Monday, May 1, 2023

Jennifer Lagier


...mountains of men, oceans of bone, an engine whose teeth shred all that is not our name. — Tracy K. Smith

In Tennessee, white nationalists
brandish guns, threaten to murder
an eleven-year-old trans girl
whose traumatized parents contact the FBI,
hire a private investigator and security team.
When she boards the school bus,
friends shield her from jeers,
mob faces twisted with hate.

At an ultra-conservative conference
speakers call for eradication
of LBGT individuals.
In MAGA land, new regressive laws
play well with fascists in training,
have emboldened the crazies.

Red-hatted rabble
call themselves Christians,
cheer escalating cruelty,
embrace annihilation of anyone
unlike themselves.

Jennifer's YouTube video reading of "Hate Crime":

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Jennifer confesses: "This poem captures the experience of family members who live in Tennessee and are raising a trans child. Tennessee has passed some of the most virulent legislation designed to oppress and threaten the trans community."

JENNIFER LAGIER lives a block from the Monterey stage where Janis Joplin performed and Jimi Hendrix torched his guitar. She has published nineteen books, in a variety of anthologies and literary magazines, edits the Monterey Poetry Review, helps coordinate Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium Second Sunday readings. Website:, Facebook:

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