Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois: “The Wealthy Are Always Feasting”

The Wealthy Are Always Feasting

1.
Nocturno’s Sand Dial marks off the minutes before the bank takes my home. The Happiness of Loving My Brunette has been eclipsed by the misfortunes my brunette and I have experienced.

2.
Your mother forced you to carry ice for their whiskey, then shoved you out into the storm.

3.
When I took the est training in the seventies, that weird blend of encounter groups, Zen and Sado-Masochism, I learned that I choose everything that happens to me, but I’m having a hard time figuring out how I chose this.

4.
Her white boyfriend came out and caught you, drove you into the hill’s cold powder. The cabin lurched like a flogged Wyeth. Snow swirled.

5.
Miró (creator of Nocturno, The Happiness of Loving My Brunette, and several hundred paintings titled Woman Bird or Bird Woman) went to bed without any supper and saw shapes on the ceiling, which became his paintings.

My brunette and I look in the front window of the house we worked hard to acquire and now have lost. We spend some timeless time surveying Still Life with Old Shoe.

6.
To freely run my hands over your body, the softening of your eyes.

7.
I will assassinate painting, said Miró, I will break Picasso’s guitar.

8.
In a photo I’m expressionless, on stiff legs in front of a shuttered hotel. Your heartbeat is a tension in my chest.

9.
I kick in the front door. I remember once fixing the hinges.

10.
Heart shredded, my body dehydrates as we distance until my skin is ground chalk. The wealthy are feasting tonight.

11.
I have this sensation, one I never had in all my days as a millworker and carpenter: Hands Flying Off Toward the Constellations.

The wealthy are always feasting.

 

Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois has had over fourteen hundred of his poems and fictions appear in literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad. He has been nominated for numerous prizes, and. was awarded the 2017 Booranga Writers’ Centre (Australia) Prize for Fiction. His novel, Two-Headed Dog, based on his work as a clinical psychologist in a state hospital, is available for Kindle and Nook, or as a print edition. To read more of his work, Google Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois. He lives in Denver, Colorado, USA.

 

 

 

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William C. Crawford: “Jimmy Pro Found Inspiration at a Now-Defunct El Paso Watering Hole.”

Crawford--Goldies

“Jimmy Pro Found Inspiration at a Now-Defunct El Paso Watering Hole.”

1430 Myrtle is gone from the city charts, but it still has a warm place in local barflies’ hearts.

Jimmy Pro landed up here a decade or so ago. Foraging the borderline, he was drawn in by the allure of Marilyn and the adjacent sub barrio, resplendent with its decaying funk. For a lensman in search of poetic inspiration, the dingy bar was the perfect place to conjure up a late afternoon, laconic stare; to unwind from shooting; and to jot down a few trigger riffs, teased out by ice cold Lone Star. Happy Hour can often be a poet’s salvation until it just isn’t.

Jimmy spent most of a decade sifting along The Line, honing his images, both electronic and literary. His voluminous photos further sharpen the clarity of his incisive poetry. “The Border Elegies” hang heavy with Jimmy’s prickly historical view of our enigmatic southern boundary. For sharp, visiting insight, de Tocqueville doesn’t have jack shit on Jimmy!

El Paso, for Pro, was the citadel for his wandering self assignment. Its gritty West Texas ambiance and resplendent culture titillated his most deeply held, creative instincts. Comfort, contentment, and creativity anchored him here like a rock for nearly ten years.

But the place that he warmly refers to as “The City Of The Future” is changing. He recognizes this gentrification, having sniffed its putrid spillage elsewhere in places like Gotham City’s Chinatown. Now, even this traditional barrio is tainted by ever seeping progress. This insidious creep is what finally took out a mini neighborhood icon like Goldie’s.

The place earned a sketchy score of 83 on its last Health Department sanitation inspection in May, 2013. Marilyn was still smiling, welcoming customers in for spicy tacos and tawdry conversation. But Goldie’s shelf life was nearly spent. Cheap beer down here is plentiful, and real estate near downtown was beginning to have some serious, long term prospects.

Jimmy finished The Border Elegies, but just in time for his joint to suffer the wrecking ball. When I finally showed up, he took me to another downtown dive bar, The Tap. Here, may be found, possibly, the best jukebox in Texas. I was also really inspired by the endless flow of cold Tecate. So I churned out a hot story about a mythical gunfight and our eventual escape down an endless alleyway that formed a seedy, urban slot canyon. Some editors liked it, and I even provided a dramatic supporting photo for publication.

I never got to quaff a brew with Jimmy at Goldie’s, though. But if I had, a yarn featuring Pancho Villa buying a round for the boisterous house might have spewed forth. Pancho would have probably met up with Marty Robbins, you know, “out in the West Texas town of El Paso”! They could have had a bar shoot out with the relentless Federales who had been hot on Pancho’s trail since early in the 20th century. Then, I would have provided a cool image to support my storyline. Likely the same hip photo seen here.

I am just proud to have ever off centered Goldie’s in my viewfinder. For his part, Jimmy Pro is content to have found poetic synergy in a small barrio icon, now lost to time. Gone from the charts . . . but never, ever from our hearts.

 

William C. Crawford is a writer & photographer based in Winston-Salem, NC. He was a combat photojournalist in Vietnam. He later enjoyed a long career in social work, and also taught at UNC Chapel Hill. He photographs the trite, trivial, and the mundane. Crawford developed the forensic foraging technique of photography with his colleague, Sydney lensman, Jim Provencher.

Ana Hahs: “Void”

Void

Twisting spirals intertwined,
Red and green
aligned.
Jutting roof, dragon corners
a sweep of shade below
—she emerged.

Ashy-dark hair
with some white dust remaining.
Hung heavy and low.
Her feet scraped the ground leaving
a train of dirt and pebbles scattered
in her wake.

Coarse yellow threads make
a decaying tapestry broken by
the rusty columns which
do nothing to stop
clouds of dusty sins.

The swirl of tradition and ignorance surrounded it.
Weaving a hazy cloak
blinding people.
Not a new home
old.
Old as religion.
Stolen from over the sea
stuck onto a new landscape,
dry, decaying wheat.

Woven like straw
banded.
Yellow-framed, a red and black staircase
going up and up…
Cut off. Dried blood.
Drooping towards the ground before
being caught up.
An ancient slithering cord of poison
—brought to surrender.

Truth preys at night
sneaking into
troubled minds
once set free by lies and fantasies.

Her venom pours
out of her ash hair and
her mouth and
her dirty feet.

Crippling certainty that
dries up the
world.

Truth is blank—
hiding and scurrying.
Slipping in and out
of gaze.

Avoiding needles and questions
sliding out
of fingers.

An empty bucket overturned
somewhere in the world.

 

Ana Hahs is an English major at San Jose State University in California. She uses poetry as a tool to explore her own emotions but hopes that the end result expresses an idea that is in some way meaningful to all readers. When Ana is not putting words down on paper, she spends her time getting inspired by other authors, as well as pop culture and her personal life. Ana has an A.A in English from West Valley College, and some of her other poems have been published in their literary anthology Voices.

ayaz daryl nielsen: Seven Poems

moments

window beside desk
rumble of evening
a day’s leftovers as
blood and ink mix
writing my presence
naming my deities

——

You and I

Have been. Will be. Are.

——

The pattering wings of
late night snow across an
almost empty street

Walking unnoticed among the flakes
as if an oceans cold, hushed depths

Boots shuffling along the sidewalk
Faint glimmer of our porch-light…

——

close, sultry afternoon
a windmill daydreams of its
rain-bowed multi-winged hero
flitting, scrabbling dragonfly

——

window left open
the city still quiet
Spring…
morning rain

——

rapacious hawk in sunlight-
as if a veil is
suddenly removed,
an archangel soaring
closer to the divine…
humbled, and suddenly
stuffed full with grace

——

deleting another poem
I’m without words for. . .
power squandered,
my laptop
sighs
_____ turns
___________itself
________________off

 

ayaz daryl nielsen, veteran, hospice nurse, ex-roughneck (as on oil rigs) lives in Longmont, Colorado, USA. Editor of bear creek haiku (30+ years/140+ issues) with poetry published worldwide (and deeply appreciated), he is online at: https://bearcreekhaiku.blogspot.com

 

Donna O’Connell-Gilmore: “Perhaps this poem . . .”

Perhaps this poem….

 

opens the red and orange berries

___of the bittersweet vine to cedar waxwings

______that pluck and pass as they line up in a row

 

spills over its margins like the rose-breasted

___grosbeak’s stream of whistles that crowd

______the cedar waxwings off the vine

 

huddles alone in a dying pine quiet

___except for the hulk of the ivory-billed woodpecker

______that doffs his flaming crest in vain and fades

 

Donna O’Connell-Gilmore, poet and psychotherapist, moved to Cape Cod In 2000 to focus more seriously on poetry. She published the chapbook Africa Is the Mother Who Lies in the Grass in 2015 (Sandheap Press). Donna’s poetry has appeared in Willow Springs, Blueline, The Hopper, Off the Coast, and Glassworks.

 

 

Pablo Cuzco: “Cavignac, France”

Cavignac, France

The din of the rain, the shear of cars as they cut past on wet streets | like my early years in France.

Renaults and Citroens painted soft shades of gray | sky-blue windows, tinted | and wipers that
::slapped
::slapped
from the top of windshields | like hands wiping tears from their eyes.

Why did I feel so melancholy then? I was no more than four ::I still feel that weariness as I drive down rain-swept streets today | I watch passersby in felt fedoras, huddled underneath umbrellas.

But, wait! the nostalgic twinge of a jazz number whispers on the radio | the cymbals—cars whizzing by | the rat-tat-tat of the drums—the rain on the roof | it brings me back there, to Cavignac.

 

Pablo Cuzco is an American writer of poetry and short stories. He spent his early years in France and Germany with his family. In his teens, he traveled across America, guitar in hand, writing songs and jotting memories along the way. Now living in the Southwest with his wife, he has time to reflect and share those stories. His work currently appears at Underfoot Poetry and Pablo Cuzco …in My Mind’s Eye

Allison DeRose: “If You Asked, I Would Say”

If You Asked, I Would Say

My back strikes the wall as I watch
your roots tendril taut
around my spine deep
enough to prevent me
from scattering my own seeds—
I’ve been waiting to flower
since I discovered

how to spell love. You train
my etch-a-sketch heart
that three lefts make a right
decision, that my left hand

is shaped to hold
only calluses, that my bruised
smile gives you permission
to seize the bold parts of me

and rewrite them in italics.
You’re a safety blanket
with a hole I am

reaching through.

You do not want me
whole-heartedly. You consume me broken.

When my backbone slams the wall,
it hangs there. I remember
to forget the feeling of wind
leaving my body: a backhanded breath
I catch later.

 

Allison DeRose is an English/Creative Writing graduate student at The College at Brockport in Western New York. At the college, she has received several scholarships for her poetry and is currently a writing tutor on campus. Allison is constantly being inspired by words and also enjoys taking photos of nature.