March 1, 2014, the clamor of Kiev
by LAURA MANUELIDIS
In vivid night no flags flew—
Only stars, shiftless, spoke the wind—
Wind that obeys no boundaries
Blossoming the good
from the buried bones again
Their thick sweet opening under smoke
As the pockmarked earth spread scabs
To heal the poison, the unceasing wounds
that separate the tribes—of howling
Wolves: from the elephants shy in their
Backing away from man and woman
Kind— to regain the original place
of everything and nothing at once: Nameless.
Laura Manuelidis is a physician and neuroscientist. She has been published in diverse literary journals including: The Nation, Oxford Poetry, Innisfree Poetry, Evergreen Review, Counterpunch, and Poetry Magazine . Her two poetry books: Out of Order, and One / divided by Zero, are available on Amazon. Additional information is at http://medicine.yale.edu/labs/manuelidis/www/manuelidis_poetry.html.
The End Song
by CHARLES ORLOSKI
Fat years come and gone,
I’ve returned to a Pensacola tiki bar.
Seated upon a tall bar-stool,
duct tape upon plastic seat,
thousands of peanut shells upon floor,
Navy jets overhead, sea gulls unperturbed,
I had no money left, bad credit report,
a criminal record,
and no one at the bar will dance with me.
Into Men’s Room, I made release,
looked at rubber dispenser scribbling,
“Leda the Swan is a whore,”
and my member’s caught in zipper,
dark drops upon dungaree shorts,
I closed door, a crab scurried away,
I proceeded toward empty stage,
a guitar, drum set, an accordion,
how lonely house bands must be.
I hovered above bongo drums,
once Sultan of Pensacola SWAT beach.
Tempted, I tapped upon worn drum skins,
drunk patrons stood, wildly danced.
“Are you the drummer?”
asked Melissa the Mermaid
I remained coy, sexy, and ancient.
Navy jets over Warsaw by then,
an unreal end, my bar stool occupied,
all was constitutional and just,
I asked Leda the Swan to dance,
our flabby bellies touched, no tomorrow…,
had I afforded more Labatts Blue,
we’d rock the bright night like B-52s.
Author’s note: In the late 1970s, I stayed for a week in Pensacola, FLA, a guest of cousin Joe Cherra, Jr., a graduate of the US Naval Academy, and in training to become a US NAVY reconnaissance pilot. The poem is based upon a real experience while Joey and I enjoyed a beach tiki bar, getting wasted, and recalling teenage days when I actually was a bad drummer with swag, once upon time.
Charles Orloski lives in Taylor, PA. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
by DENNIS LEROY KANGALEE
I am in between shining shoes and pulling a trigger.
Once known as “The Nomad Junkie” due to his peripatetic lifestyle and artistic restlessness, Dennis Leroy Kangalee is a NYC-based poet and dramatist. His writing reflects his own anger and frustration as he sees the world’s injustice in an everyday observation. He published his first formal collection of poems, Lying Meat, in 2010 and is a regular contributor to the Outlaw Poetry Network. Currently, he is developing New Poet Cinema – experimental films both personal and political that try to retain the intimacy of a poem. His site is dennisleroykangalee.wordpress.com. He can be reached directly at email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 suggestions, visit http://crowvoice.com/poets-basement. Thanks!