Marie. A Poem by Jack D. Harvey

         Marie

Oh Marie, you are
an aging wreck;
your dangling dugs,
your languid wrinkled Miss Muffet
won't bring the milkman early;
dirty and smelly
slattern of the month, 
the epitome of
everybody's discarded laundry.

Lapses in motor function
mental focus 
get you to the streetcar  
late every day
and late to work;
booted out
sooner or later
when you get home
what will he say?

What a burden
for our pity and revulsion;
you're frightening
in your squalor.

Night and day
a dead soul
an endless round 
of apathy and despair,
what kind of life is that?

That's what we think.

But some rare times,
God knows why
somehow roused,
triumphant 
between the bed posts
like a shaky marionette 
you rise and fall
to the challenge
of bleary marital bliss;
for those few moments 
assertive queen, 
sweating with your
hirsute timorous king
dismantling him,
cannibalizing him,
you burst forth new-made,
king and queen together,
amorous two-backed beast 
before your reign fades away
in the glimmer of tomorrow 
and you come apart,
Priapic darling,
again become 
what you were.

Alas, Marie, time's more
than a placeholder;
eater, destroyer
changing Nineveh 
and all of us to dust;
false fellow traveler
rubbing us out
of our space and place
before we know it. 

Jack D. Harvey’s poetry has appeared in Scrivener, The Comstock Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Poetry Life & Times, 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 the Dwarf Jack D.Harvey Ebook

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)

OLD CHORISTERS & MY WAR WITH ROACHES. Poems by EM Schorb

OLD CHORISTERS

Singers                                                                 Look

of our generation                                                 from

are turning up                                                      a high bridge,

dead. A serial                                                       as highway god,

killer                                                                     he drops

is injecting                                                            stones on old bones!

them                                                                     Even the sap

with corona                                                          of trees is worried

plus cancer                                                          up the trunk

heart disease                                                        as the killer

and stroke                                                            waits

This police                                                           for an autumnal

silhouette                                                             weariness of

of the killer                                                           leaves.

isn’t made                                                             I am

of his head                                                            Time’s agent

and shoulders,                                                      his tool

but of his                                                              he brags.

twisted mind,                                                       Singers

made                                                                     of our generation

of a brain                                                              think that this

to answer                                                              is a serial crime,

for his crimes                                                       but have

of torture                                                              no choice

perpetrated                                                           but to

on so many                                                           become ringers

choristers.                                                             and to pull

With a rough                                                        the ropes

cat-tongue                                                            and toll

he licked flesh                                                      the bell.

from bones

and made

the others

mercy-kill

to make

amends.

 

MY WAR WITH ROACHES

                            Pitt Street, Lower East Side

 

I looked into a half-filled beer bottle

left opened and standing out,

saw six dead roaches floating atop the stale, flat beer.

I was disappointed.

I could have drunk the stuff.

I had no aversion to warm, stale, flat beer,

and had learned to put a head on it

by dropping an Alka-Seltzer tablet into it.

But I wasn’t about to drink beer that had

six dead roaches floating in it,

bodies like boats and legs like oars raised up,

so aimlessly.

The place was filthy.

I needed order!

 

I went out, bought roach spray,

sprayed the walls, up and down,

back and forth, until billowing clouds

of poison were closing on me from every corner.

It was bitter cold out, but I knocked the

cardboard out of the windows

and let the fresh frosty air suck the poison

out from under my nose.

I blocked the windows again.

I surveyed the carnage.

Roaches of all sizes and shapes were swarming

over the walls, dropping from the cracked ceiling

with small, ticking sounds and

rocking on their curled, chitinous backs,

flicking, flailing, their feelers drooping.

 

The kitchen gas range was a stronghold,

a fortress of greasy grooves and baked-in crevices.

I lit the oven and watched until the top

of the stove glowed red.

Out they came by the swarming hundreds,

feet burned away, feelers melting

into kinky hairs. They ran over the stove

in desperation, panic, trying to find places

where they could put their feet.

Expectant mothers, their eggs in chitinous cases

at their rear ends, struggled with their hindmost legs,

as with an instinct to save their offspring,

to force or kick the cases loose.

Some had their cases dangling

by only one side when they leaped

from the top of the stove.

As they landed on the floor and tried to crawl,

with their burnt feet, their dragging, kinked feelers,

with their wings askew, and their dangling,

thread-hanging egg cases, I sprayed them madly

then trampled, kicked, jumped up and down on them,

only wanting them dead.

I saw a fat, hideous albino roach,

already like the pale ghost of its dead self,

leap from the stove.

I squashed it underfoot and swore

I could hear its white shell crack and

spray the pale muck of its insides out: squish!

When I lifted my shoe it dragged itself,

like animated pus, into a heap of glittering

brownish bodies. Thousands of crooked legs

moved sluggishly—then, here and there,

with sudden convulsive speed—

over the place where the ghost had gone.

 

On the wall was a wooden plaque

that held sets of false teeth, an exhibit,

sold by a dental supply firm to dentists.

It belonged to an artist friend who was to use it

for some arcane artistic purpose

but who had forgetfully left it here.

I grabbed the plaque from the wall

and mashed it down atop this horrible mass

of half life. Then I jumped on it, up and down,

not distinguishing the sound of the breaking teeth

from the sound of roaches snapping on the stove

like popcorn. When I looked down

there were rolling and bouncing human teeth

among the slimy dead and still crawling.

Sakyamuni says they will live again.

Needed: Sneaky Pete, pot, peyote.

 

 

Schorb’s work has appeared in Agenda (UK), The American Scholar, The Carolina Quarterly, The Hudson Review, The Southern Review, Stand (UK), The Sewanee Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, The North American Review, Poetry Salzburg Review (AU), The Yale Review, and Oxford Poetry (UK), among others.

His collection, Murderer’s Day, was awarded the Verna Emery Poetry Prize and published by Purdue University Press, and a subsequent collection, Time and Fevers, was the recipient of the Writer’s Digest International Self-Published Award for Poetry and also an Eric Hoffer Award.

Most recently, his novel R&R a Sex Comedy was awarded the Beverly Hills Book Award for Humor.

 

 

 

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)