Monday, April 30, 2012

new poems by brigade member Gary Hicks

to a serious inquirer

                              for blindpig

answer your questions
by bringing all that you know
to the fight at hand

all the new issues
will pose all new questions
to add to the old

we're on the rough road
building movements that will fight
until victory

leninism lives
but only as far as we
cease to genuflect

marxism lives too
but please remember lenin
was his disciple

elements of style

                    apologies to messrs strunk and white

first it was grammar all
those terms all those schematic
blackboard charts telling what
kinds of words went where when
speaking or reading  this was
supplemented by penmanship
using india ink and dip into inkwell
pens assuring that my mother
would scream as she tossed
yet another shirt to scrub out
stains alongside my father's
automotive industry leukemia
laden work clothes.

later it was composition also
jammed down my throat  hated
it with every bone in my body
excepting some moments of
fun writing flyers and
press releases for the movement
and discovered i could really
do this stuff if i wanted to.

then writing in prison  letters
to the outside  rapping with
fellow inmates which meant
writing and talking way too
much  it served me well later
in and out of college except
that on campus i rediscovered
my hatred of writing things not
of my own  was i the only one
who realized that fifteen pages
or more typed  double-spaced
footnotes properly placed
was so so tortuous where only
five pages, triple-spaced
could say it all? but we were
training to be real or wannabe
rulers  and i suppose that
it's par for the course to have
so evil a skill to be mastered
the better to mesmerize and
baffle people out of at least two
sides of your mouth

when i discovered that i could
write poetry and proceeded
to do so i finally cut through
all this bullshit  and strangely
years later my writing improved
it was as though i had become
an outlaw fugitive from convention
and upon return was
convention's master by virtue
of knowing what laws to obey
having skillfully broken all of them.

berkeley ca   april 27 2012
on finding an abandoned copy of dreams from my father

                                                    for bill fletcher' jr

beethoven's paean to bonaparte
became an elegy
disguised as majestic symphony
when the general annointed
himself emperor

i am a poet, know not a
word of music but this piece
is eroica, reloaded

all of the sacred words
of the great hope
have become naught
the world which held
its breath, bated
has reclaimed the
sense to exhale

and this poem is elegy
not for him who forgot
the difference between
puddles on chicago's
streets and the swamp
running off chesapeake
aside the potomac.

this is an elegy for
the dreams all our parents
and all who came before
and who one more time
have been betrayed
by a system
about whom
our great hopehad zip to say having
found himself the
latest if privileged
passenger on the
good ship jesus

this is an elegy
for our african
sisters and brothers
and of all who
went before them
mau mau lost the
battle and now
africom* and al qaida
cousins! must be
reckoned with

this is eroica, reloaded
elegy awaiting symphonic
music in four-four time
triumphal people's te deum

*africom..the african command of the united states armed forces
berkeley ca   4-29-2012

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