Sunday, April 20, 2008


Hi, this about kola nuts is a responsive piece composed after finishing Chris Abani's novel, GRACELAND:

by Don Brennan,

I need something to be magic, something
from the ground grown up from ashes and roots
bringing to my nostrils the deep soil, deep and
tingling as lust, desiring to reach into the future.

I need something that needs me
to be magic, grown up with roots out of
ashes to ashes, roots out of living to dying by
talisman, an ancestor from Heaven’s
ground, an animal’s innocence gone wild.

An old woman to toss some kola nuts
on the dirt floor of her hut, to pick the one out
spinning at my foot, to read those lines
I’ve read about in books, I need
my sacred book to speak.

I need magic verse, something written
by fingers dipping into my own blood, my
mother’s birthing blood, written and tucked
into a deerskin pouch, written
in the deer’s own blood.

When the kola nut finally does answer,
I need to close my book, close my eyes
and pass this moment bowing low,
first one ear to the ground, then the other.

Next poem because we're killing all the wild salmon

by Don Brennan,

A terrible abundance of fish
we cannot tolerate,
nor rainforest canopy.

You say the earth is your mama,
and you won’t pimp her out?

That’s ok, just leave her to me,
and all the unwanted children,
just leave them to me.

The purpose of surplus is to
stimulate marketing.

The scarcer the diamond, the higher
the price; the same is true of salmon.

Vegetative overgrowth
is invasive, sterilizing
the post-modern garden.

Redwoods? You want to live in a tree,
go ahead, but you’ll have to
buy it from me.
Trees are tall weeds, and the only
money to be made from weeds
is in their extermination.

Euros, Dollars, Yen, Yuan, Rubles,
we roll about in these, twist,
dance on our backs, flea-ridden,
tongues hanging.

Of what purpose are a million geese
cruising above clouds, honking

Meat on your table and fluffy
down in your luxury comforter,
these are true goose destiny.

And you know we’re green!
The ice age comes, you’re going
to love that comforter.

God? A profiteer just like me; delights
in an extravagant surplus of people,
and a growth economy.

A trivia question for you: At what precise point in time did the U.S. Government squeeze off its kill-shot into the heart of our democracy? I don't know. Never been any good at trivia:


Maybe there is a woman, child or man somewhere has taken a stab in the heart and walked away but I don’t know such a one and don’t believe the story.

Maybe stab in the heart is just a metaphor, an analogy to get our attention, emphasize a poetic point on an issue of personal pain, of loss or gain, love gone sour as old milk left some hours in the sun.

That can happen to love, turn it to hate or maybe even a stab in the heart, sour and old, dead before it’s grown cold enough to break out in longed-for joyous laughter.

So maybe there is such a one walked away pierced like that through the chest dead center, taking the pain like a bullet in the brain unknown to me in the annals of history.

Would you care to meet the walking dead one standing face up, eyes staring into you instead of into the dirt at your feet, bulleted or stabbed with all love gone but life still hanging on?

Not something to wish for in moments of sanity as infrequent as may be when one is alone thinking of democracy and a dead constitution brain shot, heart stabbed. One of those analogous things, a simile committed during a metaphorical spree of Earth-looting.

Please watch and listen to me on TV, Friday, April 25, 2008, Comcast Channel 76 on a new show called "Citizen Poets Bulletin" produced by J. Evert Winburn, aka James.

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