Prometheus Modernized; Rosa Parks as Grand Theft Deity.

Scott Jones,

Two Sundays ago we sat expounding poetic waxings in my living room and while we spoke on a range of varied topics there was one specifically that stood out to me; the idea of modernizing gods and mythos. A week later I had the inspiration of Paul Ekman, with all of his faces, being some form of a modernized Janus and this morning I had the inspiration of something far more intense.

As you know Sunday, March 7th, 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery march marked as Bloody SundayThis morning Amanda and I were catching up on last night’s Daily Show and both of us were really quite moved by the interview with congressman John Lewis.

While Lewis spoke of his time as a youth in the south and shared the stories of meeting Dr. Martin Luther King jr. and Rosa Parks I was struck, overcome, confounded by a poetic feeling that truly confused my senses as if I was truly being inspired in the sense of this poem appeared to literally be breathed (spired) into (in-) me from elsewhere and I knew this woman…

http://www.biography.com/people/rosa-parks-9433715/videos/rosa-parks-legacy-15821379604

…must be our Prometheus.
Rosa Parks; Prometheus Modernized.

And she reaches a black hand
through the ash and grasps
the roots and trunk of a centuries
aged olive tree; bent at hips
and tree tip to flame ignites
the leaves and branches –

now fire as foliage and raising
the torch of a colossal olive
branch she twists into a flaming
centrifugal force and hurricanes
the gods approaching, the gods
closing in, falling in – she spins.

Her fists clasping the whirling bark
and branch of an enkindled
and coruscating olive tree; she
vortexes a capital H-E-R
HERicane collapsing concentric,
conflagration, circles of gods in piles at her feet.

Grand Theft Deity…

She dives from Olympus terminal
velocity unheard, blurred
and muffled by her sonic booms.
Careening back, cratering the Alabama
Earth beneath her feet and sits…
She keeps the fire     safe.

She hides the flames in her
resting feet. Tinder
and kindling a blaze within
her heart
febrifuged beneath her
bobby pinned hat and whispers…

All people have
earned their grip
upon this torch
.”

And straightening herself
her posture as perfect,
as confident, as the human
form is built for she knows
so from, and for, bones
and muscles are the tools

that straighten her spine.
Knowing only sinews
and joints thrust chins
upward; knowing the
blades beneath her skin
pull back her shoulders.

Knowing only vertebrae
that turns her head;
knowing only lateral
and superior rectus
muscles to be turning
her eyes – to meet his.

And knowing – it is the
brachioradialis muscle
that forms his fists;
knowing his vocal cords
and tongue are what
forms his mouth to say…

Get up… Get up now…
Get to the back 
of the fucking bus NOW!.

Her eyes close a composed
moment and resting blink
she knows his skin color
did not clench those teeth and fists;
she knows her skin color
did not part her lips; the fire her skin

encases is what breathed
(deeper than the reflection
of facing mirrors)
and respired breathless
into the blazing, historically
echoing inferno, that spoke…

“No.”

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Poem on his birthday…

Dear Brother,

Seven years? Is that right? Today is your birthday to turn 35 and you’ve been gone for 7 of those years now. I remembered that silly poem I wrote for you the year after you died – I shared it with few people and was happy when it came to mind yesterday talking to Amanda. Everything is still good here, things seem well with Chad; I think you would love my fiancé; I have a great career that I worked hard for – you’d be proud of everything. Happy birthday.

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March 1st and the underneath
of beneath the grounds is a’rumblin.
Benjamin stirs in his made-for-a-Jew
coffin twixt two trees and a road.
Arise brother dear a rise!
From the zombified dirt and goth wounds
of the too many girls that will cry
and bleed over your grave tonight.

Shake them their maudlin pathos
and reach an ashy hand
from your cremation-tin-can
horror movie style with a half bent finger
and please – flip them the bird.
Happy Birthday is the word on your seventh birthday
elsewhere, celebratin’ with the Ghosts
and drinkin’ down your spirits.

For tonight I shall drink down your spirits,
with 2 shot glasses double fisting
some Moodswing Whiskey stumbling
over the upside down shovels
that I’ll use as stilts, like a Scared Crow
wobbling through the graveyard
my drunk fists’ll be dirty
from the digging up and digging down with you.

March 1st and the underneath
of beneath the skies is a’fumblin’
through blue hues of drug dazed
and hands balled at our chests.
Benjamin breaks loose the stitches
and vomits embalming fluids
burns off the doll suit and cuts loose
with a scream and dances the Skeleton Dance.

Owls hoot and the wind wails
as dust upturns from the foot stomping
of Zombies in their birthday suits.
Eating the cake of headstones,
getting stoned and boozed from graveleft libations
cawing into the night an Izibongo
of spirit guides while gliding into the shadows
to be seen only from the corners of our eyes.

Happy Day to the dead
and happy is our dead this day
for Benjamin turns whatever age his
ageless soul lets him; and since I still
have life left in me to breathe,
I’m blowing out the candles for you all.