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Category: Politics & Activism

POEM: The Lord’s Prayer (Revised)

The Lord’s Prayer (Revised)

Our Father, who art in heaven,
are you there or not?
Thy kingdom has seen better days,
& if this is thy will then you’ve got
some ‘splaining to do, Lucy.
Give us a break, wouldja?
A bunch of old gray suits are trying
to steal our daily bread.
Maybe we can’t live by bread alone,
but without it we’re toast, if you’ll
forgive the pun. Also forgive us
our trespasses & our shoplifting
& our “missed” rent payments.
Lead us not into temptation, for we are
sorely tempted to string up these motherf—
excuse me, Lord, bad guys.
For thine is the kingdom & the power &
the glory & whatnot, but we might need
to take matters into our own hands for a while.
Amen.

/ / /

Jason Crane
27 March 2020
Tucson, AZ

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POEM: The Covid-19 Blues

The Covid-19 Blues

less than a buck in my bank account
not much food in the fridge
not many brains in the White House
the orange man, he don’t care a smidge

too many people still partying
too few people at home
too many rich men in Washington
passing too few bills in the dome

it’s time we looked out for each other
it’s time that we did for ourselves
it’s time that we stopped hoarding TP
and food from the grocery shelves

it’s time that we aid one another
do it the mutual way
keep going that way forever
on a move to a sunnier day

the thing that I’ve seen in this crisis
the thing that is giving me hope
is that all of our rules are just fictions
we don’t really need them to cope

we don’t have to keep paying landlords
we don’t have to scrape and to bow
we can come together as comrades
we can make a better world now

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Jason Crane
17 March 2020
Tucson, AZ

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POEM: 100 seconds

100 seconds

jumpin jack flash
gimme that frackin gas

horse shoes & hand grenades
as the men in my family used to say

nobody plays horse shoes anymore
but we still chuck them bombs

are we on foot or horseback?
sneakers laced or boots strapped?

pull me up I’m sinking
like the old cartoons with one, two,

three fingers in the air
all I can say is we gotta be there by now

with the clock at 100 seconds
& just time for one more drink

/ / /

Jason Crane
18 February 2020
State College PA

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POEM: not all first-person poems are factual, he told the FBI agent

not all first-person poems are factual, he told the FBI agent

I am equivocal about violence
as I sip my English Breakfast.
I’m trying it without sugar
so it’s not as if I don’t take risks.
I’m grappling with years of lukewarm pacifism
pitted against the idea of protection.
I don’t have to make hard choices;
no cops are going to kick in my door;
no ICE agents will be waiting for me
when the school bell rings.
The other day I slashed the tires
of a deserving citizen with a dashboard swastika
using a knife I mostly wield on summer sausage
or tricky packages of batteries.
Luckily the rush of righteous endorphins
drowned out the Catholic-Buddhist twinge.
“Do unto others before they do it to you.”

/ / /

Jason Crane
3 December 2019
State College PA

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POEM: Walnut Spring

Walnut Spring

it’s a black gravel path
      through a lovely wood
why does it remind me
      of an oil spill?
could be the sound of a plane
      overhead or
the distant artificial surf
      of the interstate
even what we try to protect
      we end up destroying
we can’t preserve an island of forest
      in an ocean of asphalt
perhaps what’s needed at first
      is more destruction
fewer cute wooden bridges over
      barely flowing streams
more horizons lit by the fires
      of burning cities
one acre of wetland can store
      a million gallons of water
how many bottles is that?

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Jason Crane
23 October 2019
State College PA

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