Ken Cormier

We’re Sitting on Buildings

   for Charles Mingus


We’re sitting on buildings      Here!

We’ve got a big problem        Now!

Afraid of our nation                Oh!

But wanting to squeeze it        Through!

Went on an adventure             Then!

We found a new leader           Who!

Became like the others           Why!

Does that always happen        When!

We pray to Apollo                  But!

We know nothing of him        So!

We wander with creatures       And!

Invade our own temples          Wake up!

Get out of the kitchen              Sink!

Climb under the counter         Which!

Was always your fortress       Bang!

We’re tearing it down now     For!

Our children to see that          We!

Are nothing but monsters       Ha!

We season and flavor              Them!

To make them delicious          We!

Will strike and devour            Ow!

To choke on a backbone         It!

Is slowly reminding                Me!

To clean out the cupboard      Forget!


We’re learning procedures      With!

A set of instructions                How!

Can we ever master                 That!

Which always eludes us         Dogs!

Are biting my ankles               I!

Am fighting and kicking         My!

Most primitive moments         Have!

Been captured in movies         Still!

I am an enigma                        Watch!

We can’t help descending       Deep!

Into our own faces                  Like!

Some kind of Narcissus          Relax!