Wesley Teal is a young poet hailing from Lawrence, KS. His work has been published, or selected to be published in Velvet Heat, an anthology from Pretty Things Press, Lara Cantone's new book Urge, Anthology of Poetry by Young Americans, The Lawrencian, the 2005 Kansas Radicals Exposed Calendar, and HazMat Literary Review. firstname.lastname@example.org
Dandelion Rant #1
take a scattering of souls
them all into this city.
let their hearts flow
into each other,
sharing the secrets of souls
grown up alone,
because things are rarely this close (to home.)
the pills that people pop
seem to be a sign of this society's
so you can keep your pills the fuck out of my body.
this obviously ain't workin'
since it ain't makin' anybody happy.
i never want to live in your respectable neighborhoods
where i would always be aware
that we're all white
(because those darker shades are just plain dangerous)
and i would never dress right
or keep my chemical lawn clean
(because if you don't have conformity
you just might get weeds.)
and frankly, i find that the dandelion
adds a little color to the status-symbol-green
of dollar bills and gasoline-burnin' machines,
so i will not buy into these dreams
about boot straps
and manifest (genocidal) destiny
or any semantical arguments
about who gets to tell who
what to do
because of birthright. status. or position.
(secret: i've got a confession.
i don't believe in anything you
i don't take lies at face value.
i don't drink life 'til i'm drunk,
just 'til i'm exhausted
because reality is tiring
and the american dream is just a fantasy
so there's no use sleepin' on it
('cause it's happenin' now.)
i'm tired of too-tan platinum blondes
with legs shaven so sharp they shine
and make up caked up to their anorexic eyeballs
who try so hard to make themselves not themselves
that they hardly even seem human.
(don't you ever get dirty?)
i prefer women with flesh and fat,
hair and sweat, unperfumed and unembarrassed
whose words walk casually
through the depths of obscurity
and build dynamic clarity
out of images and memories.
women with hearts like grenades
that fight and fuck whenever,
and never let a false sense of
(im)morality get in their way
in this hypocritical,
where sex is the most sought after dirty deed
as if passion and love could ever be unclean.
tv sells sex like another commodity
while love is left to fend for itself
forgotten and left up on a back shelf
by this commercial-commercial-buy-me society
but it grows out through windows
and over into yards
pushing and thriving
into open hearts,
because love's a weed
that lives and dies
wherever it can take root,
even on your perfect chemical clean lawn,
but of course you kill it.
(why bother living if you've missed the whole point of being alive?)
you say you prize liberty,
but you'll never be free in this land of the free (with proof of purchase)
until you realize that
is an advertisement
and the money you make
was made by somebody else before,
and that somebody probably needed it more.
is meant to govern those
who would choose to take control
of their own lives
and that black, white, yellow, or red
if we work for a living, then we sleep in the same bed
and it's so goddamn crowded
that if we don't wake up soon,
we may never get out of it.
i was raised with the idea that people aren't slaves
and worthless commodities,
("customer check out. aisle three.")
where the perfect lawn isn't worth as much
as the perfect heart,
don't give me your mansions, man,
with big tvs and high-polished friends.
just give me your ghettos
with their too high rent,
a patch of dirt,
or just a crack in the pavement
wherever there's room for a dandelion to bloom
and make a difference.
of meanings and the things they imply
my ghost of a friend spends
her life like a long-term suicide
(of all the meanings she could have meant,
she had to mean this)
i toy with the idea of my perennial potential lover
(wondering what she would taste like
between sweat-stained sheets and covers,)
[we are both running-screaming tired now
worn by the way life likes to play
cat and mouse with the hopes and dreams
that always come across as failures and mistakes.
into a face i used to know
but can't quite recognize anymore.
i rail against this endless feeling of hopelessness
half holding my breath for the next
to fall out of place.
(of all the meanings we could have meant
we had to mean this)
worn out and aching,
thinking tomorrow may not be worth the waking
i kiss myself to sleep
with arms so empty i miss my regrets
(of all the meanings i could have meant
i had to mean this)
and there's no rest.
America's sinner-saints sit in concrete coffins,
In sprawling, electrified, razor-wire boxes.
They face lethal injection crucifixions
On cross-shaped beds behind metal doors
Meant to hold in the screams of a society drowning,
Meant to hold back the dreams we all wish to dream.
America's sinner-saints sit in a modern Golgatha,
Lost and forgotten down winding country roads.
They are genius minds and idiots
Locked down in wretched, huddled masses.
They are the poor and the hungry,
Starving for a life worth living in this unforgiving country.
America does not believe in redemption.
America offers no sign of forgiveness.
America's sinner-saints bear their sins in a living death,
Behind the walls of these concrete monasteries.America's sinner-saints will be redeemed.
America, your walls are closing in on your Dream,
And, like Jericho, your walls must some day fall.
a fashion after
from the lake
to the sound
and the Velvet Underground
we smoke our cigarettes
between our lips
watching the shadows of rain drops drift
(two boiling points)
about to burst
we drive back
to my bed
in this complex
my (long gone) desire to resist
we press our lips into a kiss
teaching one another
of love and passion
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