poetry: [SIC] by sam sax

In honor of Writers Resist, which is occurring today around the country, we present this poem by sam sax.

[SIC]

  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

it’s sick

   my friends & i have no guns    & no faith in government

stay safe

   we say doing something simple    as walking home

stay safe

   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.

workSean Redmondpoetry