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  • Writer's pictureAnthony Chase

POEM: Revolution in Snyder

By Justin Karcher

Revolution in Snyder, NY

By Justin Karcher

The director’s note basically says

“America’s the greatest”

so I put the program under my seat

and my mind drifts

I can’t remember

‪the last time I made out

maybe when Obama was still

leader of the free world

I like to think that when we’re asleep

‪our unused tongues leave our mouths

‪meet up in an America

‪where Obama is still President

then the music starts

the woman sitting behind me

will talk throughout the entire revolution

“Anyone have some Tums?

I have a bellyache”

I’m not mad she’s talking

just that she said “bellyache”

which confuses me

say “stomachache” or “tummyache”

she also brags about her shrewd financial skills

“I only pay $90 a month for my cable package, internet too”

“$90 is an okay brunch,” I think to myself

she also expresses patriotic relief

at what’s unfolding on the stage

“I’m glad John Adams didn’t give up”

by now, I’m getting annoyed

I want to stand up, turn around

and declare, “I wish he did give up

because maybe then

you’d be quiet”

but it’s opening night

I can’t cause a scene

the actors are vibrant


giving it their all

it’d be a dick move

then it’s intermission

and outside I’m smoking with some friends

there’s no place to put your butts

no ashtray

no digester of cancer scraps

probably because the theater’s in a school

Joyce says, “The world is your ashtray”

which is something an agitator would say

I collect the butts in a tiny plastic cup anyway

and leave it next to a tree

I put a note in my iPhone

reminding me to grab it after the show

back inside, the lights flicker

and we go back to our seats

the woman sitting behind me

is talking about Niagara Falls

“It’s scary there”

anyway, the year 1776

a hurricane hall of powdered wigs

rich men spinning in circles

singing about states’ rights

turning Philadelphia into a hot tomb

meanwhile, poor people fighting their war

New York covered in sleepy sores

I look all around me

the American Revolution never ended

and then I understand the all female cast

it’s like the Founding Fathers

vanishing in a vasectomy beam of light

snip, snip

their seeds evaporating into thin air

snip, snip

let’s start again

snip, snip

a better way of living

women blooming from the pungent pot of history

women with voices that shatter all of America’s stained glass

sometimes the shards shine brighter than the stars

and maybe this is victory

after the show, there are plates of cookies everywhere

congratulatory hugs in the narrow lobby

Tony taking photos

the flash

I step outside to retrieve my cup full of ash

and I swear there’s revolution in the air

the chatterbox and her friend walk by me

“Let’s do Tim Hortons, I want some tea”


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