hashtag nation

i sit here scratching bug bites
reading twitter posts from the moral majority

thousands of hashtags screaming out in protest
from behind their computer screens

sickened by this week’s tragedy

yet the streets of dissention are empty on this block
save the homeless picking through the trash

i wonder where the protest is

or is it enough to voice your outrage
in one hundred and forty characters or less?

is it enough to post a meme of some injustice
to feel all warm and self-righteous inside?

i look for the debate
between the ads for amazon and hot dog stuffed pizza

but it’s just trite bullshit and platitudes

no more than a collective shrug from the slaves
binge streaming episodes of the latest netflix

a candlelight vigil by proxy
a feel good moment before the next set of bullets fly

and when they do it’ll be the same crap

millions of smug illiterates opting for love and hate
hashtagging away their empire of illusion

John Grochalski is a published writer whose poetry and prose have appeared in several online and print publications. He is the author of three books of poetry, The Noose Doesn’t Get Any Looser After You Punch (Six Gallery Press, 2008), Glass City (Low Ghost Press, 2010), and Starting with the Last Name Grochalski (Coleridge Street Press, 2014). He is also the author of the novel, The Librarian (Six Gallery Press, 2013), and his chapbook In the Year of Everything Dying can be viewed via Camel Saloon’s Books on Blogs series. Read other articles by John.