#105 – Poetry


“Untend” by Jeff Crouch
Adam Hughes
Upon Hearing a Train

I heard a train last night, a little
after one. Its coyote-call
whistle conjured up vagrants
and sojourners riding
in empty boxcars, cattle-catchers
on the front of locomotives,
and the commemorative caboose
in Sugar Grove – a museum
that no one visits.

But upon hearing the nocturnal
call of freight in transit
I’m left with the feeling that deep
thoughts about locomotives do not make me an engineer.

When Bonhoeffer Hung Naked

Balding, pudgy, possessing
that German physique, sentenced
to die unclothed, without glasses,
alone. Flossenbürg’s gallows
groan beneath the weight of Christ’s
pacifist warrior. This peace-teaching,
would-be assassin – contradiction
swinging from knotted rope – mountain
top sermons expounded and the cost
of discipleship is the sum of
all the parts. Days from
liberation, he hung like some
butchered Black Forest boar.

They came three days late; or
maybe four years.

 

Graham Isaac
Sandy, Oregon 1/3/07

I woke coughing out cat hairs, walked outside,
pissed on wet ground in full view of the goats.
Zipped up, knee-jerked my way up the trailer steps
and recollapsed on the couch pull-out.

Opted out of shower and toothbrushing ceremonies,
slept in the clothes I’d worn the last two days.

My clothes are now part of the dry grease of my
body, rubbing up against the cushions of Isaac’s car
as Jake points out the best places for pizza on the
main thoroughfare.

We’re going to the river.

My hair is dirty because it does not need to be clean.
I am silent because I can be, getting farther and
farther away. Rain comes sharp at the windshield.
The road cracks like whips.

The distance is trees, trees,
trees


Michael McAloran
deluge

lifeless blood ashen
chalk-white bone pared raw

magnet of death
all flesh escapes flesh

rain rain in my heart a deluge
to feed the rotting flowers

on the rack tracing the shadows
of the stars upon sands

an oppulent stillness
my butchered existence

 

Ananya S. Guha
Turning Around

Turning around
I see a crack,
not in the mirror
or on the wall
crack in the splitting
bones of cadavers
crack in the white line
of horizon’s grace
crack in your limousine
face, your blue linen grace
crack in the fireflies’ crackle

Turning around
I see a crack
in god’s visage
you say I am
aethist
but the whiplash
I got is a crack
in my white bodied
soul.

 

Si Philbrook
the mersey

sold,

river-soft-songs
do not
unsing your slavery,
do not
unshackle your pain,

from the liverpool docks
to the coast of antigua,

england sailed its ships
with a good wind
with a kind god,

empire…
an ugliness
a teaching
a reaching
of greed,

an emptiness,

empire…
a greatness
of britain,

a scar,

the blood mixes down the mersey
down the mersey and back again,
from Kingston to Birkenhead
from Port Antonio to Knowsley,

we are of one blood,
but,
we are not brothers
we are not friends,

we tell our wives
the same lies,
kiss our children
with the same love,
work the same tired hours
and live the same tired lives,

the old mersey
muddies us
mixes us in love and life and pain,

and slowly
we see
we are
the same,

both of us
made beautiful
in this
old river’s
song.

 

what will survive of us…

the old brickwork
shivvered away the remains of painted love
“jezz does helen”
rained and blistered, faded,
years after they forgot
those clumsy moments,

the school wall crumbles,
slowly arthritic joints
need repointing,
but are lost
on some crumpled list,

the last scratching,
etched and chiselled
by metal ruler, and adolescent earnest,
“kev4jen
4ever”

what will survive of us
is ciggy stubs
graffiti
and half remembered
blow jobs.

 

Walter Conley
SMASH
(For Q.)

The party?
Oh, just wonderful
I’m serious
That good
I mean–what those who know
Might even call
A smashing success

Yes

Everyone you’d want
Was there
Laughing and smiling
Crying without noises
If they really had to cry

There were gifts and games
And things to eat
That fell apart
In clear glass dishes

Songs like sudden memories
From the childrens’ room upstairs
And the kitchen and
The TV
And the group down in the basement
And if we don’t know the words
At all
Who the hell cares?

Hardened hugs were shared
And drinks were drained
Blood-tie glitches
Pulled like stitches

Wives took their husbands’ hands
Like something that came naturally

And

Thanks so much
Yeah, really great
It’s late
We have to get up early
(I don’t want to go
That’s sweet
But you have school
Tomorrow, hon)

Overall, I’d have to say
It went off rather well
At least
As far as I could tell
From where I hid
Out in the car

 

Azza Hegazy
Rock

you fall into my rocking chair
you fold, you (f)old, little thing
i hold you, mo(u)rning
as the sun shines from the kitchen window
the sun is one (the number is us)
rays fold between (y)our limbs
and mine
(our feet are leaning on the rockers
(those curved wooden things)
strange how things is spelled, not like
t(hinges)
although i hang on to things
like my old, squeaky (rock)ing chair
and (t)hinges are all that
things hang by

 

Steve Calmars
customer service

i’m kafka
on the
outside
mr. hyde
on the inside

cool surface
expressions
shield boiling
blue rage

i smile
in your
face
and dream
of burying
you in
yellow hurricanes
of
neurotic gold
hollow-points

lifeless blood ashen
chalk-white bone pared raw
 
 
 

 

magnet of death
all flesh escapes flesh

rain rain in my heart a deluge
to feed the rotting flowers

on the rack tracing the shadows
of the stars upon sands

an oppulent stillness
my butchered existence

 

Ananya S. Guha
Turning Around

Turning around
I see a crack,
not in the mirror
or on the wall
crack in the splitting
bones of cadavers
crack in the white line
of horizon’s grace
crack in your limousine
face, your blue linen grace
crack in the fireflies’ crackle

Turning around
I see a crack
in god’s visage
you say I am
aethist
but the whiplash
I got is a crack
in my white bodied
soul.

 

Si Philbrook
the mersey

sold,

river-soft-songs
do not
unsing your slavery,
do not
unshackle your pain,

from the liverpool docks
to the coast of antigua,

england sailed its ships
with a good wind
with a kind god,

empire…
an ugliness
a teaching
a reaching
of greed,

an emptiness,

empire…
a greatness
of britain,

a scar,

the blood mixes down the mersey
down the mersey and back again,
from Kingston to Birkenhead
from Port Antonio to Knowsley,

we are of one blood,
but,
we are not brothers
we are not friends,

we tell our wives
the same lies,
kiss our children
with the same love,
work the same tired hours
and live the same tired lives,

the old mersey
muddies us
mixes us in love and life and pain,

and slowly
we see
we are
the same,

both of us
made beautiful
in this
old river’s
song.

 

what will survive of us…

the old brickwork
shivvered away the remains of painted love
“jezz does helen”
rained and blistered, faded,
years after they forgot
those clumsy moments,

the school wall crumbles,
slowly arthritic joints
need repointing,
but are lost
on some crumpled list,

the last scratching,
etched and chiselled
by metal ruler, and adolescent earnest,
“kev4jen
4ever”

what will survive of us
is ciggy stubs
graffiti
and half remembered
blow jobs.

 

Walter Conley
SMASH
(For Q.)

The party?
Oh, just wonderful
I’m serious
That good
I mean–what those who know
Might even call
A smashing success

Yes

Everyone you’d want
Was there
Laughing and smiling
Crying without noises
If they really had to cry

There were gifts and games
And things to eat
That fell apart
In clear glass dishes

Songs like sudden memories
From the childrens’ room upstairs
And the kitchen and
The TV
And the group down in the basement
And if we don’t know the words
At all
Who the hell cares?

Hardened hugs were shared
And drinks were drained
Blood-tie glitches
Pulled like stitches

Wives took their husbands’ hands
Like something that came naturally

And

Thanks so much
Yeah, really great
It’s late
We have to get up early
(I don’t want to go
That’s sweet
But you have school
Tomorrow, hon)

Overall, I’d have to say
It went off rather well
At least
As far as I could tell
From where I hid
Out in the car

 

Azza Hegazy
Rock

you fall into my rocking chair
you fold, you (f)old, little thing
i hold you, mo(u)rning
as the sun shines from the kitchen window
the sun is one (the number is us)
rays fold between (y)our limbs
and mine
(our feet are leaning on the rockers
(those curved wooden things)
strange how things is spelled, not like
t(hinges)
although i hang on to things
like my old, squeaky (rock)ing chair
and (t)hinges are all that
things hang by

 

 

Steve Calmars
customer service

i’m kafka
on the
outside
mr. hyde
on the inside

cool surface
expressions
shield boiling
blue rage

i smile
in your
face
and dream
of burying
you in
yellow hurricanes
of
neurotic gold
hollow-points

One thought on “#105 – Poetry

  1. each poem took me by surprise.

    i have a particular attachment to 'smash'

    i sigh in envy at poets… your genre eludes me.

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