Sunday, August 20, 2017

Making The Best Of Small Talk


under the shade 
of the huge 

coffeehouse maples, 
where the receipts 

of what has been 
spent so far 

flutter round my feet 
like the dying 

leaves soon to be 
scurrying over 

the crushed gravel 
when Fall rolls round 

again, I cannot 
help but overhear 

the mindless droning small 
talk of grownups 

behind me—all 
the while 

my eyes riveted 
on the children hard 

at play in the play- 
ground opposite, 

and though not 
a praying man 

myself, I swear 
I can almost 

hear the desperate 
small white cry 

of the child I once was 
pleading with me, 

telling me don’t 
give it a second 

thought, no matter 
what you might be 

thinking, make the best 
of it, it’s all we’ve got. 


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Moira, Kindred Spirit


Second-guessing her is akin 
To knowing bloody well what 

Where and when to turn down 
All blind alleys to Hell. 


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Seriously, You Can Ask Me


If I’ll be here 
Tomorrow to answer 
Your life-and-death question; 
To give you, 
Among other things, 
The proper time 
Of day when everybody looks 
Askance at you then turns 
To look the other way; 
You can ask me whatever else 
Pops out of that enquiring
Mind as long as you remember 
Not to blow it when unfinished
Business calls and I’m not 
There to stop that pap before 
It ups and blows your brains away. 





Saturday, August 12, 2017

Memo From One Of The Wolves On Wall Street


Share and share alike? 
Never did buy 
That piece 
Of pap—why 

Should we 
Portion out half 
Of what we have 
To some ungrateful 

Misfits clearly unfit 
To reap half 
Of our precious hard- 
Bought misanthropy? 

Better we let the wretches 
Dawdle in their misery. 



Thursday, August 10, 2017

Poem Fraught With Symbolism


I bet someone could write 
A poem worthy 

Of Baudelaire’s best 
About these two 

Doves suddenly 
Lifting them- 

Selves up from 
The gashes 

Of plowed land where 
They were 

Foraging for food, 
Now darting lovey- 

Dovey from branch to branch 
Of shimmering silver- 

Green olives with 
Nary a hawk in sight, 

But I wouldn’t 
Stake my life on it. 


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

How To Make A Killing In Commodities


Tut-tut, not to worry— 
In brief, the bulk 

Of the argument being 
You have to haul your own 

Weight all the way over 
To the right side 

Of the tracks or else 
Some pell-mell runaway 

Freight train makes double 
Sure your burden is disposed of 

Properly, so as to fit 
Such a moving occasion. 


Saturday, August 5, 2017

Ill-Conceived With The Speed Of Sleight


Thinking you can fashion 

A living out of writing 
Poetry’s tantamount 
To believing 

There are hobbyhorses that fly. 


Thursday, August 3, 2017

Immaculate Minimalist Body Poetic


my dear fly- 
weight mates, stay 

clear of midges 
that swarm round 

you in your spot 
less white and do 

nothing but maculate. 





Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Ruminations On Pulling The Wool Over One's Eyes


In this dazzling midday heat, 
It’s comforting to think how 
Contented the innocent 
Lambs must be, gathered 
With no care in the world
Under the protective canopy 
Of the blessèd olive tree, 
Suckling their mothers’ teats 
As if their lives depended 
On it, and indeed how 
Easy it is to be sucked in 
By that old rustic wives’ tale— 
A bit harder to digest how 
Gamboling they are 
Soon to be led off 
By city-bred wolves 
In always appropriate 
Cutting-edge abattoir attire. 


Sunday, July 30, 2017

Definitely Not Lemmings: A Benediction


No, no, not these 
Poor misguided 
Driven ones that 
Dive headlong in 
Droves over 
The nearest head- 
Land, dear God, let me

Please in my next life be 
Anything, anything 
Save those consumed by that 
Sweet, deadly urge to self- 
Destruct without never 
Ever knowing why, 
Amen.



Friday, July 28, 2017

The Dawning Darkening


The village elders were fond 
Of telling us the waxing 
Sickle slowly lowering it- 
Self in the western sky 
Would be full before 
We knew it and empty 
Itself just as fast— 

An eternity passed before 
We knew it. 


Thursday, July 27, 2017

Smug Wannabe Psychic


Insisted you could always tell 
What we were about to say 
By the look on our faces— 
How we chuckled back then 
But then again how 
Were any of us to know? 

As it so happens, second- 
Guessing the future’s a lot 
Like digging your grave 
Specially now when 
Everybody round you turns out 
Dead right grim in the end. 


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Fantastic Freshly Plowed Centenarian Olive Grove


Amidst the frenzied clamorous 
Backdrop of cicadas readying 
To draw the curtain and call it 
Still another night, the dumb 
Eye strains before finally 
Falling upon fold after fold 
Of newly-wrought furrows 

Under the wrinkled arching 
Brows of row after row 
Of stately silent grotesques— 
My arrogant fellow bit players, 
If you please, please observe how 
Once more the stage is being set 
For yet another humbling 

Twilight. 


Sunday, July 23, 2017

Great Expectations Till Hell Freezes Over


In the searing July heat 
Hot enough to broil 
A souvlaki on asphalt,

This seventy-year-old man 
Has just crossed the street 
To a neighbor’s where he

Picks up a goodly-sized 
Leafy branch from a freshly
Pruned lemon tree, tenderly 

Brings it back and then 
Proceeds to dig a hole 
In his garden, plants 

The amputated 
Limb, waters it profusely 
And waits for it to take root, 

Come hell or high water. 


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Heads Up, Or What's That You Say?


I said Poet, 

If you’re finding it hard 
To hear the sounds 

Of silence, you’re 
More than likely 

Talking your ears off. 




Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Welcome Mat


This dreary derelict mud 
Brick hovel in which squat

A Roma family 
With six kids all

Under twelve also 
Sports a brood 

Of scrawny kittens 
Numbering about 

A dozen taking in 
Today’s brilliant 

Sunshine in front 
Of a hanging 

Pied blanket 
Serving as 

Its front door. 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Immaculate Cycladic Morning


From round, blue-green 
Plastic tub next to her

Frail frame, white-spattered 
Black-robed widow wielding

Long-handled red brush 
Attacks greying house

Walls with wide swaths 
Of blinding fresh whitewash—

Soon everything will smell 
Of clean wedding night sheets. 



Monday, July 10, 2017

Turning Point


You know she’s right 
And you’re dead wrong 

When she sees red and 
You’re already past 

The last green light, 
Long past gone. 

 

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Gloam


Slowly pedaling past black ornamental 
Cast ironwork railing round small candle-

Lit cemetery cramped by too many large marble 
Tombstones crested with white crosses where 

No matter what you’re thinking, 
The mind always reaches 

A blank there. 


Friday, July 7, 2017

Are You With Us Or Against Us?


“You” being the “we” we always thought 
We were until someone came along 

And told us otherwise and then 
We became “them” with a whole 

New perspective concerning who 
We were and who they were 

And gave up trying to answer 
Their question right then and there. 


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Littoral Expanse


Literally on edge, 
The complacent self-

Same image now 
No longer

Grounded, breaks in- 
To an un- 

Broken recitative 
Of waves leaving 

Nothing to chance. 

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Has-been Apprentice Hack



NON-DISCLAIMER: This is a work of poetry; as such, it is the product of the author's imagination, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is definitely not coincidental in any way, shape, or form. On the contrary, it is clearly intended to enlighten the reader as to the character of the splashy, hubris-filled blowhard now playing hack actor playing at playing the role of the most powerful man in the world—a part soon to be assumed and straightaway transmogrified into a bit player’s nightmare by a most desperately driven, artful director called Nemesis.  


Used to be 
You could tell how

Hot you were from how 
Much fake precipitation dripped

From your forehead 
As you manipulated your way

Up Broadway to no end—what 
A farce, my no longer cool friend!

No more easily anticipated 
Big splash round the bend, 

Only just too much 
No sweat vaporized

In the sweltering end.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Huuklyeand Cinquor On Postmodern Poetry's Distressing Emphasis On Omphaloskepsis


"The question of the nature of navel fluff seems to concern more people than one would think at first glance.”  – Dr. Georg Steinhauser, chemist 

Reflecting 
One way or another 
On the idea that 
Idiot in its ancient 
Greek sense did not 
Mirror what it means today, 

But rather someone so 
Caught up in his self- 
Importance that he is 
Useless to society really 
Makes one kind of wonder, 
Does it not? 

Moderator’s comments: Huuk, I suppose it does but if so, shouldn’t that questioning spirit supply us with real answers rather than ending in a vapid query that does nothing but prolong the agonizing naval-gazing status quo that characterizes a great deal of contemporary poetry, yours included? 

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Know Thyself, Dude


Like the man said 
Before he drank his last 
Bitter draught toasting 
Man’s stupidity, 
One thing only I know, 
And that is that 
I know nothing. 


Say you do not know, 
You know. 


Say you know, 
You do not know. 


You know? 


If not, you must be 
Some kind of stupid.

Monday, June 26, 2017

In a Rut, or Business as Usual in the Land of Timeworn Phrases

Here 

In the civilized 
West, whenever we hear

Of some poor soul beaten 
To death by a crowd

Of angry barbarians 
In some god-

Forsaken corner 
Of the globe,

We change channels. 


Friday, June 23, 2017

Lazarus


Emma, should you 
Miraculously emulate 
Your celebrated namesake 

By appearing before 
Your lady-in-waiting 
Once more, keep in mind 

Her lamp is tarnished 
And the door now 
Shutting, golden no more. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Dystopian Ways and Means


Oh yes 
Indeed, we aim 
To please the tired, 
The teeming destitute 
Derelict masses washed up 
Like so much flotsam 
On our shores, 
By keeping our eyes 
Always on target, 
Even if it means losing 
What we set out for. 



Thursday, June 15, 2017

Working-Class Stool Pigeon


on the bum, 
strutting under 

neath chicks 
on stools out 

side up 
scale coffee 

house gleaning tit
bits of hot 

info from un 
suspecting cool 

cheesecake crumbs. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Not In The Script


In this dark grave 
Comedy of errors, 
If you wish 
To begin
Once upon a time,
Best not to 

Plan on ending it 
Happily ever after,
Right on cue 
And always oh
So tellingly 
Nondescript. 







Thursday, June 8, 2017

Grease Monkey Gigolo Riff


Maestro? 
That’s me— 

Screw driving 
Down right 

Up tight low 
Down staccato funky 

Monkey wrenching Mr. 
Ostinato Lubricanto— 

At yer soivice, ma’am. 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Trumped: Tower Block Asylum Gravity


In the high-rise, 
Everything was in 
Great, scintillating order— 

Including any semblance 
Of order which had gone 
Right through the ceiling 

When every able body 
On the premises 
Found itself going up 

And down 
In circles, unable 
To do anything but 

Pace the abysmal,
Bottomless pit 
Of the ground 

Floor. 

Friday, June 2, 2017

Exemplary Poetic Specimen


Go ahead, 
Stare at the blank 
Page all you want— 

Nothing needs all 
The help it can get, 
And you’re no exception.




Monday, May 29, 2017

Best Laid Plans


When the rudimentary yet 
Humungous suicide 
Bomb went off 

And everything and everyone went 
To pieces with it, there was nobody to ask 
What became of the intricate 

Nuts and bolts designed to hold 
The whole shebang together. 


Friday, May 26, 2017

You Don't Say!


Listen up, young fella— 
People who say 
They like to tell it 

Like it is most likely never 
Tell you what it is 
They like to tell; 

The few times they do though, 
More than likely they 
End up short on the telling 

End of another tall tale. 



Sunday, May 21, 2017

Air of Yearning


The pine’s whispering 
Something all but inaudible 

Under its breath 
The wind pines

To hear it, too. 


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Shape Up Or Ship Out, You Swine


Tut-tut now, we know they say 
All the world’s a stage but 
Then again, it’s not 
Your oyster, mate— 

Though it could be 
If you were but a god- 
Damn watchdog standing 
Sentinel at the pearly gates. 


Monday, May 15, 2017

Timeworn Life Sentence


In the morning it’s easy 
Getting caught up 

In the hope it won’t be 
One more wasted day, 

Only to spend the rest 
Of your life wondering 

How that too got away. 


Friday, May 12, 2017

Unsettling Unearthly Affair


where sudden suspect 

gust in trees 
leaves 

                    minding 
                    nobody’s business 

still up in air. 


 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Curious And Curiouser At Four-And-A-Half


My wife holding 
A sloshy plastic bag 
Into which she’s thrown 
Up half her guts, Phaedra 
Peers into the bathroom 
And asks her 

Granny, I wasn’t 
Here when you started, 
Please do it again— 
I want to see how 

It all comes out 
In the end. 

Thursday, May 4, 2017

First Things First

—for Eleni, first of all 

I suppose you’re right, my love, 
After all— there are many things 
In this world worth pursuing, 

But who can recall them and why 
Try when most of the time 
I end up wanting

Nothing but to follow you 
To the ends of the earth. 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Heartthrob


Departing like a slasher 
In the night, you went 

The way you came, ever 
Returning on the morrow 

With my heart in your hands 
Like a bloody cliché, 

Willing and able to do 
Love’s bidding again

And again—touché. 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Barking Up The Wrong Tree


Trying to focus on what 
Your poem’s going to be 
About’s a lot like throwing 
A stick as far as you can 
Into a whitecapped lake, 

Then pointing to it so 
The pup at your side can see 
Where it’s bobbing so 
It can go retrieve it when 
All the while what it’s been 

Up to is wagging its tail 
Like all get-out, those 
Bright, beady eyes 
Of his concentrating 
On nothing but 

Your finger gesticulating 
In the ambivalent air. 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Anger Management For Rejected Poets Hung Up On The Muse


Keeping as much as you can
Of your cool, take one last look 
At all the abortions you’ve sired, 
Then quickly dispatch with them 
By counting slowly to ten--

When you've come
To your senses,
Send them back 
To that heartless bitch
In heat again. 







 


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Christian Soldiers' War Room


Bit by bit, 
Year after year, 
The hot air leaking 
From the air- 
Tight crypt kept reaching 
Our ears garbled—

True to life 
Year after year, 
Mouth to mouth, 
We had to swallow 
The gibberish quickly
Or slowly die laughing. 


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Beehive of Conflicting Emotions


My head buzzing 
Over the latest crazed 
Talk of imminent war, I try 
To forget by spending 
A good part of the morning 
Under the shelter 
Of our Judas tree, 
Taking in the inebriated 
Bees as they bomb cluster 
After cluster of deep pink 
Flowers —I know 
It makes no sense 
Whatsoever but I hope 
The bees don’t start 
Making a beeline 
For the wine cellar. 


Monday, April 10, 2017

Evensong: A Time for Reaping


violet- 

blue- 


black 

mountains 


cradle 

up- 


side 

down 


bloody 

orange 


waxing 

sickle, 


verily my cup 

runneth over— 


tea, anyone? 



Tuesday, April 4, 2017

"Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is"


How many times 
Have you heard this 

Priceless one and gone 
Out of your way 

To sell your wares cheap, 
Craftsman? 




Sunday, April 2, 2017

Hocus-Pocus Habeas Corpus


You owed it to yourself 
But nothing yet of note 
To warrant a poem today— 

Like Bulldog Drummond hot 
On the trail, time to back- 
Track to where you lost 

The right to have writ 
Something whose smell won’t 
Soon go away. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Dandy Exit


That drab 

Coat hanging on 
The clotheshorse 

Has been hanging there 
A long time; one would think 

It’s high time someone 
Put it out 

To pasture, along
With the blasted 

Kitchen sink. 





Tuesday, March 21, 2017

To A Once Budding Romantic Poet Now Out On A Limb


Do not be crestfallen, 
Bard, a mere leaf trembling 
In a mean autumn wind— 
Brief as your flowering was, 
Surely you bloomed long 
Enough to sense it wasn’t 
Meant to be forever spring.






Friday, March 17, 2017

Pox Magazine Poetry Submission Guidelines


We do not need and thus 
Do not seek work suitable 
For public consumption— 

The last time we checked, 
Poetry was not listed 
As a communicable disease. 





Wednesday, March 15, 2017

With Back to the Wall


For all its breathtaking beauty, 
Our country has many flaws, 
Some of them deadly— 

The more we speak of them, 
The better we’ll face 
The stark muzzle 

Of deadening reality. 



Sunday, March 12, 2017

Laughter Is The Best Medicine


Gagged inside 
A dumb gentle beast 
Lies another like 
Beast inside 
Another like one, 
And so on, myriads 

Not wanting
To break out 
Of the barrier 
Of muteness
That's muzzled them;
Therein lies 

The key to the puzzle 
As to why these silent,
Docile creatures need
Nothing but guffawing
Clownish despots
To entertain them. 






Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Bus Stop: Spring Is Icumen In


Oh, devilish joy frenetic! 

There where one hum- 
Drum bus comes 
And pulls out one 
After the other, now 

Alighting on a wire above 
An oblivious queue, two birdies 
Making mad whoopee looking 
Like a goddamn double-decker one!





Friday, March 3, 2017

Anamnesis


Coming up for air— 
Lungs foundering 

On the bottom, fishing 
For whatever’s still 

Down there. 



Tuesday, February 28, 2017

American-Style Hide-And-Seek

Ready or not, once 
The countdown starts, 
We’ll have plenty 
To say after “it” finishes, 

When we find we've nowhere
To hide any longer,
And a home base
Crawling with finks.












Saturday, February 25, 2017

For Better or Worse


The poem 
You just put down 
Has a life of its own, 
Forgiving no one for words 
Put into its mouth by one 
Who should know better, 
Save that someone be a suicide 
Speaking strange tongues. 


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Lost Cause (#45)


In this proverbial 
Race against time, how 
Lucky we are indeed to be 

Always on the verge of being 
Continually great, if only 
We weren’t always so 

Habitually late. 




Sunday, February 19, 2017

Take That, You Dirty Rat! (A Tragic Farce in Five Acts)


1. 

The saucy mouse said tit, 
The sassy rat said tat; 
Seductive in the kitchen, 
Lady de la Roquefort, sitting pat. 

2. 

The gnawing was ferocious, 
Le dame delicious, too; 
Enamored with their gnawing, 
They gnawed till they were bleu.

(A classic case of biting off 
More than you can chew.)

No sign of consternation, no inkling of chagrin, 
No reining in of hubris—O overweening sin! 

(By Zeus! Such uninvited cheeky din 
Was doomed to do our duo in.) 

3. 

His catnap abruptly truncated by the ruckus, 
Our couch potato Tom exclaimed 
Sounds like hocus-pocus woke us!

With drat and drat and double-drat, 
That’s quite enough of this and that, 
He went gumshoeing to the kitchen. 

 4. 

Zounds! 

Brazen raiding scoundrels out-of-bounds 
Ravishing our Lady Roquefort! 

To arms! To arms! 

5. 

And with that, dear denizens of the land 
Of cheesy fictions, his Tommy gun 
Reverberated—ratta-tat-tat! 

Cut the knaves down 
To modest wedges, 
Just like that.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Renewable Energy


The refugee from who-knows-where who spent all night freezing 
On a park bench while you were feeding your fireplace 
With presto logs does not want to hear what you’ve been doing 
To save the planet; he wants to see you walk over a bed of hot coals
Holding your head on a silver platter and not get burnt. 


Monday, February 13, 2017

Friday, February 10, 2017

Divination of Evil


“Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want
and deserve to get it good and hard.”—H.L. Mencken


I bet you ten will get you twenty 
Men wiser than I have said 
The pursuit of liberty starts 
As innocently 
As a child wanting 
What it cannot have, 

And ends with it 
Having what 
It doesn’t need; 
Indeed, most 
Of the time, it feels 
It just doesn’t 

Know what it wants 
Or needs, then gets it 
Good and hard 
In the gut when 
Least expected, 
Its entrails found lacking, 

While knowing bloody butchers 
Lick their chops in the end. 


Thursday, February 9, 2017

Just Us and the Chickens


Not living as long as we do, 
Chickens do not have the time 
Nor our bird-brained inclination 
To piddle over whether or not 
There’s some kind of god working 
Wonders way up there above the weather; 
You can see an example of this 
When their gullets are parched 
And the nearest watering 
Hole’s dry as all get-out, 
Soon as they hear the rumbling 
Of nimbuses rolling their way, 
Straightaway they tilt 
Their dusty, wide-open beaks 
Upwards, look God square 
In the face and before you 
Know it—by thunder— 
Start gurgling 

Grace. 


Saturday, February 4, 2017

One of These Days: A Parable of the Field Mouse


Little man, 
Just when you think 
You’ve made it through 

One more great, 
Simply fantastic flying 
Red white and blue day, 

A crepuscular screeching 
Flash of a hoot owl turning 
Your pinky moon face pale— 

How do you like that?
No more being 
Carried away. 


Saturday, January 28, 2017

Waiting For My Wife To Return From Foraging, I Find Myself Musing On Unfailing Kismet


I’m sitting in the car 
And something tells me 

Before I can finish 
The poem I started 

In my mind when she left 
Twenty minutes ago, she’ll 

Appear with a full basket 
Of wild greens—see, 

I told you so. 


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Lie of the Land


riot 
of wind leaves pine 
needles pile tossed up

rotting under 
brambles under 
which lies all matter 

of whatnot composing what- 
ever the blustering 
mind never sings truth 

fully mindful of nothing 
but trumped-up blistering 
naught. 


Saturday, January 21, 2017

Lend Me Your Ears


Come round all 

You hard-of-hearing 
Stalwart comrades: Praised be 
The cicadas’ crazed 

Ear-thrumming drumming 
Anthem that in fits and starts 
Cranks into high gear 

Its deranged, fair weather song, 
For it shall stutter to a halt
Before we know it— 

That incessant, insistent rallying 
Cry that pierced our humdrum existence
All those long summers past 

Coming, going, gone. 






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