Monday, May 21, 2012

Raundi Moore-Kondo

THE SUMMER YOU LEFT ME WITHOUT ANY RESPECT

Aretha’s Gold was the only thing that came from the cassette
player on the nightstand next to the bed. I’d listened, half asleep,
to Side B more than a dozen times a day for three hot, and sweaty
sad months. It was only a coincidence that “Respect” is on Side A.

Some moods are too low for changing sides or fast forwarding
tapes. There isn’t a song on that album that didn’t rub my broken
bosom into a chocolatewhisky stained face. No motivation was found
for picking through un-alphabetized shoebox collections. Besides,

I couldn't abandon Aretha when she needed me most. The newspapers
had piled up in a "do not disturb" trench. I was fine eating cereal,
and without any milk, as long as there was still some wine to wash
it all down. I developed a new form of astrology based on constellations

that had formed in the popcorn of my acoustic ceiling. My Jupiter
is conjunct his mid-heaven. His moon is in direct opposition
to the cobwebs of my broken rotary fan. No wonder. We'd been doomed
since birth. I had long talks with her--told her to forget him. That no man

was worth that kind of pain. She was the Queen of Soul, for God’s sake.
But nothing I said changed anything. The tape took me through the first
of October.  Just as the dew point achieved a record low and the smog
levels reached a record high, the cellophane got tangled up in the spindles.

Chain of Fools snapped right in half. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Terry McCarty

ON THE PASSAGE OF NORTH CAROLINA AMENDMENT ONE

it's in the state charter now
everybody who's not cut out for
traditional marriage has to
hide in a closet
and pass for straight
and never ever ever ever
bother the people of North Carolina
unless you live in liberal areas
like Chapel Hill or Carrboro--
you know, those places
with know-it-all eggheads
who like activist judges

the closet's going to get bigger
and bigger just like the stateroom
in The Marx Brothers movie
A NIGHT AT THE OPERA
and eventually people will spill out
with the door off its hinges

then, the 61% will have to
put their moral values on a scale
and weigh what Jesus actually said
or didn't say in the Bible about LGBTs
versus all the hate that pastors
named (and not named) Graham
pump into them like IV drips
in an ancient hospital
where the windows are nailed shut
and painted black
to keep out the light.