Since April is National Poetry Month, we’re pleased to run poems by a pair of younger writers who participated in the Louder Than A Bomb-Tulsa competition back in February.
Both Nick Weaver and Bryonia Liggins were on the winning team for LTAB-Tulsa 2013. Both were also, therefore, awarded a trip to Chicago last month, during which they attended workshops at Young Chicago Authors and competed in a national match representing Tulsa. Team Tulsa placed second overall in that national match. This is how “Howl for Me” came to be performed for an audience that included Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. And for the record: LTAB-Tulsa 2013 was the third such event to occur here in T-Town, and also the biggest yet. It’s a pleasure to recognize this very cool, very poetry-friendly happening in our community, and especially to feature two fine poems that came out of it. —Scott Gregory, Poetry Editor of This Land.
I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by
news feeds, direct messages and status updates,
hysterically dragging themselves through the cyber streets at dawn,
begging for a retweet, they scream staccato keystrokes like Facebook junkies, people that wouldn’t care whether they had a cyber insurance or not.
Us Instagram hipsters are hashtag angry and hashtag hungry
Us gamers go wild for hits of mountain dew code red,
the Bacchanalian love found during a Warcraft raid,
hypnotized by our avatars, our keyboards are STD free
but our porn-soaked minds define scenes
our parents didn’t want to.
Because we are lonely for someone to check our checkins,
be the 2nd 3rd and 4th parties in our Foursquares
because we want you to know where we are
and we want you to like us and like us for liking you,
and we want you to notice when we’re not at home.
I saw the eyes of my peers turn dark, dimmed from an app store glow,
they draw something until they exhaust the ink supplies in their fingertips
they play words with friends until they have neither.
We stopped sacrificing to Moloch
after children became the Canaanites,
the fire gods lace themselves between the notches in our spines,
we build funeral pyres for reality TV,
and we bleed for Greenwood when we write our blog posts,
but we can’t call that blood our own.
Because on every street in every suburb you will find us among the front lawns,
watching the stars, searching for something red in the sky
because it’s been so long since we’ve seen something truly red,
it’s been so long since something red has belonged to us and not the neighborhood,
that we can’t even lay claim to the history in our veins anymore.
Because I wonder where the rebels have gone.
Because I wonder where the stories have gone,
and the Canaanite memories,
and the Byzantine laughs,
and the breakfasts you didn’t feel the need to document.
Because really we don’t want you to listen to our quotes,
or our reviews,
we want you to listen to our howls.
We want you to scroll down to the comments section of our youth,
and reply to all the questions left unanswered,
And open up, “an epilogue of our lives dot tumblr dot com,”
and it will be free for anyone to follow,
and one day in the future,
it won’t be full of all the words we never said
but the explosive TNT
of a million voices you’ve never heard before.
I wanna detonate my online presence
and leave the trench that I dug in my browser behind,
I wanna join my generation in deleting our eHarmony profiles,
and find love with someone that I can be a monster with.
Because I want to be a werewolf, a pack animal
I want to join my brothers’ DNA,
cursing and foaming at the mouth,
we will tear into the chests and rip open the hearts of anyone who will bare them to us,
and we’ll find passion and compassion,
we’ll find the battlefield and the beachhead,
we will find the stories again,
and we will lift them up to the cosmos,
dripping and wet, clenched between our jaws,
we will show our pain to the world and we will show the world they still have heroes.
Because there’s a full moon coming,
and it’s gonna be blood red.
So howl for me.
NICK WEAVER is a writer from Tulsa. He’s a senior at Holland Hall School and writes for the school paper. He was the youngest performer at the 18th Annual Living Arts Poetry Slam.
Originally published in This Land, Vol. 4 Issue 8. April 15, 2013.