WP continues to screw up line breaks 😦


Iʼm sorry I didnʼt get

gun training in high school

Iʼm sure I would have turned out more manly
I had to learn ici on parle francaise
rather than how to handle personal fire arms

because letʼs face it

when some maniac pulls a gun
blurting out those irregular French verbs

arret arretez
wonʼt stop a bullet


I wouldnʼt feel so threatened
if I was packing some serious heat
a glock tucked in the top of a sock

to feel the confidence
that only cold steel can bring

the unarmed are just begging
for something to happen to them
itʼs our fault
for not having enough guns to go around


this is where the early drafts
of this piece went off the rails
I listed various guns
fetishized those smoke oozing names

then toyed with old memories

of cowboys and Indians
where toy guns played such a big role

but I realized I was caught
in an ideological cul-de-sac

after all
people not ideologies are dead

a cost of a culture
that Iʼm not sure how to deal with


my sardonic pose claims
a distance from my own fears
I am shocked and fragmented by news

and would rather name brand things

were those cell phone videos
shot with a nordica
see there Iʼm doing it again
that need to shrink from frustration
my frailty
a weakness of the intellect
a failure of the heart
I am defeated20stair01This piece was written in reaction to the constant (& continuing) violence in public places – schools, movie theatres – and also in light of the American addiction to the gun, to their investment in protecting white entitlement. 20stair02It also comments on what I got taught in high school & how useful that was as I grew up. It starts with a structure I often use – agreeing with what I actually disagree with to create a tension in the reader where they address their own beliefs.

It changes from this literal ironic stance to one that is more abstract and personal. I step from detached to direct comment – ‘people not ideologies are dead.’ this is something that gets lost when the pundits start in on what went wrong, how are we failing to prevent these things. How to control takes over now how to mend, who to blame – by the end no one is culpable. 20stair03If I were writing this today I would have added something about race – one of the facts evaded by talking about black-on-black crime is that almost all school shootings are done by crazed white men. No one is calling that white-on-white crime. Even when blame can be established no one becomes accountable. The gun manufacturer? The seller of the bullets? The upbringing of the alleged shooter? 20stair04By the end I admit my own inability to come to a conclusion. There seems to be no solution, no avoidance so perhaps I am the problem with my inability to to find a way out of the protest myself trap.


Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington – sweet,eh?

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblrstairs

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