KEEPING MY APPOINTMENT WITH MY ATTORNEY ON A GORGEOUS DAY
School is in session,
Time for another life lesson on the living of life:
Small trees bend from the pressures of an invisible partner,
The wind takes the lead during an unrehearsed tango—
A day of bouquet beauty.
Two young men skate board warriors with tattoo armor
Scroll down the steep asphalt city hill.
I look to the pastel blue sky.
Am I looking at it or looking through it?
Its beauty is my bookmark.
I chose my attorney by the appearance of his desk,
The picture story relief, an atlas of events carved into wood,
Tree rings of life beneath layers of dark stained beginnings.
When will this fiasco end? I ask
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And the answer he knew I wanted to hear,
Soon, with hopefully attached loosely.
Safety Instructions for the Twenty-First Century
You probably won’t look like the real you. Stay calm when you come upon it. Face it and stand upright. Speak firmly to it. Do what you can to appear larger – raise your arms or open your jacket if you’re wearing one. You want to convince it you aren’t prey and may, in fact, be a danger to it. Give it a way to escape, but if it attacks, don’t panic and run. People have fought it with rocks, sticks, caps or jackets, garden tools, and their bare hands. So remain standing or at least try to get back up.
Ashes Have No Memory
The man crossing the street carries a ruler in his pocket to measure the passing of time. He has nice clothes, gold chains. But even so, he may be in trouble, may be on the run, may have no future in Lithuania. All he can see is eyes. He tried to lock up time in the eyes of lovers. “It has to look easy,” he said. “That feeling like it just happened.” He and I lead parallel lives, one a collaborator, the other a resister, two ghosts discussing invisibility in front of a mirror, a pretty crappy way to die.
First they’re an animal, then they’re a volcano, then they’re playing with their cat. What if they do have mental disorders? I’m not a fucking therapist. I’ve had two years of absolute violation of my right to peace and quiet. The problem is too many people. I see a lot of them every day. We’re always going to be in this position of losing ourselves in crowds. It’s scary. And it’s messy. After a few Guinnesses, I leave flowers at the latest place where it happened. I can’t keep doing that. People are still at the window screaming for help.
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THE RED HOT COILS
the fan sitting on
a window sill
was gently blowing
the curtains on to
a radiator heater
the phone rang and rang
water boiling in a kettle
steam whistling out as if
it were a toy locomotive
circling the red hot
coils on a portable
plugged in to a
water overflowing in
the old clawfoot bathtub
Randy Travis blaring on
a portable FM radio
from an empty living room
An army cot
Above the Taos
Is not an ideal spot
But the cool breeze
Purchase Jon Huerta’s debut collection of poetry and moonshine recipes HERE.
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When the sun sets, I wish
I could take a decent picture of it,
the whole view from Harlem
while looking down at Midtown
It’s not about the steel and glass
glittering in front of me,
there’s plenty of that
building a crown on the horizon
It’s about the brick and stone
Read more "BEN NARDOLILLI – 7/23/16"
piled up into nearby apartments,
when the sun sets on them
they look like cliffs by the ocean
find Ben online.
The boy wears only a pale green shirt,
no pants or shorts or shoes–a six-year-old,
fat stick in hand, squatting in the dirt.
He glances up as our convoy passes,
eyes dark and blank, and shifts his weight
to favor his left leg, ridges of scar
from ankle to hip twisted and shiny as plastic.
Yellow dust, kicked up by our truck
hangs in the air, thick and choking.
But the boy, face calm as a cat, just stares,
only his eyelids moving, up and down
up and down. Finally, he looks away and
raising his club, resumes his task,
This poem was originally published in Second Skin by Terry Hertzler (Caernarvon Press, 2003)
Read more "TERRY HERTZLER – NAPALM"
Kiss It All Away
I crumble under the weight of your wings
as you leap from the balcony and find that you’re only human
and the two of us fall.
There are gods burning in the fire place
painfully smiling through bruised lips
I’ve got runs in my hose from their fingernails; they need us, too.
What a disappointment it was to discover
that you still have one foot stuck in the real world
and it’s the foot that counts.
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Good old Joe,
a hell of a pilot you were.
You was my friend,
you was a big child,
all heart, stupid as paint, sure,
but the feel in your talented fingers,
your far-seeing blue eyes;
you and that plane united to kill
every goddamned gook down there
living in that green placid land.
I thought of you,
bombing airstrips, roads,
buildings, villages, factories,
the whole place;
it sickened me and
was I ever up your
big face and down,
looking for tears,
I’m sorry, Joe,
I gave you love and respect
with full conveyor belts,
to blow this green land
to hell and gone,
so it’s me and you,
doing a lot of death.
Now you’re dead, too,
burned to a crisp
in your crashed B-52.
He was Joe from Muncie,
Read more "Jack D. Harvey – BOMBING VIETNAM"
a bull’s eye,
a real true soul
who didn’t think much,
an O.K. guy, a
and now he’s gone.