General Poetry Page           with Suzanne Robinson 

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Jesus Never Rode a Harley

 

high school boys, preppies, greasers & jocks

young punks, artists & hipsters,

driving fast cars, motorcycles & pick-up trucks

explore boundaries, test limits & color outside the lines

 

feral youth on the prowl, adolescents racing

to shed their virginity, a noxious alchemy

of teenage counter-culture fusion

flutter like moths in search of firelight

 

a crazy odd collage of shade & color

a salty dialogue, peppered with four-letter words

the outlaw, the outcast & the outlandish

rebellious, independent, something wicked,

 

something  . . . American,

standing still, they beckon for the open road

they are the wild flowers filled with the funk

of cigarette smoke mixed with the stench of stale beer

 

dressed in only skivvies slipping, sliding & tumbling,

hacking, slashing & slicing through the jungle & jumble

no past, no future, only now

the freedom to be wild & the freedom to be left alone

 

suffering from the unbearable heat of being cool

taking a wild rock & roll ride with psychedelics

scattered like gravel on the highway

the broken white lines blend into one

 

the string of lies tangled with knots of truth

a biological function, a chemical reaction,

a mathematical equation,

outlaw cool & offbeat wild

 

do you feel out of place?

Peter V. Dugan hosts the poetry reading series Celebrate Poetry at the Oceanside Library, Oceanside NY  and has written 4 collections of poetry. His poems have been published in several print and online publications, including Reckless Writing, Long Island Sounds and Writing Outside the Lines poetry anthologies as well as Contemporary American Voices, Long Island Quarterly, Five 2 One Magazine, Grub Street, Literary and Arts Magazine and Aitia, Philosophy-Humanities Magazine.

MECHANICAL DRAWING

 

 At the slanted desk

I drew plates, designs

for things I’d never make.

Our teacher demanded

silence so we could concentrate,

which I couldn’t do, my clothesline

mind weighted down.

I angered him by hand

drawing lines: ALWAYS

use the ruler,

never free hand.  All these

 

perfectly straight lines,

I’d never fit in them—

I tossed the ruler

in Salt Creek.  It became

the canoe

it really wanted to be.

 

ADVICE FOR PERFORMING ON PLUTO

 

The sun never buys a ticket here.

Play loud.  You have fans,

Pluto’s moons.  Shhh about

 

the mystery planet behind

Pluto’s back.  Pluto hates

competition.  Some insist

that Pluto isn’t even a planet.  Sing

those naysayers a bluesy number.

Trapped on Earth, they pull open

desk drawers to seek out

stale pretzels.  Tonight

 

time bugs skitter on Pluto’s sky.  

Drunken telescopes miss this.

All minus 380 degree temperatures

press close to you, ask for

an encore.

CLOSE ENOUGH

 

I was a little in love

with Monkee Mike and his green

wool hat, though less than

I loved Chad who built a book case

in Shop class.

One comic book

tipped mine over.

 

It took decades to find

love, like one of Neptune’s moons

only discovered once we got

close enough to image it.

Kenneth Pobo has a new book out from Circling Rivers called Loplop in a Red City.  His work has appeared in: Mudfish, Nimrod, Big Windows Review, Matador Review, and elsewhere.

How Odd to See You

How odd to see you,

Among evening shadows.

Alone, wandering,

Granite street, narrow long.

London’s sign posts, rusted deep.

 

The alley a dull reminder,

Of blurry eyed mornings.

 

You,

From my perch, bleak-black fire escape,

Pass behind vertical rungs,

To reappear, unscathed by the disappearance.

Confirming my lack of power over you.

 

A lofted voyeur.

An Emperor’s view,

Of a condemned Christian,

Among the beasts.

Tom Speaks

Compton 8 Mile

 

Judith sits outside the courthouse

on the corner of “Take the Bus

and Run Street” and “Scared Beyond

Belief Blvd” in beautiful downtown

Compton. Two miles from the home

she hopes to keep, she waits for the man

she was supposed to grow old with.

 

Well that ain’t gonna happen.  Now

her heart sues for peace and a piece

of the checkbook before it all goes

up in smoke, or cards at the Casino,

where many a moonlighting mother

knows her husband’s name, and too much

more.

 

The quiet bitterness of the moment

has Judith reflect on the children.

She’ll be fine, no matter what. Better,

in fact. She’s sworn to herself

she’ll not say a disparaging word;

her heart marked by the firing squad

of sweet kisses and sweeter drinks.

The kids’ll find out soon enough.

 

She tells herself she feels nothing.

But she does. Haunted by rooms

filled with his breathing, it’s gonna

take a while. There he is, trundling

up the courthouse steps. Her eyes

run slowly over what’s now the wilderness

of him, that she thought she knew so well.

Time to pull the pin from the atlas,

set out into a different light.

 

 

Martyna at the Hotel Copernicus, Krakow

                        The Main Market Square is a 7-minute walk

 

The bride and groom to-be were swimming laps

at the indoor pool, vaulted ceilings echoed honeyed

kisses and shushed intimacies about tonight’s

affair. Their beginning.

 

Martyna, part-time maid, part-time hat-check girl,

softly walked by on the narrow concrete.

She liked to see who she would be serving later,

could gauge the politeness of their guests…

 

She hated hurrying home, gray wool coat

and hand-knit scarf wrapped about her head,

counting the steps in the frozen sky to the warmth

of her room, a small brandy and smaller bed,

 

without some drunken groomsman pleading his case

in her ear for a hometown girl with easy expression

and late morning call. It’s a point of sad fact,

when you’re by the market square, you put up

 

with flown-in wedding guests. They watch for that

“local woman-of-charm and kindness glow”, make her

want to walk hunchbacked, beige-faced

and invisible, a piece of wedding cake held tightly

 

against her waist. Tonight, judging by the couple,

would be an easy walk home, moonlight tangled

in her straightening hair, cheeks reddened from permanent

chill, house key thawing warm in her pocket.

 

 

Poem for Dad A.

 

43 degrees and raining.

Soon, first snow of the season.

Boots out to the mailbox

and the fireplace on.

 

Aviation magazines

and warm brandy.

New baby great-grandson,

Spaghetti sauce on the stove.

 

Midnight mass. Scrambled eggs.

Dreamy dreams and telephone calls.

Garden in hibernation

like the trees, and most birds.

 

It’s winter, where there is winter.

Find a $20 or two in the jacket

pocket from last year, holiday music

on the radio.

 

Gloves, hats,

thick, thick socks

and the umbrella

that never opens right—

 

hasn’t since 1962.

But you will fix it.

Gruff love, honest love,

spaghetti sauce still on the stove.

Tobi Alfier (Cogswell) is a multiple Pushcart nominee and a multiple Best of the Net nominee.  Her current chapbooks include “Down Anstruther Way” (Scotland poems) from FutureCycle Press, and her full-length collection “Somewhere, Anywhere, Doesn’t Matter Where” is forthcoming from Kelsay Books. She is co-editor of San Pedro River Review (www.bluehorsepress.com).

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Copyright  Better than Starbucks 2017, a poetry magazine    

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