THE MOTH – By Philomene Long
NOW IT IS LONG AGO – By John Thomas
POEM FOR PHILOMENE – By Stuart Z. Perkoff
Venice as Mecca or Jerusalem – By John Thomas
HAIKU VENICE (Kerouac Style – By Krista Schwimmer
poetry is the game – By Tony Scibella
Home – By Mary Getlein
Gaia – By Ronald K. McKinley
simply – By Frank T. Rios
Songs Of The Gods – By Marty Liboff
7 Dudley – By Rex Butters
DO YOU FEAR ME? – By Ellyn Maybe
(In Panama there are moths that live solely on tears; the tears of large land animals.)
By Philomene Long
The poem comes
Its currents brush
My lips
Even in sleep
I want to stay near
To what I fear, near
Enough to keep
An eye on it.
I awake
Feel it on my fingertips
Try to clutch it
Before it darts away.
This morning
In the room
A poem, wings beating
John Thomas
Snatches merely
A hot fragment
Before it is gone.
Stuart Perkoff
His voice darkening, died
With the unwritten poem
Fluttering in his fist
Two hours later
I bent to kiss his face
Felt the heat of it
Still on his forehead.
Asleep, awake
Even in our deaths
I suppose the poem
Does not need us
Holds its own bright secrets
To itself
Knows it is finer
Than all these lines
Of iridescent wing dust, pale ash
(for Philomene, Christmas, 1988)
By John Thomas
After the mythical coupling,
after the rain: streams
of water that had once been
sky, spent, trickling lanquidly,
lazy and irregular, through
broken gullies to wherever
everything goes.
After the mythical coupling,
after the rain: birds singing
in the wet hedges.
After the mythical coupling,
after the rain, they lie damp
and close and still, wrapped
in a single garment
sewn from butterfly wings.
Now it is long ago, night
is on its perfect way, and
the moon still hotly growing.
by Stuart Z. Perkoff
I had a flash/image
of you standing in
what I call yr “nun’s
position”–hands clasped,
head bowed, body a
straight line balanced–
& looking at you standing
that way in my
mind–stunned by
the beauty of you– I realized you look like Maud Gonne–
the Angel of the Irish Revolution,
Yeats’ lifelong passion
& muse  figure–
Philomene– daughter of lite
bring yr luminous dance
to open new visions,
within the black
against which
all struggle
Venice as Mecca or Jerusalem
By John Haag
I sit here on the sand,
a holy place on sacred land,
remembering the tribes and clans
that gathered here, took counsel
and dispersed; foreseeing all
the ones that will arrive,
drink our blessed water and survive,
only to disperse in turn
to spread the word amongst a disbelieving world.
Take heart, my heart,
for here is never lost
anything forever (but the soul
at times sent wandering along some other plane).
It too returns home safely
found like a cache of nuts
the squirrel lays by against
a cold day in hell, forgets,
then comes upon in time
of need.
Rejoice! The promised land is here;
The time is near at hand.
HAIKU VENICE (Kerouac Style)
by krista schwimmer
Counting her change
the young clerk looks through me –
I am already a ghost
At the Subway off Windward
the wild woman licks rainbow colors from her eyeshadow case
Midnight on Riviera
laughing with my husband –
two baby possums watch from above
Victory at VNC tonight! Oh, Toledo
Horizon, Market and Main!
In Calgary, Cousin Jimmy in ashes
poetry is the game
who worked hardest
abt the poem
was supposed
to say yr heart
in all that
whirls abt u
u pluck
what u can eat only
not wasting
a syllable
u learned
to walk on
most of us
are punished
for hoping
too much
the gratitude
sung to her
is habitual
as the breath:
all u want
: u must
give it back
& a song
to her is this
– Tony Scibella
your love is my love
your people are my people
when I look to you
I see myself
we are taking a step, on the way to peace
instead of nuclear tests,
we take the test inside –
is this our sister? Is this our brother?
if so, why aren’t we helping them?
it’s so sad
these people are out in the cold
forced to look through windows locked against them
at night, look at the bright windows
a’blaze with light
they stand outside, just for a moment
and look in,
gaze at the every-day beauty of most homes
it is such a gift, to have a home.
you only know how precious it is,
when it is ripped away
whatever reason, it is gone
and you are on “the road again”
and your journey through time & space
becomes so much harder.
Open your heart and take a look around
are you using your heart?
or is it shuttered forever, like those windows?
– Mary Getlein
By Ronald K. McKinley
Mother cries trembles
What reinvented perversion awaits her?
Body plagued by surface tension
Beginning marked by endings
Cold where she should be warm
Hot where she should be cool
Body music discontinuance pulsed with unnatural pull
They pick at her bones
What an abomination
Spawned from an intellect of entitlement
A distorted superiority the mask of youth
The willed stupidity distract and entertains
Me not us
I not why
Mother weeps you don’t see because you’re looking not seeing
Just thinking no feeling linked
The true binary
Mother is racked with sobs
We feel the quakes
She says things only a mother would say
Why haven’t you talked to your mother?
She sends you messages all the time
But you are too busy doing important things
Things she doesn’t like
She raised you better than this
Connect with your mother and your kin
She bore you from her body
Your mind fragments of her womb the connection to the universe
By Frank T. Rios
the words
when she taps
tells me to move aside
so the poem can come thru
& the butterfly i love
on the naked tongue
& the night shatters
like bone into history
& the memory fades
like pollen on its wings
& i sit alone
with my muse
a dying butterfly
hovering over
the broken poem
& god only knows
the simple breath
more beautiful
than the rose.
Songs Of The Gods
The gods sang. Their songs breathed life into our ancestors. This was magic breathe. A poem to life. A gift song from the gods. Our great ancient ones sang spirit songs. They sang to the rivers and fish and the deer to keep them plentiful. They sang to the sun and moon to keep them in the sky. They sang to the clouds to water the wheat, corn and rice. They sang to the mysteries and blessings of the universe. Our mothers fed us songs in our wombs. With the milk from her breast she sang us songs of love and protection. The sick were cured with healing songs and chants. Singing eased our pain. The spirits of the dead were sent off to heaven with death songs. If we stopped singing the heavens would fall, the rains would stop, the rivers would dry up and our crops would die. If we stopped singing to the stars they would close their blinking eyes on us forever. Once we could hear the oceans and rivers singing to us. We sang with the winds and rain. The owl, the willow trees, the crickets, the coyotes would sing along with us. We were part of the great spirit breathe of the entire earth and universe. We would play our drums and flutes for the stars in the sky. We sang for our hopes and dreams. We sang to ease our fears and tears. We would sing to lead us through the darkness. The long nights went by in brightness in song and poems and stories. We sang away our hunger and despair. We sing to the visions of the future and our memory of the past. We sing to our strength and to our helplessness. Today we only sing to nothing. We have lost our magic. The gift of breathe from the gods wasted on trash. We have made our mother earth sick with pollution and cancer. Where are the spirit songs from the heavens and earth today? The turtles and birds and lions weep. The tears from poisoned rivers flow. We must sing again to cleanse our polluted bodies and minds. Let us sing again to mother earth that cries out in pain. Sing Sing Sing – Oh gods, heal our hearts and souls…
– Marty Liboff – c. March 2014
7 Dudley
By Rex Butters
there was no stage at SPONTOS
only performers one and all
noisy travelers milled about
that inter-dimensional way station
hung on 3 white walls
eye enlightening art
images blazing with the sounds
rebounding around open ears
and no walls at all
as overflow revelers flooded
out the brick street store front entry
inside forbidden image cinema
and poetry both golden and tin
a fiery light in a blackening
world of numbness
there was no stage at SPONTOS
just thick damp salty night air
roomfuls of people
hot free savory food
overloaded outlets
confusing congregation of chords
dark dada back room bacchanals
stinky skunky spicy
green goods going up
in sacred smoke
he evil elfin churlishly cherubic
his foot in the door
holding The Lady’s portal open
for gypsy artist shaman fools
barefoot sandy dancing
Her Solstice celebrations
beat crazed saints grateful
to survive another cycle
there was no stage at SPONTOS
just hyper inspired multi-level conversation
and celestial sound
the voice of a community
splashed in paint/sung on drums
guitars, saxes, harmonicas
music quakes shake off
greed’s grip on Venice
if only for the night
the dream of free and open art
visible from space as a beating heart
a Temporary Autonomous Zone of our own
experimental theatre and community activism
on the still smoldering ashes of the Venice West
holy ground art temple
joyful party pit
lucky for us
we were there
Do you fear me cause I wear a purple friendship bracelet?
Do you fear having me as a friend?
Are you afraid to introduce me to your grandparents?
The only perfect thing about me is my perfect lack of confidence
does that freak you out?
I’m fat. How does that sit with you?
I wear political pins does that bother you?
I’m a bookworm. Does that depress you?
Are you terrified cause i’ve been bas mitzvahed
Are you scared cause i think spiders are sacred?
I’m left handed, ooooooooooooo No comment.
Do you worry about me cause i’m a virgin?
Cause i’m loud and sometimes embarrassing
are you wary of spending time with me?
I know where the feminist bookstores are in a whole bunch of states
Does that make you tremble?
People think i’m younger and older than i am
Does that reflect badly on you somehow?
I don’t always comb my hair
can you hear it coming?
Is it my ugliness or beauty that frightens you the most?
Are you afraid of me cause i’m human?
—Ellyn Maybe