By Jon Wesick
There’s a poetry reading in Victorville
so I drive to the land of football and gang tattoos.
The hotel room TV is wall to wall commercials.
I realize my life has been one long scream into a firehose,
a protest against terabytes of televangelists
fad diets, get-rich-quick schemes, and kitchen gadgets
in a nation of bad ideas
with its new, infomercial president.
I love the drafty theater
but the chairs are empty as interstellar space
with light years between audience members.
The national anthem plays and we stand
for a country that no longer exists.
On stage, my words murder platitudes.
Metaphors blast dogma with double-aught buckshot.
Images take chainsaws to propaganda.
Stone faces stone silence
Books sleep on the table
Jon Wesick is a regional editor of the San Diego Poetry Annual. He’s published hundreds of poems and stories in journals such as the Atlanta Review, Berkeley Fiction Review, Metal Scratches, Pearl, Slipstream, Space and Time, Tales of the Talisman, and Zahir. The editors of Knot Magazine nominated his story “The Visitor” for a Pushcart Prize. His poem “Meditation Instruction” won the Editor’s Choice Award in the 2016 Spirit First Contest. Another poem “Bread and Circuses” won second place in the 2007 African American Writers and Artists Contest. “Richard Feynman’s Commute” shared third place in the 2017 Rhysling Award’s short poem category. Jon is the author of the poetry collection Words of Power, Dances of Freedom as well as several novels. Visit his website at jonwesick.com.
Photo credit: Sarah Ackerman via a Creative Commons license.