Poetry | July 2018 | Poetry | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine

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Poetry | July 2018



I want to lie down in your hand
I want to lie down in your eye
I want to lie down in your hair

—Izaak Savett (3 years)

Hollywood Poets Beware!

I was full of crap,
then I went to Hollywood.
Now, I’m covered with crap
and I’m still full of crap,
but I don’t care anymore.

At the office I said,
“How old is your son?”
She replied,
“He’ll be three next month.”

I felt like saying,
“Did I ask you how old
he was going to be?”

Gary Snyder said,
“Gratitude to wild things /
In our minds, so be it!”

I tried to channel
Richard Brautigan.
I wanted to be a soldier in an
army of men who wore the full armor of God
but knew I lacked courage.

I googled courage,
but it didn’t help any more than
the time I googled
the meaning of life.
I’m still guessing at that.

—John Blandly

Building Site

So intent on

the ground-

for the new

they did not

high above
their heads,

the clouds


—JR Solonche

D. B. in the urn

It was the night James
brought that girl and I
was tanked and the neighbor
moved his gas grill
w/o turning off the gas and
blew the house off its foundation.

And God knows how
we’ve gotten here:
In the drizzle
on Memorial Day.
w/a bad soundtrack
by the Five Retirees
who obviously missed

They do the Kinks
no justice. Slaughter
But here we are
celebrating survival.
Hoping not to tell
the tales told

Or at least remember
how they went. What was
the last one
they butchered?
The Beatles?
O, that’s easy.
Everyone thinks
they’re the Beatles.
It’s pandemic.
We all got guitars
back then. It was
a boom to
the industry.

Songs of weapons,
war and women.
The same they sing

And in my mind
I’m toasting,
D. B. in the urn.

—Mike Jurkovic

Rain Dance

I listen to the rain
across clay tile shingles
and try to imagine
the weight of it all.
The weight of water,
and shadows,
and light.

—John Kojak

when you know
i’ll know.
if you tell me.


Ode to Mother

Mother rings the bells of flowers.
She catches falling stars from Magnolia.
She then embraces the wandering shrub
with all her light,
with plenty left
for the mountains, the river, the birds.

Come through the window,
please, touch my face,
gently, clean my coat.
For (after all) I worship
you just by living and living
lovingly. O, your divinity
as you move through the universe!

                     Pull us as a mother
through the worlds
                     We will never know.
For (after all) we are yours,
                                  Of the Earth,
to follow you,
              your bashing sweetness,

—Kyle Pritz

The Believer
It takes more faith to believe in nothing.
That mess of stars,
a mere splatter of paint
smeared by the artist’s foot.
That slice of pink,
the sun’s goodnight kiss,
a restless turning of the earth.

It takes devotion to know
marbles only clamor in glass when shaken
and our bodies only tremble
until the cycle goes spinning
leaving us limp and drowsy.

Even the tomcat knows his limits.
The wire is too thin
for fat paws and greedy claws,
but the pillow of earth below,
green, speckled shards
from the great glowing orb,
offers reassurance.

He leaps clean out.

—Angela Braselmann


Inside the sweater
The shirt
The skin
The housing of bones
The warm mystery of organs;
Their syncopation with the metronome
A heart beating
A hundred thousand times a day;
And ignored by the dead dread spot
Behind the liver;
Inside the brain’s wild circuitry
Shooting electron arrows at the bulls-eyes
Of meaning. Inside all that is,
You are,

Magnificent with your
Transparent love and
Your yellow polka dotted
Bow tie.

—Robert Phelps

Concerns: Multiple and Various

Who could regulate your smoking gun
              and what reverberations
a drunk body makes   when
                                    it falls         why the birds
take off all at once      like shrapnel
            and how the cops       already know
which house is ours

—Sarah Blake

To Love Like Ram Dass

I want to love
like Ram Dass,
to float on the
waves, bathed
in healing waters;
to love like dancers
on LSD, to be lifted
into a crow’s nest of
wildflowers, searching
for the heavens
beyond the heavens;
to love like children
do, full of joy
unquestioned and
laughing madly. I want
to be in the arms
of a love that keeps
giving-like milk...
like pear juice...
...like air...
like words... to love
without fearing death,
to converse with it
like an old roommate,
to fall asleep together,
drunk on lullabies
never recorded again;
to love as a free man.
To open the door each
morning with yes on my lips.

—George Cassidy Payne

Small Table

she has already forgotten my name
I am thinking drinking my coffee
she tea
in the Hamdi Cafe it is hope—
less I am faceless I try
talking of summer Paris Rome
a little boy asks me a question
in a foreign tongue I repeat it back
to him again she smiles
laughs and says my name

—Richard Donnelly

Joyful Noise

Uncle Walt had his barbaric yawp
Ramona Quimby, her yeep—
Her joyful noise unto the Lord.
I’m a yeeper, myself:
A leaper,
A twirler,
A thrower open of short-falling arms
To embrace the bracing blue.
My solar soul
Flickers to life,
Flares breeze-blown,
Floods with green,
Light-cut and
Slanter of gold,
Sower of plenty:
How much do I love you?

—Emily Vanston

Why Ponder?

How did you feel when the hurricane that wreaked country-wide destruction had your forename? I personally would bear some guilt in the aftermath.

Wondering if you ever did adopt that highway, and if it’s as expensive as adopting a child?

Why is it that you will only watch a film with English for the hearing-impaired subtitles? You can hear as well as or even better than bats—or make that moths, who now hold the title for the best hearing species.

What ever happened to that cousin of yours who was enrolled in clown school? Is he unemployed now that the Barnum & Bailey Circus closed?

Remember when you overheard a child telling her parents that she could see the moon in the clear blue sky? And then her parents adamantly told her that it’s only possible to see the moon at night? They should be ashamed of themselves.

I know you didn’t ask, don’t worry most people don’t, but it’s been absolutely dreadful without him. I search for hidden messages in the universe & convince myself that he’s here.

—Megan Coder

The Tortured Artist Shows Us

How Not To Be Seen

Anchored against a back wall
He slouches
Blending in
Gathering all his light around him
Holding it close
Longing for a cigarette
Or something to do with his hands
Focusing his attention
Towards a stage he is not on.
For tonight
Anonymity is embraced
And he gets to watch
Not be watched
This, is living.

—Anne Mikusinski

Black Granite White Mirror

The Wall—Washington, DC—1982

Dear Leonard,

It’s been 22 years since they took you & all our beautiful boys & girls. What generous children they might have been. Like you, Len, dead, like you.


Beside its gripping litany of names this wall’s been home to letters, snapshots, whiskey, dolls & bibles, telephones & purple hearts…to living vets,
their outfit’s badges, caps & battle flags laid out across the lawn just down the hill
from Lincoln.

Those who’ve come from Omaha & Chillicothe, Chicago, Orlando, Duke or Sacramento seek their peace in its slick, dark skin.

Their hands, their eyes, their passing shadows linked to all who’ve walked this
walk before.

After more than thirty-five years this wall’s become a door / an entrance to the other side
of grief

those who’ve gone ahead forever joined—the living &
the dead as flesh to bone…as skin
to stone.

—Roger Aplon

The wave is tossing its glory
into the sky.
The clouds are glowing.

—Margarita Serafimova

Sins of Solidarity

Back when we
were so young
what forever could be
was soothingly sung
in halls straining free
from the bells rung
across a land told
what young dreams say
on a winter’s past so cold
this whisper... forever stay.

—John Wisniewski


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