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HOW DID ABORTION RIGHTS COME TO THIS?  — Carol Hanisch charts how the right to an abortion began to erode shortly after the Roe v. Wade decision; Uber vs. the Cabbies: Ben Terrall reports on the threats posed by private car services; Remembering August 1914: Binoy Kampmark on the enduring legacy of World War I; Medical Marijuana: a Personal Odyssey: Doug Valentine goes in search of medicinal pot and a good vaporizer; Nostalgia for Socialism: Lee Ballinger surveys the longing in eastern Europe for the material guarantees of socialism. PLUS: Paul Krassner on his Six Dumbest Decisions; Kristin Kolb on the Cancer Ward; Jeffrey St. Clair on the Making of the First Un-War; Chris Floyd on the Children of Lies and Mike Whitney on why the war on ISIS is really a war on Syria.
Friendship by PAUL LOJESKI Frank called to say George was going soon. That he’d refused more treatments: they were useless, nothing would cure him or even make him more comfortable. So he’d taken to bed at home, seeking dignity and a final serenity. Visitors streamed in, taking turns holding his hand, small-talking it towards the […]

Three Poems by Paul Lojeski

by POETS' BASEMENT

Friendship
by PAUL LOJESKI

Frank called to say George
was going soon. That he’d
refused more treatments:
they were useless, nothing

would cure him or even
make him more comfortable.
So he’d taken to bed at home,
seeking dignity and a final

serenity. Visitors streamed
in, taking turns holding his
hand, small-talking it towards
the end. Frank told me this

on the way over to say good-
bye, to take George’s warm
hand in his: skin-to-skin,
blood-to-blood, death-to-death.

They Need Young Bodies
by PAUL LOJESKI
            (for Melissa Fadul)

In this reality of sadness
they need young bodies
to sell on the open market.

I look at my 13-year-old
and cringe: she’s ripe
for the picking,

a perfect product to be
beaten into bondage
in some well-guarded,

hell house in the Balkans
or New Jersey or Moscow,
in a world reeking of crimes

against beauty, the slaughter
of innocence rendering spirit
and flesh for the almighty,

goddamn dollar. So I track
her every move, meet her
everywhere, make sure

she’s never alone. So they’ll
have to kill me to take her.
They’ll have to kill me.

Fishing
by PAUL LOJESKI

I went fishing once
with my father, off
Cape Cod. A charter
of seasickness rolling
on cold, gray waves.
Didn’t catch a thing.
Not a nibble. Nothing.
Never went again.
Besides, I liked fish:
down deep, minding
their own business.

 

Paul Lojeski’s poetry has appeared in journals and online, including at Counterpunch.

He’s also the author of the satiric novel, The Reverend Jimmy Pup.  He lives with his wife and daughter in Port Jefferson, NY.

 

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 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!