John Rodriguez

The Good Ounce

It’s been like impossible
to get a good ounce
of smoke in this town
since thisTradeCenter
shit went down
says the Puerto Rican mayor
elect ofGun Hill Road
My connect is gonna hafta
start submarinin my weed
up theBronxRiverhe says
and you can tell
by the way
no one is laughing
out loud that it
might be true because
the corner is so thirsty
pipe dreams now skip
the raisin stage and dry
up into piles of human
excrement on the sidewalk 

After swerving off the
Henry Hudson red white
and blue bloodshot eyes
scan the streets for that
ounce of medicine or that
pound of pure  There’s a
different mathematics
in their out-of-state plates
ofAmericathan there is
for natives in the city:
vehicular suspension for conspiracy
to smoke lovely your parents’
US Savings Bonds divided
by ineligibility for federal
subsidies for CUNY education
because you were down
to your last nickel
when you were caught
leaves the remainder of
spics and niggas
swearing themselves into service
to be all they can be
and to missile all they can missile
of people of color across the globe 

Funny how the wisest
people of the times
are the ones stuck on pipe dreams
If you keep your ear to the
street where your ass is instead
of in theMiddle Eastwhere it
doesn’t belong or in the
White House Press Room
where they sell the purest
white shit around you
will hear them say it has
always always
been like impossible
to get a good ounce of smoke
a good ounce of medicine
a good ounce of news
or a good ounce of
anything in this town

John Rodriguez

<em>Edit Libroafricante</em> John Rodriguez

John Rodriguez was a poet-writer-scholar. His work appeared in many journals, including Phati'tude, One Word, Home Girls Make Some Noise, HOKUM, Days I Moved Through Ordinary Sounds, and Bum Rush the Page. He held a Ph.D in English from The CUNY Graduate Center. The editors at Drunken Boat recently received the sad news that John passed away this summer. Please join us in celebrating his work and holding his loved ones in the light.