À La Carte: Barack & Michelle Obama Gone Ghetto #1 and #2


The City on the Hill haunted by all manner of gunshots & protest signs &
constricted throats of umbrage. Pundit wolves gnawing at the ballet-
slippered sheath of flesh-glazed bones: Poverty is a state of mind.
The cloy of fear a cheap perfume-scented cover for panic wafting from
corporate person-hoods of deceit & profit at-all-cost collateral damage
mass-graved beneath a porcelain hunter’s moon. The jagged hook of
rock & blood clotted hank of hair. Something cunning is always bloom-
ing. A flowering of friction & conflicts & the imperfections of a nation
just bordering on comeuppance. The hunger stealing from its lair toward
its prey that somehow manages to be simultaneously anxiety inducing &
exciting. The negative duality of metaphor that loophole the elementary
laws that never apologise. A sporadic light between freight cars—
the distance between index finger & thumb—like the mantis of axiomatic
peril that implies a reckoning oncoming from the distance &
it is there between guest-expert opinion & magic long as train smoke
that you will find the truth of it all. The road-to-nowhere been-
marginalized anxiety of deferred beginnings & the seething deranged.
The sick & the scared to death. The small-voiced solely afflicted with
powerlessness. Nervously toeing the tide but ever vigilant of failure. The
status mandated boundaries & what can be taken away.


An international optimism
that dazzled from the executive distance. The wannabe
messianic vision askance, but talkshow familiar
to the ear. There was just so much shit
that we didn’t want to see, or hear, that colored
the monotone rise & passing of our days. The peripheral odor
of recycled bullshit, pulse pounding a hyena capitalism,
that prodded our be patient
infinitesimal waiting. The repetition that accumulated, &
instead of dissipating, stacked up against us

(as in next to, alongside),

anxiously clinging, if not insisting that,
we prepare ourselves,
though we have no sound idea for what.


henry 7. reneau, jr. writes words in fire to awaken the world ablaze: free verse that breaks a rule every day, illuminated by his affinity for disobedience, a phoenix-flux of red and gold immolation that blazes from his heart, like a chambered bullet exploded through change is gonna come to implement the fire next time. He is the author of the poetry collection, freedomland blues (Transcendent Zero Press) and the e-book, physiography of the fittest (Kind of a Hurricane Press), now available from their respective publishers. Additionally, he has self-published a chapbook entitled 13hirteen Levels of Resistance and is currently working on a book of connected short stories. His work was nominated for the Pushcart Prize by LAROLA.