FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Lupinetti, Orloski & Davies

All in the Wrist

by FLAVIAN MARK LUPINETTI
While the rest of the crew huddled in the shadow of
the pickling tank, safe from the sun but
breathing in the nitric, I picked up the
jackhammer for the first time.  I had turned
nineteen only two weeks before, and my fellow
mill hogs laughed behind my back,
knowing I’d live to regret my enthusiasm.
I regretted it as soon as I woke up
the next afternoon, my hands swollen
big as Polish hams, every tendon from my fingertips
to my shoulders aflame, every ligament crying
a surrender.  When I punched back in at eleven o’clock
that night, I picked up the jackhammer
again.  This put an end to the laughter.  On
that night I became Hammering Jack, and for
twenty-seven years I made that tool mine.
I made it mind me.  I used it like a surgeon uses a
scalpel, dissecting cement and asphalt and
railroad beds.  I divided roads.  I excised
bridge abutments.  Until the day the bosses said
the mill doesn’t need a hammering man anymore.
These days the Komatsu twelve fifty takes
down a cinder block foundation in fifteen minutes,
a job that took a week for an average crew or even
a couple of days for one good hammering man.
Engine on the Komatsu torques
five fourteen horse.  What’s more, it
has an arm agile as a copperhead,
jaws delicate as a praying mantis.
It moves crisp.  It flips over twenty ton
of rebar-reinforced concrete wall as precise
as the dealer flipping over the jack of clubs.
Man, that machine.
I never took much interest in the skilled trades.
Welder, carpenter, electrician.
Jackhammer became a living thing in my hands.
Wouldn’t put it down by choice
any more than I’d put down my dog.
I had good luck for a hammering man.
These days my only real problem is my hearing, and if
the mill still paid health care for retirees,
I could sign up for an ear operation and
cover the remaining costs with my pension, if
the mill still paid pensions.
I had good luck for a hammering man.
The back never gave out like some.
The wife says it must have rattled my
brain good, just nobody can tell the difference.
Hard to turn my wrists with the bones fused, joints
halfway flexed.  Don’t laugh when I scratch my
face with the back of my fingers.

 

 

Whiplash Ashore & Thermidor?

by CHARLES ORLOSKI
“Every successful revolution has its Thermidor.”
E.H. Carr, “Stalin,” Soviet Studies, July 1953; Page 3

During foggy “Morning in America,”
Gipper ascension, Iron Curtain fall,
you might have noticed special phenomenon –
Greener grass available over seas
for oligarchs and prune-faced Bankers
who never met ambitious politicians
and cheap labor they did not like.
Corporate benefactors enjoy paradise
beyond that promised by smirking bush gods.
Wealth become speech, private islands,
starlets upon every mattress,
Marc Rich pardons for sale,
and world intelligence & police
assigned as all-encapsulating condom,
forever protecting the Rich Man
from Lazarus’s “preferential option” sphere1,
Nevermore land of ugly sores.

May 21, 2014,
morning after Pennsylvania primaries,
like Adam’s exit from Eden Gardens, Ur,
I rode C.O.L.T.S. bus transportation
to Scranton’s Gerrity’s Market.
Stuffed in back pack, a portable poster
proclaimed “Down with food monopolies!”
Rainfall, at Gerrity’s entrance, I blocked door,
raised poster for fellow consumers to see.
Cries from anxious coupon-holders,
tears of fear, “Arrest him, arrest him!”
Apples hurled my way, I hurt, revolted.
One bite into cracked Empire apple,
a worm reared head, dropped, dropped,
slipped deep into juicy white core.

The worm naively thought it escaped,
avoided becoming bait, disenfranchisement,
until my front teeth fracked in pursuit –
POP!
Worm blood bubbled, other half free to join
the United Jacobin Fruit Growers Club of CA.
So much I know about thermidorian reactions  –
Rains of Terror subject to reigns of sun shine…,
the early worm gets the meatiest oligarch,
and why do I always awaken so late?

 

1. “Preferential option for the poor” is a concept controversially introduced in a 1968 letter, written by Father Pedro Arrupe, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, addressed to Latin American Jesuits.  Presumably such available policy was not just rah-rah political “points-of-light” and income tax deductible strategy talk that 21st century religious “haves” are so accustomed and conditioned to hearing.

 

Charles Orloski lives in Taylor, Pennsylvania. He can be reached at orlovzek13@aol.com.

 

 

Morning Coffee and the News
by ROBERT A. DAVIES

Great to sit at the kitchen table
over coffee and the paper.
This morning the world is gone
Without the Times’ lies
the news is of sports   celebrities   and scandals
of course tons of ads
And what not to do in Gardens and Mansions
And where people like us should go.

We go to the internet instead,
are surprised to find truth
(facts   evidence   reasoned opinion)
on employment   peace   habeas corpus
(itself in red: incorrect
or non-existent, says our spell-check)
on the justice of banksters going to jail,
all the things we cannot vote for.

 

Robert A. Davies is the author of Melons and Mendelssohn. He can be reached at rjdavies3@comcast.net.

 

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. 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!

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!

September 18, 2018
Conn Hallinan
Britain: the Anti-Semitism Debate
Tamara Pearson
Why Mexico’s Next President is No Friend of Migrants
Richard Moser
Both the Commune and Revolution
Nick Pemberton
Serena 15, Tennis Love
Binoy Kampmark
Inconvenient Realities: Climate Change and the South Pacific
Martin Billheimer
La Grand’Route: Waiting for the Bus
John Kendall Hawkins
Seymour Hersh: a Life of Adversarial Democracy at Work
Faisal Khan
Is Israel a Democracy?
John Feffer
The GOP Wants Trumpism…Without Trump
Kim Ives
The Roots of Haiti’s Movement for PetroCaribe Transparency
Dave Lindorff
We Already Have a Fake Billionaire President; Why Would We want a Real One Running in 2020?
Gerry Brown
Is China Springing Debt Traps or Throwing a Lifeline to Countries in Distress?
Pete Tucker
The Washington Post Really Wants to Stop Ben Jealous
Dean Baker
Getting It Wrong Again: Consumer Spending and the Great Recession
September 17, 2018
Melvin Goodman
What is to be Done?
Rob Urie
American Fascism
Patrick Cockburn
The Adults in the White House Trying to Save the US From Trump Are Just as Dangerous as He Is
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
The Long Fall of Bob Woodward: From Nixon’s Nemesis to Cheney’s Savior
Mairead Maguire
Demonization of Russia in a New Cold War Era
Dean Baker
The Bank Bailout of 2008 was Unnecessary
Wim Laven
Hurricane Trump, Season 2
Yves Engler
Smearing Dimitri Lascaris
Ron Jacobs
From ROTC to Revolution and Beyond
Clark T. Scott
The Cannibals of Horsepower
Binoy Kampmark
A Traditional Right: Jimmie Åkesson and the Sweden Democrats
Laura Flanders
History Markers
Weekend Edition
September 14, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Carl Boggs
Obama’s Imperial Presidency
Joshua Frank
From CO2 to Methane, Trump’s Hurricane of Destruction
Jeffrey St. Clair
Maria’s Missing Dead
Andrew Levine
A Bulwark Against the Idiocy of Conservatives Like Brett Kavanaugh
T.J. Coles
Neil deGrasse Tyson: A Celebrity Salesman for the Military-Industrial-Complex
Jeff Ballinger
Nike and Colin Kaepernick: Fronting the Bigots’ Team
David Rosen
Why Stop at Roe? How “Settled Law” Can be Overturned
Gary Olson
Pope Francis and the Battle Over Cultural Terrain
Nick Pemberton
Donald The Victim: A Product of Post-9/11 America
Ramzy Baroud
The Veiled Danger of the ‘Dead’ Oslo Accords
Kevin Martin
U.S. Support for the Bombing of Yemen to Continue
Robert Fisk
A Murder in Aleppo
Robert Hunziker
The Elite World Order in Jitters
Ben Dangl
After 9/11: The Staggering Economic and Human Cost of the War on Terror
Charles Pierson
Invade The Hague! Bolton vs. the ICC
Robert Fantina
Trump and Palestine
Daniel Warner
Hubris on and Off the Court
John Kendall Hawkins
Boning Up on Eternal Recurrence, Kubrick-style: “2001,” Revisited
Haydar Khan
Set Theory of the Left
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail