Communist Pillow Talk | A Poem by Daniel Klawitter

“In my opinion, true love is expressed in reserve, modesty, and even
shyness toward his idol, and never in temperamental excesses or too
premature intimacy.” —Karl Marx, in a private letter, London, 1866.

Come a little closer, my comrade
and I’ll whisper my confession:

Nothing turns me on
like fighting against oppression!

In the midst of class struggle
there’s always time to snuggle.

(Better red and in bed
than bourgeoisie, I’ve always said.)

Who cares if we wake the neighbors
with the sounds of our surplus labors?

For it’s more than evolutionary…
If our love is revolutionary!

So seduce me, my scarlet darling;
let me give you a tickle.

You got the hammer
and I’ve got the sickle.

Dialectical materialism
is the tune to which we dance.

Workers of the world Unite!
There’s an insurrection in my pants.

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Bushwhacked | A Poem by Daniel Klawitter

“The rules of fair play do not apply in love and war.” –John
Lyly, Euphues: The Anatomy of Wit (1578).

Of all her many weapons,
it was her voice
that left me voiceless—
like sunrise on a battlefield
speechless with corpses.

I tell you that her words
were like war—
a skirmish of metaphors
wounding my already purple heart.

Ambushed and bushwhacked
booby-trapped and blown apart
in the jungles of despair—
I was captured
with multiple fractures
and was unprepared
for this guerilla warfare.

I am listed as:
a prisoner of conscience
a casualty of her
barbed wire kisses
and the double-barreled shotgun
of her cocked and loaded eyes.

She hardly even cried
when she pulled the trigger and said:
“This is war, kid.”
Go figure.

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Neighborhood Disturbance | A Poem by Daniel Klawitter

Who knew
it would come to this?

Certainly not you
nor the birds twittering in the tree.

Or the squirrel
fidgeting by the flowerpot —

or the rain
in the rainbow —

no, not even me.
Not even I could have guessed

the things confessed by others
carried on the gossip of a breeze.

But we just sat there,
quiet as leaves —

when the disturbance
suddenly ceased.

Everyone was waiting
on everyone else

to see who might call
the police.…

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The Last Laugh Of Tommy Lee | A Poem by Daniel Klawitter

“The cock doth craw, the day doth daw
The channerin’ worm doth chide:
Gin we be mist out o’ our place,
A sair pain we maun bide.”
—The Wife of Usher’s Well, traditional folk ballad.

Some people just can’t take a joke.
But Tommy Lee found funny
almost everywhere he looked.

Had he been a stand-up comic
he may have made good money,
or as an author of children’s books.

But Tommy Lee worked in the factory.
And like a kid who never grows up
he was an obsessive practical joker.

Looking back, it’s a miracle
he was never fired, but people say he was
universally admired by his co-workers.

Then one afternoon, Tommy’s fingers
got caught in the machine. And it cut him
clean to both wrists, leaving only stumps.

For two whole days, Tommy’s tongue
was quiet. Then he awoke to the smell
of the hospital, recalled the industrial violence,

and he began to understand:
(he would never work again.)
On the third day, his mother came in,

and she saw Tommy’s chest expand.
And while she cried, Tommy Lee died,
saying: “Look ma, no hands.”

Author’s Note: Of course, actual workplace deaths due to industrial
accidents or workplace safety issues are no laughing matter in the
United States. 4,609 workers were killed on the job in the U.S. in
2011—almost 90 a week or nearly 13 deaths every day. (And this is
the third lowest annual total since the fatal injury census was first
conducted in 1992 by OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health
Administration.) I have been privileged over the years to be present
at several Workers’ Memorial Day events (organized by OSHA and the
Department of Labor) where I have delivered an invocation in honor of
workers who died on the job in the previous year.…

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Her Mythological Temptation | A Poem by Daniel Klawitter

She was both the seeker and the sought.
Caught between her village obligations
and the wilder places she had forgotten.

Married (unhappily) to a man made of metal,
his heart had long ago turned as pale
as a potato boiling in the kettle.

Now, many years later—
she hears the hooves
crunching the virgin snow.

She puts down her knitting,
looks out the window
and sees the satyr.

In the blue light of the moon
the frost on his flanks is as bright
as a polished mirror,

causing her majesty to swoon
high above the murky waters
of the moat.

The lady’s dilemma is timeless:
Stay with the man of metal,
or run away with the half-man/half-goat?…

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The Tender Toil of Matrimony | A Poem by Daniel Klawitter

First came Spring—

All rose-red and morning glory!
And then a mild Winter.

But the frost of futility could not reach
The River that sustains us.

And now, my dear,
At the end of the story—
I anticipate those Summer years to come:

When we turn gold like wheat
Ripe for the harvest.

There is no need to fear the farmer of us all.

For I am told that love never dies…
It just grows older and hides
On the other side of Fall.…

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Ontology | A Poem by Daniel Klawitter

The unknown blossoms
beneath your skin—
Third eye opened
in the rapture
of original blessing.

Words cannot capture
the mystery of being

Yourself—unfolding like a flower
in the evening
of your persona.

(I know you by your aroma).

We perfumed petals
in the garden of delights,
our eyes shine wet
in the dark night
when you are thrown back
into your own embrace.

We are little dramas encased in flesh—

As we discover the heart of silence.…

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