Lyn Lifshin

he has a marvellous
engine inside him,
like a Rolls Royce.
He’s a mixture of
a tartar, a faun and
a kind of lost urchin.
In his final years
he insisted on literally,
excruciatingly, dying
before our eyes,
giving performances
so ragged and inept
audiences whistled ,
demanded refunds.
He was ill, but the
stage was his only
real home. So he
stayed there


John Rocco

Mets Game

I couldn’t be more guilty
with the 7 train cutting Corona sky
the Crown cut the train hovering
on its beat to dying Shea
the skeleton next door growing
spreading infiltrating becoming.
The train cuts through Queens space
each new building we look down upon
sky held up
each new building a new
covered palimpsests
bubble letters oceans of self
the walls bleeding colors
the train moves to show
Queens movie
each expanse of space
a new frame of it
the buildings are messages
of themselves screaming stories
to everybody in the world.
Can’t hear you the screaming
is too beautiful.

The Mets lose to the Braves,
My friends are thrown out
of the stadium for screaming
at the Braves left fielder.



David McLean

the lure that misconstructs us
is what they call love
dressing itself in convention
and death.

it is not the meat that tingles
meanings, thin oblivion
it is – dead symbols
falling asleep

or a television that dreams,
a father in dead heaven
who sleeps



Charles P. Ries
By: Ralph Murre
Cross+Roads Press
P.O. Box 33
Ellison Bay, WI 54210
Price: $10.00 / 72 pages / 50 Poems
ISBN 1-889460-18-4

It always surprises me when I read a new book of poetry by a writer I’ve read and enjoyed in various journals and discover it is their first book. “How could this be?” I wonder when the writer has such talent. “Crude Red Boat” by Ralph Murre is published by the venerated Norb Blei’s Cross + Roads Press. It is a wonderful coming out party for a writer who began to write poetry just a few years ago. Murre uses plain spoken language in this collection of fifty-three poems, and the subjects of his musings are also common as noted by a few of the titles from this collection, “Rock”, “ My Room”, “Gust”, and “Neighbor”. These poems are so immediate they made me feel like I was sitting across the table from Ralph having coffee. Indeed, he is the coffee counter philosopher in “A Good Reed”: “we are those of us who survive / slender reed / bending with each passing wave / changing with the tide yet unchanged / as the ocean is unchanged / by each reed on it shore”. And again, in “Running Things”: “Another year / Another chance to get it right / To do the things I shoulda done / Tear down that fence I built / Quite the party / Let running things run”. These poems are fresh and honest – a wonderful first book of poetry.



By: Peter Schwartz
P.O. Box 767
Augusta, M E 04332
Price: $4.50 / 19 pages / 1 Poem

Peter Schwartz walks the line between ethereal image and the everyday about as well as any poet writing in the small press. His new book, “ My Novena” is a single poem that covers nine days in nineteen pages. The word novena is from the Latin word novem meaning nine. It is a process of hopeful mourning, of yearning and prayer which if conducted over nine consecutive days promises special graces. Schwartz embarks on his reflection and on day one notes that, “I swim without / meaning as my memory / tunes itself to the tides / becoming the net / it always was”. And on day five: he comes into his own with the realization “to domesticate the distance / to acquaint flyspecks / with the celestial / because intimacy’s / its own habitat / a pleasant anarchy / seldom discussed”. Schwartz’s considerable talent at colliding the eloquent and common greatly elevated my experience with his reflections. “ My Novena” no longer became just his prayer, but mine as well when on day four he notes, “I waver / from being somebody to nobody /so many time within the space / of a single hour that I really am / that person in between / the intermediate / the delegate / the agent and broker / to a condition / that can perhaps / be best summed up / as heartbroken”. This is a very talented writer.

2 thoughts on “#32

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: