Poem 17: The Gravy Tanker Disaster

The sky was becoming foggy
But certain names were becoming luminous -

Politicians and literati
Were sizzling steaks.

The gentle ones were bleating
The fat one's bellowed
The thin ones screaming
They were all so tender and juicy.

The ether crackled with messages -
A host of commonplaces were transmitted
To the end of the world at the speed of light:
Steak for sale! Good blood-red steak! 

He looked at me with the eyes of a stranger.
A stranger with a fork
was stumbling over what he had just created:
The locomotive of thought had derailed.
Spilling everywhere burning
Twisted rubble of the intelligible.
And the people all ran down to the hot ashes
of Culture
To cook the perfect steak

--David Stokes

Poem 16: Cancun Mechanical

A man with a Metallica tattoo
a sculptor’s daughter
and a ballerina who broke her foot
on the first day of the job

the muslim pilot
is kissing a detective’s wife
while driving the plane
as the co-pilot sits in the bathroom
no one else has noticed a thing

I can hear Eminem
on the night bus home
on a poor man’s headphones
“it’s not so bad,
it’s not so bad”

It’s not so bad.

--Raphael C. Watkins