Tuesday, September 13, 2011

OpenLinkNight: Fairy Tails on the 20:12 train

Tunnel view out a grimy window,
passenger car rocks forth and back,
flick'ring florescents highlight'n Cinderella
fresh from the ball, a little bedraggled,
missing a shoe and a fella, forlorn at her
situ-ation but what's the big deal

Just another someone pretending to live
above her station, good thing there
is not a Republic(m)an conducting, an
inquisition might uncover a family tree
including an illegal alien, and bring the wrath
of 3000 snipers we (seem to) need protecting
our borders from humans of other colors
whoops better watch or to Guantanamo
i will go labeled an Illegal or Iraqi lover, as they
may be conspirators in the plot to overthrow
our government, we all came from somewhere
else but seem to forget, the melting pot

Sparks arc in orange as the brakes strain
but the train keeps going faster and faster
did you hear the politico the other day
say poor should not vote since they
don't contribute, don't own land, squat,
did WE really elect him? hey,
want to be free, take the hand,
kiss the kings ring. like his underlings,
oh hell no, how bout i bend over, he can kiss
other things of mine, behind the times
thinking, that's why we sailed the ocean

In the first place, to form a new nation,
on the backs of slaves, we be-came with
dreams of a more perfect union, no intent
-shun of ever going back, home
of the brave, land of the free, on a
runaway train, Ebeneezer don't you hear
Marley, these chains ain't ghosts, slipped
on when you drop the soap in the shower,
whoa, that's not a glass slipper, keep your
pants on politician, check ur watch,
time to fight the power, before the Mad Hatter
throws a full blown tea party, cause
liberty can no longer be a player piece
on the monopoly board, and onboard

Cinderella's make up slips her cheek,
prince charming done with her, Oh mama, now
that he got what he wants, her punched chad
and pulled lever, and not even a kiss
on the mouth to thank her for happy endings,
before he's off to other special interests,
whoa, blow the whistle conductor,
this old iron horse is about to derail, is this
an election, or home blown terrorism?

To see who gets to sit in the seat that once
funded the Taliban, damn, when you sing
Have you forgotten, does it mean any of that,
the lack of the I in the CIA was the
good old USA meddling then trying re-
stuff pandora's box, oh f---

the rails scream
the rails scREAM
the rails SCRRRRREAM

and who will come see & place flowers
at the smoking crater where
this train jumps tracks.

but don't worry bout dat
when we can't afford even empty stems.


OpenLinkNight @ dVerse Poets Pub - time to crack your inner poet out of it's jail cell and let your pen take over. poet Joe Hesch will be tending the bar, keeping the verses flowing starting at 3 pm EST today. It is the place to be.

This is the verse I had originally written last Saturday when I changed my mind and went a little softer. But as I promised, here it is. Raw and in color. Really I do love my country, but I do have little patience for flapping gums that say one thing then do another.

97 comments:

sharmishtha said...

fantastic poem. modern fairytales are just like this.

Mijayami said...

Raw and colourful indeed. It's powerful but the flow and the lull of the rhythm make it easy to digest. I'm not really politically minded (having lived in foreign countries for almost 20 years with no right to vote will do that...) but I do like this. Nicely done.

LadyCat said...

Once upon a time...they didn't live happily ever after. Such a state of dis(re)pair.

oceangirl said...

What a voice, pen IS mightier than sword.

wolfsrosebud said...

Nice thoughts Brian... gov is like a fairy tail. Oh, too real.

Pat Hatt said...

So true, that's all they ever do. Flap their stinking yap to get elected or get what they want and then poof, forget they ever said such a thing, doing the exact opposite. Of course weaving in Cinderelle and good old Scrooge, was a nice touch and when many go one too much. Maybe they are looking at the other Scrooge, going for his money bin which is huge..haha

Valerie said...

'did you hear the politician the other day say poor should not vote since they don't contribute, don't own land, squat, did we really elect him? he'

I'm astonished.

Brian Miller said...

nice...lady cat getting in on the word play...i like...and yes it can be...

lori said...

There's that gritty masterpiece. When you're laying the truth out as you see it, you create some of your finest pieces. And that bedraggled Cinderella? That image has serious staying power. It's sad, but reality isn't always easy to look upon. Love your bravery, Brian :)

Heaven said...

fairy tales or reality checks ?

nice gritty poem, visually and metaphorically ~

thanks for sharing this ~

hedgewitch said...

Well, at least this fairy tale has a happy ending--Cinderella doesn't marry that lyin a$$ prince at the end--even if she does have to get blown up in the trainwreck to get him off her chad. Can't help but feel this one brewed itself up even stronger with a little lay-by, my friend.

drybottomgirl said...

The dillusion of politics is well shown in your pieces. A handful of empty promises with no thought to crushing the masses. Too many personal agendas fighting for the floor....

Lolamouse said...

Love your bed/rag/gled Cinderella! She should be a recurring character in your poems, Brian.

Fred said...

Wicked cool Brian. Love the merger of so many worlds into one piece here. Excellent write, really enjoyed it, happy OLN

Brian Miller said...

thanks for those that have an opinion...i know this is a prickly topic...and i welcome opposition...i tried not to stick to one party line through out...

this poem has 2 things going against it...it is long and it is politics...so just know i appreciate those willing to chime in...

it scares me honestly...maybe many did not see the debate or hear the cheers at letting a 30 year old man die if he had no insurance...that scares me...and i did not even mention that in hereas i had already written this...

that being said...let your voice be heard...

JeannetteLS said...

I am one of the masses who should be voiceless because I am poor, and dead because I am ill. I am one of cinderella's children. And I am angry and not voiceless nor dead.

Thank you for this poem. What a shame that we are at a point where being a long poem might be considered a strike against the piece?

Powerful, terrifying, true. It gripped me and I read it aloud, trying NOT to think as I read. This thing SOUNDS like what it is. OUtstanding job, to me.

The Bug said...

Wow - VERY powerful!

Betsy said...

ooooh. yes, we're in a mess. Agree with some points. Some others, this republic(wom)an better bite her tongue. :)

ayala said...

Brian...excellent write. I feel the same rage and disappointment...promises broken....lies...and more lies....great poem!

Mama Zen said...

Preach, man! I saw the debates, and I'm scared as hell.

jen revved said...

I got on your train today before it accumulated 100 cars or so. Many fine things going on in this poem; you sustain the tone and litter it with biting details-- a wonderful read. xxj

Eva Gallant said...

Wow! You said a mouthful! I'm really concerned about where we are going.

Daniel said...

There is a certain building momentum and angst to this one. Nice piece. A theme to think about cause it matters now and into the future (and the past).

Joanne Elliott said...

Great! I have little patience for those flapping gum types as well. Lots of great lines here. Thanks for posting this.

LauraX said...

this is one hell of a fairytale train ride we are on...an yeah, it scares me too.

David Allen Waters said...

dude, you sure do know how to get a point across,m and entertain at the same time...brilliant:)

Dulce said...

Oh that train of life so cunning, the sound it leaves behind- so many don't want to hear it and of course if you get to listen this is what it gets.
Great and bravo, man!

Patricia said...

raw, Brian... such emotion... passion and anger...words moving just as fast as that train...
guess the honeymoon has been over for a while now, huh.

Daydreamertoo said...

Right now, I'm glad it's your country and not mine. Yours is/has gone to the dogs big time. China is rapidly trying to take America's place as top dog in the world now and America is being given to them on a plate of debts and imports made everywhere but there in the US. Did you know that China owns some of your shipping ports too? So, if they want to stop import of foods and such, they can.
The american dream has ceased to be and it's taking too long for your folks to wake up. We have fast become a world of have and have nots, no room for inbetween anymore.
This is gutsy, it's not taking jabs at either side it's right in the middle of all the crap where truth sits. Gritty, no holds barred write. Poor Cinderella.
I agree with you on the foreigners too.
Not all Muslim are bad and terrorists, and not all Christians are right and Holy. I hate any extremist radical beliefs that don't practice tolerance for others beliefs. We are all one race. The human race.
One day we'll 'get it' (I hope)
Nice write Brian, better get down off me soap box now but, thought I'd let you know my thoughts on yours.
Well said!

jackie dick said...

I'm sitting here reading and nodding yes at every damn image...and there are many at the speed of the train..purposely done? A touch of genius there. Yes, we are a nation of fairy tales..that's what it's become. Founding Fathers didn't plan it that way but dang, USA, corruption is thy name now. Brilliant piece, Brian. Gotta go back and reread a few times to digest the richness of this.

Goofball said...

wow powerful, right on

seems we are both a bit disgusted with some political statements & claimes and evolutions. I don't understand how in so many countries politics seem to glide to something I am ashamed off.

Did we elect them? really?

Uneven Stephen said...

Wicked flow, as usual Brian. Great piece. Love these lines in particular: "home of the brave, land of the free, on a / runaway train, Ebeneezer don't you hear / Marley, these chains ain't ghosts, slipped
on when you drop the soap in the shower".

Margaret said...

hmmm. There are times I think I an]m the only conservative artsy person out there... :) Can't say I agree with much of what you wrote, BUT you did it creatively. :)

Mary said...

This packs a punch, Brian!! Interesting. In fairy tales, one can usually easily recognize 'good' and 'evil,' but in government....not so easy!

Natasha said...

Keep that soap on a rope! Seriously, if I may offer up another point of view...from a country that wants to be just like you (now hear me curse!) Some of us like to sit back on this side of the border and somehow think we've got it better. Blinders BIG time! Brian...this is a WORLD issue. Every party in power is following hidden, silent agendas. I've played the fool, worked the campaigns, and at the time was foolish enough to think I was doing a good thing. I've since lost my picket fences to an economy shut down by fear mongering, and friend, I watched your debate and my daughter could have pulled off more maturity. Damn...I have to go to work now...because the lord knows there's no money in poetry! ;) Sorry to have to cut my essay short, perhaps I'll share my Maple Leaf rant next week :)BTW...thanks very much for igniting my spirit today!

Laurie Kolp said...

Ahh... powerful stuff, Brian. I especially like stanzas 4 and 5. I'm sad that people our age have worked our buts off for years and will never see any of our social security! I've been wanting to storm about it... maybe now I will.

Arron Shilling said...

POWER HOUSE POETRY! BOOM !

John Allen Richter said...

again....... absolutely loved this... it was so enchanting, so flittery with references to Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Monopoly, so many visions were running through my brain in technicolor..... Unfortunately Brian, I work for U.S. Customs and Border Protection so I was a little dismayed by the whole sniper thing.... but I understand the exaggeration and exasperation sometimes over what seems to be an uncouth and unpopular immigration scheme. It's understandable but at the same time I would feel remiss if I didn't say that the United States is the free-est country in the world, coming or going, and everything in between, including the right to say it isn't. I love your poem Brian, as I knew that I would. I was anticipating the joy of reading your work again this week. And I don't mean to take away from that at all, and I don't think I am taking away from it when I say that I love this country and am proud of the men and women that I work with to secure it. With that said, beautiful poem...... P.S... no, I'm pretty sure flittery is not a word. What can I say? Poetic license applies to comments too, does'nt it? :)

Charles Elliott/Beautyseer said...

Sure ain't the train to Hogwarts! But I share your alarm at the coming train wreck. Rant on. So many still need to hear...

Ed Pilolla said...

you channeled a lot of the frustration citizenry feels listening to what we are told to listen to. this was the usual things you do so well. it was clever, lean and image rich as well as timely. and fun as hell:)

G-Man said...

Loved your political Diatribe Son.
Keep up the good work!

Captain Dumbass said...

Did you know they use Predator drones to patrol the border between N Dakoda and Manitoba? Predator drones. I'm sure on some level it saves money or something, but damn.

Watching your political debates from the outside can be entertaining and terrifying at the same time.

seasideauthor said...

I don't think they can peddle backwards it is like they have gone too far to give up their farce now.
Believe the numbers. Count the cars still parked in driveways. No traffic is tragic. Well spoken I could also hear your voice, calm and precise is how you came across. Well written.

Mark Kerstetter said...

In Florida about 30 percent of the registered voters actually voted for governor. Rick Scott took power on 17 percent of the voting block.

Lady Nyo said...

Brian, Powerful poetry.

Your imagery is spellbinding.

But I still say: A Pox On Both Houses.

There is nothing new given, just a card game with different cards.

perhaps you have to live a while to see all the milk and honey was just a myth.

Lady Nyo

mrs mediocrity said...

love the punch at the end, love the whole thing, so much truth, and when will all the sleeping beauties wake up? i hope it is before the next election...

Ann LeFlore said...

is this really a once upon a time tale or a reality check for today times this is well done and such a reality check for me]
http://gatelesspassage.com/2011/09/13/a-new-life-begins/

libithina said...

SUch brilliance Brian ~ think they could all do with a swift kick up the jacksie ~ this side of the pond too ~
this was powered and gained steam reaching boiling ~ no glass slipper tho ~ altho maybe with a nice pointed toe and stilleto ~ your delverance was superb and right on the money if there was any ~ liquidations apart ~best watch tying them shoelaces off their highly polished feet :) ~ full of flannel ~ ty for giving voice Brian ~ coming back to this ~ as so many layers ~ and I enjoyed the ride seeing them potentially get their come uppance ~ ty for stopping by Brian and wavin out a Hey ~ I'll do better next time :)) Have a brill week ~ some imagery you have painted don't think will leave me :)) ~ Lib

Heather said...

this is awesome! love the fairytale references.... powerful stuff here - i am scared about the election, too - i must admit.

Evelyn said...

"on a
runaway train, Ebeneezer don't you hear
Marley"
your style is perfect for the topic, your sarcasm is delectable prose.

marousia said...

Fantastic - love the way you used fairy tales - they are subversive little critters afterall :)

Vicki Lane said...

Powerful piece, Brian. We need to keep on being angry at what's happening to our country,

lifeisaroadtrip said...

I feel the same as you. Too much talk. Too little action.

darkangelwrites said...

I haven't read a good heart felt rant in a while. Kinda blows the sawdust outta my ears; it does. You don't just play with words... you rough house. :)

blueviolet said...

I think you're speaking what a lot of people are feeling.

Slamdunk said...

Lots of issues in this one Brian, and I like the way you use great verse to tackle them and challenge a reader to agree or diagree.

For those that may disagree at least that have perspective from a different viewpoint.

yellowhousecafe said...

All three parties stink if you ask me. Quite the fun write...these are the ones that roll like a coaster or a train down the track, wheels spinning off each other, much like our politicos.

I don't have cable, but I listened to highlights this morn via NPR...boiled my blood, that 'debate', every one of 'em is two faced. 5000 grand from a drug company may not have bought him, but he wanted them in his pocket for later, guaranteed. Red, Blue or Brown (what is the tea party's colour?) they all bleed green (not the environmental kind) either.

Fab write...*word* ha! ~

Magpie said...

You were right...this was a hot topic. It's all so very true, but what is the solution? We do need to remember where we came from, but need to figure out where we should be going too.

Cinner said...

wow amazing the depth of your words

beckykilsby said...

This one certainly travels Brian...some countries still with no representation...long journeys ahead....

Rachel Hoyt said...

Your poems always amaze me. I love how you work Cinderella, the Taliban, Marley and the Mad Hatter all into your message! LOVED it.

chromapoesy.com said...

You keep telling them, sense has to come from somewhere, right? I mean someone is still listening, right? Governance hasn't devolved into dictatorship, right? Oh, I'm so very tired - I like what darkangel added about rough housing with words, perfect metaphor.

Madeleine Begun Kane said...

Another excellent poem!

Sue said...

I missed the debate because I was packing, riding shuttles, and flying to visit my grandkids that day, but I DVRd it to watch when i get home.

Because I didn't see it, I can't really comment about whether it would have frightened me. I do know that I am not happy with either party or the politicians who are far more worried about getting elected than making sure the people's rights and opinions are protected.

One thing your poem brought up for me is my distress when people on either side of the immigration issue refuse to really listen to each other's concerns. I'm certain that immigration and the melting pot are and always have been good for America. But illegal immigration creates a lot of problems, in my opinion, and it disturbs me when people make the leap that being against illegal immigration means you are a racist or that you don't want immigration at all. Legal immigration and illegal immigration are two different things. We need some structure around immigration or the system gets overwhelmed. i've seen it happen in California.

JMHO, of course.

=)

Zuzana said...

This brings me back to my own reality as we have elections here tomorrow.;)
Always great writing dear Brian, I am off on a new travel (more family visit), but will be back next Monday, take care dear friend,
xoxo

Shadow said...

more like the truth than the fairy tale indeed...

Just Be Real said...

Thank you Brian. Blessings.

eclipsingwinter said...

intent-shun... sad but true

Raw, intriguing and ohsoreal. Oddly enough, this piece with so many gnashing teeth is a pleasure to read out loud. Excellent commentary with powerful truths.

Beth

adeeyoyo said...

One of your very BEST Brian! Brilliant, my friend, really feel your anger and I don't blame you at all. Politics and the politicians - what a bunch of w***ers! (See you've made me angry too.) This reminds me of the period just before Madiba was released; all the talk of just who deserved to get the vote.

Brendan said...

This is one of the poems the times are bleeding for -- how can we not unzip our mouths and let rip the invective that's been brewing as we sit and stew watching so much news go from bad to worse. An old Irish poet wasn't worth his grog if he couldn't let rip a proper satire, stripping some liege or other of his faux fancy pants. These aren't easy poems to write and it would be much more preferable to stick one's head in a flower and sign yummy yummy yummy, but that would be to conspire with those who would have the poor (now a solid sixth of the country) not vote but pay more taxes. Great work, Brian. - Brendan

Cheryl said...

So much food for thought. Truth is sometimes hard to swallow.

velvetinapurrs said...

Very Cool Brian, great interweaving fantasy and reality, wonderful but sadly so...so many images/word combinations stuck me: but rather than list them, I shall just say this, I would have you back on this old island, but I fear you would just want to 'sail (ed) the ocean' again!!

sage said...

Wow, nice! Of course, I am always a sucker for reading about trains, but you weave so much more into these lines.

AmyLK said...

I love the way you've woven the fairy tales together. You have a way with words!

Jill from Killeny Glen said...

Oh am I glad I got to read this one Brian. Harsh? NOT REALLY...you speak the truth.
Brilliantly written.

mairmusic said...

As always, it's the persona of your speaker that gets me and pulls me into your narrative. I especially like your blue-collar-wisdom ones.

Hope said...

Brian...wow! I find that to get it down on paper is one of the hardest things to do when my mind is so overwhelmed with 'everything'. Excellent! this reminds me of the song by Jack Johnson
Breakdown
it packs a punch :)

very grateful for your talent and the fact that you want to share it

thank you

annell said...

Your write was like being on a fast train! Thanks Brian

Ginny Brannan said...

Wow Brian! Telling it like it is. ("Kiss other things" indeed!) Second-generation American here, my family from" someplace else." Think many upset with "illegals" saying they take advantage of the "system." Seen more abuse from others who pass down their talent from one generation to the next of feigning "disability' so they don't have to work. Don't get me started...Suffice to say you've covered it all so well, including last line "...can't afford even empty stems." (Will join you in Guantanamo now for sure!)

C Rose said...

Brilliant address to the political atmosphere. Loved the bite ~ Rose

Sheila Moore said...

love all the word play and fairy "tail" references. This line - we all came from somewhere
else but seem to forget, the melting pot - rocks! so true!

Philip Thrift said...

This would be terrific delivered as a "slam" (spoken/performance) poem. Great work.

Anthony Desmond said...

truly brilliant shit Brian.... and I liked "republic (m)an" that was cool :)

the fairytale was clever & a great way to speak on our country falling to bits.... kinda creepy.

Cathleen said...

I know you got 82 of these but one more won't hurt. This is good - very good.

poemblaze said...

A great write. Creative bending of the language.

TechnoBabe said...

Lots going on in this post. Spit it out, Brian, write what needs to be written so we can read what needs to be read.

Steve King said...

Great excursion. The things you say work against it--that it's too long and politically conscious--are what makes it worthwhile. It's as long as it needs to be and politics have been part of it all since Homer...I admire the way you went with your gut on this one. It's genuine.

anglachel27 said...

Horrifying and electrifying, a journey of broken dreams in broken times. Loved this.
Gene

Apryl Gonzales said...

Prophetic utterance perhaps? You always make me think, make me take note, move me, well done Brian. "Can't even afford empty stems"

HyperCRYPTICal said...

Politics are politics the world over Brian - empty promises for the masses.

Superb write.

Anna :o]

The Storyteller said...

Nice. Keep it up.

Debbie Dawnslight said...

A slam dunk, Mr. DJ Man! the emperor's new clothes jumped into my mind at one point.
It's great that you love your country. If you didn't voice your fine, smart and powerful words of criticism and insight, you would be doing Her wrong. This is your freedom of voice, to voice. Your right and duty as a citizen and thinker, fellow human with vision putting your hopes and frustrations into words with precision.
I love it and would love to hear it read!!!
~ Deb

william said...

a very excellent story with a happy ending, cool...

Myrna R. said...

Okay this was raw, angry, full of truth. Who could express this any better than you?

I think I've gone beyond apathy to a place of despondence. I see politics as such a game for all of them. I try not to engage any more, but of course the appeal is strong because we are their game, it is about our lives.

haikulovesongs said...

pure Brian ~ powerful, evocative, blunt and brilliant.

i love your poem. i love our country. i am heart-broken over what has happened over the past ten years. i am terrified of what is going to happen in the next.

Celestial Dreamz said...

very powerful ... looks like it's mostly the same story everywhere else ... I am scared of politics though ... the very term sounds like a cliche to me ... in our part of the land whoever is ruling it's the same story of corruption, opportunism, tomfoolery ... but then it's we who choose them ... so who exactly is to be blamed I wonder!

Glynn said...

I think you've demonstrated how much hostory and ideology can be packed into one poem and still make sense.