Ronald Raven Signs a Piece of Legislation

Media, Poetry, Religion, Things that Actually Happen, War and Politics

Never more than a few wing’s beats
away; the poor pigeons warble that
they’ve lost the parking lot where they grew fat
to the loud and faster Corvidae who bleat
an almost-human language; the raven defeats
the mere flocked and fearful flights of cat-
harassed and bread-fed winged rats
of the city by being them but more: he eats
what they eat; lives where they live; but he
collects in his nests a bright collection, this
strange habit of display, half warning
and half fetish. De-natured doves, we,
really, are the pigeons; how we miss
the lost evening cliffs. But the raven is morning.


Culture, Media, Poetry, The Life of the Mind, Things that Actually Happen

He is not in a relationship with Anne Snyder.”

If not for her, then I could not have written
a book about man’s moral sentiments
with such precision or such elegance;
It was all her. I was merely smitten
with the fine turn of her prose; once bitten
by the sharp turn of her thoughts, evident
on my mind like a sting on skin, and delicate
and irresistible as a little kitten,
I—I’m not ashamed to say—became
a nobler man, a better author, bigger
than my critics, certainly humbler in my own life.
Can a muse be another half of the same
person? She is the sole source of the vigor
of my prose. I also thank my wife.

If Obedience Is a Condition of Existence, Then We Must Resist by Disappearing

Culture, Economy, Justice, Plus ça change motherfuckers, Poetry, Things that Actually Happen, War and Politics

Even though it might sound harsh and impolitic, here is the bottom line: if you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you. Don’t argue with me, don’t call me names, don’t tell me that I can’t stop you, don’t say I’m a racist pig, don’t threaten that you’ll sue me and take away my badge. Don’t scream at me that you pay my salary, and don’t even think of aggressively walking towards me.

A cop writes that he has the right to shoot
a man for walking too aggressively,
shoot if he delays or if he flees,
shoot if he fails to kowtow or salute,
shoot if he gets too smart or thinks he’s cute.
The predicate of law is immunity
for lawmen; ours is a cop timocracy,
the badge the only property, the boot
the only vote. The price of life is death,
therefore, if you don’t wish to buy it, you
must make an effort never to be born.
Not far away from here, borne on the breath
of a heat-bleeding highway, a hawk or two
rise in spirals over the mice-filled corn.

A Love Poem Awkwardly Inspired By a Stupid Video Feature at Slate.Com

Art, Books and Literature, Culture, Media, Poetry, Things that Actually Happen

Do the rights and freedoms we currently enjoy mean that now is the best time in history to be gay?

When was the best time ever to be gay?
It was when we met. Before that we
were accidents of sex taxonomy;
now we’re texts and winks throughout the day.
Were we to travel back through history,
find ourselves in Death in Venice’s day,
or lounging like ancient Greeks carved in clay
as charms against queer specificity,
I’d still measure the good from when I first
swiveled a barstool so our knees would touch
and laughed too loud and hard and talked too much
and covered my nerves with beer and was the worst.
You still came home with me, and stayed, and here
we are regardless of the marked and measured year.

Lightning Is Striking Again

Books and Literature, Conspiracy and the Occult, Things that Actually Happen


So as some of you know and some of you don’t, I’ve written a book, about which I will engage in some shameless promotion later on. But in this book, there is a guy named Winston Pringle, who believes that the Point in Pittsburgh is a nexus of intense magical energy, an axis mundi, where the three phenomenal rivers and the fourth esoteric underground river join in mystical convergence. Anyway, my good friend John Allen and his friend Dave were in town, and in honor of the end of the Mayan long count calendar, we walked through a wild snow squall to the Point, whereupon we encountered that very–I thought, since I made him up–fictional conspiracy theorist. Actually, he claimed that he was Philip R. Ford, director of the semi-legendary Vegas in Space.

Well, he was just down there to soak up the energy and collect a little river water. We had a great talk. He also claimed to be the brother-in-law of Lou Christie, one of Pittsburgh’s great early pop stars, whom you probably know by his one big hit, “Lighting Strikes”, here performed by Klaus Nomi, because that’s what Phil would’ve wanted:

“I asked the park ranger back there if there were any events or celebrations planned today,” he said. He was resting on a park bench. He used a cane. He was wearing a sort of cowboy-cum-Homburg, a pin with the outline of a scorpion and a ring embossed with a black ankh. “But he said there was nothing.” We nodded. “Well,” he said, “I guess we’ve got the energy all to ourselves, just the four of us.” Then he told us the roasting pans in his grocery bag were for a Christmas goose.

“I know times are dark,” he said, “But I happen to think we’re coming into a better age. Our collective consciousness is making the change. It’s going to be a more matriarchal period. I’m pretty sure about that.”

You could barely see the stadium on the other side of the river because of the snow. A construction worker down by the fountain kept trying to light a cigarette in the wind.

The loveliest sentiments are what the rest of us call mad.