Panacea Politics





Panacea Politics For The Relevant Poor

by Rob Rice




It’s insubstantial empathy marshland

The greens are going brown

Wet tan foams

Wake with each step as you introduce air

As if you have the right to


Your hand is

Thumbing the lifeline

grip returns a sulcus

a think tank for conceding to mud






A knocked loose tooth

Spent on two more chews of hard water candy,

salt taffy carousels a movie

made in the image of war


A king and lost kid lie frozen by the same storm

A body can come up with the flesh for a whole other body, somehow

More than once, fray, the body bank writes loans


You can raise a family on humiliated shopping carts

Shuddering back into their pens

Skulls full of electric worms

Nervous in their own societies


I spoke the words of neuroscience for the making of service

I clasp and listen to the news and it reads true, don’t let it down


We feel hard crabapple wet and like our own jelly

Happenstance of spread

A kink and wallop of cream

Shallots stripped bare and brutalized into stink and sweetness

Plating a modern meal


The food was good

But the waiter was awkward

Is what I’ll report to god








Cardboard box packed with little

Bags of caught rain

Poor family daughters like white cheese

Somewhere between ricotta and mold

In their stare and in how it relates to mother

Whose massive sloping bosoms still hold such water

Their shelve tops oddly flat like a left and let dead thigh

Heat from life cooling against the floor as it rises

Leaving that mold


Chaperones on day trips to reenactments of life before war

Dancing the way they did

Steps forgotten completely by the civilian most

Wrecked down by loads that creak rouge knees

Courting just one quick shuffle or dip at a granddaughter’s fifth

And last before it’s too late to have her

Grow up with it


Half trails cut and stuck standing

Upright from the mass of walls and collections

Of one day saviors searching for themselves


It’s a house lost to its owners

Mauled by a sign on the door asking

Stay out


And why shouldn’t it ask

Richness enough to deny the filmsy pools of our character

Portions that set us back, up

Find us there pleading high crime

For games harder to play

Than when she is young

And sleeping


Some cities are becoming too difficult to use

Tubs of what I can believe it’s not

Street signs stuck resident yentas

Other herds thinning out

Red dick tech

It’s all porn










Knees and modern hate

A killer bands together with a master a mistress of power in cognate

A flower woven through a fence, lianas like a drowning man

Drowning the man who saves him


Procession of whitebike memorials

A minister a prole a neonate

A closer a showroom a glass patch

Affluence a miracle of here and there


After too, now where would it be without our

Oars they layer folds

Smooth liquid showings up of

White sky and a mobbing of panicky limb ends

Through flooded jungle glades bloodlines

Boasting tox spotted flowers yelling out

Panacea politics for the relevant poor


None come to serve the outside worker

Raking the dead from the coops

They’re often in the back


Between boys and the men they’ll become

Girls and the men they’ll come to resent as figures of waste

Figures and figurines

Archeology of progress and a wet smack like

Clay on clay












Mental work borrowed pro bono

Self support by sabotage and gavel


Defined by the winners they laud and lost to



Of buildings

Sick of identifying patterns like it’s great to

And corporation as human

Spit back in the face of the movement

Here’s that for your picket and choose


News people bored for words

Sit perched in the hot southern sky and glare down at cars

Heat distortion

We see some

Piecemeal from their predecessors

Necessarily no longer them


Leftovers from the time before they wondered which the war

Key links

Between lakes and their kettle beds


Just wandering off like sublimation