Two Poems 


[audio link]

        what about the bullet
        its metal hot from the decision

        what about the sound as it drives the air
        and the saltpeter that was part of the mix, or
        whatever they use today to cause that  precise  explosion

        the delicate curve of the bullet's top
        and the calibrations some sniper makes a mile away

        what about all this?

        why   why   why   do I want to cradle soldiers in my arms?

        the bullet is so small

        the veterans in my class say the recruiters came to them in high school   they say

        they are proud to have served their country


           (a slam poem)

[audio link]

I fucked a Republican once.
      I didn't like it.

He kept talking about the “Trickle Down” theory.

“You want to pull out and come on my leg?” I asked.         That never works.

      "No,” he said, annoyed, touching his Flag pin, his Cross tie-tack.  “It's about rewarding success, the creators, the producers ...”

      “Isn't 'success' a MUTUAL thing???” I asked, batting my eyelashes, “'Production' takes labor and management working together.”  
      I was paying attention.  I was a good guest.

      He poured me more Merlot and chuckled a little, “I know what I'm talking about,”
he insisted, twirling the Cross around.   “Once you reward the top-dogs, they reward
the team players.” He stood straighter, fixed his perfect blonde hair - consummate image
of power and confidence.         Ultrabright smile and perfect breath clean.

      “Ooooh,” I said, finally getting it – it was a game, a dominance thing – (some guys
like to role play.)

I'll try just about anything, once, and he was cute, like a big lab puppy - fuzzy,
over-zealous – and the Merlot was flowing, so I played along.

      “What do you think we should do?”  I asked wide-eyed, tossing back my hair, pointing
my cleavage unmistakable at him.

      “Some people are useless, a drain,” he explained, “in a herd of gazelles, the lions
are there to get rid of the weak – “

      “Kill them, you mean????

      He poured more Merlot.

      “They don't matter.  In a wolf pack, only the alphas reproduce ...”

Did he want to do it doggy-style?  My head was spinning from all that Merlot.

      “... when the alphas are in charge, the rest of the pack understand their place in the hierarchy ...”  he droned on.

The room was a little unsteady.   The wine was very good, beyond my price range. 
The fund raiser he had taken me to didn't stint on anything: massive amounts of lobster, steak, testosterone, and old ladies in pearl necklaces – pearls the size of golf balls,
I swear. And women with that swept-back helmet hair from the '50's - is that in again? 
I looked positively exotic in my Berkinstocks and tattoos.

Later that night we had sex, but it wasn't doggy-style or anything remotely interesting –
just boring old missionary position
and I guess he had drunk more wine than I had –
     or maybe he was the alpha and I was the rest of the pack
that didn't get any? –                                                                        

      “Hey! What about me?” I shouted, shaking his sleeping shoulder.
“My needs matter, too!”

He was snoring at that point.

So I had to take care of myself

which is fine, but the energy of taking care of him
was something I could have used to
write a poem – visit my grandmother – teach a kid history -
you know, take care of what's important to me.

So I guess I learned a lesson:
people aren't that different in bed
from the philosophy they spout
and I need to be with a man
who cares
about the woman he's with, about workers, about the elderly and education
not some alpha
       who wants to kill the weak,
because someone who sees the world in terms of “The Successful” and “The Expendable”
does not believe in equality or the common good.

To put it in a nutshell:
            are a bad lay.

—P. R. Dyjak, Stevens Point, WI