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!

Weekend Edition
April 29, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
What is the Democratic Party Good For? Absolutely Nothing
Roberto J. González – David Price
Anthropologists Marshalling History: the American Anthropological Association’s Vote on the Academic Boycott of Israeli Institutions
Robert Jacobs
Hanford, Not Fukushima, is the Big Radiological Threat to the West Coast
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
US Presidential Election: Beyond Lesser Evilism
Dave Lindorff
The Push to Make Sanders the Green Party’s Candidate
Ian Fairlie
Chernobyl’s Ongoing Toll: 40,000 More Cancer Deaths?
Pete Dolack
Verizon Sticks it to its Workers Because $45 Billion isn’t Enough
Richard Falk
If Obama Visits Hiroshima
Margaret Kimberley
Dishonoring Harriet Tubman
Deepak Tripathi
The United States, Britain and the European Union
Peter Linebaugh
Marymount, Haymarket, Marikana: a Brief Note Towards ‘Completing’ May Day
Eva Golinger
My Country, My Love: a Conversation with Gerardo and Adriana of the Cuban Five
Moshe Adler
May Day: a Trade Agreement to Unite Third World and American Workers
Vijay Prashad
Political Violence in Honduras
Paul Krane
Where Gun Control Ought to Start: Disarming the Police
David Anderson
Al Jazeera America: Goodbye to All That Jazz
Rob Hager
Platform Perversity: More From the Campaign That Can’t Strategize
Pat Williams
FDR in Montana
Dave Marsh
Every Day I Read the Book (the Best Music Books of the Last Year)
David Rosen
Job Satisfaction Under Perpetual Stagnation
John Feffer
Big Oil isn’t Going Down Without a Fight
Murray Dobbin
The Canadian / Saudi Arms Deal: More Than Meets the Eye?
Gary Engler
The Devil Capitalism
Brian Cloughley
Is Washington Preparing for War Against Russia?
Manuel E. Yepe
The Big Lies and the Small Lies
Robert Fantina
Vice Presidents, Candidates and History
Mel Gurtov
Sanctions and Defiance in North Korea
Howard Lisnoff
Still the Litmus Test of Worth
Dean Baker
Big Business and the Overtime Rule: Irrational Complaints
Ulrich Heyden
Crimea as a Paradise for High-Class Tourism?
Ramzy Baroud
Did the Arabs Betray Palestine? – A Schism between the Ruling Classes and the Wider Society
Halyna Mokrushyna
The War on Ukrainian Scientists
Joseph Natoli
Who’s the Better Neoliberal?
Ron Jacobs
The Battle at Big Brown: Joe Allen’s The Package King
Wahid Azal
Class Struggle and Westoxication in Pahlavi Iran: a Review of the Iranian Series ‘Shahrzad’
David Crisp
After All These Years, Newspapers Still Needed
Graham Peebles
Hungry and Frightened: Famine in Ethiopia 2016
Robert Koehler
Opening the Closed Political Culture
Missy Comley Beattie
Waves of Nostalgia
Thomas Knapp
The Problem with Donald Trump’s Version of “America First”
Georgina Downs
Hillsborough and Beyond: Establishment Cover Ups, Lies & Corruption
Jeffrey St. Clair
Groove on the Tracks: the Magic Left Hand of Red Garland
Ben Debney
Kush Zombies: QELD’s Hat Tip to Old School Hip Hop
Charles R. Larson
Moby Dick on Steroids?
David Yearsley
Miles Davis: Ace of Baseness
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail