Collective Unrest

 

Isaiah

May 6, 2019

Like the future, few things can be said
for the poem.
But like the future, a few things can be said:

Either revolution will sweep the streets—
bare hurricane winds across tarmac flattening
banks into barricades against tanks clacking
down on them—and boil them away like a sun-
scratched oasis,
or it will fail in one of these clauses.
If it fails, we existed. Please tell our children.

But if it doesn’t, revolution again will rise
from the grave to set right its tilted
spin toward error, revision, and the crooked
path of all prior iterations. It will blast
its trumpet, scrape the cracked teeth
of towers it built before it knew itself
and turn them into windmills to blow a gale

out of hell down new streets paved by the dead
revolutionaries who have nothing to do
with current conditions.

And there will be lovers
and enemies who love each other
like brothers. And they will exchange wisdom,
and verses, and lead.

And that’s all that can be said
of the future and its poem,
and if these two things fail
please tell our children.

 

Justin lives in Kennesaw, Georgia with his partner and three children. His work has appeared previously in Rattle Magazine and Barren Magazine. He can be found on Twitter @JustinKBriley.

Please follow and like us:
error
In category:
Newer Post

The River's Story

One step more, the river floor constituted of pebbles below me, slips between my toes. They are tortoiseshell, black, slick with fur and the few ivory stones pocked with beige blemishes.   The canopy a spectrum of greens shielded us…
Read
Older Post

In the wake, so intimate, There is

The following pieces, "In the wake," "so intimate," and "There is," by J.I. Kleinberg are visual poems from an ongoing series of collages built from phrases created unintentionally through the accident of magazine page design.       Artist, poet,…
Read
Random Post

Freed

We like ourselves better grabbed by the throat, so we are letting go of freedom the same freedom that unsheathed swords to keep our shores safe the same freedom that ignited two people power revolutions the same freedom that people…
Read
Random Post

Slow Information

*Previously published in Alligator Jupiter, Fall 2002, and Poets Against the War, March 2003 You decide to paint something, a portrait, say, of Hitler reclining. Grove of red roses. Blue sky padded with glowing white cumuli. Your daughter’s doll between…
Read
Random Post

Mockingbird

#WalkUpNotOut invite that kid who sits alone to join your friends at the lunch table smile, say hi, break bread be kind. Kids can be for-real-mean nowadays I’m a teacher I know they’re good for all kinda shit-talkin and shenanigans…
Read
Random Post

Galosta

I. When Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, her baby leapt in her womb. II. Eight years ago this month my sister and I watched women selling shawls at the gates of Vatican City slinging modesty for women’s shoulders on…
Read