30 NOVEMBER 2011


Thre Freedom Poem

About Scott Abels



The Freedom Poem

A walk in the park. A walk
in the f--king park,
and we will do what it takes.
I intend to be obsessed with process.
Do you think that brain surgeons
and rocket scientists will feel sad
when we say what we’re doing
isn’t at all
what they are trained to do?

They put the question back on us.
What is
I believe this is about love
not a homeland.

A bench in the park with my new science friends.
Oops, I sat in bubble gum,
and I show them my scrotum
stretched through my zipper,
and they pretend to push me
into the bushes.





I love the way
the jingle will reverse
to fill the available space.
I want a big thumb
printed onto pants
to match my face.
I thought your shirt
said Virginia
and it had a picture
of the island of Oahu
but no
it’s Virginia.

The sailor cannot see the need-
le.  All this wine and lettuce.
My favorite popular music maneuver
is when they list the things
that you can do.
You can see the jungle
in full bloom.
There really is
a military
that just wants to
help you.
But it isn’t that simple.
It’s a good feeling, stealing
a shopping cart.

I’ve actually
never been to Maui
and I plan on wandering
from table to table
sort of saying that.
Today I am an eggplant.
Purple on the outside, etc.
The average person
spends an hour a day
looking for things.
There are tourists, and a sunset.
I see lots of spines!
I attempt to draw them
to me using friendship.


4,817 miles from
Belt Buckle, Nebraska,
there is a school
like a shelter
where they teach the literature
of competition.
Lunch.  The sweetness
of Manwich®
and asking how
many passwords
can I have?
They taught us
how to process.
Other students flew through assignments.

Breakfast Mountain
has been stripped
of bran and germ.
Birds are angry because
pigs stole their eggs.
I thought a giraffe
would be more scared
of the lightning.
So this is the price
twenty-somethings will pay
to live in the city.
And there is drama—
a season entirely devoted
to a single topic.

Despite my enormous arms
eggplants all over the world
are disappearing.
I could never
be your plumber.
In a world where
many children
are too hefty
for standard car seats, this is
the new indie narrative arc:
One in five Americans
will urinate in the pool, while
a lonely dinosaur
is looking for his friend.




after Frank O’Hara


I am not an economist. I just
wanted the buzzard to feed me.



The toxins are held
in the tissue.
Two if

by tripe.
The ocean
isn’t a matter of common sense.

We buy tripe.
A blind couple holds each other.


Keep your dignity.

Start with the lungs
as the center of gravity.

A violence will
clear the toxins out.

I bet a lot of people
must come here
worrying about the bomb.



Understanding the ocean isn’t inevitable.
The Normal school semester
starts. Study

Study the
Collected Dirty Poems.

The lovers are loving. We just
wanted the ocean to feed us.

You will be loved
by life and limb

but not right now.
A very hairy pair of hands
plays solid wood chess.

At the receptionist’s desk
the TV watchers point a finger
at the picture of the press secretary

at the White House:
That’s that same son of a bitch
they found in the last one.



A pair of very
hairy hands holding
pumpernickel rye and
a repeating rifle
are going off to school.

Into a beast of
a past. A lingering
addiction to texting.
You will have a hard time
without instant
gratification.  When
the semester ends
you will not be prepared
for death. These
are only ideas.

Who do you think you are, Sweet Marlin?
Don’t you get the hiccups
at the bathroom
soaping up your hands, don’t
let the crackles
from under their knuckles
or what other students do
in private shock you.
Plug your nose and eat,
your peas glistening, your shining
bacon, green like the sea,
find a funny place
to rupture.



Originally from Nebraska,has an MFA in Creative Writing from Boise State University.  Recent poems can be found in print and online with H_ngm_n, Sixth Finch, DIAGRAM, Best New Poets, Juked, RealPoetik, Forklift, Ohio, and many more.  His first book, Rambo Goes to Idaho, is available from BlazeVOX Books.  He currently lives and teaches in Honolulu, where he edits the online journal of poetry Country Music.