Reason for a Poet
by FRANK FORD
When I strolled
with a sad friend,
things we both
Why we had
In a way,
in a poem.
Which can’t be
prompt or tardy
but of itself only.
Like a pocket
in an old jacket,
what gets added.
Frank Ford broils in Florida, where art and silent music meet in the condo.
by JIM HARTZ
He is an Admiral in the Tibetan Navy
She is a Stalinist of the Strict Observance
He is a gun-totting Armageddon-ready Baptist
As Dean Witter said we must never rest
In our commitment to the individual
Even if it kills us (and everything else)
Fascism is only an emergency regime
For the preservation of capital
If you didn’t have something to hide
Constant surveillance wouldn’t be necessary
Jim Hartz has had poems recently in anthologies War and Peace: The Future (edited by Judith Goldman and Leslie Scalapino), Beatitude: Golden Anniversary 1959-2009 (edited by Latif Harris and Neeli Cherkovski), and CounterPunch. He currently lives in Boulder, CO.
No Room in the Inn for the Puertorican Exile
by JOSÉ M. TIRADO
Their strength, carpenter –nailed solid to Earth,
Guarded, tightly held to the act of the moment-
Has its own shimmer, yes, it is true.
Inviolate uprightness, loyalty, faith
In their hard, rough tongue,
As if each drift outwards to express themselves
Differently signaled some canny end to
What kept them together best.
(There is more talk than music on the radio now
And this seems why).
It is good, I guess. All consonant certainty.
A tense, fisted independence.
For the women, their men will
Their sex solid,
And the wall banged wooden shutters will hold well.
But those who whisper, or will a fancier movement,
A dance, a lilt, a sparkle of flirtation and a
Walk away with smiles all around,
Will be disappointed,
And left utterly alone.
For the men, the women will hold their own
In toughness, but they
Will paint their beauty till it pushes
Forward the power
But pushes back any tenderness,
Covering genetic fears of becoming fishermen´s widows, perhaps.
There exists a tunneled depth which
Cannot be penetrated,
Nor imitated and holds off
The tender swing of the hips
Or non drunken revelry in a tasty meal.
Nor is subtle understood all that well-
For us of the soft…the cry of being,
Or the twirling fingers of insecurity,
Wailing grief, or the terrible twitch
Of the lonely heart without a touch,
There is the same stiffness
And casual walk along the
Sheep shed where the
Next activity will be done,
And the one after that, planned before
Simply moving on.
José M. Tirado is a Puertorican poet, and writer living in Hafnarfjorður, Iceland, known for its elves, “hidden people” and lava fields. His articles and poetry have been featured in CounterPunch, Cyrano´s Journal, The Galway Review, Dissident Voice, The Endless Search, Op-Ed News, The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, and others. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 files! – use “Save As” to change docx files to “.doc”). 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 suggestions, visit http://crowvoice.com/poets-basement. Thanks!