Category Archives: Hell

“My Bad” Sonnet

On the bleak avenues where we poor live
(The ones not swept for rich suburban kids)
A catastrophic drama one man gives
(Apologizing for tragedy lived)

For some personal shortcoming he died
(Known only to him & his assailant)
Maybe he cheated? Maybe he lied?
Witnesses reported he died valiant

“(The victim) was clutching his chest… saying,
‘My bad! My bad!’ His last words — he said
‘my bad’ four times. …Were his last words [living].
It gave me goosebumps. [The last price he paid]”

For some established rule of the poorest
Death was delivered to one man homeless


Paper Maché Identity Sonnet

The remnants of my dreams cling in fragments

Like the torn strips of wetted news paper

Soaked in Wheatepaste and glue to be pliant

I’m only a paper maché cover

The pasteboard mask that I present to you

Made up of the finest linen paper

Is a simulacrum that is untrue

Made to help me pull off this bold caper

Who is anything more than a puppet

Strings leading up to the bold puppeteer

(Or a hand reaching up to control it?)

Once we know this we can play without fear

The script that we are performing each day

Was written long ago & far away

Pathetic Suicide Sonnet

I have mixed emotions about this death

The murders he committed were social

The actions he did had a wider breadth

All of America remains crucial

Racism’s territoriality

Has been like this since the Pilgrims landed

Treating colored inferiority

Like it is a fact is so wide spreaded

That even those who would never chase Blacks

Accept that cops do it regularly

If you think this ain’t true, remove ear wax

& think of stop and frisk more honestly

This beige academic has judged that guy

But in my heart of hearts, I know not why


I Weary of These Infernal Patterns


Doubt in an Uncertain World Sonnet

Our beliefs are just what we think about
Even if they build these thoughts a cathedral
They’re merely thoughts: we can choose to opt out
Belief is freedom for ourselves: simple

If I choose not to believe in magic
Should not spoil your enjoyment of the show
I am an agnostic heckler tragic
Believe in religion: the way you know

The agnostic or atheist’s freedom
To (dis)believe in all your rituals
Is how the God that I doubt made it, son
So we each have “spiritual victuals” 

Believing in Yahweh, Allah or Christ
Does not mean that I have to sacrifice


Subway Slashing Sonnet

train victim diptych

There are two unfortunate souls right here
The pregnant woman whose young face was slashed
Thinking about being a new mother dear
(& how to keep herself together lashed)

The other’s ridden life’s roller coaster
Hoping the bottom of the descent’s near
When younger, perhaps she was a “toaster”
Angel Dust, Dope: starting with pot & beer

So onto train ventures the mother new
Avoiding she that’s fighting her demons
(Beelzebub says: “don’t let her dis you!”
Sitting elsewhere was what that was seemin’)

Into her bags she reached for the bright shiv
Payback for dis was what she did give


HP Lovecraft Revisited Sonnet

Liv Rainey-Smith

I want to write a Lovecraft styled story
Of unmentionable devil worship
With gothic purple prose so hoary
That readers will follow my judgeship

But instead of casting shade on “mongrel
Cults of 3rd world brown associations”
It will track the horrors of Brown and Yale
(& those bourgeois white affiliations)

I’ll show how Zuckerberg, Gates & Buffet
Worship the tentacle faced deity
& the invisible hand men suffers
To perform ghoulish impropriety

The racist cruelty of H.P. Lovecraft
Describes the 1%’s bloodthirsty laugh