Poets’ Basement

Fees Due: A Communist Falsetto
by STANDARD SCHAEFER

All finance is divided into three parts–the first is alibi typically ambient,
erotic and initially phonecian, as in “phone it in” and it ships, associated
with Moloch and human sacrifice; it eroticizes funnels, shovels, the
color black, streets
a little longer than one remembers walking preferably silently alone
as the block of anarchs it leaves in its wake. The second is redundant
as the architecture of the World Bank or a box organized against the box
it is contracted to protect.
It bets everything on allegory and drinks the pixels of previous quarters
before reducing the ocean to a chemical in one’s brain.
The third strictly speaking is modernity or rather the bomb, smoke
winding through the ledger, wingtips toward whatever is left.
The fourth rests on the ledge of an elegy “the amortizations of the heart”.
It accelerates speculation by counting backwards and closing one’s eyes
until they no longer come to be counted and no longer have eyes for anyone else.
What eludes it is only the sound of the crane grinding to a halt
the wrecking ball lined up with the eyelet the muse and her id so gentle
or general a strike or stroke will come to occupy what was hardly ever
there at all.

Standard Schaefer is a writer and researcher living in Portland, OR.  His latest book of poems Notebook of False Purgatories is forth coming from Chax Books, 2012.

 

Strike Day in Oakland
by JOAN ANNSFIRE 

A human tide of people swept into the port.
we moved as one, wound up and over the bridge and came down,
came out, came across, danced and chanted;
like straw spun into gold, anger and pain transformed into victory
that moment, that day, that army of the 99 percent.

In the silhouette of sunset,
under the dark outline of cranes and containers,
dwarfed by the massive equipment of the shipping industry,
individual drops of water ran together as a mighty flood,
heavy and purposeful grains of sand whipped into a swirling storm,
becoming more than enough to clog towering structures of steel.

Self-proclaimed welfare queens, poets and rappers, old and young,
rolled in wheelchairs, walked with walkers, rode in buses
or ran with breathless abandon, carrying signs and banners,
dancing to music and speeches,
marching to whatever drummer they chose.

All declared, we are here, this is really happening,
today reality is not virtual but actual,
something being born, something growing,
something new, something more.

The water lapped at the ships in port,
the cranes bore silent witness, the sky went dark,
the air stayed warm,
the songs went on.

Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Joan Annsfire is a long time political activist and writer who lives in Berkeley.  Her poetry, short stories and non-fiction pieces have appeared in various literary magazines and web sites including previously in Poet’s Basement on Counterpunch.  In her blog, lavenderjoan, somewhere under the rainbow… http://www.lavenderjoan.blogspot.com/ the personal meets the political.

 

To Supporters of President Obama
by JOHN HALLE

I have a proposal for you.
You will cease sending me
Promotional materials for his campaign
Trumpeting what you claim to be
His magnificent record of progressive accomplishment.
I will not respond with links to point by point rebuttals
To virtually every one of these supposed “victories”
Or with broadsides exposing the record of this administration
In trampling civil and constitutional rights,
Perpetrating war crimes and enabling environmental pillage
And other outrages too numerous to mention here.
Let us agree to no longer talk about our first African American President
And turn the discussion to a happier subject:
How we will occupy, destroy the credibility of, and, where necessary
Prosecute and eventually incarcerate
The criminal Wall Street banker class and its enablers
In the media, academia and government.

John Halle teaches music theory at the Bard College Conservatory.  He is a former Green Party Alderman from New Haven’s ninth ward.  He can be reached at: halle@bard.edu 

 

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!

John Halle blogs at Outrages and Interludes. He tweets at: jghalle.

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