Friday, January 29, 2016

Commuter's Lament or A Close Shave

By Norman B. Colp


 So tired.

 If late,

Get fired.

 Why bother?

 Why the pain?

 Just go home.

 Do it again.

This poem has been hanging in the rafters as an art installation in Port Authority, NYC since 1991.   

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Going Down in Flames

By John Tustin

The loneliness gets to be
like a friend who stays
at the party too long:
I resent him,
I want him to go home.

But I know him
better than anybody.
If he goes home,
that means the party’s over.

On to the next
The moon is a son-of-a-bitch
an instigator
a pugilist
a whore for hire.
But the sun is a hangover
an angry woman slapping a cheating face
the service of the sentence
an eager disappointment.
Look out
beyond those trees
I’m going down in flames!
It’s morning.
The pen is empty of ink
the eye void of love or illusions
the trellis rips down
her vines
and my final friend went home,
leaving me
to contemplate
the dirty dishes
the dirty looks
the twitching eye<
the betraying muscles
and the inconsolable ache
of the day
of living life
of the three billionth
rising sun…

John Tustin graduated from nowhere, edits nothing and has no awards. His poetry is forthcoming in Poetry Pacific, Leannan, Your One Phone Call, Bare Back Magazine and Newtown Literary Review. He can be found here.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

I Am Waiting

By Lawrence Ferlinghetti

I am waiting for my case to come up   
and I am waiting
for a rebirth of wonder
and I am waiting for someone
to really discover America
and wail
and I am waiting   
for the discovery
of a new symbolic western frontier   
and I am waiting   
for the American Eagle
to really spread its wings
and straighten up and fly right
and I am waiting
for the Age of Anxiety
to drop dead
and I am waiting
for the war to be fought
which will make the world safe
for anarchy
and I am waiting
for the final withering away
of all governments
and I am perpetually awaiting
a rebirth of wonder

I am waiting for the Second Coming   
and I am waiting
for a religious revival
to sweep thru the state of Arizona   
and I am waiting
for the Grapes of Wrath to be stored   
and I am waiting
for them to prove
that God is really American
and I am waiting
to see God on television
piped onto church altars
if only they can find   
the right channel   
to tune in on
and I am waiting
for the Last Supper to be served again
with a strange new appetizer
and I am perpetually awaiting
a rebirth of wonder

I am waiting for my number to be called
and I am waiting
for the Salvation Army to take over
and I am waiting
for the meek to be blessed
and inherit the earth   
without taxes
and I am waiting
for forests and animals
to reclaim the earth as theirs
and I am waiting
for a way to be devised
to destroy all nationalisms
without killing anybody
and I am waiting
for linnets and planets to fall like rain
and I am waiting for lovers and weepers
to lie down together again
in a new rebirth of wonder

I am waiting for the Great Divide to be crossed   
and I am anxiously waiting
for the secret of eternal life to be discovered   
by an obscure general practitioner
and I am waiting
for the storms of life
to be over
and I am waiting
to set sail for happiness
and I am waiting
for a reconstructed Mayflower
to reach America
with its picture story and tv rights
sold in advance to the natives
and I am waiting
for the lost music to sound again
in the Lost Continent
in a new rebirth of wonder

I am waiting for the day
that maketh all things clear
and I am awaiting retribution
for what America did   
to Tom Sawyer   
and I am waiting
for Alice in Wonderland
to retransmit to me
her total dream of innocence
and I am waiting
for Childe Roland to come
to the final darkest tower
and I am waiting   
for Aphrodite
to grow live arms
at a final disarmament conference
in a new rebirth of wonder

I am waiting
to get some intimations
of immortality
by recollecting my early childhood
and I am waiting
for the green mornings to come again   
youth’s dumb green fields come back again
and I am waiting
for some strains of unpremeditated art
to shake my typewriter
and I am waiting to write
the great indelible poem
and I am waiting
for the last long careless rapture
and I am perpetually waiting
for the fleeing lovers on the Grecian Urn   
to catch each other up at last
and embrace
and I am awaiting   
perpetually and forever
a renaissance of wonder

Monday, January 11, 2016

Daughters of David Bowie

By Ren Jender

In high school the only legal place to listen to decent music was art class.“I like David Bowie”, my friend Shirley opined to the teacher, Mr. Baldacci.

He laughed and said, “I don’t think he likes you back.” Straight guys, even the arty ones pretended they didn’t understand why all the girls loved David Bowie.

Our Moms would notice in his posters and album covers the glittery slinky clothes and pale thin arms that aped a female fashion model’s. Mom would say, “He hardly looks like a man at all.” Mom’s type of man had a body and face like a side of beef. If she was still married that guy was part of the furniture stewing silently in front of the T.V. with a beer in his hand.

The boys in school were no better. In fifth or sixth grade some of them had been our friends. Their newfound pseudo-masculine veneer was a seventh or eighth-grade vintage at best. But already us girls had had our fill of boys shouting abuse from cars in parking lots. Our Moms would say, “That means they like you.”

David Bowie, skinny, skinny pretty, pretty was the type of boy other boys yelled shit at, the type of boy who would tell us years later that when he was a teenager he made a choice. “I thought if these guys were going to torment me anyway, I’d reeeeee-eee-ally give them a reason.” So he dressed more outrageously, acted more fey and used that persona as a form of judo against the world.

The boys in my school never had a clue: they were getting their asses kicked every time David Bowie was on the radio. In one verse his voice so low, it broke and in the next verse so high he could’ve been Diana Ross. Girls couldn’t resist singing along.

Of course David Bowie liked us. He was us. Shirley explained to Mr. Baldacci, “He’s bi.”David Bowie would later deny he was bisexual, put out some wildly successful, crappy music and acquire an ex-model wife with breast implants and a baby, but I prefer to remember him as the guy from the seventies who fucked Mick Jagger.

Flipping through teen magazines I see the David Bowie I loved on every other page. His slender, hairless body reborn as Orlando Bloom’s. His ivory-girl complexion mapped onto the faces of the young male cast members of The O.C. Straight guys still say, “I don’t get it.”

In a drag-king contest I despaired over the taste in music—and men—Jon Bon Jovi?! Fifty Cent?! Who wanted to be these guys when she could be a queen for a day? All those girls in the lesbian clubs with precisely cut, bleached-blonde hair wearing fashions and shoes out of GQ by way of Mars, the illegitimate daughters of David Bowie: hear my plea.

Bind your breasts. Wear a feather boa. Make sure to put on a functional dick. Because I don’t know if you’ll win or lose, but I can guarantee: you will get laid.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

What I Mean When I Say Chinook Salmon

By Geffrey Davis

 My father held the unspoken version of this story
along the bridge of his shoulders: This is how
we face and cast to the river -- at angles.
This is how we court uncertainty. Here, he taught
patience before violence -- to hold, and then
to strike. My fingers carry the stiff
memory of knots we tied to keep a 40-lb. King
from panicking into the deep current
of the stream. Back home, kneeling
at the edge of the tub with our kills, he showed
the way to fillet a King: slice into the soft
alabaster of the pectoral, study the pink-rose notes
from the Pacific, parse waste and bone from flesh. Then,
half asleep, he’d put us to bed, sometimes with kisses.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

i am running into a new year

By Lucille Clifton

i am running into a new year
and the old years blow back
like a wind
that i catch in my hair
like strong fingers like
all my old promises and
it will be hard to let go
of what i said to myself
about myself
when i was sixteen and
twenty-six and thirty-six
even thirty-six but
i am running into a new year
and i beg what i love and
i leave to forgive me