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MARX: A HERO FOR OUR TIME? — Suddenly, everyone from the Wall Street Journal to Rolling Stone seems to be talking about Karl Marx. Louis Proyect delves into this mysterious resurgence, giving a vivid assessment of Marx’s relevance in the era of globalized capitalism. THE MEANING OF MANDELA: Longtime civil rights organizer Kevin Alexander Gray gives in intimate portrait of Nelson Mandela and the global struggle of racial justice. FALLOUT OVER FUKUSHIMA: Peter Lee investigates the scandalous exposure of sailors on board the USS Reagan to radioactive fallout from Fukushima. SOUTHERN DISCOMFORT: Kim Nicolini charts the rise of Matthew McConaughey. PLUS: Mike Whitney on the coming crash of the housing market. JoAnn Wypijewski on slavery, torture and revolt. Chris Floyd on the stupidity of US policy in Ukraine. Kristin Kolb on musicians and health care. And Jeffrey St. Clair on life and death on the mean streets of an America in decline
Looking for Cirino’s bones by CHARLES ORLOSKI   Sun rays entered barn-windows – March 9, 2012, a chicken started to run, a cow awaited milking, a groundhog sensed something amiss, never present, but always a hawk there to pull shades-up, expose lilac memories, galaxies catch more Zzzzzs before newspaper-boy arrival, makes racket, Madame’s radium couldn’t […]

Orloski and D’Errico

by POETS' BASEMENT

Looking for Cirino’s bones

by CHARLES ORLOSKI

 

Sun rays entered barn-windows –

March 9, 2012, a chicken started to run,

a cow awaited milking, a groundhog

sensed something amiss, never present,

but always a hawk there to pull shades-up,

expose lilac memories, galaxies catch more Zzzzzs

before newspaper-boy arrival, makes racket,

Madame’s radium couldn’t get at rotten liver,

and it was time to pray for Leo…, he’s along

lost river-banks, in vain, Cypress branches bend

to clean water, pre-glacial Leonard longed to live

some more in his brother’s California barn,

an upstairs apartment, not a pyramid.

 

“The dark, old, dusty barn may be drafty,

but with solid, dry madrone, and a good stove,

winters won’t be bone cold.”*

 

Oh, to have seen Cirino’s bones in an email “inbox” –

One year gone, winter’s dying, but never nothing gone,

word-Marathons, a  cold car-battery jumped alive,

there’s time to save, time to delete,

the upper-room’s stairway very steep, morphine soothes,

Leo wondered if we dreamed our whole lives away,

and how can I not look for him until Sun never set.

 

*From Leonard Cirino’s “Variation on a Seven-Character Regulated Verse by Zhang Ji.” (Chinese Masters, 2009).

Charles Orloski lives in Taylor, Pennsylvania. He testifies Leonard Cirino was pregnant with poetry, and many offsprings were moved by labors of love. Orloski can be reached (Caesarean) at ccdjOrlov@aol.com.

 

 

Why Are All These People Dying In Bad Shoes?

by CHRIS D’ERRICO

 

great cities of dust stand up

each grain of sand is a voice

as a human who bleeds

salt the wounds we all know

obvious as air, tactile as breath

that escapes the living

 

salt the wound, make the pain unbearable

put slugs in the machine

whenever you can, for the common good

for the selfish gene that wells up

there at the fingertips and spine, feel it

it’s real, it’s worth it, teach others

to grab their share and give back the rest

as a noble soul would, wizened

 

up off your ass collective, abandon all stations

effective now, out of that cubicle of death

go home, hug the family, friends, kiss the ground

bare earth, each gain of sand in a chorus

that matters as a human that needs

blood and conversation, how to live inside this

burden, out in the open, truthful, naked

bankrupt, beautiful

 

 

Architects of Progress

by CHRIS D’ERRICO

 

paper cut and a muffin for the boss upstairs

 

backache headache shoeshine new leather upholstery

 

sweat stink and sciatica down here

 

pavement thrusts out where sewer grates no longer fit

 

flush the summer sun works its July expansion

 

grey flashlight on a graveyard shift construction job

 

armpits cigarette butts and fast food wrappers

 

Harold the pan-sweeper works his magic

 

in the numb moonlight another Monday cross-town

 

bus farts out hot air

Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, Chris D’Errico writes poems and fiction, plays blues harmonica and lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he works the nightshift as a low level government employee. For more visit www.clderrico.com.

 

Editorial Note: (Please Read Closely Before Submitting)

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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!