FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Popielaski, Held and Orloski

by POET'S BASEMENT

Whatever Will Be

by JOHN POPIELASKI

 

Asbestos is a little town

in southeast Canada
where mining is a way
of life and it is impolite
to ask if mesothelioma
or related ailments of the lung
are common or accepted,
part of doing business
with a microscopic fiber
that will not dissolve in water
or consent to alteration via flame.

I am descending
toward the little town,
and I imagine angels down there
batting fibers faithfully away
from the defenseless mouths and noses
of the Quebecois who answer
inquiries about the air
by smiling and reminding
the inquirers we all
must die of something
that we would with white masks

or with forearms

or with wishful thinking

try like hell to shun.
John Popielaski’s poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Bluestem, Canary, Theodate, and Toad. He is the author of Isn’t It Romantic? which won the 2011 Robert Phillips Chapbook Prize from Texas Review Press and O, Captain, which won the 2006 Poetry Chapbook Award from the Ledge Press.

 

 

Castrati

by PELEG HELD
Laugh and laugh the whole day through
and halfway through the night.

These long-ribbed notes
uplifted beneath the blade
sing no children from the land,
but stone and stump,
each sprig of bile,
the sniffling of the spade
ring with every glottal pulse
to an all but empty sky.

The spiraling sockets of the earth
where olive trees once stood
brim the roar of lebensraum,
of soil and of blood.
Go and feed the whirlwind —
come gild the wound a god —
we’ll scatter one-day-petals
round the iron rod.

Lancet-lore, O Lancet-lore,
a swallow song so fine
peoples deep the darkness,
it peels the skin of light,
we chink the wall with watchwords
and chosen alibis
as the calf mewls like a stranger
across the guttered lines.

 

Peleg Held was a former member of Voices in the Wilderness as well as several other failed campaigns for basic human decency. He is a carpenter in Portland, Maine where he lives with his partner and children, (primate and other).

 

 

To my 1996 Buick Century

by CHARLES ORLOSKI

 

Century, I no longer see my image

in your navy-blue hood,

I wish I knew a cure for rust formation

(CANCER)

upon fenders, holes in floor-board,

an engine tired of moving-on,

battered back-seat upon which I once made love,

your radio replaced human voices, together

we survived fender-benders, D.U.I. checkpoints,

muffler and exhaust pipe hung by wire,

I cannot accept the place your are now destined,

chariot Via Appia, last stop Route 66, the Autobahn end,

I long to fill you with unaffordable life-giving Premium,

pump $1.00 air into bald tires, take you on a country road,

park beside Lake Winola, turn-off ignition,

polish your hood, massage with chamois,

torment you no more to carry me elsewhere,

let you rest in the Land of Cash-for-Clunkers,

I do not accept it’s all over, you are my guru-metal,

I hold an owner’s card, you are no longer Bank property,

Scrap-man Mike Booth offered $125.00 for you,

I must take the money for now, perish as we must,

my Buick Century,

there is no proof whatsoever that there are no more roads.

 

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

 

Editorial Note: (Please Read Closely Before Submitting)

Poets Basement is now on Facebook. Find us as http://www.facebook.com/poets.basement.

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 two months (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 http://crowvoice.com/poets-basement. Thanks!


Editorial Note: (Please Read Closely Before Submitting) Poets Basement is now on Facebook. Find us ashttp://www.facebook.com/poets.basement. 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. Expect a response within two months (occasionally longer during periods of heavy submissions). Submissions not following the guidelines may or may not receive a response. Poems accepted for online publication will be considered for possible inclusion of an upcoming print anthology. For more details, tips and links to past installments, visit http://crowvoice.com/poets-basement. Thanks!

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

August 30, 2016
Russell Mokhiber
Matt Funiciello and the Giant Sucking Sound Coming Off Lake Champlain
Mike Whitney
Three Cheers for Kaepernick: Is Sitting During the National Anthem an Acceptable Form of Protest?
Alice Bach
Sorrow and Grace in Palestine
Sam Husseini
Why We Should All Remain Seated: the Anti-Muslim Origins of “The Star-Spangled Banner”
Richard Moser
Transformative Movement Culture and the Inside/Outside Strategy: Do We Want to Win the Argument or Build the Movement?
Nozomi Hayase
Pathology, Incorporated: the Facade of American Democracy
David Swanson
Fredric Jameson’s War Machine
Jan Oberg
How Did the West Survive a Much Stronger Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact?
Linda Gunter
The Racism of the Nagasaki and Hiroshima Bombings
Dmitry Kovalevich
In Ukraine: Independence From the People
Omar Kassem
Turkey Breaks Out in Jarablus as Fear and Loathing Grip Europe
George Wuerthner
A Birthday Gift to the National Parks: the Maine Woods National Monument
Logan Glitterbomb
Indigenous Property Rights and the Dakota Access Pipeline
National Lawyers Guild
Solidarity with Standing Rock Sioux Tribe against Dakota Access Pipeline
Paul Messersmith-Glavin
100 in Anarchist Years
August 29, 2016
Eric Draitser
Hillary and the Clinton Foundation: Exemplars of America’s Political Rot
Patrick Timmons
Dildos on Campus, Gun in the Library: the New York Times and the Texas Gun War
Jack Rasmus
Bernie Sanders ‘OR’ Revolution: a Statement or a Question?
Richard Moser
Strategic Choreography and Inside/Outside Organizers
Nigel Clarke
President Obama’s “Now Watch This Drive” Moment
Robert Fisk
Iraq’s Willing Executioners
Wahid Azal
The Banality of Evil and the Ivory Tower Masterminds of the 1953 Coup d’Etat in Iran
Farzana Versey
Romancing the Activist
Frances Madeson
Meet the Geronimos: Apache Leader’s Descendants Talk About Living With the Legacy
Nauman Sadiq
The War on Terror and the Carter Doctrine
Lawrence Wittner
Does the Democratic Party Have a Progressive Platform–and Does It Matter?
Marjorie Cohn
Death to the Death Penalty in California
Winslow Myers
Asking the Right Questions
Rivera Sun
The Sane Candidate: Which Representatives Will End the Endless Wars?
Linn Washington Jr.
Philadelphia District Attorney Hammered for Hypocrisy
Binoy Kampmark
Banning Burkinis: the Politics of Beachwear
Weekend Edition
August 26, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Louisa Willcox
The Unbearable Killing of Yellowstone’s Grizzlies: 2015 Shatters Records for Bear Deaths
Paul Buhle
In the Shadow of the CIA: Liberalism’s Big Embarrassing Moment
Rob Urie
Crisis and Opportunity
Charles Pierson
Wedding Crashers Who Kill
Richard Moser
What is the Inside/Outside Strategy?
Dirk Bezemer – Michael Hudson
Finance is Not the Economy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Bernie’s Used Cars
Margaret Kimberley
Hillary and Colin: the War Criminal Charade
Patrick Cockburn
Turkey’s Foray into Syria: a Gamble in a Very Dangerous Game
Ishmael Reed
Birther Tries to Flim Flam Blacks  
Brian Terrell
What Makes a Hate Group?
Andrew Levine
How Donald Trump Can Still be a Hero: Force the Guardians of the Duopoly to Open Up the Debates
Howard Lisnoff
Trouble in Political Paradise
Terry Tempest Williams
Will Our National Parks Survive the Next 100 Years?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail