Chronogram Poetry | May 2019 | Poetry | Hudson Valley | Hudson Valley; Chronogram

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Chronogram Poetry | May 2019

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My tattoos are on the inside
And just as hard to remove

—p

Post, Like, Comment


They say it connects us
Unites us together as one
All the hateful, rude comments
We are told that no harm has been done
Words hurt, they let out a silent plea for help
Yet all we see are kids having fun
The world mindlessly
Posting, Liking, Commenting

An endless cycle, nothing left to do.

Nothing left to live for, nothing left to die for
They just
Post, Like, Comment
They try to say it
As loudly as they can
They yell and scream
It hurts
More than we know
Yet all we hear is
POST
LIKE
COMMENT

—Isabella Harris (13 years)


Omens

two mangled fawns
on the drive police
cruiser before the school
blood in my stool and
on my gums and in the eye
of the dog a crow the size
of a child struggling
to lift off from the lawn
six unanswered calls from andover
massachusetts two concrete domes
reflected on the hudson in the windows
of the moving train an old song
heard for the first time a place
where something once was

—Maggie Mitchell

Where am I now?

I grew up with Allen Ginsberg
and Jack Kerouac sitting cross legged on my shoulders.
My choice.
I put them there.

The rock and roll I liked at 17
sounded like Torah to me.
It was the sound that came from the jukeboxes
hidden in the corners of the pizza parlors and soda fountains
of Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx.

At 18 I took a bus to Woodstock, NY
Where I met Jennifer,
A flower child woman of twenty-five.
Later I would find myself running from
Tear gas canisters on the Berkeley Campus.
Or riding in long haul trucks at 4am with some
mad man
high on bad weed,
Scotch and White Crosses.
Always speeding. Always speeding.

Now and then
I’d land in Jail.
It’s the risk you take
If you want to be a young, hippie hobo.
And I wanted that very much, all those years ago.

Half a century, in fact.

No lessons. I was just thinking, that’s all.

—Dean Goldberg

What a relief.

what a relief when you take off your hat
and let me grab your hair.
let me be 43 to your 26.

every poem could start
with ‘what a relief’
and that would make sense.

Here—what a relief
to know only your first name,
to allow you to be sweet on me,
make love to me in the afternoon winter light,
for me to want you just like this.

what a relief
to know all i need to—
the refugee camp where your mother lives
the maqluba your sisters served you from a kitchen you weren’t
allowed in,
your declaration ‘Palestinians are romantics’…
everything so awkward and gentle and perfect.

what a relief
your fresh attention
your solicitous concern
of the nature of this affair
‘yes, dear, i understand’
your soft young back rounding to
collect my jeans from the floor.

and when you go
your strawberry shisha lips linger,
and i find your sticky scent
hidden in the warmth.
what a relief.

—Elsie O'Keefe

Words

He was a writer.
I am a writer.

And that was just
too many words
bouncing
between us
like an echo
against a canyon wall.

Hard,
with jagged edges.

—Sheila Petnuch Fields

Brooklyn 1953

August afternoon hours spent
baking in the Ebbets Field cheap seats,
six years old, eating undercooked
hot dogs, drinking warm orange crush,

nibbling soggy vanilla ice cream cones
well into the extra-inning dusk,
Willie Mays ends it; driving one out
over the center field wall. Leaving,
crushed against dusty Exit walls,
the aggressive sweat soaked fans,
mumbling anathemas, outside, parking
lot fist fights, the cobblestoned streets
of Brooklyn. Riding home, the sick smell
of a low tide that extended the length
of Brooklyn; mother smoked incessantly,
as always, her unfiltered cigarettes
clouding the unventilated, don't ever,
don't even think about, opening
your windows, black Ford.

-Alan Catlin

Chase

in the 1950s suburbs
when I was a boy, dogs

ran loose in the neighborhood
we were playing in Lenny’s yard

when the local pack chased
a flatbed truck THUMP

a dachshund was caught behind
the rear wheel and it was over

the driver stopped, picked up
the pooch and took it to the door

we all pointed to and we
followed him cradling his “I’m so sorry”

our teacher told us to write what
we knew about and it was this

—Neal Whitman

You Named Yourself

At sixteen, you told me you were not a boy, had never been a boy
And you named yourself a new name
The only name I will ever call you
Your hair grew long, and it's thick and dark, like your dad's
You said, "Mom, I'm ready", and we went shopping for new clothes
When you saw your reflection, you beamed, and it was a smile I had
Not seen, maybe ever, till now

—Tracey Long

In the Corner on the Floor


My son just came home from the war
and he sits folded in upon himself

in the corner
on the floor

Lights off and in the semi-darkness
he seems so small

in the corner
on the floor

As I stand poised in the doorway
I see three sons
infant
child
man

broken open

in the corner
on the floor

I wait expectant but he does nothing
So, I walk in and sit by his side

in the corner
on the floor

—Lu Ann Kaldor

We Are

We are the wild
The wicked
We breathe in deep
Release a howl
Create harmony with the crickets
We let the yellow of the moon
Drive us forward
As we ride the earth into the morning

—Liula Marcellina

Pour Lily Petals on Her Headstone

I’d rather
take the blade
to my own throat
than have your fingers
curled around it

—Meagan Towler

The Backward Easel


In the Fall i am your ladder
In the step of my Father i am my son

He can see us blind
Truth shelves defiance

—J Sweet

laughing lemon drops
scatter across green landscape
dandelions tease

—Fern Suess

voles and chipmunks
a feeding frenzy
goodbye crocus.

crickets and peepers
smoldering air
soil tickled by sprouts.

grasshopper  worm
red robin swoops down
one remains.

—Lori MS

Notes on Osmosis

Language of tea leaves
as they settle into a cup.

Breath. Condensation. Vital force.

We float between god and gravity.

Pliant, steady. The mind concentrated
purified light. Here, now. This.

Fluid atmosphere registers
all desires on earth.

Soul. Body. Body. Soul.
Exits through a silver cord in the spine.

The atmosphere registers
all desires on earth.

Water into root. Root
into water.

Drops of water in the ocean
can be counted by the wisdom
trance of a six syllable mantra.

We reach for one another.
Night birds sing all night long.

—Ava M. Hu

Florence

I hold it there in secrecy.
Hold it there in memory.
Her breathless finality.

—Jessica Judith Beckwith

It Started With Desperado.

I went through your mountain
Of notebooks
Picked a piece of paper off my carpet
Labeled
“Songs to play at my funeral.”

A tiny scrap
Overlooked by everyone
Filled with rock ballads
And ’80s electronic music.

I’ve memorized all of the songs
You wanted to die to.

—Nicholas Trieste

#
My Dangerous Early Years as a Poet


When I was young, I hung with a dangerous crew.
We did line after line till we got haiku.
We called ourselves the Villianelles.

You didn't want to meet us in the street.
We'd take a large volume of Kerouac
and then you'd learn what it means to be beat.

We got into all kinds of rhyme schemes.
A repeated pattern for us.
Sometimes they'd look the other way.
But often they'd end in CADA.

We were just the kind of men who
find themselves going to the pen.

As sure as the morning
crow of the cock.
They'd lock us up in the writers block
where we would remain
semi-composed
until we finished our sentence.

But I gave up all that
shit when I realized
if I wanted
to get ahead
I'd just have to
submit.

—Dan Vollweiler

Peter, Paul,

and Mary couldn’t be there because
she was too ill, so the old songs were sung
without her in the flesh, though spirit was
present even without her impending death

arriving like a train some might welcome
and some might want to walk away from
only to catch another later train. But
we didn’t know then that she was so close

to departure, only that it was Peter, Paul
and no Mary on stage, singing and playing
songs we sang along with—aloud, or
silently with spirit to ourselves.

—Matthew J. Spireng

Taps

I sound death from the gallery with Trumpets made of gold.
I will not dance for your journey. I don’t know where you go.

—Gary Barkman


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