FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Dorbin, DeWald and Ford

by POETS' BASEMENT

A Soviet of Sound, 1986

by SANFORD DORBIN

 

Here’s Sviatoslav Richter

scouting the steppes by train.

Stops ad lib in some unpromising village

& his aides have a concert organized

in an hour. A tortoise convention, full house.

The tender and tough-love way he addresses the keys

lifts their bread-and potatoes-hearts.

People who’d never heard this kind

of music before locked elbows after,

swaying in the aisles in tribute—

Richter-scale enthusiasm & away

first thing in the morning.

 

[NOTE: In 1986, Richter embarked on a six-month tour of Siberia with his beloved Yamaha piano, giving possibly as many as 150 recitals, at times performing in small towns that did not even have a concert hall. It is said that after one such concert, the members of the audience, who had never before heard classical music performed, gathered in the middle of the hall and started swaying from side to side to celebrate the performer. –Le monde de la musique, May 1989]

 

Sanford Dorbin is a retired librarian and wood cutter living in northern California. Never Enough Light: New & Selected Poems 1966-1994 was published by Igneus Press of New Hampshire in 1995.

 

 

Sleeping Lions

by JAYDN DeWALD

 

Evenings, in the damp grass under the folding table.

   Were you grappling with your loneliness, even then,

      Little plastic sword across your lap?

The pine trees

Rustled in the darkness; the Coleman lantern hissed.

I remember: I would tap my father’s workboot, and

One callused hand would descend,

pinching a scrap

Of pork meat. My mother would skim her bare feet

Over the grass. Hours, watching the shadows dance

In the turnip garden,

listening on the TV to the war

In Iraq. But they had made a space for you: a chair,

      A placemat. Once, against the chainlink fence, I sat

Reading Aeschylus,

ignoring their bellowing at me,

Hot blood spurting from Agamemnon’s neck. Rain

Brought us together again: beneath a dripping eave.

      Did you believe you’d find something—

         a little soul—

         Deep within? Mornings, and the gray lambs bleated

In the silence, in the mist. I lay under our dark coats

In the closet, my mind flittering from empty sleeve

to empty sleeve.

 

Jaydn DeWald, a graduate of Pacific University’s MFA program, currently lives with his wife in San Francisco, where he plays bass for the DeWald/Taylor Quintet and serves as Senior Poetry Editor for Silk Road. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Bellevue Literary Review, Columbia Poetry Review, The National Poetry Review, West Branch, Witness, and many others.

 

 

Taft, California: January 10, 2013

by MATT FORD

 

At the base of the grapevine

You’ll find a valley which city-dwellers

Forget exists

Emptiness. Finally out of L.A. smog, but

You wont be able to see

Air thick with oil and pesticides

Your lungs channeling more energy

Simply to function

Unless you grew up there

Horizon dotted with rocking oil drills

Back and forth, up and down

Nonstop, relentless

Big white Chevy pickups

Farm owners

Small houses where workers live

Working to keep roaches from occupying their beds

Merle Haggard and Buck Owens

Bakersfield sound

Country music on the radio stations

 

If you proceed west from Highway 99

Like a tumbleweed, you’ll roll into Taft

Conceived with the railroad

Nursed on oil

Still nursing on oil

Standard Oil’s corporate headquarters

Local holiday: “Oildorado”

It’s the Wild West, but rich

Chevron rich

No labor unions rich

Named after a huge trust-busting president

A union man

Who is gnawing at the wood of his coffin

Disgusted with his name

Being used for a corporate town

His legacy ignored

Making his way back to the surface

To scorn his namesake

And that slave labor legislation of 1947

 

Today, a child brought a shotgun to

Taft Union High School

Carried it down Wildcat Road

Past the neighbors

To shoot two students

Now you’ve heard of Taft

It’s on the map

First school shooting of 2013

Some say guns don’t kill people

I believe that

But they wont say

Social environments create people

Who kill people

 

Matt Ford lives in Fresno, California. He is a history teacher, traveler, and writes poetry to stay sane.

 

 

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

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

January 17, 2017
John Pilger
The Issue is Not Trump. It is Us
John K. White
Is Equality Overrated, Too?
Michael J. Sainato
The DNC Hands the Democratic Party Over to David Brock and Billionaire Donors
John Davis
Landscapes of Shame: America’s National Parks
Andrew Smolski
Third Coast Pillory: Politicians and Rhetorical Tricks
Chris Busby
The Scientific Hero of Chernobyl: Alexey V. Yablokov, the Man Who Dared to Speak the Truth
David Macaray
Four Reasons Trump Will Quit
Chet Richards
The Vicissitudes of the Rural South
Clancy Sigal
“You Don’t Care About Jobs”: Why the Democrats Lost
Robert Dodge
Martin Luther King and U.S. Politics: Time for a U.S. Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Jack Sadat Lee
I Dream of Justice for All the Animal Kingdom
James McEnteer
Mourning Again in America
January 16, 2017
Paul Street
How Pure is Your Hate?
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
Did the Elites Have Martin Luther King Jr. Killed?
Robert Hunziker
Global Warming Clobbers Ocean Life
Patrick Cockburn
The Terrifying Parallels Between Trump and Erdogan
Kenneth Surin
The Neoliberal Stranglehold on the American Public University
Lawrence Davidson
Is There a Future for the Democratic Party?
Douglas Valentine
Who Killed MLK Jr?
Robert Fisk
The Foreign Correspondent in the Age of Twitter and Trump
Dale Bryan
“Where Do We Go from Here?”
David Swanson
The Deep State Wants to Deep Six Us
Dan Bacher
Obama Administration Orders Speedy Completion of Delta Tunnels Plan
Mark Weisbrot
Obama Should Make Sure that Haitian Victims of UN-Caused Cholera are Compensated
Winslow Myers
The Light of the World
Bruce Mastron
My Latest Reason to Boycott the NFL: Guns
Weekend Edition
January 13, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Gregory Elich
Did the Russians Really Hack the DNC?
Jeffrey St. Clair
The President Who Wasn’t There: Barack Obama’s Legacy of Impotence
Anthony DiMaggio
Ethics Fiasco: Trump, Divestment and the Perversion of Executive Politics
Joshua Frank
Farewell Obummer, Hello Golden Showers
Paul Street
Hit the Road, Barack: Some Farewell Reflections
Vijay Prashad
After Aleppo: the State of Syria
John Wight
Russia Must be Destroyed: John McCain and the Case of the Dodgy Dossier
Rob Urie
Meet the Deplorables
Patrick Cockburn
The Russian Dossier Reminds Me of the Row Over Saddam’s WMDs
Eric Sommer
U.S.-China War: a Danger Hidden from the American People
Andrew Levine
Are Democrats Still the Lesser Evil?
Linda Pentz Gunter
What’s Really Behind the Indian Point Nuclear Deal?
Robert Fantina
Trucks, ‘Terror’ and Israel
Richard Moser
Universal Values are Revolutionary Values
Russell Mokhiber
Build the Bagdikian Wall: “Sponsored News” at the Washington Post
Yoav Litvin
Establishment Narcissism – The Democrats’ Game of Thrones
David Rosen
Return of the Repressed: Trump & the Revival of the Culture Wars
Robert Koehler
War Consciousness and the F-35
Rev. William Alberts
The New Smell of McCarthyism Demands Faith Leaders Speak Truth to Power
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail