Let’s hope you’re still fired up. Poet and musician Faizan Syed returns to keep us motivated, keep us questioning and bettering who we are, and keep us focused on everything that needs to be unphucked in these next four years.

Dear Supposedly Existent Consciousness In Human Shell,

 The seeds of discontent have been sown. It’s time to harvest & cull
 that gnawing desire we mistook for pride eating us from within. 
 It’s time to erase every debt & forgive every student loan, it’s time
 to shut down the oil & the drones, to declare war on war until peace
 is the only way we accept & move on. If any of this is real after all. 
 If you’re not just a voice in a head. For now, we go on in our masks
 and wear another mask on top of that. For now we stand 
 six feet apart in solidarity. We can’t nourish anyone 
 with hatred. We can’t afford to finance & recreate
 the horrors. Of Vietnam, Iran, Afghanistan, 
 Syria, Yemen, Palestine, & countless others, of 
 crony colonialism shoved down protesting throats.
 Are you a protester or are you protested?                                           False.
 We are false for as long as we are blind to each other’s nakedness. 
 Now
 it’s time to defund the fucking war machines
 & the banks that roll them, the fat cats that control
 us, & the criminals in uniform, once and for all. 
 It’s time to repaint the White House 
 using every color under the sun 
 and infrared to boot. I had a dream 
 too. That for the first time in history,
 wealth itself would be redistributed equitably.
 It’s about time. Get greedy & you lose. 
 Them’s the new rules. Welcome to the era
 of equanimity. Can you see it too, friend? 
 A future, like mine? Or any future 
 at all? Or is my machine
 imploding again? Virtual,
 like Mr. Robot, I can’t stop. 
 I won’t drop this dream, Pops.
 I learned how to trust the hard way.
 So, take my word for it, we’ll adjust. 
 I know you must be real, friend.
 If you aren’t, then
 why would you
 even bother
 to read
 this
 to 
 see
 this
 through?
  
 Who 
 aren’t 
 you?

©Faizan Syed– 2021

*****

Faizan Syed, MD is a writer, musician, and psychiatrist based in Queens, NY and is a member of the Queens Poetic Alchemy Collective. He was awarded the Folger Adams Jr. Prize for 1st place in Poetry and the Graduating Poet’s Award from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has been featured on Humans of New York. Faizan’s work has appeared in Montage Literary Arts Journal, Newtown Literary, Cosmonauts Ave, & Empty Mirror. Poems he’s written in collaboration with Matthew DeMarco have been published in Jet Fuel Review, Dogbird Journal, and “They Said,” an anthology of collaborative writing from Black Lawrence Press. One can find him on Instagram @docfaizan or on SoundCloud at https://soundcloud.com/docfaizan.

*****

For the first 100 days of the Biden administration, this website will feature a new poem of What’s Next!? These pieces can be calls to action, calls to attention, or calls to anger. They will light the way and guide the fight. They will get us moving and keep our momentum. They will be filled with hope, with anger, with sorrow. They will get us into good trouble and point out the trouble we need to stop. They will be polished gems, or rough-cut drafts of rage, or in-process pieces searching for peace. They may be haiku or tanka, limericks or lyrics, verses free or fettered.

#100Days100Poems of What’s Next!? wants your poems, your prose, your visual art (photos, drawings, sculptures), your music, your short films and animations. Interpret the theme as broadly as you’d like.

If you would like to submit to this endeavor, please send an email, with your visual art (as .jpg or .pdf) or your poem saved as a word document (.docx) to waxyandpoetic AT gmail DOT com. Include a short bio (2-3 sentences) and social media/website information. All rights remain with the author. Please address any formatting preferences in your email. Waxyandpoetic.com will post submissions time permitting, with at least one per day beginning 20 January 2021.

Read, follow, share, submit, live, love, spread light! Don’t forget to use #100Days100Poems !

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