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Poetry by Jan Hasman

Fledgling Citizen

Bruised and bloody fledgling citizen
wanders in tenement confusion
wearing dirt grime like a daily announcement.
Symbols of his salvation are like
terrible jokes told over and again
they abandon him on a wind drift
sometimes hours, sometimes days
leave stale crackers, go forth in a street hustle
return to freshen the evidence of anguish,
re-open wounds to prove a power.

Fledgling citizen in defiant silence
of each shameful slap and stroke
soul emptied of the will to cringe or cry
energy born of instinct battles with its own weariness
hopes to avoid the sleep demons.
He cannot imagine a savior so close
its aroma swathed in political wrappings.

Savior in a dollar sign, slips into an opaque cloud.

A great huge national parent
consumes nourishment meant for societal offspring,
buys truly amazing trillion dollar toilet seats
and broken down weaponry..
Hypocrite as savior denies the fledgling
like a bully stealing lunch money
switches on laughter deprivation machines
destroys shelters and sustenance...
and buys useless reams of knowledge already well known
another billion to cheer up obscure lizards
with the promise of a few more days
avoiding natures option of impending extinction.
Tons and truckloads for growing and healing
undelivered to fledgling citizens
dumped ceremoniously in a pompous landfill

Immense collective cultural parent
looks away, averts the eye
justifies a choice that crucifies
a harmless act of ephemeral pleasure
adorned in survival lies
and fledgling citizen never heard of it,
stares a window
still bruised and bloody
still hungry...


Jake and Sugar Ray

They pound like furious Texas oil pumpers
in relentless straight on furies
jack hammer kangaroo precise pain makers
barrels of gallons of adrenaline
at a hundred miles an hour, arteries and veins
search for a bursting place.

Vessels and muscles wrench from a bone hold
and with each crash landing another fear retreats.
Smashing cranks up the pain threshold until warriors
and low flying bombers no longer know fear.
Hurricanes shake tentative brains loose
from their moorings , to drift in the tidal onslaught.

Pain and fear have left the building by now
survival tubes fill with the last few ounces of will.
Red light overload blinding loud in limbic panic
to the tightly packed can of voyeurs, they wonder
which mischievous deity plants the rows of devilish obsessions.

Jake and Sugar Ray in seduce and destroy ballet
hold each other close in sweat and spit,
heated ringside women of white gowns and sassy boots
wear the spray of gladiators and
mirror the wetted spectacle, squirm in their seats
eyes flashing a unique female heat at the world.

Pudgy fingered cigars of pasty old men
moist upper lips and bald drippings,
juggle phallic rosaries to win a bet, ward off loneliness
each thud and thump sends more juices to
swell the symbols of departing manhood.

They strain the container, these voyeurs, in unison crescendo,
charge the air with unsung visceral librettos
so thick it muffles the pace of Jake and Sugar Ray.
Every punch and clinch a memory of origins
just enough for brain to fade from cave to coliseum
to devour a stranger on the way home
consume a lover in a dank sanctuary or
retreat in the darkness to thrash themselves.


Broke wing raven
flesh coaxed from bone
sees things with intense neutrality
tightly focused shopping
on a desert stretch menu

remove a wing
still she flies
face wind
back wind
raven conjures wind where none blows

tight wound shadow bird
wireless air shuttle unifies
living and dying
carries truth loads
in weary beak and talon

her voice a tired shriek
deformed by ancient pain
jagged sounding caws of shattered ceramic

cosmic scavenger goes about a somber task

modulates to soft cuckle sounds
of solitary hearts
she covers clouds in blue

green and black whole notes
ascend in a minor mode
caress the stratosphere

she speed scans with raven eye
exposes the riddles of carrion

joins with me in a hazy nebula
and together we deny and defy
the relentless grasp of this Earth dream




Mangled mess busted protrusions
bone shard compass points to both heaven and hell
abandoned by a fright eyed furry family
they seek their solace in burrows and bushes

blood caked asphalt flaunts an obituary
a flesh rot testament of a life well lived
maggots thrive on the evidence of virtue
ravens pick in delight at remains of instinctive ethics

hard road head stone awaits an epitaph to
paint itself on the asphalt canvass
portrays a singular purpose life span
reads like a neon road sign

no compassion now
no sympathy for survivors
no grieving
no regrets


michigan avenue ice knife
indiscriminate slicer
finds a target, sinks its teeth
into beggar and business man
culture shoppers self absorbed
clicking calculators that
justify an obvious excess

they lather on the alchemists balm
effleurage or camouflage
woolen great coats nor
cardboard box homes
can dodge the cut of
lake chilled white noise
skin defends with deafness

Rolex avenue traveler
trips on a doorway hulk
caught in an eye question
shuffles through a fatted pocket
for the gift that soothes the self
asks in return for a few drops of warm blood

it’s so damn cold on the avenue

Copyright ©2003 by Jan Hasman

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