Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"New" Deal, Whose Deal?, Raw Deal
During the waning days of the seemingly interminable Campaign of 2008, slurs of socialism filled the air, and the airwaves. Republicans needn't have worried; continuing the initiatives begun in the Bush Administration, Obama is propping up the zombie automakers in true Soviet style fashion, probably going to nationalize some banks, while giving the financial industry in general a huge handout, and is subsidizing our overbuilt and overextended "houses," because, let's face it, those are the only things left that we build in this country anymore. Socialism for the "haves" over the "have nots." Meanwhile, in order to make his budget numbers and spend down the debt and deficit in four years, he envisions cuts in Medicare and Medicaid, a slashing of costs that will never happen, but that will rather be achieved by paring benefits to those who need them most. Hooked on health care and left to go it alone. Think about it...
For all those in dire straits through no fault of their own looking for a helping hand, this is not your father's, or your grandfather's, New Deal or Great Society. For those in trouble after traveling down the long road of failing to take personal responsibility for much of anything, this socialism is for you. Programs that might be more deserving of the "we're all in this together" treatment ...health care, education... forget about it!!! There won't be any money left.

Karen Ann DeLuca

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Benjamin Nardolilli February 2009 Featured Writer!

Carte General

To be Western
Means to look East.
Put your nose at Sicily,
Capture the Roman view,
Aquiline, the world reclining
Ready to be conquered,
Put it at Spain and spin
On an axis of your nostrils.
Look south and west, but only
To make a detour of going East,
Looking at the desert and skins
Getting darker, lay down
In France, sit in Germany,
And play with Poland,
Trying to draw a line in the soil,
But your legs are too big and you expand.
You always end up taking everything in,
And your toes freeze
At the outskirts of Moscow,
When you want the best view,
Putting your stomach over the Alps
And looking to the Bosporus,
Your troubled tongue lands on Turkey.

Opening the Kingdom

Those bottles on the floor,
Still upright despite the subway,
Let them remind you
Of the buildings outside,
The glitter of those towers you admire,
Add the empty boxes to the mix,
They can stand for tenements.

Transport yourself to a thrift store,
(I know you never served
In the West Germany army,)
With the impotent books
Upright, yet broken spines,
And the jackets that are too tight
For either of us.

The empty shoes are no problem,
Get some paints and make yourself
A Van Gough, those half-
Eaten peaches will make a fine Cezanne,
And think of carpet stains
As the latest in my abstract expressions

You always tell me
How much you love to run
Your fingers through my hair,
Now you can do it all over the room,
On the pillow, the sheets, the chair,
On the sink and over this body
If you decide to spend another night.

Trial and Separation

Every divorce
Is velvet,
The word sits
Smoothly
On a compact,
And divides
Two histories
Into two parts,
Magically attaches
Prefixes to people
And acts
Perfectly, to expectation,
Only the heart
Makes drawing the line
A complication.

They Shall Not Pass

Let us make for them a requiem mass
Time has run out and drawn a line
Mourn for these saints and sinners, they shall not pass

They saw their future in visions of glass
But now they are buried in this shrine
Let us make for them a requiem mass

Raise our voices to match the brass
We make for ourselves a canopy divine
Mourn for these saints and sinners, they shall not pass

A fate for them they could not surpass
No matter if they were dull, or lived to shine
Let us make for them a requiem mass

Here are the pauper and king, free of class
Let us drink for them the fruit of the vine
Mourn for these saints and sinners, they shall not pass

In shades of amber and green, they will turn with the grass
Under their name borne in a stone sign
Let us make for them a requiem mass
Mourn for these saints and sinners, they shall not pass


Pareidolia

The little man on the roof,
Fat white face and small eyes,
A light for a mouth, I hope
He never screams at me,

I do my best to keep the air clean
And flowing, he hates smoke
And so do I, he’s a guard dog
Against night flames, hot intruders.

And it makes me feel safe,
There are other faces around me,
Some carved, some assembled,
None of them friendly.

Worst of all, is the mirror,
She takes on makeup
To look just like me,
And everyone else who visits,

I admit, now,
It’s an easy metamorphosis,
But she manages to wear a face
Whenever I’m around.

Certain nights I think
About the last real face
I was able to get close to,
See for myself and touch,

But all I remember
Is the feeling of leather,
Latex, and eyes
That resembled broken bottles.

Now, I try to think of this bed
As a palm, with lines
That can be read, most
Importantly, a place to be held.

Another Kind of Where

The exquisite awakened
And we tasted the water,
Threw precious mistakes
To enlist prohibited goods
That the marketplaces of heroes
Earn by their way.
The customs of the conquest
Of distance recall with banners,
Their transactions are brief
It is things overboard at first sight
Despite no chance of finding it promptly.

These immediately liquidate
Exceedingly choice feasts
Regimenting the song sung
Short at the customs regulations.
Rare for a returning, precious as a danger
Long without feeling
These bear you on recompense.

Should we purchase your story to belong,
Please use your real mission
Until a new issue
Has any song drawn from the deep.
You have cut and pasted
An attempt to bring an axis
Back to the author
After both have logged out.

So should sensual goods
Shiver coral decorations,
Recall that they are no moment
Shaking like a mountain,
Shaking like a name,
Shaking like a submission.

On the Loose

I lay rocking after
You were gone,
The doctors of the day
Said I’ll be alright,
Just keep away
From the news,
Distill my sentimental side,
And climb a little bit
On something astral.

The other doctors
Put me to rest,
But fearing
Being put to sleep,
I ran away,
Mistaken by a ghost
Because everyone out
Was superstitious.

I was somewhat
Missing, with foam
Eyelids and batteries
For eyes, but
I looked remarkably real,
And I felt the edge of alive,
Making up
For lost organs and time.

I put gold into my hair,
Tried to call you,
And prowled
In front of your door,
Did you hear
How nervous I was?

Night on the 17th Floor

The buildings rest quiet now,
Tall, black, empty,
Their windows form a toothless grin
Out onto the night.
The winding roads are lit,
Through little explosions of light
Dropped from those bombers, streetlamps,
Who terrorize the stillness of the dark,
My window cuts the scene up,
The light metal bars form grids,
While the galaxies of light from across the river,
Shine on in pulsating haze becoming a hue.

Halfway to the Grave

“If I'm an ass, I should say so. If I don't, somebody else will. If I say it first, that disarms them” Charles Bukowski

I shot myself in the foot, figured
That I couldn’t go out,
Then I was free and they were still busy,
But they came anyways,
With flowers and wishes,
Both of which rotted away
By the end of the week.

I shot myself in the arm,
But only in the one I never used,
So I was free to drink
And whack off, free
To shoot myself again
If the need arose, and it did,
Because they came out to me
And gave me casseroles.

A shot to the stomach
Created a crimson fountain,
I thought that would keep the armies
Bearing casseroles away, it did,
But then they came with pennies
To toss into the bubbling remains
For their luck and mine.

Shooting myself in the head,
I thought that would end it all,
For a second they stayed away,
Buried me and called my bones cursed,
But they wrapped my body
In a mythology the youth could not resist,
Dancing and drinking on my grave
They still keep me awake at night.

The Corsican

Sometimes you just can’t trust a Corsican. You never hear much about them, when you do, you’re shocked the island has so much spirit. One of them once declared himself an emperor and made his brother King of Spain. Took his crown from the Pope he did. They even named a pastry after him. He was crazy. The only thing that stopped him was the sea and the winter.

Gently Lies the Fur

I saw you on that woman’s shoulders and I wondered, where did you come from? Obviously you were not from here originally, how could you have been? I cannot envision you frolicking in Washington or Tompkins Square Park. Somebody would have noticed you, screamed and then you would have been dumped in the zoo. Of course, now that seems like a better fate. You might not be able to roam there, but at least you would be alive still, having children of your own and growing old, being taken care of until you passed away. Your death would then bring forth tears from the children and maybe they would name a fountain or something after you, but this only would have happened if
you had lived in the City, but you didn’t. You come from a place, maybe far away, maybe closer than that, but a place with trees and untamed creatures, because you were that just, a wild animal.
I’m sure you were happy there. You had water and food and space. Other animals feared you, you had nothing to worry abut, top of the food chain. But I suppose you became lazy, you lost the edge to your instinct and were unable to notice that trap they had set for you, the one with a little meal on it and steel teeth all around buried under the recently fallen leaves. You should have been wiser, you knew it the moment the trap sprang into action and trapped you. Maybe it was cold then and winter had fallen to some extent, the things you ate were underground and sleeping, an easy meal lying in
the forest was too much a temptation I suppose.
Well now you know your lesson. The trap devoured you, they took you from it and at first you probably thought those men were liberators, freeing you away from the sharp things which had caused you such pain. But then they put you in a cage and sent you to a dimly lit building and there you waited with your cousins, all like you, all tempted easily, to be released. One day they did release you, but you tasted the freedom around you for only a few moments, for then they killed you and removed the fur off your bones. How they did it was probably just a shadow to you, until it fell to your body. A blunt object most likely, a knife would have spilt too much blood. It was quick, I hope. Maybe they had to do it twice, but no more than that surely. You were not the first one they slaughtered, nor the last, they had their technique down when you came along.
Then it was bedtime for you, time to go sleep with your ancestors while your body was reborn, to become an adornment, not for a hunter or warrior to inspire fear, but to be worn and admired, the admiration coming from you, but going to the wearer, the woman who dons you now. You are not proud, you are not beautiful on her shoulders. Your legs look so small, your tail so pathetic. You are a prize, a symbol of defeat, bowing down before this woman over and over again all day, you are nature made submissive. You cannot fight back.
She wears you but does not respect you. You are not allowed to be a lone trophy upon her, no, you must compete with the others, with the cow and the crocodile, with the cotton blossoms, the silk worms, and the diamonds. You are strung out high and dry with gaudy clothes and accruements. You were beautiful living, but dead, you have no real value except that which money can buy. You have brought status to the woman, yes, she makes herself bigger by wearing your skin. It is a gift not freely given by you, but taken from you. Though you might protest, it is a gift because you received nothing for your loss. On top of it all, your death serves to make the world uglier, to make this woman uglier and to disgust everyone around her, including me.
Yet I know this is not your fault. You never dreamed this up,. You had never been to these streets and seen these people, I’m sure you may have heard rumors about them and if all I had ever known was fallen logs and earthen burrows, then I too would have dismissed the tales of animals who do not kill for food or clothing, but for decoration.

In Class

My professor stood before us all and went on about different philosophies regarding human action. The topic was motivations for our actions, essentially what was it that made us do certain things and so forth. He paced around a table in front of me, his tweed covered arms flailing about as he dangled a piece of chalk in front for emphasis. I was sitting in the first row, the rickety seat moving as I started to doodle in the margins of my notebook. Fantastic cities with beaming towers covered in strange alphabets, adorned with men clad in fine silk jackets and plumed hats sprung from my pen and came into a cramped existence between the edge of the paper and the faint red line which marked the beginning of my notes.
The professor continued onward, criticizing those who held that death was the cause of all human endeavors. His jowls centered on me, “some people hold that a fear of death motivates everything, but I don’t believe that…” I raised my head; he seemed to be asking for my response with his eyes reaching out into the class. He was getting bored trying to argue with himself in front of an audience, there was only one side of the debate he really cared to defend. “…Since most people think that young people, and even people your age do not really understand death…that you don’t even know what death truly is.” He looked down at me, I had stopped doodling.
I walked up to him; I looked him in the eye. He showed fear. I did not grab him by the lapels of his jacket to get his attention and pure focus, I slid my hand inside the folds of cloth instead, eventually tightening my grip. I continued staring right at him. “I am too young to know death? I am too young to understand it, to believe in it? Look at my shadow…I stepped to the side so he could see it. It was there, as always, a dark stain upon the floor. “See it? It follows me everywhere, it mirrors everything I do, but it is darker. I am presence and it is absence, it is nothing, the void. It is me minus life, minus essence, it is death’s loyal fan. I am followed at all times by death, and I may forget about him when the sun burns brightly and lightly overhead, but as the sun sets, I am once again reminded of his presence. As I wake, shower, eat, work, dance, write, party, weep, and sleep I am followed by him and he colors everything I do. I know about death, I understand it as a pure nothing which has come to mean everything in some people’s minds!” The class wasn’t sure to applaud, laugh, or take notes.
He looked down at me, I had stopped doodling. I looked at him back, he smiled as he took a breath and continued with his speech.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My name is Janice Brabaw and I am submitting the enclosed poems, "Broken Pendulum" "Five Dollar Wine. A Sip," "A Snippet," "Bottom" and "Bongos" for your consideration for publication in (A Brilliant) Record Magazine.

I am a poet from New York City and recently published my first length collection entitled Universe, Disturbed. My work has also been featured in Poesis, The Toronto Quarterly, The Cartier Street Review, and Ophelia Street and reviews of my book have appeared in Doug Holder's Boston Area Small Press and Poetry Scene and Barbaric Yawp. I run a reading and music series in Brooklyn called "Stained Glass Confessional" and have read at the legendary Bowery Poetry Club as well as the Library Lounge at Telephone Bar, The Cake Shop, and Otto's Shrunken Head.

broken pendulum.

broken pendulum
how absurd
your strange new twists and turns
but still you swing
a haphazard left to right
never bothered or daunted in your life
still you measure out the hours
your punctuality unmatched
in your lonely nook
at the end of the hall
if you can whisper
tell me your secrets
I don't think I'm as strong as you
my life is just a mere tick
in your eternal tick-tock


Five Dollar Wine. A Sip.

You breathe me in deep
note the hints of pine and ash
gently, you examine me, jostle me
to watch me tremble
detecting the blackberry briers
the fresh sweet grass
dandelions, tiger lilies, April lilacs
with great nobility and respect
you ignore my plastic cork
that does not split under
the weight and force
you apply.

snippet.

I wish it was snowing outside
something interesting, meteorological
I wish I could see something
besides rusted antennae
I hold my breath
something catches my eye
a Key Food bag caught in a tree
even the leaves in NYC
are plastic

Bottom.

You pat my bottom
As I climb the stairs
I shriek and spin
Whirl of raven and wool
I tell myself it's a compliment
A friendly reminder
Of a growing sentiment
But blood flush blush
Cheeks abloom
And I walk slowly, surely
Hoping the hem of my coat
Hides everything you can see
Anyway

Bongos.

this woman's voice sounds like mine
but I don't play the bongos
my hands don't slap like that
and I lack the bravery to sing