Militant Thistles

polemical poetry to prickle the politics of "permanent austerity"

atos Poor Doors Sheriff Stars spikes

thistles stretch their prickly arms afar

Black Triangle bedroom tax Disrupt and Upset

Larry Beckett

Amarillo

from U.S. Rivers

 

Seven Cities of Gold / Pantex Nuclear Plant

 

Coronado, if

I ever find

Cibola,

the seven cities of gold:

across the Llano Estacado,

only

pueblos, and that friar’s lie,

Quivira,

across the Palo Duro,

only the yellow

 

rose of Pantex:

seventy-two hours

a week, he watches

that there’s no breach

in the warheads,

pits, plutonium, over

the Ogallala aquifer,

Texas water,

under the prairies,

one thousand centuries.

Larry Beckett was born in Glendale, California, in 1947. His poetry has been published in Zyzzyva, Field, Margie, Salamander, the anthology Portland Lights from Nine Lights Press, and his first book, Songs and Sonnets from Rainy Day Women Press, was favourably reviewed in the San Francisco Chronicle. Beat Poetry, a study of the San Francisco renaissance, was published by Beatdom Books. Paul Bunyan, a book-length poem, is out from Smokestack Books, and has received positive reviews in Zyzzyva and The Recusant. He performed the poem at the UK’s Ledbury Poetry Festival. Wyatt Earp, a novel in prose poetry, is forthcoming from Alternating Current Press. The complete U.S. Rivers was performed in a choral reading by a company of actors, and recorded. His work has been commended by Jack Hirschman, David Meltzer, Tom Clark, Ann Charters, David Young, and U.S. Poet Laureates W. S. Merwin and Charles Wright. Beckett lives in Portland, Oregon.