Wrote this poem the last time
we had George Bush for President
Does it hold up?
The Case For Rating Riots on the Richter Scale
(The R.King verdict was a short fuse because it held a lens on the fact that Justice is not to be had in our criminal court system. The bomb that fuse ingited was packed with the frustrated fuse of a different awareness--that Justice is not to be had in our economic system, hence the explosion of looting and violence against property.)
L.A. blazes lika kundalini kamakazi
galoline arson delights twinkle like fairyfires
over the anchorman's shoulder
and not a peep from the President
about his thousand points
could this be them?
When the verdict came down
obvious as a fuse
clear as a barracuda in a martini
what the city was
an unlikely pack of mongrel dogs
trying to organize itself for the purpose
of bounding across the prarie in a yapping
moonlit orgy of predation
mongrel democracy on fire
nervous ascendancy of yelps
wolverine politics with clawstrokes
a riot beneath every breastbone
As the patrolmen cruise in their compacts
like Kafka jellybeans
rackmouted fear & shotguns
buzzing insect confections
waiting on plates at some twisted teaparty
hatesteeped hatters so close to mad it hardly matters
or just plain chaos touched the place off
Much as the San Andreas fault
shakes it up on occasion just to
release a little tension
So when things get stacked up shaky
in the social order
you expect a little rumble at the faultline
where Justice grinds along against economic stress
at about the pace of continental drift.
You figure a place this top-heavy
is due for a looting.
Don't you know all our nextdoor neighbors
are latent criminals?
wound tight with tectonic tensions
tight as gunsprings
tight as the earth
with her plates grinding like a teenager's teeth?
Human seismic upheaveals are commonly
predicted by geologic hysteria
some expert or another always
knows it's about to happen.
Screams are often preceeded by
And the troops are called out and
ready for the aftershocks
(they threaten to shake the store shelves clean)
with gangland greed or bleeding need
while every politician has his call for
peace and reason
as if violence never began with calm justification
The Description of an Automatic's Muzzle Flash
as a "Point of Light."