Poetry # 143

It’s Spring Break and I am reading pages and pages of poetry. Strangely enough though, it’s rewarding. I want you to think of underage drinking in Florida as boys and girls tan, listen to horrible techno music and ultimately and temporarily fall in love and subsequently contract STDs while you read these poems. The poems have nothing whatsoever to do with Spring Break but I like controlling your thoughts. Pick up the remote, throw it out the window.

Yours Gloomy,

Luis Rivas
Head Poetry Editor

ON CAMBRIDGE STREET
By Barry Z. Niditch

That ex-landlord
was wiping
his moist white mustache
in a low pitched voice
smelling of beer
from his stolen school van
hands out
laced brownies
between his dirty palms
when we were ten,
always threatening
the poor neighbors
with “Do not go there”
once rumored to be
a religion editor,
crime reporter,
comic strip writer
in a defunct
yellow tabloid,
an extra in x rated
stag films,
a spy for the enemy
whoever it was
at the time,
once saying,
“Only men could appreciate
his movies,
Male War Bride
or Moby Dick,”
often sitting shoeless
exposing his Navy wounds
and Popeye sailor tattoos,
showing off
those knife collections,
the alley’s feral cat
his newspaper
and toe clippings
he saved
for anyone coming by.

Of Pure and Endless Light
By Fred Pollack 
Senovilla at Bilbao

suggests that the apparent acceleration

of the most distant objects is not caused

by “dark energy” but time slowing down.

In some billions of years, it will stop.

Which strikes me as terribly Spanish:

elegiac, conservative.  I must stop

using cosmological metaphors;

I can’t do the math, and the theories

change every few weeks.

Should stick to my stony griefs, and my love,

which is, in a traditional sense, eternal.

Still I hope it’s a nice day

on whatever planets are left

when it happens, or stops happening.

A life continued like late afternoon

after an early afternoon of love

as a favorite, forgotten poet said.

If it’s really the end, we can afford

to be generous: a car sees an opening

and crosses four lanes of the Harbor Freeway

at rush hour.  The Republicans win

and their base thinks Now we can outlaw

gay marriage, gays themselves, abortion,

immigrants, evolution –

that the whole rosary of repressions

may be told, finally …

And the miserable, mad-looking woman

with whom I inadvertently

danced last night on a sidewalk

will see that I have stepped aside,

that the way ahead is clear.


Like Mozart

By Hal Sirowitz

A hundred years from now,
people will still be talking

about Mozart, father said.
But will they mention you?

I don’t think so, not even
as a footnote. How can that be?

Your fathers were both musicians.
I’m not a professional, but I can

play an up-tempo version
of any hit, which all sounds

more or less like Mozart
on speed, but the soulfulness

of his music comes out.
I wish I could say the same

about you. But whatever
you play sounds like a gargled

version of the classics –
like a mouse squealing

because it was caught in a trap.

Ruta Cuarenta
By Jenny Morse

Dirt road.
This bus, a path of dust
and sand,
where we pause and

descend
in search of a spare tire.
The distance is empty
like impending disaster, and
we wait in the vector
of ruta cuarenta que anda

hacia el sur.
The distance
where the air shifts, rises
with heat and sweat, a
thousand wild llamas
that pass our dirty
feet like mustangs
in the parallel universe
of western americas.
The driver takes a leak

on the wreckage of  blown tire
as if he has seen these llamas
before, which he has.
His hat jumps to
chase the receding mirage.

The engine chugs with the pressure of the accelerator.
Anda ya, the llamas are still ahead.

Bio: Jenny Morse is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Illinois—Chicago. In her free time she tries to travel as much as possible and will soon have visited all 50 U.S. states (at present, she’s reached 47). Her work has been published in Red China, Square One, and The Notre Dame Review.

At E-Z Mart
By Nicole Taylor
I should have walked further for

a healthier maybe cheaper lunch.

At E-Z Mart a large man

in a padded wheelchair

buys a lottery ticket

a St. Patrick’s Day ticket,

or two.

I buy

an unhealthy lunch,

fried chicken strips and jo-jos

from the deli counter.

This man and the young large lady cashier,

talk of last Saturday’s big winner,

state tax laws and

payment choices,

annually or not

I sit eating my stale potatoes

watching

business people

buy Lay’s chips

or Camel cigarettes

or a middle aged guy

stumble back to the counter

with an Old English.

The lady cashier tells

tells him to return

in a few hours.

I continue to return but

I should have walked further for

a healthier maybe cheaper lunch.

Bio: Nicole currently has no MFA’s, many hopeful projects, a variety of styles and a wide variety of subjects and is an artist, a hiker, a poetry note taker, a sketcher, a volunteer, and a dancer, formerly in DanceAbility. She has been published at Hyperlexia Journal, Just Another Art Movement – New Zealand, KenAgain, Monkey Bicycle – a one sentence story, Outlaw Poetry, Pemmican Journal, Phantom Kangaroo, Portland Alliance, Queen Bee Collective – Eugene, Red Fez

Published by peace is illegal

I am a writer of pornography, of politics and murder.

2 thoughts on “Poetry # 143

  1. A few years ago, before I was wedded and before my child was born, I found myself too, drenched in the warm winds of the ocean. I was alone with Bukowski. Down the beach, a group of frat boys belched Old Crow Medicine Show’s cover of Dylan’s “Wagon Wheel.” I had came for good times but Spring Break I found brought out distaste in people and Bukowski assured me that what I felt was true. Thanks for taking me back there. To that night when youth and manhood was the meeting place of the waves and sand.

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