Break out your Duster & Sweep ’em Out!

These are two poems that I wrote in response to the ORCEM/VMT issues in Vallejo, CA.
I read the second one to the city council and a group of about 200 citizens on January 5th, 2016, among several citizens and Fresh Air Vallejo activists who spoke out. (If you’re so inclined to watch the video, it’s about 58 minutes in.) I believe our town deserves better.


Break Out Your Duster

I saw the good people of my city today.
On the steps of the city hall, they gathered.
They chanted, “orcem, orcem, go away.
We don’t want you in our city by the bay.”

The big cement company and its dust,
Aren’t a company that we can trust.
They claim in their adverts it’s all green,
Talking all progress and growth again,
While leaving out pollution from their scenes.

Promising only a couple hundred jobs,
While from our lungs, the air they’ll rob.
A couple hundred salaries it ain’t worth.
Risking 118,000’s health is far worse.

And underneath all that cement dust,
Laid a serious breach of community trust.

When the people of my city found out,
They took to the streets with a shout.
It was time to hold a recall for Mayor,
Because he’d become a betrayer.
This city, here, well, it deserves better,
Than back room deals for the highest bidder.

None of this poem is written in cement,
Only just giving my two cents.
This is no time to sit on the fence.
If you agree, voice your dissent.

January 5, 2016, Vallejo City Hall
January 5, 2016, Vallejo City Hall

This Project’s a Lemon: Sweep Em Out!

In this city of opportunity live workers and dreamers
propelling us forward as an artistic, successful place,
one of community, happy families, and open space.
What I can’t understand is why you won’t stick to that plan?

Your dusty cement plant scheming
needs to be swept right out of here.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m pro-union,
pro-high-wage-jobs for this city’s peoples,
but this greenwashed pollution ain’t the solution
if you give a hoot about our schools, homes, and steeples.
A few jobs aren’t worth risking the lungs of our young ones.

Now with all due respect, I gotta ask what the heck?
This secret back room dealing just ain’t right,
and the good folks of this town will give you a fight
in the courts or by ballot boxing.
See the people with their protest signs,
asking you to follow the voters’ designs, or maybe resign.

If you’d like to stop this city hall circus,
then please, just follow the voter’s choices,
and listen to all of our voices.

We didn’t elect you to abuse our trust,
so please listen because it seems that you’ve lost us.
If you work in the shadows, you’ve got to recuse.
because if you go against the will of we the people,
you’re just bound to lose.

Id Biscuits

Id Biscuits

$14.99eBook: $4.99
Series: Poetry Paperbacks, Book 6
Genre: Poetry
Tag: Recommended Books
Publication Year: 2016
Length: 200
ASIN: B0797JV63F
ISBN: 1530453054

Id Biscuits is D.L. Lang's sixth poetry book. This 200 page volume contains topical poetry, autobiographical poems, spiritual poems, and story poems.

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About the Book
Id Biscuits is D.L. Lang’s sixth poetry book. This 200 page volume contains topical poetry, autobiographical poems, spiritual poems, and story poems. Preview on Google Books The poem “Marin Is…” won third place in Marvelous Marin poetry at the Marin County Fair in 2016. The poem “Master of Peace” won Reserve Best of Show and a blue ribbon in Published Poetry at the 2016 Solano County Fair. This poetry book is similar to D.L. Lang’s previous release, Poet Loiterer, containing poetic reflections on current events, the author’s life, politics, and history. You can read poems that were featured in this book by visiting the poetry blog. Excerpt from the foreword:
I called this book Id Biscuits. Id, as in the inner child, which I fully let run wild. The title is also a pun on identity. The inner hippie wanderer protester artist is reflected in this book, as it was in my previous work, Poet Loiterer. This could almost be seen as a sequel to that book. As with that book, there are several political poems. If you care not for such things, I suggest you check out my earlier tomes, but there should be poems in this one for everyone. These poems were written November 2015 – April 2016. The first four poems are exceptions and were discovered among personal papers. “L’Atah, Eretz” was a love poem to my then boyfriend now husband, Tim, written in 2002 that I thought I had lost. “Larry and the Berry” is the oldest and silliest poem I have, written in 1994 when I was 11 during a class with the Enid Summer Arts Project. There are poems from both my higher self, and written from the pit of the struggle of being human. This book reflects both my dark side and my light side, and I’ll leave it up to you to decide which side is which. For as I’ve said before, judgment of my own art is not my job. Although portions of this book are topical and autobiographical, most of it is mere fiction and wordplay. They mostly are inspired by nature, Judaism, Oklahoma, Marin, Vallejo, music, current events, and history. All completely poetic nonsense— part reality, part exaggeration, part total fiction.

About the Author
D.L. Lang

D.L. Lang is the current Poet Laureate of Vallejo, California. She is the author of twelve books, and one spoken word album. She has featured at many events around the bay area, been interviewed on KPFA and KZCT, and her poetry has been anthologized in Light & Shadow, A Poet’s Siddur, and Marin Poetry Center Anthology, Vol 21. She is the editor of Verses, Voices, & Visions of Vallejo.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the page above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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D.L. Lang served as Poet Laureate of Vallejo, California (2017-2019). She is the author of twelve books, and one spoken word album. Her poems have been published in the Benicia Herald, Jewish Journal, Poets Are Heroes Magazine, ReformJudaism.org, the Benicia First Tuesday Poets anthology Light & Shadow, and in A Poet’s Siddur: Friday Evening Liturgy through the Eyes of Poets. Lang has been a featured act at several events including the Vallejo Man March, Unity Day, Solidarity with Charlottesville, the Vallejo Women’s March, Families Belong Together, and International Peace Day. She is also a regular at Poetry by the Bay and lead the Poetry in Notion poetry circle. She has won ribbons and rosettes at the Alameda, Marin, San Mateo, and Solano County Fairs. Her poems have been transformed into songs, liturgy, and used as a means to advocate for causes.

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