In honor of Writers Resist, which is occurring today around the country, we present this poem by sam sax.
sick sick sick sick ventricle / militant / vehicle / excrement
sick sick sick sick sediment / stallion / tentacle / valium
sick sick sick sick villains & philistines / alien / millipedes
bail-outs & birds filled with gasoline
it’s sick isn’t it?
everything / going about its business everything business / as usual as usual / every thing candle vigiled every little rural militia stockpiling power every little leftist org hoarding seeds & flowers every red hat teething buzzcut brag every body grab every reason not to breed every bleeding thing
my friends & i have no guns & no faith in government
we say doing something simple as walking home
as if this was in our control
my friends are sick & there’s drought coming to the clinic
chemotherapy, anti-retrovirals, insulin, heart medicines, anti-depressants
my friends are sick of language that does nothing but make sound
sound is a form of control
you can be flooded with noise until you forget what you believe in
a sound cannon’s an acoustic weapon when trained on protesters makes them sick
a neighborhood can be flooded with poison a brain & heart can be stopped with poison any pharmaceutical used in excess becomes poison
i was fifteen i swallowed pills i wanted to die because i touched a boy’s stomach i didn’t not survive it
tell me how to live in this new america & i will follow your trail of bloody-coats
tell me how this new america differs from the old & i will tell you what’s to be done with all the bodies
lord watch over everyone i love with your white coat & sickle
lord let me hold onto my softness a moment longer before it’s dragged away in birds
lord tell me hope isn’t just a diagnosis, a thing with feathers, all the chalk white birds i swallowed who spread their wings inside me & said you can go on living here
Look for our interview with sam sax in our spring/summer 2017 issue, to be released in March.