Burn This Poem

For July 4th again

Note; This Poem is from thirty years ago.

Has anything changed

Burn This Poem

Dedicated to Tommi Avicolli

This Poem is about the flag

This Poem is about Freedom

Allegedly the same subject

The American Night has grown colder

back room butchers sharped their rusted, waiting knives

for women of all colours

who would dare

to choose their own lives

while on the frozen citified streets,

we are infested with homeless

A solution,

do we have a final solution?

Even the artists have hard choices

and should not chooses to portray naked men

in the act of choosing to be hard

with other naked men.

This Poem is about the flag

This Poem is about Freedom

You or I can burn the flag

Only a Jessie Helms, though, can burn freedom

If I burn this Poem, about the flag

is that my freedom

or my crime

2) This Poem is about the flag

This Poem is about freedom

Three hundred National Guardspeople have died in Central America

This is about how some see the flag.

I cannot be proud of murder

for Flag, for Freedom, for the American Way of Strife

We have burned villages in Nicaragua

as though it were Vietnam

as though it were Osage Avenue

There, as here, playing murder the victim

those with Aids, those without homes,

those diseased with drugs

Burn This Poem-rage 2

Is it a crime to cause people to die

by hope withheld

No, That is Government Policy

Crime is when an artist shows two men in love

when a flag, not a person, is burned

when anyone

still dares a dream

3) This Poem is about the Flag

This Poem is about Freedom

Oh, for the day when the anti-abortionists link hands with ACT UP,

or is pro life only pro selected lives

Oh, for the night when’ violence is declared obscene

in the true works of art our fleet lives are

Oh, for the week when Jessie Helms declares my new book of Poems

Pornagraphy and Treasonous, and Congress, in heated National CNN Debate-

Still, you can be murdered

from wearing the wrong skin

in the wrong right-wing neighborhood.

To live Black in this country

has to mean living in a constant state of undeclared war,

as to live as a Womyn,! As a Gay or Lesbian who declares it to the skies,

to speak out when silence is the only safety

I want to say SHOUTINGS:-

This Poem is about the Flag

This Poem is about Freedom

I cannot sell this Poem

not give it away

Guess I have to burn it.

Bob Small 3-7-91, from 6-30-90


About bobsmall1

Bob Small has read at Bacchanal, Barnes and Noble, Borders, The Booksource (Swarthmore), The Clark Park Festivals,Community College of Philadelphia Highwire Gallery, The Mad Poets Annual Food Fest Reading, The Middle East Restaurant, Nexus GalleryThe Painted Bride Arts Center, The Philadelphia Ethical Society, Robin's Bookstore The University of Pennsylvania and also in New York City, Trenton, NJ, Washington, DC, and in many Delaware Valley Venues. He is the author of numerous chapbooks, including El Otro Lado (with Maralyn Lois Polak), On watching America Die, Small Steps and Toes (with Lamont B. Steptoe), and The Unapoet. This is his first Reading in over a year. Bob Small was Founder and President of the two decades old Poets and Prophets, which presented Poetry Readings in both Delaware County and Philadelphia. Bob was the Chair of The Delaware County Green Party and was the First Green Party Candidate in Delaware County (2005). He was also a Green Party National Delegate, among other duties. He is the Founder and Facilitator of The Pennsylvania Ballot Access Coalition (PaBac), which is a Coalition of both Independents and Third Parties., seeking to legislatively improve Pennsylvania's Ballot Access Laws. (Facebook) Bob is also a founding member and Facilitator of Democracy Unplugged, and Delco Debates, which has presented Independent and Third Party Forums in Delaware County since 2004. Facebook) He was formerly involved with Cinema Resistance, and Delco Pledge of Resistance. Bob currently lives in Swarthmore with his wife and their menagerie of animals. He is currently focused on writing a Novel and organizing his Poetry, which he posts on his Blog (Bob Small1). He is retired from most of the above activities, except Delco Debates and Poets and Prophets, which he may return to.
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