Michael H. Brownstein – A VALLEY CAN ALSO BECOME A DEPRESSED STATE OF MIND

A VALLEY CAN ALSO BECOME A DEPRESSED STATE OF MIND 

Everything you wear,
you wear to its grave,
your gray stockings\
a small hole near the big toe,
its color an undistinguished gray
your shirt with a stain
your pants frayed at the bottom,
a rip in one pocket,
change falling freely
creating melodies you are always
too busy to hear.

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Robert Allen Beckvall – Complete Freedom

Complete Freedom

No past lurking like a phantom

The future?  Not tricking me today into possibles and impossibles

All untrue, untrue

The caffeine I am weaned

Booze, a distant memory of last weekend’s 3 pints

Gordon Biersch with a Chicago teacher

Aches and pains from my beloved sport?

Not a knee, ankle, wrist, back, Achilles, shoulder, or calf

No Advil in sight

Worry about the wife and kid-no way!

They more likely to worry about me…the Chinese Queen and Princess

Arizona clan?  They got their pine breezes, lakes, and Trader Joe’s

Worried about living on an island?

Teaching and coaching?

Writing in the mornings?

You see, I would have to make up some ills and blackness

Like an actor

Why?  When real life is so sweet, and the freedom you can taste

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Michael Lee Johnson – Leonard Cohen My Friend

Leonard Cohen My Friend 

 

Death is a bitch and a whore

comes with hat on or off,

Jewish, Christian or lover years ago called Nancy.

Death is a passport, a left behind baggage note.

My leverage sinks, I see you pass human.

These my fears, your fright, being broke, old-royalties stole Suzanne.

Now branches, extended limbs, point outward nowhere-

doors Montreal collapse tomb, dance with me,

end perfume love, a few dead flowers.

 

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GARY BECK – ROTTING SYSTEM

Rotting System

Politicians fulminate
in the run for office
condemning opponents
for dishonesty,
lack of a plan
to help the country,
spending billions
to get elected,
forget campaign promises
until reelection time,
serve those who funded them,
ignore needs of the people,
unless it suits their masters,
always present themselves
as loyal Americans
serving the nation,
although we do not know
who owns their loyalty.

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POETRY: MARLENA CHERTOCK – CEMETARIO GENERAL

Cemetario General

Cemetario General is one of the largest cemeteries in Santiago, Chile. Patio 29 is a plot used to bury the disappeared, the homeless, the unidentified, and victims of the Augusto Pinochet military dictatorship.

 

What’s left of them is arranged in boxes,
fifty or so line a wall.
He turns off the leaf blower,
passes a woman kneeling, her head lowered.

Even in death there are mansions.
Glass criptas encasing tías.
He coaxes leaves away
from the marble structures.

In a narrower section
ice cream and chip vendors push their carts.
Crowded together are plots of dirt, maybe some hierba,
a Nescafé bottle filled with wilted hydrangea.

He asks families to give more.
Sometimes there’s no response. So he digs up the land
and transfers what endured to a mass plot, Patio 29.
He’s so close to the body then, touching its bones.

At home he holds his esposa’s hips
as she cooks dinner, the smell of her sweat and the humitas
mixing in the kitchen air,
holds her as she undresses and they lie down together.

Find her at marlenachertock.com or @mchertock.

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poetry: Joseph Somoza – Hasta La Vista

Hasta La Vista

Here I find myself again,
in the company of
trees and sunshine,
a quiet workday morning.
It’s like emerging from a tunnel
where my mind was cloyed
with mundane matters such as
providing food, doing dishes,
and having to
respond to others—

who are my family,
who have gone back now
to being themselves
in the far distance where I can
make out the details better,
hear their words more clearly
in the sparse air between
here and there, as if minds can’t
co-exist in close proximity
and must always be
sent on their way.

Order Joseph Somoza’s new volume of poems As Far as I know (Cinco Puntos Press, 2015).

 

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