Spoken Word

People on TV
By Seana Sperling–2011

Purple spangled, network jangled,
An invention for pretension.
News Distorters splay their details,
For the world to see.

Self-important, Caribou slaying,
Honest-to-Gosh, down-home playing,
Mistress to the corporate nation.
Cult philosophy.

Tan conformist, rightwing Speaker,
Waltzes by the blinded blinkers,
Rallies all one-sided thinkers,
House of trickery.

And the people I see,
On TV,
Are beautiful.

And the people I see,
On TV,
Are beautiful.

Brilliant scholar, castigated,
For revealing history’s failings.
Even after death he’s pleading,
For democracy.

Bold Reporter, leaks the data.
Allegations–bogus claimer,
Sex offender, secret vendor,
Or State Treachery.

Workers grounded, workers hounded.
Terms that fault the corporate vision,
Causing a midair collision,
Class disparity.

And the people I see,
On TV,
Are beautiful.

And the people I see,
On TV,
Are beautiful.

Nation’s leaders, lobby feeders,
Wander through the corporate treasures,
Rewards for some future ventures,
Veiled hypocrisy.

And the people I see,
On TV,
Are beautiful.

And the people I see,
On TV,
Are beautiful.

Land of freedom, veiled oppression,
Bovines watching with affection.
Question Box filled with suggestions,
Shelved, empirically.

And the people I see,
On TV,
Are beautiful.

And the people I see,
On TV,
Are beautiful.

The following poem is meant as a condemnation of the Industrial Military Complex and corporate greed and not a criticism of the soldiers who altruistically served.

Grim Harvest
By Seana Sperling 2010
The new recruits,
10,000 strong,
Lined up in shiny boots,
Shiny metal,
Leave the ground in a flash of silver,
Ticker-tape falling like white ash.

They return in boxes,
Or half-alive.
Their minds,
Locked in boxes.

They struggle between,
And programming.
Ambiguity in a paranoid age,
That encases them,
Like a hoary cocoon.

Innocent heroes devolved,
Through desensitization,
Aggressiveness training,
Like the Manchurian candidates before them,
In Hanoi and Pusan.

Civilians follow numbly,
Stumbling off the cliff,
Into a sea of abbreviated truths,
And expanded narratives.

The devolution,
That perpetuates,
Disorder, dysfunction,
Under the auspices,
Of patriotism.

We are descendents of ages,
Of propaganda and tyranny.

All the complexities,
Of life in a double-binding system,
Where freedom,
Is surrendered,
For the façade of security.

All the while the power-mad raptors,
Screech orders,
Through cracked jaws and broken teeth.
They pad their back pockets,
And foul the earth,
With the by-products,
Of their proceeds.

Will the meek really inherit the world?
Will the meek even want it?

Above Ground (or, The Fascists Among Us)
By Seana Sperling 2010

The sky, rose tinged,
As the sun retreats.

Doves ascend in formation,
Making a circuit of the town square.
Light reflects silver as they turn.

The watchers, perched in long-limbed trees,
Yowl their reports,
Through cracked jaws and broken teeth.

In the distance – Screeching.
Raptors plummet into the startled aviators.
Claws – battle ready.

Lifeless bodies descend.
Soft gray feathers drenched in red.

The hawks shriek in triumph,
Blood glistening on their talons,
Ready to repeat the attack.

Next time,
The sparrows.

By Seana Sperling 2010

Neighbors is a bar on Capitol Hill.
In the 90’s I used to go on Thursday nights,
And watch saucy drag queens,
Taunt cute gay lads,
That dared to sit at the front tables.

Neighbors is a bar on Capitol Hill,
Where folks would celebrate on Pride Day,
Dancing until the sweat soaked through,
Their brightly-colored summer clothes.
Neighbors was a happy place.

Neighbors is a bar on Capitol Hill,
Where I would often see friends,
Acquaintances, coworkers,
Dancing to burn off,
Drinks so stiff that one would be plenty.

Neighbors is a bar on Capitol Hill.
The last time I went I was frisked at the door,
And when they found mace in my coat pocket,
That I kept for safety,
They wanted to take it away.
I offered to check my coat.

Neighbors is a bar on Capitol Hill,
Where I used to feel welcome.

By Seana Sperling—written 2009

I live in a time when melting polar ice caps and the world economic crisis are household discussions.
I live in a time when stampedes of brainwashed shoppers mow down others for a discounted TV at Christmas. Manslaughter is manslaughter even if it is involuntary.
I live in a time when Washington State cuts funding for higher education, yet will fund a streetcar that citizens have repeatedly said they did not want.
I live in a time when rich C.E.O.’s will race to Washington D.C. and beg for handouts. However, these guys aren’t asking for spare change.
I live in a time where the U.S. Intelligence Agencies have spawned two wars and are manipulating a third.
I live in a time when there are nearly a million people in the U.S. employed by our Intelligence agencies and their sub-contractors.
I live in a time where War Protestors are called anti-American.
I live in a time where Activists, Writers, Educators, etc. are put on Government Watch Lists and harassed as a result. I’ve been detained at the border and when I travel. Have you?
I live in a time when big companies genetically manipulate plant life and our animals to increase profits. What actually is in your cornflakes?
I live in a time where the prospect of chipping average citizens with RFIDs has become more than a looming threat. Sadly, some average citizens think it’s a good idea.
I live in a time when neighbors spy on each other, looking for “suspicious activity,” in the name of Homeland Security.
I live in a time where the local news advocates for Trash Collectors to inspect what you discard.
I live in a time where technology is so developed that even our most private thoughts can be accessed.
I live in interesting times.
It’s not all bad though.
I live in a time when many U.S. citizens have put away some prejudice and elected our first African-American President.
I live in a time where Gay and Lesbian couples are getting a shot at some real equality. Gay marriage is not being marginalized in every state.
I live in a time when women are beginning to make real cracks in the glass ceiling. (Even though the bigots still call strong women bitches.)
I live in a time where I’m not forced to wear a dress to my workplace or anywhere else. Oh how I hated wearing dresses as a child.
I live in a time when people are coming together to promote change for the better. Change for the people, the earth and the animals.
I live in a time where I have to make a choice, to help change the world and even my own outlook or drown with the sheep in the meltdown.

War of the World III
by Seana Sperling 2001

News–not so new anymore.
Repertory theater or programming.
The media assails us with images.
In the wake of trembling monoliths,
The sky is darkened from the funeral pyre.

Accompanied by jingoistic harmonies,
The pundits redistribute Social Security.
It’s only surplus, after all.
Youth congregate in uniform and new metal,
Another surplus, we’ve held in reserve.

While forces gather in the Dead Sea,
The life I’ve known becomes ephemeral,
Just another thing left unfinished,
Among the debris.

While the Pentagon hatches greater strategies,
The stream of reports coincides with,
The right thinking population,
And leaves the left perplexed,
Beneath the waving flags.

The forecast:
Cloudy with chances of catastrophe.
Chasing the phantom through a mire,
Of poverty and hopelessness,
The falcon seeks revenge on the indigent,
The available.
Ripping into still warm bodies,
Talons, rust-colored, stained from ages of tyranny,
The raptor consumes.

At the sound of the siren,
The bird flees, to return home,
And feed on its’ own nest.

All is Dust
By Seana Sperling

The jet’s flash and a roar,
A bold streak,
Rips through blue sky.
A diversion, while,
Legal Tender rains,
From fiery clouds,
Covering the earth,
In sage-colored ash,

All is dust.

Where the Land Rovers,
And Humvees circle,
To glean from the visored.
To shear the fleece,
From the blinking flock,
Whose gaping maws,
Have forgotten how,
To relate,
Without texting.

All is dust.

While double-breasted bandits,
Lay claim to the domiciles.
Back-pockets bulging.
Placing their placards,
On newly mown lawns.
Dotting the streets,
With white picket signs.
A special.
Today only.
Open House.

All is dust.

And the brigands accumulate,

All is dust.

They strut past,
The out-stretched hand.
Shove through,
The sign-waving pickets.
The pleas,
Entreaties and,

Claiming that,
All that dust,
Is really gold.

Speaking in Tongues
By Seana Sperling 1989

Life—in a society that kills for
The right price. In a world where children take
For granted that success lay in cash flow.
All the cripples will quietly sit by
While being kicked for sitting. Don’t over-
Analyze. This paralysis is the

Subtle rape that takes place inside of the
Psyche. Our desires are altered for
Material possessions. Take over,
Control another or others. Take, take
Take. The ME generation, that gains by,
Other’s losses. Discarding free thought flow

For pre-calculated values. Out-flow
Of ideas meeting personal needs. The
Strong survive and the guilt is lifted by
White-gloved hands that sign their name in blood for
Prosperity’s sake. B-students re-take
Tests for A’s because now all is over-

Done. Successful anorexics over-
Eat and punish themselves while vomit flows
Down the drain. We are disillusioned. Take
Drugs to ease the strain that life puts on the
Few who still feel the guilt and regret for
The greed and selfishness that’s strolling by

Our side. One’s value is determined by
Looks. Suicide is committed over
The reflection in the mirror. Search for
Sincerity in an ocean that flows
Into diseased rivers, carrying the
Innocent into epidemic. Take

Or make donations to ease the guilt. Take
Another pill to sleep. Nightmares haunt by
Your encouragement. Break appointments, the
Psychiatrist is leaving town over
Malpractice suits. The laundered money flows
In streams by contraband. Signatures for

Corporations, ready for the take-over
Obscured by rhetoric, senseless words flow
Through the open lips. What are they good for?

Skindiving 1989
By Seana Sperling

I’ve begun questioning dedication,
Mine, others. Sincerely analyzing
My motives. Hypocrite, paralyzing
The actions, crippling philanthropy.

I’ve begun questioning jurisdiction.
The answers escaping explanation.

I bury cadavers methodically,
A voyeur, ruthlessly excavating
The shrouded, petrified sarcophagus
Containing gossamer apparitions.

What’s a Little Orafix Between Friends
By Seana Sperling 1990

You want me to suck in your words
And swallow your ideas.
Question you?
So many pricks trust your emissions.
It’s difficult for the fairer sex,
With all your hands-on ego experience.
My incisors might not be the response
You were expecting.

Capital Improvements
By Seana Sperling 1989

The Capitol Building looks to me like
So much empty heated marble and the
Grounds are manicured poodle pissing spots
The Roman columns hold up a roof for
No inhabitants, just the transient
Politician, in for a daily job.

Of pushing people and paper on jobs.
Sometimes I wonder if I even like
Politics. It all seems so transient
And absurd at times and if you think the
Worst is yet to come, better look out for
Today. It’s here and I tend to get spots

In front of my eyes when I see the spots
Where people sleep because they can’t find jobs.
They go through the trash to find paper for
Their fires, so they won’t freeze to death, unlike
Us in our warm homes eating dinner. The
Old people like to call them transients.

But do they like being called transients?
I’ve never visited one of their spots
Or have ever approached one of them to ask the
Question. I see many of them at Job
Service as I ride my bike past them like
This was quite normal. They were waiting for

The bus or maybe they were waiting for
Their ship to come in. Dreams are transient
And tend to escape you by daylight like
Wisps of smoke in a breeze and red sun spots
Disappear in the shade. I’ve got my jobs
And my sunblock protects me from all the

Ultra-violet rays that can damage the
Exposed skin. I’ve got my warm sweaters for
The cold days. All my friends have their own jobs
So they won’t end up being transients
Sitting in the park collecting sun spots
Or frostbite, or newspapers and cans alike.

Maybe we should give all the transients
The Capitol Building and grounds for spots
And give them a job like politician.


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