Slavers of Old Language Banished by New Tribal Youth

Tribute to daughter on 20th birthday

Those fire eyes
pinon needles lifting, scurrying
shadows in updrafts
embers talking talismans
her bright words penetrate
craggy cynicism, cull
meandering skeptics
all lawyered up and full
of cash, old guard
lives born from Jack$on-20
Frank$lin-100, amazing
bouts of devil clarity
that old minstrel mush
one side of mouth to the other:
only you can pull yourself
up, only you are responsible
for your predicament

slavers of language, old
time religion like uranium
tipped Hellfire, launched
from unholy church of tax
deductible lies philandering
political class, those Monopoly
Park Place covetous ones
parasites gnawing brains
. . . .but sisters of dance
new disconnected youth
from this shit-storm of infinite
aisles bursting at seams
those tears, those deflated placentas
all those weapons of salary
hunched over soldering, stitching, gluing
they are untouchables of THE Empire
black pools of pollutants
children’s skipping puddles

ones easily marked, some
Romney or Ron Paul
those flagrantly stupid
end-game of offspring
Chelsea from Clinton-clench
sacks of Goldman
so many others in sheep’s
clothing, dry mouthed
digital musclemen
honored Nobel laureates
of the scam of economies
speaking gibberish

not so easily outed
snake oil millionaire
thespians, airport novelists
those seemingly inane, innocent
junk emanating from digital
orifice to digital alimentary
canal of death news
they announce their
own lack of vision

but honor those brave kids
no matter how tattooed
or stuck with nose rings
pause to remember buttoned
up uncles and fathers, those
cock-tailed mothers, slopping
aunties, remember, the shine
in their eyes originated from
the next big kitchen thing
all labor and B-52 death with
credit . . . beyond any means
so your journey, fine daughter(s)
take yourself into recesses
shatter old guards of words
recall wickedly fine experiences
of father, when old recall
turns to flash-flood of words

a drop of gin from Levertov
her words . . . One of the obligations of the writer
is to say or sing all that he or she can,
to deal with as much of the world as becomes
possible to him or her in language
crushing cube of ice between
aging teeth, she held my arm for
a while, as did Bly holding my wrist. . .
Something in the adolescent male
wants risk, courts danger,
goes out to the edge – even to the edge of death

tannin of Scotch the razor’s
breath next to me, Bob . . . then Tom Waits
backseat of VW bug, Tucson’s
cicadas fighting air with Mexican
free-tails, his words . . . Don’t you know
there ain’t no devil, it’s just god when he’s drunk
clipping along, hand to shoulder
desert to dream

. . . .These days are numbered, slick
billboard thinkers, no
guts but all glory
joysticks like kendo
sticks, your challenge
seems to be poets
holding guns to head
of each and every purveyor
of poison and pestilence
fodder in financial
roulette a million times
cutting power of
any guillotine, yet
old farts advancing death
jab at the daughter/the son
make light of fanciful
utopian ideals, these old
people are buzzards
beady eyed, hovering over
their own death, striking
words and wisdom
of daughters and sons
nephews and nieces

. . . these heathen Capitalists
rank Imperialists, crass
supply side loafers
these gangrenous generators
of debt until death do
us all part

. . . I remember guerrillas
in Huehuetenango, shaking my hand
as we spied into the compounds
of millionaires
death squads like dark miasma
into the valley at dawn
. . . I remember old Viet Cong
holding my hands
their laughs like chants
into battlefield memory
telling me my father’s war
was never mine
. . . . busty women in Belize
narrating stories of
crystal clear cenotes
black maidens lathered
in sweat and moonlight
. . . . or the time tamales
were taught to me
Linda Ronstadt’s great auntie
pushing fingers over mine
in masa, another history
. . . . crusty Commie actor
Lee Marvin took hand
and shoulder and said
Pretty goddamned good
role for me, son . . . as the sun
burned into spiny swifts
gnarly on tennis court

these are the days of celebrity
nothing gained but rhinestone
botox, giant limo breasts, helipads
yet real daughters of earth seek
pyres, crystals, words
in between vapid
histories written by
men with pips
my new tribe of youth
how black boots, smear
of monetized rot
attempt annihilation
schools boarded up with
diodes, listless deans
professors safe, never
challenging Capitalism
not in our name
headmasters of at-will
lives, decadent ones
portrayed in headlines
premieres … as depraved
float into ether

new tribe laughs
at those titans
of silly, inanities
break away from
asphalt fields of dream
find other methods
for survival
the planet off kilter
its gyro, clouds
like global

daughters, sons
flowers, fields
mountains, streams
boulders, canyons
flesh of ungulates
breaths of moose
some whoosh of
nutcracker, shadow
of buzzards, petals
balsam arrow leaf
while coal-fired
trumpets spew
hate of our era
captains of industry
Nazis, holy see
floundering Talmudic Terrorists

new tribes busting out
shadows of prisons
shooting for sky
plate glass about
to melt, slag of capitalism
evidence of evil
tribes forever locked
in DNA of daughters-sons
memories banished
held into each last gasp
something bigger
better, not enshrined
in paperwork, slogging
silly consumerism
bloating our species
into death

new tribes no
longer hiding
dancing over
Capitalism’s corpses

Paul Haeder's been a teacher, social worker, newspaperman, environmental activist, and marginalized muckraker, union organizer. Paul's book, Reimagining Sanity: Voices Beyond the Echo Chamber (2016), looks at 10 years (now going on 17 years) of his writing at Dissident Voice. Read his musings at LA Progressive. Read (purchase) his short story collection, Wide Open Eyes: Surfacing from Vietnam now out, published by Cirque Journal. Here's his Amazon page with more published work Amazon. Read other articles by Paul, or visit Paul's website.