Review Press Release Gary Beck’s Double Envelopment Collected Poems by Robin Ouzman Hislop


 
Double Envelopment is a page poetry book. Available in paperback with a retail price of $14, ISBN: 978-1-910718-58-2. Published by Purple Unicorn Media.
 
 
Gary Beck has long been a contributor to Poetry Life and Times Artvilla.com over the last decade. In his recent collection of poems Double Envelopment, a collection in response to harsh conditions affecting many of our people, who only want a better future for their children, to quote the author, we already feature some of his poems under the title heading Liberty in Ashes. Beck is a prolific writer, his output over the years is awe inspiring. But what is notable about all his work is his unswerving adherence to style, a particular style, which he never varies from. And this is what is, in my view, one of the most intriguing factors about his works as a poet. It is of course an impeccable style crafted with an expertise at the medium he wishes to portray. His stanzas, often minimal are succinct and pointed directly at the critique he adopts. In fact it is true of most of his works that I have read they are a socio cultural critique viewed from many different perspectives, but always with a compassionate reflection towards the underprivileged and their hardships. Reading his work you follow stanza after stanza in a crisp terse deliberation, that superficially may look simplistically written but in fact are profound and more easily accessible in the form he reaches in them for the reader. Again Beck is a citizen of the USA and much, all in fact of his work centres around its socio cultural milieu. Yet his work is wider than that and finds an appeal and reach of a common humanity that we all embrace. It is a form of poetics that is highly original in its content, because at first glance you are forced to question is this poetry or merely a narrative prose. It is only as you follow the way he develops a theme leading it in its subject matter to deeper enquiry, that you begin to see the subtlety of turn in each stanza poem, of which he seems to have become an adapt of past master, rather easier to test than you might imagine, as when you would attempt to imitate one of his own renditions. Double Envelopment has recently been published and is available at…. http://www.purpleunicornmedia.com/double-envelopment-gary-beck.html

Urban Sight

The creaky, old homeless woman,
ravaged by unmet demands
pulls her cart of broken dreams
as she trudges unkind streets
that do not welcome outcasts,
concrete without compassion
for relics of once normal lives.

Removal

Winter winds blow harshly
on the abandoned homeless
marooned on city streets
‘til rain and snow drive them off,
no choice but to leave behind
cardboard signs imploring aid,
cardboard mattresses, cardboard blankets
decomposing from the torrent
that washes away the last hope
for primitive survival
before eradication.

Share and…

The great divide
between haves and have nots
is never wider
then at Christmas,
when the wealthy celebrate
on their super yachts
with epicurean pleasures,
while many huddle
in pubic housing
without heat, amenities,
each day a struggle
to endure poverty,
while only a few
can better the lives
of their disadvantaged children 

Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director and worked as an art dealer when he couldn’t earn a living in the theater. He has also been a tennis pro, a ditch digger and a salvage diver. 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 and his published books include 3 poetry collections, 14 novels, 3 short story collections, 1 collection of essays and 5 books of plays. Published poetry books include: Dawn in Cities, Assault on Nature, Songs of a Clerk, Civilized Ways, Displays, Perceptions, Fault Lines, Tremors, Perturbations, Rude Awakenings, The Remission of Order, Contusions, Desperate Seeker and Learning Curve (Winter Goose Publishing). Earth Links, Too Harsh For Pastels, Severance, Redemption Value, Fractional Disorder, Disruptions, Ignition Point, Resonance and Turbulence (Cyberwit Publishing. Forthcoming: Double Envelopment). Motifs (Adelaide Books). His novels include Extreme Change (Winter Goose Publishing). State of Rage, Wavelength, Protective Agency, Obsess, Flawed Connections and Still Obsessed (Cyberwit Publishing. Forthcoming: Call to Valor). His short story collections include: A Glimpse of Youth (Sweatshoppe Publications). Now I Accuse and other stories (Winter Goose Publishing). Dogs Don’t Send Flowers and other stories (Wordcatcher Publishing). Collected Essays of Gary Beck (Cyberwit Publishing). The Big Match and other one act plays (Wordcatcher Publishing). Collected Plays of Gary Beck Volume 1 and Plays of Aristophanes translated, then directed by Gary Beck, Collected Plays of Gary Beck Volume II and Four Plays by Moliere translated then directed by Gary Beck (Cyberwit Publishing. Forthcoming: Collected Plays of Gary Beck Volume III). Gary lives in New York City.
 
 
 

Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Liberty in Ashes excerpt Poems from Double Envelopment Collected Poems by Gary Beck

Liberty in Ashes

So many want to be president.
So few know that it should be
the protector of the people,
guarding them from oppression.
Instead, these wannabe servants
eager for indenture
to the capitalist masters
who have established control
of the future of America
having successfully removed
the stout-hearted blue collar class,
the only group determined enough
to resist the blatant tyranny
of voracious oligarchs,
refusing to give a fair share
to the people who toil for them
while they consume the fruits of the earth.


Growth Spurt

The march of civilization
has improved life for many,
who live longer, healthier,
with luxuries unimagined
a few hundred years ago.
As we evolved
from family, to clan, to tribe,
then made the great leap
to nation states
we devoured the resources
of a bountiful earth,
until we are poised
to destroy the world
in extravagant consumption.


High Crime II

The prison industry,
the most unproductive industry
in this ailing nation
currently incarcerates
more then a million men,
a lot of women,
more than the population
of some small countries.
The system employs
guards, cooks, teachers,
psychologists, doctors,
the list goes on,
all to maintain
adjudicated criminals,
innocent or guilty,
custodians or confined
another pustulant body
in diseased America.

Similar or …

New Year’s Eve 1968,
a terrible year for Vietnamese,
while only some Americans
lost loved ones,
as the nation consumed
vast amounts of treasure
that the oligarchs believed
would be wasted on the people.
Despite growing inequality
most of us didn’t notice,
unless our sons were killed
in distant jungles.
We still didn’t realize
that the lords of profit
were abandoning our factories,
eliminating blue collar workers,
the last group to defy the bosses.
Yet I seem to remember
it was a good year for Haut Brion.

New Year’s Eve 2018,

the revelers no longer hulk
in one congested mass
jammed crammed together,
thousands drunk, stoned,
muggers, pickpockets, hoodlums
visiting their neighbors,
who still had a great time.
Now people stand
in isolated groups,
regimented in the Age of Terror.
But despite the lack of drink, drugs,
they still have a good time.


Beset

A semblance of normality
pervades the land,
even for the disadvantaged
struggling as usual
to make ends meet,
feed, shelter, clothe
their needy children,
who will never understand
why they can’t have
the same things
as everyone else. 

‘Double Envelopment’ is an unpublished poetry collection in response to harsh conditions affecting many of our people, who only want a better future for their children.

Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director and worked as an art dealer when he couldn’t earn a living in the theater. He has also been a tennis pro, a ditch digger and a salvage diver. 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 and his published books include 3 poetry collections, 14 novels, 3 short story collections, 1 collection of essays and 5 books of plays. Published poetry books include: Dawn in Cities, Assault on Nature, Songs of a Clerk, Civilized Ways, Displays, Perceptions, Fault Lines, Tremors, Perturbations, Rude Awakenings, The Remission of Order, Contusions, Desperate Seeker and Learning Curve (Winter Goose Publishing). Earth Links, Too Harsh For Pastels, Severance, Redemption Value, Fractional Disorder, Disruptions, Ignition Point, Resonance and Turbulence (Cyberwit Publishing. Forthcoming: Double Envelopment). Motifs (Adelaide Books). His novels include Extreme Change (Winter Goose Publishing). State of Rage, Wavelength, Protective Agency, Obsess, Flawed Connections and Still Obsessed (Cyberwit Publishing. Forthcoming: Call to Valor). His short story collections include: A Glimpse of Youth (Sweatshoppe Publications). Now I Accuse and other stories (Winter Goose Publishing). Dogs Don’t Send Flowers and other stories (Wordcatcher Publishing). Collected Essays of Gary Beck (Cyberwit Publishing). The Big Match and other one act plays (Wordcatcher Publishing). Collected Plays of Gary Beck Volume 1 and Plays of Aristophanes translated, then directed by Gary Beck, Collected Plays of Gary Beck Volume II and Four Plays by Moliere translated then directed by Gary Beck (Cyberwit Publishing. Forthcoming: Collected Plays of Gary Beck Volume III). Gary lives in New York City.
 
 
 

Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

MOURNING DAD & Poems by Strider Marcus Jones

MOURNING DAD

he is decomposed
from a bramble rose
now-
his thorns
of storms
drow,
foetal curled
in the underworld
faerie peat without plough.

is it fun
with all those comical
musical
jacketed jesters-
or primplum
suitedrun
by posh ancestors-
doing the same this and that
to keep your spirit level flat
with docile protestors
wired to silicon investors.

i bought this new fedora hat
in whitewashed Mijas
to be my own brown
Romany
see as-
let them face their ignominy
when i wear it here in town-
like an un-shoed horse
from the roadgorse
prancing right
through their moral less light
brim slanted defiantly down
eyes outsider brown.

is it no Left or Right there.
do you have your chair
to sit in.
can you smoke your pipe
gathering stars in its clouds at night
thinking thoughts in nothing.
do you still use words
to help wingless birds
or is it silent
to the violent
fermenting fear
when the truth comes near
just like here.

 
THROUGH TALL WINDOWS

 
in late afternoon meadows

low light sketched your shadows

in Mucha pose

while I watched

through tall windows.


opening doors

footsteps on floors

all the clocks

in the house stopped

in the sundial

of your smile-

 
then prying phones

became postponed

and dissolved the blocks

of being drones

in dosed

apartments

opening closed

compartments.

 
more Bogart and Bacall

in Key Largo,

or The Poet by Vettriano-

in the hall,

we took Hopper’s painting off the wall

with its stark stress

heart of darkness.

 
Us

 
we are composed

out of the fate of stars

a light dark light so old

and tuned that regards

most of Us as Other

peasants

who are clothed

without privileged presents

to burn wood in cracked stoves

under crumbling cover.

stitched to Their time

we entwine

in our own interpretation

of this spinning station.

only burlesque bright skies

and the iris flowers of abandoned eyes

can change the fixed views

of a selfish landscape

into united hues

of equal state.

our reality is broken-

we are the hosts

and ghosts

who have been stolen

the violated tokens

of corporatist totems

screen greed being traded

and invaded

then beaten for protesting by police

working for the Thief.


BABYLON'S BOHEMIAN BOUQUET


i like the way
some words you say
go against gravity
and linger in the air
when you've gone.
sad or fair,
they blow away
this dungeons dark oblivion,
and water me with wisdom
like a soft shawl
with scents and sounds
that i wrap around
my senses come what may-
you give it all,
and love abounds
in Babylon's bohemian bouquet.
like butterflies
in druid grey skies,
the fragility
of eternity
ripples with uncertainty,
but doesn't woo, then waver in your eyes.
it's steady gaze
seduces praise,
then fondles and savours
loves succulent flavours,
like innocent alibis.

Strider Marcus Jones – is a poet, law graduate and former civil servant from Salford, England with proud Celtic roots in Ireland and Wales. A member of The Poetry Society, his five published books of poetry https://stridermarcusjonespoetry.wordpress.com/ reveal a maverick, moving between cities, playing his saxophone in smoky rooms. He is also the founder, editor and publisher of Lothlorien Poetry Journal https://lothlorienpoetryjournal.blogspot.com/

His poetry has been published in the USA, Canada, Australia, England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, France, Spain, Germany; Serbia; India and Switzerland in numerous publications including: Dreich Magazine; The Racket Journal; Trouvaille Review; dyst Literary Journal; A New Ulster; Impspired Magazine; Literary Yard Journal; Piker Press; oppy Road Review; Cajun Mutt Press; Rusty Truck Magazine; Rye Whiskey Review; Deep Water Literary Journal; The Huffington Post USA; The Stray Branch Literary Magazine; Crack The Spine Literary Magazine; The Lampeter Review; Panoplyzine Poetry Magazine; Dissident Voice.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

3 Sonnets: Mrs. Alving Contemplates Her Nipples, Like Epictetus on Mushrooms, Another Ha Ha Chuckle for the Blessing of Rest by RW Haynes

Mrs. Alving Contemplates Her Nipples

Hedonism governs men, or simple greed
Deludes them always, so these masculine minds
Delight in lies that their convenience finds
So that for them there’s nothing true indeed.
If the lies are just nature’s just excretions,
Or by-products of heated oxidation,
I see their value as no more than negation
A healthy memory turns into deletions.
Lusty dudes, braggarts, loud buffoons,
Imploring forgiveness, tender sacrifice,
Though only my surrender will suffice,
I scorn your swaggering, you groveling baboons.
“Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!” These babies cry.
My nipples are mine now. Big babies, good-bye.

Like Epictetus on Mushrooms 

If Fortune turns its face toward the sun 
Whose light takes eight minutes to arrive, 
Then I put aside impatience to revive 
Fortitude in hope when day is done 
My sputtering candle may be noted then 
For what it’s worth, although its little light 
Took sixty years of travel through the night 
To let its fitful illumination begin. 
Duty is useless if no mark is made, 
And if the light should vanish, be unseen, 
As the Spartan said, I’ll fight then in the shade, 
Divested of incumbrance, darkly serene. 
Take your insincere sympathies, then, 
And stick them all elsewhere, all the way in. 

Another Ha Ha Chuckle for the Blessing of Rest

She thought light would leak on all
True dilemmas, personal honor, life or limb,
What to cook, what to hide from him,
And when she saw some ominous shadow fall
She knew to relish inevitability
Like an old stone statue staring in a tomb,
Silently satisfied in that silent room,
Mutely assimilating shadows she could see.
“My poetry will get you,” she wanted to smile,
“My syllabic dynamite, my shapely lines
Of harmony, tangled like wise vines,
Must stack all being in an elegant pile.
But you, O Diogenes, what you are after
Provokes no more than a brief fit of laughter.” 

R. W. Haynes, Professor of English at Texas A&M International University, has published poetry in many journals in the United States and in other countries. As an academic scholar, he specializes in British Renaissance literature, and he has also taught extensively in such areas as medieval thought, Southern literature, classical poetry, and writing. Since 1992, he has offered regular graduate and undergraduate courses in Shakespeare, as well as seminars in Ibsen, Chaucer, Spenser, rhetoric, and other topics. In 2004, Haynes met Texas playwright/screenwriter Horton Foote and has since become a leading scholar of that author’s remarkable oeuvre, publishing a book on Foote’s plays in 2010 and editing a collection of essays on his works in 2016. Haynes also writes plays and fiction. In 2016, he received the SCMLA Poetry Award ($500) at the South Central Modern Language Association Conference In 2019, two collections of his poetry were published, Laredo Light (Cyberwit) and Let the Whales Escape (Finishing Line Press).

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Ode to Olivia. A Poem By Jack D. Harvey

       Ode to Olivia

Oh, Olivia, during
what disingenuous dialogue,
getting closer and closer,
you told me
in that bar by the seashore
"pretty good-time girl
comes once, comes often,"
eyelashes shyly lowered,
thick and lustrous,
lowered time and again
to hide the hard eyes
I knew were there.

I was surprised by
your interest;
vital with intent,
your lithe body
tilted towards me,
white teeth showing
in a smile, breasts
firm and unfettered
in your summer blouse.

Delirious with your fancy magic
I nearly fell off the bar stool,
fell like a fairy-tale frog
clear down to the bottom
of the mossy well, my member
swelling in your favor,
transported to
to your body's joyful openings,
anticipating
hot and wet,
those ports of entry,
those sweet breasts,
that sweet tongue
flicking between your lips;
promises of things to come.

O ye spermy nights of the gods!

The rune on our canoe's tail
says "enter here, ye of little haste"
and willows brush our arms
as we paddle down the river
of ardor and fulfillment
and coming together and
whatever else
we can muster up
from a time of dreams,
from the manna
of this earthly paradise.

Olivia, you were brown as a nut
from a summer of sun;
a glamorous summer goddess
there for the taking and still
it came to nothing.
A change of heart,
a parting glance,
and off you went.

Your naked this I never saw,
your curly that I never pawed;
alone in the majestic garden
of self I sit stiff and cold
as a block of ice;
a lonesome soldier in a sentry box
waiting for the gate to open;
it never does.

Olivia, you left me
as you found me
and just as well
for the both of us.
There we were
in that bar,
and there we are forever,
enshrined, inscribed
like Keats’ Grecian urn,
graceful outlines,
a frieze of some long past event,
at rest in that luminous
wasted moment forever;
no future, no past,
no time at all and
what never happened,
what is not there
just as real
as what is there.

Jack D. Harvey’s poetry has appeared in Scrivener, The Comstock Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Typishly Literary Magazine, The Antioch Review, The Piedmont Poetry Journal and elsewhere. The author has been a Pushcart nominee and over the years has been published in a few anthologies.

The author has been writing poetry since he was sixteen and lives in a small town near Albany, New York. He is retired from doing whatever he was doing before he retired.

His book, Mark the Dwarf is available on Kindle. https://www.amazon.com/Mark Dwarf Jack D Harvey ebook

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Life. A Poem by Amita Sanghavi

Life:

The tear,

The sigh,

The twinkle in the eye.

The whisper,

The wrinkle,

The silent, true story

You and I survive.

Amita Sanghavi writes poetry, teaches at university and loves to visit art galleries and museums.She teaches English at Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat Oman. An is MA from Lancaster University, UK, she is pronounced Ambassador of Poetry to Oman by World Poetry, Canada and Representative of Immages&Poetry Art Movement, Italy and Affilate Researcher at CELCE University of Leeds, UK.

Her poetry book “Lavender Memories” and two edited poetry anthologies were published in 2018, 2020 and 2021 respectively. Her latest book s ‘Astad Deboo: Poetry in Dance’

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

VERISIMILITUDE. 5 Poems by Askold Skalsky

KEYS IN A ROW  
 
Perhaps someone
will play a melancholy
keyboard piece as I am
leaving, and, stopping
to listen, I’ll have a vision
of what is to come if I
linger, if I walk up
to the player, wait,
then ask some pertinent
question with an eager
mien, the seconds gone
when I would have been
outdoors in the clear,
the moment interrupted
with a careless insufficiency,
the scattered patterns
of my life converging
into a broken string,
a clappered wheel
on which the hours
tick and dance to
their inoperable end
 
***
 
to be released from a long
slow slough, much of it
impenetrable like the circle
of a dream manifest as reality,
frightful and avoidable,
a bag in a corridor laced
with shadows and squalor,
which the mere eye of me
is afraid to undo
 
***
 
moving through
the veins, a fire-
ball with dim
obbligatos and
dark copper
bangs, like old
radiator pipes
when the steam
hammers at high
velocity into their
joints, warming
the room and
almost waking
the sleeper from
his sleep
 
***
 
here in this morning’s morning
self-forgotten sullen twang
comes a star gilded and silver,
climbing still like the pine
branches tipped with needle-
frantic green, yes, caught
like a tiny chip on the great
waist of some spectre surface
emerging into the dissolving dark.  
 
LANDSCAPE IN FALLEN LIGHT, WITH CHILDREN
 
Just an unimportant place,
radiant and ordinary,
deserving the utmost scriptory,
with golden quags
up to the knees,
the sun blotting the lough
like streaks of silver haze
settling in a quay.
No need for a raveled sky
of quizzical significance,
the wrangling heads
foundering in the streets,
questing the unending sop
of memory and imprecation
to put life into the big words,
immiserating the ivory dungeon,
as one antinomian calls it,
reduced to bah, to babbling ooze,
slightly ecstatic now and then,
what is preserved
when meaning is deflated,
page after page, of invisibility,
of pity for hope lost
in hell’s sunken bolgias,
or the faces strapped
to the skullbones
of the starving young. 
 
 NOW THEN, THE OPEN EYE  
 
August’s close
but I already feel
the solitary cold,
a sleepless place
and zero of the night,
like an infinitive
without an end
and half reluctant
to begin. But solitude
is just a postlude
to the now where all
the wrongs set in,
a moment’s atom
out of kilter,
out of being true,
where finally the heart
may intermit its beat
with careless equanimity
or grave abandonment
like a nimbus
with its watery crystals
of deep ice,
washing the sorrows
from your face,
from all the lineaments
of being you.
 
 
VERISIMILITUDE
 
                   After a passage from a novel by Virginia Woolf
 
Somewhere in the middle
I recall a brewer’s cart
and the genial narrator
describing the gray horses 
that had upright bristles
of straw stuck in their tails
like sprouting plumes
above the small brown daisies
peeping from their haunches’ clefts.
And a woman, seeing
this slipstream brook
of burblings through her mind,
immediately brightens,
and sorrow drops away
like a feathered colander
sifting the prismatic richness
of her life, kindling with equine
pleasure an infinite hubble-bubble
of mysterious commotion
out of the  pernicious flurries
of gone time, a lollop on horsetail
streams with straw-thatched coronets,
whimsical and vagulous,
like sea-green sprites,
bedraggled by happiness
and blessed with silly dreams.
 
PROBLEM, SOLUTION, ETC.
 
Her academic pedigree
was impressive--Swarthmore,
Columbia and the Sorbonne.
But toward her hundredth year
she confronted her biggest source
of perplexity and vexation,
the state of being weary
and restless through lack of interest,
and began her day
with crossword puzzles,
then the game shows on TV.
Did she return to these
as the day continued to impair
itself by attrition?
Ramakrishna used to rebuke
card-playing oldsters—
Had they nothing better to do
on the verge of their greatest change
of outward form or appearance?
Are crosswords any better?
Should Kurtz have done puzzles
in the dark,  filling words into a pattern
of numbered squares in answer
to correspondingly numbered clues
to prevent facing the abyss
before him, the memories in him?
What is a six-letter word
for a painful emotion
compounded of loathing and fear?

Bio: Originally from Ukraine, Askold Skalsky has published poems in over 300 online and print periodicals in the United States, Canada, England, Ireland, mainland Europe, Turkey, Australia, and India. He is the recipient of two Individual Artist Awards in Poetry from the Maryland State Arts Council, and is the founding editor of the literary magazine Hedge Apple. A first book of poems, The Ponies of Chuang Tzu, was published in 2011 by Horizon Tracts in New York City. He is currently at work on several poetry projects, including a poetry cycle based on Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons. A book of poetry, Shapeless Works of Partial Contemplation, is due to be published by Ephemeral Arts Press in November.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

The Inventory Poems by John Okey

Steps

These days,
sequential in their order,
random in their events.

Yet,
I am supposed to come through
	every 24 hours
With some sort of understanding,
a plan for the next day,
and the same every day after.

What am I supposed to do?
Control the guessing…
	Suppress the panic…
It’d be more human
	to be a lab rat
or a lamb
	in a Chicago slaughterhouse.

I am stupid with my intelligence.
I sequence,
Collate,
Numerate,
Alphabetize,
Chronicle,
Dewey Decimal, 
Periodic Table,
even square root…

All fucking useless.
More importantly,
it all misses the fucking point.

Inventory

I am the poet,
a disaster in stanza,
the upside-down verse,
enjoying one good mistake
	after the next.
Turn in each ugly line 
sloppier than the last.

The pen is a weak sword
	against suicidal woes.
I scribble nothings across
	scraps of paper.
Really anything I can get
	my hands on,
then lose before I get home.

My attempts at bringing
	the dark side to the outside.

Double-Checking the Inventory

No shine.
No polish.
No pretense.

I am dirty and unkempt.
I from when I should smile.
I am a disaster in every
	human way.

Lacking popular respectability,
I revel in my ill-repute.

My style is blue jeans and t-shirts.
My attitude is to smirk
	with a hint of alcohol.

I am the question mark
and the exclamation point.
The means without an end.

Final Inventory

As a sane man,
I am a catastrophe.
As an insane man,
I have it rather tied together.

Bio
Okey is a forty-four-year-old bakery employee. He has written poetry since he was a teenager. It was during the pandemic that he finally decided to publish his work. A novel, This Here Night Life…, and a poetry collection, Back to Masturbating Monkeys and God’s Plan, are available on Amazon. These poems are reprints from his poetry collection.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)