Monday, 23 February 2009

Neon Vernacular: New and Selected Poems

by Yusef Komunyakaa

Chair Gallows

Beating wind with a stick.
Riding herd on the human spirit.

It's how a man slips his head into a noose
& watches the easy weight of gods pull down

on his legs. I hope this is just another lie,
just another typo in a newspaper headline.

But I know war criminals
live longer than men lost between railroad tracks

& crossroad blues, with twelve strings
two days out of hock.

I've seen in women's eyes
men who swallow themselves in mirrors.

--memory of Phil Ochs

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