Other Voices in May 2013 2.0

Paper work 2May 2013

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Still in need of a break here for a few weeks what with the deluge of papers that need  consideration, correction, evaluation & attention. So here is some work from a few Poets I know that have been kind enough to share their work with me.

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Still very proud of this submission of final group project in the SUNY @ Fredonia Rhetoric of Vision and Sound class I teach. Personally I think it’s a very good visual/audio tone poem. And am I proud of them ? Bet your ass I am. Take few minutes & check this out. Link provided below:

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https://docs.google.com/a/fredonia.edu/file/d/0B3QBKQ98m8POTnpkZHVrTkdIRUU/edit

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black hair and sapphire

 

for Paul, 1975-2013

 

You were cruel,  but not in ways

more measurable than our peers

and, well, cruelty was a code of

living anyway.

 

You were the only one then

I wished had seen past my

uncoolness, my non-cruelty,

an absence where a cigarette

should be,

 

legs too long and clothes nowhere

near anything resembling style,

and a mind too interested

in the content of books

for anyone’s friends.

 

Would it have been different

had it been you, not the football

player my dad wanted me seen with,

that took my virginity?

I wanted you more.

 

How does an invisible girl speak,

even now?

 

You should have left that place, too.

Anger is too high a risk factor

for those of us drawn with too much

to fill the stingy space allotted

on a page that expectation has already

outlined for us in shades

of dull mining town

desolation gray. 

 

we bled outside of the lines.

 

when do those roles of “too good”

and “not good enough,” reverse?

 

I smiled to learn that you

became a bodybuilder who loved ABBA.

Yes, I thought, that fits the f**k you world

Paulie I knew. 

 

I wished I had told you

the lead in my first novel, the one I

grew too ashamed to finish-

 

she had your black hair and sapphire

eyes. It was the only voice I ever knew

how to speak to you with.

          Marie Anzalone

 

 *

 

unprotected

 

 

                 The problem is my heart,

                             you see.

                     It just plain refuses

                        to hard boil, no matter what

                            I do to it.

 

                I have tried full immersion

                  in roiling hot seas

                    pickling spices, microwaved

                      depravity, open flame,

                           abdication of duty.

 

                       And I tell you…

                  after these decades, still

                          if you pried off its shell,

             pricked it with your fork,

                    sliced its midline with

                        a sharpened knife-

 

                 you would find the center

                        liquescent, golden

                 running into the shadows of your life’s

                     serving plate; and utterly

                            unprotected.

Marie Anzalone

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1st Avenue Reflection

 

(for Su Polo)

 

 

Once upon a time…maybe the beginning of time…we were standing outside The Nightingale (a poem by Keats?) Lounge (lounging?)…your son was there…the Nightingale sang…or is still singing…and we were talking about Po…or Poe…or Po Chu-i…and he was singing his song to the washerwoman on East 13th Street between Avenue B and Avenue C…and the Nightingale was still there……and you said all of them…..including that Singing Mr. Cedric…so you see…The Terrible Now has been with me all the time…since the beginning of Time…and maybe the Nightingale is still open…the Nightingale is still open…and the Nightingale is still singing…

 

 

Bernard Block 2/12

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Exhale

                                                                    

I was promised flying cars and mechanical man servants!

Rolling down highways on beams of light in automobiles built from the bones of titanic industry!

Oh, Beehive hairdo’s of space station moonbaby blue hair old lady

I was promised nuclear powered zeppelins!

THE FUTURE IS NOW!

THE FUTURE NEVER CAME!

We rattle down dusty New Deal memory highways chasing the taillights of our dreams

The sick black organs of Gulf rigs spew their toxicity into midnight waves of modernity

White lines on the T.V. selling me boredom, three easy payments of 1999.

New Orleans left for the President who circles on a great carrion bird

Left for the President who don`t dig the Jazzy basement of old paradise.

Promises from broken “Land of The Future” exhibits in dry rot Arkansas

Promises that would`ve thawed the Cold War

Promises that would`ve kept me listening to radio

Utopian dreamers tripping over mine fields.

Soooo fucking sick of seeing peace symbols on your ass

Soooo fucking sick of seeing green PINK pants, stop fucking with reality.

This is not how the continuum bends

Not how the continuum bends

..Not how the continuum bends.

Lightspeedballs in the new oval focusing on congressional amoeba`s who`ve

evolved trigger fingers

What`ve we come to?

Got god burnin his arm with cigarette butts bummed from supermarket ash-cans.

Baghdad A.M. radio calling in California airstrikes

Army of couch potato killers in death arcades

Blinking satisfaction on the new screen silver dream, boiler hearts raging with steam!

The rolling waves of copy-cat counter culture protesters, thronging through Washington, three

miles from the motorcade.

Soooo fucking sick of seeing new age hipsters with half-hearted politics!

Generation disenchantment, crowded into universities, green red wired time-bombs

Ticking down to future now

Ticking down to future now

Ticking down to future now

Filthy eye, fish eye future now!

Anchor to the bottom, on channel seven.

North Korea, dime store nuclear power

E.U. new continuum commercial flower

Greece bank gone sour

Afghanistan zero hour

America toppling ivory tower

Conspiracy thrives and writhes in dark global pantries I.C.B.M`s criss-cross Stratosfears!

The science of religion brought up to bear it`s teeth in the heat of new crusades

“We will be….”

“We will be…”

“We will be…”

“We will be greeted as liberators.”

More like cruise missile oil field agitators.

Toothless change in pockets set to play the penny slots

Stretching consciousness at it`s terrible edges, today Allen might say “I saw the best minds of my

generation destroyed by BOREDOM!”

Move! Move! March on!

Something new every second assembly lines assembling minds!

Move! Move! Move in for the kill children!

I was promised the new millennium on a silver platter!

How we`d float Buddha like through enlightenment!

I was promised jet packs and chrome plated perfection!

The places we`d see, distant galaxies and suns!

I was promised a never ending frontier.

Instead…

We found ourselves sighing with exasperation at the gates of possibility

Instead…

We proclaimed “Mission Accomplished” too soon.

Instead…

We engineered hope for our self-pity

Instead…

We rallied within

Instead…

We took our two bit show and hit the road

Instead…

We found solace in war

Instead…

We gleaned our beliefs from bumper stickers

Instead…

We gave in and called it Patriotism.

Every day of the 21st Century I’m told how we war with terror.

In every airport it`s threat level orange

On every street corner it`s terror

Behind every tree it`s fear

Every cloud spells PANDAMONIUM!

Streetlights blink Morse threats at your family.

You begin to have the inkling your children have C4 strapped to their chests.

Did your mother put a bomb in your car?

Head like an I.E.D.

It`ll never let me be!

Could it be future perfect?

Brave new same’ol  same’ol.

Could it be future perfect?

Brave new same’ol same’ol.

Can`t seem to believe that these were the golden dreams of dreamers past.

I got those 21st century blues, wrapped up like an old knick knack in my knapsack.

I was promised miracle cures!

I was promised peace!

I was promised a golden age!

I was promised future perfect!

I wasn`t promised anything… but dreamt it all…..

-AJ Ryan

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Want to hitchhike to Vermont with me?

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(excerpt)

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It was 1974, at the beginning of mid-winter break, a two-week recess from school, when the question was put to my imagination by Barbara. Barbara hailed from two towns west on the string of hamlets which made up our north shore island home and was not well known to me at the time. A mutual friend, who told me she, like me, lost her young mother at a young age, had introduced us sometime around the start of the school year. She was the first female I knew to have shaved her head completely bald. She was also the playmate-lover of Dave, one of the most gorgeous boys to ever walk the earth in our hometown. Few failed to wonder of this attractive, intelligent, artistic, and comedic renegade. We had never hung out, beyond seeing each other in the gathering of larger company, and were merely acquaintances when we ran into each other on Front Street one winter afternoon and started talking. I suppose I felt flattered. She did not invite many under the Big Top where her mind performed.       

Our mutual friend, Bernice, lived a few shorts blocks from the high school. During lunch break, it was customary to head to her place for a sandwich and midday puff before heading back to school. On one such occasion, Barbara was there and took this opportunity to ask me if I wanted to meet her for a cup of tea at Rhumbline, the newly opened come favorite local pub and eatery. We met outside the front of the pub under gathering rain clouds before heading indoors. Inside, we sat in one of the booths along the wood slat wall beneath photos of racing yachts in pursuit. It was here we got further acquainted and Barbara asked, “Want to hitchhike to Vermont with me during the winter break? We can stay at my cousin Nat’s for a couple days, then head to my ex-brother-in-law Tony’s for a surprise visit. “Okay.” It sounded adventurous, but would regrettably cause me to concoct the only lie I ever told my dear father whose health was ailing. My brother would be home to look after him I told myself. By the time I announced my plans, he had met Barbara. He liked Barbara. Though she was a couple years older than me, he could see she was a person of integrity and decency. I told him we would be traveling with Barbara’s aunt to see her cousin. He was uneasy with the flimsy details I provided, such as the phantom aunt. It pained me to cause him worry, but telling him the truth was out of the question. I was only thirteen, too young at any age to take such a risk.

The day of our departure, I met Barbara on the Main Road in East Marion where we waited for the bus to Orient Point. I packed a few days gear in a green army backpack. What kind of luggage does my fellow traveler bring? One of those caramel colored, hard-bodied mother fuckers, with the brass latches and heavily stitched leather trim from the 1950’s, certain to compound the misery we were to encounter on this frigid trip. We hadn’t even reached the Orient Point-New London Ferry and we were dreading the trek with this cumbersome suitcase.

The bus let us off at Orient Point where we bought our tickets and awaited the ferry. During our passage across Long Island Sound to New London, CT we met a motorist traveling to Boston who offered to give us a lift north. We got out around Attleboro, MA and continued the trek north before heading northwest. I didn’t have the heart to let my friend lug that box of torture all the way to the North Pole and back by herself, so I traded off with her every now and again. She got awfully cranky carting that hand-held monster. At one point she was going to toss it over a bridge into the water below to be free of it. Who was the genius who chose to hitchhike 460 miles roundtrip from Orient Point, NY to the top of Vermont in the dead of winter with a piece of luggage designed to withstand a turbulent plane ride, after being blown out of a volcano and bounced down Mount Kilimanjaro?   

Offshoots of the era of love and peach and flowers, we trusted there were more good people on the road than not, but as we were aware of the dangers of hitchhiking, most motorists were aware of the dangers of picking up hitchhikers. An attractive young woman appearing to be in her late twenties or early thirties with long dark hair and Frye boot footwear picked us up after a long stretch of no rides. We told her where we were from and where we were headed and thanked her in earnest. She told us she didn’t normally pick up hitchhikers, but said we looked pretty innocent and that she had done some hitchhiking in her earlier years. She took us as far north as she was going before we continued on. We reached the state of Vermont by nightfall, but still had a long way to go to reach our destination in Rutland.

It was night when it began snowing. We were on some rural route in the mountains with little to no traffic. Our feet and hands were numb from the cold. It was night, in February, in Vermont. Travel strategists we weren’t. We eventually came upon the only sign of life for miles in the form of a roadside maple syrup shack and prayed the warm lights inside meant the shop was open. It was closed. Back out on the dark, icy road we trekked along in the silence of the mountains. Finally, the distant sound of a car grew near. We stuck out our thumbs as headlights approached. A white, 2-door, pretty distressed, and well-littered Valiant pulled over. A wiry-haired, hippy-looking dude leaned over and rolled down the smoke-stained passenger window. “Where you headed?” “Rutland.” “Hop in.” Barbara got in back amid the homeless laundry while I sat in front next to a frightened white dog at my feet named Snowball. The driver appeared to be tripping. The music was painfully loud and he kept yelling at and shoving the dog, “Down Snowball! Down Snowball!” She was so nervous she was trembling. The dog wasn’t bothering anyone. She was just nuzzling my hand and warming to kindness. Its master was crazed, speeding along the icy mountain roads, uttering a string of “Yeah mans,” “Far outs,” and “Get down Snow Balls.” We were initially relieved to be picked up and buffered from the elements, but it wasn’t long before I started praying to step out of this car on my unbroken legs with an undamaged mind. Back on safe ground, the silence of the mountains never felt so good. The memory of the poor little creature whose eyes seemed to plead, “please take me with you” stayed with me for miles to come.

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The Bar in your mind Untitled

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I just dropped by

 town full of strangers

empty box days

nights on the prowl

sniffing the air

Bar full of strangers

elbow room only and hold your breath to pee

Yeah, I think I know this place

Wave a dollar from behind their backs, the busy backs of strangers

catch a busy bartender’s momentary eye

One turns and gestures

an implausible space –

it’s mine

Camels and Miller

streams of words

Tuesday nights at nine and yeah

I think I know this place

It’s years now.

The bar is no longer one I know,

and there are fewer strangers in this town.

But he is one.

And so, of course, am I.

But strangers sometimes offer grace in the form

of unexpected space between the busy backs

of strangers.

Let me elbow aside some crowded years and wave

to catch his momentary eye

to say hello.

-Micheal Gerholdt

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crime_scene_tape_by_zephyrpictures-d34spejOther Girl Shorts

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Scram, tough guy!

You wouldn’t have the guts to

peek over the edge of the pit

I crawled out of.

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Listen, asshole–

I could scorch you to a cinder

with my flaming mojo,

but instead  I’ll walk away

and deprive you of my entertainment value

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Force and Diplomacy

 

Force is when they fuck you up the ass and take your money.

Diplomacy is when they say:

Give me your money, or I’ll fuck you up the ass.

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It may be a woman’s prerogative to change her mind,

but it’s a man’s prerogative to change a woman’s mind.

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Thou shalt not bore thy fellows.

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 It is every man’s deepest inborn wish

to be guided and corrected

by the right woman.

 

*

 

Dismiss me, and you are an idiot.

Follow me, and you are a fool.

*

 

The less sleep I get,

the more aware I am of being awake.

*

 

If I didn’t enjoy my own company so much,

I might be compelled to make more friends.

 

*

 

I gave her the line about 

finding the square root

of a round number,

but before I could make my point,

she figured I had an angle.

*

 

I’m all woman.

And I’ve got the balls to prove it.

*

-Moira T. Smith

*

 

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