FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Castro and Orloski

Race in Education: Where do I Begin?

by ANDRÉS CASTRO

 

Here’s to aboriculturists and gardeners
with their bags of seeds and magic tricks,
because we need to talk now more than ever.

How do we agree on anything these days,
days of police in our hallways and minds,
days of teenage suicide and murder,

days of pretend and collective amnesia,
days of surveillance, torture, and drones,
days of burning forests burning forests?

Will you begin with eyes, with skin, a sound?
The day you learned a word could be a stone?
The day you learned a word could heal?

 

Here are my hands in the soil—I’m just starting.
I haven’t said anything of actual substance yet.
Will you join me? Will you bring along others?

 

 

Disunion: August 4, 2013

by ANDRÉS CASTRO

 

Is there code to escape this ear piercing
siren? Buddha? Tibetan singing bowls

with their long sustaining harmonies?

How did I arrive in this space this time?

 

I am here again in a merciless universe,

where a cold Black Hole is pulling

the top of my head away from the rest
of me; I am being insanely stretched out.

 

I am a long thin elasticity trailing behind

a grotesquely distorted skull projectile,
close to losing all feeling in this form;

I have become a trite cartoonish figure.

 

Then there is the familiar hungry ache

to walk barefoot in warm white sand,

without one lie visible on the horizon,
and all the lies behind me disappearing.

 

Who will reconfigure me this morning?
Is only a feverish wish for immortality,
stoked by naïve vanity and childish fear
enough to rescue breaking bones and skin?

 

In two weeks I will be fifty-four years
old; my grown-up son suggests therapy.

 

Andrès Castro is listed in the Directory of Poets and Writers and is a PEN member. He is also the founding editor of The Teacher’s Voice, a small press poetry journal for anyone interested in education in the U.S. and abroad.

 

 

When mother’s needle ran away on empty

by CHARLES ORLOSKI

 

Forty-four years ago,

a little soldier come home from Nam,

dress-greens, a marksmanship badge, Thai Stick,

a corpse in a rice-paddy, and tonight,

build-up in Korea, Iran in cross-hair,

he looked at Porn-Hub, track-marks in arms,

too much, too much medication – Ali has Parkinson’s,

Bank of America afloat like top-heavy butterfly,

stung it’s own like Iron Queen bees –

ain’t no Taliban ever called sonny-boy ADDICT,

& mother walked miles on Nancy’s “just say no,”

hoped her son would flee to either church or Canada,

where faces bore no grudge to Rabboni & Mounties,

maybe flee to Amsterdam where junk-parks are built

free-needles for those who cannot afford clean?

O for those good-old-days when her little boy

ran Olds 442, smoked banana-peels, nickel-bags cheap,

children at play in Kindergarten-sand, not Riyadh.

Gray-hair covered a “Mom” tattoo,

mothers fashionable no more, Mothers Day hunger

and she’s more or less proud of her baby,

had enough jeopardy in Toby Keith’s jingo-hits,

they are off the shelf,  at 80-years old,

she cannot handle un-truth; CNN, Scientology, Fox News

run amok in veins, more heroin (%) in heroic,

she wished for boiled ham, affordable Heating Oil,

supported erections that stood straight, stood down,

mother once had jobs where she called-in sick Mondays,

had The Guiding Light to calm her down.

 

Oxycontin helped get her through Memorial Day,

Stephen Foster hard-times come again 24/7,

those oh, oh, ohs when doughboys and I.D.F. marched by,

Keith Richards too stoned to help with dishes,

too many encounters with co-pays, Peace in Our Time,

she’s more or less proud of her addicted soldier-boy,

bank vaults filled with skulls, throats slit in alleyways,

ear to ear, American Gangster in mother’s V.C.R.,

she felt bad for Frank Lucas, he was so good to cops,

and the Way her son began; the Army fed him once,

paid for dental work, gave extra-points on Post Office exam,

she became unwed-mother to all fears and bombs.

 

Charles Orloski lives in Taylor, Pennsylvania.  He can be reached at ccdjOrlov@aol.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 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 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.

For more details, tips and suggestions, visit http://crowvoice.com/poets-basement. Thanks!

More articles by:

Editorial Note: (Please Read Closely Before Submitting) Poets Basement is now on Facebook. Find us ashttp://www.facebook.com/poets.basement. 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. Expect a response within two months (occasionally longer during periods of heavy submissions). Submissions not following the guidelines may or may not receive a response. Poems accepted for online publication will be considered for possible inclusion of an upcoming print anthology. For more details, tips and links to past installments, visit http://crowvoice.com/poets-basement. Thanks!

July 09, 2020
Richard D. Wolff
COVID-19 Exposes the Weakness of a Major Theory Used to Justify Capitalism
Ahrar Ahmad
Racism in America: Police Choke-Holds Are Not the Issue
Timothy M. Gill
Electoral Interventions: a Suspiciously Naïve View of U.S. Foreign Policy in the Post-Cold War World
Daniel Falcone
Cold War with China and the Thucydides Trap: a Conversation with Richard Falk
Daniel Beaumont
Shrink-Wrapped: Plastic Pollution and the Greatest Economic System Jesus Ever Devised
Prabir Purkayastha
The World Can Show How Pharma Monopolies Aren’t the Only Way to Fight COVID-19
Gary Leupp
“Pinning Down Putin” Biden, the Democrats and the Next War
Howard Lisnoff
The Long Goodbye to Organized Religion
Cesar Chelala
The Dangers of Persecuting Doctors
Mike Garrity – Erik Molvar
Back on the List: A Big Win for Yellowtone Grizzlies and the Endangered Species Act, a Big Loss for Trump and Its Enemies
Purusottam Thakur
With Rhyme and Reasons: Rap Songs for COVID Migrants
Binoy Kampmark
Spiked Concerns: The Melbourne Coronavirus Lockdown
Nino Pagliccia
Venezuela is on a Path to Make Colonialism Obsolete
George Ochenski
Where are Our Political Leaders When We Really Need Them?
Dean Baker
Is it Impossible to Envision a World Without Patent Monopolies?
William A. Cohn
Lead the Way: a Call to Youth
July 08, 2020
Laura Carlsen
Lopez Obrador’s Visit to Trump is a Betrayal of the U.S. and Mexican People
Melvin Goodman
Afghanistan: What is to be Done?
Thomas Klikauer – Norman Simms
The End of the American Newspaper
Sonali Kolhatkar
The Merits of Medicare for All Have Been Proven by This Pandemic
David Rosen
It’s Now Ghislaine Maxwell’s Turn
Nicolas J S Davies
Key U.S. Ally Indicted for Organ Trade Murder Scheme
Bob Lord
Welcome to Hectobillionaire Land
Laura Flanders
The Great American Lie
John Kendall Hawkins
Van Gogh’s Literary Influences
Marc Norton
Reopening vs. Lockdown is a False Dichotomy
Joel Schlosberg
“All the Credit He Gave Us:” Time to Drop Hamilton’s Economics
CounterPunch News Service
Tribes Defeat Trump Administration and NRA in 9th Circuit on Sacred Grizzly Bear Appeal
John Feffer
The US is Now the Global Public Health Emergency
Nick Licata
Three Books on the 2020 Presidential Election and Their Relevance to the Black Live Matter Protests
Elliot Sperber
The Breonna Taylor Bridge
July 07, 2020
Richard Eskow
The War on Logic: Contradictions and Absurdities in the House’s Military Spending Bill
Daniel Beaumont
Gimme Shelter: the Brief And Strange History of CHOP (AKA CHAZ)
Richard C. Gross
Trump’s War
Patrick Cockburn
Trump’s Racism May be Blatant, But the Culture He Defends Comes Out of the Civil War and Goes Well Beyond Racial Division
Andrew Stewart
Can We Compare the George Floyd Protests to the Vietnam War Protests? Maybe, But the Analogy is Imperfect
Walden Bello
The Racist Underpinnings of the American Way of War
Nyla Ali Khan
Fallacious Arguments Employed to Justify the Revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s Autonomy and Its Bifurcation
Don Fitz
A Statue of Hatuey
Dean Baker
Unemployment Benefits Should Depend on the Pandemic
Ramzy Baroud – Romana Rubeo
Will the ICC Investigation Bring Justice for Palestine?
Sam Pizzigati
Social Distancing for Mega-Million Fun and Profit
Dave Lindorff
Private: Why the High Dudgeon over Alleged Russian Bounties for Taliban Slaying of US Troops
George Wuerthner
Of Fire and Fish
Binoy Kampmark
Killing Koalas: the Promise of Extinction Down Under
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail