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wesley teal

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. wesleyteal@gmail.com


Dandelion Rant #1

take a scattering of souls

                              and throw

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

                       fading future,

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

              consider reality.)

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,



                                       they want

and never let a false sense of

      (im)morality get in their way

                     in this hypocritical,

                            puritanical-sexfiend country

       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.

that government

     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.



American Golgatha

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

driving back

                from the lake

                    to the sound

of lightning


and the Velvet Underground

           we smoke our cigarettes

glowing beacons

                  between our lips

watching the shadows of rain drops drift


our bodies

               (two boiling points)

about to burst

we drive back

                   to my bed

in this complex

                   mating dance

                   you undress

my (long gone) desire to resist

      we press our lips into a kiss

                                  and strip

teaching one another

                              the meaning

                 of love and passion


              of course,

                      a fashion.


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