"Poem for Bob" - Aralee Strange




"Poem for Bob" - Aralee Strange

If I said I saw you dressed in a long coat
mingling with other angels dressed similarly
on the mezzanine of the public library
who would believe me?

If I said it was proof you got your heavenly due
eternity among books
am I nuts or was it a dream
something I saw in a movie?

Is this what they mean by blind faith?

I have rattled your bones.
I know where your earthly remains lie
and whose hearts broke when you died
and took off flying straight to glory.

I tried to pray.
I tried to say goodbye.
I groped rock bottom and mortal
found no way to accept your disappearing.

I stare at the picture of you again
and our friend Arthur reading there
in the cold white light of Christmas past
the last page of a book poetry no doubt
but that was then and you are not and
what took you and why is not the point.

How can life comprehend oblivion?

But if I said that was you transfixed in ethereal
spirit free amongst flocking celestials
floating happily ever after for all time
pure cloud across a blue sky
I’d be right wouldn’t I?



While widely published in literary journals during her lifetime, The Road Itself marks the first overview of the late Aralee Strange’s poetic works. It is a tour de force that moves from the urban blight of 1980’s Cincinnati Main Street to the pastoral solitude of Adams County, OH to the Southern charms of Athens, GA while remaining forever rooted in the heart of America, exploring in equal measure the implied complexity of its inherent beauty and tragic flaws. Her unmistakable, even voice simultaneously pitched between Old Testament scripture and The Street, these tough, restless poems aspire to and attain a clarity of language and personal spirituality. Included inThe Road Itself is her seminal poem cycle, “dr. pain on main,” which captures the total fabric of city life, its complications and many textures, as well as the meditative poem-psalms that she composed on Peach Mountain in Adams County, Ohio that led Strange to write and direct her feature film, This TrainThe Road Itself also includes art by Jay Bolotin, Frederick C. Ellenberger,  Kathy Prescott, Michelle Red Elk, Art Rosenbaum, Mary Seguin  and Jim Wainscott, each piece inspired by Strange’s life and work. Edited and with an afterword by Mark Flanigan, and with a foreword by Pauletta Hansel, the poems in The Road Itself seek truth in all of its hiding places, much like its author.

Haiku and senryu - David Oates



outdoor concert
after everyone’s gone
calls of tree frogs

alone in the house, 
little dog startles, then listens
answering machine

as we drive
down the highway she says, 
“All of this is an illusion.”                    
I say, “Still, I’ll keep my hands 
on the wheel.”

at the red light
three waiting drivers, all dance 
in their seats

from a pickup window
graceful bare feet 
with dirty soles

in the doorway 
at tap-dancing class
mother tries a step

little daughter watches 
as he rubs Rogaine on his skull –
“It’s not working, Dad.”

finishes her candy bar –
even on her back, 
chocolate

small town South
 “Ah men” congregation
with an “Ā men” preacher

Athens, Georgia--
outside pawnshop 
he opens the car’s trunk
gets his bass drum

Ritalin kicks in
I want to alphabetize
my spice rack


David Oates is tonight's featured reader at tonight's open  mic at the Globe. Sign-up for open mic is at 7 pm and readings begin upstairs at 8 pm

"There Is No Time" - Lou Reed



"There Is No Time" - Lou Reed

This is no time for celebration
this is no time for shaking hands
This is no time for backslapping
this is no time for marching bands
This is no time for optimism
this is no time for endless thought
This is no time for my country right or wrong
remember what that brought
There is no time
there is no time
There is no time
there is no time


This is no time for congratulations
this is no time to turn your back
This is no time for circumlocution
this is no time for learned speech
This is no time to count your blessings
this is no time for private gain
This is the time to put up or shut up
it won't come back this way again
There is no time
there is no time
There is no time
there is no time
This is no time to swallow anger
this is no time to ignore hate
This is no time to be acting frivolous
because the time is getting late
This is no time for private vendettas
this is no time to not know who you are
Self-knowledge is a dangerous thing
the freedom of who you are
This is no time to ignore warnings
this is no time to clear the plate
Let's not be sorry after the fact
and let the past become our fate
There is no time
there is no time
There is no time
there is no time
This is no time to turn away and drink
or smoke some vials of crack
This is a time to gather force
and take dead aim and attack
This is no time for celebration
this is no time for saluting flags
This is no time for inner searchings
the future is at hand
This is no time for phony rhetoric
this is no time for political speech
This is a time for action
because the future's within reach
This is the time
this is the time
This is the time
because there is no time
There is no time
there is no time
There is no time

There is no time