December 3, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Reuters photo



Patricia Asuncion




Payment for Services Rendered



Eyes gape in no direction

from skin bags of bones in Yemen,

starvation of millions not

in warmonger conversations, not

in Facebook-posted indignations, nor

thunderous newscast accusations, but






in their own rotting stench

surrounded by weeds thriving

on their excretion

weeds and humans

ignoring Yemen extinction.






Memes the Word



It’s a highly deceptive world, one that constantly asks you

to comment but doesn’t really care what you have to say.
– David Levithan



Cell phones and computers rocket Americans to the digital universe –

one in seven earthlings on Facebook, over 136 million

texting instead of talking. Targeting refugees to heads of state,

Trump, Captain of Starship America,

tweets to over one million White House followers.


Newsprint, brick-and-mortar stores, in-person

friends, all fry in scorching atmospheres.


From the comfort of base camps, keystrokes customize

newsfeeds, entertainment, e-commerce, and friendlings

to create personal electronics into

individual echo chambers filtering opposing static.


From Himalayas and Appalachia to Tokyo and Queensland,

cyberspace souls choose news,

share, like, friend, text protest in flash mobs,

continents away from home domes,

raise millions a day online

for this cause, that campaign, those war-torn

on the far side of the world.


Occupy Wall Street – started by a tweet, Arab Spring – a social media gusher,

ISIS – fueled by Facebook photos and tweets of real-time and fake news terror,

all Techno-Tornados.


Nanosecond images and messages burn up fast, bits of ash flicked onto the global face,

then brushed away by the next disturbed stream of air –

a body count in Manchester or Kabul,

public divorce of a president from his people,

genocide or civil war or natural disaster.


Information overload, debris whirls in virtual space,

distracts world citizens from reentry

into the offline world

of face-to-face connectivity.






Ida Siekmann, The First of 138





Husband, I tell you, what does it matter,

seven million died with you? I’m just another

widowed Berliner in postwar debris to everyone

but my sister, Martha, who’s living in the west zone now,

a few blocks from me here at the Bernauer Straße.

I see her on my days off. At least I have her.


I avoid the radio and newspaper, filled with that Soviet acid,

day in day out, but it seeps through neighbors’ gossip!

Two world wars and we still hate each other

like two fighting flocks who’ve forgotten why!


I heard yesterday morning, Stalin ordered East German soldiers

to build a wall to imprison us. There’s already barbed wire

right outside my window! My neighbor downstairs said troops

go to every home, every hallway, every doorway, like animal

control officers on safari for strays! I can’t believe what’s happening.




Loud banging     neighbors shrieking     rattle Ida awake next morning.

Through a door crack, she sees uniforms winding their way up four floors,

sealing openings     shouting orders. At the window, Ida spots people running

some climbing over the barbed wire.


Trapped in her own house, Ida’s mind races –



to                           windows


room           to                         room


Thinking only of her fifty-ninth birthday at her Martha’s tomorrow, Ida throws


bedding     clothing     out the window     to cushion her jump.




As I fall, I feel weightless               free for the first time.




Ida Siekmann was the first to pay for freedom with her death at a border wall.






Sorted Stains



She is tall at five-foot-two. Most full-blooded

bring no more than four-foot-ten of porcelain servitude

as profitable online Pinay brides,

their stateside tickets.


Bleach creams they use, no use

to her born stateside a shade lighter, maybe more, if

she stays away from sun.


Mestiza mosaic of almond-hinted eyes,

broad-but-buttoned nose,

stature slender-yet-sturdy sketch,

suggests her fence-straddled membership

in multi-universes


while others try to assimilate

with synthetics, prosthetics, cosmetics, linguistic parody,

a billion-dollar global industry.


The White Brick Road leads to Land of Promise,

according to story forever told

to children of color,

here and around world. But,

the fairytale has turned into Supremacist story as


POTUS calls immigrants animals, foreign children ripped

from parents at Wall of White, ICE home invasions

habitual, new census probe (after 70-year absence)

inserted on citizenship forms.


Framed in English-only speak, her light-skinned

native-born legacy falls from the Wall of White,

strict White stick exclusion not wildly used

since black days of Hitler. With caution,


never confused with cowardice, she braves

each day and the next, despite headlined threats.






Patricia Asuncion

Patsy Asuncion’s Cut on the Bias 2016 depicts her bi-racial slant as an inner-city child raised by an immigrant father. Publications include New York Times, vox poetica, New Verse News, Indiana & Loyola University, Fredericksburg literary reviews. Patsy promotes diversity through: her open mic (12,750+ YouTube views); community initiatives; arts boards policies. www.patasuncion.wix.com/patsy-asuncion

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