a reader's journal & virtual public artspace for poz platinum points of view, lgbt political & cultural activism & other metaphoric narratives of the struggle for social justice

Richard Kearns, AIDSoverSIXTY: on AIDS, mortality & lemonade

on AIDS, mortality & lemonade
by Richard Kearns, Labor Day 2011

big j wants to know
who what where when
how many how much
and why — and
it’s why that draws the
wise wise line from
journalism to poetry
come travel that distance with me

i do not believe there is a cure
for mortality
you and i will
surely die of it
but the way we die with AIDS
is a story
is history
it’s world war two and we are
churchill bargaining empires away
for life we are black & fighting
we are sisters writing we ride the rails
we pace the jails we are illegal
we are queer we are AIDS activists
these are our accounts and you
already recall the song sung along

i sang it from a cell in birmingham
i traveled the trail of tears
across america i joined the union
i marched to be free
with you
a melody of love and liberty
on my AIDS walk
and you and i shall overcome and die
of joy when we get there
some other day
till then, along the way
my words are windowsills
to stay alive:

i drink lemonade all day long
from tall white styrofoam cups
tight with ice
it is the secret of life


n.b.—(from wikipedia article) “In the United States and Canada, the word styrofoam is often incorrectly used as a generic term for expanded (not extruded) polystyrene foam, such as disposable coffee cups, coolers, or cushioning material in packaging, which are typically white and are made of expanded polystyrene beads. This is a different material from [Dow’s] extruded polystyrene used for Styrofoam insulation.”
yr poet is following in
webster’s usage steps:

styrofoam cups are
poetically precisely
identifiable cultural icons.


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