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Looking for Cirino’s bones
by CHARLES ORLOSKI
Sun rays entered barn-windows –
March 9, 2012, a chicken started to run,
a cow awaited milking, a groundhog
sensed something amiss, never present,
but always a hawk there to pull shades-up,
expose lilac memories, galaxies catch more Zzzzzs
before newspaper-boy arrival, makes racket,
Madame’s radium couldn’t get at rotten liver,
and it was time to pray for Leo…, he’s along
lost river-banks, in vain, Cypress branches bend
to clean water, pre-glacial Leonard longed to live
some more in his brother’s California barn,
an upstairs apartment, not a pyramid.
“The dark, old, dusty barn may be drafty,
but with solid, dry madrone, and a good stove,
winters won’t be bone cold.”*
Oh, to have seen Cirino’s bones in an email “inbox” –
One year gone, winter’s dying, but never nothing gone,
word-Marathons, a cold car-battery jumped alive,
there’s time to save, time to delete,
the upper-room’s stairway very steep, morphine soothes,
Leo wondered if we dreamed our whole lives away,
and how can I not look for him until Sun never set.
*From Leonard Cirino’s “Variation on a Seven-Character Regulated Verse by Zhang Ji.” (Chinese Masters, 2009).
Charles Orloski lives in Taylor, Pennsylvania. He testifies Leonard Cirino was pregnant with poetry, and many offsprings were moved by labors of love. Orloski can be reached (Caesarean) at ccdjOrlov@aol.com.
Why Are All These People Dying In Bad Shoes?
by CHRIS D’ERRICO
great cities of dust stand up
each grain of sand is a voice
as a human who bleeds
salt the wounds we all know
obvious as air, tactile as breath
that escapes the living
salt the wound, make the pain unbearable
put slugs in the machine
whenever you can, for the common good
for the selfish gene that wells up
there at the fingertips and spine, feel it
it’s real, it’s worth it, teach others
to grab their share and give back the rest
as a noble soul would, wizened
up off your ass collective, abandon all stations
effective now, out of that cubicle of death
go home, hug the family, friends, kiss the ground
bare earth, each gain of sand in a chorus
that matters as a human that needs
blood and conversation, how to live inside this
burden, out in the open, truthful, naked
Architects of Progress
by CHRIS D’ERRICO
paper cut and a muffin for the boss upstairs
backache headache shoeshine new leather upholstery
sweat stink and sciatica down here
pavement thrusts out where sewer grates no longer fit
flush the summer sun works its July expansion
grey flashlight on a graveyard shift construction job
armpits cigarette butts and fast food wrappers
Harold the pan-sweeper works his magic
in the numb moonlight another Monday cross-town
bus farts out hot air
Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, Chris D’Errico writes poems and fiction, plays blues harmonica and lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he works the nightshift as a low level government employee. For more visit www.clderrico.com.
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 email@example.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 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.
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