News Poetry: Charlottesville, Part II

By Karen Douglass

Outrage is rage
turned inside out.

Our melting pot burns torches
instead of candles in the dark.

Unmasked killers
march out of their bunkers.

A car lethal as an army tank
flings soft bodies into the air.

I’m sick of ploughing bloody ground,
our ploughshares beaten back to swords.




By Mike Coste

I am a son of a son of the South;
I may not have the accent
But the blood of my ancestors issues forth
From each of my heartbeats,
And on their behalf I would like to request
That y’all refrain from disrespecting my lineage.

I resent that some flim flam carpet bagging
Real estate con man
Third rate pseudo reality star New Yorker
Dares to desecrate my forebears
By iconifying monuments to their sins.

Mr. President, I proudly display my diploma from Washington and Lee
Along with my picture in the replica of the oval office at the George W. Bush Presidential Museum
You will not see (Nazi -more on that later)
_____Any record on display related to the D I got in Accounting
___  __Any memorabilia related to the time I drank so much grain alcohol I threw up everything I had eaten since 1972

__    ___-If I could recover such a memory.

What I like about alcohol
_____Is that it leaves you with a thundering headache
____  _With scant recollection of the pleasure your original behavior brought in the moment.

I wish the same were true
____   _Of war
_____Of enslaving others
_____Of pussy grabbing.

To be fair Mr. President
_____I acknowledge the words of Alexandr Sozhenysten
_____Who said
__________The line between good and evil
__________Runs within each man’s soul.

But we should celebrate nobility
_____And learn from disgrace.

So I celebrate that George Washington
_____Helped establish our country,
_____Not that he owned slaves.
Celebrate that Thomas Jefferson wrote so eloquently regarding human rights,
_____Not that he egregiously violated them in his personal life.

I respect that Robert E. Lee overcame his insurrectionist past,
_____Leading a college with distinction.

You see Mr. Lee wanted monuments to the confederacy erected as much as you or I would want recollections of bad relationships past memorialized on Inside Edition or TMZ.

You say you don’t like losers Mr. Trump.
_____The Confederacy lost.
_____The Nazis lost.
_____Hate will lose,
_____BIG TIME!

I have Southern ancestors.

I have German ancestors.

I know that a losing cause is something to learn from,
_____Not something to celebrate or relitigate.

You’ll see Mr. President.
_____You’ll see.


Photo: A Confederate Five Dollar Bill purchased near Gettysburg National Park. (Thoth God of Knowledge, Creative Commons, Flickr) 

Karen Douglass has taught writing at Front Range Community College and is a member of The Academy of American Poets and Columbine Poets of Colorado. Her most recent poetry is Two-Gun Lil (212). Visit Karen at Mike Coste lives in Littleton, Colorado and has had poems published in the Burningword Literary Journal and an upcoming issue of Right Hand Pointing.


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