Friday, December 23, 2016

GARRETT CAPLES ~







Oakland


I love my city

huey newton
first declared
oakland occupied
in a very different
sense

more like paris
or baghdad

forty years later
& suddenly

THE TOWN
dogged the flame
from zuccotti park

new yorkers chanted
we are oakland
& even in egypt
they knew

I love my city

the priced out
progressives of
san francisco
entered the
panther cage

explosive combo
to rock the dome
of robocop

our summer of love
was an autumn of blood
in the neolexicon

but i love my city
cuz we mean
peace

demonstrated
repeatedly
at the 2011
general strike:

nonviolence
='d no police

& so many poets
there & boots
from the coup

& later i'm told
rexroth & lamantia
were at the last
general strike
in '46 & i'm like

i love my city

birthplace of scrapers
& scraper bikes

home at one time
to gertrude stein
earl fatha hines
alden van buskirk
Erich von Astroheim

too short & zpac
shock-g & sheila e
baby jayvees
larry graham &
pharaoh sanders

i'll take j. stallion
over jay z any day

occupy all streets?
occupy deez

i love my city

in massachusetts
lawrence &
andover

in new jersey
piscataway &
new brunswick

in brighton
england

in berkeley
california

i hated living

not until oakland
did i love home
i've lived here
fifteen years

it's been a long
long reckoning
since i first laid
eyes on leaving
but now it's
at hand

i could be like
fuck it, it's gone
duck dynasty
on me but i'd
be kidding me

i miss it like
a horny lover
& i haven't
yet left

o oakland
black city
i've known
your ghettos

stone city to
murder clubs

the lower bottoms
the 'corns &
cypress

ghosttown
dogtown
jingletown

call me danny
from sorbent
keak da sneak
or deev da
muthafuckin
greed

there's no south o
that's just the bay
sprouting from
heinhold's first
& last chance

& fuck jack
london & jack
london square

i drink there for
ambrose bierce

the north's called
ice city but also
temescal

which means
sweat house
in nahuati

& my friends feels
of sun poem for cells
translates nahuati

& my friend fab
of super sic wid it
put north o on
the rap map

i'm connected here

i saw oscar grant
become an icon
tho i'm sure
he'd rather
be alive

lake merritt poem:
to judge the change
in seasons by
observing water
fowl: red ducks
blue ducks
pelicans &
cranes

the goddamn
geese never leave
the herons hide
in the trees

by the postoffice
where rumor (&
the new york times)
had them tossed
in the woodchopper

just like the feds
to pass the buck
to the hapless
subcontractor

they say oakland's
the new brooklyn
but part of it
used to be
brooklyn

know your history
o makers of anthologies

parvenues of telegraph
avenue, i been
been here

on mamas
on see-through
it's lightweight mine


_____________

Garrett Caples
Power Ballads
Wave Books 2016


yes, I typed the whole poem
with its lower case, infuriating italics
with google down and not able to connect the Internet (rainy day in the woods)
while the film The Lobster (grueling ) plays
and my elder age eye sight dimming
never mind  a correct-speller wanting to 'educate' garrett about his spelling
that is perfectly in key


No comments: