Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Exodus Redux

My friend the national socialist
says it’s always the same thing
it’s about economics
when we follow the money
draw circles and connect lines
it all starts to make sense

We argue a lot in a friendly sort of way
and I can’t let this one go

I tell her
your point is flawed
and doesn’t apply to my world
in my world poets don’t think like that
our ghetto is big enough for everyone

Not so fast she says
aren’t there only so many publications
only so many pages in each one?
at any given moment it’s a finite number
the ship sinks when it gets too full
(so not digital thinking!)

She only sees the doors open to the good and the fortunate
which she interprets as the English-speaking and the quirky
this sounds a little too white supremist for my taste
having had a thing for Sandra Cisneros for the past decade

So I try to imagine if my friend is right
what if there are some poets who get ration coupons
and apartments with running water
while others are forced to leave town
carrying everything they own
surrounded by jack-booted thugs
who covet their fillings and don’t read poetry

The ex-adrenalin junkie in me
warms to this dangerous image
a new adventure and maybe a new career
in resistance movements

They may not like my dialect, my misplaced faith
or my distain for convention
but one thing they can’t take away
is my willingness to keep walking
until my feet hurt, until the scenery improves
and someone invites me to stay

~ J. D. Mackenzie


  1. What a marvellous spirited poem!The last two stanzas express my feelings exactly, and much better than I did.There is so much to think about in this poem of yours. Sandra Cisneros
    (I had to look her up) ... can understand why you and every other red blooded Black Douglas has a thing for her. The likelihood of someone inviting you to stay is high...and let's not pretend..you would know this already! Others of us can keep walking till our feet drop off.

  2. Had to read this a few times, works at different levels in my brain, I like it by the beach, I wish someone would ask me to stay!

  3. Thought provoking poem JD. One might be tempted to think that poets inhabit Never Never Land. I fear there will always be those with coupons and running water and those forever on the open road.

  4. Let’s hear it for the Resistance!
    (free-write our way past supply and demand)

  5. JDM,
    Nice to see you here. A wonderful and thought provoking poem. Now I must go look up Sandra Cisneros.

  6. Hi J.D. -- Great to meet up again! Wonderful poem; so gritty, really; love the questions you bring up here and enjoy/relate to your penultimate (being a bit of an adrenaline junkie myself) and last stanzas. Robin
    P.S. Glad you revised your "About Me" :))

  7. from Therese B -- I love the internet, which allows anyone (even a homeless man who blogs about doing without money, using a public library computer) to be "published" and have a say. My poetry blog was free for me to use, no charge (yet). Thanks for this poem. I'm going to put a link to your blog on my blog, JDM.

  8. What happened to the ex adrenalin junkie who likes the dangerous and wanted a new career in the resistance? So how many invitations did you get this week? Oops, I forgot...I'm not suppose to be speaking to you ever again.