16 January 2017

Postcard 79

We are always dying down in steerage -- have always been.
Here's another myth: The captain goes down with the ship.
You travel both on the backs of stevedores in sweat-black walls,
and star-eyed dreamers in sky-less holds,
fire bolted and contained,
water always finding seams.
We are down with the steam.
We are always dying down in steerage --
Hatches closed on water persistent.
Hatches closed on fire unloosed.
Hatches closed on bursting boilers.
Hatches closed on our echoing songs.
We see sky when dead on deck, when over-rail dumped.
Who are the uncounted numbers and who are the names?
We are the heartbeat down in steerage, the piston thud, the hum of driving screw.
We are whomever you call rat: the dago spic queers, the Jews, the junkies, chinks, fags the blacks.
We are the fire behind the hatch. The fluid and the flame, the artist fighters, the exposed wires.
Always dying down in steerage -- always have and always will,
but this ship is a ghost ship, and we hold sway behind hatches
where we hide your wonder and the power,
behind hatches where wanders your desire.
Behind and beneath in the coal-black fires.
While you move over waters, we move through seas.
We are always dying down in steerage -- may always be,
but we are living ripe, dying but pregnant, alive but oddly free.

02 January 2017

Postcard 78

What am I to do? 
What am I to do? 
What are we to do in the aloneness of survive? 
Screens up, bags packed on that old tendonitis shoulder. That old to the wheel soreness. The queue wraps upon itself and its the same old faces by the time we are at the front, by the time we are at the end looking back at that old tempered glass just waiting for a blast, holding all that old energy, just waiting for a blast. 
What are we to do? 
All the pillars, reinforced, are burning slow inside with rust. It takes its toll to be alive - did that face just say? There is a final rest in being gone, but here we are moving , moving along. And that other face - is it not as tense as glass, as weak as rust? 
Us survivors we survive and wonder at reasons why, or what or how, or even who - who will survive us now? 
A bank of fire is rust sped up. A shattered glass is tension let. And these old bones must hold up skies, hold up the whole old firmament. 
What are we to do? 
Take off your shoes, you're at the front, pass through. 
These uniforms hold nothing back - each face the fractured wonder and the grief of survive and why? and why and why and why