Saturday 28 May 2022

Five Poems by Randy Barnes




The disclaimer merely set the tone

nothing real mind you

just cover for an original intent


and as the obvious unfolded

the wonder would subside

the viewers lulled into deep sleep


and yet these calculated procedures

are not meant to right a listing ship

nor alleviate a national pain


but what fun for the players

with kudos and best wishes

for a constituency too dulled


to know better or even care

that the true joke is on them

just a leveraging of known dangers


and a viral neurosis

priming the wells

for future extractions.



The Slant Alters The Scheme


Nothing but hands and no grit

behind the lens a spatial vacuum

simple tonic for the darkened gaze

a nod and shimmer scales the walls

it’s all show for the mad watchman

a spine bender among bruises and threats

outrage and apathy what could go wrong

cultural blemishes a minor paradox in the memory strain

not that a little cruise ship glamour wouldn’t ease the itch

there’s soul peddlers for hire if you choose to play

when the clocks run backwards time’s up.



 Murderers Row


The intelligentsia were on their heels

it wasn’t right from the get-go

a certain stench to the rhetoric

belief in what doesn’t exist creates ire

surprise is rare in this den

prestige the ugliest of words

raise a fist to the stars

calculate the blame for a future share-fest

another freak show will come to town

so know the spread the bursts of fire

the aces are spent

while alive you survived.



 Duty Bound And Hopeless


Strolling in for the kill

machines primed for homicide

a drone’s eye view not deemed material evidence

repetition with ho-hum gaze

news on the racks a disbelief

chalk marks the scene for later neglect

processions in limbo publically assessed

they’ll come on weekends with carnage in mind

actions replicated in craven time

corporate glee with such telling results

future endorsements wait in the wings

high praise from the Sleaze Farm

pin a medal to the forehead see if it bleeds

a little lethal folly in the North Country

not up for debate

just another white-boy winner in the skin game.



Doom Time With Lemon Trees


Unable to deliver the goods

you’ve been outbid

that face scan didn’t register

thin as glass in high places illusory

empty pockets explain this condition

the account’s been wiped

a memory lag in normalization

vested to seal a tenuous future

so pack what’s left and get out of town

it’s a long shot with drawn straws

the game has lost its sparkle

and main street’s under water.



Randy Barnes - Lifetime honoured Historian/Beat Poet Laureate in 2020 by the National Beat Poetry Foundation, New Hartford, CT.  Published three slim volumes of poems and numerous outliers in national and international publications.  Currently alive and well on a highly gentrified island in the Salish Sea.

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