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Saturday, October 09, 2021


by Stan Pisle



Reported in Florida…

Forget how many times. 

An involuntary pulse throbbing 

in the dark, in the light,

Our schools, our arenas, our malls, courts, playgrounds, homes. 


A shooter took the life four cops in Oakland, 

five in Dallas, 

two in New York, 

26 people at a Sutherland Springs Church 

Nine in Charleston

58 in Las Vegas

—with 851 shot. 

Eight hundred and fifty-one people shot by one man. 

The numbers grow too much for a poem.


Telling us life stories of the dead.

Window dressing over crackles of bullets.

Building fences between shooters and the shot.

NPRing, obits of people murdered for mercantile. 

Attempting animal warmth on cold dead bodies piled up.

Dividing and parsing the pile, determining which shot member counts. 



Bullet riddled heads.

Emmette Till open coffin the funerals.

Zoom in where the casing entered under the nose, ejecting the soul.

Fuck that, assault rifle hollow points facture on contact.

Nothing’s left, only pulverized.

Narrate the blood cone spurting across theaters, schools, country music festivals.

Interview the bump stocked woman baren from five shells raping her womb. 

Collect the pools of bone and hamburger from the 100,000 shot each year.

Let gravity channel it to the twits and fat bros of Fox.

To the manufacturer of the hollow points 

Let them wipe up the fragments flowing in a bath the rest of us are forced to take.  

Stan Pisle is a Berkeley California poet. His work as appeared in the Arroyo Magazine, on KQED San Francisco, The Ravens Perch, and The New Verse News