Archive for poetry

Smoking in the Rain by Jonathan K. Rice

Posted in Jonathan K. Rice with tags on August 14, 2018 by Scot

 

The road dips ahead of me
beneath a train trestle
with a low clearance,
where an eighteen wheeler
got stuck once years ago.

It widens in a few blocks
where cracks in the asphalt
stretch aimlessly
across intersections.
Potholes dot the way home.

Gears ratchet loudly
as engines rumble
through diesel exhaust.
My hands grip
the steering wheel,
keep my place
in the flow of traffic.

Delivery truck turns a corner
near a drycleaner
and neighborhood grill,
where breakfast aromas
mix with odors
of cleaning solvents.

Muddy water splashes
on a man at a crosswalk.
It’s raining and he has
no umbrella, no hat,
just a flimsy coat
he can’t button up.

He lights a cherry cigarillo
with a disposable lighter
that’s losing its spark,
but manages fire
in the blowing rain.

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Racing Thru this Life by Ben Rasnic

Posted in Ben Rasnic with tags on August 8, 2018 by Scot

 

in shiny metallic
steel pods
illuminating broken yellow lines
on grainy black asphalt,
screaming wheels
careening chaotic
past the silent sway
of white sailboats
in the harbor;
hurtling hell-bent
past concrete walkways
& urban greenbelts
with breakneck abandon
cutting blind bargains
with split second decisions
to arrive at what
final destination,
sometimes sadly
Death’s frayed doormat.

WAITING FOR A SIGN by Michael Minassian

Posted in Michael Minassian with tags on August 8, 2018 by Scot

 

She waits for me in the garden
without reproach
though darkness gathers
in the tops of the coconut palms
as words are sawn off;
arrested conversations
sway in the wind.

Holding a fistful of fish
she prays to the corporeal
cockatiel, the bishops
and cardinals of dance halls,
theatres, and tambourines.

Night approaches –
birds fall from the sky
feathers and skeletons
beaks and claws,
a currency of flight
and no escape.

Violence by Jeff Nazzaro

Posted in Jeff Nazzaro with tags on August 8, 2018 by Scot

In the ’70s on Main Street
in my little Massachusetts town,
black spray paint on two small
signs—one for the Rotary Club,
one for the speed limit, 45—the
first said “Stop the Draft,” but
by the second the graffitist/protester
had upped the ante to “Fuck the Draft.”

My mother drove to Stadium Pizza,
just over the line in Lowell, then,
coming out with the cardboard boxes,
two young men—my mother called them kids—
spitting F-bombs in each other’s long-haired faces
in the parking lot. My mother hustled
me into the station wagon as they went,
gunning the Chevy’s V8 like the fight
would engulf us all. It did me.

What struck me, watching the narrowing
scene out the rear window, was how
unlike any TV fight I’d seen it was—
flailing fists to the face, thrusting knee
to the ribs, hair everywhere—the mutual
violence, the abject lack of control.
“Don’t look, they’re nuts,” my mother said,
and catching the light sped us for green grass
suburban home.

“What’s stop the draft mean?” I asked her
that day, afraid to use the other word. She
wouldn’t say. She just tsked her tongue
off the roof of her mouth and said,
“Probably the same kid who wrote
‘Eff the draft’ back there.”

She never said the F-word itself then,
either, my mother, so later, when she did,
gratuitously or in anger, it stained
like violence, it hurt like war.

3 poems by Pris Campbell

Posted in Pris Campbell with tags on July 12, 2018 by Scot

Beginnings/Endings

She trips over her feet,
clumsy in this beginning
of nudges and sighs,
inept in what came
naturally in her golden days,
days of men sprawled carelessly
on her now-junked blue velvet
bed, arms reaching
to pull her down, drown
her with mind sucking kisses.

But what of this new man,
a hot, then cool faucet;
a hurricane, then a windless
day, herself the same,
walking backwards
to his forward, hoping
the blackbirds will give her
a sign, circle the red
or the green, help her
learn where hearts go to hide
when those cared for before
have passed into shadowed
valleys, littered with salt.

____________

 

Floral Rearrangements

In my Portnoy-like adolescent years,
feet too long, elbows banging
into mother’s ceramic knickknacks,
my resemblance to a towering
sunflower became obvious in my bathing suit
at weekly swim practice.

Gold rubber blossoms adorned my cap.
Stick thin body, supported by knobby knees.
Not a hint of a curve was to be found anywhere
in that damp suit, sewn, I’m certain,
by some sadist, strictly to reveal my imperfections.
No southern belle, to mother’s dismay.

I envied the short, flirty gals,
the ones with the tight cashmere
sweaters, rounded butts,
colorful bracelets from boyfriends
jangling on proud wrists.

How I longed to be like them,
held by some sexy boy in the dark southern night,
while he fumbled for my breast, breath hot on my neck,
fingers reaching for another kind of petal,
as he begged ‘do it, let’s do it’.

____________

 

Potholes

Sara stumbles across Norman’s latest book,
has stopped googling his name,
avoids poetry readings,
but there it sits on a site she rarely visits,
a pothole, waiting for her to trip over it.

She can’t catch her breath.
Her heart Is already running,
leaving her behind,
a pale, frozen ghost of a woman,
to deal with feelings she was certain
she’d boxed up in an attic somewhere.

Now she remembers the hint
of mint when he kissed her,
his clothes always folded just so
on the chair before the wilder Norman
came out to carry her up mountains
she’d never climbed with other men.

She wonders if he ever runs across
one of her paintings in a gallery
and loses his breath, too, his heart
galloping, wonders what it would
be like if he’d had the courage to stay
with her and the boy, now grown,
let go of the walls he built stone by stone
around himself, fearing that one day
the castle would collapse
and he would lie there
in the rubble, unable to deal with fists
that still had the urge to strike out,
unable to ward off memories of a childhood
that branded him too deeply to risk
what he might do to their son.

casting shadows by scot young

Posted in Scot Young with tags on May 2, 2018 by Scot

jill may

followed the wrong dream
traded family albums for cardboard
and crack pipes
alcatraz fog
slips in steals shadows
surrounds her

turning tricks
on jones street
scoring the next fix
of crack
or smack

You know I’m gonna clean up soon
she grinned

huddled
barefoot
in doorways
wrapped in mist–ragged blankets
she slides the needle
in her neck
the best place to relieve
the cold shiver
the crack hunger
the throwing up
of dumpster food

dealers see her
talking to cops
debts unpaid
trying to clean up

yesterday
they found her
doused with gas
dead
clutching
a burnt cross

casting a shadow
on a black wall

–2007

https://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/Woman-who-burned-victim-alive-convicted-of-murder-4937262.php

Outside Your Darkened Window by Bradley Mason Hamlin

Posted in Bradley Mason Hamlin with tags on May 2, 2018 by Scot

I’ve
never cared
much
for guys
that are overly
sensitive

yet
here I am
writing
a poem

men
like Bukowski
& Hemingway

felt
the same
conflict

masking
their fragile
feelings

with
the absurd
masculinity
of the sport
of animal abuse

the bizarre
bullfight
the tragically
tired horse race

ugly
excuses

that
cannot possibly
have cured
the curse

and
don’t even
let me get started
about drowning
the senses
in alcohol
and self
medication

so
let me see
the teardrop cascade
gently
from your soft
cheek

as the rain
falls rhythmically
outside your darkened
window

let me hear you
cry
just
one more time

let me
take your hand
and lie down
with you
naked
raw
fuckin’
nude, baby

let’s listen
to a Billie Holiday
record

and hold each other
until
all
the demons
in the room
gently
close
their eyes.