POETRY: MOONLIGHTING – STEPHEN MEAD

Moonlighting

The graveyard shift has a solitary pace,
a long distance run for some thoroughbred
putting itself out there.
How I prefer these cloaked night owl
passages, the clock idle, and the mind
freely roaming, if keen with intention.
This babysitter concentrates.
A house watchman sprouting

hooves, the couch now a brook and,
nearby, nylon screens commanding some
mistral. I lie here opening. It’s
an intricate job. Across

the street, by moonlight, a machine is
devouring lilacs for a parking lot.
Seems rather dumb, the large merciless
rototiller lapping up sweet bunches…

Severity bleeds mute, says it’s humane.
I turn, trot on, become

a notebook momentarily. The flanks,
bulging images, succumb to the dignity
which language unbridles.
By sunrise, a Benzedrine mare,
the words will reclaim themselves

as the barn beds me down.

 

Check out Stephen’s website.

Advertisements
Read more "POETRY: MOONLIGHTING – STEPHEN MEAD"

POETRY: SEDONA CHAPEL – GARY EVERY

Sedona Chapel

The beautiful church is perched high atop a red rock cliff
gazing across an open valley
so that people in prayer
can gaze upon nature and reflect.
Of course, it was designed long before
subdivisions and miniature Mcmansions
filled the valley floor below.

I kneel in the chapel pews
while the people come and go
some of them speaking of Michealangelo
but most mentioning their favorite television shows.
I find it hard to pray
or deeply contemplate
as another tour bus unloads
and the tiny private chapel
becomes packed.

So I rise and go to the gift shop
which is unbelievably crowded
as if this center of commerce
is where the real worship takes place.
On a spinning metal rack
little action figures of the saints
are for sale.
There is St. George battling dragons,
St. Francis speaking to the birds,
and St. Patrick all dressed in green
like a comic book super hero.
There are lots of action figures of all the saints
except for Saint Peregrine,
whom I have never heard of before
but his shelf is all empty
except for one tiny, lonely doll
and as I examine it,
the description says,
“Patron saint of cancer patients.”
I stare at the empty shelf,
go back upstairs to the chapel and pray.

Read more "POETRY: SEDONA CHAPEL – GARY EVERY"

POETRY: Richard King Perkins II – Stopover in Jasper

Stopover in Jasper

During the bus trip, we sit next to each other,
growing further apart with each mile.
At the stopover in Jasper, we order food,
hoping it will bring more than an easement of hunger.
I consider the reanimation of once-living dust,
wondering if thoughts can be annulled.

Like worn ridges on a tire, we’re left with separate lives
and a nakedness that defines gender.
Driving past wind-forged cliffs at the speed of god,
we resist the folding of souls
and a quietness in which nothing is learned—
though both of us are listening; trying so desperately to hear.

Read more "POETRY: Richard King Perkins II – Stopover in Jasper"

POETRY: HOLLYWOOD MEN – ROBIN WYATT DUNN

Hollywood Men

On the balustrade of Sunset here we come,
the morning hours,
flush with piety and pity,
Hollywood men.

Born somewhere else
and born here again,
Hollywood men.

Light cuts our skulls open for surgery,
with heavy anesthetic,
in the doorways of WGA,
kissing our lips with a cool whore’s regard,
ushering us into our seats for the movie.

The director argues with the other director
and the woman holds the boom like Achilles his spear,
waiting for the painter to make his sketch.

Hollywood men,
we’re Holywood men,
cut from ash,
made new,
born bolder,
hotter,
naked,
soldiers in a war we can never understand.

We’re hollywood men.
I made the world collapse over a woman’s face,
and then she cursed me with France,
all before the cops showed up,
And I ratted out the second producer,
And the peasants revolted.

I fed them water.

Knelt at graves on the studio lot,
which was only an old nuthouse,
collapsing into ghosts and dust.

We’re Hollywood men.
Shamans.
Showmen.
Hollywood men.

holly, burn my cheek with the scar of these months,
I’ve killed all your gods but you won’t kill me,
you made me a god,
like Pan his boy,
and I dance for you still,
my voice stretched over the sky in concertina wire,
screaming with joy, and announcing the kings.

We shall not see them.
They are kept away.
I have a picture of one of them but it would burn out your eyes.
We keep their names inside our air conditioned brains,
under our silver reflective eyes,
naming. We’re naming.
or some of us are,
Jews with names,
ushering in the world.

We’re Hollywood men. Got new names and new faces.
I grew a beard.
My grandfather shaved his.
Cut from glass to catch the light.

We’re Hollywood men.
Waiting in line.
Watching the faces.
Listening.
Eavesdropping.
Ordering whiskey with a glamorous flourish,
and a look over the shoulder,
asking for the cigarette tray,
in David Lynch’s seat,
under the tree,
watching the tables,
plotting revenge.

We’re Hollywood men.
We still see the old gods.
They know us too.

Marching at parade.
with our armory.

Decamp for a week,
Learn the new names,
Negotiate. Like a leper for bread.
How much bread for this divorce?
Your name, your sweater, can I get it in red?
What are you reading?
Have you seen the sky? So dark, over my face,
I think I might be in love.
Be careful, that’s dangerous,
We know who’s in love with Hollywood men.

It’s grounds for divorce.
Bullets and fists.
The rook sleeping under the asphalted king
growing a tree for the bum to sleep on.

Who’s in love with a Hollywood man?
Fighting fierce, shaved down to a husk,
Shoulders and baritone musk and the roach clipped to his ear,
listening for voices that are not there,
pigeons flying around his face,
Underneath the shadow of Larry Flynt,
and the lawyers.

Who’s in love with a Hollywood man?
is it you?
Tucked far away over the U-store-it Tower?
We’re Hollywood men.
Murdering innocence, which is only to say,
making you less harmless.
with our pharmakon show,
of snakes and planes,
bad motherfuckers and whorish wives,
the aspirants,
like doves, around the hierophant’s altar, dipping in a ladle for the
blood . . .

We’re Holywood men.
No god can scare me.
for I am one.
Powerless, unafraid, without a name or a face.
Sergeant. Mexican. Stern and stalwart.
Hunted and alone,
catcalled,
Wretched,
Reader of books in the most beautiful alleys you have ever seen.

Who’s in love with a Hollywood man?
It’s grounds for divorce.
A suspended sentence!
A long night.
By the freeway.

But Hollywood, that’s something else.
Hollywood men keep out of Hollywood,
as knights from their princesses.
Four hundred meters from kerchief to lips
polishing our smart phones with the cusp of our sleeves.

Announcing the regulars.
Tall, shadowed, and still with some humor.
Violent and relaxed,
our car a musical device, with only one chord,
like a koan,
samsara-ing into the night,
with our swords.

Cutting through shelters singing ringtones,
clouding the subways with pot, jersualems without number,
we can duplicate them,
we can replicate them,
in cgi,
and in the poem of blind mexican nursemaids,
oublietta milkshades,
we bring the holy city with us,
the tabernacle is contractually obligated
for a period of five years
to lay down his name for the boundary line
lay down your life for the boundary line,
where names meet faces,
and old jews become young river gods,
and harem girls sing pop music,
through ice cream colored t shirts,
outside the one bookstore still remaining.

Who’s in love with a hollywood man
with his ancient face
and his fading memory
with his hands
without garments
without traces
heroic
and nameless
and unafraid
with no plans
no family
no eyes.

rock and roll sunsets on arrakis,
or is it venice,
with some saxophone,
and heroin,
or maybe just frisbee and weed,
who’s in love with him?

waiting for the volleyball to come back
waiting for the right decade to arrive
waiting for the right language to express the feeling
born on the asphalt
next to the freeway
standing under the 7-11
with one cup of bad coffee
and the sunscreen explodes in your hand,
from the pressure of the city,
making a noise like a girl sobbing,
from her audition,
wearing her witch’s hat.

we’re hollywood men,
deadly perfect.
unknowable.
delirious.
solemn.
righteous.
musical.
Mandated to serve
the king and his country
for eternity
one billion years.
one trillion years.
Okay, half a trillion years.
with a side of yams
and meringue.
Lopsided.
and rambunctious.
Heroic.
These heroes,
shadowed from sand,
are dead,
we’re dead men.

We’re dead men.

we come here to die.

This beautiful graveyard.
has anyone ever seen a more beautiful graveyard?

 

This poem was first performed at Roar Shack in Los Angeles, May 15 2016.

Check out Robin’s website. 

Read more "POETRY: HOLLYWOOD MEN – ROBIN WYATT DUNN"

POETRY: EMILY STRAUSS – SEEKING L.A.

Seeking L.A.

I’m looking for what they
are looking for—

walk under the freeway
that runs next to the arena,
convention center, skyscrapers,
instantly the landscape changes:
a tent occupies a corner, older
houses with littered yards, run-
down cars, tiny Mexican mercados
sell soda, chips, beer, not one
piece of fruit

sidewalks broken, rubbish fills
every corner, empty storefronts
line one block, weary mothers
walk their scrubbed children
to school before going to the other
side to cook, clean, serve

walk further into Koreatown
equally battered, only the signs
change on more small shops
crowded with cheap goods,
two restaurants per block
men crouch smoking hard,
nail salon, plastic surgeon—

what are they looking for?
Tall old palms line quiet
residential streets, traffic
is frenzied, distant mountains
barely glimpsed amongst the clutter,
the sky blue for once, beaches
beyond reach, the desert lurks
behind the last range

homeless, poor, working class
harried, packed together
in this endless city spilling
out to hold dreamers, seekers,
the lost and found, hopeful of
something in the dry sun
staring at thin palms, waiting
for luck to shower on their raised
faces as the skyscrapers glow
in the distant haze.

Read more "POETRY: EMILY STRAUSS – SEEKING L.A."

POETRY: CONCERT LIGHT – SUBHANKAR DAS

Concert Light

 

Someone once read my palm and said-

Beware of water.

Since then I have noticed

if the rain drops gather on my  forehead

a discomfort keeps growing.

 

Trying to keep my head away from the rain drops

I was real close almost intimate with the cold air

when I saw the clouds of the north side

turning to yellow phosphorus.

 

How can the morning start again at 9 at night?

What the hell is this? I thought and ran to the roof top

to check out on this divine light source.

 

Soon I realized that this light is just from a concert somewhere

which lit the sky and the air.

 

The way the incessant rain posed on the TV yesterday

and never bothered for my balcony

while I was running in and out  in search

for those never-ending drops.

 

Subhankar’s poetry chapbook is available from Grandma Moses Press. 

Here’s Subhankar’s blog.

 

 

Read more "POETRY: CONCERT LIGHT – SUBHANKAR DAS"