Vanished Dreams / Lemuel "Life" LaRoche


Awakened by reality painful force,
last night I dreamt playgrounds empty of frolic
Neighboring graves yards scented with garlic
Lying between them were streams and streams
Of dying dreams flowing back to the source
Upon mornings visit,
Each dream became a mourning reality
Therefore, I dream no more.

A shadow lingering in the Akhmatova light
Gumyliov had a daughter
Lena
Abandonded in an orphanage, she starved to death near Petersburg 1921

baptism of blood and salt
such color and taste for
a brief and bitter monologue

do some wombs just spill
is birth the cresting of a world spawning sun
the tonguing downward
root of a new word
never before spoken in an unending language
particular humanity pouring out and flooding the universal

or can one sentence balance some lives off the ground
like a bitter child dragging a half forgotten doll

history is the psychosis of cold dark years diluting
the immeasurable burning into a dim star
beyond wish
outside constellation

Oh my daughter 
root and sun
Is there some where we will be remembered
A sky so deep and wide that every light can stretch its fullness without loss of brilliance or distinction
Where every word can blow its story across the waters
and so begin a world

Pine Chest / Amy Neese


It's that feeling in my chest
When my heart tenses like a clenched fist pining for you
And my finger
Winds round and down visualizing your body and it's ink

It's that feeling in my chest
When I lay awake aching to break the laws of time and space and place myself in your bed tonight
Wrapped tight
In a warm blanket of light

It's that feeling in my chest
That measures my volumes of love and lust from one day to the next
The one that manifests
Tear-stained sex

It's that feeling in my chest
The one my brain sends when Venus takes rulership over Mars
Like when I remember us in our classic cars
Going further than we were allowed

It's that feeling in my chest
That on me imposes a speech impediment every time I try to impress you

Thank God
For that feeling in my chest
It led me to my guru
She says that when I grow up
I want to be you

Broadside by Ben Gulyas



My So-called Love Life/Buddah


Live life to the fullest,

because life is love.

Just remember, love doesn't love you, people do.

And since people aren't perfect, they just make perfect messes.

What do you expect of love?

Sometimes, we can love someone too much, and others not enough.

I'll tell you, living in this lifetime with love is hard enough.

But, living without it, I can imagine is twice as rough.

Hold fast, let me stifle the hype, before I start hyping my life, as if it were pristine and perfect.

It is not.

I've come to the conclusion, that it's trifle to gripe.

I'm much better off alive, holding a rifle in my left hand and a knife in my right.

I protect my own, so for one or the other, I won't hesitate to fight.

Antagonized by the light of day, I walk a crooked crooked line.

Still guided by loves many lies and praline wishes.

So, please listen with intent and hold tight.

You can't have the day without the night.

I say, life is loveless, but that won't suffice.

For every breath we take is another roll of the dice.

Ha ha, so nice to gamble amoungst loved ones.

I love the company.

More love. More life.

So, next time you fall off of that brick wall called reality,

just remember, no one can eat your egg salad without your recipe.

Anyways, it makes some people gassy and sick, just like love.

Questions about Politicians

A recent poet laureate penned
a poem he called "Questions about Angels."
The first question considered was
"How many can dance on the head of a pin?"
The answer, as you might imagine,
is: it depends,
for just one angel might make a difference,
even if it takes an eternity.

My poem, on the other hand,
asks "Questions about Politicians,"
an inquiry based on a pre-existing notion that
the heads of most politicians
share similar attributes
with the heads of pins,
but without benefit of angels,
dancing or otherwise.

Just what does dance about the heads
of these, our elected representatives?
The question raises more questions.
Is there room in those narrow confines for organized
thought?
If so, can those thoughts organize themselves
into moments of reflective, responsible thinking?
Or do they exist merely to nurture
a pre-existing penchant for prevarication?

Maybe the slender apparitions pirouetting
behind the eyes of politicians take the form of emotions.
If so, are they passions for serving the powerless,
or only for those who pay the politician's way?
Do dreams of campaign contributions
and the passions they inspire
dance more provocatively than angels
in the impossibly small craniums of political office holders?

Or, perhaps, questions
which suggest thinking and feeling are being too
generous to these politicians,
and that which occupies the tiny cavities in their heads,
instead of thoughts
or even emotions
are simply the sounds
of strings being pulled.

Dirty

There is a piece of bridge in Newark
which stretches up into the sky.

It was, at one time or another, painted
a stale version of sky color. It is immense.

It is impossible to capture by photograph
because of the highways which converge
below its form. I will describe it:
triangular hunks of metal gather

at pivotal screws which might be broken.
Its rectangular shape is drowned
by the sublimity of its height,
but only when seen from the right side

of a New Jersey Transit train leaving Manhattan.
The hunks are interwoven in such a fashion
that you can see through to the Passaic River,

if you like. Otherwise, you can see
the cars racing towards traffic.

Otherwise, you can see the sky.
We are all romantics at heart.

And that is what the triangular hunks
resemble most: hearts
without that curved slit top center.