p
o
e
m
s

Strike because the sky turns gray just before it blacks out.

Strike because when you were little your father told you too many lies.

Strike because the surf is up.

Strike because you are heartsick with the old ways and giddy with promise.

Strike because things can’t go on this way any longer.

Strike because the thugs have replaced the thugs.

Strike because every grain of sand tells you the universe is an open field of infinite possibility.

Strike because you’re sick & tired of bait & switch.

Strike because the wolf howls in the garden’s translucent masquerade.

Strike because your grief overwhelms you and the other option is to sit at home and stare at a screen.

Strike because every hope begins with disappointment.

Strike because the bosses need a reality check backed up by workers’ sweat.

Strike because collective action is the only thing that separates us from pejorocracy.

Strike because you’re not for sale.

Strike because the sun is not shining as brightly as it did.

Strike because the machinery of greed needs to be unhinged.

Strike because you’ve lost your head in the endless circuits of a recurring nightmare.

Strike because your children insist it doesn’t matter and your parents say the time’s not right.

Strike because even demons are mortal.

Strike because the ache is just too bad, the work too much, the reward too meager.

Strike because you have no say.

Strike because it wasn’t supposed to be this way.

Strike because the pilots are guiding the ship to the plutocrats’ lair.

Strike because every assault needs to be countered, every affront acknowledged.

Strike because you’re hungry for something else.

Strike because you can’t forget it and are not going to let it pass.

Strike because your dignity is worth more than their hypocrisy.

Strike because hands are for making things not wringing a desperate man dry.

Strike because power is a two-way street with back alleys, overpasses, byways, and unexplored tunnels.

Strike because your only hedge fund is your bare hands.

Strike because the coal dust is suffocating and the mines a living grave.

Strike because you are sick of all that’s called new and despair that nothing changes.

Strike because you are abandoned.

Strike because you don’t want to live this way any more.

Strike because the deck is stacked but the dealer says you’re cheating.

Strike because everyone’s listening but no one’s talking.

Strike because you can’t say it any other way.

Strike because meaning’s made not taught.

Strike because life’s a tale and you the teller.

Strike because I told you to.

Strike because I will never let you down.

Strike because I told you one thing but did another.

Strike because I disappointed you.

Strike because I made you feel stupid for trying.

Strike because I made you feel stupid for crying.

Strike because, win or lose, it’s the doing that gets done.

Strike because you couldn’t get a ticket to the show.

Strike because you’ve never had a thought of your own.

Strike because no one bothered to tell you.

Strike because you still can or think you can or thought you could.

Strike because it’s better than baseball.

Strike because tomorrow they’ll come for you.

Strike because this could be your last chance.

Strike because even though you have your price, the offer was not nearly good enough.

Strike because resistance is happier than humiliation.

Strike because you’d prefer not to.

Strike because eternity is ours for the asking.

Strike because the wind is at your back, even when there is no wind.

Strike because all roads lead nowhere and all hopes come to naught, at least if things don’t get worse.

Strike because the jellies in your life are lined-up at tide’s edge, keeping you from the water.

Strike because you are thirsty and the water is spoils.

Strike because even a match in a dimly lit restaurant can make it easier to read the menu.

Strike because you hate the way they redecorated the planet.

Strike because the Fall season needs some push back.

Strike because your wrongs are not as bad as their wrongs.

Strike because you forgot to pay attention for longer than you’d intended.

Strike because the bells are ringing but you are nearly deaf.

Strike because you would have when you knew less than you think you know now.

Strike because the blood loss can’t be sustained.

Strike because your heart is broken and the vultures are overhead, ready to pick at the pieces.

Strike because complacency’s a waste of time.

Strike because while doing something is a pain in the ass, doing nothing is a pain in the soul.

Strike because a shadow of a doubt is the hipster’s swan song.

Strike because you didn’t when you could and now it’s too late.

Strike because it’s noisy.

Strike because it’s bluesy.

Strike because there’s not enough poetry in your life or it’s the wrong kind of poetry.

Strike because you’re running on empty.

Strike because the nightingale’s restless.

Strike because the meds are kicking in.

Strike because you are in love or’ve lost your love, are on a roll or’ve hit a dry spot, are out of ideas or

       brimming with plans, breaking down or working out.

Strike because the wealthy would rather you die than pay their share of taxes.

Strike because we criminalize poverty and legalize corporate theft.

Strike because the men at the top are not the top men.

Strike because you used to believe in America or never did but wanted to.

Strike because the Supreme Court is jerry-rigged, its justice without honor.

Strike because Murdoch and Berlusconi make Big Brother seem like chopped liver.

Strike because it’s no fun to tango alone.

Strike because you’ve been on hold for longer than you can remember and want to hang up without

       losing your place in the queue.

Strike because it’s nearly as effective as Prozac.

Strike because there is not enough orange in your green or mauve in your magenta.

Strike because the Manhattans are tasting sour and the gin rummy’s flat.

Strike because it’s futile.

Strike because no one cares what you do.

Strike because you mean it or meant it or isn’t it pretty to have thought so.

Strike because I told you you wouldn’t want to hear this and you don’t.

Strike because you want a break, or you’ve been broken, or you’ve seen the larger picture, or your

       vision is deteriorating and you can only see what’s right in front of you.

Strike because in order to fully appreciate sitting sometimes you got to stand.

Strike because in the end even dreams turn to sand.

Strike because you didn’t think you had it in you.

Strike because you don’t have it in you.

Strike because the iron is cold and as heartless as the green ant’s misery.

Strike because you missed the revolution.

Strike because the revolution comes only twice in each one’s life.

Strike because the revolution is not an end but a meeting.

Strike because your apathy brings you infinite joy.

Strike because you’ve lost your voice.

Strike because you have the choice.

Strike because you want to join the chorus.

Strike because you’ve always wanted a solo.

Strike because it’s taking too long.

Strike because you want to sing this song.

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Further Reading

 August 15

The alt-right era my book was about---the anonymous online trolling culture, the constant evasions and ironic styles---is over.

 August 3

I was wandering in a smoldering landscape, knowing that nothing could be done. The decisions had been made.