Red Thanksgiving

That eroding partition between crisp leaves and snow wisps

Thanksgiving comes like a stranglehold, forcing our wits together

grips Siberian, feathery leaves gag, heave, vomit pigments brilliant as flame

that starkly contrast your blue bone, blue lips, blue fingertips


Thanksgiving’s the time for apoplectic politics

family alcoholics

with seven beers, decreasing bodily aerodynamics

boisterous acoustics

Black sheep dialectics

insincere apologetic poetics


The sky’s sublime

all thin syllables singing with the wind

but the sprint to the Jeep is not such an easy song

still, a brief shiver later and we’re along


The impending feast always enchants my gluttony,

and foreshadows a fortunate fete, in some novel universe

but as for reality,

the annual affair draws too close, and my thoughts too bloody

for me to linger on my favorite of the seven deadly with any kind of delight


We arrive in a sheet of new fallen darkness

to dead suburban streets

hush our voices

tread lightly on the pavement

lest the geists of ‘givings past stir

lest the active-aggression reanimate in the new autumn air


Our benign black ops settled,

I brace for profound filial fiction in



I engage, armed and armoured in cliché bolstered by years of pariah practice.


Sup cuz!

Been awhile friend!

Hey -- well, I’m honest with the dog: fuck em, right Baily?

Aunty’s already wine drunk, check one off gladly.

Hostess, been a while, how’s grammy?



The most coercive grin.


Hey Uncle Joe! How’s it been?


He’s one of those

one beer types

hates queers types

permanently austere types

smile looks like a leer types

hunts deer types

“there’s no hole in the atmosphere” types

dead soul career types

greased back hair and lives in fear types.


When we shake hands I fear electron-positron annihilation


I’m one of those

bogus beatnik bastards

black sheep ready to get plastered

bearing beard and bounteous brown ale with

mesosphere high ABV

a bitter medicine our hop-phobic host bitterly needs

I’m one of those

colorful counterculture clowns

anti-capitalist to the core

what’s more? to this motherfucker

unapologetically insincere, secure

in my ID, unshakable, unbreakable, unknowable

in any ontology our host comprehends without apology


He likes chronic hegemonic Reaganomics

I like radical revolutionary reds like Rosa, I’m talking Luxemburg, Hartmut, Karl and Kropotkin


So when we sit down for dinner you know it’s a war

that trite thanksgiving theology that dictates

domestic disputes must occur

round the cranberry and turkey plates


the meal starts out all mellow

benign friction at most

I hate turkey and

that offends the host


you could cut the tension with a


electric turkey knife?

surely they own one

those bourgeois brats

if ever there was a definition of conspicuous consumption

I think it’d be that, // though

deep in my thoughts

beerdrunk as they are

I recall one thanksgiving where we whipped one out

so I stay my self-righteousness

at least for the first course


the stuffing comes round for another run

shock and awe in seconds

stomachs sagging, lagging, red-flagging

but we pile on more


it’s not the stuffing that does it

perhaps it’s the bird? who knows

in spite of those wives’ tales

I don’t believe it’s tryptophan

just booze


but let’s pause for a minute

maybe we must take heed of the past

what’s the cliché?

history repeats itself?

the host





he and I have a history

thanksgiving 2005

he made me cry


my grandpop

a festive, if fat, man of then about 70

a former steelworker

furiously unionistic

forever labors’ friend

defended me

and I haven’t forgotten

he or the host


cut back

and it’s on

hardcore revolutionary and

hardcore reactionary

Bakunin and




and Turkey

To be frank

I end with no apologies

total honesty

and a characteristic defiance of