Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Jon Tribble: Appearances

I wear no uniform but the skin

I came into and changed with


the world’s knocks and years,

scrapes and scars, no tattoos yet


coloring this pinkish canvas,

nothing but blue veins beneath


to trace the lines of weary life,

but I know this code I am is read


each day wrong, right, imperfect

estimations of who I am not or am


or could be. I am cracker, honky,

ofay, Arkie, redneck, bubba,


peckerwood, gringo, gwailo,

Mister Charlie, squarehead, hillbilly,


roundeye, baldhead, whitey—

all inert, tasteless in my mouth,


but in yours or yours or yours

explosive like ghost chili extract


spit into my eyes, burning my face

and hands until I can turn on you


with your words, the same venom

in all eyes until the only thing we see


is the silhouette of our own hate,

a cameo to hang around the neck


of the world until we all dangle

there in the harsh wind together.

copyright 2015 Jon Tribble


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This entry was posted on April 30, 2015 by in Opinion Leaders and tagged .

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