Monday, January 26, 2009

Kelly Polark

ROCK N ROLL

Music.
I sing along
so loudly in the car
that all my frustrations leave me.
Rock on.
David M. Harris

THE REVIEW MIRROR

Rarely, soapy-handed, I stop
and look. Who is that?
I’ve seen that face
in pictures, younger,
smiling, hair dark and glossy.
Wrinkles covered by
beard and bifocals, I might pass
for fifty.
In pictures from my first wedding,
just a decade and a half ago, just yesterday.
Slimmer, touched with gray,
without glasses.
At my sister’s seder
the day before yesterday
trim, with moustache waxed and a head
full of grand, grandiose dreams.
The wax sits on a shelf in the closet.
Where are the dreams?
Smaller visions seep into their emptied space.
Play center field for the Yankees? Cancel that.
Make a family? Enter a check mark.
Tear up the Pulitzer acceptance speech.
Write a poem?
Add up the score.
Subtract the losses.
Rinse off the past.
Start the next day.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Joanne Merriam

CRACK THE WHIP PROHIBITED

We'd make a line and build momentum,
until the last one let go--
all the girls who love to watch
the world go by sideways.
Gwynne Garfinkle

THE THRILL OF IT ALL

1
back when you had to work for it
when there was one or maybe
two rock shows on TV per week
none of my friends even had a VCR yet
my dad got our first in 1976
a Betamax that only recorded
one-hour tapes

2
One night my best friend Becky stayed up late to catch the Eagles on the Midnight Special. I was at home doing the same, for her sake, really, because I didn't much like the Eagles. It was a clip of "One of These Nights" with frame after frame of seventies-groupie-looking women, with long hair and soulful eyes and maxi skirts, just photos of women synchronized to the song, and I imagined Becky, her eyes glued to the screen: she waited patiently, hope against hope for a glimpse of actual band members performing the song, the hope dying as the song passed the halfway mark. The next day she told me she'd cried.

3
Kate Bush swirling around to
"Wuthering Heights"
& "Wow"
her mouth an O
didn't know if I liked her at first
she was weird
an acquired taste
likewise dissolute little Ian Dury
singing "Wot a Waste"
and the Clash drooling and swaggering
to "I'm So Bored With the U.S.A."
but I played the videotape
over and over
till I loved them
new and strange

Monday, January 12, 2009

Jeffry Jensen

STAYING NEIL YOUNG

He came down from Canada in a dented hearse with
a guitar stretched out in the back and a buffalo in his eyes.
He broke many sacred arrows over his knee with the help of
Mr. Soul who hung out at runways expecting to fly.
I recognized the loner in him as I waited for an old
lady to laugh in between my trips to nowhere.
A cinnamon sky reminded me of a cowgirl who
counted all the grains of sand in order to go somewhere.
Carrying a cracked heart in his suitcase, he
dug out of a gold rush and waited for morning to
dance across the horizon as he listened for a new
song to crash into a creek with a different point of view.
Deborah P Kolodji

ON MARS

photos
of a place we may never
touch
we name the rock “Yogi”
as though it is ours

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Helen Graziano

ROLLING STONE

A boy skips stones in the lake
Creating everwidening circles, ripples
Like a dream-catcher capturing hope

In action I am the rock held by David
To slay the tyrant, slingshot ready
I orate as pebbles in Demosthene's mouth

I am a rolling stone, I swing and sway, become scree
I'm a word hound, tumbling my gems
Till they emerge smooth and polished

A little rough around the edges, however

Who will cast the first stone
At the cowering adulterer?
Or am I the rock on which St. Peter built

While waiting for Godot, I suck stones
Transferring them from pocket to mouth
And back to pocket, sometimes Life sucks
Katherine Norland

A STRAND OF HAIR

A majestic boulder perched so high atop a cliff;
Yet it is said it will not fall, itʼs solid, and itʼs stiff.
It appears to be on edge, could roll with a gust of air;
But a hermit used a piece of the Buddhaʼs hair.
It said it would keep it in place, now covered with gold;
This has been passed down for generations and told.

It is a spectacle, a jaw dropping sight to see;
So easy to roll, yet so unmovable it seems to be.
The monks gather around the base of the boulder;
Bent down, arms folded in prayer shoulder to shoulder.
The nine hundred foot cliff holds the Pagodaʼs Shrine;
In Kyaik-tyo, Burma, a place now divine.

It testifies to the faith needed, a mustard seed or grain of sand;
If your dream weighs many tons with one strand of hair it can stand.