Tuesday, July 28, 2009

At The Protest

My class is almost over. I have to redo a lengthy paper about grammar and finish the genre project, and then I can enjoy what little time is left of summer and maybe do some writing for myself. However, allow me to share the second poem. Sorry, Rick.


When he spit on me, I didn’t know what to feel.

He raged, face blister-red, veins snakelike.

Stunned, I was slow to move.

The police mistook inaction for prelude and acted.

Shoved back, baton against my collarbone,

I heard the comforting voice of Authority:


Fellows-in-arms slowed the protest line

to sing out encouragement and solidarity.

Non-violent platitudes fell away and my own rage

now ran slick down my face in the form of another man’s venom.

I remembered the lunch-counter footage.

I remembered those who sat unserved.

How did they keep their calm and suffer with dignity?

Did they have a choice?

Did they have more faith?

Or was it that they had more to lose?

Taking my white hands I pushed back against authority and was spun around

pressed hard against a brick wall, legs kicked back, off-balance.

Shouts of protest filled my ears as

fingers and cameras pointed in my direction.

The baton slid down the inside of first one celebrity leg, then another.

And with my heart exploding, I was gripped by one arm and led off.

Not to jail,

but away from the crowd for a stern lecture and warning.

Relieved and not brave, I headed home where my parents waited.

Next week, I had a concert to attend.

Summer was quickly…


Sidney said...

That's great! Bravo!

Rick said...

You really should keep posting your poetry, Stewart.

Anonymous said...

Very nice images, although I still say they read like prose. You should try some genre poetry!

Aubreii said...

I think it's great! I like the prose-like poetry... it tells a stunning little story but has fantastic rhythm.

Stewart Sternberg said...

Bite me.
I'm with you, I too have problem with the prose effect. But,hey...I'm just trying something new. And it's an assignment for school.
Thanks. I actually like this one. Hope we see you next week.

Jon said...

Proserty? Can I coin that term here and now?
Of course it's good dammit, it is 90% a Sternbergian essay.
But okay...I do have to say that your word choise is genuinely well thought out in a way that's just different enough from your prose to give this peice a whole new flavor. God, I can't believe I'm saying this.