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Poem – No Brakes by Jade Blackmore March 2, 2021

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He followed a straight line from
Long, humid Rust Belt weekends
And thunderstorm beatdowns
To a deposit of decay,
A past his prime rendering.

It only took a costume change,
The printed page,
And a few drops of blood-red paint
To separate the genius
From the criminal.

There’s no limit to exploration, the shaman said.
But he was born to find the end point,
A clichéd and public wall,
And crash into it
Like Norma Desmond on acid.  

Poem by Jade Blackmore -Party Night at a West Village Magic Shop, circa 1992 February 7, 2021

Posted by vscorpiozine in 1990s, city poems, Jade Blackmore, New York, poems, poetry, Veteran Poets.
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The triangle of city veins
Connive with shadows and sulky corners.
A taxi pulls up to the curb
and a motley trio filters out,
all East Village berets and black overcoats,
clichés made flesh.
Red and blue lights flash from the front window
Of a magic shop,
Bathing the revelers on the building’s front stairs
In a post-apocalyptic light.

Artists and dilettantes scatter on the sidewalk.
They smoke joints and drink vodka from repurposed 7-Up bottles.
A disheveled man wearing sunglasses strums an acoustic guitar. His gruff gargle of a voice punctuates the blended conversations about auditions, art galleries,
and coke-addicted boyfriends.

The night’s honoree gave his regards, but stayed safe and warm in his cushy suburban home.
He sent his sidekick instead, a hyper but amusing misfit with slicked back black hair.
Still, the oblivious horde gathered, armed with red Solo cups and tales of punk rock debauchery
The beret-wearing trio held court with him all night.

After two drinks, they talked dirty to the fortunetelling mannequin in the corner.
After three drinks, they confiscated a set of exploding dice. The fall-out resulted in a toppled book rack.
After four drinks and an impromptu “Cut a lady in half” trick, the owner kicked them out.
Undaunted, the foursome stumbled to Gray’s Papaya for hot dogs and Pineapple whips.
The magic shop never hosted any parties after that.
It’s a vegan restaurant now.

Gerald Locklin, CSULB teacher, writer, poet, dies at 79 January 21, 2021

Posted by vscorpiozine in Gerald Locklin, poetry, Southern California poets, Veteran Poets.
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Poet Gerald Locklin passed away in Irvine, Ca. on January 17. Locklin’s work was published in over 125 books and broadsides. He wrote a memoir about his friendship with Charles Bukowski called “A Sure Bet”.

Poem by John Grey – To Feel the Power December 17, 2020

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To Feel the Power

The wooden bridge 
crosses the river 
at its most virile,
spring current,
as cold as mountaintops,
crashing and splashing 
against rock and bank.

None bother fishing 
in the torrent.
And swimming 
in its brisk waters
would be like dogpaddling
with a broken log.

All we can do 
is grip the railing,
lean into the spray,
act as momentary buffer
between snow thaw and gravity
before pulling away.

Elsewhere,
wide blue sky,
lack of wind,
presages a calm
that’s there for the asking.
But, for now,
we prefer 
the rage, the frenzy,
the turbulent spring waterway
that tells us what to do.

BIO

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Soundings East, Dalhousie Review and Connecticut River Review. Latest book, “Leaves On Pages” is available through Amazon.

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.  

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 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).

Beat Poet Michael McClure Dead at 87 May 6, 2020

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michaelmcclure

San Francisco Chronicle Obituary

Indian Valley College, Novato, CA 1976