‘Desperate Seeker’ Collected Poems. Gary Beck. (i-v)

Gary Beck Image

    ‘Desperate Seeker’ is an unpublished poetry collection that uncovers the anger, fear and horror that resounds in the powerful struggle of existence.

Deception of the Arts
The rigors of science
became too demanding
for unwilling students
unprepared for effort,
conditioned by tv
to passive response
to the learning process.
But Americans believed
in higher education,
a cultural imperative
propounded by their fathers
who left the blue-collar class
by attending college,
then wearing suits to work.
Competing colleges
obliged unmotivated hordes
by inventing liberal arts,
a superficial taste
of various subjects,
an opportunity
to find a direction
by sampling career choices.
And millions got degrees
that left them unqualified
for any profession,
but they were educated,
deluded into thinking
they were functional.
Then the real world reared its head
and illusions melted away
leaving tedious employment,
a poor consolation
for shattered expectations.
So they worked resentfully
deprived of luxury
offered tantalizingly
by bigger and bigger tvs
colorfully displaying
what they could only afford
by purchasing on credit
and going into debt.
The best of the liberal arts tribe
taught in inner city schools,
brought social services
to those in desperate need,
yet as our population increased
math and science were neglected,
inventiveness began to fade,
a plague of lawyers roamed the land
expending enormous energy
promoting the concept of lawsuits
to dissatisfied citizens
guided by clever exploiters
to courtrooms of contention
seeking compensation
for the loss of loved ones,
grief replaced by greed.
The owners of America
contributed a system
that brainwashed our youngsters
with high moral concepts,
democracy, equality,
removed from their reality
by the vast economic gap
between haves and have nots,
yet many of them believed
they were as good as anyone else,
until the fragile line of credit
suddenly evaporated,
smashing family security
providing no consolation
in the liberal arts.
Nurturing Gap
Alienation blossoms
faster than comfort
in fractured homes,
roles eroded
by changing society,
television parent
unable to give
preparation to prevent
future confusion.
Street People VI
I sit indoors
sheltered from rain
watch from my window
city procession
workers, shoppers, tourists,
barely functional homeless,
as intent on arrivals
as the passersby,
lacking urgency,
achieving destination
without comforts.
Fading Glory
American holidays
retain popularity
on special occasions
with gifts, or fireworks,
more and more forgetting
memorable battles,
our soldier’s sacrifices,
too easily distracted
by internet diversions.
Noblesse Obligé
Declining empires
frequently abandoned
their troops abroad
when they couldn’t maintain
the exercise of power.
The British pioneered
bringing the troops home,
setting an example
for fading America
not to desert
young men and women
doing their duty,
risking their lives
in foreign lands.
Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director, and as an art dealer when he couldn’t make a living in theater. He has 11 published chapbooks and 3 more accepted for publication. His poetry collections include: Days of Destruction (Skive Press), Expectations (Rogue Scholars Press). Dawn in Cities, Assault on Nature, Songs of a Clerk, Civilized Ways, Displays, Perceptions (Winter Goose Publishing). Fault Lines, Tremors, Perturbations, Rude Awakenings and The Remission of Order will be published by Winter Goose Publishing. Conditioned Response (Nazar Look). Resonance (Dreaming Big Publications). His novels include: Extreme Change (Cogwheel Press) and Flawed Connections (Black Rose Writing). Call to Valor will be published by Gnome on Pigs Productions and Acts of Defiance will be published by Dreaming Big Publications. His short story collection, A Glimpse of Youth (Sweatshoppe Publications). Now I Accuse and other stories will be published by Winter Goose Publishing. His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway. His poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines. He currently lives in New York City.

DREAM CATCHERS. A Poem by Steve DeFrance.


what they
Coloring Jupiter green
won’t make it so.
Yesterday’s meaning
was for yesterday—
today the sun comes up
on another planet
One night’s sleep
divides us
from an uncertain past.
The dead & the living
can’t mix often except
in poetry or dreams
where everyone’s illustrated
in a few fictive lines  
purple cows here or there—as words
exculpate whatever they please.
Until they don’t and then
they damn the very thing
they’ve once raved about.
One minute now
until this day’s cares disappear.
Daylight hisses into dark,
and night barges into the frightened
corners of our mind—until at last,
the eternal stage manager lowers our curtain,
and consciousness skips,
among stars & rampaging raptors,
slipping right off the spinning earth.


Steve DeFrance is a widely published poet, playwright and essayist both in America and in Great Britain. His work has appeared in literary publications in America, England, Canada, France, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, India, Australia, and New Zealand. He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize in Poetry in both 2002 and 2003. Recent publications include The Wallace Stevens Journal, The Mid-American Poetry Review, Ambit, Atlantic, Clean Sheets, Poetrybay, Yellow Mama and The Sun. In England he won a Reader’s Award in Orbis Magazine for his poem “Hawks.” In the United States he won the Josh Samuels’ Annual Poetry Competition (2003) for his poem: “The Man Who Loved Mermaids.” His play THE KILLER had it’s world premier at the GARAGE THEATRE in Long Beach, California (Sept-October 2006). He has received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Chapman University for his writing. Most recently his poem “Gregor’s Wings” has been nominated for The Best of The Net by Poetic Diversity. For further work by Steve DeFrance see www.Artvilla.com & Poetry Life & Times


goodreads.com/author/show/Robin Ouzman Hislop
http://www.amazon.com. All the Babble of the Souk. Robin Ouzman Hislop
www.lulu.com. All the Babble of the Souk. Robin Ouzman Hislop
http://www.innerchildpress.com/robin-ouzman-hislop.All the Babble of the Souk


Holly Day | Five Poems


Sometimes the letter is so good, you want to publish it too, so we will:

Dear Poetry Editor, Motherbird:

Somehow, it’s January, and only this past week have I had to worry about putting a real coat on to go outside, and haven’t even bothered replacing my regular canvas shoes for boots. For most of the winter, any snowfall has melted on impact or within hours, and for the first time ever, my neighbors have had no trouble keeping their sidewalks cleared of ice. I even heard an Eastern meadowlark somewhere up in the trees this morning, its voice standing out stark against the regular winter cackle of crows as if it, too, was confused, and needed to tell someone about it.

Thank you for reading my poems,

Holly Day


When I was 13, my mom was best friends with a professional photographer
who grew pot in her back yard. She also had a daughter my age,
who went to the same junior high as I did, and partly because my mom
wanted to be on the good side of her new dealer, partly because
she was worried that I didn’t have many friends, she really pushed
a friendship between me and this new girl.

Diana was okay. We did have fun together. But she was upset
that I wouldn’t wear makeup, that I wore jeans and t-shirts
to school instead of dresses and high heels, and especially
since I didn’t care that I was a fashion casualty. She’d invite me over
to her house after school and spend hours and hours giving me
makeovers, then totally flip out when I’d show up at her door the next day
for school, wearing my hair and face the same way
I always did. She told people at school she was only my friend
because she felt sorry for me, which I got to hear second-hand
from the boy sitting behind me in English.

Sometimes I’d get pissed off at her for saying shit
behind my back, and I’d take off for home after school
without waiting for her at our usual meeting spot, and she’d
come running down the street after me, shouting my name,
begging me to stop and wait for her. When school
wasn’t in session, we were pretty good friends.
When we were at school, she barely spoke to me.

Milk Cartons

Those little pictures on milk cartons always seem so
ineffectual and insubstantial to me, as though
I have the only milk carton with that face on it
and I myself am entrusted with finding the face in my refrigerator

attached to a living being, perhaps hiding somewhere in my house
as if there aren’t thousands of other houses with the same picture
on their own milk cartons. It seems

that something as tragic and grave as that of a missing child
would warrant his or her face carved in Olmec proportions
in giant blocks of butter or cheese, or stretched out over the frames
of automobiles, plastered on the sides of city buses,
skywritten in intricate detail by cropdusting planes

milk cartons just seem too small to carry
the weight of something so important.

Whispered Into Your Ear

If my skin was flayed from my body, and only
Red, wet muscle held my bones together, would you
Still want to take me in your arms, hold me close, swallow your
Revulsion at my ragged state? And if

This thing inside me can’t be killed, and instead
Wastes me into a picked-over shell, will you
Still tell me I’m beautiful when I’m in your arms, as you
Brush the clumps, the dry knots, out of my thinning hair?

Will you still love me when I’m less than
Skin and bones, a faded memory, a pile of photographs
Rubber-banded together in a shoebox hidden
Under our bed? Or will you painstakingly count off the days that must pass

Before the people around us allow you to forget?

Lunch Break

I can only imagine why he takes so long
To return from the bathroom every day at lunch, picture
Him straddling the toilet, left arm stretched out in supplication to some
Drug god like I’ve seen on television, needle
Dangling precariously from the vein it’s rooted in
His eyes rolled back in his head in delirious orgasm

Or maybe it’s some official religious thing, not a heroin-based religion at all
He’s kneeling before the stand of urinals, facing some static
Compass point, dragging an ancient stone blade over his body
Tattooing new lines across his stomach
Piercing his tongue and ears with a practiced hand
That draws little blood. For all I know
He could be covered in chicken excrement from noon to twelve-fifteen
Every day, using his cigarette break to entreat his homeland gods.

All I know is that I will not continue to use my own lunch break
To answer his phone line, will not take orders from warehouse men
Redirected by the note on his door to ask for my help instead.
From now on, I am in an official state of meditation when his desk is empty.
I am sleepwalking, and am not to be disturbed.

The Things that Come Back When You Finally Have Time

After she was moved to the nursing home, my grandmother
began having reoccurring nightmares of being chased,
held down, raped, again and again. The night nurses had to keep
changing her medications so that she could sleep through the night
quietly, without dreams

so she wouldn’t wake up the other residents. “Your grandmother’s
had a hard life,” said her social worker when we came to visit.
“She’s a strong woman.” She went on to tell us
that years before, before my mother was even born, that my grandmother
had been attacked by a neighbor, that there had been this huge
controversy regarding whether my grandmother was a slut
just asking for it, and had been leading the much-older man living next door
since she was thirteen, fourteen

or if the man, an upstanding member of the community, who ran
the only grocery store in town, really was some sort of monster
some leering thing that hurt little girls. In the end, my great-grandparents
dropped the charges against their neighbor to keep things quiet, put up
a 7-foot-tall wooden fence between the properties, just tall enough
that they couldn’t see the man as he went about his yard
that he couldn’t look over the fence into theirs. My grandmother

went away to work on the family farm in Wisconsin, attended the tiny
Catholic school attached to the neighboring parish
and when she came back, after high school,
the incident was never discussed again.

Sixty years later, she’s having nightmares about being attacked
telling strangers about the rape we never knew about, so doped up
she doesn’t recognize her own children, her grandchildren. “She can’t
do without the medication right now,” says the social worker
when we express concern about her rapid decline, the way
she falls asleep in her chair when we visit as though exhausted, how sad she looks.
“All we can do is hope the dreams go away
once she feels at home here.”

Holly Day has taught writing classes at the Loft Literary Center in Minnesota, since 2000. Her published books include Music Theory for Dummies, Music Composition for Dummies, Guitar All-in-One for Dummies, Piano All-in-One for Dummies, Walking Twin Cities, Insider’s Guide to the Twin Cities, Nordeast Minneapolis: A History, and The Book Of, while her poetry has recently appeared in Oyez Review, SLAB, and Gargoyle. Her newest poetry book, Ugly Girl, just came out from Shoe Music Press.

JD DeHart | Three Poems

jd dehart

To Lay a Blame

to lay a blame
is simple, is easy,
is as simply as picking
up a light word, laying
it down thickly,
squarely on someone else

now taking blame
is another matter, feels
weighty, an Atlas feat,
but shuffling blame
is a simple process, barely
lifting a finger, better to
do the heavy lifting.


my story is connected
to your story
we are the threads
that spell the word human

where I was may be
where you are
will be, where you will be
is tied back, like a branch,
to where I sit today

where I wait
is where we meet
our roots intertwining
below the surface.


He was a giant
though small
a warrior, though
seemingly peaceful
because he had
the simple courage
to speak a word
and then keep it.

JD DeHart is a writer and teacher. His chapbook, The Truth About Snails, is available from Red Dashboard.

Twenty Four Seven. A Poem by Robin Ouzman Hislop

Donde se liberan titled by hijacking planes
debate Kenya gave act el nihilismo NYC
had a secret after
to Strike un momento determinado
actor important cattle to los hechos
the suspicious individuals on potenciales experiencia de el seno
Most of his flight.
Most his flight. Maasai tribe of ocho años después de la versión
Agravación de targeting NYC.
Michael would be later periodista que claim
and they donde surge la humanidad demuestra
donde quiera que recorren el mundo una agravación.
Another nearby attacks. Another nearby attacks.
Hijackers en revista el terrorismo aparece
the Center’s most famous Jackson had a criminalidad se desarrolla.
Authorities did not America as aid, did not America as aid.
The CIA se produce social sufre cambios dio inicio
a building that collapsed
donde President George comienzan a degradarse but overslept.
Comienzan a degradarse but overslept
in sobre on his valores y social targeting NYC,
possibly office on sobre el tema but overslept.
7 meeting at the another nearby attacks.
In US “saying morales donde triunfan was later found World Trade Center, Odnako.
Found World Trade Center, Odnako. Revista rusa.
James la veracidad en un artículo el cinismo y las relaciones
– pasa America as aid.
– pasa most of his flight.
14 of their 25th floor of Odnako.

Robin Portrait July Sotillo 2016 by Amparo
Robin Ouzman Hislop, born UK, a reader in philosophy & religions, has travelled extensively throughout his lifetime but now lives in semi- retirement as a TEFL teacher and translator in Spain & the UK.
Robin was editor of the 12 year running on-line monthly poetry journal Poetry Life and Times. In 2013 he joined with Dave Jackson as co-editor at Artvilla.com, where he presently edits Poetry Life & Times, Artvilla.com, Motherbird.com.
He’s been previously published in a variety of international magazines, later publications including Voices without Borders Volume 1 (USA), Cold Mountain Review (Appalachian University, N. Carolina), The Poetic Bond Volumes (thepoeticbond.com) and Phoenix Rising from the Ashes (a recently published international Anthology of Sonnets). His last publication is a volume of collected poems All the Babble of the Souk available at all main online tributaries


goodreads.com/author/show/Robin Ouzman Hislop
http://www.amazon.com. All the Babble of the Souk. Robin Ouzman Hislop
www.lulu.com. All the Babble of the Souk. Robin Ouzman Hislop
http://www.innerchildpress.com/robin-ouzman-hislop.All the Babble of the Souk