December 14, 2012

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Poem of the Week:   

Brian Fanelli    


Brian Fanelli
Photo by: Susan Jaffer



Political Soundtrack   



Every Sunday, I came dressed in punk rocker black,

checkered pants, steel-toed Docs.

No tie dye on me when I joined

the Chester County Peace Movement.

I lined up at the corner of High and Market,

still and silent, even when City Hall suits sneered hippies,

the Chester County Victory Movement chanted troop-


the families in SUVs blared horns and shouted unpatriotic.


High-gel hair attorneys glared.

Some protestors stepped back and whispered,

Is he here to join us or blow up the courthouse?

But my combat boots hadn't marched on the sands of Iraq.

I was always the one to break up brawls,

mute my guitar if circle pits exploded into fights.


As protestors marched and sang

Dylan's prophetic "The Times They Are A Changin'"

and Lennon's piano-laced "Imagine,"

I heard the words of Joe Strummer:

You'll be dead when your war is won,

and Dead Kennedys' singer Jello Biafra:

There's easy money, easy jobs,

especially when you build the bombs

that blow big cities off the map.

I stood still even when pushed

by a Victory Movement thug jabbing

his finger in my chest and screaming,

You don't have the balls to fight in Iraq!

I plugged my ears with my I-pod and listened

to Henry Rollins roar over sloppy Black Flag chords:

Try to stop us. It's no use.

We're gonna rise above, rise above.


-Brian Fanelli

Used by permission.



Brian Fanelli resides in Pennsylvania and teaches creative writing at Keystone College. His poems have appeared in Boston Literary Magazine, Harpur Palate, The Portland Review, Solstice Literary Magazine, San Pedro River Review, Red Rock Review, and elsewhere. He is the author of one chapbook, Front Man, and his first full-length collection will be published in 2013 through Unbound Content. A contributing editor to Poets' Quarterly, Brian has an M.F.A. from Wilkes University and has done readings throughout the tri-state area.   

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If you are interested in reading past poems of the week, feel free to visit the blog archive.    


Poem of the Week Open Call  

Split This Rock began the Poem of the Week program in October 2009 as a way of publicizing the poets who were to be featured in the 2010 festival. We have since continued the series by featuring the work of participants of our festivals.


We are pleased to open the call up to any poet writing in the socially engaged vein -- festival participant or not.   


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