Friday, January 31, 2014

state of the union chemical poisoning

the pipelines & holding tanks
are never empty
poised to fill & dispense
another lethal dose
so depended on
like an inrush of new capital
to the fossil industrial complex
breaking down a body's natural resistance
as the migrating waters
move toward death
     don't say the consequences
     are never perceived
     when the spin doctors
     call it investing

and as the old pipes fail
new ones
become a seamless weld
asphyxiating a land
once breathing
tissue once living
lungs forgetting
their instinctive function
     to leafless miles

without homage
without home

--- e b bortz

(published in, Jan 31, 2014)

Monday, January 27, 2014

ego check

grab that pneumatic jackhammer
     and take it to the pedestal

has your body ever rumbled like that
     become a part of the broken concrete

in every pedestal
     a coming reckoning

--- e b bortz

Saturday, January 25, 2014

earth note 270

fast moving water
through the culvert
beneath the road
kept the fish schooled
to a small space
against a rock wall
like leaning on each other
for warmth
mingling close to deep-rooted
mangrove legs
a crab holds on
     like an outsider

--- e b bortz

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

the census takers in florida

climb through the mangroves
in the keys
barging in and counting
every homeless person
they run in to
     i can imagine some folks
     you counted me already
     over on big torch
now get lost      i’m fishing

and what about that kayak
out in kemp channel
maybe that’s another domicile

by now
with all the homeless people
i’d bet the bureaucrats have resorted
to wildlife methods
of aerial reconnaissance
& extrapolation
     maybe that was what
     those noisy
     low flying choppers
     were a few days ago
     or maybe they’re just practicing

and with all the college graduates
out of work
of course the pool
is plenty big
if you have a sharp pencil
good boots
& insect repellent

--- e b bortz

Saturday, January 18, 2014

from borders & resources & means of production

millions have gone missing
breaking apart
into simple earthly elements
left after life
of family and nations
     with nature
no longer in servitude
nor exploited by power
     indoctrination by factory
     collective and non-collective    
the great melting pot
     an illusion
     a tool
     finds itself empty

from hands and tongues
     unbound imaginations
          plant traces
          leave discreet trails    
          distinct in every pupil and iris
     from the inner ear
     a song
     becomes an amplifier

and a soul found
becomes liberated

--- e b bortz  

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

crossing paths

it seemed odd that
the adulterous wife by camus
would cross paths
with a cabana table
of french speakers
on sombrero beach
marathon florida
     call it serendipity
french tongues landing
from quebec
just as the page turns
on the wife
slipping out from her husband’s bed
running through the night
weaving through the narrow streets
and burnooses
to lie down on the highest floor
of a fort
in 1950s algeria
her arms wide open
breathing at last
with the stars
and cold stone walls

--- e b bortz

Sunday, January 12, 2014

how to revoke a corporate charter

start by spelling
4-methylcyclohexane methanol

fly ash tailings
retention pond disaster
(december 22, 2008 roane county tennessee)

if you can’t smell licorice in the elk river
or see an oil slick
it doesn’t mean everything’s o.k.

learn to smell out the scoundrels

poison comes in many forms
political       even human
poison has its own timeline

coffers overflowing
on election day
what did it get you

a rash of migraines and nausea

help out the unaware
and the children
and the forgetful
and the folks of other languages

we are all
canaries in the mine

--- e b bortz

(published in, Jan 14, 2014)

Friday, January 10, 2014

earth note 269

south wind fills the wooden flute
like a song is universal
lips move in unison
the dampness
of the channel

--- e b bortz