Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Holiday II
Detonations echo
across the city.
Security guards
are extra vigilant.
But the people are calm,
not worried about terror
as they briefly forget
ongoing concerns
in the annual display
on Independence day,
the fireworks show.

Digital Control
I sit at my desk,
another worker
in the Information Age,
and stare at my inbox
that conspires to prevent me
from returning to my screen,
by overwhelming me with paperwork.

Diminishing Garments
The shorts get shorter,
The tops get smaller,
revealing more female flesh,
thighs, breasts, bellies,
then most girlie magazines
yet it doesn’t seem to provoke
     public assault
in tolerant America,
and only Muslims are outraged
     by the wanton display
     of women’s bodies.

Comparative Assessment
We look at the rich
of what they possess,
      all they enjoy
and we easily forget
while they’re on their super yachts,
we have a comfortable apartment,
our children go to good schools,
we have enough to eat,
the occasional treat
a two week vacation
   somewhere nice.

Yet across most of the world
            poverty rules,
hunger, diseases, war,
ravages the people,
many of whom are happy
making do with little,
   but appreciating
whatever they have,
until disaster strikes
and there are few resources,
            or none
to ease infliction
and the daily suffering
restricts the search
   for daily bread.

Hunger, disease, violence,
      the separation
between joy and sorrow
accepted by millions,
neglected by millions,
so many self-absorbed
acquiring comforts,
      too busy,
      too removed
from means of sharing
with the needy world,
dreaming of the lottery,
      not realizing
      after taxes
there’s barely enough
      to buy a Warhol.

So we trudge the worn path
      that our forbears trod,
many of us living better
      than anyone before,
            never enough
to satisfy our primal greed.

Weather Vane
Winter is almost over,
     lashing out
with storm, snow, sleet,
reluctant to depart
and let us forget
that harsh climes
are here to stay.

From now on
brief summer
will hasten away,
     ushering in
     cold winds
to chill our bones.

Gary Beck
but a sullen moon
it's the final embrace
of a future pissed away
the factories are all
closed and all you have
left is a few scars and
a bad back
snow in the air
yet another christmas
you can't afford
you try your best to
be thankful for what
you do have
but all these beautiful
faces on the television
remind you that failure
tastes like shit
you haven't seen the
sun in three days
if you think the midwest
can be depressing to
begin with, try it in
the darkness
a lonely road
no lights but a
sullen moon
murder in the air
boredom allows for
the monsters to have
but you look in her eyes
the river is so high
you could just walk
right in and let the
current take you
it's fucking
these days
but you look
in her eyes and
immediately hear
an old otis redding
and the way she
presses her lips
against your
you feel like
she's the one
of course, so was
the last one
and the one before
bad luck eventually
the sun finds a way
through the clouds
and everyone knows
everything comes
in threes
on a sunday morning
it's that soft
the way her
eyes reflect
the light
coming from
the windows
the way you
imagine she
would look
fucking you
on a sunday
you would
think you
would know
by now the
quiet ones
don't get shit
in this world
you have to
beat your
chest and
let your
please, for
the sake of
us all
lick my way to freedom
i usually fall asleep
to the thought of a
nice round black ass
smothering my face
as i lick my way to
if i wake up gasping
for air
i check the bed for
bodily fluids
and hopefully there
is nothing other than
fond memories on
my tongue
from any depth of hell
she had a smile
that could lift
my soul from
any depth of
part of me
that smile
was never
meant for
i never
minded the
of being a thief
a poor soul takes
what he can get
thirty feet in front of me
sitting in a chair
in the waiting
about thirty feet
in front of me is
a nearly perfect
ass on a treadmill
my imagination
and suddenly
the sun starts
to shine
J.J. Campbell
Bruno Bettleheim

You work a lifetime on one idea
and they take it from you,
strike a match page by page,
forcing you to transform. 
These people still do not know
the strength of rape,
how you quest for learning,
how music flows through cell blocks,
how even children see a future. 
Somehow the loss of a manuscript
changed you into something
else, and you survived,
came across the ocean,
created a better vision
explaining to all of us
how we think, how we know.

Michael H. Brownstein
Word Bubbles

Travel with me a moment
into a place where our thoughts
become action.  Yes, this sounds like
the introduction to a 60s science fiction
series.  Pardon me.

There are some ideas I wish to
keep secret.  They are my tangle of vines,
grounding me in reality.  Reminding me
that I don’t have to throat punch someone.
All I have to do is smile, listen, nod.
Adjust, move on.

But I love comic books, how
dialogue happens.  The lines are dotted
when the characters whisper, or
the words begin to fade.

I can see in a cloud above
someone’s head, their inner truth.
This might come in handy, but is there
 a way to turn it off?  Ever?

Take Two

And this is why I love
film.  No one stutters
unless they mean to.  They
represent themselves in the best
take of all.

I am a silent performer.  When
I drive down the road, I belt out music
like a professional.  I wish I
hadn’t told you that.

In my mind, there’s an auditorium.
Figures from my past sit and listen.
Wow, are they impressed.  In my
hypothetical universe, I’ve always got
the perfect line.

How often do I get to enact
it?  Almost never.  Rarely.  Sometimes.

Maybe it’s the audition
that’s worthwhile.  Or maybe one too many
long walks in the woods, meditating
on the structure of stories I would one
day forget.

In the World

I’m tired of the high-minded voices
I know talking about not being of
the world.

Like, what does that really
mean?  I’m the substance of this known universe.
I have dirt under my nails.  I eat from the ground.

Get used to it.

It’s not that I disagree with their stance
on life, the universe, and a number of ideas.
I’m all for grand philosophizing.
I’m just rooted in this place.  I know where I come
from.  It’s not so bad.

The earth of the mountains and the concrete
of the urban jungles are full of truth.
Or something like it.

Let it ring like the chiming of the car
behind me that wants me to move on.

I don’t want to move on.  Let me take
in this roadside attraction.  Stop for some
chicken that is so cooked it will kill me.

Now, that’s the world.

I Want to Be in a Comic Book

From the flashing pages of my youth,
I have wanted to be in a comic book.

I designed my suit, considered my powers
and weapons.  I imagined a damsel in distress.
Even thought of my perfect lair.

On my swing set, I would consider this
universe of my making.

I set about on notebook pages to construct
a story with myself as the heroic center –
but age and time wore these dreams down.

I began to see myself as a character whose
bright intentions were mingled with dark ink.

No one needs to be the hero all the time,
or so I reasoned.

Nevertheless, even today, I sometimes yearn
to see myself as a protagonist in my own story,
written or visual.

JD DeHart

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