“Liberty’s Vigil, The Occupy Anthology”

The call for submissions arrived in my e-mails. In a whimsical mood, I wrote a quatrain and wound up with the shortest poem in the book, surely a first and a last for me.


a word spreading like an octopus
a plaza stubborn as a hippopotamus
a headline fierce as a rhinoceros
a world big enough for the rest of us

Now here are two that I really like from Liberty’s Vigil, The Occupy Anthology: 99 Poets among the 99%, edited by Karla Linn Merrifield and Dwain Wilder, and published by our old friend Michael Czarnecki of FootHills Publishing.


I haven’t worn underwear all day.
I’m unemployed inside

and the day drolls on and
my hair starts to smell like syrup—

the kind in the plastic bottle
Mom liked to buy in the ’80s. Not now.

Now it has to be glass, recycled and organic,
made by pilgrim hands, pilgrim feet with pilgrim shoes.

I need a job. Employ me and then
I’ll miss the loneliness, the buzz

of pre-recorded television, bottomless cups of tea…
the brave ones are outside. I turned out all the lights and used

candles instead, thought I’d feel less clumsy.
I didn’t. I like when you sleep naked and we

watch the city burn itself down. Don’t get all excited,
just hug me and we’ll watch the bomb drop.

A depression doesn’t have to be depressing.

—By Kay Cosgrove

Kay Cosgrove is a doctoral candidate in literature/creative writing at the University of Houston. Here’s wishing her a long and fruitful career.

* * *


Not from banks or from the pockets of the dead—
this would be too rational—
but when I’m left the last human on earth,

I want to spend my time finding coins in parking lots where,
from under leaves & dirt,
my president will appear—not Washington & Lincoln

from their centuries, not Roosevelt & Kennedy from the next,
but What’s—his—name, the last one,
whose war-mongering doomed us to extinction—

last night, he kept surfacing, his face glinting
in the citron sun.
I kept dropping him into a bushel basket the same way

I basketed clams when, when I was young, I raked them
at the Sound where Walt Whitman
breathed marsh meadows & brind wind in gratitude for the Union.

Now, I’d bike my day’s horde to hell which burned over & above
Oil Street in Manhattan,
then piss the coins clean to pay my taxes to the Devil.

—By William Heyen

A veteran author, Heyen has a book forthcoming, as luck would have it, from Mayapple Press headquartered a couple of bends up the road from me in Woodstock, called Straight’s Suite for Craig Cotter & Frank O’Hara.

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