Sudden Appearance of a Bride Not to Be
by CHARLES ORLOSKI
Freezing December rain, 6:00 Ante Mediem –
I drive a baby-blue 1969 VW Beetle,
Washburn Street, West Scranton,
am late for work on Roadway Express dock.
No parking spaces available at Mastrucci’s store,
I double-park, VW idles unsteadily in-neutral,
casual store entry, coffee into styrofoam cup,
old Mastrucci has The New York Times ready,
1979, Red Army’s engaged in Afghanistan.
I hand Mastrucci $1.50, turn to depart,
& a woman appears in wedding dress,
she’s certain I am the one who jilted her
many years ago, at Saint Lucille’s altar.
Angry, she lashes out,
curses me for hurting her so.
I hurried to VW, exhaust smoke ascent,
Scranton fog like choreographed incense.
She follows outdoors, threatens harm,
rain soaks beautiful white-gown, it still fits,
Mastrucci said later, “this happens once a year,
Chuck, it’s her wedding anniversary that really ain’t.”
Today, I’m scared –
that frantic face impaled upon VW window.
Poor woman, yellowish-veil drenched, perm no more,
she screamed, “Richie, I never wanted you to leave!”
1st gear would not engage,
nervous left-foot pumped clutch, a Local 229 Teamster,
fragile, I went to work in honeymoon Poconos,
bride stranded on Main Street, fist disappeared in rear-view,
no empty cans tied to Beetle’s bumper, cold rain fell,
no fallen rice, fearful, wedded to I-80 East black-ice,
down & out Saint Lucille had no dowry for me…,
why should that be?
Charles Orloski lives in Taylor, PA. 1974-1984, Orloski worked the break-dock of Roadway Express, Inc., Rte. 714, Tannersville, PA., until hundreds of disciplinary letters & suspensions did they part. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The intellectual is a middle-class product; if he is not born into the class he must soon insert himself into it, in order to exist. He is the fine nervous flower of the bourgeoisie.” –Louise Bogan
Full of ideals.
written in blood that is not theirs
Sloganeering in chorus
nervous in solitude
typeset in convent and Ivy league fonts
alphabets that never court arrest
boils down to the cost of stamp age
carried in gunny bags of leather tanned from the hides of martyr’s corpses
addressed to the mansion of bourgeoisie
where synthetic grass is cut to a level
and all algae weeded out.
Chandramohan.S is an Indian English poet focusing on struggles of the world’s marginalized, migrant laborers, nomads, immigrants and working classes—victimized and then forgotten as nations and cultures clash and wage relentless war.
2014: On the Eve of the Centenary
by DR. T. P. WILKINSON
There are no fields
the static stream
the stone strewn
where never known
flesh and bone
all in the silence
flesh of consciousness.
There are no fields
the fanatic dreams
faces of souls
in sand and sordid
In the deep trenches
waits for blood
solitude with love
Love of self,
with an invisible
by the touch
of tender tyranny.
Before the shrapnel
before the slicing
from their smiles
separate the natural
from their bearers
writhing in the search
for buried beauty
the innocent dig
paths for bleached
drawn by saddened
not yet bleeding
not yet ceding
the last dust
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