Archive for May, 2017

A Six Pack of Poems by Jake St. John

Posted in Jake St. John with tags on May 2, 2017 by Scot

I Talked To The Moon
for Jack Micheline

I’m talking to the moon
tonight for you, Jack
I moved my feet
and made it to California
a long way from home
and I talked to the moon
in Asheville
and I talked to the moon
in Nashville
I talked to the moon
in New Orleans
where the waters rose
above the doors
but the bars did not close
I talked to the moon
in Texas
in wide open spaces
where poems rode
like outlaws
through the streets
and the moon talked to me
as it shined in the sky
and reflected like
the white line of the highway
my insides spilled
on the streets
of Broadway in San Francisco
my heart thumping
in Chinatown
I talked to the moon
and rambled my dreams
and my nightmares
and the moon talked to me, Jack
the moon talked to me

____________

 

Jewett City Gangster

He walks down
Main St
in a black
pinstriped suit
the kind Dillinger
might have worn
the night he was
gunned down
but it now
appears after years
of brawls and bad luck
closer to rags
than mafia wear
he limps through town
suffering
from the wound
left by the bullet
that found his leg
one night years ago
at the old hotel
down by the tracks
his drunken stubble
is what’s left
of a three day binge
he pauses briefly
in a barroom doorway
swigs a pint
pulled from his pocket
he squints into the sun
scanning the sidewalk
always on the lookout
for the Lady in Red

____________

 

Upon A Hangover
for Everette Maddox

One night
God
came to
visit me
he drank
all my whiskey
and told me
the universe
is an empty bottle

____________

 

Journeyman

the clouds attack
the sky
like a pack
of wild dogs
ripping and tearing
at the sun
as if it were
the last chunk
of meat
for miles around
tossing bits
and pieces
of sunshine
around the yard
that I’m laying in
on my back
knocked out
by a work week
that connected
to my chin
like a right hook
from the heavyweight
champ

____________

 

for Li Po

On this boat
watching
the sun set
on my youth
ten thousand
memories
shine like stars
in my heart
drunken moon
I love your smile
take me away
to lonely mountain
to cry in the arms
of trees
but here
on this river
the water kisses
constellations
and seems to whisper
farewell

____________

Nowhere Blues

Sometimes
I dream
of a field

in a small
lost corner
of life

the sky
pouring out
infinite, blue

barely a cloud

the sun, soft
barely a sound

a low buzzing
in the emptiness

nerve endings
in the breeze

perfect
____________

Jake St. John writes out of New London CT, where he roams his neighborhood streets with wild coyotes.

Three Poems by Bill Gainer

Posted in Bill Gainer with tags on May 2, 2017 by Scot

A Broken Window, a Cheap Hotel, a Stranger

The manager will want to know
how it happened –
I’ll tell the truth –
we lied to each other
and believed it.
Mostly.

A cheap hotel room
one glass to split
the bourbon
a cigarette
an empty beer bottle
to drop the butt
too much smoke
and a window
painted shut.

She’ll think
I can love you
and you’ll say
come here baby
we’ll worry about that later.
Right now,
just keep me warm.
The blankets
are thin.

____________
From a Bar in Kansas City

I’m in a bar
in Kansas City
having a burger
a drink.
It’s cold here
18 degrees outside.

I’m reading poems
across town
a little later.

Just wanted
you to know
no matter how far
or cold
it gets
you’ll be
keeping me
warm
tonight.

Missing you
lots –
from a Bar
in Kansas City …

____________

 

An Evening’s Intrusion

On the porch
wishing a cigarette
the first sip of bourbon
he looks few minutes
younger.
With the second
at peace.

The neighbor lady
Ruth
widowed a decade
from her porch
waves
he waves back.

The street lights
hide the sky
as they stagger
to life.
One by one
the stars go out.

Hollow Point by Shawn Pavey

Posted in Shawn Pavey with tags on May 2, 2017 by Scot

Because bullets don’t kill well enough
manufacturers hollow them
to blossom in penetrated flesh
even though last night
10 police officers and two civilians
were shot in Dallas
where five officers died
and the day before, two black men
were shot to death by police officers
on video live-streamed to everyone
even though 100 people in Orlando
were shot while dancing last month
and poor little Tamir Rice
and Trayvon Martin
and Michael Brown
and all the names and all the names
and all the names this poem could be filled with
from Sandy Hook San Bernardino Charleston
Littleton Columbine Ft. Hood
names of innocents
and names of police officers
whose places at dinner tables across America
are empty and empty rooms of soldiers
killed so far from home
and empty beds in Pakistan Afghanistan Syria Iraq
all these names a hollow poem
its endless reams of pages on pages
written in blood that never dries
and is never enough to fill
all the hollow points
hollowing bleeding bodies
these hallowed bodies of the dead

____________

A version of the attached poem first appeared last year in Prompts: A Spontaneous Anthology by West 39 Press.