“I WANT A GUN” by Eve Brandstein

I want a gun
not just a small secret weapon
but one to scare the end of the world into good behavior

I want a gun
that will explode the fear out of my holy self
and hatred out of your lies confusion scaly skin

I want a gun
that cleans up the street where I live
where my baby sleeps behind bars to protect him
as the helicopter sweeps overhead every night
looking for another statistic in the neighborhood

I want a gun
to protect my woman’s body
full of what’s left that’s vulnerable after history has had
it’s impact turning me from Morrocco to Mars

I want a gun
that blows away the masked stranger of unspeakable crimes
while the city screams with sirens wild
ricochets against canyon and basin ocean valley and alley
wild with secret suicides homocides hate crimes

I want a gun
to feel like lethal weapon terminator Gibson Glover Willis Morris Snipes Stallone deadly force blast of macho but not drink beer kill a deer watch football deep sea hand glide or rape burn pillage a village

I want a gun
that doesn’t stop the moon from shining in my womb
doesn’t stop me from bleeding or healing or opening doors

I want a gun
that transforms but doesn’t kill  erases images of assasination  sadistic images  passing as pleasure that gets reviews  news  awards

I want a gun
even though I’m against raw angry violence the kind that disreagards human life but in this time of hate crimes extremist styles shoot’em to kill movies colors and tagging media salivating crimes religious invasion of other people’s rights tight lipped liberal righteous easy answers sex scandal trials leaders of color with blame on their tongue white supremacist intolerant of everything that doesn’t jerk right cold angry silence rising  where the instant replay numbs the image to the wall over and over till there doesn’t seem to be enough detergent to sell that can clean up the mess the monstrous alienation that exists surrounded by ethnic cleansing everywhere

I want a gun
that shoots words loud enough to scare the assailant that chills them to suffer the crime that changes their minds without the pulse being lost

I want a gun
so I can get back the heat of Whitman the jazz of Kerouac the zen of Snyder the blood of Sexton the howl of Ginsburg the dog of Dylan the Paterson of Williams the empty rivers and ovens of Delmore Plath Jarrell and Lowell

I want a gun
because my poetry has become a battleground a driveby
carjacking uprising kidnapping stalking serial ending of the
20th Century waiting for the next incarnation of heaven as
the curtain closes my veil lifting

I WANT A GUN

Eve Brandstein

Photograph “behind bars” by

Liquid2Liquid – U.K.

© 2011

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3 comments

  1. lkthayer · April 17, 2011

    Eve, this is my favorite poem of yours, especially when you read it…killer!!
    Liquid, thanks for the full force photos, always right on. Lisa 🙂

  2. Alana · April 17, 2011

    Thank you for giving expression to my feelings tonight. So powerful, truthful, and richly expressed. For decades,
    the same problems have persisted in this country when easy accessible solutions exist and the will of the people is for change and good. The government can easily go into debt to fund war and wall street, but not education, social services, and health. Thank you for writing this poetry.
    Love Your Spirit! Alana

  3. Leslie Thayer · April 19, 2011

    Incredible poem and I can only just imagine how riveting it must be delivered live!!

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