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Poems by Jack Henry – Saint Thomas Aquinas and ex November 19, 2020

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Saint Thomas Aquinas

the old poet sits under a dying tree
in a park near a crumbling church
as people gather for midday mass.

a dyslexic sun spins in disambiguation.
two men kiss as a breeze begins
to drift through branches and leaves.

the old poet awaits contradiction, as words
fall from the corner of his eyes and
children scream in delight,
for the ice cream man.

a police officer walks by, says hello, and pauses
briefly, asking the old poet about his day,
and any plans for the weekend.

the old poet does not speak, lost in transition,
from one point of contact to the next.
there is no connection only the unending buzz
of a phone call not answered.

ex

words
bleed
out from broken
fingers.
fractured memories
of a past
best left
to rot
in a
cage
i locked
them in,

so many
years
ago.

Bio:

Jack Henry is a poet and chapbook publisher. His poetry journal is Heroinlovesongs.com. His work has been published in Clockwise Cat, Poetry Warrior, Oak Bend Review, Rusty Truck, and other online and print zines.

Poem by Jade Blackmore – Midtown Manhattan, Herald Square, 1989 October 28, 2020

Posted by vscorpiozine in 1980s, city poems, New York, poems, poetry, Veteran Poets.
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1989 Midtown Manhattan

“Sign the Petition!!” The woman’s shrill voice echoes from outside the Chase Manhattan Bank on 34th Street. She walks back and forth holding a sign with a photo of a banned magazine cover with a meat grinder on it. Moms with baby strollers maneuver close to the curb to avoid her. Balding men in three-piece suits duck into revolving doors, and skateboard kids sail past, suppressing laughter till they’re clearly out of her view.

You walk into the deli, baggy-eyed and askew from being jostled on then train. The Bodega cat in the stockroom eats noodles from Chinese takeout container. You buy a raisin bagel and coffee

Even listening to Howard Stern on your Walkman doesn’t drown out the woman in a square-shoulder power suit standing behind you as she complains about how slowly the line is moving.

A punk rock girl with platinum strands (shades of Nancy Spungen) struggles with her umbrella as she passes a Hasidic Jew in a phone booth.

The streets whip up a mist of soot and sweat.
Oblivious,
the hot dog cart vendor sets up early
The old hippie dude selling used LPs,
knock-off Chanel bags and paperback books with covers torn off  from a folding table by Tad’s Steaks does brisk business.

The girls in bulky sweaters watch the marathon from a fire escape. Toothy smiles and subway murder headlines blare from the front page of the Post
As you turn the corner to go to your job pasting up ads for January’s edition of Teddy Bear Revue,

Spending the morning stuffed into a corner office filled with half-empty glue bottles, photos, photocopies of photos and a pot of Folger’s coffee. 

Man in a Santa suit walks out of the subway station into PJ Carneys for a highball. The Brooklyn girls get their nails done after-work, tangerine glow, key lime green, or passionate pink.
The manicurists wear light blue face masks and hand customers index cards with prices scrawled on them,
And talk to each other in Mandarin Chinese.

5:35 p.m. You exchange good nights with your co-workers through gritted teeth and speed walk pass Sbarro’s, Strawberry’s, and the Empire Stare Building. The lady with the poster still wails, more adamant than ever. Shoppers steer their children into Macy’s and office workers scurry like starved rats into the subway station.

Sometimes, it’s hard to believe
You were part of this hodge-podge
Cause the present is so static
and unassailably boring.

Leaf blowers wane in the background,
Replaced by a screen door opening and closing – then silence.
A screen, a book, a reset, then- nothing.

You dream of going back for just a minute
To be absorbed into the trivialities
of a forgotten world, before the rise of the  automatons,
before truth scattered into a thousand different pieces.  

R.I.P. Diane Di Prima (August 6, 1934-October 25, 2020) October 26, 2020

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Poem by Jade Blackmore – Morning Song October 18, 2020

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Morning Song

The birds sing at the same time every morning,
As the sun peaks through the opening at the bottom of the window blinds.
Burrowed in the tree or hiding near the bushes,
They bring a wake-up call that supersedes the rustling of garbage trucks and revving Ferraris.

A Monarch butterfly flits between buildings,
announcing the countdown to Halloween in orange and black.
The days grow shorter,
And neighbors hibernate
In offices or stores or kitchens,
Like the seasons never changed.

The year finishes with a whimper for some,
An electric jolt for others.
Humans trifle and bay
Over imagined allegiances –
it’s an ongoing trait.
But the unbanked landscape goes on, oblivious,
Greeting the day without judgment.

JadeBlackmore.com

Poem and Artwork by Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal – All My Days October 13, 2020

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Drawing by Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal

All My Days

In the dark streets I feel the wind
following me. In a rush, the wind
feels cold. It is never calm when
it is what you hope for. Flying debris
and howling dogs can be seen and
heard. My eyes tear up and I am
waiting for morning and the sun
to warm my bones. Happiness is
not something I expect in this land.
The stars in the sky watch over me.
In the morning it is the sun and
the clouds that take their turn. I am
always looking up to acknowledge
them. The bright sun is my favorite
when it’s not too hot. All my days
are spent looking for warmth. I do
not give up, but it’s not up to me.

Read a review of Luis’ chapbook Before and Well After Midnight, at Clockwise Cat.

Three Poems by Stephen Mead – Lounging, True Stories and It Goes On (Thanks to Morrisey) September 7, 2020

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Lounging                                                   

It feels sort of like the 1940s, the bed
a playground, fingers in platinum,
Bonbons, chiffon, the swell walled
in sensations of large lace draped rooms…

Here I am, smoking jacket svelte
& with little to do but resample champagne
or sway, barely listening to a distant trombone.

Ah, how nice, an idle nap time, yet
less innocent, say, should a lover chime
out of the music box, an apparition
waited for when any one could fade,

sad, lazy star hanging around
in the meantime because

these movie scenes lie.

 True Stories

Her eyes were the last link to communication:
one blink, no; two; yes;
the face muscle tone startled to a freeze.

To lose control like this is
perhaps worse than drowning or dying by fire:
de-
mo-
bil-
iza-
tion
slow,
corrosive,
the spirit, a bird
windows seal in …

Final rights:
exercise power,
support systems off,
lay back to melt
as ice,
as an ice cube.

It is true:
these things happen,
become stories so
we are able to talk again
about what survival means.

It Goes On
(Thanks to Morrisey)

I know the story & so do you.
I think that’s the problem.
knowledge helping, but how much?
Was being in the dark better?
Hardly; just some question,
a series of them, all to be settled.
Undecided still?
Then how come,
when aware of both
the taken and untaken roads?
So I trip over Frost
the way tongues who have tripped
over each other yet long
to taste that particular spit
on lips since replaced.
What’s the difference?
I told you it was an old story.
So, come, join in this circle
& touch while
(here)
I try to
(that’s better)
mend what only
(now there)
touch can break.

Bio

Stephen Mead is an Outsider multi-media artist and writer.  Since the 1990s he’s been grateful to many editors for publishing his work in print zines and eventually online.  He is also grateful to have managed to keep various day jobs for the Health Insurance. Currently he is resident artist/curator for The Chroma Museum, artistic renderings of LGBTQI historical figures, organizations and allies predominantly before Stonewall, The Chroma Museum  

Stephen’s Website
Amazon page

Poem by Jade Blackmore – The Mansion of Happiness September 5, 2020

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The Mansion of Happiness

You can get there
from here.
This midnight blue delicacy, this quest, forges on
through cyclones and static skies.
No one can predict the end point
the uncashed check, the mystery in triplicate.
A diamond-edged toothbrush scattered in bits by the mirror,
a lost vampire, a false thesis.
A search for the last unscathed nostril in Studio 54 yields
a cryogenically frozen orgy
with no trace of orgasm,
only the stench of monotony.

Years elapse like pine needles
dropping off the Christmas tree on January 3rd.
The condensation on the basement windows,
the push-pull called chance
alienates both strippers and scientists.
it doesn’t discriminate.

The sweet harmony,
the violin echo makes it all worthwhile,
It softens the sting of suffering,
and then erases the plague.

Skyscrapers abandoned,
Karma taps mother earth,
and reverts to the mansion of happiness.
Wiccan.
Newly kilned claypots.
Simple stone and mud,
The freedom to start over.


Poem by John Grey – Where the Buffalo Roamed August 10, 2020

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WHERE THE BUFFALO ROAMED

A camping site
for warriors
in skins

now a street
of houses
in vinyl siding.

No lookout
for unfriendly tribes

but there is
a “Neighborhood Watch” sign.

Where buffalo roamed,
roadways choke with
cars, SUV’s,
a moving truck or two.

In the park,
the homeless
find shade under
the marble moccasins
of a chieftain’s statue.

 

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Front Range Review, Studio One and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Naugatuck River Review, Abyss and Apex and Midwest Quarterly.  

Poem by Jade Blackmore – Yesterday’s Blonde August 5, 2020

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Yesterday’s Blonde

She goes down the escalator
In a wide brimmed straw hat
And blindingly white post-beach dress.
Her legs still tan and lithe,
Her toenails a perfect hot pink
As they peek out from designer sandals

She clutches a teacup Maltese,
The white marshmallow dollop
Favored by her fallen predecessors.
A lone reporter shouts to her from the airport terminal,
And asks about her latest bad boy lover.
With a voice still sweet and ladylike,
She responds with an anatomical reference.
“Why did the cops come to your apartment last week?,” the reporter shouts.
She waves him off as the escalator steps carry her out of sight.

Cut to a mugshot of a disheveled woman with bloodshot eyes and a witch’s hair nest.
Yesterday’s blonde becomes today’s snarky sound bite.
Disposable.
While her ex cavorts with his younger- than-their-daughter brunette wife
In a boat on some pristine lake.

Poems by John Sweet – “one for the disappeared visionary” and “one of us speaking without bitterness to the other” May 12, 2020

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one for the disappeared visionary

all clocks stopped in this well-lit
room i dream and these doors that
never quite open or close as i
try to tell you i love you

these men who step out from behind
their own shadows holding faded
pictures of missing children,
holding blank sheets of paper,
and so no information is exchanged

no new truths are created and
none of our passing days
add up to a life
all acts of faith
fall short in the end

one of us speaking without bitterness to the other

and hate is a castle
                         yes
and all pain passes

believe in sorrow and
            in broken locks

believe in windows thick with frost or
ones streaked with dust

paint the walls blue

let the roof collapse

my gift to you will always mean
nothing if
nothing is
what your life has become

BIO
John Sweet sends greetings from the rural wastelands of upstate NY. He is a firm believer in writing as catharsis, and in the continuous search for an unattainable and constantly evolving absolute truth. His latest poetry collections include HEATHEN TONGUE (2018 Kendra Steiner Editions) and A FLAG ON FIRE IS A SONG OF HOPE (2019 Scars Publications).