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Poem by Jade Blackmore – The Old Man Who Lived Alone February 11, 2020

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The old man lived alone in an apartment by the freeway.
The TV flickered through half pulled window blinds.
Every Christmas, a poinsettia plant guarded the doorway 

Sometimes the man would stand on the balcony and smoke cigarettes with his next door neighbor.
He’d talk about the old days.
He used to live in a house in Beverly Hills
And rode hoses with his Dad as a kid.
Worked in radio for awhile, when the money was good

Sometimes, he would walk to a waiting van on the corner
with a small plaid suitcase
to visit a friend at a nursing home
way in the Valley. 

One day, the neighbor who smoked with him on the balcony said,
“I haven’t seen him for a week.”
The old man didn’t answer the door when he knocked.
He asked the other tenants, but no one else had seen him,
And none of them had his phone number.
The powers-that-be didn’t respond to the neighbors’ concern.
Still, the TV flickered.

When the old man didn’t pay his rent,
A last-minute phone call lead to a disconnected number,
and his body on the kitchen floor.
It had been there three weeks.  

The coroner van pulled up
to nervous whispers in the hallway,
And incense burning in the next door neighbor’s apartment.
Is that all you are
In the end,
A bad smell to be covered up?

The bushes push through barbed wire by the back gate.
The chipped edges of the dresser convince the living to pass up free furniture.
Collectible pocket knives are sealed haphazardly in a cardboard box,
With a scalloped edged-photograph on top.
In a scratched black and white haze,
A boy in a cowboy hat stands in front of a pony.
A few days later, the wind blows it away.

 

Conversation in Taos by Gregory Corso (Recited by Marianne Faithfull) January 22, 2020

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Poem by Jade Blackmore- The Abyss January 1, 2020

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The Abyss

The wheels of time grind, scrapping off metal,
A shrill stop and start.
The night is like any other.|
The celebrations are now perfunctory,
Expected,
And the night is filled
With the silent stabbings
By tents and freeways.
The abyss is all that remains.

 

 

Poem by Jade Blackmore- The Christmas Tree, 1999, Park Slope December 31, 2019

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Two girls carry a Christmas tree from the Seventh Avenue lot,
Scotch pine needles littering the sidewalk
As they maneuver it home.

Young Moms pass by with baby strollers,
Their children bundled in faux fur jakets
Young lesbian couples with blue and pink hair
Canoodle on the way to the indie bookstore.
The Hasidic Jews smile and nod,
The bearded professors ignore them,
The cigar-smoking Teamsters walking out of the dive bar
Leer and ask if they need help.

The roommates veer across their trash strewn front lawn,
as their neighbor holds open the fraying wood-lined  double glass doors.
The tree dodges narrow hallways and jutting bookcases as the girls hit their mark-
a pedestal in the corner of the spare room.

They cram the noble pine with 99 cent store garlands and ornaments
Except for the obligatory carved woodblock Santa from the local craft market
That cost more than all the other decorations combined.

The tree, you know, it’s sort of there,
With no children or significant others to enjoy it.
It shields no whimsically wrapped presents
Or puppies in Santa hats.

It’s a backdrop for a photoshoot.
The blonde girl wears a Marilyn Manson Satanic Army sweatshirt,
poses with a giggle
and a glass of champagne
It’ s all so very end of the millennium.

The branches shed after New Years’, needles on the hardwood floor.
Cheap glitter ornaments shed tears.
The tree is finally trussed up on the curb,
Nearly naked,
In the middle of January,
The wood block Santa plucked off at the last minute.
Battered branches share a mud puddle
with a few Juicy Fruit wrappers
and a rusty pocket knife.

 

 

 

 

 

Poems by John Grey – What I Hear in the Night and With a Writer December 14, 2019

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WHAT I HEAR IN THE NIGHT

I hear a weeping in the night,
for all I have lost no doubt,
an intense weeping.

But then I hear laughter,
for how little I miss
what I no longer have,
a vociferous laughter.

It’s followed up
by the sound of hustle and bustle,
to encourage me, I’m sure,
to go on with my life,
this hustle and bustle of moving.

And then there’s a complete silence,
in honor of my being gone…
at least I assume there’s silence.
How can I ever know?

 

WITH A WRITER

“You do realize that I’m a writer,” she said,
“that some of my wildest, darkest, most intimate thoughts
end up on sheets of paper.
And they’re joined there by my anxieties.|
Luckily, my conversation seldom varies from the superficial.:”

She said her current issue was a leaking bathroom tap.
And that, according to the weather man, rain was expected.
Nothing of identity roles, gender issues, passive-aggressive contretemps.
And she served ice tea and cookies.
Not dilemmas, not social concerns, and not a word
as to what people are really like.

She added that she only ever opens up
to her keyboard and computer screen,
that, no matter how comfy we get
amid her floor cushions,
any heart to heart is likely to be
much more anatomical than honest.

I replaced the washer in her tap. It still leaked.
I stared out her window, watched black clouds begin
their slow crawl from the west.
We hugged a while, as people do when it’s expected of them.
We even kissed, but more like a period
putting an end to a suspended sentence.

But I never saw her poem.
So I still don’t know what happened. 

BIO:

John Grey is an Australian poet and US resident. His work has been featured in Front Range Review, Studio One and Columbia Review, Naugatuck River Review, Abyss and Apex and Midwest Quarterly.

 

Poem by Jade Blackmore – Retirement December 8, 2019

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When you’re young,
you leave your hometown
because it’s too easy and boring
and come back
when you’re older
because it is.

 

Poem by Jade Blackmore- Fading Away November 3, 2019

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They used to be inspiration, your life’s blood.
Now they’re just privileged old men,
waving at peons from afar.

 

Poem by Jade Blackmore- The Old Couple and Their Cat October 27, 2019

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Photo by ChromaConceptVisual

The Old Couple and Their Cat

He sits between them in the middle of the night
Until he wanders off
Underneath the half-broken grey shag tower,
Or a chair covered by a Turkish robe.
He sits at the edge of the bed guarding them from vermin.

In the morning,
They rub his marshmallow white belly,
And brush him when he commands them with a squeak.

He sees her and darts
From the end of the balcony
Back to the door.

Runs under the old man’s desk
Purring and trilling,|
to comfort him when she is out of town.

They give him treats when they have an evening snack,
So they all eat together as the blue light fades.

Everyone else
who cared
Is only a phantom now.
In the quiet of old age,
The old couple and their cat
protect each other.

Poem by Jade Blackmore – The Robot October 21, 2019

Posted by vscorpiozine in 1970s, Jade Blackmore, poems, poetry, Veteran Poets.
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She never said she was Marilyn reborn.
Swallowing the incandescent air,
Nonchalant, bidding her time,
Kicking in the most superficial memories.
A vacuumed gutter of change,
Fabricating
The seed of a willow, or
The dandelion’s heir.

An absent goddess
A blonde robot,
Assured by the rhythmic lock of
Boots and whips.
It’s not right to leave the fold this way.

Greedy rogues
Wishing for more,
Dissolving into the arc of dawn.
They’re all fools.
The decaying flutter of heaven’s dollars
Is the only music they’ll ever hear
Tomorrow hangs in the balance
It only gets in the way.

Life’s background extras scatter like frenetic pinballs.
In the end,
The voyeurs got what they wanted.
Frozen in purgatory, empty vessels,
Chilled,
After the vampire left.

 

JadeBlackmore.com

*Another 40-year old poem I found in one of my journals

Poem by Jade Blackmore – Small Talk October 1, 2019

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Small talk,
Transparent and barely tolerable,
Drops to the checkered sidewalk.
A chunk of cement strapped stilettos,
Costly and void, but always 90 proof,
Doesn’t sway the heart
Or stick to the ribs.

Butterfly stalker.
Fairfax Avenue graffiti
Covers up Rita Hayworth
With bountiful scars.
these words mean less
Than when
A bubble girl sang it.
That says a lot.

Words bounce back to you
And then up to the ridiculously blue sky
If there’s no one to catch them.