Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Dear Editor,

Please consider poems from 'Songs of a Clerk': 'Decline', 'Condemned', 'Vengeance', 'Pettiness', 'Time', 'Greeley Square II'.

Songs of a Clerk, an unpublished collection of poetry, expresses the frustration of a young man trapped in a menial clerks job, while dreaming of a meaningful life.

Poems from 'Songs of a Clerk' have appeared in: Istanbul Literary Review, Agency Magazine, Fiction Press, Kyoto Journal, Poetry Life and Times, Rattlesnake Review, Written Word Literary Magazine, Pegasus Magazine, MadSwirl, YaSou!, Words Words Words, Juice Magazine, Struggle Magazine, Flutter Poetry Journal, Iddie, Strange Road, Halfway Down the Stairs, Poetry Monthly, Calliope Nerve and many more.

Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director and worked as an art dealer when he couldn't earn a living in the theater. He has also been a tennis pro, a ditch digger and a salvage diver. His chapbook 'Remembrance' was published by Origami Condom Press, 'The Conquest of Somalia' was published by Cervena Barva Press, 'The Dance of Hate' was published by Calliope Nerve Media, 'Material Questions' was published by Silkworms Ink, 'Dispossessed' was published by Medulla Press and 'Mutilated Girls is being published by Heavy Hands Ink. A collection of his poetry 'Days of Destruction' was published in by Skive Press. Another collection 'Expectations' was published by Rogue Scholars press. His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway and toured colleges and outdoor performance venues. His poetry has appeared in hundreds of literary magazines. He currently lives in New York City.


Gary Beck


Our crippled sons
do not have their forefathers crusades.
They whine the ancient songs,
wheezing in their heated rooms.
They cry for causes,
but curse the test-tube plans
that guide us to new motions.
They would be led,
spearmen in Agamemnon’s band,
these tiring office mites,
who would sack a city.
Fanciers of fair captives,
yearning for distant glory,
not even the poet’s song
can make epic of your dullness.


Man of my rheumatic days,
who sits at office desk
adoze, adrift
on some lost continent,
flooded by machine seepage.
The distant voices of creaky clerks,
shrill and chatty girls,
the torpor until 5:00.
Then out into that lost day’s air,
the quick awakening from canned breathing
and I am released,
until imprisonment tomorrow.


On this dreary afternoon,
in the desert of imagination,
I summon Gengis Khan
and Tartar host.
See my power.
I command them.
Slaughter the Boss,
the babbling secretaries,
cut out their tongues,
rape and pillage.
Don’t let that one escape,
the office idiot.
Some dire torture must be his.
Let him be crucified
by his protruding ears,
for awful jokes.


This fruitless job
planned by some angel of despair,
bursting his halo with joy at my anguish.
Secure in his triumph,
he gloats on his cloud,
but then I spite him
and quit without notice.


The creeping, sullen fingers
of my unloving clock
point my life away,
falling with a sad droop
on 7:00 A.M.
(stumble awake, shuffle to work)
then 12:00, quick lunch,
the drowsy, mindless waiting until 5:00,
then home to watch your uncaring hands
tick away tomorrows.

Greeley Square II

Greeley Square at lunchtime
dreary and severe,
the office workers
drabber than pigeons,
the out-of-towners
lost in their clothing.
The black men
wearing radios, caps and sneakers,
pushing handcarts and resentment.
The Spanish men
read jokebooks in the doorways.
The old men sit upon the benches,
pale and flimsy in the sun
and gather newspapers and empty bags,
after the clerks return to work.

chaos is   chaos is currency in these troubled times   chaos is two star-crossed lovers mainlining the future   chaos is...