Thursday, October 28, 2010

E. R. Sanchez


A small, tired, packed, rickety,
wooden boat creaks,
people of all ages,
legs cramp,
shoulders bump,
forced to stand the Pacific.

They see the sun rise and dip
on a limitless pale blue canvas.
Their eyes eager to see a coastline
not armed by Viet-Cong.
Each glances into each other's pupil
connected by a bridge that cracks under the current,
every night closes like it is the last.

Blinded and deaf to their crying,
some realize the weak are useless,
so they must walk with shaved head shame.
The air, overrun by salt,
floods their tongues with want.
The feast, stains the diners black-red,
ruining their conscience with suicidal guilt.
Surviving skulls must be shaved,
hair falling on their full stomachs.
The boat is close to empty.

An exhausted, crude, makeshift, wooden boat, creaks,
everybody cries as they near the shore,
most cling to the blood-stained wood,
all walk with shaved head shame.

Foreign eyes are curious,
but no one asks.
Peace soldiers shoo them into assimilation camps.

The boat people must grow out their hair,
though they protest through tears,
wishing everybody was here,
to cry

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Poet-broker (AKA Ed Rosenthal)


Developers are tinkering with a tinsel town toolkit,
chiseling clues from foundations of urban places.
They've tightened up synergy in boulevard spaces
and smoothed diverse urban energies into grooves.
The past is honored in Egyptian and Pantages restorations.
The future is grounded on the rails of three transit stations.
At night workers race to bars over walk of fame pavement,
then throw off their shoes in lofts above rail tubes.

The barely lit sun shines on reborn deco buildings
where youth rests before stumbling past steamy cafes,
up to loft offices or down Hollywood and Vine escalators
to catch red neon Metro to Downtown or San Fernando gigs.
Looking back above them at see thru towers, where elevators
mix women in nurses whites with sisters in St. Johns knits.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Eric Lawson


My childhood has been repackaged
I thought while shopping for
birthday gifts for my relatives
Everything that was cool when
I was a kid is back in style
All the toys
All the lunchboxes
All the tee-shirts
All the catch-phrases

and yet

The movie remakes pale
The toys are made cheaper
The tee shirts are retro
rip-offs, and utterly unoriginal
New glossy covers encase
classic works of literature
New rose-colored glasses
are handed out at the malls
Is money the new messiah?
I want to scream in revulsion
at the absurdity of it all

but then

I saw it The Ewok Village Play Set
"Now with more Ewoks"
proclaims the neon sticker
I pull my hat down lower
I swipe my trusty credit card
and race home to relive
my childhood again and again
Because now I can afford it
I can afford to stave off
the onrushing train of future
while spending my present
glorifying my past with joy

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Don Kingfisher Campbell


eyes open
slide out of bed
shuffle to the bathroom
like The Mummy
can barely see

shower, dress
throw on a jacket
hop in car
like Robert Mitchum
flying to his Angel Face

a woman
Out Of The Past
looking as lovely
as ever as if
Jane Greer still lives

ride together
to the beach, stroll
stop to gaze at littered shore
like Charlton Heston and his mate
on The Planet Of The Apes

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Mikel Weisser


After 14 days I took out my garbage
I sprang up
After Magnolia
I saw reality was real once more
I saw the stink I’d cringed under
Could just be carried away

In a bathrobe and boxers
I walked out into midnight
Came back and cried
Wrote to my son and cried
Wrote to a friend and I cried

I slid open the backdoor
Propped open my front
Stepped out of the robe
Let the vertical blinds clatter
Clatter to a roar
Roar like a frog storm
I stood and I shuddered and I cried

Fresh air filled my house
I breathed
And breathed again
I shut the doors and the lights
I sat and I wrote this
And readied for bed
Eager to start my new day

An hour later
I struggle up from covers
And flinch from the lamplight
And still cling and can’t let go
Tomorrow my daylight will shine on disorder
And every missing piece won’t somehow make sense

Like a former stupid genius
I’ll flounder in mundane
And know fact beyond all meaning
And fail to communicate my pain

After Magnolia
Even hours after
I’m still dwarfed beneath its immensity
But at least all my garbage is gone

Monday, May 3, 2010

Helen Graziano


Campesinos all -- love the dust of Mexico
I’m a Cuernevaca, Guanajuato kid

There’s magic in the dust of Mexico
A cantina open in a rainstorm
Saying welcome bienvenidos
Mas tequila por favor--
Mariachis sing about wondrous Madrid
the Man descends into the bullring
Ole! Ole! The women rant then faint
When bull is gored
The corrida-- at 4 in the afternoon.

“Non se puede vivir sin amar”
One cannot live without love
Love in the time of Cholera, unrequited
Torrid tempestuous Don Juan
Ultima seductions--696
But when the body is unable? What then?

There’s magic in the dust of Mexico
Tramping into Santo Tomas winery
Sampling mescal and chardonnay
Hoofing to La Bufadora the water spouting
like old faithful, spuming, gushing
a towering column, between the rocks
wet spray on tourists

Pueblo blankets and horses run on the beach
Michelin tires stacked in roadside dust
La dia de los muertes, The day of the dead
The devil comes out of hiding
and the skulls dance

Where is salvation?
Beggars with turquoise rings, abalone shells for earrings
There’s Jose and Jaime and Pablo, campesinos all.
Aye Aye O rancho grande
Sangria flows from bota bags
Ole! I shout! My spirit is willing

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ed Houston


The cowpoke has been in the saddle for a long time
Bi-passing a lot of towns, staying in the hills living off the land
But he had grown weary of coyotes, and sidewinders for mediation
Maybe this town would be different he earned the right, he shed his blood

The drifter pushed open the saloon doors
Just one drink to cut the dust out of his throat
One drink and he'd head back to the hills
He earned at least one drink

He saddled on up to the bar
The hall had grown quiet before he made it half way
One shot of your best whiskey, and a glass of cold beer he said to the bar keep
As he flipped a gold coin on the bar

The bar keep eyed the drifter, the way his gun hung low on his hip
The coat on his back, the way he carried his rifle, the look in his eye
The barkeep looked at the man for a minute, and then the gold coin on the counter
Then he said, " One shot of the best whiskey and a cold beer coming right up."

The barkeep placed the drinks in front of the man
The drifter picked up the shot glass of whiskey, but before he could raise it to his lips
A voice from behind him said we don't serve your kind in here
You best leave those drinks on the bar and get the Hell out of here before you find yourself on a tree

The man turned around to see who was telling him he didn't have a right, but he knew what he looked like before he even turned around-He had been seeing them all his life, and they all looked the same-He looked the man in the eye as he threw back the buffalo coat covering his Colt 45.-He thought about the last Indian he had killed with his knife as they fought in hand-to hand combat, " Why do you fight for the `Blue Eyes when you know they hate you more than me?"

The drifter thought about that as he threw back the hot whiskey down his throat-never taking his eyes off the man or the room, as he grabbed his beer and finished it in two huge gulps. He told the Indian as he lay dying as he pulled out his knife, I fight because I'm an American-As he walked passed the man who told him he couldn't be served he said to him, I can drink here because I'm an American, I've fought for my country, I've killed for my country, and if you're ready to die for your country, you try to put me on a tree, because I've earned the right to walk through the front door.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Khadija Anderson

~after Werner Herzog

Werner, Werner, Werner

1969 filming planes

in they come

in they come

in they come

in they come

in they come

never touching the

hazy red desert

dead cattle and unhappy lounge acts

mix easily with potted plants

lizards and metal

metal metal

in that desert a waterfall

dirty children now 60 something do they

still live in burned out car hulls

huts caves square mud

something far away is tacking

back and forth

back and forth

across the flat