Monday, November 16, 2015

Jennifer Lagier


Carlos became homicide victim
number 22 this year.
He was 16, varsity football star,
in the wrong place when the latest
turf-war slaying went down.

After scrimmage,
as he sat in a friend's pickup,
the gangbanger wearing a
black hooded sweatshirt
shoved a gun into the window,
shot multiple times,
left him bleeding.

"Those bullets were
not for him," a classmate mourns.
"He didn’t deserve it."

"I'll be his voice, stare that murderer
in the eyes at every court date,"
his bereaved brother vows.

The neighborhood simmers.
Witnesses are encouraged
to speak up, anonymously call
the gang task force tip line.

Jennifer reads "Another Death":

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Jennifer confesses: "'Another Death' was inspired by a local newspaper article about the latest gang-initiated murder in Salinas. For some time now, gang activity has escalated, resulting in murder and injuries to innocent victims, frequently children or teens, who just got in the way of gunfire."

JENNIFER LAGIER has published ten books of poetry and internationally in a variety of literary magazines and anthologies. Her latest book, Where We Grew Up, was just issued by FutureCycle Press. She taught with California Poets in the Schools, co-edits the Homestead Review, maintains web sites for Homestead Review, Monterey Poetry Review, Ping Pong Literary Journal, misfitmagazine and helps coordinate monthly Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium Second Sunday readings. Visit

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