Friend, now there’s a riot. Watch the bald guy
with the Pinochet shirt who punches through the black
bloc with haymakers and hate and the phalanx
of cops does nothing. He bleeds and doesn’t care.
His name is Tiny, and he’s a real bastard
that’s for damn sure. Tiny’s the kind of guy
who’d say bomb them back to the stone age or might is right
or who’d throw my friends out of a helicopter.
Flashbangs burst, the magnesium sparkle dazzles
the busted storefronts and everyone runs away, but Tiny
runs around the intersection with his bloodied fists
in the air like it’s V-J day, like the bomb just went off
and declared him President. He’d like that.
But it’s already worse than that, friend—
don’t watch the news. Instead, watch
the stark propaganda that appears and disappears
on the phone poles down the avenue
like a magic trick, a differential equation of politics.
But this is a politics of the body.
No matter how often a bonehead like Tiny
terrorizes the streets, remember that words
won’t drive him out and that he can’t understand love,
not here. Now, clench your fist. This is a politics of pain.
[This post was originally published in the fourth issue of the Seattle Worker, available now!]