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Old fashioned BBQ
By SAUL LANDAU
The stench of chicken
Sizzling on a spit
Wafts toward awaiting nostrils
The shrill voices shriek
Demanding cajoling coaxing practicing
childish disciplines vexing elders
pretending to bask in
casual leisure beers sandals
oblivious to trees laden
with barbecue vapors angry
birds sharing cluttered patios
with chaotic chatter just
simple Saturday stress reduction
to backgrounds of cries
accusations from play areas
petulant atonal symbols of
genuine emotional pain adults
discuss arthritis nephritis unmentionable
areas of flesh bone
hair body crevices once
reliable steadfast now undependable
as windblown festive flags
popping corks eye-catching ashes
sizzling oblivious ubiquitous sun
revolving chickens disordered toddlers
feasting blue jays routine
interplay of ordinary humans
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.
Sleepy Hollow’s Brothel Lady # 9
by CHARLES ORLOSKI
Molly Chambers washed powdered face, removed a laced-corset she did not need, looked into a black-mirror, tilted her bonnet Madonna-style, laughed, acted the part of a “Mad Tom Radical,” drank Madeira wine, imagined she saw Neighborhood Crime-Watch baby-blues peeled on citizen rights, whether World-bankers or Salem hookers,
‘til bankruptcy do they never part.
Molly could not be a Betsy Ross “do-gooder” —
Mama never taught her to sew, gut turkeys; too frail to build ships, she felt no compulsion to load fish & vegetables upon city-bound wagons,
stenography was not her thing, she could not write very fast, no Puritan, Molly had to find carnal ways, not religious, she liked being naked, how God patented her.
Slow night on Boston streets,
Founding Fathers & businessmen checked into Inns.
Molly knew something big was in the Spring-wind, the Rockefellers are Coming?
Must get a good day’s sleep, look her charming best
for when that once charming twenty-one-year old commander,
a country squire named George Washington, passed her way
along the road to Fenway Park,
had to ward-off Kennedy girls in Red Sox shorts, Summer days.
On brass-bed, Molly lay back, tossed & turned ’til sleep —
she began to dream, heard bullets whistling in a jungle, saw a thousand British troops storm across a spot where the Monongahela & Tigris rivers intersect.
Armored-attack upon Seventh Day Adventists, & Molly’s ten-sisters where there in the dream to meet dynastic-men;
she envied how easy ladies wearing “A’s” on bosoms had it with Coldstream Guards, Moral Majority preachers,
a Colorado Senator who liked to sail,
un-zippered president anxiously waiting in Oval Office hallways,
a fortunate girl with lilac corsage who received an electronic-photo
depicting a Congressman’s member at parade rest, “torture-broads” doing calisthenics in Abu Ghraib, hookers marched-on Pentagon, electric-bagpipes,
Molly’s sleep would likely end one day.
Dream over, sweet Molly, cheer-up,
there’s always Mary Magdalene’s smoking- section of town, a good man who cared, got away –
Was it Larry Flynt who counseled?
“Mr. Jefferson preferred household-help,
Establishment needed comfort after Boston Massacre,
General Grant easier when whisky gained strategic edge, things were not normal in the Lincoln White House,
& the nation’s sexy-economy got a general boost the day Marilyn Monroe arrived in Washington D.C. 1960, Joe D.’s dream # 56 over; that hit-streak too is history.”
9:00 PM (E.S.T) Threat-Code red –
Outside Boston’s Old South Meeting House, Molly waited, waited;
she grew scared, feared under-cover sentries would throw stones;
she stood over a steam-grate,
no wind to blow skyward her poster-girl gown, and Mr. Washington’s bodyguard appeared – Mr. Parley Hughes.
He approached General Washington’s carriage, tenderly stroked a white-horse’s mane & Molly propositioned him;
complimented a long-barrel revolver, 3-point black-hat, noted how she noticed Parley felt the pain of Mystic River Bostonians, worried about oil-drought & South Carolina tobacco planters,
angry guys like Crispus Attucks who must be put into place.
“You know Parley, a good man like you deserves company, a Boardroom of Flesh, an hour away from gunneries, powder mills; there ain’t no Metternichs around no more, & the Russian Revolution
made for obvious military & romantic-duty advantages — I shall give you
comfort, a free energy-drink, and you can remove kinky Victoria Secret underwear.”
Under siege, Molly gabbed a lot,
Parley Hughes momentarily reviewed life & career.
He never met such a gorgeous woman.
He staggered at the thought of post-orgasm
guard-duty for George Washington.
A South American bikini, sensual moan of Wynton’s sax — why bodyguard is just a job, is that right?
How easy for Parley were this either Saigon or Mogadishu, were Molly certified HIV free?
“Let me sleep on it Molly?”
That dastardly commandment # 9,
a volcano building in loins, & Parley answered,
“I’ll meet you in Cartegena, 2012.”
“I bet you say that to all revolutionary girls, Mr. Hughes.”
Charles Orloski lives in Taylor, Pennsylvania. In an old Borough cemetery, adjacent to Main Street, there lay the remains of Mr. Parley Hughes who is remembered as George Washington’s bodyguard. Every Memorial Day, Orloski gets out, follows the Riverside H.S. marching band, which pauses to pay tribute to Parley’s noble service, and he wonders if there were many colonial temptations, lone-nuts, et al, around during those revolutionary times. Orloski can be reached atCCDJOrlov@aol.com.
by D J MOSER
Here at the end of the yellow brick road
like a straw man in search of a brain
I have come to feel your absence
understanding too late that our time
has passed by piecemeal first a kidney
and then an eye taking you by halves
with your hunger and thirst and finally
your breath and pulse until all was gone
except the pain that you no longer feel
there in your urn on the mantelpiece
dust over ash and old photographs
brimming solace one shot at a time
D J Moser is a freelance writer who lives in Washington, DC. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Editorial Note: (Please Read Closely Before Submitting)
To submit to Poets’ Basement, send an e-mail to CounterPunch’s poetry editor, Marc Beaudin at firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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