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Poets B 

Batard - Bennett (2) - Bierds - Brownstein (2) - Burwill (3) - Boccia - Brodsky

Windows
by Linda Bierds

When the cow died by the green sapling,
her limp udder splayed on the grass
like something from the sea, we offered
our words in their low calibrationsó
which was our fashionóthen severed
her horns with a pug-toothed blade
and pounded them out to an amber
transparency, two sheets that became,
in their moth-wing haze, our parlor windows.
They softened our guests with the gauze-light
of the Scriptures, and rendered to us,
on our merriest days, the sensation
of gazing through the feet of a gander.
In time we moved up to the status
of glassóone pane, then twoóeach
cupping in proof of its purity
a dimple of fault, a form of distortion
enhancing our image. We took the panes
with us from cottage to cottage,
moth-horn and glass, and wedged up
the misfitted gaps with a poultice
of gunny and wax. When woodsmoke
darkened our bricks, we gave
to the windowsills a lacquer
of coloróclear blue with a lattice
of yellow: a primary entrance and exit
for light. And often, walking home
from the river and small cheese shop,
we would squint their colors to a sapling
green, and remember the hull
of that early body, the slap of fear
we suffered there, then the little wash
of recovery that is our fashionóhow
we stroked to her bones a cadenced droning,
and took back from her absence, our
amber, half-literal method of sight.

From The Ghost Trio by Linda Bierds. Copyright © 1994 by Linda Bierds. Reprinted courtesy of the author.  News:  Linda Bierds next book  Flight: New and Selected Poems will be out in October of 2008.


Apples on the Floor
by Edward Boccia

Somehow the blind artist knows
the coming of the end of the world
is not his fault. Born to live
in the never-ending world of feelings
and images, the blind artist walks
around with his head high
and his arms stretched out in front.
Born and raised to expect the unacceptable,
the blind artist never recoils.
Favored by the gods who prefer accident
over plan, he never thinks about his next move.
As a follower of the old blind seers,
the blind artist enjoys throwing his model
out of the studio while she is still naked.
He's in ecstasy when he dumps his still life
upon the floor and steps all over it.
When asked how this behavior improves
his creativity, the blind artist says,
there are three things that resemble
the soul ó a cool damp place
like an old cellar,
a sweet-smelling woman hungry for love,
and the feeling we get when we eat raw meat.


From No Matter How Good the Light Is: Poems by a Painter by Edward Boccia. Copyright © 1998 by Time Being Books. Reprinted courtesy of Time Being Press.


On First Turning Earth
by Louis Daniel Brodsky

My pen stutters in ruts,
Like a single-trace plow
Glancing off roots and rocks
Choking an intractable field.

Earth yields only grudgingly,
As my mindís tenacious mule
Continues to pull, against the grain,
The dead weight of unawakened metaphors.
It takes all my energy
Just to keep the unwieldy contraption straight.

Later, when I return to survey my labor,
Strewn, in irregular furrows, across the notebook paper,
I realize itís not quite complete for seeding.
Imaginationís steely disks
Still need to finely grind the dirt,
For my verse to thrive.

From The World Waiting to Be: Poems About the Creative Process by Louis Daniel Brodsky. Copyright © 2008 by Time Being Books. Reprinted courtesy of Time Being Press.


LUST
by Michael H. Brownstein

The purple sand cherry tree bends away from the roof of the porch
and tent caterpillars thread their thick web through the heart of its limbs.
Until this summer, they never tried, and before this summer
the tree never gave birth to fruit--but this summer both arrived,
and branches and branches were heavy with fruit like opulent nipples,
shiny purple skinned cherries, sweetened rich juice.
At first I ate only ten, but soon I was up to twenty-five.
In the backyard Asian black mulberries and in the front purple sand cherries.
Life a chum chum ripe and ready to bite into.

Michael H. Brownstein has been widely published throughout the small and literary presses. His work has appeared in The Cafť Review, American Letters and Commentary, Skidrow Penthouse, Xavier Review, Hotel Amerika, Free Lunch, Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, The Pacific Review, Poetrysuperhighway.com and others. In addition, he has nine poetry chapbooks including The Shooting Gallery (Samidat Press, 1987), Poems from the Body Bag (Ommation Press, 1988), A Period of Trees (Snark Press, 2004), What Stone Is (Fractal Edge Press, 2005), I Was a Teacher Once (Ten Page Press, 2011) and Firestorm: A Rendering of Torah (Camel Saloon Press, 2012). He is the editor of First Poems from Viet Nam (2011). Brownstein currently is the English Specialist at Lincoln University, an historical black land-grant college, located in Missouri.

 



FAMILY INHERITANCE
by Michael H. Brownstein

This is how I feel about thieves:
In the house of thieves, hide your silver.
Do not let Waterford crystal slip from the table.
Hold to your lap the first edition of The Cat in the Hat
and in your widest pocket the original map of World War ll
even after the family thief tells you
of course, it's counterfeit, not worth anything at all
and then reaches for his laptop and signs into eBay.
Do not believe in pretend money,
the one who says he will return everything
after it is polished and made to look new.
Remember the privileged are the best thieves,
it is their right and their icon, their hypothesis--
this is why they remain members of the privileged class,
the class with the best methods of taking.

Michael H. Brownstein has been widely published throughout the small and literary presses. His work has appeared in The Cafť Review, American Letters and Commentary, Skidrow Penthouse, Xavier Review, Hotel Amerika, Free Lunch, Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, The Pacific Review, Poetrysuperhighway.com and others. In addition, he has nine poetry chapbooks including The Shooting Gallery (Samidat Press, 1987), Poems from the Body Bag (Ommation Press, 1988), A Period of Trees (Snark Press, 2004), What Stone Is (Fractal Edge Press, 2005), I Was a Teacher Once (Ten Page Press, 2011) and Firestorm: A Rendering of Torah (Camel Saloon Press, 2012). He is the editor of First Poems from Viet Nam (2011). Brownstein currently is the English Specialist at Lincoln University, an historical black land-grant college, located in Missouri.

 


The Wings of Icarus
by James Burwill

Greek mythology has it that Icarus fell into the sea here
on earth when he soared too close to the sun---his wings
melting like wax.

It is now suggested that the sea was not here on earth,
but a crater on the moon--- for on the far side of the moon
lays a crater filled with an exquisite maze of labyrinths
and passages that open into one another like a spiral
seashell onto the shore of an ageless barren sea.

There deep within a volcanic cavern, the remains of
Daedalus, father of Icarus, have been discovered suspended
in a transparent blue capsule of unknown origin. His
outstretched arms floating in the air like condor wings.

His right hand pointing to the west where the sun sets and
the other reaching to the east toward an impact crater called
the Ocean of Icaria where his son lays waiting patiently for
the long cool earthen night.

From earth, the dark side of the moon is never seen because
the arms of Daedalus hold the moon in a synchronized orbit
with the earth, showing only what he wants earthlings to see.
Some things are best left undisturbed. The charred body of
Icarus enfolded in loving wings will remain forever alive---
Pandora has taught him well.

Copyright © 2008 James Burwill 


The Disguise
by James Burwill

I sat not entirely upon the chair
where my thoughts run to air
apart from whatís considered fair
Iíve these thoughts with you to share.

There I decided in a momentís time
to change my face and put on a mask
that would not be me but make me fine
and not as some who knew me last.

I would go about the world in a guise
and frolic here and dollop there,
here and there without a care,
caring not where reason lies.

Actors, poets, writers all
here the call and make the fall.
Not so much for walls of fame
but more to bury lives of shame.

So what think you of my face?
Iím about the streets you know
around the corner a window shows
an image no one really knows.

Copyright © 2008 James Burwill


A Death Valley Miner
By James Burwill

There in the shadow of Telescope Peak
youíll see me spying Furnace Creek,
climbing there the rocks of old,
sparking out for yellow gold,
sifting wheels of desert sand,
drunk on dreams of staking land.
Lizard trails grace my track,
and buzzard tails lace my hat.
Choking streams and breaking rocks,
wishing I were a sourdough hawk,
scouring earth like a patron saint
looking for lead and copper paint.
Rhyolite, Skidoo, and Harrisburg to
were often favorite spots of mine,
plenty of women and ore to prime.

They say the valley was born of myth,
some native dreams of a neolith.
They say old Scotty was a fool
who sifted gold from Johnsonís pool
to hide a castle in Walterís name and
shoo the flies from Albertís fame.
None of this I take for truth,
for many a miner misspent youth.
Take Stovepipe Wells a natural spring,
people flocked there to drink and sing,
some to cure their wilting ailments,
others to restore their tender accents.
No finer place to drink the water,
but no place for a minerís squatter.

They diverted the well and wetlands shrank,
left most wondering who turned the crank.
Didnít take long to find an answer,
some borax jackass mule team dancer,
named big shot no name fancy prancer
capped the spring so registers would ring.
They started hoarding water like gold,
and putting migrating birds on hold.
Along came Hoover who took my stake
and made me sick with all his hate.
Just not fair to steal a manís wages
by saving this land for the history pages.
Just so you know, I wouldnít let go,
so they planted my boots on Borax hill.
To warn other miners of my mistake,
they nailed my bones to an indian stake
and invited kangaroo rats to get their fill.

Been many a year since my bones bled dry
and many a day since they heard me cry,
but you know nothing ever stays the same,
Iíve called on others to remember my name:
from pupfish, coyotes, to panamint daisy,
from big horn sheep, bobcats, to rock lady,
from roadrunners, buckwheat, to desert bat,
from chipmunks, cottontails, to purple mat,
from shining milkvetch to desert jackass,
from evening primrose to blue-eyed-grass,
from beetles, bedstraw, to desert birdís-beak,
Iíve called them back to Telescope Peak
to gather my bones and prop them right
where all can see them at first light.

Copyright © 2008 James Burwill


You Want Original
by Encule Batard

You want the money to punch you in the nose,
knock you to the ground, and sit on your face.
You want life to push you to the front of the line,
lift you by the shoulder, and scream your name.
Well, you canít have any of that, not even in your
dreams, if thatís what you call them.

What youíre going to get is stabbed in the back
by Wall Street and dragged through the financial
gutters of New York by some 3-piece suits.
You are going to be held in an alley with a knife to
your throat over a twenty-buck sales pitch to live the
American dream. You are going to be gang-raped and
left pantless holding worthless paper over your privates.

Youíre not going to talk about it for thirty years,
itís going to cut off that part of your brain that
remembers, leaving you with a blank expression
as if you heard a scream somewhere---but where.
People will see it in your eyes and hear it in your
voice and wonder what kind of indigent idiot are you.

Thatís the price you are going to pay for being kind,
being free, being naÔve, being friendly, and being dumb.
You are going to be used by bankers, hoods, promises,
feds, politicians, and most of all by those that love your
money, with or without a brain. Youíve been there,
you know what itís like. Sad part is that youíll
be there again and not know how you got there.
You want original apple pie but canít take the time
to learn how to avoid the pain and misery of believing.

Copyright © 2008 Encule Batard
 


Bello
by Lucia Chiappara-Bennett

Ciao, Come sta?
Bello romantico
Noi parleremo
With you're golden brown eyes
And long brown hair
So handsome and masculine features
Come with me and you'll see
Nothing will stop us now
Not a soul will bring us misery
But love will give us joy and happiness!

Copyright © 2009 Lucia Chiappara-Bennett, from Voices in the Garden


Sophisticate
by Lucia Chiappara-Bennett

You like to play saxophone
In the near by night club
When I sit close to my window
And I listen to jazz for hours
Before going to bed
I never had enough every night
When things are down on you're luck
You play how you feel
You're affection for sophisticate sound
Leaves you sustaining love for jazz
Once you discover the love
Is when you learned to say how you feel
Is how too find it in you're heart
The saxophone discovers for who you are.

Copyright © 2009 Lucia Chiappara-Bennett, from Voices in the Garden
 

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© copyright 2008 - Last Updated: 03/28/2015