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Poetry Magnum Opus

Bu(llet)s


JoelJosol

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It was the sort of day I could have ignored, overslept, snored.

Unable to recall, in fact, details of a fall. My phone did not ring,

to wake me up to ordinary challenges of a to-do list. Were the

clouds positioned to assault the sky? Or unable to stay/go?

 

I rush to a bus the moment its doors are air-powered open.

Dozens of us, like a SWAT team, push to get a ride. You can't

hammer your way through windows and climb inside.

That's invoking retaliation, a provocation.

 

Stuck in city traffic jams? Man, this is a whole-day stay in an air-

conditioned bus! That makes angry or hungry or both. Honk the horn.

Get those electronic eyes catch details of inconsequential

conversations but the most important questions-are we there yet?

 

When I got home, the lines between right and just were blurred by

hungry stomachs, base by Maslow's hierarchy of needs. And so it was.

The rain was a precedent. It poured outside like a hail of bullets piercing

the strong glass window of a tourist bus.

 

* It has been a while. This tragic hostage taking of Hong Kong tourists in Manila and the local police response inspired me to write this piece.

Edited by JoelJosol

"Words are not things, and yet they are not non-things either." - Ann Lauterbach

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I liked this bit especially:

 

When I got home, the lines between right and just were blurred by

hungry stomachs, base by Maslow's hierarchy of needs. And so it was.

The rain was a precedent. It poured outside like a hail of bullets

 

 

Im fascinated by this work-

 

I read some of the account online yesterday, of the incident you refer to here- to get some background I didnt have-

 

and, so, I see in this poem the use of the language of the incident: hail of bullets, swat, assault, push, hammer etc. but it seems to be speaking more about the daily grind, the "to do list" bit of our lives- and leaving out any strong singular reaction to the emotions of the incident itself- as if those emotions have been buried now, and yet are still there in the outlook- so its "back to work/life" as usual, and we really wont talk about what such an event leaves us with, riding a bus everyday, remembering this news event...

 

and so, the poem seems to take these emotions and in a subtle/not-at-all-subtle way, infusing them into a description of the daily drudge...

 

this was effective-

 

I was in Maryland a month AFTER they caught the DC sniper- I was visiting a bunch of friends there who had just lived through a month of this IN their very lives! and, even that the guy was caught, and I was up here safe in New England all that time, being down there- I could FEEL it, the fear, the sensitivity, the what-if, in my own body... AFTER he was caught- this mind-body thing still runs on memory-as-hyper-vigilance, at just knowing about it as a news event.

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Thanks, rumisong and tony.

 

After it happened, I asked myself, how can I use poetry to make a statement about such tragedies? I didn't want to dwell on the tragedy itself in a direct sort of way. I'm glad it is still effective.

"Words are not things, and yet they are not non-things either." - Ann Lauterbach

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