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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 – Redux- Talk Show in the ‘90s January 6, 2021

Posted by vscorpiozine in city poems, poems, poetry.
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Sometimes, she would press random buzzers in the vestibules of apartment buildings.
She went to parties with actors, Goth kids, and her co-workers from the S and M dungeon.
You’d always find her hanging out in a decaying apartment building with other squatters.
They’d watch Gilligan’s Island reruns, drink beer, and smoke pot. She had an affair with a guy who bought smokes at the 7-11 while she shoplifted a bottle of wine.
Eventually, he got her pregnant, and she had the baby. She sent her friends a photo of the newborn, a proud mama,  then dropped out of sight for awhile and retreated back to the old neighborhood.

She shared an apartment with a friend from the third grade.
The baby cried a lot.
After the first few months,
The once-doting Mama disappeared for days at a time,
Skipping out on rent and returning drunk.
The roommate threw her out.
Now the baby Daddy’s Grandma raises him,
and the parents appear
when obligated to do so.

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 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.

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.  

Poem by Jade Blackmore – Morning Song October 18, 2020

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

Posted by vscorpiozine in Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal, poetry, Southern California poets.
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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