2 Poems - About How and Why Some Things Work. And Some Others Don't

By BAR poet in residence Raymond Nat Turner

In two works of poetry this week, Turner offers cogent observations on two phenomena, one that pretty much works as intended, and another enterprise that despite the wishes of many consistently and predictably goes awry.

it works…

by BAR poet in residence Raymond Nat Turner

spittle trickling from
the side of his mouth,
eyes rolling round like
pinballs…in his sweat-
beaded head…

they finally found
the vein they repeatedly
punctured his pin cushion,
high fructose-fattened flesh
searching for.

writhing,
moaning, jerking,
lurching, convulsing—
primitively strapped
to their updated,
horizontal, death device
dancing an obscene,
grotesque
Arkansas Shuffle:
assembly line murder
2 persons per day—
1l—in half a week

Why such rush?
They must die before
the chemicals expire.

Who's Moving Who

by BAR poet in residence Raymond Nat Turner

High on the hog, mule-
heads and handlers meet
in a Manhattan hotel—
Operatives, confidential informants,
Mouthpieces for fruit companies
and death squads hold court—
Harnessing left motion
sliding
down
the
Hill
Feeling the Bern

Stop! In the name of love
Before you break my heart
Think it over…

The mule’s a stubborn
kinda fella—ass
with big ears that
Hear your every word,
while hiding a mind
of his own

Many men and women
moved the mule
Left—
years later, finding
They, themselves, moved
Right—
running in place…
mired in mule dung—
Who’s moving who?

Raymond Nat Turner © 2017 All Rights Reserved
Raymond Nat Turner is an acclaimed poet and performance artist. Find much more of his work at