Archive for poetry

CROOKED WINDOWS By Brian Morrisey

Posted in Brian Morrisey with tags on November 30, 2019 by Scot

 

A Sandburg poem
Scotch-taped
cast through a crooked window
house on a hill
sunlight shone in
halos trembling hands
clutching a can of cheap beer
there’s a sway of contention
in the stillness of dawn.

Symptoms of purpose
beg a forgiving poem
to snapshot still life
past when wild was
concrete affection
triggering city lights
cast through a crooked window.
past when wild was
an empty bottle of cheap wine
rolled across a coffee-house floor
hollow echoes reverberated a poem
cast through a crooked window

past when wild was
wet ink smeared on the face
naked balanced
one foot on the soapbox
other tripping
self-portrait reflections
cast through a crooked window.

Day-dream nostalgia
sweating on the pillowcase
in these quiet hours
escape insomnia
driven wild
down the old dirt road
back to the rush of traffic
humming a familiar song.

Three Poems by Wendy Rainey

Posted in Wendy Rainey with tags on November 30, 2019 by Scot

Apartment 2F

I awoke to low, guttural groaning,
splitting into a duet of howling coyotes,
then stern commands
to “spank it,”
“squeeze it,”
and “giddy-up, bastard.”
A little girl voice
begged “Daddy” to suck her toes.
I looked at the clock.
It was 2:46 AM.
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Thanksgiving by Scott Wannberg

Posted in Scott Wannberg with tags on November 28, 2019 by Scot

 Thanksgiving

I give thanks to your eyes
and how they see through artifice and lies.

I give thanks to your heart, how it pumps
vital information that will save us both in the end.

I give thanks to your voice, go ahead, sing one
so everyone can feel the necessity to dance.

I give thanks to your brain, how it finagles
and sorts the incoming news.

I give thanks to your legs for they take you
places not yet apprehended or appreciated.

I give thanks to your energy
for it has allowed you to overcome your pain.

I give thanks to how the light lands on you.

I give thanks to our ability to dream.

I dreamed that I said thank you,
and you heard me.

Come, join the attempted soiree.

The dancing light is on.

 

Scott Wannberg
11/26/05

Listening to Steve Goodman

Audio or video issue call for submissions

Posted in Jason Hardung with tags on November 19, 2019 by Scot
  • Call for submissions of your video poetry contestor at least audio recordings. If only audio, attach the poem. Please put video sub in the subject line. A YouTube link or other site link is preferable. Please send to 
  • rustytruckzine@gmail.com

Here is a favorite of mine from my friend Jason Hardung

 

 

Florida or Somewhere by William Taylor Jr.

Posted in William Taylor Jr. with tags on November 17, 2019 by Scot

 

If the televisions
and computer screens
can be believed

the woman who was killed
yesterday by a hurricane
in Florida or somewhere
else I’ve never been

was the most
beautiful soul I never
had the chance
to meet

an honest-to-goodness
angel all the tearful
faces agreed.

I don’t know what
to do with this information
as I chop meat in my kitchen
on a Monday afternoon

though I do wonder a bit
at the fact of so many
of the dead harboring
such glistening souls

while the mess of us
still puttering about
the wretched earth
are less than admirable
on the best of days.

In this afternoon’s reports
of sundry victims
of cancer, fires, foreign
wars and hearts that
have finally
given up,

there wasn’t a
bully or coward
among them,

no sociopaths,
litterbugs,
or anyone
morally deficient
in the least.

I think of the aging junkie
lady with the crooked
smile who lived
in the building next to mine
until she disappeared
one day

and how they never showed
her photograph on CNN
as a parade of televised
faces testified on her behalf.

I stop looking
at the news and eat my meal
with a bottle of wine.

I turn on the stereo and some crazy
jazz pours from the speakers.

Its’ a glorious mess of noise
and sounds like the deaths of angels
and junkies and everything
in-between

and I raise my glass
to the truth of it.

Four Poems by Puma Perl

Posted in Puma Perl with tags on November 17, 2019 by Scot

WHY IT’S BETTER TO BE DEAD

 

Because I already have my funeral set list planned and finally everyone will treat with respect my decision to include Red Hot Chili Peppers Soul to Squeeze with a segue into Under the Bridge as well as Bone Thugs n Harmony even though Crossroads is admittedly an obvious choice. It will be the only chance I’ll ever have to tell a DJ what to do.

Because better bands will play at the memorial than I usually hear and my musician friends will take the jam to new creative heights and one of them will finally write some music for my lyrics.

Because there will be a tremendous turn-out, including all of those people who never found time to go to a show when I was alive, and I might even sell some books, the profits of which will be designated to a pit bull rescue organization.

Because I can wear black leather no matter the weather and someone will do a fabulous job with my hair and I’ll finally get someone to do my make-up, maybe even Miss Guy unless Deborah Harry dies that day in which case I’ll be dead for nothing.

Because I can eat whatever I want and that thought is so delicious it really doesn’t matter that I probably won’t be eating.

Because when you are dead there are no moral issues and your plot is paid for outright, no rent or mortgage, and all your questions are answered, and my name will be correctly spelled on my tombstone, although some money may have to change hands so I can still lie about my age.

Because that’s when you matter. That’s when everybody loves you and reads your work and realizes you were a genius and the ones who cry the hardest are the biggest liars and because all the things you lied about when you said it really weren’t important really aren’t.

That’s why it’s better to be dead.

____________

 

Do I Do It for You?

 

I helped a woman across Second Avenue
and then I immediately checked for my wallet
In New York City our hearts are big
but our paranoia is even bigger

After she left, I looked back
at those 10th Street rooftops
Felt our hair blowing in the wind

and remembered climbing
those tenement steps
built for our Russian ancestors
too narrow for your Converse feet

I still see you, your red flannel shirt
glittering in the lower east side sun
and ask myself, Do I do it for you?

or was it same way
I helped that lady cross the street?
One hand on her arm,
the other on my wallet
Or do I still do it,
Do I do it for you?

 ____________

 

August 31, 2019

 

Labor Day weekend,
alone in the car,
inspired
by your poems

Lately,
I don’t write much
Don’t drive much,
either

Once,
you could park
anywhere
on long
New York City
holiday weekends

Today,
I drove in
circles
Eventually,
I caved and paid
a meter,
insulting to a native

No matter what,
I’d never use
a parking garage
I still have
some dignity

After I parked,
I walked several
blocks,
gazing at all
the empty spaces
that could have
been mine

Thinking
of the love
and money
that could have
been mine

I picked up
my posters,
drank iced coffee,
bought chicken
I’d heard talk
of caramel salt cookies
but couldn’t find them

Instead,
I ate a stale
pretzel croissant
under an umbrella
on Astor Place,
watching people walk
and move their lips

Tomorrow,
I’ll visit a friend
in Brooklyn
and obsess
about driving
and parking

Every summer
I bang up my bumper
My mechanic
says, don’t worry,
it’s still the best car
you ever had
and fixes it
again

On this Saturday,
I contemplate
the waves
I missed,
the outdoor concerts
I skipped
this summer

Heat
and lethargy
lingered,
invading dreams
of clouds
and leather

Another birthday
approaches,
dressed in black
I met a bright
young girl today
Her dress
danced around her
“I wear colors
when I feel down,
she told me

It made sense
but not to me
in my black
zippered shirt
with the words
“Love” and “Hate”
over each breast
My boots were red,
but not cheerful

September
comes in
at midnight
School years
and Virgos
Jewish holidays
arrive late
this year
But my birthday,
like my death day,
will be right
on time.

____________

 

Strawberry Moon Rising

It’s no ordinary moon
Strawberry moon
is golden orange
close to the horizon
A honeymoon
A time to collect berries
Wear saris
Wrap threads seven times
around the banyan tree

The morning after the moon
I’m dreaming of the night before
I move around my apartment
in the lingering scent, the quiet
of the night before
A few moments of peace
before the tumult

Strawberry moon
brings shift of purpose
and energy
I start to clean
Change a lightbulb
It shatters
Sweep up shards
knock over vintage bottle
Cap breaks, sweep up glass

Set my eyes on Now
Prepare to go out
My bracelet explodes
on my wrist
Sweep up beads
Reach for the make-up
brushes
Cup handle breaks
Sweep up china

I don’t blame the moon
or anyone else
Not even the dog
Nightfall brings safety
The days are hard,
walking through
sunny streets,
exposed
to summer’s elements

24 hours later,
the Strawberry Moon
begins to wane
along with the illusion
of peace
Chaos is rising, a warning
to keep the broom handy
Turmoil is harder to sweep up
than broken lightbulbs
and china cups.

Two Poems by Ramsha Ashraf

Posted in Ramsha Ashraf with tags on November 17, 2019 by Scot

 

I’ve cried a few times in my sleep

 

I’ve cried a few times in my sleep
not out of helplessness
but out of sheer spite.

The facade of your love
is the noose
I feel around my neck.

You can still be my lover
but not my killer
the time is over.

Think not that you can lick away
the nectar flowing out of my body
and still can be the possessor.

Think not that you can implant
your seed at the hour of need
and still can be the oppressor.

I defy your words of worship
I bow not to your lordship
your reign won’t terrify me.

The poison you have in your words
since the time of my birth
won’t kill me.

The power you have in your slaps
this time, I am sure,
won’t hurt me.

I’ve cried a few times in my sleep
not out of helplessness
but out of sheer spite

____________

 

Love Poems are Hard to Write

We have played with echoes in the dark—
our voices hit the death of silence
imbued in cemented walls.

We speak of our surrealist dreams woven around Dali’s demons, the last polaroid nudes, ink and acrylics on skin, Passolini’s Accattone, pomegranates in colors other than red and white, homely homelessness, honey pitching out of life that is body, for us—

A mosquito hums Dracula-lullaby,
you say it’s like the god’s voice-annoying and constant– i reach out to crush the god’s voice between my palms, you giggle and hide your lost eyes behind the shadows of my forearms—

Forgetfulness is bliss—
i carve the names of your hundred gods
one on each fold of your skin,
you cry-empty sobs filled with hope,
you say ‘these all are dead,’-the ones on your skin-i think about creating others. Small gods on your skin would look fine. You aren’t a big guy either.

Love poems are hard to write—
during bewildered nights like these they shine
and fade out through the cracks
as the day breaks & light gets in.

After all it’s a mosquito’s lullaby—
god’s voice, your song, my dream,
all awaiting to get crushed within the palms of time.

 

 

Ramsha Ashraf is a poet and playwright who lives in Pakistan. She has published a collection of poetry, Enmeshed (2015), and she was a 2017 resident at the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa.