UNDERGROUND VOICES: POETRY
CHARLES CLIFFORD BROOKS III

hard scat, man

this is a scat about grimy pavement between buildings, bums, hunger, half
demolished, wrecked by rebellion without drugs, without booze,
without sponsors or groups or blind hate for tight-assed slacks drones,
this fires off from broken, intelligent teeth, honest blistered lips
with rusted hoop-in-nose,
screaming, torn out of the frame, no underwear on over spit

itís being up too late on a september evening, england, sex without pistols
a nowhere kind of handshake, eating huevos rancheros, this state, this room
swelling with pissed off leather chaps,
adults, green hair off guitars that are third or fourth generation, pawn shop-owned
the past comes back,
the riot that canít be put off when jobs ask too much, politics too much,
swallowed, quiet, thinking how shitty it is to whine in mommaís house,
old guitarists slip away unmarked

one good warehouse fire to the front row,
a night ranting with the men, it was an era before,
fuck off, fuck off! you still have my steel ear rings, asshole
i admit itís long done, hateful, peaceful, smiling through-and-through
to old girlfriends sleeping with
calmed-down housecats, children, fuck this, more fists
to the microphone, more, more, more
until its too loud and too late to live

empty bed not far from this seat, jumping like violent criminals
on the floor above ceilings above bowed heads, sheep, mice, lemurs,
goddamned posers that canít hear, wonít look, need
bad knuckles to the soft throat,
all that and this is where all black fingernails end
up,
i have no fans to rage on


Midnight Alley Wolves

Thereís a 3am bleakness
to some people.
They are ghosts
paying homage
to a dead city.

Disheveled, furtive,
traveling
outside pleated slacks,
the pavement
devours their memory.


harlem revolution

the sum of gospel music in north carolina snatched a cat,
            pushed him out, out from the 1940ís through harlemís revolution
to tune language played from the hands, the whole body twisted,
            stomping feet while drummers smiled at indie producers in sunglasses
blam-tsssss-bap, bap-pop-du-pop! his dancing under the influence drew mainstream
skepticism,
            still, ladies just as juiced rushed in to squirrel a moment

slumming with turquoise rings and a cheap smoke stuffed behind their ear, hip on jive,
            their cabaret cards were revoked because too much vision was addictive,
that impudent whore
got this man over a black horse, impaled our polyhymnia Ďcause she had bad men cominí on
with her heart giving up the ghost, saddening the husk of us, just sad,
50 dollar bills taped to her thighs,
            but by the by and by one man left early, salvaged his purity, iron arms crossed,
his art tucked in a piano,
hidden off in his cave, hermit brilliant, sweating in a fur hat


Charles Clifford Brooks III, from Georgia, USA, has been published in The Dead Mule,
Eclectica, Gloom Cupboard, Cerebration, Juice, Foliate Oak, Deep South, The Istanbul
Literary Review, Prick of the Spindle, Conversations, nibble, Semaphore, and
Pulsar. He is currently Poetry Editor for Literary Magic Magazine. Charles
Cliffordís poetry has been featured on the Joe Milford Poetry Show. He believes
every artist should join The Guerilla Poetics Project.







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