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a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society

Joe Elliot

Tent as Poem
Dear Mayor Bloomberg,
because the erection
of a modest tent city
in a small private
downtown park
can in no way even begin
to scratch let alone dent
the steeply mirroring global guns and money
walls these flimsy temporary dwellings do protest,
and because those sleeping unplugged from this global money and guns
armor openly in bags at the very bottom of this unsunny canyon
are like the sudden and scattered emergence
of mushrooms among the shadowy
roots of a climax forest’s odorous floor
after a light rain the night before,
then it must be a merely symbolic act
of free speech, then these ropes and pegs and poles
and fabric fluttering in the wind
and rain are actual words
emerging from the mouths of habitats,
if not babes, and therefore must be protected
as any civic right would
by any good citizen
or mushroom-gatherer of the world.
Thank You.
Mr. Elliot
Joe Elliot teaches high school English in Brooklyn, where he lives with his wife, Anne Noonan, and three their three boys. Joe is the author of numerous chapbooks including: You Gotta Go In It’s The Big Game, Poems To Be Centered On Much Much Larger Sheets Of Paper, 15 Clanking Radiators, 14 Knots, Reduced, Half Gross (a collaboration with artist John Koos), and Object Lesson (a collaboration with artist Rich O’Russa). Granary Books published If It Rained Here (a collaboration with artist Julie Harrison). His work has appeared in many magazines, including The World, The Poker, Giants Play Well In The Drizzle, The Poetry Project Newsletter, Torque, Chain, Epiphany, Lungfull, Ocho, and Arras. His long poem, 101 Designs for The World Trade Center, was published by Faux Press. In 2006, a collection of his work, Opposable Thumb, was published by subpress, and in 2010 Lunar Chandelier brought out Homework.



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