Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Nature, and Politics

Jose Padua: The Night We Tried to Get a Poet Arrested

I remember the night my friend and I tried to get a poet arrested
for his crimes against literature, his hiding
of horribly sentimental lines by speaking like a seller
of cheap real estate, those broken down houses
where everything and everyone leaks, in neighborhoods
divided by the tornado roar of long, slow trains, night and day.
It was just poetry, I know, words arranged like a landscape
of dark trees against the, whatever, azure sky,
but why should he escape punishment like the stealers
of poor people’s minority fortunes, the rule makers
who make us break our backs at hard labor
while they sit up high in penthouse suites
eating their feasts, drinking the best wine,
as they sneer at the riff-raff drawing heavy strings
and pushing square wheels along concrete floors
in the moldy basement, thump thump?
We called the police. “There he is,” I said,
“at the corner of State and East Washington,
ready to recite his deceptive verse. Take him.”
But they didn’t understand our soundness,
didn’t consider this criminal activity worthy of arrest,
as flagrant action against the laws they were paid
to uphold, defend, and protect. We argued,
we pleaded; they explained, they turned silent,
they hung up, believing they’d arranged the letters
of the law to the best of their abilities.
Because we couldn’t get the poet arrested
my friend walked around for years wearing
loose blue muscle shirts, his head bobbing
down and up through all the thick slabs of winters,
the thin white lines of summer, looking right, looking left,
grimacing what the fuck? to anyone passing close
enough to hear and refusing to listen.
These days I sit on park benches in the bright daylight,
enduring all manner of slurs and imprecations
and the endless spinning of the earth,
humming an old tune from my youth,
and thinking of all the different words for stone.

workshopgarage_20140205_173142_colorcrop_three

Photograph by Jose Padua

119 comments on “Jose Padua: The Night We Tried to Get a Poet Arrested

  1. Pingback: Celebrating Attention Deficit Disorder by Learning French the Hard Way | springfeverblisters

  2. Nicole Clarke
    April 10, 2015

    AMAZING!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. filemissile
    March 31, 2015

    Thank you
    Fantastic Blog
    Good luck
    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
    http://www.filemissile.net
    _)_)””

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ltina202
    March 31, 2015

    Reblogged this on tinaness202.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. i.baig
    March 24, 2015

    beautiful

    Liked by 1 person

  6. meritjones
    March 23, 2015

    Reblogged this on meritjones and commented:
    Great title and good tone. Love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Dara
    March 23, 2015

    Man, I would have liked and followed your blog on the basis of the title of this poem alone! Great stuff, thanks for posting. Now let’s go and arrest those dealers of doggerel!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. muslu5
    March 21, 2015
  9. saurabhbobade
    March 20, 2015

    Reblogged this on saurabhbobade.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. no1likesmeblog
    March 16, 2015

    is this a job for neighbor against neighbor volunteer confidential informants and neighborhood watch snitches?

    Like

  11. tmtatum
    March 15, 2015

    Great title, the tone reminds me of Andrew Hudgins’ “Heat Lightning in a Time of Drought”

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Robin Dawn Hudechek
    March 14, 2015

    Great!! Very original piece! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • shenandoahbreakdown
      March 16, 2015

      thanks! (JP at Shenandoah Breakdown)

      Liked by 1 person

  13. echwaaz
    March 13, 2015

    Reblogged this on sechwaazpoetrytothebits and commented:
    Have a nice look at a poet’s crime

    Like

  14. echwaaz
    March 13, 2015

    Damn!!!! this is real

    Liked by 1 person

    • shenandoahbreakdown
      March 13, 2015

      thanks, echwaaz (JP at Shenandoah Breakdown)

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Janice J. Cunningham
    March 13, 2015

    Reblogged this on janice j. cunningham.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Just Words
    March 12, 2015

    Great read! X

    Liked by 1 person

    • shenandoahbreakdown
      March 13, 2015

      Thanks! (JP at Shenandoah Breakdown)

      Like

  17. raysmithpro
    March 12, 2015

    The above poem is awesome, thanks for posting..

    Environmental Services in California

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Mayam
    March 12, 2015

    O_O I likeeee

    Liked by 1 person

  19. mrzrm
    March 11, 2015

    Reblogged this on mrzrm.

    Like

  20. magpieleigh
    March 11, 2015

    Reblogged this on magpieleigh and commented:
    Interesting thoughts in this one here.. well done

    Liked by 2 people

    • shenandoahbreakdown
      March 11, 2015

      thanks, Magpie!
      -JP (Shenandoah Breakdown)

      Like

  21. emmadotsophie
    March 11, 2015

    Love the imagery. I can feel the grit in the story, if that makes sense. Great work!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • shenandoahbreakdown
      March 11, 2015

      thanks, emmadotsophie. Yes, there IS grit! JP at Shenandoah Breakdown

      Like

  22. syke09
    March 11, 2015

    Reblogged this on Syke09's Blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Krissy Penner
    March 10, 2015

    I am on a blogging101 assignment… I know this sounds lame (crickets), but your storytelling poetry is not. Awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

    • shenandoahbreakdown
      March 11, 2015

      thanks, Krissy (JP at Shenandoah Breakdown)

      Liked by 1 person

  24. sportslover245
    March 10, 2015

    Reblogged this on sportslover245 and commented:
    Why would u want to arrest a poet

    Like

  25. sonderfulworld
    March 10, 2015

    Fabulous work. Every writer has their own voice and I guess sincerity is the key to good writing. Well spotted!

    Liked by 2 people

    • shenandoahbreakdown
      March 11, 2015

      thanks! (JP at Shenandoah Breakdown)

      Like

  26. aanasada
    March 10, 2015

    Well nice photo haha.

    Like

  27. shubby98
    March 10, 2015

    I absolutely love this poem.

    Liked by 1 person

    • shenandoahbreakdown
      March 10, 2015

      thanks! (JP at Shenandoah Breakdown)

      Like

  28. chudhary1
    March 9, 2015

    its delicious

    Liked by 1 person

  29. picturethepicnic
    March 9, 2015

    Amazing poem !

    Liked by 1 person

    • shenandoahbreakdown
      March 10, 2015

      Thank you! (JP at Shenandoah Breakdown)

      Like

  30. monetmonae
    March 9, 2015

    great work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • shenandoahbreakdown
      March 10, 2015

      thanks! (JP at Shenandoah Breakdown)

      Like

  31. bailoun
    March 8, 2015

    I love the way this flows

    Liked by 1 person

    • shenandoahbreakdown
      March 10, 2015

      thank you, bailoun (JP at Shenandoah Breakdown)

      Liked by 1 person

  32. no1likesmeblog
    March 8, 2015

    Have you ever engaged in getting lawful people arrested due to public policy preferences. Trend seems to be gang type activists interactive testing of equipment and solicitation of confidential informant personnel – both paid and unpaid. I dont get it. oh well.

    Like

  33. 1qwamena
    March 8, 2015

    Love it. Great piece.
    qwamebanxx.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

    • shenandoahbreakdown
      March 9, 2015

      Thanks! (JP at Shenandoah Breakdown)

      Like

  34. abigaila1996
    March 8, 2015

    loved it…

    Liked by 1 person

    • shenandoahbreakdown
      March 9, 2015

      thanks, Abigail! (JP at Shenandoah Breakdown)

      Like

  35. Lucia
    March 8, 2015

    Absolutely beautiful

    Liked by 1 person

    • shenandoahbreakdown
      March 9, 2015

      thank you, Lucia! (JP at Shenandoah Breakdown)

      Liked by 1 person

  36. The Pickled Pastor
    March 8, 2015

    Wonderful. Absolutely wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • shenandoahbreakdown
      March 9, 2015

      Thanks, Pickled Pastor! (JP at Shenandoah Breakdown)

      Like

  37. tejaspirit
    March 8, 2015

    Reblogged this on RUNHIGHDONTFALL.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. didine596472
    March 8, 2015

    Reblogged this on didine596472's Blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Jin Okubo
    March 8, 2015

    Reblogged this on Jin Okubo and commented:
    Now that is awesome

    Liked by 1 person

    • shenandoahbreakdown
      March 9, 2015

      thanks, Jin! (JP at Shenandoah Breakdown)

      Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on February 25, 2015 by in Poetry and tagged , , , , , .
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