, eat together
marry on the day we choose
let our doctors see their children again
such freedom
you crush with as much disgust as the snake
beneath your heel

my venom grows
every night, every morning
chokevine murderthoughts
thorn and strangle me:
the freedom to be kind, to forgive
to live and let live
all flayed away
I am a criminal in my own mind
I deserve my chains

I don’t know what you deserve
(to do time for war crimes is what you deserve)
I don’t know what you think you deserve
but you take it anyway
no matter what it takes away from
all the rest of us

my friend, swaddled like a sarcophagus in the morgue
for one last look at her sister’s face
my friend, in her lonely hotel room, decontaminating her scrubs
while she Skypes with her cat
my friend, who stares out the window as Washington Heights
bangs its pots and pans
so tired, too tired to join the humble éclat, tired
from doing nothing, from staying inside, keeping the city safe

you spit in the face of my friends
you spit in the face of my friends
you little shit
you little shit

C.S.E. Cooney

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