Friday, August 27, 2010

if he came back today

he'd be on Barbara Walters
but not BET
if he came back today
he'd have to make a commercial
with Jordan
in order to gain credibility
if he came back today
the stock market
wouldn't close
like they do on his birthday
if he came back today
niggers
would still get dragged
behind pickup trucks
would still get shot
22 times
by the police
would still beat each others
brains out
in the name
of his father
if he came back today
he couldn't get an
audience
with the pope or
Bill Clinton
but I bet
Johnnie Cochran
would see him

if he came back today
nobody
would go to church
and nobody
would get out of jail
or the cemetery
if he came back today
hell would not freeze over
the Cubs would not win
the world series
and you still would
not love me
if he came back today
the most
you might do
is call in
sick
if he came back today
motherfuckers would
be arguing about
who he came to see
did he come to see
the jews or the muslims or
the fighting Irish or
the atheists
if he came back today
the Kiowa and the Sioux and the Chippewa
and the Apache and the Seminole and the Ute
and the Cheyenne and the Lakota and the Choctaw
would all say
you 'bout a late motherfucker

if he came back today
and you had descendants
in any kind of concentration camp
the kind for jews
or the kind for japanese americans
if you had descendants in these
kinds of concentration camps
you would still get your money
but
if he came back today
and your descendants'
concentration camp
just happened to double
as a southern plantation
you still wouldn't get shit
as a matter of fact
if he came back today
he'd probably tell you
slave progeny
to quit callin' his
name so much
I mean
shit
it ain't like
he can't hear you
if he came back today
he'd have to get on
line
otherwise there'd be
no tangible evidence
that he ever existed

if he came back today
a whole bunch of motherfuckers
would be real mad
because his return means the
world is coming to an end
and they just got on the
waiting list
for season tickets
if he came back today
and gave another
sermon
on another
mount
news organizations
would argue about
the size of the crowd
if he came back today
and said for us to
love one another
a bunch of lawyers would
get together and say
well, what do you mean by "love"
just how is it you define that term
if he came back today
it wouldn't mean nothing
to nobody except the
meek
'cause they got a lot comin'
them and the
pure of heart

if he came back today
I could get off
the hook
the next time
one of my grandkids
asks me
what happens
when
we
die
I can just
say
ask him

Davis Jerome

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Melinda J Nevarez writes poetry and flash fiction mainly to escape, if only for a moment, the chaos in her head. A former drug addict, she is now an addicted to chronicling the plight of the downtrodden and advocating compassionate mental health services.

Duerme con la sangre

it's a quiet kind of danger,
Colder in than out
But/She
wore sadness like an old coat
lint in her pockets (and secrets
they'd put you away for)--

take your medication, darling
please swallow
say thank you
when they dole out your kindnesses
like government cheese...

She
traded up for
cheap whiskey fingers blistered
I'll fuck you for answers,
She
said, almost begging.

Narcissus never procreated.
seduction's free
but she will
catch you behind the curtain and
slit
her wrists
to bleed you out.

Romance the Maudlin

left of the tree,
destruction so obvious it is
Tangible
sits next to him like a moan
against the other side the ground littered with foil--
she is broken, metal.

barefoot, towards him,
Her guilt is palpable Another unoriginal casualty
nothing to hand him, no part of her he hasn't written.

silver scissors
when she licks bleeds smiles.

one time dull eyes
Hatefully needy
cuts the rope, her body curling into itself like old wallpaper.

Eyes cloudy, she turned to ash.


Conception Two

my Mexican grandma had a catholic shrine
With a very large St. Christopher
his hands bound with rosaries
the flickering saints eye level to me
I wanted to shrink into the smell of melting wax

the statue was black;
this was my god.

Though he wasn't allowed in my parents' gauche temple
(the shrouded space between secrets)--
our black neighbor was kind to me...

my god was
down the street
watering His lawn.

when I breached the subject, I'm not sure
the visceral reaction,
how my Stomach Dropped a
Cold Prickle over my arms
when I knew I
had
fucked up Religiously.

and god was an old bearded white man
with Exceptionally Large Hands
it left me unsettled

(old white men
behind oak pulpits they spoke like
Puppeteers)

and a sunday spent on green pews learning
they gave
god
to the white man.
Here are some poems I am submitting for your consideration: "Shelter", "The Great Goodbye", "The Ocean", the "Secret Road", "The Field of Time", and "The Fire."

I am a high school student at Brunswick School and I enjoy playing tennis, and writing poetry. This summer I felt the urge and desire to write poetry. I enjoyed reading and deciphering metaphors and figurative language. And beneath the figurative meaning, lies a deeper, more profound message in poetry. That is why I love poetry.

Benton Turner


Shelter

I know I should be here,
For the winds have been so severe.
But I don’t think it will be safe much longer,
As the rain has become stronger.

The wooden shelter has been my friend,
From the storms that chase me,
Time and time again.
And in the shelter, I can rest, and seek understanding
Of the storms that chase me,
Time and time again.

But the roof is about to heave,
So perhaps I should leave,
And confront the storm,
Before my mind is grinded
And my eyes are blinded.

And before the shelter,
Collapses altogether.

----------

The Great Goodbye

Farewell to many yawns and many ‘sighs’,
And to the hours spent, and time lost,
For waiting too long to say goodbye,
To the things that caused many yawns,
And many sighs.

And although the Great Goodbye I have made,
Unsure and suspicious I have stayed,
That I would be resistant,
And stand in the distance,
Away from the very creations,
That made the people submissive and lonesome,
And connected the nations.

And now I am glad to be away,
From the inventors that made people give way,
To their ‘magnificent’ creations,
And to their terrible temptations.

And in parting I have found,
A vision so profound,
And I am still left wondering why,
Only few people make the Great Goodbye.
----------
The Ocean

I greet the ocean politely; I am in deep respect,
Its caves and shadows I have thoroughly checked.
The waves are progressing, and the tide is changing,
The soft sands are forever rearranging.

There are low tides; sometimes there are high tides,
And between both, the creatures once cried.
They begged for the answers, to unknowable questions,
For the fate of their ocean, whom gave them few suggestions.

And in a tremendous dream, the ocean showed them,
People swimming in a Great Race.
Although powerful they swam, they the ocean condemned,
And pushed them farther back, in a marvelous disgrace,
Until they were unconscious,
Wound up on the shores of their own beach.

“And that is their fate,” it declared.
And with that the creatures fled,
For having spent too much time,
Caught in a current so strong,
That perhaps they will never get out.
Perhaps.

--------------

The Road Song

Take me down the secret Road;
Although I carry a heavy load,
Will you take me down the secret Road?

The Road is treacherous, long, and winding,
Through the fields and mountains it is binding.
Will you take me through the secret Road?

The Road is unpaved, and weary,
Its outskirts look quite dreary.
And it’s okay if we get lost,
For so much we have crossed.

We’ll sing words that ought not to be sung,
And think thoughts that best not be thought.

We’ll think about all the places we’ve gone,
And all the pictures we have drawn.

The Road is a symbol and sign,
Its name is clean and fine.
The Road is a secret,
That we best not forget.

Will you take me down the secret Road?

-----

The Fields of Time

In this field of silence,
In this beautiful field,
Ill try to describe it best I could.

There was perfect harmony,
Twas’ an endless field of perfection.
Although, one flaw I found,
And bravely, I came face,
That there was one simple mistake.

So I conversed with the masterminds, of a wise race,
In a secret lair, lost in time.
And with boldness, we came to face,
That we had an uneasy fate.

I walked by the field of progression,
It was a scary sight, such power and suppression.

I sprinted through field of spring,
And I couldn’t help but be skeptical,
Of all the good times, and what would they bring.

I glimpsed at the field of ruin,
Was so intrigued, what went wrong?
Back to the start, I came to face,
The field of silence, and its momentous grace.

So I set a meeting with the elders,
Before the field of rejuvenation,
And until then, I am searching through the fields of time
And until then, I am studying the fields of time

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Bethany L. Young has been writing zines and trying to overthrow the government since age 12. She strives to add anthropological flair to her counterculture writings. Ms. young is a lifelong advocate for gay and lesbian rights and gender equality.

Someone's Mother

And when she shouts terms of affection
my way,
it makes me cringe

And almost hide
cause-
she's old enough to be someone's mother
I shouldn't be going down
going down-
on someone's mother.


Truth of Being

My mother said
I wouldn't be catching any husbands
with hair like mine-
which be no hair.

What am I to say-
that the only husband
I be looking for
be the same gender as I

Is a woman
be-in a lady:
with tits and a cunt

someone-
I could go down on
in the dark.


Our Mamas

Our mamas
would blush
if they knew what
their two grown daughters
were doing.


Our mamas
would blush
if they knew
their two grown daughters
were naked.

Our mamas
would blush
if they knew
their two grown daughter's
bodies were inter-twined.

Our mamas
would blush
if they knew
their two grown daughters
were not achieving orgasms
from an erect penis.

Our mamas
would blush
if they knew
their two grown daughters
were queer.

Dream Like Nature

and i was screaming like hella loud
and i was falling in love-
with a girl,
California

was that her name?
or where she be from?

i don't know.
maybe i don't remember.

she said we kissed.
she said we did more.

i was drunk
and later on acid.

i wanna say her name was Rachel
and she was from Delaware.

chestnut brown hair
grey eyes like the moon.

we did kiss-
twice,
in one morning,
in one breath.

this is reading like a screenplay
reading like a dream-
it's all fiction.
fiction of the mind.
fiction of the pen.
fiction of the friction.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Reno Rain

Burrowing into bliss
two lovers
God’s children
aboard a downy raft
of pillows, comforter
soft flannel sheets
hearing only
hearts pulsing
in time
with rooftop
raindrops
two lovers
praying this
never stops
knowing this
fleeting moment
this heat
these tandem
heartbeats are
as precious
as rare
as Reno rain.


Our Lady of Mustang


Curiosity drove me here

wondering who would be

worshiping at this temple

on the Lord’s day.



Church lot is full

here at the shrine.

Ranch girls are busy

plying love’s trade

with Sunday morning horn dogs.



I sit parked and scribbling

in the lot between heaven’s gate

and the souvenir shack

which is painted pink

as the sea of flesh

that undulates inside.

Outside, wild mustangs roam.

Inside, wild fillies buck Bronco Billies.



Back at home

mom’s set up

Sunday School.

Here, ten minutes drive east

of all that praying

other prayers are voiced,

“Oh God,

Yes! YES!”

Amen.


Night Owl Special


I came to Vegas

for the ham steak,

Seigfreid und Roy be damned.

Black pyramid, fake Chrysler building,

Eiffel tower, San Marcos plaza,

exploding pirate ships,

these are all fine – all good –

but ham’s what drove me here.



Loose slots, looser women,

they have their Vegas place

but pale next to honey glazed,

Virginia smokehouse ham steak.

Steak for god’s sake!



The joe’s O.K.,

hash brown could be crisper,

sour dough toast...

– toast is hard to get wrong –

and the eggs,

the eggs threaten to edge out the ham.

I will sleep easier (when I finally find a bed)

knowing there is one short order cook

left on planet Vegas

who knows exactly what

Over easy really means.



Ham, the soul of Vegas.

Not dining under Picasso’s Dora,

not scaling the mad Pole’s needle downtown

not getting rubbed the right way

in the shadow of the city limits sign,

Vegas is ham steak... and eggs... four bucks.


New Vada


Sage brushed

ore dusted

neon naked

in full sky paint

torrid landscape

barks to Luna



RISE AND BATHE ME!


Free of day

nocturnal

life forces

spring from her

desert floor

worshipful

remorseless.





Cookbook du Mal


You’re across the table

writing for Elaine

author of dinner

president of pain

founder of time

and she

feeds off

your words

belching them

back at you

without one

“Excuse mois.”


Henry "Hank" Sosnowski, South Chicago born Polish-American followed his gypsy heart across America from Alaska's Aleutian Islands to North Carolina's shore. Following Brecht's edict that an artist must "First feed the face, then talk right and wrong," Sosnowski worked as a newsboy, caddy, fry cook, steel worker, blues musician, pipefitter, pool hustler/card shark, landscaper, railroad brakeman, auto part salesman, actor, warehouse manager, woman's clothing rep, waiter, missionary, writer, Alaskan game warden, book store manager, morning DJ, corporate VP, marketing director, dishwasher, factory worker, car salesman, handyman, customer service rep, janitor, teacher, hot rod show promoter, Internationally published poet.

Sosnowski currently lives and teaches in Reno, Nevada, inspiration for his one-man traveling show: "Write Before Your Eyes! Hank the Revelator - Live on Stage 24/7!" For one week, Sosnowski comes to town to write/perform/live on an outdoor stage replica of a 1930s writer's; garret, melding written, spoken and performance art.

Sosnowski is the winner of the 2006 Sierra Arts Foundation Writer's Grant and voted back to back Reno's best poet by Reno News and Review.
Hair and Outrage

Hidden by trees and questions of silhouette, the beauty remaining flaxen and fascinating in silky vision, sinned, raging by the repute of an outcry, by the wonder of a passport in remedy for all the ails of rage. She forced his appetite for perfect ceremony. She reached, finished and combed the corn silk before her expectant smile, the grin of a makeshift wish.
She gently lulled the seemly endurance of truth for the angel of supposed caste, in bond without the fallen shine of success, of excellent division, between day and night, love and anger, she thoroughly constrained and sensed the renown of a deceitful rage, careless, reflected by the demon in her view. She traced the shape of her need and prayers. He hovered and dribbled in black seas of lichen and moss, in the dark alleys of woe and desire beyond the wont of mortal men, and the hate he tended in great gardens of blossoming tears was full in bloom and nurtured angry rebuke. The whispers of a conquering demon and the lies of a thousand nightmares unbidden. She found faith in the reason for her existence in the houses sent forth by the undoing of his fear.


Breathing Fire

Enlivened by the promise of payment in flames of favor, welcomed by magic’s untold and dreams of ecstasy, he ruled the perch, the straw and the sordid grip upon the secret of fire. Boss Mean approached the eternal source of warfare, of battle and fighting bond with an easy awareness. Pepper and tickets permitted he thought, to hold the balance of forever in spiced embers of time, in enemy eyes and war, scarlet battles for the red flames of perdition.
The tiny flame guttered and ebbed, flowed and elongated in rhythm to the desire of its master. “ By the Gods I’ll have my turn at chance, by the fires of hell itself.” he exclaimed to the flittering shadows and the small blaze of candent existence. A small ember, a spark of fire lit the air above the flame and in its place a tiny ebony moth appeared, flittering, evanescent and erratically circling. Boss reached out and touched the space where the moth revolved. Opening his hand he grabbed the tiny shadow. It was a warm flame in his palm and it beat its wings furiously, tickling his hand. “ Sweet lords of soul shine, by the wayfarer winds of swords and precious battle lines, give me your victorious bond, your will unto the possessor of fire and victory.” he yelled to the ceiling. Smokey disarrays of mist collected near the ceiling as the room filled with smoke, the smoke of ceaseless wars and conquests unbidden. Boss whispered, “ By the Gods of reception and the revolution in tongues of rapture, by the flames of province, by the gods.” His breath disturbed the flame and the tiny brilliance of a hundred year war.
Boss counted the blessings of fire, of war, of remitted peace. Engraved in the lines between youth and ancient rest, lay the face of a consuming treaty, in want of fervid passion, in his countenance the fond flow of anger and desire, desire for the shade of conquest dealt by the fires of what owns majestic histories in won wrath and promised rule. He relished the flame, his lips parched and cracked as the sooty smoke drifted if wave of ambient gray. The tiding of conflict, “ Moth, betray not my need for victory.” he chanted in singsong rhythm to the wavering flame, the small mirage of searing advance.
Later, he would sing to the silhouette of fire and war, in unswerving passions of commanded power; in the end, in all and all he would covet the seed and feed the raven with a single rose as the advent of war sought its possessor and charge.

Orphan Picnics and the Bandit

The sign wasn’t altered in it’s exclamation, nevertheless it was an indicator of past terrors, the harbinger of wild rumors and bloody exaltation, it read,
“Do not feed

The bears!!!”

The sign was a chipped gray and scarlet, the lettering a bold exclamation of warning. Handy Bandit sighed and touched the roughly speckled surface of the sign. The surface was covered in spatters of crimson, blood perhaps he thought. Wrinkling his brow he surveyed the pine straw littering the ground, the piles of freshly scattered dirt, in telltale mounds, half buried in moldering leaves and torn dirty soils, a row of graves.
“Do not feed the Bears.”

He read again as his sneakers left impressions in sporting claim against the blood sodden dirt.
“Do not feed the Bears.”

The graves were haphazard constructions, built in grizzly instinct and scarlet paw. A crow sang, yelled from atop the pine bows, “caw caw.”
Handy sat the picnic basket on the dry patch of earth and opened the burnished lattice lid. The scented desires of starving campers and hiking hunger poured from the basket. Fried chicken, Potato salad, and neat containers of potato chips.
“Do not feed the Bears”

He whispered reverently, by prayer and eyes revolving in desires of chance.
Handy unfitted the restraining straps of the backpack and removed a blue and white checked blanket. The nature of his aloneness forebode reason and rational as he layed the blanket across the bloody soil. The crimson tinctured the blanket in disdain, in warning. Handy closed his eyes for a moment as he sat down on the blanket. He saw seas of scarlet and suns blazing amber in painful clarity. The mists of a wrath untold and blind by the need of what sapphire eyes and mulberry wont express. Eating the call of ravaging danger and tears of senseless diversion. Handy ate chicken, potato salad, and the crisp chips lined neat in stacks.
The balance of night and day divided the hours as handy ate and thought. In the end he concluded the twilight ceremony with a prayer, “By Gods grace we take the wisdom of sense and the desire to live in passions of safe futures and asylum.” He prayed in quiet breaths of new resolve. The night sang sure and the remnants of old chicken bones and plastic containers marked the sodden ancient soil, by bidden release he was reborn and given the will to survive.

Punishing the Drum

Skewed by harps, lutes and endless trembling masquerades in cat gut, the tight lipped celebrity of the veiled drummer exalted the environs of unholy phenomenon. He occupied the greater of anger, in part at the midway point between hate and panoramas of blood. He found the fine art of drumming embryonic ally Mephistophelean, a bearing bought in backward glances to the piano and flutist, a poetic wrath in irritating repetition.
“Neat slaves of vacant feather, play by the call
Of common meals and waspish swarm, play by neat
Bombastic, blackened desires of rage.” he screamed over the cacophony of sound. In replete doom they listened to the call of the drummer, intent with the posture of believing rapiers and sharp wardship.
Tiny by the spells of heaven, an angel cried and the eagle of issued breath, of conquering trust, found changeable seconds in reprieve for the flute, the piano, the lute and the harp; the drummer found a strange solstice in this and paragons of respite, in the flitter of a reason for being.

Ron Koppel Berger