Several years after the break
we stood together near the house
early on a summer evening
as the sun slid into western skies.
There we reflected on past years,
expressed mutual remorse
(at first so tentatively)
because the wounds had been healed.
Searching the wreckage of it all,
we salvaged enough to move onward
along separate but often parallel paths.
Thousands of miles behind me,
tens of thousands awaiting me,
we started the process of becoming
the people we were intended to be
even though the horizon was hazy.
Times and places slip away
softly and inexorably from us.
At times several chords on an acoustic
bring back walking over hills
or a sprawling campus.
For fleeting moments we are again
as we were but did not remain.
Far better to be who we have become,
to realize that it was better because
we stood together near the house
early on a summer evening
as the sun slid into western skies.
Precession of the Equinox: Polaris Shifts
Slightly tending westward, gradually
the lodestar yields to its successor
as a new Astrological Age begins.
A residual memory, following me
from the Planetarium in Junior High.
Polaris’ replacement will then
give direction to new future stargazers.
One of the last young people to escape
from Kensington’s web of snarling streets
and elevated train lines, you seized your chance.
You became our Polaris, colorful in action
and attire, caring and cajoling, steadying
us to be the people you knew we could become.
Across the county or continent, we returned
and you greeted us, gloried in those returns.
As colleagues we spoke when storms neared,
and I kept your counsel in sight toward calm waters.
Now I know you began your precession,
stepping aside, though not then out of view.
Some of us search for you, exchanging pieces
that do not always fit together.
Second-hand accounts, some leading closer,
others in contradiction, point to a lodestar
that no longer shines in our heavens.
Every so often I scan the spreading stars
for our Polaris, until comes the realization
we are now lodestars for ourselves,
for stargazers we need to steady, for those
who receive the light as we did once
while scanning skies for our Polaris.
Kite flying in an arctic gale.
The Moon is a Hoax.
Truth a Trope.
A mistake dangling
Out of God’s nostril.
(here’s a whisper from the Buddha)
Fuck The Man
For He Is Wise
In Giving His Cash
To Sleeping Artists.
POWER CORRUPTS, OR IS IT THE
STRENGTH OF ONE TRILLION SUNS
AND LETTERS TO THE INSANE
YOU CAN’T CALL IT CANDY
OR ROSES FOR THE QUEEN MOTHER
IT’S SIMPLY THE SCENE YOU PAINTED
LIKE TEMPRA PILLBOX SUNSET SPEARS
USE THE PAWNS LIKE PICKETS ON A FENCE
KEEP THEIR EYES WIDE OPEN AND LEARN THEIR NAMES
LAMBS WHO EAT IVY SURELY WILL DIE
BUT ONLY AFTER A SECOND TRY
IT IS HUMAN NATURE, THIS WILL IN BATTLE
THEY SHOUT FROM ONE MILLION ANGRY THROATS
AND POINT TOWARD THE ARMOR SHIMMERS
WHISPERING JEALOUS POEMS
TO ARMS ALONE
WHO NEEDS AN ARMY?
THE UNISON SOUND BREAKS QUIETLY
TOWARDS THE FRONTIERS OF DELUSION
THERE WAS NO BATTLE
THERE IS NO FOE
YOU TASTE BLOOD BECAUSE
YOU BIT YOUR LIP
Chimera Bombinians In Vacuo
Wring my wait
Standing pandering fool
A wrung Chimera aside.
Or a mountain of blue un re-totemstone
Blue luster cast bleeding
Cracked grey lids for seeing
Lips in favored breathing night…night
Here’s a callous rubberstone
Bouncing, prancing, chewedly bone
Glissading dogmouth kites
“ Ah, Youth! You glide like God-Dog water.!”
(I’ve watched from my perch..)
Yes. I’ve sat and set
Down in silver trails unheat
Spattering cowbones at my feet
I eat more stone in hand
I smell beauty
Assuredly( ME )-seat
Assuredly (ME )-seat
“ The Chimera has a riddle, soft man..
~young * man~
who scars stone in a moaning sun?”
My poetic statement- has to reside with the words committed to blank pages. Though it may, (at times), seem so -these poems are not limned in blood. Racing thoughts and automatic writing are the stuff of whispering ghosts. And I’ll be damned if I don’t listen between candybars. Pass the salt and it had better be worth it, pilgrim.
Faith may be primitive, but it’s the rarest tribe I know.
Bio- J.D. Brayton is an artist and musician who can, as if by magic , transmogrify poetry into lyrics, lyrics into short stories, short stories into novels, and novels into guaranteed poverty.
(The fantasia of a fallen gentleman on a cold, bitter night )
Once, in finesse of fiddles I found ecstasy,
In a flash of gold heels on the hard pavement.
Now see I
That warmth`s the very stuff of poesy.
Oh, God, make small
The old star – eaten blanket of the sky,
That I may fold it round me and in comfort lie.
~~ T.E. Hulme ~~
T.E. Hulme was born in 1883, and was one of those edgy bohemian types, along with, Ezra Pound, F.S. Flint and Edward Storer who changed the face of poetry for good. They were fledgling imagists who rebelled against set metres and rhyme, which had been established in English poetry since the 16th century; for them, Romanticism was sliding down the greasy pole of yesterday`s news, and they wanted something new, fresh and invigorating. And so “The School…
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Lewis Gesner is a writer and artist living in Taiwan. He has exhibited internationally, and is a member of Mobius artist group out of Boston, MA, US. He has had several print and e books publish by Whitesky books.
Ghazal For Ginsberg
E. S. Cormac
Tell us this story, goddess daughter of Zeus, beginning at whatever point you will.
I have studied your immense enumerations grey beard
I carefully crafted lines in response to shopping list strophes jazz beard
Thrown away to mind’s inner recesses and 182GB of RAM that’s all I have left either way
It is our pleasure to report neon fruit hydrogen jukeboxes the least of worries, father beard
It started off beautiful lines echoing your madness devoured minds of generation
Poseidon’s blinded children air out intimacies despite song of emperor’s fiddle, vigilant beard
It lead away to Troy’s shores and roster of ship’s crews using exacting turn-o-phrase
They snap fingers in cafe bravo to poetic truths of high school journal keepers now, beat beard
Lines stopped weary of flowing thoughts returned to foreign fiord
Struggle self society is it lost in transliteration mouthings, pariah beard
I am tired of them. I am tired of their flying circus. I don’t want to be a clown. I want to look outside
IWW, CCCP, LBGT, your Spartan Phalluses battled Barbara Billinglsy boulevards kabala beard
I will no longer write of the I, the me, the we, the ours.
It is our pleasure to report, sertraline, fluoxetine, replace cerebellum scars now, committed beard
I will become Clipper of Coupons for Packets of Tea. I, soldier of emperors, swear, grand beard.
I am having a slow epiphany beatnik beard.
The beatnik poets as a whole, and Allen Ginsburg in particular, struggled against the norms of society. Through verse and prose they spoke of taboos, railed against mainstream America, and confessed dark desires in a style that also rebelled against the formal literature of the time. Whether through translation or imitation this style is what is most remembered and copied today. Hidden in the human caricature that has become the Beat Writer’s are the real life struggles of men against their society. A society they felt alienated from somehow.
In Defense of a New Lyricism
by Kenyatta Jean-Paul Garcia
“man is himself an object”
Lyricism, the poetry of emotion, is in need of an overhaul but not in need of complete annihilation. Lyricism at its core is rhythm and sentiment tied together. This bundle is of great importance to both reader and writer. As poetry finds a natural pace conjoined to thought, it returns to its verbal and thus songlike primordial state. This rhythm which comes with thought attached to breath or heart or nature or machinery or whatever is contained inside and out converts emotion also to its natural state – the state of being sensed.
Lyricism is poetry made natural or better yet, normal/mundane. The new lyricism is not concerned with meter as much as it is concerned with the pace of thought, memory, experience. Lyricism translates the world into emotion and emotion into a musical/tonal state of being. Being is important. Lyricism works with flow and rests so as to keep the emotion moving between writer and reader.
This link between reader and writer is the crux of the new lyricism. Lyricism is about emotion not about subject and object. It is about how an occurrence changes a state of mind/how a mind changes at all. States of mind are what connects all individuals. We experience and we process. We react. We internalize. We externalize. When we read we not only absorb words but apply those words to our past and ideas of the future and our current place.
Reading is daydreaming or meditating. When one reads poetry one should stay close to the words until words fade into the moment. The moment of sentiment. Of sensing. When one leaves the poem and enters into the Self or outside of the Self.
Thoughts collect as reading occurs. The new lyrical poet harnesses their own thoughts and experiences/perception and transfers into an absorbable state of musicality. The new lyrical poet takes into account syllables, breath, phrasal constituents, phonology, harmony. This poet is love with language and brings it to a natural place where it can do its duty of communicating or rather communing.
Lyricism does not need to be subjective. We are all subjects and objects simultaneously. Experience and perception is all around and ever-occurring. With this taken into account the new lyricism focuses simply or only upon conveyance of the emotion and/or those thoughts related to emotion. The mere mention of joy, anger, love, distress conjures up sentiment and the daydreams which transfer one back intowards such a state of occurrence.
Emotion needs no agent nor patient. Emotion is. And if it is, it is worthy of the poet’s attention.
Emotion is an ever-changing part of being human and emotions shift at any given time. The amount of triggers which set off thoughts and thus emotion or more precisely the memories surrounding and caging memory are infinite. Today is different for everyone. This second is varied for each experiencer but it is experienced. And, emotion is there; even if the emotion is the emotion of nothing – no value. Apathy, indifference, nihilism, zen, etc states of non-emotion are in themselves emotion. Emotion is nothing more than a state of mind/being which sometimes becomes a reaction. Mostly, emotion is from the Latin for remove or displace. What is more displaced than nothingness? And, in all honesty what state is harder to achieve than that of nothingness within writing? Even the most abstract and uncreative of poems emote. Each syllable in its morphological essence may trigger change. Each syllable with its phonological presence can soothe or ruffle and thus create an emotion.
The new lyrical poet does not need to fall into archaic traps and be brought into a state of ‘I’- heavy wordings. Nor does the lyrical poet need to fall into meter. Language will find its flow from there we place emotions to move between eyes/ears and print/voice.
A Response to Charles Olson
by E.S. Cormac
I, Saladin, To Nobody in Particular
Wandering idle down Styx lanes
Periwinkle, Crimson, safflower
hues assault windshield unrestrain’
battlement’s arrows shower.
Shall I sit upon the shore fishing?
With the sea stretching out from my feet.
Or speak of undone business?
of syllable, syllabus, syllabic
Oh Glowster Man
(that is how the ears hear it)
My spatial nature geometry is lost now
buried beneath billboard
advertising gleaming teeth
and all manner of elixir
and what watches
and what wears
I want to fit
I want to shine brighter than the fifty stars that glint atop Metropolis
I want that piece
I want that peace
I held that gun at them
for the confusers for the Brooks Brothers cloistered minions
I held that gun
watching as we lay siege at Ma’arra.
How they feasted
Across winter windshield
giants stand gleaming teeth on black ribbon roadsides
Fear Not Citizen!
get the yellow out
tune in tonight at nine)
GOOOO! SPORTSTEAM! GOOOO! COMMERCE! BUY SELL SELL BUY BUY
fly where you can never reach
fly and I will follow
My ship’s mast melts with wings
to cause quarrel over the loss of golden armor.
There are riches enough to be satisfied in Troy
where Dear Fathers, Fearless Leaders, Benevolent Uncles
Bearded Revolutionaries smile down on us all
for the chance to purge
O Commerce O Commerce
My teeth dream of the day they can gleam
sublime ego sentence strands removed from shores
blown to glass
situated in teethly tower rows
erect Testaments to our fathers named
Sears, Comcast, Chrysler, Key and Bank of America I and II
O Commerce O Commerce
I repent I am Redeemed for five cents
Do not discard me in your Gulag Archipelago
I am not so poor, you will make no great profit
Do not discard me in a home of wayward Roman D.J.s
In twelve plus twelve I would never produce a cantos
Oh Glowster Man
Do you hear me?
Was this percussive?
Was it PROJECTIVE?
I want to wander through brilliant stacks of cans
I want to act after taken thought
I want to fight no more forever
Oh Glowster Man
Do you hear me?
Your RAT-A-TAT-TAT DA-DING
has been replaced by yet another glowing blue screen that can paint the windows of Suburbia
The keys still clack
but even as we speak they are being replaced…
By what says you?
by shiny glass and aluminumy tablets says I
Like His word says you?
better says I
they gleam of billboard staring toothuses
Charles Olson’s poetry and essay, “Projective/ Verse” are the antithesis of the New Critic School of writing. Although Olson is scholarly and fills his stanzas with learned quotes and references, he departs in every other way from the New Critics. Embracing all the features of modern printing Olson breaks his verse up according to how it should be spoken or into ‘breaths as he calls them. His open verse or Composition by Field is formed free of iambic meter. Instead Olson prefers to concentrate on the kinetic nature of the poem, Olson also carefully points out that all metaphor, objects, or anything else that would interrupt this kinetic flow must be omitted.