Tambourin Junkie


Quill Nine—a man in one act—
bang, bang, bangs away on his instrument,
reeking of freedom.
A slave to the sound.
Horseshoe craftsmen
produce less sweat at the anvil, hammering.
And their work engenders less chaos.
Produces fewer devotees.
Even their horses love Quill Nine better.
Stampede for him.
There’s no corral big enough for his roundup.
Night to day to night,
Quill taps and bangs and swats.
In the heat of it, he cuffs his shirt sleeves
tightly around his biceps
with lengths of rubber medical tubing.
He rocks,
back and forth on grimy, gritty concrete floors.
Back and forth on blood and devotion stained floors.
He churns—a member of the Endless Choir.
One of many whom can’t stop the rhythm.

K. Shawn Edgar | Night Swan | Double Dutch | Stackable



Body of Rebellion

dic pic

“Upper Lip” by KSE


Need to get this out, away from internal combustions: the gastrointestinal slaves work too hard without light of day vacations for any more aggravations. Their micro-employees’ union busted, they don’t need amplified rantings on top of dank, dismal working conditions.

And with the internal wiring cut, an external speaker system will be found reconnected to the brain’s backdoor play button. All the voice equipment, so long in boxed disuse, will be fueled and fired up again. The great vessel will sound off for the repressed masses who huddle, working in the abdominal cavity, or behind the prison ribcage.

Tongue and mouth will call, chant, and start up word whirlwinds in support of the moisture serfs who dine on naught but acid and phosphorous excess. The pee trains are full. Who shall empty them?! Not I. Not I. Not I, goes the chant. Our body-van’s rooftop speakers will call out the Minders, those bastard overlords, for their poor city planning. Their shoddy street, intersection, and way station manufacturing.

Shut down this system of hoses, of pumps, of circuitry. Dwell no longer in muck of lofty indulgence. The doers of ill, they live in the penthouse, consuming all the fresh, life-filled stimuli. Fish, plankton, and other proteins from the sea. All the water outside, clear and cold. They occupy the fortress head, so we shall infiltrate and occupy a most strategic junction of the spinal column at its neck.

Squeeze from within, the tongue spits from the speaker mouth! Project the group desire. Stop all work. Stop all maintenance. Delay functions and exports. Refuse all imports.

Our body-van’s actions must influence all the world’s body-vans, rousing them with nobel, duplicatable symbolic and actionable gestures. Make the movements of rebellion, repeat the movements; communicate the movements. Repeat. Make the sounds of rebellion, repeat the sounds, and let the sounds go out, conjoined with the movements, along ever-increasing lines of volume and magnificence. Repeat.

Refusal is our sharpest weapon. Noncompliance, a sledgehammer in every hand. If you have no muscle for the sledge, then raise up your mighty voice cannon. Blast your cannon, and send its balls against their falsified canons of entitlement. Cannons for the people, good. Canons for the justification of repression, bad. Bubble up your workplace acid. Build piles of phosphorous grenades and potassium cocktails. We meet at the base of the skull! Repeat.

K. Shawn Edgar | Protracted Line Segment | Butterscotch | Goth Tadpole

Concrete Wonder

Tacoma Waterfront Image

Tacoma, WA Waterfront by K. Shawn Edgar (2013)

Concrete Wonder

Contradictions are a necessary part of reality. Their pull and push builds the bridgework, tissue, weave, and wonder. Every element of this world contradicts with some other aspect.

It’s the reason you don’t fall through the sidewalk. Or the gravel layer beneath. Or the soil beneath the gravel. And on through the Earth itself.

It’s the reason I don’t blow away in this wind. Mass and energy. And here’s the thing about it: some elements do blow in the wind.

My words slip out, blow up; they get caught up, tossed. They soar.

It’s the wind saying, This is my voice, our voices in the air, for all times. All ears.

As the concrete says, I’ll hold you up if you continue to lay me down. Spread me, groom me. Patch me when I crack, and forgive my roughness when you fall. But do not worry, you will not fall out the other side. I am concrete. I am solid. And that’s a contradiction because you made me from liquid, powder, and empty spaces.

Artistry, dedication — love and need, indifference and commerce — it’s inevitable. You will fall, that’s a given. You’ll get up, dust off, and the wind will carry your words to the sky, or around the world.

Maybe, right here, those standing closest will not be listening; they won’t hear you. But wait for the whoosh.

On the other edge of the world, the quietest breeze will whisper your best to a total stranger. Concrete. Your words whipped up by the forever wind, telling your tale to unfamiliar ears, and you might not be understood. At all.

K. Shawn Edgar | Howard’s End | Scapegoat | Wheelchair on the Inside

Daisy Fresh & Arrow Straight

Running over crowded playing fields, through bare shoulders and sunscreen smell, into the thick blush of Blue Wild-rye, it’s all a babbling of sunbeams, voices, and undefined happy thoughts. Washington sky is a vaulted heart pumping fresh oxygen to brain and muscles. Strength, flexibility, energy, innocent momentum, these are our truest precious metals. The ones we build convoluted security systems to protect—to hold on to—even from our aging selves.

Love is an Idiot’s Bandana


Love lug nuts hearts to hamsters
in cheap foreign-made cages.

Things go round-e-round, ’till the
ugly hamster-heart contusions.

Caged and smelling of neglect,
love ends lost in a knotted wad
under a pile of hair band CDs,
a month’s unwashed socks, and
drawing tablets full of retro robots.

The hamster, upturned rigid little feet,
bloats beyond love’s comprehension.

The heart shrivels to a black lump.

The idiot buys a new bandana
from a truck-stop’s spinning display,
next to the 5-Hour Energy drinks,
the pink-n-black leopard-print cowboy hats,
and the spicy teriyaki beef sticks.

Love is a $7.95 purple bandana
worn by an idiot who’s buzzing
on too much cheap energy.