A Fistful of Poems from jck hnry

memory 

grandma always had fresh baked cookies 

ready for me when i came racing in 

from playing outside, 

at least that is how i remember it, 

before Parkinson’s set in, 

before grandpa died of a self-inflicted 

gun wound due to his brain cancer. 

i remember long days of summer running 

around my grandparent’s apartment 

complex. grandpa had a work shop out 

back filled with tools and gadgets.  some 

of them he let me look at, others i  

could not touch.  and i didn’t.  ever. 

my garage is filled with tools, and gadgets. 

some i know how to use, others i do not, 

i just look at them.  they are talisman’s of  

memory.  back when times were simple, 

back when i didn’t watch the news, before 

Facebook and Instagram and fake this and 

fake that.  before any of us knew how 

to wake up. 

my grandpa used to yell at the TV. sometimes 

at the news, mostly at Dodger’s games. 

he never trusted the government, not since 

Kennedy, he’d tell me.  he was a good man. 

i am guessing my grandpa didn’t know 

any of the Kennedy secrets. 

there are a lot of things that should 

be kept secret, and, most days, 

i wish i could just go back to being 

a kid running around my grandparents 

apartment complex. 

old age 

i have a hard time 

understanding the world, 

that is, the world around me. 

when i was a kid 

i lived in a much  

larger world. 

one filled 

with voices and smells 

and other people, 

pushing and shoving, 

people with wants 

and needs and  

colorful rock concert 

tee-shirts. 

now my world is 

small. 

only a few people 

remain, and  

they are old 

and dusty, burnt 

from the inside 

out. 

my mind is ablaze 

but there is 

no telegraph or 

TV, there are no songs, 

or reflections in the 

big mirror down the 

hall. 

i went to Beijing, once, 

where all the people 

seem to gather to 

scream and shout,  

a city filled with strong 

smells and factory smoke. 

i ate a deep-fried scorpion 

purchased from a  

street vendor. 

there are no deep-fried 

scorpions where i 

live, only living ones 

that stop and stare up 

at you, before moving 

on. 

stereotype 

they leave at first light, 

sometimes sooner, 

and i watch them go, 

indifferent. 

some days i wish 

for them to linger a little longer, 

but the ones i want 

never do. 

last night i found another, 

roaming through the blue-gray flicker 

of a ‘hey let’s fuck each other’ web site. 

he arrives full of questions,  

intelligent conversation 

and nervous hands. 

years ago, i knew apprehension, 

hesitation, 

fear before knocking on a stranger’s front door. 

we undress slowly, tentatively kiss. 

he relaxes as i make my way down. 

it’s a common reaction. 

men are so simple. 

he loses inhibition, lost in desire, lust, 

sudden want. we do not sleep 

until a weary sun makes its approach 

across a distant shore. 

we talk over coffee. kiss in the shower.  

he checks his cell phone. 

the missus is calling. 

i watch from the shadows 

as my front door 

closes 

again. 

los angeles 

some mornings 

i walk long  

gray sidewalks  

in downtown  

Los Angeles, 

before the pigeons 

flutter down from 

high perches 

and police cars 

chase black men  

for no apparent reason, 

before the 

bustle and hustle, 

before the homeless 

go into hiding, 

before trees 

begin to tremor 

from Santa Ana Winds.

a dewy night sky 

democracy died 

a long time ago, 

before you were born, 

before any of us 

were truly alive. 

when we lived in 

houses with unlocked 

doors and open  

windows, when we 

lived on the cover 

of Life Magazine

even Jesus smiled. 

now we live in a  

world of collapsing 

lungs, undefined 

sorrow, and bones 

that ache for no  

reason. 

i watch fireworks 

over the horizon 

light up 

a dewy night sky. 

someone might 

be writing a song 

about a battle 

in progress. 

some day we  

may have our 

children sing it 

in classrooms 

or before baseball 

games. 

or maybe we will 

tap out Morse code 

in our cell blocks 

as we struggle to 

rebuild monuments 

to that which we  

held dear.

 

rage 

i am angry 

today 

enraged 

today 

willing to strike out 

at those 

that unwittingly 

cross my path, 

today. 

those carrying 

fascist flags 

and throwing white supremist 

hand signals, 

Proud Boy antagonists, 

clueless to reality. 

today. 

you’re not the only ones 

willing to fight, willing 

to ‘stand by.’ 

the current occupant 

of the White House 

needs to go, needs 

to pass into history 

as nothing more than 

a footnote, eradicated 

by those that remember 

freedom, democracy, 

and making Amerika  

great meant something 

more than a marketing 

tool, 

today. 

BIO: jck hnry is a writer based in California, out in the high desert away from most living things, except snakes, coyotes, and scorpions. recently jck has found acceptance in venus in scorpio, fearless 72, throat to the sky, dodging the rain, bold monkey, madness muse, and others. in 2021 punk hostage press will release “driving w/crazy.”
 jck also edits and publishes Heroin Love Songs and 1870 Press. for more go to www.jackhenry.wordpress.com.