Insightful attention to context
Reflects a toxic download
Weaned on generational neglect.
Countdown to culture bound
Metaphysical slouch and apathy,
One start-up away from a suburb
In which financial analysts fund
The opposition into comfort
And fantastic anniversaries.
Startled into ubiquitous song,
Dead bodies produce respectable,
I’ve Been Sick
Cold hands slap the sweat and bow down.
Technology recovery programs litter
The latter part of the bit century.
It’s a bleeding that fogs the swallow,
The paddleboat full of ghosts
Marking a refracted anniversary
Kept alive in ceremonial songs
Taught to hoodwinked kids
Lining the smoking banks.
Tarred and feathered and bled
To a dram of whiskey at the crucifixion party,
The family tree just burns and burns and burns.
Stuck tunnels exude valorous roaring.
Insurrectionist marching rings in reaction
To irreducible dead-end verdicts.
Draggy despair loops the piling on
In hard smacks and flits from
Awful triumph to outrageous disgrace,
Filling the air with idiocy like a selfie.
Our children’s seepage vibrates and begins.
Hot gel reddens the appendicular
Recording in the souped-up Google
Acting as ad hoc cannery
In a blurting hemorrhage of regret.
A glorious parody we can hang
Our hushed velvety hats on
In a druggy age of decimated fasting
And symbolic gestures twiddling
Around our far-flung and dim diasporas.
All my friends posting great surfeits
Of photos stuck mid-twitch and dead.
Top-down decrees flatten the imagination
Toiling in the dusty bowls
Of forgotten wanton action
Grown bony and slim in gummy talking
Flashed out across the tedious years
Of pyrrhic calculations forever lagging
Behind the dunderheaded steaming appeal,
Feeling the grinding drool
Based in the baser bases of tools
Wound up and down in alcohol-fueled
Paroxysms of applauding surges.
Carved initials floating in space
Ratify the dumbed-down doubt and combust.
Stigmatized scraps hoot and fool
The cool sidebar of celebrity opinion
And log the loss into the seemingly acceptable,
Tanks of razors trundled through a night
That’s causing cancer in the community
Of upstream department store soirees.
Open season begs obvious advantage
And purges the nipping urges
In the worst possible ways made okay
Via rowdy apologies smoothed and arranged.
Kamikaze appropriation laces the wild
Highways and uneven distribution engaged
In constant and dainty escape
Converging in synchronized baloney.
Bastardized butchery sings the hymn
And flogs the appalled absence.
Poetic Statement: I’m against flummery and mannerly poems of introspective melancholy. I’m for noise and direct engagement with the world.
Did Lord Bacon write the works attributed to Shakespeare?
I do not know much more than this: bacon’s
The back and sides of the shoat, cured by salting and drying.
(We had a salt-box in the right-hand corner of the corn-crib.)
I had an FFA project one time − a baconer.
Her name was Shelby’s Lady.
She was a pedigreed Duroc.
Billy Wright Stephenson grew her from a piglet to a nice-sized pig
And he brought her to me in a hog-box.
My word! Carolina Pride!
Oscar Mayer Delicious Hand-Trimmed, Super Thick Cut Applewood Smoked!
Hormel Natural Choice; Uncured Smoked Duck Bacon; FUD Tocino Original Sliced Bacon;
King Cotton Hickory Smoked Bacon; Wright Bigger, Better Bacon; My Essentials Hickory Smoked Bacon; Smithfield Naturally Hickory Smoked; Gwaltney Hardwood Smoked
Premium Sliced Bacon; Farmland Foods; Plumrose USA; Butterball Turkey Bacon; Tyson Foods; John Morrell; Blue Ribbon Bacon; Boss Hog Beef Bacon; Bacon Ranch Crunch; Bakon; Boar’s Head; America’s Favorite Bacon; Rogue-Voodoo-Bacon-Ale; Baconnaise; Candied Bacon.
I can hear my mother say
Shub, get me some streak of lean to cook with the turnips − fresh hogmeat’s better than cured.”
Frankly I prefer side meat − fatback.
Shelby Stephenson’s Family Matters: Homage to July, the Slave Girl won the 2008 Bellday Poetry Prize, Allen Grossman, judge.