Tamara wrote this poem in response to the recent mass shootings and gun violence. This poem is written in the hopes that hearts and minds will change the way business is done in America. Therefore, she has requested that this not be behind the new subscription wall. We agree and are sharing it without a fee. We did, however, place subscription buttons at the end, should any hearts and minds be moved to support the publishing of our type of poetry. All of us here at DDPress are fed up by the amount of cruelty suffered the world over and we dedicate this piece to all that have suffered gun violence.
I wrote this piece in response to the death of a seven year old girl in ICE custody. It is painfully clear that our government is no longer interested in being the free country it espoused to be.
WARNING EXPLICIT CONTENT!
WARNING EXPLICIT CONTENT!
Kathy flew into the café as if her legs were rockets. Her greying light brown hair flailing in every direction as she fumbled with getting her scarf and coat off. Her hazel eyes hurriedly darting to the back table where a group of ladies were seated. A large brunette woman stood up from the table and used her hands to halt the lady in a leather jacket speaking at the front of the table. That was Kate, the de-facto leader of the group. A former NASA scientist and gadget gal, she was as plump as she was tall and loved it.
“Kathy, what happened? Are you okay?”
Despite her energetic entrance Kathy looked completely wiped out. She just began shaking her head and fell to receive the support of her lifelong friend. “I…………am…………..just………….lost.” Kathy sobbed on her friend’s shoulder for a few moments, wiped her face with the Kleenex from her pocket and turned to face the group all gazing at the scene with varied levels of care and concern.
“You know if it is that bad, I can always Irish up your latte.” Carol the blonde former stripper, trophy wife of a banker called to Kathy as Kate brought her to their meeting area, as she revealed a large bottle of vodka in her purse.
“Carol, that’s inappropriate and not an answer.” Judy an older lady with a tall black wig and vintage cat eye style frames with jeweled accents at the corner gawked at Carol over them as she winked at her friend to show she was teasing her and lighten some of the tension that had filled the room since Kathy had arrived.
“Sometimes in life you just gotta take a swig cause it is that baaad.” Betty, the groups only octogenarian, smiling as she grabbed Carol’s bottle out of her hand, opened it, took a swig and passed it down.
Lynn, Betty’s oldest daughter and high-power business attorney, took her mother up on her unorthodox offer “I concur.” She said as she wiped the alcohol from her lips on the sleeve of her suit jacket. The bottle made its way around the table in the back of the trendy little café. “C’mon Kathy, you’re amongst friends. No judgement zone.”
“They acquitted him!” Kathy howled as she took her fourth swig of vodka.
“Told ya ladies it was baaad!” Betty reached for the bottle from Kathy. “We are going to need clear heads for what comes next.” The frail old woman moved slowly towards the head of the table, inviting the ladies to all move in as close as they could. “We all know what Tommy did. We all know the who, what, where and why of all this. Kathy and her family have suffered enough. We must be very careful and watch what we all say and do. This man, strike that, downgrade, fucking pedo, deserves nothing more or less than a bullet to the brain. Your grandson will suffer all of his life for what that fucker did. We have an obligation to society to see that there are no more victims.” Her bony hand shook wildly as she spoke.
“I am not comfortable with violence.” Cami, a 28-year-old single mom of three children.
“I’m not sure if I’m comfortable or not.” Rainn, the thirty-something stay-at-home mom of the group, tugged at her soft mahogany brown braids as she quietly agreed with her friend Cami. Cami introduced her to the group just a few months ago and she had fast become a regular attendee.
“I don’t see how violence would be necessary.” Lynn leaned in to the table even further. “We have such a vast network. We can get rid of this creep and no one will ever suspect a thing. Besides, since when have we ever needed to be violent?”
Kate stepped back from the table and dropped a glass on the café’s brick floor. It’s crashing to the floor, stopped the ladies in their conversations. The desired effect. “Ladies! Ladies! Ladies! Time and place! Time and place!” For most it would appear that she was reminding her friends that this was not the time or place to talk about these things but for a member to this club it was a call to their motto. “For things to go right, you must create the right time and the right place for them to happen.” The ladies used this phrase as a call to action. A call for all members to participate in the facilitation of a sister’s needs or goals. They used it almost as their exclusive battle cry.
Instantly, laptops and smart phones came out. The serious work was about to begin along with the ending of the pedophiles existence.
The next few weeks were very busy for the ladies’ club. They made all the arrangements and had scheduled Tommy’s procedure for this evening.
“No, Tommy, you know your money’s no good here.” A large Italian woman took a small cannoli from the case behind the counter and handed it to the middle-aged man in front of her.
“Ah, thanks, Louisa. I’ve always loved this place. You and your family have always been a safe haven for me since all that mess my sister created.”
“I know. Sometimes family is the one that screws you over the worst.” She stepped out from behind the counter to give Tommy a hug and place a tiny transmitter in his pocket. “It’s a shame your sister cut you off like she did. So cruel and hateful.” Her large fingers struggled to slip the tiny chip into his coat pocket as Tommy pulled her into him much tighter than usual. “I know it has been hard.” She placed the chip and quickly moved her hand up his back patting to fake sympathy towards him.
Tommy made his way out the door to the busy city street to catch a cab home from his favorite eatery. He was looking forward to a quiet evening at home trolling for new children. That was not on the circle’s schedule for tonight.
A dark SUV pulled up next to Tommy, the driver gets out and opens the passenger door for Tommy. Tommy stands there on the sidewalk just staring at the driver. The cannoli wrapper with one bite of cannoli left in it just falls to the ground as Tommy begins to swoon. A woman’s voice calls from the front passenger seat. “Don’t let him pass out and hit his head. We need to be careful with him. And don’t leave anything behind for evidence.” It was Lynn. Her long red fingernails accentuated her direction to the driver. He quickly swooped Tommy up, grabbed the small piece of cannoli with its wrapper and placed both in the backseat of the SUV.
“Authorities are asking that citizens avoid the area of 86 just at the bluffs. A deadly single vehicle accident has that section of highway blocked off until after the investigation is complete. The family of Tommy Steven McCormick have confirmed that he is the single fatality being investigated at this time. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the McCormick family at this time.”
The room was spinning. His ears were ringing. As Tommy was becoming more aware of his surroundings he could hear the news report repeating itself over, and over again, as if it were on a loop. Was he dead? How could that be? He didn’t remember driving. He barely remembered eating at Mario’s. He began opening his eyes. He was in what appeared to be a hospital room. He was hooked up to all manner of medical equipment. He couldn’t move. He couldn’t. No matter how hard he tried to will himself to move he could not.
The sound of heels walking in the corridor startled Tommy to reality. It was Carol. She had a white lab coat on over her red polo shirt and skin-tight jeans. She loved moments like these. She was about to give Mr. Molester the truth about his behavior and exactly what it had earned him. She walked into the room with fire and light in her blue eyes. She saw all of her abusers strapped to the hospital bed before her and was going to have a good time putting this pedophile in his place.
“I see they have brought you around enough for me to explain the situation that you are in.” she walked up to the side of his bed. “Tommy, you are a perpetrator. You have been engaged in some very, very, bad stuff.” She shifted the tone of her voice from high, light and friendly, to a lower, more frightening and tense voice. “That is going to stop. We are going to do that for you. For all of the ones that aren’t capable of protecting themselves from you. I only support the death penalty under one instance and that is pedophilia. Unfortunately, we live in a world that makes it easy for your type. Well, you are in our world, now.”
“Please, no, don’t kill me!” Tommy tried to scream but all that came out were breathy huffs. This is it. He was dead. The news footage that keeps repeating on the television in front of the bed. He was a dead man. The news said so. He didn’t know the crazy bitch in front of him but he was terrified. He could feel his lungs fighting for oxygen. He felt his arms and legs strapped to boards. He felt his hands strapped to a weird apparatus.
Carol patted his dark greying chestnut brown hair. “Oh, how adorable. You must be thinking we are going to kill you. Did you know that is what your victims felt like? Did you know that you gave them a fate worse than death? I know. What could be worse than death, right? Well, we have some time before your procedure to explain it to you.” Her voice lightened up again. “When you are a child you don’t know the things that you don’t know. That is when people like you come in and set us up for a life of victimization. When you touch a child you set their course without their consent. I spent 5 years as a sex worker because of my molestation. Many of my friends never made it out alive.”
Kate came waddling into the room as Carol spoke. She began fumbling with an electronic device that Tommy could not tell what it was for. His fear was beginning to take hold of him. His teeth began to chatter involuntarily as he felt an electric current flood through his body. The smell of burning flesh filled the room.
“That was your fingerprints. We have already removed your teeth and tongue. It’s kind of a requirement for the next segment of your life. You see Tommy we have selected the best life opportunity for someone like you. The proceeds from your sale on the black-market sex industry will go to fund the lives of your victims and their families. You will be working the brothels in Southeast Asia or wherever your new owners will take you. Once you have been delivered, our hands are clean. Enjoy your new life.”
All he could see were her thick lips covered in bright red lipstick as his world faded to black.
I wrote this poem about seeing the video of a young woman being “dumped” by a Maryland hospital. It broke my heart. I began asking myself questions about this and this is what came of them.
Despite what the mass media, government and corporations are saying, the real question before all of the United States right now is if we can set aside our differences long enough to stop our government from committing one of the worst atrocities mankind has ever witnessed. It is happening all around us and to us. Every day, a brother or sister, father or mother, friend or lover is gunned down with impunity. We stand by watching empty houses mere moments from a homeless person without even a bed. I’ve seen hungry children sell candy bars for under-privileged youth across the globe. The problem is that if we don’t snap out of this apathy and separatism, we are complicit in our own demise.
For those that are reading this with utter disgust for the examples listed above, I make no apologies for the tone of this essay. We, the people, are being slaughtered by our own country, for a pittance. A pittance. Nothing more than a line in a ledger. While they slither around DC guarding their cash cow.
There is no other way to interpret their agenda. In the last century, they have managed to manipulate us into relinquishing our civil rights, poison our food supply, poison our air and our water, the FDA approves medicines that do more harm than good, taken our children from their families to indoctrinate them into the system, strip them of the knowledge to survive without government, limit our ability to travel, live a self-sustainable life, provide for our own defense, legislate us all the way from the bedroom to the bathroom and selling our freedom for top dollar on the open market. The only thing that really jumps out is the callous nature with which this has been meted out. It sends a very clear message that our government is intent on eliminating a large portion of it citizens.
That’s right. I said it. Our government is actively engaged in the murder of its citizenry. My risk of death by possible “suicide” by two bullets in the back of my head just increased by a billion but someone for fuck’s sake has got to say it. We can’t stop it, if we don’t know what it is. It is imperative that we stop it. I don’t know about anyone else but I have had enough of seeing our friends, family, neighbors, all of us suffering at the hands of this sadistic administration.
It doesn’t matter who you voted for, or if you even voted. It doesn’t. It never did. We are all slated for removal and if this does not cause a coming together moment for all, then we deserve our deaths at the hands of our government.
Kill or care, that is the question before our congress, now. So, what will it be folks? Are you actively engaged in the murders of your constituency or are you ready to stop and give the rest of us our voices back? Aren’t you tired of betraying humanity? And the biggest question of them all: are you willing to bet everything you have on the continued apathy of us?
Please keep in mind that I hope my American family will remember how strong we really are together and that any legislation outside of returning the stolen money from social security, healthcare for all, return of the stolen money from the pentagon, ending all foreign conflicts immediately, bringing back the EPA, Planned Parenthood, living wages for ALL, increased taxes on the wealthy, increased government transparency, complete return of all constitutional rights, return of Glass-Steagall, free college for all, taxation of churches, separation of church and state, term limits, congressional pay cuts, and tying congressional salaries to that of the average wage of their district, will be what I consider an act of war against this country.
No one really need worry about me. I’m a broke as shit 45-year-old woman with crippling RA, rotting teeth, no access to health care, so I have already been pre-selected for a long torturous extraction and haven’t the strength to carry out violence. I also firmly believe that violence is not going to fix this. Compassion is. Compassion is the answer.
Right now, there are millions just like me. We were the ones that were just one catastrophe away and as luck would have it, we got a handful. We need to see that if we step out of our cages and love our neighbors, grow a garden, raise chickens, raise a pig or two, maybe even goats. This system is meant to chew us up and spit us out. We do not need it. Step away from the system. It is killing us for real. We can do this. Most of us just want to be happy and healthy with friends and family surrounding them. Let’s grow our families into compassionate groups that care for each other without the need for our own violent oppression.
Kill or care, it really is that simple. This is a call to action. This is a call to life. This is a call to love. We must awaken as a mass citizenry that will no longer tolerate their oppression. They may kill me but there are many more. Nurses, take back your hospitals. Doctors, invest in the health of your local community. Teachers, take back your schools and make them a hub for the community that surrounds you by educating everyone to live for each other. Citizens, take back your cities and rebuild the infrastructure to work for all. We have the power to make money obsolete. Then where would those people, whom are trying to gather it all for themselves, be able to go. They are banking on our apathy to ensure our destruction. Wake up to the truth and stop this mass genocide.
Celeste awoke in a pool of sweat and desperation. She just couldn’t get normal. She scrambled through her purse maybe she had a bump or something. She could feel her skin crawl and her stomach wretch. She needed something, anything. She looked through Paige’s medicine cabinet for an end to her suffering. Her heart was heavy with shame and guilt. Celeste’s hands shook, more than she had ever experienced before. Sweat poured from every pore on her body like a faucet on full blast.
“I can’t do this anymore! I’m nothing more than a worthless abomination.” She fell to the floor and began to wretch. Her entire body racked with pain and twisting into a physical representation of her emotional turmoil. “This is intolerable, I can’t . . .” her thoughts interrupted by the volatile force of her stomach muscles twisting inside her body, pushing up through her chest, adding the esophagus to the chain of torture she was enduring. Each spasm more forceful than the last evoking nothing until culminating in a burst of laughter and tears.
Her red satin negligée was growing increasingly tight and uncomfortable. It was full of sweat, tears, stomach acid and urine. Celeste was becoming increasingly aware of her odor. She grasped the bowl of the toilet and pulled herself to stand at the sink. She ripped at her nightie and pulled it off of her sweat soaked, trembling body. She regarded her reflection as it morphed into her mother.
“You’re nothing but a no good piece of shit! Look at you! You’re nothing! Big ungodly, unadulterated abomination. Look at you! I swear I should’ve aborted you! God didn’t have a thing to do with creating you! Dumb fucking god damned slut!” Her mother screamed at her from the mirror. “I know what you are! You couldn’t hide it from me or God! Soon everyone will know you are a fucking queer ass slut! Everyone! Everyone! Everyone . . .”
Her mother’s voice ringing in her ears as she stumbled from the bathroom to the living room. She had to have something in her purse that could bring this to an end. Even a small X pill might bring her some relief. Anything, something, whatever she could find. There had to be something that could get her out of this hellish moment in time for her. Her desperation made every second feel like an infinite dark hole and it made it terribly difficult to search through the disaster that was her purse. Tired of searching without relief, she flung the bag to the floor and with a clang the solution presented itself in the form of a shiny metal 22 caliber handgun.
Celeste finally saw her liberation shining brightly on the floor. She took in a deep breath, and picked up the gun. Her tremors ceased and lucidity resided with her for the first time in her life. She walked over to the counter in the kitchen, took the legal pad and pen next to Paige’s answering machine and began to write.
Uncy and Aunty,
I’m sure that this all matters so little now but I need to live. I can’t be a slave to your idea of me. I gotta remove myself from this small, meek, redneck bullshit. Your place was a refuge for me. No doubt but that refuge became a prison. You know how you wonder about people who have been in your life when they aren’t there anymore. I know that you were the only ones that would wonder for me. Now, I don’t have that. The only time the rest think of me is when they think I’m off of my meds. I’m not syrupy sweet like Penny & Anne. They were your children. I’m a flame adopted by a family of logs. I know you did your all for me despite the fact I’m not what you believe I am. I hate teaching. The kids are ungrateful, smelly, fucking avatars of their parents. I can’t do that shit. I hate church because I’m a broken abomination according to your “good book.” I hate the zombie pills. They zap the flavor from my life. I want to live God damn it! Your expectations of me don’t exist. It is killing me to disappoint you, but you’re gone now. I’m gone, too.
See you in the funny papers.
She watched as her tears mutated her words into explosions of bright bluish green fireworks on the yellow paper. She placed the pen on top of her final words and delicately kissed the barrel of the small handgun Todd had given her for protection. With one deep breath she squeezed the trigger, adding small pieces of herself to the mosaic of colorful fireworks on the pad.
It needs reiterated
This world, we created
Tarnished our innocence
Gave way to eternal violence
Apathy before empathy
Sovereignty before charity
Humans killing humans
This will ensure our ends
Set up for the vulture
Destined for a quick grave
Hate before love
The stiffened glove
The bombed hospital
The stolen electoral
The hidden vice
This is too heavy a price
We create it
We debate it
We hate it
This world, we created
No more mitigated
Humanity turned overrated
We now return to our regularly scheduled programming
Time to draw the shades
As the signal fades
Alright, folks, here we go. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.