If we were created in God’s image
then when God was a child
he smushed fire ants with his fingertips
and avoided tough questions.
There are ways around being the go-to person
even for ourselves
even when the answer is clear
clear like the holy water Gentiles would drink
before they realized
forgiveness is the release of all hope for a better past.

I thought those were chime shells in your pocket
so I chucked a quarter at it
hoping to hear some part of you respond on a high note.
You acted like I was hurling crowbirds at mockingbars
and abandoned me for not making sense.
Evidently, I don’t experience things as rationally as you do.

For example, I know mercy
when I have enough money for the jukebox.
You know mercy whenever someone shoves a stick of morphine
straight up into your heart.
It felt amazing
the days you were happy to see me

so I smashed a beehive against the ocean
to try and make our splash last longer.
Remember all the honey
had me lookin’ like a jellyfish ape
but you walked off the water in a porcupine of light
strands of gold
drizzled out to the tips of your wasps.
This is an apology letter to the both of us
for how long it took me to let things go.

It was not my intention to make such a
production of the emptiness between us
playing tuba on the tombstone of a soprano
to try and keep some dead singer’s perspective alive.
It’s just that I coulda swore you had sung me a love song back there
and that you meant it
but I guess sometimes people just chew with their mouth open

so I ate ear plugs alive with my throat
hoping they’d get lodged deep enough inside the empty spots
that I wouldn’t have to hear you leaving
so I wouldn’t have to listen to my heart keep saying
all my eggs were in a basket of red flags
all my eyes to a bucket of blindfolds
in the cupboard with the muzzles and the gauze
ya know I didn’t mean to speed so far out and off
trying to drive your nickels to the well
when you were happy to let them wishes drop

but I still show up for gentleman practice
in the company of lead dancers
hoping their grace will get stuck in my shoes.
Is that a handsome shadow on my breath, sweet woman
or is it a cattle call in a school of fish?
Still dance with me
less like a waltz for panic
more for the way we’d hoped to swing
the night we took off everything
and we were swingin for the fences

don’t hold it against
my love
you know I wanna breath deeper than this
I didn’t mean to look so serious
didn’t mean to act like a filthy floor
didn’t mean to turn us both into a cutting board
but there were knives sstuck
in the words where I came from
too much time in the back of my words.
I pulled knives from my back and my words.
I cut trombones from the moment you slipped away

and I know it left me lookin’ like a knife fight, lady
boy I know it left me feelin’ like a shotgun shell
you know I know I mighta gone and lost my breath
but I wanna show ya how I found my breath
to death
it was buried under all the wind instruments
hidden in your castanets
goddamn –
if you ever wanna know how it felt when ya left –
if ya ever wanna come inside –

just knock on the spot
where I finally pressed STOP

playing musical chairs with your exit signs.

I’m gonna cause you a miracle
when you see the way I kept God’s image alive.

is for anyone who needs safe passage through my mind.

If I really was created in God’s image
then when God was a boy
he wanted to grow up to be a man
a good man
and when God was a man
a good man
He started telling the truth in order to get honest responses.
He’d say,
“I know.
I really shoulda wore my cross
but I don’t wanna scare the gentiles off.”


BUDDY WAKEFIELD is the two-time Individual World Poetry Slam Champion featured on NPR, the BBC, HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, and most recently signed to Ani DiFranco’s Righteous Babe Records. In 2004 he won the Individual World Poetry Slam Finals thanks to the support of anthropologist and producer Norman Lear then successfully defended that [arbitrary] title at the International Poetry Festival in Rotterdam, Netherlands against the national champions of seven European countries with works translated into Dutch.

In 2005 he won the Individual World Poetry Slam Championship again and has gone on to share the stage with nearly every notable performance poet in the world in hundreds of venues internationally from The Fillmore in San Francisco and Scotland’s Oran Mor to San Quentin State Penitentiary, House of Blues New Orleans and CBGB’s. In the spring of 2001 Buddy left his position as the executive assistant at a biomedical firm in Gig Harbor, WA, sold or gave away everything he owned, moved to the small town of Honda Civic and set out to live for a living, touring North American poetry venues through 2003. He still tours full time and considers annual Revival tours with Derrick Brown and Anis Mojgani, as well as separate tours with Ani DiFranco and Sage Francis, to be the highlight of his career thus far. Oh, and the first time he performed with Saul Williams… that was freaking AWESOME in the FACE!

Born in Shreveport, LA, mostly raised in Baytown, TX, now claiming Seattle, WA as home, Buddy has been a busker in Amsterdam, a lumberjack in Norway, a street vendor in Spain, a team leader in Singapore, a re-delivery boy, a candy maker, a street sweeper, a bartender, a maid, a construction worker, manager of a CD store, a bull rider and a booking agent. Wakefield is a growth junkie, elated son of a guitar repair woman, wingman of Giant Saint Everything, and remembers Kirkwood, NY.

Buddy, a Board of Directors member with Youth Speaks Seattle, is honored that his work is published internationally in several books and has been used to win national collegiate debate and forensics competitions. An author of Write Bloody Publishing, Wakefield is known for delivering raw, rounded, high vibration performances of humor and heart.


…except for the time one of Buddy’s hero’s, Benjamin Morse, called him “Monster of Energy, Keeper of Hope, Friend of My Soul…” That was a good one.


In the Fall of 1984 Anchor Bay Entertainment released a movie called Children of the Corn while Buddy lived in front of the corn fields near Niagara Falls, NY. This traumatic event (coupled with extensive exposure to Kenny Rogers and Lionel Richie) may or may not have led to Buddy becoming a sensitive poet puss who plays marbles in the trees, listens by talking and keeps fingers on pulse. HI MOM!

6 responses to “Hurling Crowbirds at Mockingbars (Hope is Not a Course of Action)”

  1. It’s been a pleasure to work with you, Buddy. And it’s been an even greater pleasure to read your work. I’m so glad that I pursued having you as a feature on the site. All the best.

  2. […] a collection of poems by Wakefield and fellow slam poets Derrick Brown and Anis Mogjani.  Here are the words to “Hurling Crowbirds at Mockingbars.” (Thanks to YouTube user […]

  3. […] Release Of All Hope For A Better Past So, this post is completely influenced by a poem which you can read here. (Thank you for showing me this, by the way!) It is, in my mind, very confusing. But I’m […]

  4. […] Is The Release Of All Hope… So, this post is completely influenced by a poem which you can read here. (Thank you for showing me this, by the way!) It is, in my mind, very confusing. But I’m […]

  5. lucas Poles says:

    i don’t understand the part where it says he found his breathe buried in her castanets.

    I also don’t understand the line :

    just knock on the spot
    where I finally pressed STOP

    playing musical chairs with your exit signs.

    why is he playing musical chairs with her exits signs, does this have to do with her wanting to break up with him?

    • Benjamin says:

      The way I understand it (obviously not necessarily the way intended), is that by the castanets reference he may be saying that he was able to ‘find his breath’ in this persons energy and music, if you will. This person brought out the best parts of him.

      And yes, I believe this is about someone who left him and broke his heart, so the ‘playing musical chairs with your exit signs’ is perhaps a reference to him trying to prevent them from leaving.

      But that’s just my interpretation!

      PS, I think it’s about a guy, not a girl as Buddy is gay.

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