I wait for Darwin and man
to be reconciled
while sitting through 20 second CNN blurbs
about how a father in Tallahassee, Florida
has brutally raped his 9 year old daughter
and now wants to cop an insanity plea.

Itís another spoonful
of dead dry flies
I have to swallow.

Iím told the answer is building
more prisons
to swallow up
the unfortunate byproducts
of a poor gene pool.

Iím told the fault is shitty parents
with dangerously unbalanced chemicals
that have been allowed to go unchecked
for years
and years.

Some go on
about the sins of modern society,
about the crime of micro managing

But lately Iíve been wondering
If evolution
might be
the cruelest trick
of all.


Three Chinese girls
are huddled in a doorway.

So still,
so very quiet
and attentive,
I can't help but smile.

Their faces are ivory.
Their eyes do not blink
as they look to the sky,
which is a bruised wash
of pink and grey.

Rain is coming.

It's hurricane season
and we've gotten lucky
so far.

I walk past closed windows,
drawn blinds,
closely mown lawns,
polished automobiles.

It's all a front.
I learned this
a long time ago.

I hear muffled screams,
from close by.

A man's arm is raised
behind fluttering Venetian slits
in an act of defiance
and fury.

It's give and take
anywhere you go.


I'm on my way
out of town,
pretty goddamned low,
her parting words
hot nails
driven into my chest.

It's been over
for a while now,
a slow routine
of pretend affection
day in,
day out.

It's nobody's fault
and we both know
all the kingís horses
and all the kingís men
don't stand a fucking chance.

Keith Wood lives and works in Philadelphia,
but is originally from Columbus, Mississippi.
He has had work published in Negative Capability
and The Dilettante. He has written a slew of poetry,
a collection of short stories, and 2 books
(as yet unpublished).

And yes, he is still a redneck.

© 2005 Underground Voices