Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. A generous donor is matching all donations of $100 or more! So please donate now to double your punch!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Three by Jeff Shampnois

Big Bang Theory
by JEFF SHAMPNOIS

To the chick, the awakening impulse

is a big bang.

 

Behold, the shell is shattered,

the chicken coop expands.

What Was Lost
by JEFF SHAMPNOIS

Out of these dead dreams,

out of the milk and honey,

the yes I can

Ma’m, the voices liquid,

manic, electric, out of the factory smoke,

the hot rod cars, the hollering haws,

and hot damn cracker jack salutes, reeling

out of bars, out of churches,

only the sky assembling.

 

Something more

 

than old, weird America was lost, not just

that slapdance music, the how’s things

in your neck of the woods chatter, or that skinny man

sprinting his once-a-week emergency

in Sunday Best, to be saved again

from the straw, sweat and drink.

Something more

than all these butcher boys,

these American nerves twitching,

in the last slants of light.

 

Look, yonder is the ball game,

a midsummer heatfest,

articulated in the snap, crackle, pop.

Here, unfathomable vectors, oases

of breezes, hawking

vendors, circling pigeons,

and the shocking anomaly

of a line drive

collide.

 

Here, the transported maudlin

Middle American rage, and automobile

lines and space age

sonics converge in some

impenetrable nexus, no wonder

the game survives. Speed

was only what we thought we wanted,

we wanted some explanation for this, this what

this mundane, fantastical assembly?

these jet trails, pigeons

and the Texas Leaguer?

 

Later, we sat for years in the bus terminals,

the great promise of a century

rusting down around us, watching blinking

one-eyed pentacostal drunks,

beseeching ministerial ticket agents,

in smoke-choked booths,

but confessing only to a need

 

for one way passage out of Ithaca, out of

Binghamton.

 

Junkyards, East Pharsalia, NY

by JEFF SHAMPNOIS

“Armies akin embattled, with the force

Of all the shaken earth bent on the fray”

– from Lucan’s Pharsalia or Civil War (1st century BC)

 

The Royal Elephant carcass of a bus lies mangled

among legions of Fords

and Chevrolets. From shrinking drifts

broken doors and mirrors reach out

like Chief Bigfoot in Death. All of Pharsalia

melts again into the stone boot-prints

of mile-heavy ice.

Here pool

retreating forces.

Their triumph and defeat

merging and disappearing

like ice

in water, like elephant

into earth.

 

Jeff Shampnois probably should have gone into dry cleaning like his guidance counselor suggested. He went to Cornell, was too lazy to leave, works at a library, lives for his wife, dogs, cats and duck, builds stone walls, regrets giving up boxing, writes when it’s unavoidable, carves marionettes when he isn’t reading Beckett or more likely sleeping. His work has hitherto appeared in the mail boxes of annoyed friends and relatives.  

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 – use “Save As” to change docx or odt files to “.doc”).  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!

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
October 19, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jason Hirthler
The Pieties of the Liberal Class
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Day in My Life at CounterPunch
Paul Street
“Male Energy,” Authoritarian Whiteness and Creeping Fascism in the Age of Trump
Nick Pemberton
Reflections on Chomsky’s Voting Strategy: Why The Democratic Party Can’t Be Saved
John Davis
The Last History of the United States
Yigal Bronner
The Road to Khan al-Akhmar
Robert Hunziker
The Negan Syndrome
Andrew Levine
Democrats Ahead: Progressives Beware
Rannie Amiri
There is No “Proxy War” in Yemen
David Rosen
America’s Lost Souls: the 21st Century Lumpen-Proletariat?
Joseph Natoli
The Age of Misrepresentations
Ron Jacobs
History Is Not Kind
John Laforge
White House Radiation: Weakened Regulations Would Save Industry Billions
Ramzy Baroud
The UN ‘Sheriff’: Nikki Haley Elevated Israel, Damaged US Standing
Robert Fantina
Trump, Human Rights and the Middle East
Anthony Pahnke – Jim Goodman
NAFTA 2.0 Will Help Corporations More Than Farmers
Jill Richardson
Identity Crisis: Elizabeth Warren’s Claims Cherokee Heritage
Sam Husseini
The Most Strategic Midterm Race: Elder Challenges Hoyer
Maria Foscarinis – John Tharp
The Criminalization of Homelessness
Robert Fisk
The Story of the Armenian Legion: a Dark Tale of Anger and Revenge
Jacques R. Pauwels
Dinner With Marx in the House of the Swan
Dave Lindorff
US ‘Outrage’ over Slaying of US Residents Depends on the Nation Responsible
Ricardo Vaz
How Many Yemenis is a DC Pundit Worth?
Elliot Sperber
Build More Gardens, Phase out Cars
Chris Gilbert
In the Wake of Nepal’s Incomplete Revolution: Dispatch by a Far-Flung Bolivarian 
Muhammad Othman
Let Us Bray
Gerry Brown
Are Chinese Municipal $6 Trillion (40 Trillion Yuan) Hidden Debts Posing Titanic Risks?
Rev. William Alberts
Judge Kavanaugh’s Defenders Doth Protest Too Much
Ralph Nader
Unmasking Phony Values Campaigns by the Corporatists
Victor Grossman
A Big Rally and a Bavarian Vote
James Bovard
Groped at the Airport: Congress Must End TSA’s Sexual Assaults on Women
Jeff Roby
Florida After Hurricane Michael: the Sad State of the Unheeded Planner
Wim Laven
Intentional or Incompetence—Voter Suppression Where We Live
Bradley Kaye
The Policy of Policing
Wim Laven
The Catholic Church Fails Sexual Abuse Victims
Kevin Cashman
One Year After Hurricane Maria: Employment in Puerto Rico is Down by 26,000
Dr. Hakim Young
Nonviolent Afghans Bring a Breath of Fresh Air
Karl Grossman
Irving Like vs. Big Nuke
Dan Corjescu
The New Politics of Climate Change
John Carter
The Plight of the Pyrenees: the Abandoned Guard Dogs of the West
Ted Rall
Brett Kavanaugh and the Politics of Emotion-Shaming
Graham Peebles
Sharing is Key to a New Economic and Democratic Order
Ed Rampell
The Advocates
Louis Proyect
The Education Business
David Yearsley
Shock-and-Awe Inside Oracle Arena
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail