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

December 05, 2016
Bill Martin
Stalingrad at Standing Rock?
Mark A. Lause
Recounting a Presidential Election: the Backstory
Mel Goodman
Mad Dog Mattis and Trump’s “Seven Days in May”
Matthew Hannah
Standing Rock and the Ideology of Oppressors: Conversations with a Morton County Commissioner
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
#NoDAPL Scores Major Victory: No Final Permit For Pipeline
Fran Shor
The End of the Indispensable Nation
Michael Yates
Vietnam: the War That Won’t Go Away
Michael Uhl
Notes on a Trip to Cuba
Robert Hunziker
Huge Antarctica Glacier in Serious Trouble
John Steppling
Screen Life
David Macaray
Trump vs. America’s Labor Unions
Yoav Litvin
Break Free and Lead, or Resign: a Letter to Bernie Sanders
Norman Pollack
Taiwan: A Pustule on International Politics
Kevin Martin
Nuclear Weapons Modernization: a New Nuclear Arms Race? Who Voted for it? Who Will Benefit from It?
David Mattson
3% is not Enough: Towards Restoring Grizzly Bears
Howard Lisnoff
The Person Who Deciphered the Order to Shoot at Kent State
Dave Archambault II
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Statement on Dakota Access Pipeline Decision
Nick Pemberton
Make America Late Again
Weekend Edition
December 02, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
The Coming War on China
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: The CIA’s Plots to Kill Castro
Paul Street
The Iron Heel at Home: Force Matters
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
Timberg’s Tale: Washington Post Reporter Spreads Blacklist of Independent Journalist Sites
Andrew Levine
Must We Now Rethink the Hillary Question? Absolutely, Not
Joshua Frank
CounterPunch as Russian Propagandists: the Washington Post’s Shallow Smear
David Rosen
The Return of HUAC?
Rob Urie
Race and Class in Trump’s America
Patrick Cockburn
Why Everything You’ve Read About Syria and Iraq Could be Wrong
Caroline Hurley
Anatomy of a Nationalist
Ayesha Khan
A Muslim Woman’s Reflections on Trump’s Misogyny
Michael Hudson – Steve Keen
Rebel Economists on the Historical Path to a Global Recovery
Russell Mokhiber
Sanders Single Payer and Death by Democrat
Roger Harris
The Triumph of Trump and the Specter of Fascism
Steve Horn
Donald Trump’s Swamp: Meet Ten Potential Energy and Climate Cabinet Picks and the Pickers
Louis Proyect
Deepening Contradictions: Identity Politics and Steelworkers
Ralph Nader
Trump and His Betraying Makeover
Stephen Kimber
The Media’s Abysmal Coverage of Castro’s Death
Dan Bacher
WSPA: The West’s Most Powerful Corporate Lobbying Group
Nile Bowie
Will Trump backpedal on the Trans-Pacific Partnership?
Ron Ridenour
Fidel’s Death Brings Forth Great and Sad Memories
Missy Comley Beattie
By Invitation Only
Fred Gardner
Sword of Damocles: Pot Partisans Fear Trump’s DOJ
Renee Parsons
Obama and Propornot
Dean Baker
Cash and Carrier: Trump and Pence Put on a Show
Jack Rasmus
Taming Trump: From Faux Left to Faux Right Populism
Ron Jacobs
Selling Racism—A Lesson From Pretoria
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail