Archive | July, 2014

Global Dimension Caretakers

John Pallister

global dimension caretakers,
Transcending through realities,
The imaginators,
The beautiful rewired creators,
connecting to higher source,
to steer humanity on course
a chosen family of liberators
that follow love wisdom and serenity,
to build up compassion and forgiveness,
Ones who hang on the fringes of societies rules,
observing relating to the greater good and growth of mankind.

Advertisements

Far from Human

John Pallister

Far from human; moulded as a brand,
Stamped and filed; organised like beans in a can,
Different variations but still served for materialistic gain,
The drifter, the bad eggs, the insane,
Conformed or detached from a methodical social ideal,
While being fed propaganda manipulating what is real,
Those out the box see it from multiple views,
While those inside think they have the freewill to choose,
How can you be free when your eyes are told what to see,
Your status is measured in coins and notes
Not valued in your dreams and hopes,
Drones taught to serve the state and law,
Dividing the rich and the poor
To an unnatural selection,
Take a step back and cure this infection

Advice for Morning TV

Glenn Fosbraey

My little girl
Sat beside me
Tiny body taking up most of the three-seat settee
The TV we’re watching makes my mind wander
And formulate
words, sentences, speeches, ADVICE (it’s what parents are meant to give, right?)
And mine? My words of wisdom born on this settee?
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse up on the screen, are these:
Don’t drink before school like I did,
‘cause I’m still mopping up
the mess that it caused
the black-sacked kitchen wad rolled over years in blonde hair, fluff
until I pick nothing up
least of all an explanation as to WHY I drank before school
downed can after can of John Smiths before Maths exams
half-emptied bottles of Fanta, then re-filled with vodka
held my nose, drained, then did it again
before my morning piss
had laid waste to the previous day
poured cheap blended malt into a 2nd hand hip-flask
sipped it in Music until I threw up at lunch, forced to start over again, so…
Don’t. Do. What I did. Darling.
I start to say this aloud, get as far as the first syllable “d…”
Then stop.
Think again.
Think that:
If I hadn’t wasted perfectly good Fanta,
If I hadn’t chugged scotch and breathed rank toxic lust in the face of my latest infatuation as she backed away, face painted fake smile, to tell “Sir” again
If I changed one of these things
Come to the aid of this brain so tasered, stained, and basted with hairballs, stale Frosties, dead spiders, M&Ms
If I had…
You wouldn’t be next to me
So I stop. At that first syllable.
Put my arm around you, pull you into me
And thank all that is anything that I drank before school

Holiday Inn

Glenn Fosbraey

A bag for life; plastication bulge,
in he checked, shatting up his chat-up to blue-suit blonde:
“I’ve left my life, come to Holiday Inn,”
her smile, stopped at her lips, provokes
a thought -from my sub, conned:
Man-hands swaddled
Arms up, sharp and sour (raw-run death fucker)
Face aches in wide screen – HD-
You dreamt this
Went all out to get this:
“My loss: my gain”, ingrained memory spunk, pitted on
your dental floss,
blown wideandfar, spilling outta pink bins
painted like rouged pigs
their strands strewn for yards (and sewn) we
sat on bricks
saying : “lonely man’s idiocy; lonely man’s adultery”
you second that, in time
means less to go on\
no fingers to bring up
that guttural squelch, greenscreen freeze
tinned headphone shriek
three stumps stuck throaty disdain affluence
pitched o’er reception wadded accented oik
a piss stain on y-fronts of life
he said, with a straight face:
“the grass isn’t greener,
the grass is half-dead”
and the other side
of that fence
is matted with silage,
so rank,
“I can barely beat one off and be caught in two minds”
To that, she did smile,
Handed ‘cross the keycard, her chapped, claptrap hands
A patron, ionised, to room 101,
he walked in silence

Nella Larsen Crossroads

Kennita Ballard

It’s called passing
whitestraightfemalemale
To blend in
Living life as not the other
But living life just
To pass through
Get safety from egg to sperm
To the deathbed
Without incident or
Injury to the outside self.
So
Like an artificial penis an identity is strapped on
With casualness to the causalities
To the numbers of those who choose to speak out
Embraced their stand out
Hang in clusters like strange fruit
So
The seemingly soul alternative is to choose;
To pass
To be the majoritive’s cuckoo bird
Afforded wings of privilege
By the very cheap nature of passing you can in fact afford it all
For a buy one get one free; mobility and invisibility.

The self has passed on
Rest in peace
and an identity as transparent as the edges of the sky
passes through

Ebb and Flow

Kennita Ballard

We need to open our eyes

Then open them wider than that

We do not get the privilege

To simply

Be

Black

Flesh weeps

And puddles underneath as
A heritage
A culture
Pulse through red tape bandages
And statistic shaped scabs
No we do not get the privilege of
Simply being
Because if we were left to be
This would not be an issue
Everything I do does not affect me
But everything I do effects
A we
But we are recognized as a unit
When there is blood and where there are fools
We are punished as a unit
We all bear this whipping of history

Our selves vibrate
Together
But in polyrhythmic sound

Angels

Raoul Izzard

Cold as the dorm was, we elected
to go out into the blankness before
us, before the others came back home.
More than miraculous, the angels
we had formed in the new fallen snow,
lost their substance to the disbelief
of thawing, worrying at the frayed edges,
unpicking the wing tips, flake by flake.
We watched our chilly silhouettes
in the warm and wondered at our
earthbound selves outside ascending.

Tao of teaching English as a Second Language

Raoul Izzard

Let us dig deeper into teacher lore:
“Elicit what pupils do not want to know:

torn postcards undated, unseen kiss and tell
lips overdue on library loan, love hearts

erased from the Puritan’s Kama Sutra.”
“Life is a once lived experience relived

in fifty words in written timed exams.”
“You are living language in the class so make

the Earth your desk, the moon your lamp, a tree
hollow your bed then sleep on it for the night

is an orthodontist conference in Wichita, full
of illicit glances, misplaced key cards, and

room numbers inked on the napkins of the heart.”
“The fig tree leaf resembles the human hand,

as the new language does the cuckoo, only
seeming its true bedfellow, mother tongue.”

My Sunset

Stephen Philip Druce

In the distant horizon, a lava latent
has spewed its molten creatures in every colour,
sprawling beyond the shifting precipice in its tender atrocity.
To us – the immortal canvas, where the delicate hands of the gods
in their infinite measure, could never cast such a rich disarray
of raging splendour, bathed in a spiteful dusk that is not worthy.

A Spacey Nut Fell From a Tree in the Sky

Sam Silva

A spacey nut
fell from a tree in the sky
in the heat of Summer’s
broiling lullaby

…we nod and doze
who know no other way
to sow our seed.

And so
the brain, that bloodless rose,
learns how to bleed!

Jazz Club: Tubby Hayes

Dick Jones

The chunter of the bass,
a ruminant, chewing the
syllables over the heft
and shuffle of the drums.
A hi-hat sneeze, a pebble-
dash across the snare.
Eyes closed, strap-hanging
in rhythm like a passenger,
he nurses the tenor, cheek
nuzzled against the curve
of mouthpiece, waiting.

We huddle round the table,
heads swinging, on the nod
inside blue fumes. I see us
across the room – two
impasto vagabonds, skinny
chancers, callow, untried,
painted by Soutine, in blues
and blacks; two grotesques
trapped in a box of shadows.

And then there’s voltage.
First it’s the shock of a
clicking relay: a press-roll,
a rim-shot, a four-bar hiatus.
And then he’s bucking like
a great bull waking out of
a dream, his horn fighting
the thick air, spilling a
tumbling mess of wisdom,
blown out of light and
into the dark on a long
unfurling breath, the tale
of a messenger with
too much to tell
and too little time.

And like a dreamer waking,
here in my small piece
of the real world, I’m up
on my feet. Not to dance
or to worship or to scat
my own shower of notes
back at him, but just to
wake up for the first time
to the sound of surprise and
to stay standing while my heart
shifts a beat and my blood
is drawn by new tides
for the first time.

(Read by Cerys Matthews on her BBC 6 Music show.)

Sexing Plums

Dick Jones

Each one has,
in perfect symmetry,
paired buttocks, smooth,
undimpled, gently curved.
So, gender notwithstanding,
there’s something here
for the most exacting
student of anatomy.

Now look further;
check the contours
of those cheeks –
a face, half turned
away – the blush of
early passion jumped,
roseate and downy. Or
the rubicund shine
of passion unconsumed
in age.

And – the span of years
aside – if you listen
through the breeze,
the birdsong, you might hear
at the moment of release,
the plucked note’s pizzicato,
the juice unloosed,
the kiss of consummation.

portal

Christopher Mulrooney

what a flash of fame around the face
magnificent the toils of ahead and not yet ended
still more the yet to be ended in the distant past
the shallows endured the open sea befriended

Saint Cheryl

Mitch Grabois

Cheryl is thirty
but can’t stop picking at all the little flaws
on her face
She eats half of a stale peach pie over the sink
the crumbs raining down onto the stainless steel
That’s all she’s had to eat today

Her life
so unrequited all the time

She goes onto Instagram
and manipulates her image
It’s how she spends most of her time these days
There’s no profit in it
but she feels compelled
She puts a halo around her head
puts a blurred circle on her forehead
with beams of light radiating from it
like a Russian icon

Now she’s a martyred saint
yet to be canonized
One day the Pope will take her hands
and raise her up

Meditation in winter

Rafael Ayala Paez

The rain is an animal inside my body.
Its skin sketches itself on to my skin
and in the northern extreme of the sky
I watch it being born.

The rain feels musical,
hypnotizes the fear the pain
fraying their edges
now comes peace.

Dance in the Twilight

Svetlana Kortchik

Plié, jeté, plié…My technique is perfect and precise. Nothing betrays the overwhelming tension that grips me. My muscles are heavy and unresponsive, but my movements are light and fast, which is just as well because when I’m on stage appearances are all that matter. When I’m up on that stage, the truth is irrelevant.

The music stops but I keep going, my grey worn out pointe shoes making regular tap-tap sounds on the wooden floor. The tap-tap-tap of my feet can barely keep up with the tap-tap-tap of my heart. My toes are bleeding, but on and on I dance, longing for physical pain, willing it to numb me from the inside out, to block out the guilt, the desire and the fear inside me. I desperately yearn for oblivion, and for a second, I almost succeed and I almost forget, but the despairing breaths that I take after every plié and after every jeté bring it all back, just like before.

***

I remember the first time we made love. We were rehearsing Carmen. It was my first lead role, and I was living and breathing his fresh passionate choreography.

‘Your moves are too perfect, there’s no soul, no passion,’ he would say, his Italian accent getting stronger as he got more agitated. For hours and hours I danced until I broke down in tears, and knelt on the studio floor. His arms around me felt comforting. His lips were on mine, and soon I was no longer trembling from crying but trembling with desire, from his touch, after months of wanting him, making me weak.

That was a year ago. I have loved him for a year.

***

Yesterday, as he held my quivering body in his arms, he said, ‘I have something for you. For our anniversary’.

‘You remembered.’ I was pleased. I gasped as he placed a delicate pendant shaped as a dancer around my neck. ‘Carmen,’ I whispered.

‘I can stay a little longer tonight,’ he said. ‘Sarah is with her parents’.

I tried to smile, struggling against a tidal wave of jealousy at the mention of her name. Hearing it here, in our special place, where the two of us shared so many happy private moments together, seemed unnatural and disturbing. It’s been a year of this, I thought. A year of jealousy and guilt and of hiding how I truly felt. ‘Can you stay the night?’ I asked hesitantly.

‘Not tonight, babe.’ He held me even tighter, as if afraid to let me go. ‘I know it’s been hard for you. I know you want to live a normal life.’

‘I just want you.’ I want a normal life with you.

As if hearing my thoughts, he said, ‘You want a normal life with me. I think the timing is right. I will tell Sarah tonight.’

I moved away from him, stepping back all the way to the wall. Not far enough. He was still touching me. ‘We talked about that. I can’t break up your marriage. I won’t be that woman.’

‘And I have told you before, Sarah and I don’t have a marriage anymore. We are like two strangers living in the same house.’

‘It’s wrong.’

‘You think that just because we haven’t told her yet, it’s not wrong? My life is a sham and I’m done living it. I want to be with you.’

‘What about Andrew?’ I whispered.

‘Lisa, I will never abandon my son. I am not your father.’

***

The last time I saw my father, I was twelve. His things were packed in the back of his Ute, and the house seemed hollow without his guitar, his smoking pipes and his model ships.

‘Daddy, when are you coming back?’ I demanded accusingly, although even back then, in my adolescent naiveté, I knew that he was leaving for good. The house was too small to hide the arguments, the heartbreak, the betrayal. The walls were too thin to protect me from my parents’ whispered conversations.

‘I will be back in a little while, baby. You look after your mother, ok?’

‘Where are you going? Are you going to live with her?’ I tried to put as much contempt into the last word as I possibly could. She was the twenty-two year old French teacher at the private school I attended. I looked at my father, who was so familiar and so loved, and my eyes filled with tears.

‘Now, now, little one. Don’t cry. When you grow up, you will understand.’

‘I will never understand,’ I said defiantly. ‘I will never understand how someone can break up a family. What kind of person is she?’ What I didn’t understand when I was twelve and afraid, was how to fill the void in my heart where my father had once been.

***

On and on I dance, tap-tap-tap of my feet getting faster and faster. I dance through my pain and through my madness, through my hope and through my fear.

‘Keep your back straight, don’t tense your shoulders.’ His voice startles me, and I pause mid-pirouette and turn around. I can’t see his face in the shadows but I can make out a suitcase by his feet.

‘Antonio,’ I say, as I walk toward him, pointing at the suitcase. ‘You told her about us?’

‘Didn’t have to. She was drunk when I got home. She lashed out. I left.’ Even in the dark, I can see a bruise on his face. I gasp. ‘Has it happened before?’

‘Happens all the time.’

‘I’m so sorry, I had no idea. I’m so sorry,’ I repeat, stroking his face.

‘It’s fine, darling. I’m glad it’s over. I’m finally done living my life for the sake of appearances.’

I hold him and stare at my feet that are bleeding and torn. Then I look at him, and in his eyes I see the truth, the only truth that matters. ‘Let’s go,’ I whisper. ‘Let’s go home.’

Wearing One Earring

A.J. Huffman

Sleepless and thinking of Van Gogh
I take my left earring out.
Placing it inside a box
to send to a love that does not
exist. Yet or ever. Probably
an empty gesture full of
meaning[ful psychoses] even I
don’t understand. Yet
I take my time. Wrapping
the parchment with pristine
corners any hospital would envy.
I even wavered momentarily
over the choice of ribbon, wondering
if it still qualifies as a present if tied
with breast-cancer-pink allusions
to suffering. No, this is serious
[ly symbolic if not just a tad imbecilic]
so I selected silver. Knotted.
Knightly. Even moderately merry.
And its glint was worth the fuss.
It focused the moon as it soared
from my balcony to the river
below. Beyond, I was able to trace
its trail as it soaked, swirled,
then sank. In a flameless
mocking of some ancient and
regal funeral. All light.
All sorrow. All honor.
All gone. As it settles itself
among the silt.

Corner of Diamond and Dust

A.J. Huffman

Fingers, honored in anniversary, linger
in anticipatory hover over ribboned box.
Does he love me?
                                  Does he love me not?
They cannot stop the childishly compulsive
repetitious rhyme from repeating. In the background,
breath is held as bow tentatively begins to come
undone. Lid, inevitably removed, finds no carat
sparkle. A smile is faked as mental inventory begins
in preparation of packing, the bags already waiting
under her side of the bed.

Cold

Stanley Wilkin

As cold as another age, wracked with solitude,
A slow start to another beginning,
Unreliable cloud coats the sky
And the sea repetitiously roars in,
Cuffing cliffs,
Pounding rocks
With calamitous roars
Playing endless riffs across the sand.

We walked together down the beach
Troubled by the surf
Chewing on cigarette stubs, sullied by the wind
New ghosts in the half-light
Bearing years like backpacks.

Grown old in the gathering twilight
We chattered together, our footsteps picking
Wounds. Barbed words
Like greetings, cheerfulness like an accusation.
Intercourse a shared and interesting memory,
We cuddled together in the scouring wind
Enjoying each other’s casual warmth.

It was a time for reflection,
When love is a scab on evolving friendship,
Heartlessness the price of redemption.
The contrived book of your beauty,
The gilded ceramic of expertly rendered features
The undulating film of your gestures, coded and decoded
Through time.

Beauty is finite, crumbling to fleshless reminiscence
Fixed to canvas and celluloid
With tireless labour. In the end, signifying another thing-
Of little interest.
An artist’s casual thought, a director’s cut.

They barely remember your name,
Your laughter and wildness gone, missed by the
Senile artist’s transitory brush,
Clotted with hundred-year-old varnish.

A small house by the sea
Surrounded by flowerbeds sparkling with summer colour
Self-absorbed children, with whom we exchanged affection
And parted from, holidaying in Bangkok
With lovers of all sorts.
As the sea rolled towards us
And evening gave way to night.

Rejected

Jeffrey Park

Had to get rid of him, she said, no choice,
had to be done.
          Was it the floppy ears? I asked.
No, it wasn’t that.
          Was it the waggly tail?
No, not the waggly tail.
          The sad soulful eyes then? I could imagine
          the eyes might have done it.
No, not exactly, she said.
No, it was the way he listened
so intently all the time, like he was trying
to memorize everything
I was saying, including things that someday
maybe a long time from now
I wouldn’t want to be reminded of.
Like he was recording
every stupid, pointless comment
that came from my lips.
          So…the way he listened.
Yes. The way he listened.
And maybe
the waggly tail as well.