JOHN D ROBINSON – UNNOTICED

UNNOTICED

I’ve left the best of my
poetry unpublished,
to be discovered after
my death: poems about
love and betrayal, of
drugs and alcohol,
poems about cats, of
their majesty and
mysterious wonder,
of living in poverty,
of fighting and
fucking and of family
holidays and abortions
and rejections and of
loss again and again.
I’ve left the best of my
poetry unread,
to be left in the hands
of those more gifted,
more driven to the
love of life to ever
let a single moment
go unnoticed.

Advertisements
Read more "JOHN D ROBINSON – UNNOTICED"

John Dorroh – “Missed Opportunities”

“Missed Opportunities”

1.

There were missed opportunities with your sister

that I no longer regret. I did for a while because I

love her homemade chili the stuff with lime and

cilantro and those those little flecks of ghost peppers.

Any woman who can make a bowl of chili sing like that

deserves to be honored. And believe me, I wanted to

honor her before she changed into a man.

2.

The miracle was not in the fact that she always knew

that there was a man living in her house, but the fact

that she carried through, unafraid to tell her family

and friends that she was planning on tossing her

vagina a farewell party, complete with midgets,

tattoo artists, and kittens dressed as baby possums.

3.

The surgeon took her scissors and made a nip tuck

then a tuck nip and pushed God out of the way.

“He’s mine now, so you sit over there and close

your eyes and mouth. I will call you if there is a

moment of distress.”

4.

Those opportunities are now memories of things

that could have been: a little family moving with the

rhythm of the ocean, water grinding itself across

the sand to make changes that all of us can feel.

~

This poem was originally published on April 9, 2018, by Piker Press.

Read more "John Dorroh – “Missed Opportunities”"

Gonzalinho da Costa – APHORISMS

APHORISMS

 

Even the desert blooms.

 

Flowers grow a very great distance from the sun.

 

Twisted logic is the tendrils of an evil spirit.

 

A partial truth is always more dangerous than unalloyed truth or a varnished lie.

 

When you do not say what you mean, you cannot be trusted in anything you say.

 

Guess what?—“a white lie” is a racist idiom.

 

Deepest blue, the desert sky is untainted, barren because it harbors no rain.

 

Eternity does not distinguish between the fresh-faced moon and the world-weary sun.

 

In a street fight a sword is mightier than a pen.

 

Whoever said a dog’s bark is worse than his bite hasn’t been bitten.

 

Good governance is hard to find.

 

A penny invested is a penny gambled.

 

A soap that floats has value only inside a bathtub.

 

The government that lacks transparency evades accountability and in all probability has something to hide.

 

The law used to perpetrate crime and to sanction impunity for crime is the misrule of law.

 

Propaganda is the gruel eaten by prisoners of the state.

 

Politicization of the judiciary weakens it, ensuring that those who have less in life will have even less in law.

 

Intelligence with integrity is fair-mindedness, without integrity it is venality.

 

The purpose of education is to teach not only critical thinking but also historical thinking, so that all citizens develop the capacity to evaluate ongoing changes from the standpoint of past transformations.

 

Today the biggest single reason for famine is war.

 

Anyone who lies is doing the devil’s work. It is his telltale signature.

 

Genuine democracy, which subsists in the democratic values and principles internalized by the people, is subverted when criminal leaders controvert the laws embodying the people’s deepest aspirations for freedom from tyranny.

 

A good book is a good friend you engage again and again.

 

The Apostle Paul inveighed against scoffers, calling them fools, yet he did not suffer the Gehenna threatened by Jesus.

 

A government of values and principles is degraded by a regime of patronage and corruption.

 

An untimely death waylays the conversion of the damned.

 

Democracy is a work in progress, fascism a work in regress.

 

Forgetfulness is the incomprehension of those who misconstrue the past.

 

Remembrance is the vision of the future.

 

Kindness’ roots are nourished by compassion.

 

Cruelty is a volcano. It thrives on the magma of abuse.

 

He who does not take a stand sits on his rights.

 

The heart makes up its reasons.

 

The right to information is a necessary check against the abuse of power. It is an essential means whereby the oppressed seek, pursue, and obtain redress for just grievances.

 

You can’t have fake news and democracy, too.

 

Charity culminates in humanity.

 

Read more "Gonzalinho da Costa – APHORISMS"

WES HOUP – 3 POEMS

Watch Out For Aardvarks

The high council of pissants
carefully reviewed your application
for permanent inclusion and finds that
you lack any clear sense of order;
you remain stubbornly and selfishly
anchored to ephemera
and take on balance
more than you generate and provide.
We acknowledge your curious disposition,
and your genuine affinity for activities
that promise no monetary gain
and thus no clear class mobility.
But this is just a footnote
in a much larger negative report.
We will not, in the end, recommend you
for tenure in our pismire.
Also we are unwilling to discuss
our recommendation
via chem-trail or antennae.
We wish you the best of luck elsewhere,
and watch out for aardvarks.

~

DIGESTATION

a.
Cool spring water shimmers
a narrow dissolution channel
between my legs.
Nearby a raccoon has passed
the entire exoskeleton
of a crayfish,
most likely Cambarus
(given the lack of suitable habitat
for Orconectes),
pincers folded up
in prayer, like Jonah.
Sun-bleached, it looks like
an obtuse piece of diggery,
equipment found in a junkyard
or moldering behind
the dead farmer’s barn.

b.
Where the spring’s flow disappears,
a great horned owl
has eaten a crow,
and from the crow’s feathers
sweet Betsy grows.
Crows die, crows grow,
I know, but woe is he
and she who doubt
the kind of hunger
that forces dominance in the wood,
to eat crow every night
and remain wise,
or the crow, for god’s sake,
the crow, to sacrifice itself
to fertilize trillium.
Pandemonium.
Harmonium.
Ad infinitum.

~

Custodial Testimonial

4:15am, Sunday,
the only other soul
on the road to Damascus
is a young preacher
in a Corolla
headed to the church office
for final revisions.
He’s worried about messaging,
and his left headlight is blank.
God-only-knows-what
he’ll fashion: surely love, hate,
forgiveness, avarice, charity,
or some other heavy cudgel
based on a verse from Acts
magically supported
by a verse from Isaiah.
See? Continuity.
Poof! Even vengeful gods
Change their minds.

I’m headed to work, too,
and I’m also worried.
A wedding party drank and feasted
all yesterday and now
the Forest Lodge sewer line is clogged.
A rough calculation suggests
each person must have defecated
2.3 times to impound (TVA-style)
an 8” pipe. Damn.
That’s a proverbial shitload.
Sadly, there was no child present
able to turn a shitload into wine.
But it’s Sunday morning—
time for forgiveness.
I am here to ease things
to the underworld,
and while I cannot perform miracles,
I know a snake who can.

Read more "WES HOUP – 3 POEMS"

R.T. Castleberry – BUILDING A SILENCE

BUILDING A SILENCE

Street empty as a healing heart,
I lean the patio wall,
Swisher Sweet packed with pot,
friends equally afraid.
Wednesday brings the chill,
hawks fleeing ahead.
They say it’s a west wind—
it carries the desert, it trails a fire.
A car scrapes a manhole cover,
the squall of a New Depression song
rackets from the apartment.
I sit beside you on the couch,
urging you to say
what’s wrong, what’s wrong.
Tell me a dream, you demand.
I can’t. I refuse them.
They’re not meant
for sunlight or the litmus pa
Bitching, bare-legged,
you leave for your car.
That cell phone photo joins a gallery:
you with a beer, you with a bourbon,
you with a Bonnie Parker tilt to your smoke.
Anarchist amid barred gates, builder’s stakes,
the furtive criminal on the corner
heats his alley dinner fire
with mattress flyers, garden scraps.
Seeing me, he waves a clenched fist.
I slam mine into the wall.

Read more "R.T. Castleberry – BUILDING A SILENCE"