On the Spirit of Words (A non-villanelle)

I imagine myself without the know-how to find the words:
without a well to dip my fingertips like buckets into deep dreams
of wells. I am sitting here in a chair with no more than a few inspired words,
(dervishes of dervishes of swirling lights of words).

But I drop my hands. I am captive in my golden chest. I hurl it; I rummage from within it;
I search for diamonds in that golden palpitation, ventilating—like a whooshing military jet.
And the dirt, there? It sets much like a sun does set—like a stirring mold, or a fog—"roamingly."
And that dirt is
metamorphized into letters and the letters quench the inmost seams
of my most in-moist holes.
The dirt inside my ribs turns to mud and then becomes
so hard, so hard that wing-flapping little birds

shortly do and shortly will become like a good vinegar—
sweet, and bitter, and sour, all at once,
and will will to build upward, like city dwellers will,
dwell to build cages, changes and pages, like millers, civilizations and writers dwell to do,
and fly high when ready for bigger worlds,
types of worlds which remain without the restrictions of skeletal beams, it seems.
And so these same sweet birds, slow and sweet as molasses, then, metamorphize into my breath, and feel, at that juncture, as unfurled as
my spirit right now feels unwhirled.

This unwhirling is the succinct-est definition of my spirit.
It ascends to sky along the side of dogged leashless roams of herds,
heads pointed up to the tip of some mountain top in the wintry wilderness of poetic form.
I, I tell you, will metamorphize it —with fullest and big-bellied intention— into steam,
and make these animal roams more intangible to me
than my spirit and its karmic ascent to a Himilayan mountain temple,
wherein I am ample, and my interior steams as lurid as
a leery and lurid light: herded and unherded, sweetly sweetly unherded,

unknotted sleepily by the sleep-walking goddess of the moonlight.
Yes, I search for a word I must confine with nails, with guards, with boards.
This is so that I may keep that word in eternity, so that I may maintain it in low meager gleams,
in a slowest death-release, slow like the mirrors of light fading out
in the final sarcophagal bed chambers of kings, of Egypt, —that long eternal vault that stirs
in the cosmos, cosmically cosmically stirs and stirs

stirs---like a blue and red starry soup. The poems, or my breath, they likewise do stir.
And they keep their wet ink wet and far and home and away from herds that do not roam as animaling herds—
roves of scholars of men who wish to bridge with flaky black slate the infiniteness of my dreams
of wells. And so, as I began: I imagine myself without the know-how
to find those plum-red wheel barrel words.
For I am here sitting in a chair with only the spirit of my
self —hewn out at the expense of all others and their own holy holy turns.


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The Poet's Lamentation

A million pages, slats, and pins,
covers and supine bindings,
erupt off of shelves like colored
leaves of fall crawling down
and up crooked suburban streets
like dancing dunes of deserts;
wild gestures from the earth.

I stoop in poetic lamentation.
I stoop, but dying insects slowly
slink, go greet narrow pathways
on quiet arches near square
green gardens.

Keep beds. House ungrateful
breaths inside untimely waxy graves.

There in my fuzzy orange mosses, they
finally endure a good sleep and feel
full.

Moonbeams reach their hands into these shallow
openings. A café emits jazz and pop rays inside.
Meanwhile, the bugs gratefully breach the ugly
trench-line between time and literary turpentine.

Birds lap lightly, lowly, wholly,
but I do not glow yet. Radiant rafters sunlit
softly cast fading flight upon slow
folding river dreams. Asters float
freely, glimpse the looming lips of
winter.

Birds lap lightly, lowly, wholly, glow.
Golden sunlit rafters set. Tiring birds

fly, land, and depart,
fly, land, and depart,
like flowers wilting
inside a mucky vase.

The solace of the sun echoes, fecund,
in humid wave-swept halls. Sodden
star-ladders lean between Earth and
moon: lean weightless in between
the moons, grow hapless in between
the Earths.

Slow, I walk onto docks disheveled, drunken,
onto sleeping city streets, permeate the wall of
false truth nestling in the yellow-light world.
Aglow is the nighttime-earth. For a day, at least,
fast have I flown from faithfully naming the world.

My mother makes foam on the beaches of my
memory. My dog whistles to me through the trees
and tells me to come home, and I lift my spirit
tall and keep the names of the saints in my heart.

In dusk-laden mirror world at 7, beside deep
galactic twinkling, I am two million visions of
self, exchanging eyes with two million voices
of self. I am many contents without the crumbly
skin of a calciferous moon, whimpers within
the hills' winds, vocals hung without local guts,
echoes fast irrupting irresponsibly flopping free
filling mental gourds with ethereal unholy lords.

I trick you, hollow and criminal,
but wish to flower under, down under,
like a knife of a Zen butcher:
through the flesh to the bone,
to the bone through the flesh.

This acute slayer knows the truth, thinks I:
weaves a cleaver in and out of god's inner
workings, like a good writer heaves buckets of
verbs, emergent winnows of cindering ink
fishing, nets poised atop an electric powered boat. 

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Christmas

Here tonight the dogs are dreaming of meadows and game.
My uncle and cousins are missing Martha and refraining
from bringing her name into the ether.
We also are refraining.

The river Styx is flowing and Martha is dancing, because rain
falls in many places in New York, and the trees and scuttling
ticks of this delayed winter are drinking happy cups from plentiful
puddles, and because grounds freeze over and drives are icy, and
monsoons billow, and rays of sun pour down relentlessly in Arizona;
also, because guitar strings stir the cosmos like a cosmic-sized ladle
and smiles spill from quiet still bellies into the room containing us.

Doors open at 4am and feet trudge. And it has been a long day,
and the remainder of us are happy, and the remnants of the night
are not so still like ashes.

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The Rolling Pin

It's been a long week, and I think of the rolling pin again,

---flattening my working corpse like a velvet flower head
that is pressed in between the pages of a book.

I feel less longing than usual.
Time enters me but feels less like a bandit than it usually feels.
I long but the longing is sweet like yellow tea; a welcomed visitor.

Already, I miss my brother, whose wonderful wanderer's feet
are taking him to China tomorrow.
He searches for his own yellow tea, his green China tea.
He is a young freight-ship of voyagers balancing on the ocean,
like a tightrope walker, like a breadcrumb or a canoe;
he is in search of his India, the newer continent
of his growing self; or, perhaps the very same self.
Who knows? He is special like that.

I will miss my brother from this moment until tomorrow,
and for that matter, and while we are on the subject, until I die.

Ahhhh, the rolling pin rolls.

These words, indeed, are the best part of me
---squeezed out of me like a papyrus juice,
sweets reeds, jaw-bent lines of scriptural pulp.

I head to my church tonight, mass of
choice-words and humanity in which
to receive holy water and reconstitute myself.
There, in the water and breath of
God's literary disciples, I quiet myself
and rest in the warm sepulchers of God
like a Gaelic voice in the pews of a
boundless infinite nothing. I sleep with
those fellow clouds that go wandering
"high […] o'er vales and hills."

I pray with the poets and friends of the wide, wide world.

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#wordsmusicdialogue Thursday, August 24 7pm, Towne Crier Cafe

 #wordsmusicdialogue

Intimate performance and conversation

Thursday, August 24, 20177pm

The Towne Crier Cafe presents Calling All Poets' #wordsmusicdialogue a strikingly new twist on the traditional open mic/poetry reading, fusing live performance by poets and songwriters with a one-on-one, living room discussion between the artists and their audience. Engaging, revealing, entertaining.

Award winning poets Mary Makofske and poet/publisher Roger Aplon join streetwise singer/songwriter/activist RoseAnn Fino to perform and then take questions from the audience. Calling All Poets president and program host Mike Jurkovic will moderate this unique performance/salon setting.

A suggested $5.00 donation empowers CAPS (a 501c3 non-profit organization) to further broaden its endeavors to nurture the spoken word and guarantee an open, democratic forum for free speech throughout our region.

Please plan to arrive at least 15 minutes early. Program begins promptly at 7pm.

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9th Annual CAPS Marathon & Hudson Valley Book Fair, Saturday September 23, 1-10pm

Our 9th Annual CAPS Marathon promises, as always and ever, a wide array of voices and ideas that makes our community the unique forum it is. Some of those scheduled to appear are: Irene O'Garden, Guy Reed, Greg Correll, Seamus Casey, Mary Panza, Tara Yetter, Lucia Chercui, John Martucci, Susan Konz, Dara Lurie, Kate Hymes, and Cassandra Clarke. From SUNY New Paltz we'll have Larry Carr, Pauline Uchmanowicz, and Jan Schmidt. We're hoping to have a special open mic section for students and a discussion of The Roost Studios/CAPS 'Ekphrasis Project.' Spread the word!

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CAPS & Roost Studios to Unveil 'The Ekphrasis Project'

Several CAPS poets and Roost Studios artists have been collaborating on works for a special monthly exhibit The Ekphrasis Project. The works will be in the Roost Studios & Art Gallery starting Thursday, August 31 - Sunday, September 24. On Saturday, September 16 from 7-9 there will be a reception and artist talk. 

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CAPS @ Empowering Ellenville Discontinued as of Aug 4

Due to the closing of the Empowering Ellenville Community Center, CAPS will no longer be holding our Second Friday open mics.   

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CAPS Ellenville Friday May 12, 7pm

We've discovered energy, community, and two fine poets - Lee Squires and Anya Rogers - during our first two open mic invitationals in Ellenville. So join us if you can. CAPS Ellenville 

@Empowering Ellenvile, 159 Canal Street, Ellenville.

For more info, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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A special thanks

 On behalf of Jim, Glenn, Greg, Chris, myself and the entire CAPS community, I'd like to say a special thanks to Eamon Grennan. His warmth, humanity, and  humor made for a most special evening.

Here's the YouTube link:

https://youtu.be/0mBbuOxaFMI


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An Evening with Eamon Grennan

Friday, May 5 8pm: 


Born in 1941, Eamon Grennan is a Dublin native and Irish citizen who has lived in the

United States for over thirty years. He was educated at University College in Dublin

and Harvard University.

His collections include: Matter of Fact (Graywolf Press, 2008); The Quick of It, (2005);

Renvyle, Winter (special limited edition, 2003); Still Life with Waterfall (2002),

winner of the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; Selected & New Poems (2000);

Relations: New & Selected Poems (1998); So It Goes (1995), a finalist for the

Paterson Poetry Prize; As If It Matters (1992); What Light There Is and Other Poems

(1989), a finalist for a Los Angeles Times Book Prize; What Light There Is (1987);

and Wildly for Days (1983).

As well as a number of Pushcart Prizes, he has received awards from the National

Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and from the

John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.

He taught at Vassar College until his retirement. He lives in Poughkeepsie, and spends

as much time as he can in the West of Ireland.

Join us for a very special evening.

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poets/detail/eamon-grennan

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Rice & Holland Awarded 1st & 2nd Place

"Your Service" by Cheryl A. Rice and "The Osterias Are Tipping Prosecco" by Ken Holland were awarded first and second place prizes respectively, in the 2017 Stephen A DiBiase Poetry Contest sponsored through Albany Poets. Both Cheryl and Ken are long time CAPS members and supporters! Wooooo Hooooo!


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619 Hits

HERCEG & GOULD CO-FEATURE AT ARTBAR IN KINGSTON MARCH 9

Karen Corinne Herceg and Roberta Gould co-feature on 3/9/17 at 7:00 PM at ArtBar Gallery, 674 Broadway, Kingston, NY 12401 (845-338-2789) for WOMPS (Word of Mouth Poetry Series). Open mic sign up 6:30 PM.

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498 Hits

CAPS 1st March Membership Madness Marathon Saturday, 3/11 1-9pm

CAPS 1st March Membership Madness Marathon Saturday, 3/11 1-9pm

On Saturday, March 11, CAPS hosts our first March Membership Marathon from 1-9pm @ The Roost, 69 Main Street, New Paltz.
Each featured member will read 15 minutes. Members participating include: John Martucci, Cheryl A. Rice, Greg Correll, Dayl Wise,
Alison Kofler-Wise, Leslie Gerber, Cassandra Clark, Irene O'Garden, Samuel Claiborne, Don Lev, Roberta Gould, Laurence Carr,
Pauline Uchmanowicz, and others. Hosted by Glenn Werner, Jim Eve, and yours truly.

There will be a membership drive with new membership benefits offered. A two poem/five minute open mic for members and
non-members will run throughout the day.

So let's make some noise! In solitude!

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CAPS ELLENVILLE - OPEN MIC INVITATIONAL - Friday, March 10, 7-10 pm

CAPS ELLENVILLE - OPEN MIC INVITATIONAL - Friday, March 10, 7-10 pm

Calling All Poets, in association with Empowering Ellenville, presents our inaugural Open Mic Invitational
on Friday, March 10, from 7-10pm. Hosted by Mike Jurkovic, Glenn Werner, and Jim Eve, this event brings
CAPS to Ellenville and begins our regularly scheduled Second Friday reading series.

So come one, come all! Novice poet or open mic veteran. Bring your voice and a friend's voice. Bring your guitar
or percussion and help to celebrate CAPS continued mission of providing a free speech forum. Two poems/five minutes.
Let's hear what Ellenville and the surrounding communities has to say! Out Loud!

Light refreshments will be available. There is a suggested $2.00 donation.

Empowering Ellenville
159 Canal Street
Ellenville, NY

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CAPS 3/3/17

Here are the YouTube links for last night's reading.

See it all in full, living, democratic colour!


part 1: Anne Gorrick & Bill Seaton

https://youtu.be/ld89OI1IMQY


part 2: open mic w/Greg Correll, Cheryl A. Rice, Tara Yetter, Glenn Werner, Jim Eve,

Hayden Wayne, Leslie Gerber, Kate Hymes, Christopher Wheeling and others

https://youtu.be/ld89OI1IMQY

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YouTube

https://youtu.be/-EaWy4J-ePo

Albany Poets presents . . .Part 2 . . .The Interview

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Albany Poets presents pt 1 - YouTube

https://youtu.be/mL7JxC-OaQ8

Albany Poets presents . . .part 1 ....February 15, 2017

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520 Hits

Freedom Isn't Free

Freedom Isn't Free bumper sticker caught my eye.

I thought, that's true, and even though

Military Funerals Are Free,

Death Is Costly to the soldier,

his wife and child, mom and dad, friends and family.

I know the debt we owe to those who brave cross blood red seas, 

leave their body parts in desert sands,

lose their minds from killing innocents

on the way to protect our enclaves, fresh cut lawns,

summer barbecues, big cars and little children.

Thank you is not enough.

But enough is enough.

Our sad little world needs to learn the lesson.

Killing to maintain freedom is never the answer.

It just leads to more killing and less freedom. 

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582 Hits

The Real Estate Of My Mind

My stories are contrived from concealed figments of

imaginary pieces of the real estate of my mind

that stalk the subconscious synapses of paradox,

unfold layers of evocative reflections of experience,

journey through poignant particles of brainwaves that

peddle through the thick atmosphere to empty space,

seeking time bomb snippets set to detonate at moment's notice.

Minutes ago, words did not appear on this paper,

now language is squeezed n' transformed

into poetic birth of another doggerel.

If I were a woman, I would breast feed this infant

so that he/she would manifest to completion.

But, I am a man whose innate ability to nurture

lay in the soil over which I toil each spring

as I till, seed, water, weed, reap, sow my paradise.

In stillness, my lucid mind wanders inward,

convolutes, then circumvents reality,

logic disappears, reason reflects observation,

a flicker of perception is ignited,

lyrics pour from philosophical vessel

onto slippery roads I travel, paths once forsaken,

given up for dead, only to rise in the sunshine.

The sky is a cloudless incandescent blue.

The 80-degree temperature is the perfect palatial pallet.

The sultry wind crawls 5mph from the warm gulf waters.

Swan families are floating in file beneath the boat dock.

Married eagles are nesting in needles atop the pine trees,

Playful squirrels are fidgeting up bark of the palm trees.

Poking, peaking, long-beak White Ibis' aerate the lawn.

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565 Hits
Featured

Walking My Dog During a Florida Thunderstorm

The rainclouds appear as a puffy silk shelf

from which gray garland cotton balls hang

from the saturated swollen sky

like ribbons of Christmas tree ornaments.

Cracks of thunder crackle with

flashes of lightning streaks that explode,

light up the darkness in flames

like oil and water sizzling in a frying pan.

A spectacle of blue spears

slice the sparkling heavens

illuminate the water-logged particles,

like dancing minstrels parading the engorged highway.

All this,

while my dog pissed and shit.

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596 Hits

pillaged wine

'scuse me for

outwardly processing but

I can't control myself

these days. There's too much

to masticate and castigate

not to. But I'm

low on patience

and need action. Abolition.

Absolution that this statecraft

between us, between the world

is more than funds and suppression.

More than archived warheads and

blanching at darker skin than cardboard.

I don't buy it.

It's not policy

it's theology.

And the faster we make

that distinction

the better. God can't lead us

all into battle

but each

will claim

his banner.

And you know the shit-storm

that shadows: tin cut messiahs

yell for blood

and everyone bleeds.

We all become bovine

and crave a good steak

w/our pillaged wine

and sterling spoons.

We feed their children ours

and that has got to stop.

'cos I won't spend

my golden years

mucking out

the shit of kings.

Bleaching their chambers

of virgin blood. Lighting their pyres

and burning my own.

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Jazzoetry: In & Out of Time - Music Set to Words

Quinn's  

330 Main Street  Beacon, NY

Monday,  February 27th    8-11pm    Suggested Donation

Calling All Poets & Quinn's presents JAZZOETRY – Music Set To Words.

This hotly anticipated inaugural event features many of the Hudson Valley's celebrated

actors, poets, and storytellers who know how to groove 'n flow with the incredibly gifted

musicians that make up the Jazzoetry Quartet.

The evening will move in and out of time with jazz instrumentals & jazz vocals, as poets

and storytellers perform spoken word and improvise with the ensemble.


Jazzoetry Quartet:

Kitt Potter - Vocals/Jazzoetry

Neil Nail Alexander – Piano

Robert Kopec - Upright Bass

Eric Pearson - Sax, Reeds, Flute


Jazzoetry Features:

Dutchess County Poet Laureate Poet Gold

Mike Jurkovic

Glenn Werner


Join us as CAPS pushes free speech forward when we need it most.
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Friday, May 5 8pm: An Evening with Eamon Grennan

Born in 1941, Eamon Grennan is a Dublin native and Irish citizen who has lived in the

United States for over thirty years. He was educated at University College in Dublin

and Harvard University.

His collections include: Matter of Fact (Graywolf Press, 2008); The Quick of It, (2005);

Renvyle, Winter (special limited edition, 2003); Still Life with Waterfall (2002),

winner of the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; Selected & New Poems (2000);

Relations: New & Selected Poems (1998); So It Goes (1995), a finalist for the

Paterson Poetry Prize; As If It Matters (1992); What Light There Is and Other Poems

(1989), a finalist for a Los Angeles Times Book Prize; What Light There Is (1987);

and Wildly for Days (1983).

As well as a number of Pushcart Prizes, he has received awards from the National

Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and from the

John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.

He taught at Vassar College until his retirement. He lives in Poughkeepsie, and spends

as much time as he can in the West of Ireland.

Join us for a very special evening.

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poets/detail/eamon-grennan


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(Now I Am the) Time Bomb

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Nephrite Jade

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Featured

Three Poems - Karen Corinne Herceg

 A Thin Season

(For a young man beheaded for listening to Western pop tunes

in his father's grocery store)

It is a thin season

culling the air of blue breath

choked sudden as a sword

at the throat of a young infidel

the forbidden pop tune of his innocence

still playing in the annals

of his thoughts

kneeling, repetitive, insistent

as the accusations of the faithful

who behead him

on an afternoon like any other

clouds rising

in a decimation of distance

between the neck and heaven.

Isis goddess of love, the moon,

magic and fertility,

a healing sister of deities

daughter of earth and sky,

twists in a massacre

of celestial delusions

bearing the severed body

back to the arms that bore him,

the one who will hear music

no more. here ...


Autumn Waits

The day screams colder

presuming bare

desperate winter trees.

Leaves bleed out colors,

sap freezing in their veins,

skies running bleak.

I build fires

against a frigid

unforgiving horizon,

fabricating warmer hope,

when climate will not mirror

the measure of my soul,

dictate rhythms of desires,

the direction of spirit.

When melting or igniting

will not be issues

within the waiting.


Feline Intensity

She regards him

with a feline intensity

the pierce of question

disguised as bravado

fake it 'till you make it

says the swish of the tail

the come hither

bait and switch love trap

that knows you want it

so she gives it

hoarding triumph

like a flag

raised

while gazing in the moist aftermath

her sleek eyes following sky-framed rooftops

that keep reaching.

Cats never look hurt:

just indignant.

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Featured

Azaleas and Wild Onions



I’m in my Azalea bed digging out – again – wild onions that continue to
multiply there year after year.
When a hawk flew into the house and was killed
I buried her in this bed,
rested her on dried Sage,
planted an Azalea next to her,
placed a beautiful stone over her plot.
And the pungent wild onions grew.
When my brother died, Mom and I scattered his ashes
in a hidden clearing in the woods behind her house.
We planted Azaleas to adorn the earth
next to a beautiful stone I placed on his plot.
And the pungent wild onions grew.
Sometimes the sorrowful fragrance of this planet’s progeny is just too much.
Year after year I’ve uprooted the sad scented things.
I’ve covered them over with heavy mulch – leaves and bark-
so the sun can’t warm them, I believe,
so they can’t grow bigger, I think,
so they can’t multiply, I hope.
Still in the spring, wretchedness again grows up around the bushes of pink and purple joy.
Then I discovered I could eat them –
those tart, toothsome, allium canadense.
So now, I snack on them while weeding,
knowing that ants farm aphids, and flowers seduce bees
because they live in mutual symbiotic relationship.
And if I eat bitters, sweetness will by and by appear on my plate
from the soil of the One Earth
from the One Garden.
Where grow both wild onions and Azaleas.




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724 Hits
Featured

Jewel Weed

The jewel weed is blooming 

In the late summer field. 

It's strangely sad that sweltering days 

are coming to a chilly end, 

Like a love affair that smolders 

with desires and resentments, 

Kept in teetering balance 

Till the tipping point comes sure as bills. 

And what once filled the dancing heart 

Now spills ashes on the floor. 

But while the jewel weed still blooms, 

The lingering high sun brings to blossom 

what could be, 

Then rolls downhill to the icy cold 

of what will be.  

(8/22/15 JM)

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787 Hits

First Day of Autumn

It's nice to feel an air conditioned day, 

Nature's changing thermostat 

set just where I like. 

Leaves on the trees disagree:

some are red with anger 

that Mother Nature turned off the heat,

some are yellow with fear 

for the coming chill of winter,

and some have fainted dead away, 

lying on the ground.


(9/22/16 JM)

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739 Hits

All the World is an Asana



A petal on a flower practices her yoga.
in a body no longer strong and agile,
her favorite posture being dormancy.
Her light, imprisoned in rigid form,
craves a change of asana.

Maples awaken in the distance with swaying red buds,
birds and bugs fly and wiggle,
stream currents flow,
moving beings in their unique
flowing, growing, flying and wiggling asanas.

Rocks still and sturdy in unperturbed posture,
the sun in fiery, shining Warrior Stance
and the moon in golden Silent Savasana,
pose, gazing at us, dreaming that all the world
has moved into the asana of loving.

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749 Hits

Packaged Brightly

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury

what else do you need to know?

How they've fleeced your bloodline.

Gutted your sons and defaced

your angel daughters.


How they put the planet

up for sale. Sky brown. Dead Sea.

Cut down mountains to get their goods

to a new market now that yours is

dark and shuttered.


How you always owe them something

even if they've claimed

each extremity. One by one.

Lopped off and

thrown in a hole


leading to

the process machines

that break the shit down

into dinner. Packaged brightly

w/lots of salt. And sugar.

And booze. 18% by volume.


How we dance on our last leg

the latest gyration. The newest dodge

and hustle. And I wish I had a hacksaw

to cut the shin away.

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Letter Home

     

Letter Home


Some Civil War guy

in 1863 wrote:


Martha, I have seen

the dog

'n pony

show

and I

can't watch

no more.


Me neither.

I know

the feeling.

Especially

blue

vs.

gray.

I know

the blood

don't matter.

The air

is out

of the

balloon.


You can call

customer service.

But I doubt

they answer

the phone.

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blue fan whirring

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(No Title)
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Robert Mil...

Robert Milby, of Florida, NY is Calling All Poets' Secretary, A co-host, and recruiter. He has been reading his work in public since early 1995.
He has supported and read with CAPs since the series first reading in March, 1999 with Founder, Jim Eve.
Milby has 2 books, 6 chapbooks published since 1998, 2 books since 2007, and two cds of his poems since 2004.
He hosts 4 other poetry readings in the Hudson Valley, including the 3rd Saturdays poetry series at Mudd Puddle Cafe, down Main Street in New Paltz from The Roost.
Each October, since 2003, Milby and HV Performance Artist Carl Welden, who plays Theremin, haunt the Hudson Valley as Theremin Ghosts! an unusual poetry and sound performance.

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Live @ Tract 187, West End Lounge, 9/13/16

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Family Ties

Dysfunctional families splinter

and members go their own way.

The distance between them immeasurable.

Children have a love hate relationship

with their parents and each other.

Time goes by, parents die

and the siblings gather to say their goodbyes,

but never come together

or quench their thirst of longing...

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750 Hits

Juxtaposition

A cat stalks a robin
A worms lies above ground
Feline and bird pounce…

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736 Hits

The Cardinal, Late August


Sunrise through the Silver Maples,
caught by Rose of Sharon,
this late August morning.
Meditation on dark roast,
and Summer ghosts,
but the little piper chases
the final sibilant one from
my candle-charmed garret.

The long, searing trail
from July to September,
has grown shorter.
From my table of swooning thought,
I am called by the scarlet emissary,
directing me, not only to his joy at Sunrise,
but contentment that we are not yet clawed
by Winter's frostworks, from where
he and I have often conversed.


-Robert Milby
August 23, 2014

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Featured

The Book Faire


The book faire is a distraction.
Why would I leave an early
Summer morning of soft breezes
through my window;
gentle piano from the radio,
a Blue Jay's rescue from
sentimental memory;
the heavy burden of capturing
the plight of the charmed
and the damned—
rendering these hours of wealth
worthy of my attention,
with half of my life achieved,
to walk into a weekend carnival
of colour, food, and noise;
leaving money—earned from
my strange morning meditation,
for bound collections of ideas
scribed by other minds,
when I have hundreds
in my garret already?
The book faire is my destination.


-Robert Milby
July 2, 2016


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Featured

Jazz Is Me

The sax player blows upbeat soulful notes
The bass player punctuates the air with staccato beats
The drummer's drum brushes scratches the skins softly
The trumpeter's muted wa wa's is a stiffled laugh
Accompanying the pianist tickling the ivories.
Fingers snap to the scat and feet stomp ready to romp
Jazz is an exorcism of the mundane
An eclectic at times hectic proliferation
Of improvised mastery of a music artistry
Eclectic as it may be it has always appealed to me.
The greatness of Miles, Coltrane and Count Basie,
Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Dizzy Gillespie
And so very talented more.
Jazz for the rich and the poor
Black and white.
Jazz is me without the blues
Aaahh Blues, that's a whole new poem...

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shiny banjo catfish

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Coyote

I saw you born of fog, playing with your brother on the colonial carriage path,

Surrounding glacial pastures, in northern New Jersey.
Your pack barked and wailed, when the fire horn screamed,
As I sat at my campfire on haunted Schunnemunk Mountain.
I followed your paw prints in December snows of Black Rock Forest.
Coyote, suckle your pups at Summer filled teats.
Breathing poetry under dark Mountain Laurels.
A truck murdered you.
I stopped at your majestic torso—
a yelp of rich blood like a red vine from your open maw.
Dark blonde fur caressed by Lenape ghosts, beckoned me to halt my car.
I could not leave you to be spread into ruin by oblivion's emissaries.
I grasped back legs, and pulled your sleeping body from damp and dumb pavement—
the sacrificial altar of commerce.
Petroleum death barges sailed by.
I dragged you, like a sack of wet sand; a fallen rebel against an urban incursion.
The humid day called witness clouds for ghosts to clean your blood
with hail and cool July rain.
They chased you down in Central Park.
It took days but they found you:
cast a net over your feral hide, stabbed you with needles,
and made your green fire smolder and smoke like addicts in alleyways, on stoops,
and Victorian tenements.
They captured you, ensnared you with poisoned meat
and rifle dirges like bold Grey Wolf and Mountain Lion.
Their metal traps mock your fangs; chew your fur, flesh, and muscle.
People turn on their own packs—they kill what they do not comprehend.
Coyote deity, your rut will be written in soil tales; on lichen parchment;
Spring fog, Summer oak stands, when your clan is gone.
Yet, who shall write of the human drama of blood:
Babies born of starving mothers and warfare fathers;
skeleton houses and twisted automobiles?
Humans prepare for war and make babies.
They slaughter the forest, and whelp babies.
They poison the water, and drop babies.
They pave over farmland and starve children.
Your spirit walks in Summer-mad marshland, searching for your mate and pups,
Crossing roads in bog mists, and scavenging like humans.


-Robert Milby

July 24, 2006





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Eating Lipstick

​Lipstick to lips wears off.  Or does it get ingested.  Some gets ingested.  

Ingesting one's own appearance is toxic.  One's own image, viewed too often, can be toxic.  

God made into image Is limited.  Matter made God Is toxic.  

The color of lipstick wears off faster 

Than the color of beets.  The color of beets 

Comes out in the urine.  The color of lipstick?  

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Featured

Teachings

My mother taught me to walk in heels.
She didn't teach me to kick.

My mother taught me to smile.
She didn't teach me to question.

My mother taught me to be alone.
She didn't teach me solitude.

My mother taught me vanity.
She didn't like me.

My father encouraged my independence.
He didn't like rebellion.

My father encouraged my talents.
He discouraged my direction.

My father made me listen.
His voice buried mine.

My father made me eat.
He did not feed me.

My brother brought the world home.
I wasn't allowed in his room.

My brother wrote for the college paper.
I wrote for myself.

My brother went to Paris.
I defended against men on the subway.

My brother argued with my father.
I watched.

My parents held to monogamy.
I learned to suffocate need.

My parents held to thrift.
I learned to turn off want.

My sister took care of my mother.
My mother took care of my father.
My father taught Gabriela to sing.
Gabriela bought me a dress.

I took care not to cause trouble.
Trouble took me in.

Trouble took me in
so quietly, I thought it listened.

Trouble took me in
so softly, I thought it was love.

Trouble took me in
with such a thrill, I thought I was free.

Trouble took me in
so deftly, there was no choice.

Trouble has a gnarled face -
Unmasked now, it unravels.

I continue to follow
dazed, hidden
I await the infant to kick.

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Chicago Overcoat

It was a dream: Posing as a grifter
w/a bearcat named Ellie.
Nothing happened. We just kept posing
as the photog fumbled
w/film and flash.
Ambience. Angle.
Incidence. Time.

We chatted easy. She’d just broken up
w/a guy named Jim
who ran a deli on 6th. I’d just celebrated
my 25th. It was a great party.

Shadows. Stanchions.
Contrast and grain.
Hand in hand.
Depth of field.
Arm in arm.
The rule of thirds.

She looked like two million
and I felt like three.
Flash. Zoom.
It was a dream.

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MJ Live Aug 5 2016

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​road deconstruction #15

my body has an asphalt aroma.

i'm idle and my fuel tank,

a shot glass, is in the gutter.

outside table

is set with elbow,

fist on cheek, book

of cracked pages.


i watch this scene on the wall of my skull:

my brain, a clod of tendrils in search of a plot.

there is no place to root

in the exposed isolation of the road,

a dead ringer for the physics of chaos.


the shade of an oak is a collective memory.

i glow metallic in the ultra-violet sun.


i've hit a possum and the road, built

with no regard for obstacles,

continues its tail-pipe regret for the shy and blind.

drone of tires rolls out mother's predator pie:

a recipe for chainsaws and parking lots

to expand the rush hour of denial

and shorten the proximity

of stand-up comedian to botched executions.


once deflated, roadkill reveals its broken bones.

unable to stand, life continues

in the crawl of maggots.

may 17, 2014

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Cement Mixer Me

Cement Mixer Me
I do not sleep, night after night.
I stomp snock-wall cranium,
leave bloody bootprints, bone bruises,

swallow chemicals, hold my throat—
to close eyes is sand on talc,
is memory ink, grotesque plasm;
a spill within my wadded heart.

I spell words I would not hear,
on lines collapsing in the heat—
my stupid moves, my lies, my grief.

Cartoon nemesis, gravel'd me,
sinks into the alum ocean, 
wave on wave of best forgotten.

A momentary self-crustacean
snarled up in holiday lights.
All bees within, crushed in tins.

Or stoppered pour of chatterstone.
Cement mixer me.​
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Goggling Ooh & Ahh

Goggling, Ooh and AhhThe village eccentricspits on your car.The aging hippieargues a lot.No one has a handleon it anymoreExcept the marketand you knowthey're bettingyou turnon your own anddo the dirty workfor them. You knowthey've got itfigured outto the very last gasp.Rounded upto eat your dimeand daughter. You knowthis is how it goes.It happens t...

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two wives ago/two doors down/the haloes in her glasses

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Haiku

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Adrift

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Featured

jane street (our tellings)

Jane Street (our tellings)

 They all wanted to fuck me
on Jane Street but didn't.
Such was the luck
of the brotherly type.
A witness to women
learning to walk
along the Rockaway sand.

Playing them Dusty. Joni. Laura.
Our voices rising to the sky
black w/worry. Intrigue. Late periods
and trouble at home. Manhattan dying.
The Bronx afire. The autumns
in Washington Square.

We talked to the city and
the city talked back.
Whispered us secrets
and lies. And truths that later
proved true.

They all wanted to fuck me
on Jane Street but didn't.
Such was the luck
of the brotherly type and
some pangs still play
in our tellings today.
Certainly sickness. Certainly death.
Certainly the tides, high and low and
who did who on Jane Street.

       
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