Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2011 v10n1

Once more into the breach of an unavoidably American argument

Fifty-two shot, eight dead
in three days in Chicago, one white
gun icon on the map on TV
for each corpse, making me wonder,
have you seen the new addition
to the museum? Glass

          skinned & not far from the lake,
          it was designed by an Italian & sunshine
          is encouraged to touch
          the paintings, since a two hundred
          watt Rauschenberg
          isn’t the same as looking at life
          with the help of a star. In three days,

not a single masterpiece
was shot, thank God,
but there’s nothing by Watteau
I wouldn’t plug to get even
with the pastoral
or the future, for that matter. You know

          what they say about real estate
          & safety: location location location
          is where you are, I am
          where money’s still the root
          of not having to hide
          in the tub from stray bullets,
          which is itself

an art. Poor
stray bullets, won’t someone
call them home?
Though most bullets
do exactly as they’re told, go
from A to B in a straight, usually late
line, after the gun
has had a few too many
defenders of the right
to barely arm innocent
flesh against the incursions
of industry, really,
since sales of bang
are up & mostly
the brown are down.  end