Saturday, April 30, 2011

April 2011 Introduction


April

Volume  II * 2011

Publisher:  The Penny Blog 
Editor: Penny

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

To what purpose, April, do you return again?
Beauty is not enough. [...]
It is not enough that yearly, down this hill,
April
Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.
           Edna St. Vincent Millay, "Spring" (from Second April)

Sorry, Edna, but Penny and I beg to differ. We kinda like April's babbling and flowers. In fact, that's one of the reasons we named our own little collection of babbling and flowers, April magazine, after it. Admittedly, a more important reason was that April is also National Poetry Month in both Canada and the United States; and the original idea for the magazine was to do something special that month.

What we do is bring you contemporary poetry. Unlike the usual focus of The Penny Blog (overlooked or neglected great work from the past, past enough to be into the public domain here in Canada), for April we publish work by authors who are currently living and writing.

April aims at showing  the diversity of contemporary verse.  We run the full gamut -- and what a gamut it is -- of today's poetry: structurally, from songs to formal verse to open forms to prose poems; thematically, from nonsense to love to death; experience-wise, from beginners to masters with years of practice. There is indeed a wide and wonderful world of poetry online, and we hope that April gives some indication of it.

We tried a couple of new things this year. One was to limit to 15 poets, and give every writer two poems. We held to that as best we could: but there were just too many good writers, too many good single poems, to do it completely. So that was only a partially realized vision; but we think the end result is better for it.

The second initiative was to look for and feature Creative Commons-licensed poetry sites. CC is a great initiative we applaud, perhaps the only way to reconcile the traditional ideas of copyright with the demands of the information age. Some of our blog's non-public domain work is CC-licensed, and we hope to have more of that in future. In the meantime, we are more than happy to promote other CC-using poetry sites.

But that's enough babbling for now. It's time to go look at this year's flowers.

nothing / Ray Heinrich


< nothing >

there is nothing
between you
between the air
between the motion of the day
and the quiet of the floor
and the water
the sound of water
flowing
through the ground
beneath you

---
ray heinrich
Texas, U.S.A.

from the website:

Word Biscuit by ray heinrich
http://wordbiscuit.com/

[Some rights reserved under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivs-U.S. 3.0 (BY-NC-ND-3.0) License] http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/us/

Friday, April 29, 2011

There is a Wild and Mysticated Wood /
Tom Hendricks


There is a Wild and Mysticated Wood

There is a wild and mysticated wood
haunted by phantom familiars
that stalk the ether that sometimes lodges
in the fragrance of certain particulars.

Beware you footed of where you step
and avoid both halves of gray;
and before the murmuring lays its snares
be sure you've slipped away

---
Tom Hendricks
Dallas, Texas, U.S.A.

From the online magazine:

Musea
http://www.Musea.us
the zine for ART and the ART REVOLUTION.


[All rights reserved by the author - Used with permission]

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Stonewalled Meteor / Rusty Taylor


Stonewalled Meteor

Spiraling slowly through the cold void of space,
a pitted fragment from a once volatile star
dances past unimaginable images of grace
and chaos with home-woven dreams of a vast galaxy far
from whence it came. The gray meteor gleams
in vivid reddish hues as it brilliantly blazes by
a fiery orange orb as perfect as celestial dreams
dreamt by those of us not allowed to fly.

Approaching a planet blue, green, and white,
the dead star again flames to life as it flies
into the dense atmosphere. From the surface, its fall
becomes a beautiful silver string of light.
Years later, a smooth stone from distant skies
becomes part of Frost's New England stone wall.

---
by Russell (Rusty) Allen Taylor
1991
Georgia, U.S.A.

from the website:

Southern Standard Time
http://www.southern-standard-time.com/Poetry.html

[All rights reserved by the author - Used with permission]

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

baseball / David Rutkowski


baseball

we will go to the park
on an iffy night when rain
may douse the field
with waiting
i will see how the field bats
adjust to the raindrops
my theory: the slenderness
of mosquito makes them hungry
in the stands
women so thin
they wear lead shoes
on windy days
tonight we will eat squid
and root for the lions
as our noise tools
prepare our eardrums
for quiet
nevermore

---
David Rutkowski
September 2010
Taiwan


Read David Rutkowski on usenet:
http://groups.google.ca/groups/profile?hl=en&enc_user=1Th4CxUAAABdvVEFf5RXuIwR4Fmqzc359h3i3SmjGmAJbX05nZ-8fQ

[All rights reserved by the author - Used with permission]

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Poet / Giles Goodland


The Poet

The poet comes home
and his three-year-old son runs at him
with a monster-mask of his own construction.

The poet considers whether he should
congratulate his child or run like hell.

The poet walks into the kitchen
to witness his daughter fall from the high-chair
onto the wooden floor
and for the next hour there is no conversation.

The poet realises his mistake,
makes an excuse and leaves.

This mask the poet purchased earlier
appeared to contain a skull:
you put it inside your head and it made you.

The poet cries out aloud, it made you cry
something on the news.

The poet’s son leaps up, he wants
to cook everything, it should be
given as many seconds as can be numbered.

The poet thinks if we were actors
we might be really bad ones, yesterday
he fluffed so many lines he felt like
a thistle pouring whiteness across his family.

Somewhere she is in a poem
rubbing her eyes. It’s hardly even morning yet.
It will be hours before she starts looking for the poet.

The poet writes a poem in which the narrator
steps out and congresses with ropes of rainwater.
He claims he made a new sun yesterday
that casts no shadow. You can
swim in it and not burn. He calls it
language, and it has never set.

The first thing the poet forgets is his skin.
Softly but continuously language is describing
to the poet why it should go on, but the more
it talks the fewer words it has left.

The poet listens to the pages emptying
and is followed by a verb of motion.
His cat has been missing for several decades now.

The road he did not take negates the poem.
It is so bright and open,
an inviting street-lit yellow cupped forever
in the palm of his mind.

The poet laughs and cuddles in his sleep
a razor blade and a tin of flowers.

---
Giles Goodland
London, U.K.


From the website:

RECONFIGURATIONS: A Journal for Poetics & Poetry / Literature & Culture, ISSN: 1938-3592, Volume 1 (2007): Contingency
http://reconfigurations.blogspot.com/

[Copyright: RECONFIGURATIONS publishes under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License - Some rights reserved]

Giles Goodland on myspace:
http://www.myspace.com/gilesgoodland

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Day Charles Bukowski Died / Gary Frankfurth


The Day Charles Bukowski Died

Deidre's nipple pressed against my eye.
still sleeping, the sheets
knotted beneath us.
Julio was upside-down;
his big toe in Deidre's twat.
I raised my lips and suckled,
half hoping she wouldn't wake up.
I got up;
I was still wearing her teddy.

I: went to the john and threw-up,
pissed and threw-up again.
went to the fridge
and grabbed a beer.
drank it in a single gulp,
then grabbed another.
stepped outside and sat on the curb:
Hollywood Blvd.
nursed the beer in the heat.

Two blue-haired ladies
with matching poodles
went by on the sidewalk.
I said,
"Come on ladies,
I'll do you both
right now."

Even the dogs knew not to
bark.

I: got up and stumbled,
bashing my knee on the curb.
It dripped blood like a bad washer.
went back inside.
Deidre was straddling Julio.
slipped on my boxers and kissed her
hard on the mouth.
went to the fridge
and grabbed the last beer.

I: turned on the game
and flopped on the couch.
The oscillating fan
moved the heat back
and forth.
dozed-off;
dreamed that
Charles Bukowski dreamed that
he was me.

I said,
"Goodbye, Charles."
And Charles Bukowski said,
"Goodbye, Charles."

---
Gary Frankfurth
November 2009
Georgia, U.S.A.

Gary Frankfurth on facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000155604569&ref=ts

[All rights reserved by the author - Used with permission]

Saturday, April 23, 2011

page 59 / Mary Kasimor


page 59

another twister shortened
the gold
alchemy
the answers died in electro-
magnetic fields
on marshy land
ducks drink the wet winds

between monday &
friday the river
consorts
with realtors
their days waving on
clotheslines
crawl with ants
worms slink
away in metal bands

indeed
they wrap their voices around wires
a summer evening
of cotton breezes
also curtains
that blow homeward
I crossed the tea
& learned the witch’s craft
a hobby
of stubborn children play
with herbs &
star crossed skies

she mixes
dust on a veil of rain
water rubbed raw
the stone’s forehead
a chain of events lead to thought
disguising survival’s ancient face
so sad
you said
you died
flipping to regulations on page 59
you float away in a helium
buzz of strawberries

---
Mary Kasimor
Minnesota, U.S.A.

From the website:

RECONFIGURATIONS: A Journal for Poetics & Poetry / Literature & Culture, ISSN: 1938-3592, Volume 4 (2010): Emergence
http://reconfigurations.blogspot.com/

[Copyright: RECONFIGURATIONS publishes under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License - Some rights reserved]

Mary Kasimor on facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/mary.kasimor

Friday, April 22, 2011

My Silence (1-3) / R.K. Singh

from MY SILENCE (1974-1984)

1

She is the tree
green and wide
abundantly dressed
overflowing
spreading her sleeves
blesses all
in her cool shade
solitude teems
with breezy songs
I feel
nearer God


2

That autumn tree
from this window
looks like a young woman
naked
exciting birds
to come
kiss and play
tomorrow
when spring will return
she will be too lovely
to touch


3

I feel her hyaline influx
in my deep love leaps
from the soul with subtle glows
her breath runs through my veins:
this vassal of the flesh blushes
as I drink the infinite in her

(4 - 6)
---
R.K.Singh
Dhanbad, Jharkhand, India


From the book

Sense and Silence: The Collected Poems of R.K. Singh
(Yking, 2010)
Read: http://collectedpoemsofrksingh.blogspot.com/
Buy: http://www.flipkart.com/sense-silence-singh-collected-poems-book-8191058820

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Conjuror / Michael G. Munoz


Conjuror

I can wait no longer
I mix your powders
Red and green
Gold and deep brown
Mix with smoke
With fire, with sandalwood
I conjure you
An apparition
To sit on my bed
Sit at my feet
I mix your powders
Into fine grains
I imagine your dark eyes
The thin amber dress you wear
I conjure you
And the oil
And the salts
Become your lips
Your cheeks
Your face
The incense swirls
Twists in the draft
It is you
Alive, dancing,

Here I work an old magic
Forming you
Delivering you
I count out stars
Throw them
Into the folds of your body
Into the tangle of your hair

In my eyes
There you linger
Near a window
By a mirror
I put the whisper in your mouth
The heave in your breast
I conjure you
You are here now
Almost to touch
Almost to kiss

The immeasurable lightness of joy

---
Michael G. Munoz
February 2011
California, U.S.A.

[All rights reseerved by the author - Used with permission]

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

She Sleeps Tight / Will Dockery


She Sleeps Tight

Sleeps so tight
she has a marksman's eye.
Maker's mark
tattoo firewater spine.
Leather shoes
but nowhere to go.

Dice and coins
scattered in the snow.
Dice and coins
scattered in the snow.

Won't be long,
until I see her face.
She's waiting
in an undisclosed place.
I've been conspired
banned from my muse.

This won't stick
poor boy's all confused.
This won't stick
poor boy's all confused.

In Salem town
she keeps her chin so high.
Darkened breeze
she smiles as I roll by.
Step inside
she looks for tables left.

Wink at time
nothing lasts except yourself.
Wink at time
nothing lasts except yourself.

Like a Steamboat
she plans to roll on down.
To the Gulf
out of this dirty town.
Copper mesh
kept stuffed in a jar.

Sharp cold hit
turning wine to water.
Sharp cold hit
turning wine to water.

We know him
eye deed by his ship.
In a trap
a kind of goosechase trip.
Whiskey fumes
and stale gunsmoke.

Sunk and drowned
with all her knives and jokes.
Sunk and drowned
with all her knives and jokes.

Sleeps so tight
she has a marksman's eye.
Maker's mark
tattoo firewater spine.
Leather shoes
but nowhere to go.

---
Will Dockery
September 2009
Shadowville, U.S.A.



Song “She Sleeps Tight” -- Will Dockery (words), Brian Mallard (music)
vocals by Will Dockery & Sandy Madaris, guitars by Brian Mallard.
Paintings by George Sulzbach. ©2009 by Dockery-Mallard

[All rights reserved - Used with permission]

Will Dockery biography

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Lucky Penny / George J. Dance


Lucky Penny

Hey there, Lucky Penny,
        Shining like brand new.
Hey there, Lucky Penny,
        Can I get lucky with you?

I saw you in an alleyway
        Shining in the sun.
I knew it was my lucky day,
        You were my lucky one.
So many guys had passed you by
        And left you all alone,
But I knew I just had to try
To pick you up and bring you home.

Hey there, Lucky Penny,
        Oh, what I would do
For a Lucky Penny.
       Let me get lucky with you.

I'd wanted you from long before,
       When I was just a lad.
I've had my share of luck, and more,
       But most of it was bad.
Each night before I'd go to sleep
       I'd dream about how grand
My life would be if I could keep
A Lucky Penny in my hand.

Hey there, Lucky Penny,
       Make my dreams come true.
Be my Lucky Penny.
        Let me get lucky with you.

My luck has changed from that day on.
        The good times have been many.
I don't care if my money's gone,
        I only need a Penny.
I never had a clue before
        That life could hold such thrills.
I wouldn't trade my Penny for
A billion brand-new dollar bills.

Hey there, Lucky Penny,
        Thanks are overdue.
You're my Lucky Penny.
        I got lucky with you.

---
George J. Dance, 2007
from Doggerel, and other doggerel, 2015
[All rights reserved by the author - used with permission]

Monday, April 18, 2011

Wheat Field Concerts / James D. Senetto


Wheat Field Concerts

Cricket orchestras
perform
wheat field concerts
and I can see
the flattened straw
where we dreamed
and made love
safe from the distant
porch light
while the stars
became our blanket
and sweat dampened
the earth
and fingers clawed
trying to hold on
to tomorrow's
inevitable
goodbye

---
James D. Senetto
New York, U.S.A.

from the website

http://www.talkofthetownband.com/Jim/jim.htm

[All rights reserved by the author -- Used with permission.]

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Passion / Dana Dodd


Panting
Wet with the dew of shimmering sighs
Music sweet and alluring
Holds us in its grasp
As wave after wave of chorusing rhythms
Pound every pure eighth note into oblivion
We lay immersed as each beat splits
Into moonbeams eerie light
Our bodies bathed in sweat
Passion
Hot and beating
Our breaths touching
We drift on a sea of ecstasy

---
Dana Dodd
March 2011
Georgia, U.S.A.

[All rights reserved by the author - Used with permission]

Friday, April 15, 2011

My Silence (4-6) / R.K. Singh

from MY SILENCE (1974-1984)

(1 - 3)

4

I clasp your hands
and feel the blood
running savagely
through your arteries
in tulip silence


5

Is it the perfume
or your body
that makes the night
drunken?

your lush lips
ripple fire
in beautiful silence

your fragrance radiates
flowers and water

can I seek
my voice
in your breasts?


6

Blind
I see her beauty
deaf
I hear her melody
ignorant
I partake of her knowledge
poor
I share her wealth
in-drawn
her vision reigns my heart

yet the darkness of dust
veils my being
I don’t understand
the hidden words

though I sit
under her tree of love
she’s still away from me
just one pace
if I could take
I enter
the pavilion of eternity

---
R.K.Singh
Dhanbad, Jharkhand, India

From the book

Sense and Silence: The Collected Poems of R.K. Singh
(Yking, 2010)
Read: http://collectedpoemsofrksingh.blogspot.com/
Buy: http://www.flipkart.com/sense-silence-singh-collected-poems-book-8191058820

[All rights reserved by the author - Used with permission]

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Bat and the Loon / Gary Frankfurth


The Bat and the Loon

A man kneels to a lake of tears
and cups a shattered face to his mouth.
A woman's drama is less:
she busies herself sewing a mourning dress.
Her frantic scissors clip through the night
like startled bats.
At dawn she presses
this garment between pages
of yesterday's diary.
A man pines in the manner
of the Ojibwa Loon:
his screams are the color of silver.

---
Gary Frankfurth
September 2009
Georgia U.S.A.

[All rights reserved by the author - Used with permission]

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Orbits / Adam Lynn


Orbits

Two aqua blue
geraniums bloom
out of the eye

sockets of a sun
bleached skull.
Silence reigns.

Sisyphus
has left the building,
his boulder finally still.

In the nighttime
sky the stars
shrug off their names.

---
Adam Lynn
March 2010
New York, U.S.A.

from the blog:

Let the Echo Decide
http://adamlynn.blogspot.com/

[All rights reserved by the author - Used with permission]

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Great Matter / Obsidian Eagle


The Great Matter

When the one who wrote this is gone, shall our species have gotten much further along?
We are each a brief candle, which no recounting can rekindle
Within austere walls of Zendo (meditation halls), one question above all:
What means the Great Matter of life and death for those caught in the middle?
Who has ears for the Bards of yesteryear other than any Poets now here?
Why such aversion to departure when presence itself can be torture?
Where does a soul dream if its body leaves behind mundane stream?
Will we receive otherworldly consolation or face eternal damnation?
Were scriptures reliable then perhaps planning would be viable
Without that however, each of us takes a lonesome dive into forever
. . .

---
Obsidian Eagle
October 2010

from the blog:

Obsidian Eagle's Blasphemous Bazaar

[All rights reserved by the author - Used with permission]

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Devil, the Moon, and the River / Geoffrey Long


The Devil, The Moon, and the River

I went ambling down Connecticut on a March day
to play the tourist, a flaneur, my tools at hand:
a pen, a notebook, and a small camera,
intent on capturing the elusive betes of devils at play in the sun.
I watched keenly for glimpses of hooves
clattering along the sidewalk in khakis,
flicked my eyes across the seats of tourists
straining to spot the bulge of a tail,
and most of all, suspiciously eyed
those strangers that might be masking horns
beneath battered old baseball caps – 
I know they're there, strolling as I do,
hunting as I do, stalking as I do,
flicking their eyes about as I do,
searching for the kindred spirits
of lost souls, braying silent calls
to summon their brethren,
calling our kind to the hunt,
to the orgy,
to the river,
to the war,
to the moon.

---
Geoffrey Long
2002
Massachusetts, U.S.A.

published in Inkblots, Summer 2003
from the website:

Geoffrey Long 2010
http://www.geoffreylong.com/writing/poetry.php

[copyright Geoffrey Long 2002. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Non-Commercial - 2.0 Generic (CC-BY-NC-20) license. Some rights reserved.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Red Lipped Stranger / Will Dockery


Red Lipped Stranger

Her creep crawls
the narrow stairway
of the Candlelight Motel
to watch for her
from a window.

Rethinking
his infatuation
but clinging
to his vision of her
as the red lipped stranger.

Downstairs
the desk clerk's cat
slithers through
the service entrance.

The vampirate
on a motorbike
passes below
to the westbound bridge
werewolf on her back.

Jennifer at riverbend
watches gunboats
smacks her foot
on the bright red clay.

Jennifer gives good lyric
she wrote this poem
she's no bum.

But she's not there
on the other side
of the greenish wall.

Through a three-inch-wall
he hears
bedsprings rattle
rustle of dry-hump,
some guy's mumbles.

Hears the fat blonde waitress
whip it in bondage
the sounds
lull him to sleep.

The hand of Uncle Sugar
still taking notes
as a new standard bearer
hands out trophies
to the winners.

His trillion dollar gash
flakes from the bone
as gravity tears
a pound of dust.

Clings to a picture book
the missing part of himself
as if perpetually
anchored
to his invisible erection.

At Lucky Seven Lounge
she tries
not to reveal herself
but she stubbornly clutches
her empty shoes.

Something
seems missing
in the broad daylight
when the details
are displayed.

All that remains are
her flat black hat
her oversized lantern
her broken laptop.

No poor boy on the street
can speak of her
or the island on the river.
Or about her return...
her resurrection.

---
Will Dockery
May 2009
Shadowville, U.S.A.



Song Red Lipped Stranger by Will Dockery & The Shadowville All-Stars / Written by Will Dockery, Brian Mallard & Henry Conley / Vocals - Will Dockery / Vocals - Gini Woolfolk / Guitar - Brian Mallard / Art - Gary Frankfurth / Produced by Robbie Wright © 2009

[All rights reserved - Used with permission]
http://tinyurl.com/RLS-Will-Dockery 


Will Dockery biography

Saturday, April 9, 2011

A Moth Danced / James D. Senetto


A Moth Danced

One evening
red lights flashed
outside my window
and my face
throbbed red
as I watched
surreal men
in white
wheel her out
and her car
was quiet
under a street light
where a moth danced
and as the flashing lights
disappeared around
the corner
I felt my innocence
disappear
along with them.

---
James D. Senetto
New York, U.S.A.

from the website

James D. Senetto / Artwork & Poetry:
http://www.talkofthetownband.com/Jim/jim.htm

[All rights reserved by the author -- Used with permission.]

Friday, April 8, 2011

Daily News / George J. Dance


Daily News

I don’t want to look at the news today
But I don’t want to talk – No, I’m not okay,
There’s nothing to say, just go away –

So I stay head down in a corner booth
And I stare at the daily lies and truth
And I read: One charged in death of youth.

There’s a picture of you, so fly, so cool,
So in control, so nobody’s fool,
Big grin on your face, big idiot drool,

You hide beside your shyster guy
In a rented suit and a borrowed tie,
And I want to spit and I want to cry:

Badass motherfucker, hide behind your cool shades
– Cut a man for stepping on your blue suedes –
Fuck you, bitch, you ought to feel your own blades.

Better escape and run, boy, run,
’cause you had a knife, but I got a gun
And you fucked with me when you cut my son.

---
George Dance
November 2009
Ontario, Canada


[All rights reserved by the author]

Thursday, April 7, 2011

8-8 / David Rutkowski


8-8

tomorrow is another father's day
clouds rumble in the distance
a year ago we drove through torrents
as (my wife will attest) i verbally castrated
the deniers of global warming
we skid-visited a series of shuttered
restaurants and finally
fixed our meal, cave style, at home
two days later, it was discovered
600 people had died
a nearby mountainside had collapsed
it was a place we had visited
a few months earlier
where we talked with the artisans
and failed to notice
half of them wore
the colors of ghosts
in the fields overhead
were tiers of rice and tea
and girls so newly pregnant
they still did not know
which boy they'd marry
now under thirty meters of earth
a morbid anniversary
of unceremonious elopements
rushed by death
forgive the meaninglessness
of words
directing my prayer
candle

---
David Rutkowski
August 2010
Taiwan

Read David Rutkowski on usenet:
http://groups.google.ca/groups/profile?hl=en&enc_user=1Th4CxUAAABdvVEFf5RXuIwR4Fmqzc359h3i3SmjGmAJbX05nZ-8fQ

[All rights reserved by the author - Used with permission]

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Winter Skies / Dave Holloway


Winter Skies

Red, white and blue
and a thousand lies
hang limp against
the winter skies.

Defeat redefined
as a compromise.
The children rally.
A wise man sighs.

The dead turn over.
A mother cries.
Disappointments fill
the winter skies.

---
Dave Holloway
December 2010
Washington, U.S.A.


From the blog:
Poetry and Other Observations
http://davehollowaypoetryblog.blogspot.com

[All rights reserved by the author - used with permission]

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Bridge at Flatline / Adam Lynn


The Bridge at Flatline

Time and worms have turned their skulls to soil.
You mumble, "There are no good wars...", shoulders
slumped against a white stone in October.
You stare — as the red and yellow maples
drop their leaves. They pile up like the dead.
Sixty years of life trampled underfoot,
but you're still 19, and marching towards Arnhem
lost in the cemetery of your mind.
Yes, your generation is passing fast,
good men, disappearing under time's blizzard.
And soon, too soon, no one will remember.
All of your friends are on the other side.
You wonder — is there a bridge at flatline,
and if there is, is it a bridge too far?

---
Adam Lynn
March 2010
New York, U.S.A.


From the blog:

Let the Echo Decide
http://adamlynn.blogspot.com/

[All rights reserved by the author - Used with permission]

Monday, April 4, 2011

how far away it was / ray heinrich


<  how  far  away  it  was  >

i'm standing over my father
in the hospital
he's stopped breathing
i'm holding his neck
and shoulder
and i've been rubbing them
because he always liked that
and it's the best i can do
while i'm waiting for him to die

waiting for his next breath

and it comes

and another

and then

i'm waiting for his next breath again

and i count

one thousand and one
one thousand and two
one thousand and three

like he taught me
standing in our garage
watching a thunderstorm
on the gulf coast of texas
sometime
when i was maybe six
he taught me to count
between the lightning flash and the thunder
taught me to figure out
how far away it was

---
ray heinrich
Texas, U.S.A.

From the website:

word   biscuit   by   ray   heinrich 
http://wordbiscuit.com/

[Some rights reserved under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivs-U.S. 3.0 (BY-NC-ND-3.0) License]

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Granite Grasses / Tom Bishop


Granite Grasses

If carbon's breath has any thought or care
when stillness settles, grasses of the stone
will sing their song. They're etched without a moan
on granite faces, igneous aware
of dates, gray bookends standing in the air.
We hear the death song sung by the life-prone,
the music-men enchoired but all alone;
Their music only bares a stone-full prayer.
         To songs of granite grasses, stop and listen:
While tuneful dead are whistling through the runes
as dew in morning's glory can but glisten,
then dry and die in scorching afternoons,
the babies on the altars we will christen
and soon they'll grow the grass that sings our tunes.

---
Tom Bishop
June 2002
U.S.A.

[Poem is in the public domain]

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Balance / Michael G. Munoz


Balance

The piano player plays a French number
Right out of an old black and white French movie
The dancers of my daughter's junior ballet
Pirouette right on cue
While I sit, writing,
In a plastic chair against the wall.
The mothers in the lobby listen to the music,
Intently watching their daughters
Like a tabby watches a sparrow hop.
The teacher yells instruction to keep time.
When I look up, in contemplation,
Mothers smile at me,
I smile back at them.

I used to like this part of town,
Old Torrance.
Pawn shops, dingy hotel rooms, liquor stores,
Vacuum repair, Mexican restaurants,
Locksmiths, used record stores, dark bars.
The town is in its fourth or fifth reincarnation
Having died off many times before
Only to be brought back to life by
Shedding off the Pussycat Theater
And exchanging it with Senior Living Condos
As it waits on the next benevolence of death.

I used to sit in an Irish bar around the corner
For the hour and a half it took
While she danced,
Drinking Guinness with a fatherly devotion
Watching stupid soccer matches between countries
That got mowed down
75 years ago.
But I've stopped drinking for now
And so I wait and try to write
In the front lobby of the Ballet School
But now this room smells sour
Like milk gone bad or maybe it's sweat
Or maybe it's just me.
The accompanist plays another French number
The teacher blares out more instruction
As the music rises and falls.

Now it's my turn . . .
I start to write, furiously,
Trying to keep up to the music.
I try to write a barroom story
But it's hopeless
For there's no art in saloons
The barstool is not an easel
And there's no balance to the stagger of a drunk
No beauty to a woman's dumbstruck melancholic face
No interplay of light and shadows there
Nothing sublime
To the perfect pour of a bartender
Or the mad mad broken-up lovers
Who have just leapt gracefully
Over the edge of their despair and into the streets,
Back to the four walls of loneliness
They call home.

I look up from my pages
Just as my little swan
Leaps and turns,
Her face a rictus of concentration.
She practices at grace,
Practices at the defiance of gravity,
Practices at control and poise,
While I would no more practice at my failures
Than a snake would practice his slither.
And now the music fades on the old spinet piano
And my baby
With a flourish of arms
And the point of her leg
Finishes her dance.

I could write
For a thousand years
And never
Capture
In words
The balance of her beauty.

---
Michael G. Munoz
October 2010
California, U.S.A.

[All rights reserved by the author - Used with permission]

Friday, April 1, 2011

Songs / Demonspawn


Songs

I have been
collecting music
for years and years
from Queen and Led Zep
to Paul Simon and Juluka,

(picking up
coloured bottles and seashells
from a friend here
lover there)

old spirits, they surround me
comforting, familiar
encouraging, sympathising,
enlightening and
everpresent
in my mind

(broken faded tunes
here and there
gathered
bits of the past trailing behind
clinging to clothes
stale cigarette smoke
campfire
splashy fens lost and found)

playing themselves
over and over
on the turntable
in my head

(bits and pieces remembered
collected over the years
a collage of love and hate
everchanging
growing
fading
patched)

reminding me they are
always there

(a favourite old blanket
on a cold morning)

---
Demonspawn 
October 2004

From the website:

A Darker Vision

[Some rights reserved under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 (CC-NC-ND-2.5) License.]