Here’s our second installment of “Bushwick Bohemia Beat Poetry” curated by Bushwick-born poet, Emanuel Xavier. The series features poems by local Bushwick residents and/or natives. This month’s poem comes from Carly Brooke Feinman, a local playwright and poet.

If you would like to be featured next month, send two to three poems (10 pages max) to [email protected] with the subject “Bushwick Bohemia Beat Poetry Submission.”

Poems should be attached as Word documents, 10 point, Times New Roman font, double spaced and set up as they should appear on the site if selected. Please include a brief 3-5 sentence bio and your personal relation to Bushwick with your current mailing address for verification. If submitting previously published work, please include appropriate publication credits. You’ll only receive an email if your poem is selected for publication.

Submissions are due on the first of every month, and the selected entry will be published in the final week of the following month.

Poems can be about anything at all, but contributors must currently live within the Bushwick area or have been born and/or raised in the neighborhood.


by Carly Brooke Feinman

Are at the heart of all great historical events.
Push your gaze through the holes in the crowd and you’ll see their open hands
bare calloused hands free of stones lists of demands sizable checks photos
of lovers you’ll see eyes like rusting pennies, like bloodied bullets.

Revolutions pluck unscratched boys.
With their deeply rooted spiritual values they itch
for a cause to roll their sleeves up for.

Sure, they could participate efficiently in the world and develop a cultural presence but place a firearm in their hands and you’ll see the spark
that weighted metal triggers.

They’ll chuck words like freedom and justice from their dry throats but
what they really want is a hot meal
a hand to hold
for future generations to read their names.

Many bold authentic people stand still as others get muddy
as boots lose their shine and chest cavities are shelled and split open like stubborn clams
as the sun sets and last names dissolve into thick black tallies they stand still
as a coffin the size of a little red wagon is passed over cowered heads and lowered
into a hole dug by a single weeping father they stand still
and swallow objections raw as splintered watermelons, they stand back and
spit upon those reckless front-line brutes.

Like a glass chandelier silence hangs heavy but
boy is it clean.

Carly Brooke Feinman is a Bushwick-based playwright and poet who believes that dissent is patriotic. She’s jazzed that she’s found a home that warmly welcomes that notion.

Featured image by Jerry Kiesewetter on Unsplash.