Archive for January, 2012

Jesus Examines the Blueprints by Al Ortolani

Posted in Al Ortolani with tags on January 22, 2012 by Scot

The wiry little carpenter with the pointed beard
Digs into his tool belt for nails, slips
His pencil behind his ear. He’ll work
Sundays if he has too, knowing well
The price of being underbid.
Remodeling costs more per square foot
Than any new spec house
But the old place is a mess. Peter suggests
A triplex. Judas a bulldozer.

As an independent contractor
He’s got to start somewhere, if eventually
He wants to turn water into wine
And to divide the fish and the loaves
Among the hungry. Then there’s the matter
Of the building permit. The city inspector.
The other guy who walks on water.


ATMAN by Susan Whitmore

Posted in Susan Whitmore with tags on January 22, 2012 by Scot

You would hold hard
The wild horse neck,
Still the swirling down

The long animal throat
In muscular spiral—
But no way will the mare

Quiet her hoof
On the grass and rock
Turning beneath the element

Of her leg. Better
To wrap her mane
In your fingers’ web,

Become breath and cloud,
Water and earth where
Your body meets the velvet hide—

Become a field of poppies,
The running over granite
And leap over rushing creek—

Become the vertigo sky
Streaming through your own hair—
Be horse.

Ghost Town by Vickey Burns

Posted in Vickey Burns with tags , , on January 22, 2012 by Scot

Subdivision foreclosed by the National Bank
gutted skeletons of tract homes
transparent glass boarded by plywood
overgrown lawn choked by dandelions and wild onions
bags of garbage and abandoned personal property
asphalt pavement broken by intrusion of weeds
vandals produce art on vacant exteriors
concrete barricades block entrance
private security sleeps at gate house
betting that intruders won’t interrupt his slumber
swimming pool empty and playground in pieces
the bank lists all as toxic assets off book
passerby asks, “where did the people go?”

When you dream of the journey by Jason Sierra

Posted in Jason Sierra with tags on January 22, 2012 by Scot

When you dream of the journey
You’ll remember flowers you can not name
And when you wake
You’ll take up botany
To dream more vividly
To dream in detail
To dream like you know better
Study will tire your eyes,
You will lay yourself to sleep
When you dream of the journey
There are no flowers
Only birds
Birds you have never seen
Birds you can not name

In The Bottle by Devlin De La Chapa

Posted in Devlin De La Chapa with tags on January 22, 2012 by Scot

spray, spray
those little chemicals from once upon a Viet Nam daydream
on the fields, on the trees, on the grass, on the rocks
where the little American children played
good Soldier, bad Soldier
on soil now
by us, perhaps there,
but here, in the bottle
time never evaporates

Invisible – “That’s what’s wrong with ‘im”* by Angela Consolo Mankiewicz

Posted in Angela Consolo Mankiewicz with tags , on January 22, 2012 by Scot

The man had bedded down on the sidewalk
in the middle of a short block.

His head angled west toward middling class houses,
his feet pointed to the grittier east.

His face was the color of  urban dust, years of it;
his hair clung to his neck.

He wore the exterior clothes of most of his assumed
gender:  pants, shirt, shoes.

An untattered, buttoned blazer caressed him,
tightly; it was July, mid-afternoon.

There was no shopping cart nearby, no soulful
canine companion, no beer cans.

The man had elected to rest on pavement, rather than
the strip of grass on his street side or the cooler dirt-row
of untended palm trees on the other.

This is, after all, Los Angeles, during high-tourist season,
Hollywood Boulevard just a few blocks north,
Paramount a dream away south, on Melrose.

He knew it made no difference where he rested,
but maybe he thought this particular place
would be more memorable
to the few walking locals
who might pass by.

This is, after all, Los Angeles.

*From the James Whale film, “The Invisible Man”