Landau & Yuan

Before Grey Filtered Light

I have begun to
Slip into that night
Good dark dying light
I call upon euphemisms

To disguise the senses
Dismiss the morning ache
I carry them to
Breakfast and to court

Racketball where shadows judge
The game not wooing
Of the ladies when
Shrinkage defines the day

Prolonged Summer heat an
Excuse for sleepless hours
Fears of fragile bladders
Victims of lazy prostates

A whiskey soaked poet
Pleaded for rage rage
Watching love memory blood
Against fading falling twilight

I call up visions
Snow on glacial streets
Winds curling under my
Trousers climbing my spine

Thrills chills challenges mutate
To dread sloth shrugs
Of shoulders to tackle
Sexy stimulants glorious ordeals

The known dead outnumber
The living that newspaper
Page beckons with morning tea
Habitual coffee long faded

With greasy dishes batting
Balls eye feasts before
cataracts filtered light sapped
fury lowered beams – Night

Saul Landau, an Institute for Policy Studies fellow, produced Will the Real Terrorist Please Stand Up (Cinema Libre Studio).  CounterPunch published his Bush and Botox World.  

A Module Poem: Directory of Directions

North:             after the storm

all dust hung up

in the crowded air

with his human face

frozen into a dot of dust

and a rising speckle of dust

melted into his face

to avoid this cold climate

of his antarctic dream

he relocated his naked soul

at the dawn of summer

South:            like a raindrop

on a small lotus leaf

unable to find the spot

to settle itself down

in an early autumn shower

my little canoe drifts around

near the horizon

beyond the bare bay

Center:            deep from the thick forest

a bird’s call echoes

from ring to ring

within each tree

hardly perceivable

before it suddenly

dies off into the closet

of a noisy human mind

West:            not unlike a giddy goat

wandering among the ruins

of a long lost civilization

you keep searching

in the central park

a way out of the tall weeds

as nature makes new york

into a mummy blue

East:            in her beehive-like room

so small that a yawning stretch

would readily awaken

the whole apartment building

she draws a picture on the wall

of a tremendous tree

that keeps growing

until it shoots up

from the cemented roof


A Parallel Poem: The Second Departing

(for William Butler Yeats)

Going, going away in an ever retreating bay
The ebb starts below a quickened sun setting
People swarm here, watching, picking, fighting
Over the fishes, shrimps, crabs, shells, weeds
All left stranded, struggling for waters on the beach
They do not care if darkness stalks right behind
Their shadows, rolling like a tide upon their souls
They care only about the benefits they can gather
The sea produce they can trade with one another

Surely some ignorance is still in proper place
Surely the second departing is taking place
The Second Departing! The very idea stirs in the minds
A huge flock of crows beating their darkening wings
Flapping into the narrow sky of the prolonged history
It’s these crows, these very unidentifiable black birds
That are driving the light beyond the horizon, inner or outer
(Where they have found God as a redundant re-creation
Where they believe they are the right gods for themselves)

Changming Yuan, author of Chansons of a Chinaman and 3-time Pushcart nominee who published several monographs before emigrating out of China, currently teaches in Vancouver and has poetry appearing in Barrow Street, Best Canadian Poetry, BestNewPoemsOnline, Exquisite Corpse, London Magazine, RHINO and nearly 380 others worldwide.  

Editorial Note: (Please Read Closely Before Submitting)

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).  Expect a response within one month (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 CrowVoiceJournal.blogspot.com and check the links on the top right. Thanks!

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