by R. Bremner

Too many obsessions for one life to carry
will cause a back to droop eventually
Good karma like good coffee is often hard to find
when soaked in the relative liquor of the mind
Let it go, let it go, let it go, let it go
Your best chance for a life was lost long ago
Let the play go on without changing the script
so you can see it is dead where it lays in the crypt

Maybe one obsession will shock and bear fruit
and bring with it fruit flies to help it take root
So straighten your back and walk like a man
Calm and patience will formulate a plan
You may now snicker at the lives that you lost;
you know that you simply couldn’t meet the cost

 On a midsummer Thursday in New York, July 17, 2014                                                                                                                      

When I tell you I can’t breathe
it means that I can’t breathe.

I don’t mean that because it’s hot and humid,
the air is lousy to breathe.
 I don’t mean, “Ha ha, fooled ya! I really can breathe!”
 I don’t mean I want you to step back and give me my private space.

I mean I can’t breathe. As in, I’m gonna die soon unless I get air.

I know I’m a huge guy, twice your weight, and towering over you.
I know I’ve done time for lots of petty crimes.
 I know maybe I scare the hell out of you with my girth and my rep.
 I know I shouldn’t a been selling loosies – it’s against the law.

But despite all that, there’s something you forgot.

You forgot that I’m a person.
That’s right, a human being.

To throw me down to the ground because I’m selling cigarettes, does that sound right to you?
 And to push my face into concrete, when I was already down, did that make you feel proud and strong?  Get that big black motherf***** down?

Would you do that to a relative who was selling fireworks, or booze?
 Would you do that to a friend?

So why me?

And why didn’t you believe me when I said I couldn’t breathe?
 Why no artificial respiration? Afraid my mouth would poison you? Or disgust you?

Y’all said I died later of a heart attack. But I know different. When I couldn’t breathe, and you did nothing to help, that was the end right there. 

Do you regret anything?  Did you learn anything?

What happens when the next big black guy is out on the street doing some victimless “crime”?
What then?
 (for Eric Garner)


we crash the night,
spit fire into days!
we crush shrunken heads
under our oversize paws!
Our lives are to be lived and loved,
drawn and quartered,
inhaled and swallowed!
We tigers lie with the lambs
if only to demonstrate
the power of will,
the might of sustenance,
the thrill of  knowledge
that all of us can be,
in peace, despite the otherness
within our beings. 

We are the tigers,
We claw through opulent jungles
outside obsidian palaces
that segregate great souls
from the great unwashed.
Our teeth bring justice and freedom
to the one and the many
our jaws are the scourge of
the winner, avenger of
the loser.

 Paint me in blacks and dark greens

spill me
from corrupt heights
where my
sociopathic style
is bound only
by your fleeing
Surprise me with
the color of the sun
which burns so black
in this darkest night,
so quiet in this
tomblike life
I have chosen
to lead
from now until
I cannot guessGrinding eyes in a rubber room

A job.
A job that is a life that is a job
pushes its unclean hand
up through your rectum and rips out
pieces and particles of you, casting
them to the wind.
A job that slices your head at the neck
then defecates down the hole it’s made,
then reaches down to pull your hiding
soul loose from its moorings
straight up and out the headhole
where it can spit on and suckle
all of the
creativity, chew it and swallow.
A job that ridicules the mess of a man
it has made, and waggles the waffling
corpse for co-workers to chuckle at.

But behind their shield of laughter
is a terribly itching fear that no
scratching can ease, the fear that
the same fate has already
claimed their bodies, with their souls
already retched out in the rotting

About the Author:

R. Bremner writes of incense, peppermints, and the color of time. in such venues as International Poetry Review, Paterson Literary Review, Passaic Review, Poets Online, Jerry Jazz, and Sigmund Freud in Poetry. Ron’s  recent books are Hungry Words (Alien Buddha Press), Absurd (Absurdist poetry from Cajun Mutt Press), Pencil Sketches (Clare Songbirds), and Ektomorphic (ekphrasis, from Presa Press). He has thrice won Honorable Mention in the Allen Ginsberg awards, and he invites you to visit his Instagram poetry at beat_poet1.