Saturday, June 25, 2016

Black Butterfly

There never was 
anyone like Ali
between the ropes
or facing the public.

In the ring and out 
we saw a man 
float like a butterfly,
sting like a bee.

He was to boxing
what Astaire 
was to dancing,
what Sinatra was 
to singing.
A nonpareil.

But no one stopped
Fred from dancing
or Frank from singing
because of a war 
Ali and many  
never understood.

Donal Mahoney

A Place to Put Stuff

Last night my recliner broke.
I used the lever to lean back 
and I went way back, almost
heels over head. A shock.

I hate going to the recliner store 
when the chair I bought there  
five or six years ago breaks.
They always do, dramatically, 
almost on schedule.

I hate going around the store,
sitting up and down until the 
right throne fits my keister.
It’s not the money involved
although they aren’t cheap. 
I just hate the process.

But the homeless man on the ramp
I gave two bucks to this morning
he doesn’t have a place to put 
a recliner even if I bought him one.
It wouldn’t fit in his plastic bags
and would be too heavy to drag 
to his overnight shelter.

In five or six years when my 
new recliner breaks I’ll try to 
remember him and realize 
I have a place to put stuff
and he doesn’t and isn’t that
one of the differences between
the homeless man and me 
and Hillary and The Donald.

Donal Mahoney

A Hollow Tale

A mountain man is Fillmore
but there are no mountains 
where Fillmore lives 
deep in a hollow.

He's never had a job
and doesn’t want one now
spends his days huntin’ coon
squirrel and possum
and that catamount
lore says is black.

At night he reads by 
lantern light with pit bull 
Satan poised at his feet.
Folks in town know Fillmore 
doesn't feature people
so no one comes callin’.

He feeds Satan 
but not too much.
He wants Satan hungry 
when the thief of night 
comes through the window 
the way that stranger did
a few years back and Satan 
had a midnight snack. 
Since then Satan wait
poised at Fillmore’s feet
primed for another snack.

Donal Mahoney

Our Mistakes Are Us

Old Sam on his deathbed says 
he’d rewrite his life if he could. 
He’d do so many things differently,
be nice to all his wives if he could
but luckily they had died before him.
When he was in grammar school 
he admired the president in office.
When asked if he would change 
anything in his life, Truman
rasped, “Not a damn thing!

Old Sam has pondered this for 
many years and thinks his life 
has been misspent writing poems
that are little more than broken lines,
unruly couplets and forced rhymes. 

Our mistakes are us, Old Sam says. 
Truman should have done something
different to end the war than ordering
commanders to drop atomic bombs.
Murdering innocents is not the answer.

Donal Mahoney

Earthquake in the Yard

He’s a vet from Vietnam
who won’t say much about
what happened over there
except to say his problem
began with Agent Orange,

the breathing problem he has
cutting grass, raking leaves 
and shoveling snow, 
the only work anyone 
will hire him to do.

The money helps him live 
on what the government 
gives him but that’s not much 
because it’s obvious
the man's not living well.

Watching him mow grass
from an upstairs window 
on a sultry day and have
him stop and cough so
many times, you want to 
pay him not to mow but 
know that won't work.
The man can’t breathe
but he still has pride.

So you pay him well,
force him to take a tip
and wonder if some day
he’ll fall on his mower 
or maybe on the grass
and won’t get up at all,
the earthquake coughing
being what it is, 
ripping him apart.

Donal Mahoney

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Rap Harvest
by Peter Magliocco
You are the rap harvest,
you sing the body's impolitic
raven airs transmogrified
by desire (& beauty lost
& won again)
into heartening large
-- or little -- graces of life
around us.
Each day (each moment, each
second) rolls beyond our blinking
need to rule the 'hood.
I see you down here,
drinking wine, waiting.
Give me a dole of lecher's dance feat,
I'll do the rest thereafter,
mending your curtained skin
with tricking fingertips
while you snort homemade pharm.
Time & again you drop me
the ghetto's livid lingo to spiel
on the cusp of city tumult,
hearing a million rappers
keening into concrete avenues
our innocence hardens to sweeter stone.
Now it's all right, a no-brainer
if our lyrics ever die so will we.
Plucked as food for the gods,
our choice tongues still bearing
your hallowed curses
& chewed-up vowels eschewed
by our now spurting seed
we breed with murdered truth.
by Peter Magliocco
Nothing turns his face
from images of time,
always in a dark profile
silhouetting his long wait.
Nothing resets the clockwork orange
whose fruit cannot be opened.
Pity the memories flashing by
all his heinous crimes
in delusional extremis, yes:
remember the throat crevice
of a blood-drowned victim
in her unspeakable dismay.
Nothing dissolves the images
time paints over nature's visage:
only reflections of vanished life
dwindling beyond a cold cosmos
ghostly light years never reach.
Viral Tilt Brood
by Peter Magliocco
I want to look like aces,
not be an old dude anymore.
Look more hip, rap-savvy
for our private videos.
Be rich, rose-smelling
& spill flaxen-fresh syllables
over your grateful head,
whatever rocks the night by.
Yet here I am, stuck
between your implanted boobs
& the daily hustle grind
making ends meet.
So let me
backstab blue dysfunctional
eternal mind games
with Dr. Phil
for a possible penis transplant
while time deadens
your mercury-laden heart
into eternal retrograde.
The Supermarket Girl

for years
eyes meeting
always a glance
only observing
the passing of our time
when I buy food

remembering her
years ago
on a street corner
by the small town
train station
waiting nervously
Saturday night
the carnival
perhaps her
first date
and make up

I admired when
a new cashier
cried in frustration
as an angry idiot
she jumped in
to help
the poor girl
calming her

seeing again
same supermarket
a woman now
new haircut
I communicated in silence

Craig Stormont
A Place in Time

We were a generation
Whose time had come,
We had found our place in time.
We believed that we were special,
As had others down the line.
We were awakened to the knowledge
That led us to perceive
History as a series of crimes.
We believed that we had found
A way to heal
A lost and troubled world.
We smoked herbs
And took strange potions,
To open up our minds,
To explore uncharted regions of consciousness
In the hope to find
The elusive final knowledge
That could help the lost and blind.
In the end, we never could say
Exactly what we found.
In reflection, we were dealt a hand
That had been dealt before,
Mystery, magic, and music;
A thorough deception for many,
For others a path to Your door.

Bruce Mundhenke

The Seven Stars

The seven stars are old,
Many eyes have gazed at them in the night,
Their pattern constant,
Beacons of light,
Almost eternal,
But in time, only the Old One will remain,
All else will pass,
Except for what He chooses to retain.

Bruce Mundhenke

The Watcher

The strong man thinks the door is locked,
The weak man, he is sure.
The lawyer looks for loopholes,
The physician prescribes a cure.
The laborer is working,
The wizard casts a spell,
The watcher, he is watching,
He knows that all is well.

Bruce Mundhenke
I know Nothing. I Know it Well.   
A blank page stares. I am afraid, 
I am going to write something on it 
and rob the infinity of its white noise. 
It could have been anything. From the confession 
of a serial-killer, 
to the bemoaning baritones of Ian Curtis 
and in between, some bleeding suicide notes, 
or some unrealized fetishes of the boy  next door.    
Or it could have been the holy texts,    
to inspire the generations of half-wits to kill,   
plunder and preach. 
 On the other hand, I could have 
left the way it is, and let it be 
the notation of Cage's 4'33" 
or Dr. Dennis Upper's paper on Writer's Block 
orRauschenberg's breathtaking paintings of none. 
I could have just left it blank 
and let it be the answer 
to all questions, that Buddha did not answer.  

The Whole Day, It Rained Heart-Attack and Vine 

No, I cannot pen the pain, 
the way Tom Waits does. And I can't sing 
the sad ballads which 
can make the Zircons weep, 
can torture the thousands chasms. 
But those longing for the unseen nymphs 
fleshed with ether and flowers; 
The angst, anxieties 
and the skin-like sense of a lonely world,  
the heart-aches that just don't go. Yes 
I am smitten all right. 
Existence is one of those voids 
that you can never fill, 
not with a bottle of Cognac at least;    
so one day, I made peace 
with heart-attacks and vines. 
The price you pay, to be a thinking man; 
a lot of self-made scars and that looming sense 
of impending doom. 
There are no glitches in the matrix, 
because, there is no matrix. 
Stay love. Stay rose. Stay tight                       
There are oceans of sorrow to drink.     (A tribute to Tom Waits) 

Sudeep Adhikai

Helpless I do not know if good intentions prevail among the elected, among the appointed, leaving me apprehensive that the fate ...