Archive for April, 2010

Your Lime-Kiln by William Doreski

Posted in William Doreski with tags on April 18, 2010 by Scot

You burn me in your lime-kiln
without a twinge of conscience.
Bone regards bone through sweeps
of prehistory impossible
to conceive. You toss your streaked
rusty hair and tip an iced glass
of vodka from your  native land,
that nation of ill-fitting suits
and dentistry without Novocain.

You observe the blue flame boiling
from the kiln, the smoke flushing
the night sky a sickly purple.
Didn’t Hawthorne identify
the ultimate sin? Your townhouse
rattles like a box of candy
as my vacated spirit hustles
up through the chimney to trace
the flight of my sorry ashes.

The chunk of lime left cooling
in the kiln looks clean enough
to atone for whatever crimes
you like to think I’ve committed.

Yes, I’d like another vodka.
But I think we should continue
our discussion in a minor key
on some other winter evening
when you’re not quite so eager
to mortar me into silence
with a handful of my cremains.

Charles Plymell: Eat Not Thy Mind Review

Posted in charles plymell, Reviews with tags on April 15, 2010 by Scot

Click on the pic

To purchase book—here

AN OLD POET’S LAMENT by Terry Sanville

Posted in Terry Sanville with tags , on April 15, 2010 by Scot

Dear Ethan,

What more should I say that hasn’t been said already? I’ve worked with words, lines and stanzas all my life. The world’s language flowed through these spotted fingers that tapped computer keyboards, typewriters, or clenched leaky fountain pens to engrave white pages with verse that few will ever read.

Just what more is there to say? I really want to know. Should I sing the praise of daffodils, stain your mind with analogy, simile, metaphor? Should I rail against the politics of the day, as if Caesar never lived and men never before killed on the Ides of March? Should I paint a picture of personal tragedy – a child lost in a chemical undertow; mutated cells destroying healthy tissue; the suppression of desire? What more should I expect of myself?

I know one thing: I am too old for new crusades, even though the young poetry Turks shy from the lance, from the righteousness of the truth, from the heart of the matter. Where are those who will speak out loud and bold? Are they silent upon a peak in Darien? Christ, is that all I can conjure, fragments of Keats from my youth?

I remember my life on a two-masted schooner anchored in Sausalito harbor, long before Ferlinghetti came on the scene. My father worked as a Navy welder, my mother waitressed at a greasy spoon in the Tenderloin. On calm summer mornings I’d dress in a sleeveless blouse and shorts – my legs were worth looking at back then – and stare across San Francisco Bay. The oily-sheened water looked like a varnished painting. I thought about Jack London on his adventurous fish patrol, about syphilitic Al Capone crouched in his cell on Alcatraz, and dreamt of sailing under the Golden Gate, out past Land’s End, into the deep blue thick of things.

Now, after a lifetime plying literary seas, I need directions on how to find the horizon. My compass swings wildly and I search for friendly shores to beach my craft. Notice my clever use of the word craft, its double meaning. Pay attention; your son might find it on a future examination:
“Explain what the poet intended by her use of the word craft and its relevance to the poem’s overall theme.”
God, nothing destroys the spirit of poetry more than being forced to study it. Yet one of the ironies of my time was that poets became teachers, or got jobs working the docks unloading freighters inbound from the Orient. They wouldn’t let girls work the ships, so for more than half a century I taught creative writing. I admit that being immersed in youth gave me fortitude…and the University helped publish my work. But all that is past. I now step carefully onto ice floes, watch the progress of cobalt blue cracks, or of lumbering Ursa as she approaches, grinning. But mostly I long for adult conversation, something to spark these aging synapses.

I’ve been blocked before. But this time it feels different, feels more final. Don’t get me wrong; I’m grateful that you introduced yourself, an admirer of my old songs. We should speak of the world, of your wife and children and the bustle of life in this fair city. Maybe I should look to those aged scientists and find solace in their proclamation that matter cannot be created nor destroyed. Or best yet, I should remember the English bard’s exquisite counsel:
“So long as men can breathe and eyes can see,
so long lives this and this gives life to thee.”

Maybe this letter is my new this. I have written it just for you. Will it pilot me through the Golden Gate once again? Will I be up to the task of sailing? I end with more questions. I hope you will help with answers, challenge me to write something new, avoid tired old phrases, clean my palette of crusted paint, and breathe out new songs. I must keep writing until the answers do not matter, until some younger voice, separate from the mumbling crowd, does not derail me utterly by asking, “How is your new work going?”

Hoping for patience,
Gertrude

____________

first appeared in the March 2008 edition of The Boston Literary Magazine.

Two Poems by David Smith

Posted in David Smith with tags on April 14, 2010 by Scot

BUT SHE DOESN’T EVEN HAVE A JEWISH ACCENT

Flying home on the red-eye
pre-Sabbath, the end-stage
of a dry-eyed family funeral
for an old girl-friend,
stinging from the rabbinic ballistics,
the ancient ritual, all mournful chants,
still lips and low guttural moans,
not one single moment of lightness or joy,
a true orthodox affair.

A Sandra Bullock movie
plays on the in-flight monitor.
I wave-off the attendant’s offer
to buy a set of tinny ear buds for $7.00,
& watch the film in silence,
it is much more enjoyable that way.

During the scene where Sandra
is lying on her death-bed
from the King Kong
of ovarian cancers
(I think)
a half-smoked Winston
resting between her lips,
abandoned in her delicate nature,
I weep more than a child,
more than all of Rimbaud’s
children of the entire world.

___________

CULTIVATION BY RADIOACTIVITY
After Tetsumi Kudo and Pablo Picasso

Watching you sleep, face turned toward the sun,
your body wrapped in several fantastic angles,
splayed-out across the vastness of this huge bed
in the best hotel room of a sacred foreign city,
looking for all the world
like the kind of tree
I might encounter in a dream.

You are a beautiful refuge,
Ana Mandara,
like the history of sin
on the Tokyo subway,
like the joy
of winter flowers,
throwing question
to my night-dark world view
of every man for himself
and god against all.

I reach over,
flick one of Lear’s gilded flies
off your golden shoulder.
Sigh.
In my life
you did things first,
while those who may follow
will do things pretty.

© d.smith, 2010

Rusty Truck Issue 2

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on April 11, 2010 by Scot

Deadline April 15–

submit 3 poems to rustytruckzine@gmail.com

LAST LEAVES by Hugh Fox

Posted in Hugh Fox with tags on April 11, 2010 by Scot

Why does the collection of my dead always come back now,
some places still a glorious blend of yellows and reds, others j
just black trunks and empty limbs in the last November rain, just on
the edge of snow?
“Howya doin’, Hughie?”
Bespeckled, swollen-legged, practical black-shoed Gram, or
mon mere, “Will you please pass the sugar,” making
it sound like “Fire!,” mon pere, Mr. Double-Belly,sucking
on a cigarette or (special occasions) cigar, turkey all over
the tables in my brain, and trees going up, wreathes, Bless
me, Father, for I have, God rest you merry gentlemen…wanting
Mary Joan and Shirley and Guiliana and Patricia and Dolores
and Shirley all back,Lynn coming in the midnight door to
spend the night in my high-heaven hallucinogenic dreams,
the Chicago-LA-NYC-Boston-Paris-BC streets
and desire sun-shining, moon-shining over me twenty four
hours a day.

Re: Albert Huffstickler

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on April 9, 2010 by Scot

Hello everyone,

Perhaps I’ve written you about this before–and perhaps you’ve even sent letters to the city council. There is a proposal before the Austin city council to name a park after small press giant Albert Huffstickler. Below is a link to email the council is support of it. The vote will be held April 22nd…so send this to any and every fan of the small press you know, and especially anyone who has even been moved by Huff’s work. If you’ve never read his work, do yourself a favor and look him up. He was superb.

http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/council/groupemail.htm

Take a moment, shoot them a quick email, and tell them you support the park being named after Huff–and re-post the link at blogs and whatnot so other folks can do the same!

Let’s let them know poetry still matters,
Hosh