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

R.A. Allen

Muzak for Indigents




          at the bus stop


          at the health center


          at the payday loans


          Poverty is their angel


          and Want is her song,


          a low white thrum


          of persistent complaint,


          a birth fever


          that never abates.




          at other times Poverty


          is a mezzo-soprano


          in a coloratura


          of converging sirens


          —police, fire, ambulance—




          on the nerves,


          a turbine driving


          the adrenaline gland.

R. A. Allen's poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in the New York Quarterly, Night Train, The William & Mary  Review, RHINO, Gargoyle, Euphony, and elsewhere. He has one Pushcart nomination. He lives in Memphis for the humidity. More at