A Knee for Miz Quickly

Living on Spent Waves

He raises his eyebrow slightly, and says,
“or a brainless opossum. Did you know
that one survives for hours after its brain
is blown out, “ I shake my head, no,

I didn’t know that, and could’ve gone
without knowing that for a very long time.
But I try to keep the conversation rolling,
slightly away from the opossums, saying

that I read in the newspaper that we’re
aware that we’re dead ’cause braindead
isn’t really braindead right away ‘cause
of electrical impulses. You can hear stuff.

And he’s not interested. He’s talking up
football, patriotism and taking a knee,
and god damned fake news, and suddenly
words start clicking in my head like fleas

in a tinderbox. Words like powder keg
and riots and Harlem and Rodney King
and 12th Street and Watts and Miami.
You’re too young to remember, I say,

The Long Hot Summer of 1967 or
Kent State or Saginaw. Nobody ever
learns from history, everybody thinks
they’re special. Well, when I take a knee

it’ll be no prank. It’s no small thing
to end an age, end a rage, I say to him.
Nowadays it’s all an affair of words.
And I’m exhausted from the metre

and offensiveness of modern language.
It’s all spent waves and doubtful dreams.



Written for Miz Quickly. [Note: Complete fiction. Being in the UK, I’m not totally up to speed on Taking a Knee, but after reading The Washington Post I filled in some blanks. I would’ve read the New York Times but they want me to subscribe to see a full article. Bollocks to that.] Image is from RSPB

16 responses to “A Knee for Miz Quickly”

  1. I really liked this, both the poetry and the content. Yes, they are too young to remember all that — Harlem and Watts and Miami, Summer 1967 or Kent State or Saginaw or Vietnam or King or Bobby or Jack. But I once complained about all that and I was put in my place by my elder and better who upbraided me that *I* had no idea about anything because I didn’t remember *WWII* and the Great Deperesson, without which the rest of it has no context at all! LOL!


  2. Spent waves and doubtful dreams…and yet the world goes on. In my LONG life, I can’t count how many ends of the world have come and gone, how many times “the signs are here” … and yet the world goes on.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well done, Misky,for saying what many of us think but don’t quit e know how to without offending someone. I understood the title immediately, having found that article more interesting and less frightening than:
    ‘football, patriotism and taking a knee,
    and god damned fake news…’
    You’re right, it is all exhausting, offensive words clicking like fleas in a tinderbox. I wish someone would make it stop!


  4. The stream of consciousness starting at ”and suddenly
    words start clicking in my head like fleas …” had me nod my head in recognition. Been there. and indeed bollocks to sign up for a newspaper article!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. There is fake news, unheard truths and telemarketers…
    where does one draw the lie on lines?

    Oh, there’s statistics and politicians that talk out of both sides of their mouths, once agreeing then backtracking – but never straight forward.

    Does any generation have the right to talk when they have not learned from the previous ones?

    Liked by 1 person

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