Hemp


Hemp is making people on Wall Street money medical

marijuana but also just marijuana for whatever purpose it’s legal

now Cannabis or just CBD oil (THC or no THC) gummies etc.

I don’t know you can keep drinking tequila sure but it’s tough

on the system tax revenues are way up it’s all part of a new economic

landscape and John Boehner (Republican) is on the board of

a publicly-traded cannabis company he’s promoting legalization!

after wanting to outlaw it for two decades I smoked plenty

in my back yard four decades ago two friends of mine were

jailed in 1982 for selling it out of a cabin in Newago County

true they had rifles at the ready but I don’t think they ever

pointed them at anybody I made pipes using tin foil applied

to flimsy toilet paper rolls if I couldn’t find my bong or small

pipe or if rolling papers were unavailable Out in the woods one

time after smoking sinsemilla I found myself strolling down

a two-track as part of a society of bears a hallucination

in 1979 I knew what was really happening it was a triumph

of the imagination egged on by the weed Sullivan was a polar

bear due to his white hair otherwise we were all black bears

or brown bears or lumbering grizzlies it lasted only ten seconds

probably I’ll never forget it how the delicate undersides 

of leaves seemed to have feelings we walked everywhere

then because gas was so expensive due to a second oil crisis

we slept in pine groves and fields fast forward 36 years

to Colorado Springs smoking cannabis under an umbrella

outside a coffeehouse nobody paying attention poor people

still landing in jail for selling the stuff in some places though

my former brother in law’s brother got a license to grow

and sell it in 2015 I myself sold pounds of it illegally in 9th grade

my supplier is dead now but a lot of people from those days are dead

he loaned me Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks after he got a divorce 

traveling through the ethers he called it a bedroll acoustic

guitar a frisbee and a rolling machine I never returned the Dylan

I still have it I’ve found a million ways to be someone other

than whoever I might have been by virtue of the ways I

found to make a living years in a fish hatchery park ranger

I pushed a cart around in a hospital storeroom after a while I

focused on teaching I could do without the meetings but it’s less

physical I get to read books my back aches from typing but try

removing fence posts with subluxation a little Prednisone injection

every couple of years the body has limits I’ve got a scrip

for Ativan because I worry too much about the electricity

coursing through the wires in my house my eyes wide open

at night I might wake up while walking down Vistula at

midnight black flags streaming from pick-up trucks the skeletons

of Asian carp littering the roadsides invasive species warning

invasive species warning triggered by the Emergency Alert System

screenshots sent over email as proof my students have completed

their evaluations popping up in my dreams like a web browser

The last time I smoked a joint I watched a honey bee burrow

into a snapdragon You’ve got to really put your exoskeleton into it 

I channeled while a bumblebee hovered nearby on a tether

like a big yellowblimp there was virtually no space between us

me with my two lidded eyes they with their three unlidded

it made me so happy I loved them so much! I began writing

a sestina comparing a split level ranch house to a beehive that was

the conceit! I typed maniacally the next day I read it out loud

to my collie what garbage I told her no wonder I quit smoking

at 23 trying it out again during a mid-life crisis (42, 43) which is

when I put that draft in a paper shredder I never wrote high again




***


David Dodd Lee is the author of ten full-length books of poems & a chapbook, including Downsides of Fish Culture (New Issues Press, 1997), Arrow Pointing North (Four Way Books, 2002), Abrupt Rural (New Issues Press, 2004), The Nervous Filaments (Four Way Books, 2010) Orphan, Indiana (University of Akron Press, 2010), Sky Booths in the Breath Somewhere, the Ashbery Erasure Poems (BlaxeVox, 2010), Animalities (Four Way Books, 2014), & And Other’s, Vaguer Presences, a second book of Ashbery erasure poems. He has published fiction in hundreds of literary magazines (including The Nation, Copper Nickel, Chattahoochee Review, and Diode recently) & is currently making final edits on Flood, a novel. He is also a painter, collage artist, and a photographer. Since 2014 he has been featured in three one person exhibitions, mixing collage & poetry texts into single improvisational art works. Recent artwork has appeared in Tupelo Quarterly, The Hunger, The Rumpus, and Twyckenham Notes. In 2016 he began making sculpture, most of which he installs on various public lands, surreptitiously. Unlucky Animals, a book of collages, original poems, erasures, and dictionary sonnets is forthcoming in 2019. Lee is Editor-in-Chief of 42 Miles Press.

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