Rant 22 March 2022

The murderers
three degrees removed
from the deceased
are rarely convicted
even when
the neighborhood’s
soothsayer compass
points directly
at them.

That does not mean
the police
do not dangle
fishhooks with
some undetermined bait
hoping to lodge the barbs
in the criminal’s throat
and not just
the soft fleshy cheek
where the hook
can tear free
with a yank.

It is not like
this poorer neighborhood
can use hallway mirrors
as magical portals
to escape the violence
of the gun toting teens
in search of belonging.

Especially when
the church steps
are not safe
from drive-by revenge
that accuses God
of not caring enough
to bend over
and wipe the stinking
dog shit
from his shoe
before entering
his holy house.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney

Google Maps of Charleston

It has been one hundred and sixty years
since Lieutenant Henry S. Farley
on the orders of Captain George S. James
pulled the lanyard and fired
the first shot at Fort Sumter
in earnest initiation of the Civil War.

And I find my mind drawn
to Fort Johnson every few years
by folks with grievances
against our democracy.
Its imperfect distribution of wealth
and application of rights.

Today it is the January sixth seditionists
and their heartfelt supporters
who wish for genocide on a national scale
over Stop the Steal lies
cancel culture night-terrors
the loss of privilege
and having to face scarcity
in a time of income inequality.

The stench of the pandemic dead
does not infiltrate their noses
with their focus on glowing smart phone screens
to predict and map
the explosive fire of hateful rhetoric
recited like Hail Mary rosaries
inside disinformation loops and bubbles.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney

Cake or Death

We use the nice word Pandemic
instead of The Plague
or better Black Death.

I find it reasonable to believe
if everyday folks
saw in everyday life

the blueish bodies removed
from apartment buildings
or neighborhood homes

only the die-hard
would reject the vaccine injection
provided by science and the state.

Nothing like seeing the consequences
before you choose Cake or Death
for the cake to look very tasty

even if you detest German Chocolate
or Lemon Poppy Seed
and really really want a tasty bite of Angel Food.

How silly of me to suggest
vaccine hesitancy is a branding issue
and not a simple case of ostrich syndrome.

I could suggest it is opposition politics
gone to insane lengths of differentiation
with a full fledged propaganda machine

profiting from the chaos and carnage
but that would sound too much
like a far-out conspiracy theory

where some one-percenters
formed a diabolical cabal
to place one of their own in charge

through democracy’s demise
to institute an authoritarian regime
just so they could bring back slavery

since there are inferences
of a minimum wage hike
and pressure to provide everyone with health care.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney


The expression Cake or Death is taken from an Eddie Izzard comedy performance in his 1999 video Dressed to Kill.

No Soliciting

Our limp flag concedes
it is ready to be made into a dress.

I receive a letter from the capitol
apologizing that its members are gutted fish
ready for the fry pan.

Remind me why I am writing a script
about a spangled starfish
that curled its toes in the Potomac Tidal Basin
with a view of Jefferson.

A barrage of fireworks
fail to create new constellations
for the nation’s navigators to steer
the ship of state.

Opportunity brushed by
leaving a scar on my patriotic shirt sleeve
but no mark on my arm.

A bullet salesman rings the doorbell
wanting to show me the contents
of his samples case.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

Bubbles Popping Out of the Ooze

Karma sat down
on Saturn’s rings
and watched earth
from afar.

Too many religions
inside religions
further inside religions
deeper inside religions.

A multitude of centers
to the universe.
Contorted selfishness
circus-mirrored self-reflections.

The tooth faerie was unsure
how much change to leave
under pillows
depressed by sleeping heads.

Ancient DNA revival.
Arctic melt methane release.
Choppy seas chopping up
coastal city shorelines.

American eagle
now portrayed with two heads
split apart
gone in different directions.

A porcelain white witch’s caldron
brewed some crude liquor.
We added juniper berries
to the gloop.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

Rant (13 Jun 2021)

When pharmaceutical drugs
are as easy to get as checking
a book out of the library
you know the fix is in
and the result will not be good.

Although I find hope painful
I still hope for a better outcome.

I am talking about the big picture.

The corruption of money and power
has taken hold of these United States
to disunite the population
because chaos is quite creative
while being destructive
at the same time.

There are so many ways to be angry.
And so many actions to be angry at.

The second amendment is not a solution.

If the only thing we have to fear is fear itself
the media assembly line should halt production.

Fear is this generation’s blue light special
mass marketed on television
and available at big box stores and gun shops.

Baby boomers remain babies
stuck in me-generation mentalities
that shred the constitution
under a zero-sum game mentality
that missed the economic expansion
when women liberated themselves
into the workforce.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney


remember to storm the Bastille today (however that translates into your life).