“To a Friend Whose Work Has Come to Nothing” i
Jul22

“To a Friend Whose Work Has Come to Nothing” i

The title of the William Butler Yeats poem “To a Friend Whose Work Has Come to Nothing” makes me cringe. Is it kind to encourage a friend whose talent may be nonexistent, or is it kinder to speak plainly, in other words, tell the truth? Friend, it’s my unfortunate obligation to say you have no talent in this area and must give this up, the sooner the better, because you‘re wasting everyone’s time and making yourself crazy and are...

Read More
Carousel Gone
Jul18

Carousel Gone

“I hitch-hiked to Asbury Park . . . when I got there, I was exhausted—” i Carousel gone “No plans, lady, just making the building stable. Keep away from the machine.” Enable me, construction man, to see beyond coarse gritty sand Mermaid vamp and debauch Rests upon a tarnished couch Where goest dream place childhood? Face the ocean where once we stood Soggy foggy July morn Hung over and still forlorn Parking deck hangs undone In the...

Read More
Vanity of July
Jul16

Vanity of July

Tonight it pours for the first time in three weeks In the hot humid heat of July I watch from second floor window As Red Bank streets puddle Girls carrying packages run down narrow alley Boys stand in a doorway ready to make mad dash Happy to see rain wash dry streets For the first time it’s quiet here I like the sound of rain And flash of lightening Thunder Empty waterfront streets I wish it would rain all summer And stay cool...

Read More
Red Banks
Jul08

Red Banks

Train whistles blow past Edward Hopper Early Sunday morning red brick buildings Long sad golden windows whisper intrigues Always watching me The sun sets in the West on the brick and windowpanes As I look down upon the Navesink My heart sinks, sank, sunk What am I doing here on these red banks? What am I doing any place? I woke up and didn’t know where I was Fixx across from my window I fix I fixed I have fixed i Fix the Fixx, a wharf...

Read More
Lawrence and Me
Jun15

Lawrence and Me

Clearing out the garage Going through mountains of books Nooks and nooks of books Old English lit books New York and London Harper & Brothers Publishers 1897 Gibbon, Goldsmith, Bentley, Dryden, Coleridge, De Quincey, Wordsworth . . . Bonobos, Silverjones, Rolls, Wetcave, Oilvalley, U Adams, Numbersunworthy . . . And what to my wondering eyes should I find But old friend Lawrence paperback Ferlinghetti-o I say old friend because I...

Read More
Old Shoe
May05

Old Shoe

“ . . . my old cracked shoes weep . . . ” i “ . . . turning an ankle is a Pavlovian fait accompli” ii Desolation Peak Minus perks In the desert of suburban house Over fifty and it’s over Disposable trash Corporate ash Old shoe Friday at three Judas Sealed with a kiss CEO unreined brat Shallow cad Foul-mouthed rat A kiss and dismissal Crass no class An imp An ape Coward Fat cat Loud crude and dull You killed the swan Capricious caprice...

Read More
Beat Me, Dav-id, GO to the Bar
Apr25

Beat Me, Dav-id, GO to the Bar

(Medium Boogie Woogie) In a Phnom-Penh beach-y sunn-y vil-lage in As-ia There’s a Scot who runs the best Em-er-ald Beat bar He can line fine whisk-ey an-y way that you take it But what he likes the best is kicks that go far When he pours it’s a ball He’s the GO-man of them all Old Bull-Lee waltz-es a-round when Dave sets up the bar, Then when he pours he shakes a hand, The rhyth-m Jack beats puts the gang in a trance No-bod-y there...

Read More
“A Fish With Frog’s Eyes”:  Bob Kaufman, George Romero and the Power of Radioactivity
Apr23

“A Fish With Frog’s Eyes”: Bob Kaufman, George Romero and the Power of Radioactivity

By Kurt Kline   In the poetry of Bob Kaufman, the poet is the healer, journeying down into the underworld of the American psyche in order to heal the wounds of racism, capitalist exploitation, and war. If Kaufman is, as many critics have suggested, a shaman, it is perhaps most properly in the tradition of Hoodoo, which employs music as a mode of otherworldly transport or to facilitate trance states. If Kaufman recuperates the...

Read More