Poetry by David Madgalene
David Madgalene is a poet and writer living in Windsor. He loves Sonoma Valley and comes over every chance he gets. He has edited two anthologies featuring Sonoma County poets, Continent of Light and World of Change. His musical, “Call Down the Angel,” will be performed in Occidental in June.
I’m an American
in name only
is a country
in name only
I’m young or I’m old
in point of view
that’s skin deep
I’m a man
or maybe I’m not a man
that’s according to your definition
I’m an agnostic
in my doubt
by my faith
I am alive
in the moment
I stand at the window
I stand at the door
I go to the bridge
I go to the crossroads
I take it to the wall
I can be what I want
I can do what I want if I dream
I can remember what it is I truly want
I can live the life I dream
I put on a new mask
I try out a new profile
I can be someone else
open another page in another book
Play a different character in a different movie
because you don’t like the way I come out
because you don’t like the way I look
because you don’t approve of the way I do business
because I said something stupid
because you don’t like my music
because—well you don’t need a reason
Build up your barriers baby
keep me out
Build up your borders
keep me away
Go get your iPhone
Put my video on youtube
I see your pit bull you got on remote control
Ouch that dog gives me such a nasty look
Bulletproof your Hummer baby
Gate up your community
Get a new firewall
Hire a security guard
Your barriers can’t stop me
They don’t mean nothing to me
They’ve been built by someone else
The only barriers that can stop me
Are those I build myself
Mom was very tall.
She had black hair and black eyes.
Mrs. Fisher was short.
She had red hair and blue eyes.
She didn’t care if we ate her out of house and home.
Mrs. Slutter was big and fat and jolly.
She had red hair and wore glasses.
Ronnie’s Mom had short blonde hair and blue eyes.
She was pale and jerked about like a nervous chicken.
Billy Mack’s Mom was olive-skinned and had black hair.
She smoked cigarettes and laughed at Batman and Robin.
Mrs. Jenkins had black hair and blue eyes.
She treated us kids like grown-ups.
Tommy Garret’s Mom was a redhead with black eyes.
She worked the night shift as a nurse.
She was always getting up to go to work, drinking coffee
and smoking when I’d come over to play after school.
Mimi’s Mom was a “tough cookie” in beehive and horn-rims.
Johanna and Eberhart’s Mom was German.
She had blonde hair and blue eyes.
She was friendly and put ice cream in her coffee.
Jody and Mack’s Mom was like Mrs. Fisher.
Only taller, more of a wise-cracker.
Maybe I say that because like Mrs. Fisher
Jody and Mack’s mom was Mom’s best friend.
The Daughter of Dr. Fu Manchu
At the campgrounds
(The Dalai Lama was to speak later that night),
by the rock garden,
Dr. Fu Manchu sat on the rose marble bench
and talked to his daughter Heather in the rain.
Her mother had been a rumrunner in Old Shanghai
and Heather Manchu, with her red hair, black eyes,
and fiery reserve, represented all of what was best
to be expected of Sinoceltic intercourse.
But unlike her mother, who died a whore’s death,
and unlike her father who had managed to infiltrate
the Lama Stephen Seagal’s bodyguard, Heather
chose to be a New Age chiropractor over a life of crime.
Dr. Fu Manchu would never stop trying to convince Heather
of her error. Meditatively stroking his long straggly beard
with his long razor-sharp fingernails, Fu invoked
Confucius: it was wrong for a daughter to thwart the will
of her father. I hid behind the hedge and watched Heather
swing her painted feet as her father’s words went into one
ear and out the other. As much as I wanted to, I knew
I could never be a part of that family.