#33

Joseph Goosey
BIT BY THE ANT

I have decided to begin
drinking,
tambien.
I view the geese
mobbing
other
geese.
And here
are the
girls
in
pink.

 

BEARS WITHOUT HONEY

And now at 7am yer eyes are closed
dreaming of bears without honey.
I am frightened and
stoned by noon time
for the sake of the vain.
The learned talent of the raccoon is enough.
The freedom we are allotted that allows
for us to drink with longstanding friends
and pass out by sun-down,
it should be
enough.
No more of this- I thought-as I scratched my
scalp and reached for my heart- quit
palpitating- I say-quit or it’s curtains
for your ass.
I receive no response, in volume
or in action. Perhaps bronchitis,
perhaps manic depression, some
sort of fall back some excuse but
how?
When is the museum free?
Where will the tree grow?
Who counted the coins?

 

 

the poet Spiel
no curbing

hoping for a solid curb to set your feet on
as you swing your uncertain thighs
toward unfamiliar odds
you need something rock hard
not like the fevered scripts you’ve writ then unraveled
thinking/wishing you knew exactly what this will be like
maybe uhh maybe not

maybe the little shits down the road will stare as you arrive
sense that you are up to something
get their moms whispering about you because
your license plates are from a faraway town
maybe an old yellow dog will greet you
sniff you in a too familiar way like family
bring you to your senses and make you wonder why
you made such a big deal out of choosing which shirt to wear
the peach and pink tie dye the denim the dead
a dirt driveway will be sound enough
once you turn off your key
release your seat belt
step on it
yeah dirt’ll have to do

but what if his veins roll as you make the poke
he won’t resist
will he

best pull over at qwikstop along the way
pick up a bottle of aquafina to keep you hydrated
caffeinate your brain with a jumbo hershey
start smoking again if you need to
you used to love the rush of menthols
you’ve got a damn serious hump to mount

ok write it like this ok there’s no curbing
his driveway doesn’t amount to much dirt no might be mud
ok it might be mud you stuff your histories and the I V bag
beneath your arm swing your thighs confidently to the left
as an old yellow dog dawdles toward you sniffs you
blood rushes your jugular your face is the color of your shirt
before you washed it the first time
to hell with all the scripts you’ve written
you are here you can’t feel your knees
ok so you fuddle it and you drop your equipment
as you stoop to separate it from the mud
you realize a tall gaunt man hovers like a question mark
says yer just in time
this is not the first time you’ve heard his voice
but as for this first sighting of the depth of his eyes
well…

the old yellow dog breathes the man’s crotch
then yours slowly draws the two of you through the mud
to the front door of the guy’s house

where the heavy knuckle of his right thumb presses hard
against the bone of your left hip as you poke around
and attempt to prick his vein where you find tough scar tissue
from previous pricks so you must pry again squeeze diligently
to locate viable flesh he is receptive says he is:
grateful you have come
sorry you had to drive from so far away just for this

you are aware that he notices your blush
he opens like a baby robin begs a worm.

ohh those hands calluses like the steel ribs on the dam
at rusk reservoir where you used to go to make your peace
and palms big as scoop shovels
big enough to support your buns
big enough to make you glad you ventured out on mud
big enough to carry you all the way home
all the way home all the way home
big enough to carry you all the way home

you droop the I V hose and bag from the tall wrought iron
lampstand behind his comfort chair
release the hose clamp as you disappear into his arm

but you won’t be staying long

 

 

David LaBounty
Sunday, America

America,
this is
America,
I am
America
as I jog
these leafy streets,
my gut jiggling
old pizza and beer
despite the
miles and sweat
and these Royal Oak
streets are any
suburban American streets,
a landscape of
churches and subdivisions
of
crucifixes and slaughter.

I jog,

while just
like their masters
fat dogs
bark at me
from behind
customized
landscaping and
chainlink fences.

 

 

Chris Stanifer
…til bud births bloom

too far removed
from vertical
the thin stalk
strains to offer
its flowers
to the sun.

bending under
its own weight
in danger of
snapping alltogether
it reaches undaunted
toward the heavens.

thin roots
clutching rock
and loam
hold tight against
an impossible burden
til bud births bloom.

too far removed
from vertical
I pray my own roots
are deep enough
and strong enough
to keep me from breaking.

 

 

Charles P. Ries
NEAR OCCASIONS OF SIN
By: Louis McKee
Cynic Press
Post Office Box 40691
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Price: $8.00
44 Poems / 79 pages
ISBN: 0-9673401-6-0

Louis McKee exemplifies the ‘philosopher poet’. From the title of his latest collection of poetry, Near Occasions of Sin, to the content of his poetry we see a writer who is not just good with word, or good with image, or selective about the moments in time he chooses to inspect, but a poet who capably uses his well-honed skill with word, image and observation, all elevated by his philosopher’s mind. McKee’s yearning observations are rich and textured. He is nimble in his insights, and wise in his conclusions. I felt I was not only being entertained, but learning. I was growing larger because of his clarity and counsel. It is not surprising that McKee has led an examined life as suggested in his poem, “After The Sixth Visit”: “That’s that one / when you lie / back and say no- / thing, everything / having been said / at least five times / already, and she / says well, what / are you thinking / right now? And you / tell her that / you’re thinking you / want to fuck her / and she says why / do you think that / is? but it is / too late, time is / gone, fifty minute / hours, seventy / dollars, and you / know when you leave / that you won’t be / back, you are better / then you have / any right to expect.”

McKee is a man who wants love, who loves love; a man who adores women but has had more then his share of challenges getting them, keeping them, and loving them. He, like all lovers (and writers), is a work in progress. This is illustrated in his poem, “Failed Haiku”: “This evening I took a moment / to indulge a fantasy – you, / walking naked along a Jersey beach, / the sunlight on your lovely ass. / An ancient Japanese master / could work miracles with as much. / I am content with this.” And again from his poem, “The Reason I Write”: “I like to think she gets naked / and looks at herself in the full-length mirror; / as she does, and with a smile, slips /into soft bliss of soapy comfort, / the almost-too-hot water uncomfortable / for just a moment but then just right. / With her wondrous hair pulled up, / she uses it as a pillow, pours a glass / of wine, then picks up a book of poems. / This is the reason they were written. / The rest of you, get your muses where you can. / I write for this woman, naked in a hot bath / under a modesty of bubbles. This is our / moment. Our poem. You find your own.”

As I read this, McKee’s thirteenth collection of poetry, I could not help but think of the late great small press poet Albert Huffstickler (who passed away in 2002) who, like McKee, had the ability to yearn and observe so purposefully. When I read poets of McKee’s or Huffstickler’s emotional depth, I wish they wrote novels. I wish these short, rich, textured scenes and their meaning could be extended 300 more pages. Many poets write well, but few poets give us work as rich and profoundly meaningful as Louis McKee.

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: