Author Archives: Douglas Powell (Roscoe Burnems)

About Douglas Powell (Roscoe Burnems)

2014 National Poetry Slam Champion, poet, teaching artist, and father. For info, books, albums, and/or booking go to www.roscoeb.webs.com

Bastard and Bite

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(After Corona of a Bastard Child)


He brushes his gums bloody
trying to cleanse himself of his father's smile.
He's never seen it
but has heard it was there.

He stares,
trying to find reflection
in the bathroom mirror,
           in windows, 
           puddles, 
           in anyone staring back.

           and finds nothing.

Angrily licking the aftermath off fangs.

Fatherless boys are vampires
feasting on lovers’ flesh,
reminding ourselves we’re alive.
Punishing them for being so human,
beseeching embrace and finding gore
in the exposed necks of naive women.
 Continue reading
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And…And…And

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This poem ends when you say it does.

The list ends when you say.

              Walter Scott 50

When the names are more call to action

              Bernard Moore 62

When the names are clots of blood in your throat

and wounds in your flesh 

              Lavall Hall 25, Jonathan Ryan Paul 42

When they become battle scar and war cry

              Jamie Croom 31

When the names are no longer just tear drops in a pool.

When they stop becoming trendy

When you are finally reminded it is genocide
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#3 – Physics Lesson for Officer Darren Wilson, The Cop Who Shot Unarmed Mike Brown Six Times inFerguson, Missouri

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This week, Drunk in a Midnight Choir celebrates our One Year Anniversary! Since we launched on February 6, 2014, we’ve had the great privilege of publishing a whole lot of amazing work, from a wide array of talented contributors. All week, we’ll be catching you up on some highlights from the last year. Here we present to you the top ten most-read posts of the year, counting down from ten.

We first published this incredible, gut-wrenching piece last summer, not long after Mike Brown was killed. A lot of readers showed up when it was first posted, and it was one of those pieces that got several reads a day for weeks afterward. But it wasn’t until after Officer Darren Wilson’s acquittal in late November, and we re-posted the piece on our front page, that the flood of readers came pouring in, hundreds and hundreds within hours of it going up. The rage and sorrow and frustration were so fierce, so desperate, that all of us were seeking some kind of words, any words at all that could give them a voice. Many of those words, I believe, are found in this poem.

There is no cure, no comfort no, forgiveness to be found in the face of such cruelty and injustice. But there is strength. And unity. And a refusal to be silent. Our words are the light by which we find each other, which we use to expose lies and hypocrisy. There are no simple lessons when The Law is so twisted, so backward, so inside out that it appears to alter the very Laws of Physics. But one can only hope that some day such lessons as this will no longer be necessary.

-tg
 

In physics, thermal radiation by dark objects or bodies 
can be measured as blackbody radiation. 
The term “blackbody radiation” describes an object that 
radiates internally at the same temperature as it’s environment. 

Kevlar and steel badge make you more frigid;
you… don’t radiate at the same temperature as the bodies
you are sworn to protect.
Your temperature, a degree below inhumane,
too low to understand brilliant black bodies in Ferguson
or to see that Mike was not a black hole in search to consume six more.
 Continue reading

Physics Lesson for Officer Darren Wilson, The Cop Who Shot Unarmed Mike Brown Six Times inFerguson, Missouri

453768716

In physics, thermal radiation by dark objects or bodies 
can be measured as blackbody radiation. 
The term “blackbody radiation” describes an object that 
radiates internally at the same temperature as it’s environment. 

Kevlar and steel badge make you more frigid;
you… don’t radiate at the same temperature as the bodies
you are sworn to protect.
Your temperature, a degree below inhumane,
too low to understand brilliant black bodies in Ferguson
or to see that Mike was not a black hole in search to consume six more.

Blackbody radiation emits light, though it appears black,
as most of the energy cannot be perceived by the human eye.
You, were too “human” to see his
             black body,
             human.
All naive adrenaline.
His imperfections outshining his future emanating inside.
In nature, no blackbody is perfect. 
No 
              body is perfect. Continue reading