Monday, January 23, 2017

Poems of Resistance, Power & Resilience – Benjamin Brezner

Close up image of a microphone on a stage. The audience that is facing the microphone is blurred, appearing as a myriad of colors (red, white, green, yellow, etc.)
As the incoming administration builds its agenda of attack on marginalized people, on freedom of speech, on the earth itself, poetry will continue to be an essential voice of resistance. Poets will speak out in solidarity, united against hatred, systemic oppression, and violence and for justice, beauty, and community.
In this spirit, Split This Rock is offering its blog as a Virtual Open Mic. For the rest of this frightening month, January of 2017, we invite you to send us poems of resistance, power, and resilience.

We will post every poem we receive unless it is offensive (containing language that is derogatory toward marginalized groups, that belittles, uses hurtful stereotypes, explicitly condones or implies a call for violence, etc.). After the Virtual Open Mic closes, we hope to print out and mail all of the poems to the White House.

For guidelines on how to submit poems for this call, visit the Call for Poems of Resistance, Power & Resilience blog post


Blues for the End of an Era
by Benjamin Brezner

I have to say,
to suck and spit venom.
Meaning can't be justified
and neither can I,
but here we both are.

Mouth to mouth.
Breath to breath.
Hands wet with each other
in the cold car,
begging for the same thing
from the open sky.

Trees shake patient
heads in the wind.

My kisses are children's
wishes for water.
My smiles stroll alleys,
smack crow bars in palms.

I'm furious that this is it:
watching everyone
I love die slowly.
Living as though
there were more to life
than eating and
loving and
breathing and

I bought a polka-dot float
with the head of a horse
to ride through the flood.
I popped it, hating
my own acquiescence.

I bought another,
a frog, this time, for Eastern luck.
I opened the valve, and
the blind hope I’d blown in
ate a puppy for breakfast.

The age of metaphor is over.
The world is ending.
Every minute spent scratching
our nails through layers
of implied significance
is another we can't spend
doubling back

for the things we've forgotten
in the back seat before
electric teeth seize us up,
pass on
with our names
on their tongues.

Why can't I stop thinking
about the god-damned
meaning of life
when there are so many
people dying or suffering,
their deaths so

Why can I only feel
scared or bewildered
or doubt myself and wonder
if I'm doing enough?
Why am I
the only person I can
think about, can manage
to help,
to soothe,
to write about?

You may be asking yourself
these questions, too.

No comments: