Lojeski, Keefe and Orloski


Passing It Down


Near the end

my father rented

an old Cape

in Orleans

on Cape Cod.

When I visited,

bees were flying

around the living

room.  He didn’t

seem to mind,

but back then he

had a wild look

in his eyes and a bottle

always close by.

It was hot in his


of a house,

the large windows

flung open

to the gardens

in ripe summer


Standing amidst

all that buzzing

and those thick,

powerful scents,

I watched him pace

about, grinning

and drinking

and waving

his arms like he

was trying

to fly.

I knew he was crazy

then, so what

did that portend for me?

Long after spreading

his ashes

in the sea,

I finally found out

but, man, my arms

are getting tired.

Paul Lojeski was born and raised in Lakewood, Ohio, where he received his formal education. He attended Oberlin College.  His poetry has appeared in ABZ, Barrow Street, Counterpunch and is forthcoming in Paumanok II, an anthology of Long Island poetry and photography.  He lives with his wife and daughter in Port Jefferson, NY.


Job Search



The shock of unemployment becomes a pathology in its own right.  –Robert Farrar Capon


I punch in:


We’re looking for an energetic, creative…

peon with a great sense of humor.

You should have a solid understanding….

Must have excellent

Must be familiar with

must – must

must love the Man  (qualified applicants can call him Daddy)

Must love exhaust fumes

Ability to leap tall buildings and bend

over a +

Demonstrated ability to do much with little

Master’s degree preferred


We are happy to employ happy employees

Please wow us.


This role will:

Question  Answer

Decide  Defer

Collaborate  Work Independently

Speak  Listen

Sit  Stand  Sit

Good Dog

and other duties as determined

by someone making more money than you


Job is contract

Job is part time

Job requires evening and weekend hours

Job requires 2 hours a day in traffic

Job requires experience

This is an entry level job


No phone calls

We’ll keep you in mind

We’ll keep you

We’ll keep you on tenterhooks

The future is the future

Past experiences must be past

We are sorry to be so sorry


Priya Keefe has had work published on a Dublin lamppost, Seattle buses, on the internet, and on paper.  Look for her work in The Nervous Breakdown and the Seattle City Council website.



The Soap Buffalo



1959, 3rd-Grade, Roosevelt School, Taylor Borough –

best friend Ronnie Casey thought I had “it made,”

’52 Pontiac, lamp-post, encyclopedias, TV, patio, a hot-water shower.

Beyond that, my father had a Teamster truck-driving job,

he didn’t drink all that much, an only child,

I had toy soldiers and cap-guns to play with; every night

mother taught me to bless myself, get on knees, pray

“Bozie watch over me, keep me away from danger and sickness.”  


Except for TV commercials heralding Red atomic attacks,

there wasn’t much danger in Taylor Borough,

just a shot fired into a mother’s chest by an angry teenage daughter,

a runaway cow from a Newton-Ransom farm, infected tonsils,

Mrs. Dubee’s homework assignments, that was all –

everybody appreciated used motor oil applications upon dirt roads,

no dust-in-eyes when lumber trucks came rolling by,

kids played kick-the-can, rode bicycle, when oil dried-up.


Perhaps Bozie couldn’t protect enough?

As if arithmetic and sentence conjugation weren’t enough pain,

Mrs. Dubee’s weekend homework assignment intruded –

Ron Casey and I, tasked with carving a buffalo out of soap;

I had Ivory soap bars aplenty, they floated upon water,

Casey’s “old lady” had  knack for knives, and Friday night,

after supper, it was off to Ronnie’s house,

somehow a bison-statue must appear, soap better not fall apart.


My distinct knock upon Casey’s door,

“Yo, Ron-nie!” 9-children cramped inside

a house built by Continental Coal Mine Company.      1.

Entered kitchen, Ron’s father “Joe” covered with coal-soot,

head to toe, he loaded coal-cars day to day,

only eyes distinguished him from Amos and Andy.  

Mrs. Edna Casey heated water upon coal stove, she poured

pots of water into Joe’s tin-tub, later the Casey boys

would dump unclean water outdoors, into gutter –

the Casey kitchen smelled different than my Pine Sol world.


So distinctly, with care, Edna Casey carved bars of soap,

I’d almost see a tear rise in a buffalo eye, and then CRACK –

she’d utter curse-words, exclaim, “We almost had the son-of-a-bitch.”

Fourth bar of Ivory, I knew a trip to Pat Langan’s Store was inevitable.

With short knife splices, careful chips, soap petals piled upon tabletop,

Mrs. Casey braided her hair, donned war paint, chanted,

“wu, wu, wu, wooh… wu, wu, wu, wooh,” carving persisted,

Mr. Casey’s out of tub, clean, a white-man once again,


it’s hunting season 2012, Soap Buffalo on all fours, life given,

a romp across Garden State Parkway, National Guard on patrol,

skin made soap, Sandy returned to boardwalk, knocked-out pier lights,

a Frankenstorm link to al-Qaeda?   

Mrs. Dubee’s 6′ under, Coal is Lantern-King, chips down for an only child,

Bozie’s Sun-Dial cut Bible in two,  fait accompli, buffalo nickels not worth shit,

and Ron Casey’s hair is clean, still red.

Charles Orloski lives in Taylor, Pennsylvania. He can be reached at ccdjOrlov@aol.com.                       

Editorial Note: (Please Read Closely Before Submitting)

To submit to Poets’ Basement, send an e-mail to CounterPunch’s poetry editor, Marc Beaudin at counterpunchpoetry@gmail.com with your name, the titles being submitted, and your website url or e-mail address (if you’d like this to appear with your work).  Also indicate whether or not your poems have been previously published and where.  For translations, include poem in original language and documentation of granted reprint/translation rights.  Attach up to 5 poems and a short bio, written in 3rd person, as a single Word Document (.doc or .rtf attachments only; no .docx – use “Save As” to change docx or odt files to “.doc”).  Expect a response within one month (occasionally longer during periods of heavy submissions).

Poems accepted for online publication will be considered for possible inclusion of an upcoming print anthology.

For more details, tips and suggestions, visit CrowVoiceJournal.blogspot.com and check the links on the top right. Thanks!

Weekend Edition
November 27-29, 2015
Andrew Levine
The Real Trouble With Bernie
Gary Leupp
Ben Carson, Joseph in Egypt, and the Attack on Rational Thought
John Whitbeck
Who’s Afraid of ISIS?
Michael Brenner
Europe’s Crisis: Terror, Refugees and Impotence
Pepe Escobar
Will Chess, Not Battleship, Be the Game of the Future in Eurasia?
Vijay Prashad
Showdown on the Syrian Border
Colin Todhunter
Class, War and David Cameron
Jean Bricmont
The Ideology of Humanitarian Imperialism
Dan Glazebrook
Deadliest Terror in the World: the West’s Latest Gift to Africa
Mats Svensson
Madness in Hebron: Hashem Had No Enemies, Yet Hashem Was Hated
Walter Brasch
Terrorism on American Soil
Louisa Willcox
Grizzly Bears, Dreaming and the Frontier of Wonder
Dave Lindorff
Gen. John Campbell, Commander in Afghanistan and Serial Liar
Michael Welton
Yahweh is Not Exactly Politically Correct
Joseph Natoli
A Politics of Stupid and How to Leave It Behind
Karl Grossman
Our Solar Bonanza!
John Cox
You Should Fear Racism and Xenophobia, Not Syrian Refugees or Muslims
Barrie Gilbert
Sacrificing the Grizzlies of Katmai: the Plan to Turn Brooks Camp Into a Theme
Rev. William Alberts
The Church of “Something Else” in “an Ecclesiastical Desert”
Mark Hand
Escape From New York: the Emancipation of Activist Cecily McMillan
Ramzy Baroud
Forget ISIS: Humanity is at Stake
Andrew Gavin Marshall
Bank Crimes Pay
Elliot Murphy
Cameron’s Syrian Strategy
Gareth Porter
How Terror in Paris Calls for Revising US Syria Policy
Thomas S. Harrington
Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe and the Death of Ezra Schwartz
Michael Perino
The Arc of Instability
Yves Engler
Justin Trudeau and Canada’s Mining Industry
Tom H. Hastings
ISIS and Changing the Game
Lars Jørgensen
Vive la Résistance
John Halle
A Yale Education as a Tool of Power and Privilege
Norman Pollack
Syrian “Civil War”?: No, A Proxy War of Global Confrontation
Sheldon Richman
Let the Refugees In
James Anderson
Reframing Black Friday: an Imperative for Déclassé Intellectuals
Simon Bowring
UN Climate Talks 2009: a Merger of Interest and Indifference
Ron Jacobs
Rosa Luxembourg–From Street Organizer to Street Name
Aidan O'Brien
Same-Sex Sellout in Ireland
David Stocker
Report from the Frontline of Resistance in America
Patrick Bond
China Sucked Deeper Into World Financial Vortex and Vice Versa, as BRICS Sink Fast
James A Haught
The Values of Jesus
Binoy Kampmark
British Austerity: Cutting One’s Own Backyard
Ed Rampell
45 Years: A Rumination on Aging
Charles R. Larson
Chronicle of Sex Reassignment Surgery: Juliet Jacques’s “Trans: a Memoir”
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
CounterPunch’s Favorite Films
November 26, 2015
Ashley Nicole McCray – Lawrence Ware
Decolonizing the History of Thanksgiving
Joseph Grosso
The Enduring Tragedy: Guatemala’s Bloody Farce