Thursday, April 30, 2020

This afternoon, I again spent
my time reading the poems of
Stuart Z Perkoff
and once again they, as they
have always done, hit me
heavy with truth and
spiritual insight of this
life, his and ours,
he was singing and
swinging with words
that sting relevant some
4 decades later: he was
widely published at
the time, many chapbooks
and work in the magazines
and literary publications
and anthologies :
I’ve just ordered
‘Voices Of The Lady’
his collected poems:
I can’t wait to
hold and turn the
pages of his
breathing in my hands,
it feels just like making
a brand new
best friend.

John D Robinson 

I awoke at 05:30, swallowed
codeine and diazepam and
awoke 3 hours later:
drank some tea and smoked
a joint: mowed the lawns
and trimmed the hedges:
our daughter and
grandchildren visited: I
had drawn pictures for
all of them and waved
and blew kisses to them
from inside of the house
as they smiled and
danced from the garden:
I took some more
prescription drugs,
worked-out with my
nunchaku and then
opened a bottle of wine
and with my notebook
was hoping to write
a poem and I wrote
down the words of
Doug Draime:
‘A hobo with visons,
a bum with dreams,
a man of sincere
foolishness, marking
my time and my
life here on paper
once again’
the right way to end
a day,
every day.
(Quote from Doug Draime’s poem ‘Pulling Out Of The Race for the Sake of Winning’ permission from     © Carol Draime, with many thanks)

John D Robinson 

In the bar, following the
she came up to me and
offered a drink:
I accepted:
she told me that she had
enjoyed my words and
had never thought that
poetry could be so raw
and exciting:
she was plain, short,
rotund with big breasts:
later, in her bedsit, she
asked to hold my hands,
the poet’s hands:
I agreed:
she took hold of my
hands and gently
massaged and
sensuously slid her
fingers and coiled her
hands around mine:
I asked if these poet’s
hands could caress and
love her beautiful
she nodded her head and
then we were naked,
laughing and fooling
around and afterwards
she asked me to recite
one of my poems
and I was fucked if I
could remember a
fucking word.

 John D Robinson

‘Who is this?’ she asked
picking a fridge-magnet
off the freezer door:
‘Who do you think it
is? I asked my four
year old granddaughter:
she looked at the portrait
of James Dean and said
‘It’s you grandpa!’
I nodded my head,
smiled and felt good:
‘I’m going to show
nanny this’ she said:
I heard my wife
laughing a few moments
later and then my
granddaughter returned:
‘It’s not you Grandpa!’
she cried;
‘Let me look at it again,
oh, that’s not me, that’s
James Dean’
‘Oh’ she said ‘Is he a
friend of yours?’
she asked.

John D Robinson 

His relief and excitement were
one, as he embraced me,
urging me to sit back down in
the public bus shelter after I
had provoked and challenged
the asshole who thought he
was a tough guy and would
have for sure beaten my ass:
I sat down, relaxed and
the tough guy looked over
at me looking tough and I
couldn’t resist and winked
 at him: he began
laughing and shaking his
head, he took a long slug
from the bottle and then
made a show of offering
it to me as the other bums
looked on at the young
new-comer treading on
their toes and drinking
their share.
John D Robinson 

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Ohio has been pretty aggressive with the stay at home orders. the only times i have left the house in the last 3 weeks was to get some groceries or if my disabled mother wanted some food from the chain restaurants in town. most of them have drive-thru's still open. of course, 40 miles south of me is the church still having services and hugging and everything, because they are covered in the blood of Jesus. i remember the joy i felt when that church got hit by lightning years ago.

Friday, April 10, 2020

I watched them gig
in the pit
playing funky jazz licks
in modal timbres
made me squirm.
I thought,
I’ll blow this place
when this sweetie
be-bopped from behind
hands in my hair
said we can really groove.
we danced through the night
till light
cut a ray
through her ceramic face,
cracking beauty
into puzzle fragments.
she started to sing 
the blues.

Walls pulsate
on waves 
of rhythmic Stravinsky jokes.
Crickets scratch song
to throated gurgles
of a bubbling spring.
Soft rain dances rooftop
and strokes panes 
on a mild breeze
vague shadows
upon sidewalks.
I sit here waiting,
eager for sunlight’s
blinding glare 
to burst through darkness,
the grand finale.

Having mended
delicate strands of loneliness
tangling my heart,
she kneels in prayer
upon the floor 
with clusters of pins on her lips 
ready to bond a cloth anatomy.
Hemming, cutting
and matching thread,
her needle attaches 
bloodless seams in arcing lines
to invigorate a listless torso 
with warmth.
Still,  I dream of her
completely unwoven.

Ferris wheel revolves
velocity and glow,
a kaleidoscopic adventure
and screams of glee 
heard ‘round the grounds
duets with the singing carousel
which spins
to horse’s gallop
toward the house of mirrors
shadowy silhouettes
of our clandestine embrace.
Dozens of you
touching me
hundreds of times.


He imagines us on the beach,
soft sand at our feet
just after lunch 
when warm rays and a delicate breeze
bid us rest.
He considers my arm around her waist,
my body sideways against bikini curves,
surrounded by seagulls 
that squawk for attention
and the litter seas throw.
It’s been so long for him.  
He has difficulty deciding 
what may be real
and occasionally doubts 
the idea of our very existence.


A propellant 
when she smiles,  
she kindles a flame
as she strokes my hair, 
kisses my cheek,
or grasps my hand 
and giggles.
I blush though 
my eyes reflect 
the fever she incites,
even as she speaks 
in riddles and feels
ungainly in my arms.
I am victim of her charms,
clever as a Mozart symphony
minus the finale.

Michael Keshigian
stuck in constant fear
another day in isolation,
escaping a world stuck
in constant fear
a 24/7 news cycle on overdrive
pour one out for the gambler
the voice of my youth that taught
a young boy all he ever needed
to know about poker
it feels like this is as good a time
as any to collect on the old debts
let that elusive angel out west
know i could never love another
and just like a crisp wind
disappear into the ethereal realm
of the lost world we were promised
as children

J.J. Campbell
one way or another
the neon queen nailed me to a cross
one friday night outside of reno, nevada
i never asked why, i figured i earned it
one way or another
i could hear her laughter as she drove
off into the early morning sun
eventually, the birds would peck out
my eyes until some future racist decided
to set the cross on fire
thankfully, i never believed in the need
for a resurrection
my shift was finally over

J.J. Campbell
old man winter
these old bones
can feel old man
winter starting
up his engine
i remember as
a child how i
loved snow
sledding down
the little hill in
our front yard
but then i always
had to shovel
every inch of
the sidewalks
and the driveway
my father would
check and punish
me when i didn't
do it correctly
even after the
divorce and his
winter has never
been the same
under the legal age
parents get nervous
when they see me
around their children
that makes me laugh
i have no interest
in anyone under
the legal age
people that look
like me go to jail
for those thoughts
J.J. Campbell

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