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Jeremy Hogan

A poem for Porterville ..

where the Great Spirit embodies Tom Joad

Porterville is beat as in Beat poetry beat
as in Jack Kerouac was pickin cotton a

few miles away livin with Latinos
memorializin the Central Valley all

its unemployment On the Road drivin
up and down highway 99 drinkin thinkin

bout life and writin bout exploitation
that kept farmworkers down for generations

and then came Cesar Chavez a hero he
stood up to his oppressors said no we won't

do that and no you won't do that to us once
when I was a kid saw the United Farm Workers

marchin down Olive but they never taught
bout him in the schools never did teach me

why my family was called okies why we was
poor or that my grandfathers were marched

to death on a trail of tears why my dad was
born in a shack because they was sharecroppers

later livin in tents in the southwest pickin
cotton a hundred pounds for a dollar hands

bleedin livin in a labor camp on the outside
of Porterville and after Nam Dad came home

exploited for someone else's Freedom then
I was born years passed we got a home in

Suburbia cause dad worked all day 12 hours
white folks got outta the fields I saw Latinos

marchin and asked who are they what are
they doin and when Chavez died a few years

later it was beat the feet of 50,000 marchin
to his funeral the Chicago Tribune the New

York Times the LA Times payin him tribute
white folks black folks brown folks payin

final respects on a Spring day when wild
flowers rise from winter hills after the ghost

of Tom Joad whispers all winter on cold
foggy mornins I'll be back with a beat

and the ghosts of Native American ancestors
of Okies and Latinos will take back the Suburbs

the stripmalls mainstreet drummin the Great
Spirit tearin down the Supercenter takin

back the fields where the Tule River once emptied
into Native American Paradise

- Jeremy Hogan -

© August 7, 2005 All rights reserved

For the Reverend King, an ode to Langston Hughes and a poem for the six billion lovers of freedom

Thursday ten-thousand fragments of Martin Luther King will be haunting the streets crying like fallen angels and dancing like skeletons, while court jesters are playing as patriots, then dark knights in black limos will parade past, a hundred thousand pawns will be off to their deaths, steel eagles will be roaring psychadelically across the sky on a bad trip and a lollapallooza of czarism disguised as a democracy will laugh hysterically.

At the end of the day the translucent jack-in-the-box will spring from his throne and declare himself a defender of nations and people that, "love freedom"...but perhaps there is a little demonic computerized robot down there controlling this theatre connected to springs because anyone can see right through to the bottom is this well of truth once drank from that has been polluted by the sad tears of six billion hearts of the Reverend King.

So, where is Reverend King and all his children after his blood ran in Memphis? And just what does happen to all the dreams of the 6 billion souls? And what will happen when these powerful beings do start to love their freedom and demand it and unite to reclaim it? Will they dry up, like a raisin in the sun...or will they fester like sores...and then run...will they stink like rotten meat when their oppressors bomb them...or will they crust and sugar a syrupy sweets...perhaps the weight of all their anger will sag...then they will riseup like a heavy load waiting to crush into submission those that told them they had freedom while holding them in spiritual and physical bondage...and then when each these six billion fragments of Reverend King finally take justice by being themselves...perhaps they will explode like blooming flowers on a sunny spring day...while this jester, in jest, talks about freedom...they will be free like six billion souls of the Reverend King...whose star dust is still among us and rising...finally reclaiming what we were promised and going to the mountain.


Learn More about Jeremy Hogan at his newly re-vamped website, .


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