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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.

Poem by Jade Blackmore – The Old Poets December 28, 2020

Posted by vscorpiozine in Los Angeles poets, poems, poetry, Uncategorized.
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They all gathered in a basement near the beach. Sunlight covered by brick and photocopies, the pesky blonde surfers sent packing, the scourge of suburbia long gone.    

The reluctant idol in western jeans ducks into his car, but he can’t escape. The parkig lot fence won’t shield him from the aftermath of his chosen profession. Every autograph paves a piece of soul flattened until he can escape incognito to another land . 

Neon-haired old woman
Swathed in black
Yells across the room
Even louder than she did in her heyday,
Oblivious to the background bro calling her an old hag.
Her former partner-in-crime ostracized
For having the wrong opinion.

The woman who raises chickens and grows corn in her back yard
Discusses Bukowski with a slouching, bespectacled poetry professor.
In a previous life he was a long-haired bass player, dropping acid and sharing girls in Golden Gate Park.

The wine disappears from red Solo cups as conversations intensify.
The words of fallen comrades echo in front of scratchy 8 millimeter films.
Self-made local legends, revealed to a select few.
Only those who crack the code understand.
Transference and time fade the intent,
but the spirit remains.

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 Jade Blackmore – Thelonius Monk and Nellie in a Dream May 4, 2020

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nelliethelonious

Thelonius Monk and Nellie in a Dream

Fingers make their own way across the keyboard,
At once thundering and adroit.
The green velvet curtains reveal a miracle or a debacle,
Depending on the prescribed mood.
The reefer smoke a given as
disembodied voices shriek from outside.

Killing time at the airport.
An impromptu whirling dervish
Out of his element
Amusing the masses.

A hotel room,
A clap of thunder.

“I am very sick.”
Cubist sound fades
Into quiet everyday life,
A picture window view across the Hudson.
The circuitry miscalculation
That formed a life,
Now steadied
Into routine,
As Nica’s
Cats roam free.
The daily walk down leaf-shaded sidewalks,
The untouched piano.

Somewhere in a parallel universe,
Nellie and Thelonius still dance
in a fever dream,
backstage at the Five Spot,
bits and pieces of
the East Village night
juxtaposed like miscreant stars. 

 

www.jadeblackmore.com

 

 

Poem by Jade Blackmore- End of Days April 10, 2020

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End of Days 

The hyacinth weaved along the trellis and
Wafted a faint scent last spring,
but now you really notice the smell,
like perfume on some elderly lady with too much rouge and a pillboxbox hat.

The air neutral but sweet, the spotless clouds gather, their delivery undiluted by a third party.
The cardinals chirp, releasing sound instead of noise at rush hour
The musical notes sent into the skies like some ethereal realm.

But there are reminders of the not too recent past
The wooden beams rise up to obscure the mountains,
leaves blow around in a cyclone the momentary motorized whirring
drowning out the bird arias.

The sirens still rage every now and then,
red lights flashing,
a few lone figures
Hold hammers or machetes in the dark,
Crawl out of tents
With glass pipes and bags of trash.

The rain cleanses the streets,
Unencumbered by cars, or children on skateboards,
Or bickering couples.
Is it the template for Armageddon
Or a reset, another chance
For humans to make it right
upon their return?

 

 

Poem by Jade Blackmore – Grandma’s Dining Room Cabinet April 7, 2020

Posted by vscorpiozine in 1960s, Jade Blackmore, poems, poems about families, poetry, Veteran Poets.
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Grandma’s Dining Room Cabinet

It was there in the background of every family photo – the sliding doors looked like glass, but moved at the touch of a finger, like plastic.

The contents were for show, a cornucopia of memories.The serving dishes and silver-edged white-plates were stacked way back in the kitchen cabinets,And the portly relatives we only saw at Christmas and Thanksgiving brought them out of hiding.

The cabinet came from Montgomery Wards or Sears. Delivery day was always an event, and Grandpa would direct (and correct) the deliverymen until Grandma calmed him down. She give the guys a tip of buck or two before they left, but made sure Grandpa didn’t see. (“It’s their job,” he would say sometimes, “They already get paid enough.”)

The blond sides of the cabinets felt like wood grain, but the bottom drawers were heavy like wood when the little cousins playfully pulled them open after dessert.
The wine glasses and carafes line the first shelf of the cabinet, resting on an old Christmas tablecloth with a holly and berry pattern.  

Framed photos from holidays past line the second shelf.
Grandma and her brothers and sisters in their polyester finery posing around the family matriarch, the great-Grandma we only saw at anniversaries, weddings and funeral dinners in red-boothed banquet halls,
Cousins in pleated, green plaid Catholic school uniforms,An Easter line-up with all the kids sitting on the plastic-covered couch – the baby cries as the teen cousin rolls her eyes.

The photographs of Grandma are out of my reach now,
The wine glasses dispersed to recipients unknown,
It’s been so long the memories, the pictures in my mind, are faint,
But the feelings they conjure bring tears,
And that’s all I have to remember her by.

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

Posted by vscorpiozine in poems, poetry, Veteran Poets.
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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.

 

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.