Andres Castro and John Snider

Amiri Baraka Died on the 9th

I want to go to the funeral—
it’s right here
in Newark.

My wife
has me booked on a plane—
bound for Madrid—
with her
on the same day.

Now I love my wife—
never seen Madrid—
and never met Baraka—

but I saw him

I read his poems
and plays—black
and white wicked.
Some label him
protean provocateur—
with Ginsberg & Beats
as Black Nationalist.

Some whites doubtless
wished he’d drop dead
early along his way—
man, did he not.

Before Allen died—
as they both hoped—
they were tight again—
more, I have to believe,
since they always asked
for more.

What would you do?



She Tried to Dream Him Again

This is only a poem about a Queens-
born daughter of Arab immigrants,
a promising student of Divinity,

who commits suicide
after tracking every war
on the globe for less than a year;

her small basement apartment
turned to dump of bloody news,
articles stacked in piles,

magazines stuffed in cabinets,
maps taped to walls,
notes scattered everywhere;

having always nurtured
a liking for irony
and dramatic moments,

she chose her birthday,
Christmas Eve,
as her project’s deadline

after frequent dreams
of placing her work in the hands
        of a beautiful weeping Jesus;

tried to dream him again
the night she took her life,
but could not;
the Jesus that did appear
was not tall, blond, certainly
not handsome as expected;

he was just like her,
short, brown, and wooly haired,
ugly she thought, so ugly

that just before laying her thesis
in his hands, he grew into something
demonic, that startled her awake,

wide awake;
and nothing more.

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.



On Sarah’s Seventeenth Year

Up from the roots,
Seventeen years into the light, climbing
The sound roaring–a male chorus for mating.
As well a bitter chorus of weeping, finding the world unchanged after seventeen years.
The genus magicadia, but no magic, only dark sorcery.
Their veins orange in sympathy for children of another forest
Orange rain. . . . . You’ve seen their faces.
No eyes or eyes bugged out,
Bodies bent in ways that make you forget any geometry you ever knew.
The cicadas would adopt them if they could.
But you too wait for love–
Your lover’s orbit is decaying.
He is falling to earth, burning in the atmosphere
And will light up the sky.
At MIT they served 57 developmentally delayed children radioactive Quaker oatmeal.
William Penn screams beneath an elm, his voice part of the chorus.
And you look to the sky and know your lover will not burn completely.
And you know you will find him and the other children as well,
Lop-sided heads
S-curved torsos
And rows and rows of deformed fetuses enough to make all the carnivals redundant
And a gaze that sees through art.
And then you will know your quest.
And will go to your fallen lover
Go to the children
To do the hardest thingTo do the hardest thing of all—
To love what remains.

John Snider teaches English at Montana State University Northern in Havre Mt. His essays have appeared in The Utne Reader, The North Country Anvil, and The Montana Professor He can be reached at snider@msun.edu

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Weekend Edition
March 23, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Roberto J. González
The Mind-Benders: How to Harvest Facebook Data, Brainwash Voters, and Swing Elections
Paul Street
Deplorables II: The Dismal Dems in Stormy Times
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The Ghost of Hillary
Andrew Levine
Light at the End of the Tunnel?
Paul de Rooij
Amnesty International: Trumpeting for War… Again
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Coming in Hot
Chuck Gerhart
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Robert Fantina
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The Eyes of “Others” for Us All
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15 Years After the Iraq Invasion, What Are the Costs?
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Europe is Pregnant 
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Why Vietnam Still Matters: Was Khe Sanh a Win or a Loss?
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The Man Who Should Be Dead
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Hitler and the Poisoning of the British Public
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Trump Touts $12.5B Saudi Arms Sale as US Support for Yemen War Literally Fuels Atrocities
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