Archive for February, 2009

Ruminations of the Troubadour…by Joie Cook (day 2)

Posted in Joie Cook with tags on February 28, 2009 by Scot


No longer captive
In the Kingdom of Goretex
One by one,
Each friendship returns—
Like a ‘police line do not enter’ tape
After a shooting

Too old to live
Too young to die
Falling piece by piece apart
Into the unforgiving rain

Escaping a town
Where politeness is a social disease
Far from home
I ponder Fisherman’s Wharf
The clink of quarters
Into my brown bottle in 1972

“If people are cruel,
be kind anyway”—

Learn to give and expect nothing
Wedged between dreams
And their interpretation
The poignant separations
For which we lay ourselves down

Joie Cook
2/08   S.F.

When I had a voice …by Joie Cook (day 1)

Posted in Joie Cook on February 27, 2009 by Scot

(during an extended case of laryngitis)


I could be heard all the way to the Mississippi
Funneling down into New Orleans
Past barges and plows
People knew me from my yell
It was larger than the space inside saxophones

In a supermarket once
As I was yelling at a boyfriend over canned peas,
A woman found me through my voice
Touching my shoulder, she said “there you are–
I would know that sound anywhere”

How I took it for granted,
Screaming, shouting, whispering, singing
All through the day and into night
Vocal cords vibrating so violently
My body must have had it   up    to   here

Reading aloud– something I loved.
Singing an old song– even better.
Comforting a lover– maybe.
Now, for this instant, gone.
Just memories, dust.  Silence.

When my voice returns
I will go to the peak of the tallest mountain
Sitting in the lotus position I will holler my name:
An attempt to echo back to me
The confirmation of my own existence.

Maple Leaves…by Crystal Folz

Posted in Crystal Folz on February 25, 2009 by Scot

Her hair fell like maple leaves in autumn when she released the clip. It brushed across the arm of the young man sitting next to her. He forgot the brass band and the place he had gone to behind closed eyes, and turned to her.

She didn’t know why it worked. A rehearsed glance or a soft hip jutted while standing at the bar, and the room owed her attention. She parted her lips; a nervous stammer sat on her tongue.

The piano lulled the saxophonist. The man in rolled up sleeves led the girl with tattoos onto the dance floor. He slid his hand under her waist length hair and pressed his thumb into the small of her back.

The music and the weight of his arm resting on her hip summoned the memory of a Louisiana bar, and dancing tippy toe on a wood plank porch in the arms of a man whose name she wished she’d left on a napkin at the bar.

Hayden Carruth… by Brian Morrisey

Posted in Brian Morrisey on February 18, 2009 by Scot

you died
and there are no more angry letters
or poems about flowers
in the New York times
thrown upon this grave of

blood-scathed corrupt war
we know today

there are no cigarettes lit
by late night jazz saxaphones
under the poetry

I am writing a poem about your frozen hands
scraping the windshield of that old ford pickup
in rural Vermont while chewing skoal
and quoting Li Young-Lee
because I too write from experience

or the nervous twitch in your stutter
from being so alone
or whiskey by the fire
how it burned us in the end
but I will still sit here
with your spirit
and letters to Jane Kenyon
and the cancer in her step
and taking adrenaline of fear
like a salute
to living through today
even if we’re dying

while Donald Hall writes about
a leaf falling gently
upon the broken promise
of a scared husband

I will piss on the latest issue
of POETRY magazine
because Christian Wiman
murdered your ideal poem
and only a New Englander
can make such a bold homage
in your name.

Standing amongst the recycling…by Aleathia Drehmer

Posted in Aleathia Drehmer on February 15, 2009 by Scot

In tendrils of cigarette smoke, listening to night sounds–
crickets and moon birds, we hear the rustling leaves moved by winds
in far off storms, the candle flickering as you leave it.

Sweet, delicate memories wan in the youth you somehow
try to dispel under the guise of advancing age
and a fortitude we cannot be sure we really have.

You talk about love that never takes its grace, how the waiting over
a decade for its return to soften heartbreak’s edges doesn’t come.
You understand he can never be the man to make us whole.

And in this silence, we face each other briefly,
drunk and with the knowledge that the tragedies witnessed
in our collective lives could have never been, that we might not

have had to spend them dreaming or wanting or waiting
for an easiness to find its way to the lines on our faces,
into the creases of our quiet, longing moments.

The pans clank in the kitchen with familiar sounds,
you mumbling to yourself like the old days, trying to busy notions
from your mind; to strike out those sad remembrances you know

need putting back in the cabinet. I stand here small and alone,
watch the light dance off the Windex bottle, wishing I could
wipe away the past without leaving evident streaks of knowing.

that time…by Todd Moore

Posted in Todd Moore with tags on February 12, 2009 by Scot

you stood
there when al
capone got
off the train
& slapped
a silver
dollar into
yr hand you
looked into
his face
right yeah
my old man
sd what did
you see
nothing my
old man sd
what did you
see my old
man licked
a roll yr own
shut lit up
& sd a scar
but what
really got me
yeah i sd
was the smile
it was thick
& dark &
packed w/

Jack… by Carter Monroe

Posted in Carter Monroe with tags on February 7, 2009 by Scot

The sway is but a mere happenstance
when the line swaggers.
The thought is so far in the distance
that to notice it would be a lie.
The hands are tied,
but not in bondage,
as you wait for the transmission
to transcribe.

A drink, yes, another drink
and the voices gain clarity
when the soul comes alive.
Is it code
or just a mass of words
needing no organization
or interpretation?

Is there muse in the mix
or just the rap of indulgence
countering the desire to punch
into the formality of “should.”

When the final breath
has led you to sleep,
do you remember?
That is the question.

“Do you remember?”

Drag It Up, Burning, & Out Into the Smoldering Midday Sun… by Hosho McCreesh

Posted in Hosho McCreesh with tags on February 6, 2009 by Scot

Dig down
too deep
& dredge up
every ugly thing
from the cockles of
our darkest hearts,
have the stones
to just tell the
fucking truth.

Drag it up, burning, & out
into the smoldering midday sun,
to leave it there to bleach
like jagged, dirty old bones—

this is what we’ll say
when they ask us

& this is what we’ll say
when they ask us

Quiet Night… by Puma Perl

Posted in Puma Perl with tags on February 2, 2009 by Scot

it’s quiet now that everyone’s gone home
the neighbors are sleeping.   nobody has climbed
onto a fire escape to curse the sky in drunken
rage, the disturbed man upstairs took his med
doors are unslammed.   it=E 2s peaceful in the apartment
down the hall, no police have been called
to restrain the youngest of five sons who curses
his mother when he’s drunk, she can rest tonight
and get ready to work another day.  it’s quiet
in the aftermath of too much food and loud
talk, even the cars have stopped honking, they coast
swiftly down the highway, they want to go home
their=2 0drivers are sleepy, radios turn to jazz
the wind knows we’re tired and has stopped
its nightly howl, there are no sirens tonight,
no barking dogs, it’s quiet but for the singing
of the air and the words dancing in our heads
it’s a tender dance, it moves gracefully almost
silently across the floor, in step with the softest
music of the night, babies dream to it , their
tired mothers hold them as they finally close
their eyes, they do not cry tonight, they rock
gently, as we do, listening to the quiet