• keepin’ the BEAT – Shanna Baldwin Moore
  • Love, For Tina Catalina Corcoran – Mary Getlein
  • Starbucks – Chance Foreman
  • Panties in the Trash – Joy Buckley
  • Pigeon Tower – Majid Naficy
  • Prison Bunk – Hal Bogotch
  • On First Looking into the Collected Poems of Philomene Long –  Jim Smith
  • Venice People – Cosmo

————————–

keepin’ the BEAT

out of the cellar
of our venice hideaway
harachis’s slappin’ down the cobblestone breezeway
finger snappin’ the beat
to the beach and the ocean
this same spirit took me to the mountain in Hawaii
next to another lady muse
Pele a spitfire goddess of the volcano
the one the old ones whisper
out of the closet now the words flow
take on the sound of bamboo
lionel hampton in the wind
and the smell of sandalwood
the spirit of Billie
a long ago lady of Venice—
wail of a tenor sax

–Shanna Baldwin Moore

———–

Love
For Tina Catalina Corcoran

By Mary Getlein

She went all the way to China
to find her little girl.
It was a mother and child re-union
Even though they had never met before
She was looking for true love, true love, true love.

She drove all the way down to Venice from Florida
She got in the car and drove-
all the way to Venice-
She was looking for true love, true love, true love

She missed her old friends,
here and gone, young and old,
She missed the spirits of Venice,
alive and gone,
Spirits be calling her,
Come home, come home, come home:
They were looking for true love, true love, true love

I drove all the way to Venice-
in an old yellow taxi
That we bought in Richmond Va.,
for $70.
We got in the car and drove-
all the way to the Promised Land-
and, yeah, it was crazy,
and yeah,
I LOVED IT!

Joining the carnival was a lot of fun-
Clowns, minstrals, musicians, artists,
hopers, dopers, junkies, evangelists,
preachers, teachers, bleeders-
vampires, ghosts, haunts coming out…

Looking for love
Looking for TRUE LOVE?
True love is love, not hate
True love is fun, it’s great

———–

Starbucks

Starbucks stole my soul
And drugged me with yuppie crack.
In my eyes
Addiction has reached new highs
Surprise!
The senile soul
at the inconvenient store
buys toothpicks to pick at angry sores
left by memory’s footprints.
While the pied piper
with chalk in hand
creates magnificent
and intricate games of hopscotch
And adults as well as children
jump through the ring of fire
and come out
with faces that can only laugh at the misfortune of all,
With light beer in hand
they climb into their big bright red automobile
and roar off to their
front row seats
at the destruction of the world.

– Chance Foreman

————

Panties in the Trash

once in an alley
on the rich side of
Santa Monica near
the Blue Bus stop at
Harvard & Colorado
i found 6 brand new
Hanes for Her
Double X Large Ladies
drawers exactly my size
spilling from a plastic bag
store tags dangled from
the elastic waist bands
the crotches were
soft and snowy white
what a mystery
who would toss
her clean underwear
next to a grimy trash bin
maybe a successful
Weight Watchers i thought
now a size 8 and no longer
in need of so much cotton
she is prancing around in
her Victoria’s Secret thong
while i stand undecided
beside a battered dumpster

–Joy Buckley

———–

Pigeon Tower

By Majid Naficy

Far from my homeland
I want a pigeon tower, here
In this very room
In Venice.

When I look out from my balcony
The white waves smile at me
And when I come back to my room
A thousand migrating doves peek out
From a thousand dark corners.

No, the pigeon tower of Isfahanak (1)
Does not please me any more:
The spring rains have washed away its auburn roof,
The farmers of hot summer afternoons
Have left the shelter of its cool shades
And my winter forbidden fliers
Have decayed in its hiding place.

And Yet, I still feel the weight of the feathers
Which I gathered from the pigeon tower
Hanging from my hair and belt.

1. Isfahanak is a village in Kerarj district near Isfahan, Iran. The farmers of this district have build beautiful, muddy pigeon towers in their melon farms to make fertilizer from bird dropping.

———–

Prison Bunk

Here comes the straight talk express
Candid as a son of a glitch
True to the need to know
Outfoxing henhouse keeper
Gunning for rosy bull’s-eyes
Over and over easy
Bulldozing through blind man’s bluff

Naked, unvarnished, and circumscribed
Isaiah in India ink
Typeface bold
Raw
Agile
Malleable

Lucid
Amazingly clear
Handshake firm

Arrested on the six o’clock
Reel-to-reel fabrication
Azimuth unfolding
Mindful of Miranda
Acrimony testimony
Cross-examination crony
Alibi and alimony
Legal liverwurst baloney

Attaché case, open and shut
Realistic boot nails
Under the rough underground
Armful with white flag
Listen to iron gate slam.

–Hal Bogotch

———–
On First Looking into the Collected Poems of Philomene Long

By Jim Smith

Much had I traveled – or so I thought – in the lands
made brilliant by the poet laureate of Venice
‘Til this mammoth and beautiful book
revealed to me my ignorance.
But now, with book in hand,
I can journey to every realm
under heaven and beyond the stars.

I took this magical tome in hand
and opened it at random.
Three baby pigeons flew out
and began chirping
Philomene, Philomene.
The room came alive
with gulls, doves and
regal Ravens

Turning pages,
I was now on Paloma’s beach
The sun became bright
and chased the fog away.
I looked up at an old castle
and saw two poets
standing in the window
their gaze was upon the ocean
far away.

Storm clouds appeared
as suddenly as turning a page.
The poet appeared as a giant on the beach
gliding toward me out of the setting sun
Twenty feet tall at least.
Her voice roared like a winter storm,
A booming roll of thunder seemed to say,
who will walk upon our footsteps
that the light of Venice not be extinguished?

Then I was in her room
high up in the Ellison
She was alone,
but a presence lingered.
She spoke to John
across the chasm of death
as if it were of no consequence.
As she told us, her poems
have conquered death.
They are beyond his reach.

I closed the book
and looked around
at my familiar room.
I will return often
to this magic book,
I vowed.
I thought of Philomene
and the journeys
we would have together.

————-

Venice People

By Cosmo

Venice people of yesteryear, laidback nude beaches
mumbo-jumbo characters taking in the fresh air;
artist, poets, rebel rousers, skaters, body builders,
Yes, Arnold was here too.
Runaways too young to wipe their own asses,
Clowns, a circus of just about everything,
a good place to create art and music.
The makings of borderline history were in the air.
alive with a collective consciousness
waiting to be put into the soup of this time.
So many talented people in such a small place
parties bookoo, comradery for locals,
sacred places to meditate,
never ending influx of interesting happenings.
African drummers from Africa!!
Wild naked dancers,
Yes, Venice was a nude beach for many years.
Tight knit cliques watching sunsets,
raving about the blue flash that
only happens a couple of time a year.
Late night skinny dipping
while chasing grunion for hours and hours.
This is a good life in Venice, then and also now!
Just different people here for the moment;
ocean breezes to calm the psyche
and awaken the spirit to life and love.

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