Saturday, June 4, 2011

Bernie Carrasco

This Summer Poem

This Summer Poem
Is just a memory,
A recollection, an amalgam,
Of what Summer ought to be.

Like fireworks blooming
Across a charcoal sky,
Or midday sun
Sucking the soil bone dry.

A cherry-lemon snow cone
Melting on white hot cement,
Or afternoon jasmine bathing us
In an alluring scent.

Like water sprayed from a
Thumb pressed garden hose,
Soaking our innocence
In refracted rainbows.

And at dusk,
When the weary sun yawns, then quietly subsides,
The stars and the moon awake,
Exciting moths that circle and collide.

With the certitude of baseball
And mom's apple pie,
We must ask, "Is Nostalgia our whore
Or fundamental ally?"

This poem may be unreliable,
Or a means to an end,
But if imagination is neglected,
Can Summer truly begin?

Sean Raymond Hill

(500) Days of...You.

Just you.

Nothing at all
but everything
that is
within you.

You are the architect
of my seasons
the hot living air
lovingly around me
the breath behind

You are a rower
of my dreams
the cause of my screams
at your atmosphere
the appreciation
of your laughs
at my kareoke
inside of you.


Like a puma.

You are like an entire
chinese family
in my kitchen.

You are a vagiant
of my heart.

You are a new chapter
in my life,
but I'd love for you to be longer
'till the end of my book

You would definitely be Sid
and I'd be Nancy,
I'd be nicknamed "Perfectly Adequate"
and your nickname
"Anal Girl"
because you are neat...and...organized

you and I,
we aren't a love story...
but we could be a story about love

Maybe this already happened
maybe we have kissed
by the fax machine
where our minds made copies
of the other and dance with strangers
in the streets of our hearts
and animated birds land on our shoulders
we sing songs
we never knew the words to
until now
are all over the place
but sometimes not
in the place we'd like to be...
like in an elevator with you...
like a park bench with me...

or just

You are penis
yelled out loud with children around.

You are rules
that you make and break lovely

You are the sum of woman
the sum of "her"
that only some
have fully seen...

But I wish
you to be
as well.

James Maverick

Marilyn at 85

She has a favorite hat
She wears when she goes out
Which is not so much anymore
Only certain days
Between June and September

It’s a flouncy hat
Faded pink, adorned
With a white satin rose
The hat’s brim is wide and slouchy
To keep out the sun
And curious admirers

She pairs the hat
With her favorite shades
Designed by Louis Vuitton
And reaches into her handbag
(A gift from Jackie O)
Retrieving her one concession

To what Army and Louella
Called her salad days
A lipstick
From her number one fan
At the Mac counter

Carefully she paints
Her lips red
With hints of coral and plum
And it reminds her
Of her last kiss with Sinatra

He was weak
And could barely talk
But his lips were still
As gentle and demanding
As the first time.

She sighs in remembrance
And notices her breath
Hurts more than usual.
It must be the New York air
She thinks
Still heavy with
Remnants of fallen skyscrapers.

Her assistant
A former film student
Helps her to her wheelchair
For an elevator ride
A stroll down Times Square
And a day at the park.

The elevator descends as quietly
As her birthdays have become.
Once loud and raucous affairs
Thick with laughter
Cigarette smoke
And the sounds of old Harlem.

They were all
joyous and playful celebrations
Until the last one
She spent with Bobby
He died later that week.
She stopped enjoying birthdays then.

Her assistant speaks dotingly
Escorting her past windows
Where she still sees Hollywood
Just beyond her reflection.
Occasionally, she spies a woman
(and sometimes a man)
Who looks just the way
she did back then.

She wants to stand up
Arch her back
And purse her lips
To blow a kiss
But the most she can do
Is curve a smile of red
With hints of coral and plum.

And that’s okay.
She doesn’t miss her celebrity
And today, she’d rather
Be called “Norma” or “Jean”.
But sometimes
She looks at this world
And wonders why she’s still here.

Richard Schmorleitz

Freedom Summer
(Alabama Baseball Game)

If you gather 'round me children,
And don't ask my name,
I'll tell you a story
About a baseball game.

In Tuscalosa, Alabama,
Upon a summer's day,
Sixteen kids drove to a ballpark
And began to play.

Pitcher was a white boy,
Batter--he was black,
Folks stood in yards and porches,
But the police held them back.

The police were not honest
On that summer's day.
When the Klan members arrived,
They up and drove away.

Faces filled with hatred,
There were ten in all,
With their clubs and pistols,
They hadn't come to play base ball.

The men ran for the kiddies,
The kids ran for the cars.
It was the damndest baseball game
Ever played in that ball park.

They beat upon the windows,
They caused us to run,
But when we saw their faces,
We somehow felt we'd won.

This pastime has no rules,
This pastime has no name,
That summer in Alabama,
It was called a baseball game.

Tuscaloosa Alabama,
Summer, 1964

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Forgotten August

I have forgotten August
So deep into the bone-ache
Of winter I have travelled
So long without your warm breath
Upon my neck.
But someone
Someone with the scent of gardenias
And a hint of smoke in her eyes
Sent me hurtling into summer
Once again
And again I saw you
Rising from the sea
White foam caressing
Your every move
Salt almost upon my tongue
Your footprints
Sinking into the sand
Before disappearing
With the evening tide.

I had forgotten August
When clouds like anvils
Hung above the foothills
Their rumbles resonating
Into the depths of me
Their bellows blowing
A rain-scented wind
You called relief
From the breathless ecstasy
Of summer madness
As we took refuge
In each other’s eyes.

I had forgotten August
But never you.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Charles Harmon

United States Of Summer

Summer is just a state of mind
So I hope that you won’t mind if I state
That Fall and Winter are coming soon
To a city and state near you.

As California goes, so goes the world,
And at present we’re going right down the drain.
California here I come(or bust),
But now those words are sounding dumb
As those remaining fight for crumbs
After the Gold Rush.

Things were really looking Gray,
Feeling blue, seeing red, turning green,
Especially for those who see things white and black
Until the swarthy Terminator came back,
Made his movie moves on Kalifornia Kreamin’ Kweens.
Now the Serpent’s Egg has already hatched;
Some say, “If it’s Brown, flush it down.”
But not in my town.

A lot of dreams were born and died in the 60’s
Along with Camelot and the dead Kennedys.
Frisch, Froehlich, und Frei weht der Sommerwind.
Wo weilest Du, mein Irisch Kind?
Across the Land of Wasted Opportunities—
Kalifornia ueberalles, and arbeit macht frei.
And then we all die.

All through that endless summer at ease we’d play
Beside that tragic magic castle kingdom by the bay.
Beach Boys and California Girls spent it grooving in the sand,
Racing the little old lady from Pasadena to Catalina
And California Dreamin’ is becoming surreality.

Democrocash will crash
As three coyotes and a sheeple
Vote on what’s for dinner.

The Golden State is tarnished, the
Hotel California is Jerry built,
But we all had fun fun fun
Until the Repo man took the T-Bill-Bird away
And made the LA Woman pay.

Don’t diss dis Union of dysunion
Dying a slow death from quantitative diseasing.
There’s a storm front moving in across the Great Divide,
A seismic shift, an earthquake, tsunami, tornado Katrina,
And you don’t need a weatherman to know
What’s blowing in the wind.

To everything there is a season,
Time for someone else to have a turn.
Because I do not care to hope to turn again,
Teach us how to steal.

Summer’s almost gone, the Doors are closing,
Winter is icumen in— gotchur Pound of flesh?
Hope Springs eternal in the treasure chest.
The party’s over, long live the Party!
Meat, the New Boss…
Turn, turn, turn, Turnvater Jahn…
Burn, baby, burn!

Enrique Souffle


They pull out the aluminum tray,
lift up the handle and CRACK!
translucent cubes of cold
to chill the young mowers of the lawn.

The ice was free on mountain tops,
hauled down to ancient Eurasian cities,
mixed with honey, fruit, saffron,
and sold for a fraction of a drachma.
What a fine treat for a hoplite going off to a summer war.

Frozen water -
isn't that rigor mortis locking
the promiscuous, bipolar (oops),
I mean dipolar, H-O-H molecules
into hexangonal crystals,
a form too sublime and
too terrible for warm-blooded life.

And what about all the little girls
with their hand-me-down skates
twirling on the frozen lake,
on the thin ice of spring?

Oksana Baiul performing
the fluttering swan routine,
her almost naked, perfect, white body
lying prone on Zamboni's sheet
waiting for the judges' rosewater,
waiting for the next ice age.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Tim Tipton

I Love The Sea

I love the sea
I like to pinpoint the exact moment
when the air changes and I can

taste the salt on my lips and I am
almost out there on the high seas

I listen for it whispering to me

I want to be a fish
Live in the swirling blue-green currents,
do extraordinary underwater dances,
be kissed by deep red, purple, and pink anemones,
caressed by surging liquid waves
and become something deep and far,
Soothing, dark and bright,
and have merry eyes and a thick sleek
flesh of a god

I see myself running down the shore
into the waves so bad that my mouth stings
and my body tingled.

I love the sea.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Patrick Thomas Jeffries

Shining Summer Sun

Oiling skin
Bronzing tan
Sizzling summer sun
Blocking radiation 45 SPF

Waving gospel fans
Soothing sultry heat

Biting fresh fruit flesh
Relishing ice cold crispy melon juicy

Cooking it up Pops
Flipping porterhouse steak
Sipping cold cola

Playing carnival music
Cruising ice cream truck
Rushing to buy
Devouring popsicles
Running amok

Eyeing a cutie
Grooving her shapely thighs
Loving the look in her eyes
Becoming the
Flashing rays
Slicing across
Blazing baby blue skies
Heating Romance
Rising then
Falling and
Pulsing the realest love which is its own
Beginning and end
Reveling in the scent, sweet sweat sensuality
Embracing every
Exciting chance
Feeling the music on the beach
Dancing to the beat
Curling toes warmed by sand-
Retaining heat
Cooling breeze blows
Quickening day goes
Passing with joy fast
Coming nights
Expanding and
Making the spirit last
Glowing moonlight
Walking the streets
Smelling the fragrance
Enjoying the fullness of time
Enrapturing intimacy in every and all
Celebrating Nature’s gold
Favoring the bold
Finding the intelligence in risk and reward
Traveling day-dreams
Living real dreams
Vacationing on the road
Renting summer houses
Driving with rag tops down
Glistening in summer’s Fountain of Youth
Listening to Forever Young

Shining summer sun—

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Vicky Marler

Nan's In The Now In Summer

Seeing light blue and pink clouds transforming into bowls of cotton candy
that only her unique imagination can create,


Watching flowers shaped like wedding bells, white on white, swaying ever so gently in the ocean breeze
while sipping a glass of champagne with strawberries floating amongst the bubbles,


Smelling the fragrance of gardenias and feeling their velvety petals against her smooth cheek, seeing bright
green blades of grass dancing to the beat of the wind, sometimes fast, sometimes slow, and at times trying
to listen to the sounds of silence or the silence of sounds,


Living one day at a time, one hour at a time, one minute at a time, until time stops, and in front of you
is a golden sun changing into hues of red and orange as it descends towards the horizon,
streaking into light and dark shades of purple, before entering into the sparkling green sea,

And when that happens you know that,


Christopher Luke Trevilla


Dawn’s rising,
the herald of the Golden Sun
emblazoned visions of daybreak’s passing
Youth reveling in fields, along the shore, up in the heights
down into the lowest valleys

Songs fill the air with the concert
of young restlessness
constant wanderlust and homesickness
syncopated into an endless rhythm-
ecstatic- to and fro- euphorically
like newborn spiders in the wind

Bodies moving together as One
the hungry, greedy, erotic appetite of touch
insatiable in its seeking,
unsatisfied in its enjoyment
the chase better than the catch
She says hello, maybe, and NO
wrapped in the summer sweaty sun
skin like sunbeams kissed by ocean air
hair like vines of finest silk entrap your senses
your own bronzed armored hide
paired with a set of evil eyes
lay exposed in sunlight
your ruddy locks all aflow
chaotic erotic neurotic
As all you hear is Yes and Now
Struggle of Venus and Mars

Thus and more unfolds each Solstice
to and for euphorically
like storm scuttled-jettisoned gems in a vast endless sea

For this is the very hour of
our Youth’s Awakening
the sunrise of our perpetual decline ever after
this is the Solstice
of our only summertime

Karen Audioun Klingman

Shades of Purple

you sit in dappled sunshine

under a jacaranda tree

savoring a summer plum

dressed in white linen

sprayed with lavendar sprigs

scent of royal roses nearby

i envy your youth

a bit outspoken

assurance clinging to naivety

you are beyond beautiful

so unaware of single moments

yet to bruise

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Dori Marler

Sexy Summer

at first they came
once a week
and then maybe twice
but now they arrive

In groups
3 and 4 at a time
almost every day
my mailbox overflows

I shiver with anticipation
and there they are
provocative poses peer
from glossy pages

white teeth flash
smiles shimmer
eyes beckon
and taunt

eyelashes velvety
complexions smooth
and creamy
chin tilted upward

glossy hair extensions
wave luxurious
in the breeze of
photographer's props

perfectly rounded
breasts peek above
seductively cut

sheer fabrics
wrap in ways to
reveal just enough
hips and thighs

bikinis so brief
transparent cover ups
long tan legs
painted toenails

halter tops
hip slung jeans
six inch heels
Jeweled sandals

bangle bracelets
beaded antique earrings
crystal necklaces
emerald like brooch

you too can look
like this for summer
the models tease with
vague promises

catalogue catatonia
I am hypnotized
I can be her on page 12
or her page 19 or more

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2 days only
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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Barry Schwam

The moon is
summer, but..

The moon is summer, but..
The moon is nothing

Bunches of gibberish madmen
faces stuck together with
summered yellow wax.

The moon is a summer field
of yellow dusty roses,
stinking, lonely, in deep
dark depression.

A cave of water, dripping,
southern comfort, old howl
Tunes of a broken sailor

Rhapsody singing, Dead
harmony Rhyming, glory

Emancipated slaves
in a country feathered
with flags waving, soldiers
marching, parades
tending to the feet.

Johns and prostitutes plenty
set wavering, joints to
creak, Bones to break
in luxury, sending hungry genius poets
into pork pie.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Jan Steckel

Declaration of Independence

Jambalaya, beans and hotdogs,
barbecued beef, baked spaghetti, potato salad,
little kids dressed to their ankles
in soaked grown-up's T-shirts
splashing in the backyard wading pool
didn't bring bathing suits
beaded hair swinging
old folks playing spades under the awning.

We climb up on the garage
find an old sky-fallen brand
on the tarpaper from last year's fireworks.
Good thing we're up here tonight
to hurl any burning shards of sparkle
from the eighty-year-old roof.

The Oakland police have posted
notices for a week now:
Fireworks are illegal and dangerous
and will not be tolerated.
But the 'hood says Fuck you,
catch us if you can!
Kids run from block to block.
Teenagers lift faces out of
unpermitted in-law apartments
in back of every third house,
little houses that grow and grow
without the city's building permit blessing
crazy little idiosyncratically landscaped xericulture.
No neighborhood rules here,
no conventions agreed upon by the committee,
no covenants.
The houses grow organically,
and the colors of the paint
are brighter than tasteful.

To the north, the Oakland hills
watch primly and with disapproval.
No fireworks in the Laurel District--
too many anxious yuppies there
ready to call the cops.
They've buzzed about it
on their listserv for weeks.
But in my marginal neighborhood,
the Allendale,
that's where the fun starts.

Dogs run frantically as street fireworks
pop like popcorn, slow at first,
then cluster faster.
All the cats disappear
cowering somewhere as rapid fire bursts
take over the night, fusillades
as though an entire town
were lined up against a wall
and shot.

South and east of us
where poverty spreads
the ghetto joyfully explodes
like a carpet of desert wildflowers.

Filipino children in the next block
see our silhouettes against the moonlit dusk
and shoot Chinese fireworks directly over us.
We lie on our backs
and peer through our fingers
at coruscating light-showers
like great golden eyes shattering down onto us.

Tonight, the celebration begins
on International Avenue where they'd be
shooting off rifles into the air if they could
and all around
white dazzle
violet shimmer
blue glimmer.
The rocket's red glare
green gleam, gold glow,
bombs bursting,
for these are the people
whose sons and brothers
fight in Iraq.

Acrid scent of sulphur and saltpeter
wisps of cloud in darkened air
and haze on the ground.
Whistling palm bursts, emerald comets,
silver flying fish with aqua crackle
shrieking orange and ear-splitting tirade
of banshee stars.
Lemon incandescence, chartreuse fountains,
phantom candles, bottle rockets,
whirring acrobatic silver spinners
bloom like little death-flowers
taking fingers with them,
but oh the beauty
the gasp of momentary pleasure
the twinkling, the glittering,
the hisses, moans, pops, cracks and crackles,
like bubble paper popping,
timpani thunder like sonic booms.
Roman candles, sparklers, whirlers, flying snakes,
whistling comets with gold tails,
waterfalls and rings,
chrysanthemum bursts--

Shine, shine
you ghetto flowers,
you barrio blossoms,
spawn of slaves
and brats of immigrants
who shout tonight
in titanium flash
and silver dragons breathing
radiating streaks of flame
and wheels of exploding blue and ruby stars,

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Tony Peyser

Bermuda. Summer. 1968. Fifteen Years Old.

On this far-flung family vacation, my parents & I were
informed by hotel staff that the best way to get around

was on motorbikes, something that I had never driven.
However, my Mom and Dad relinquished their normally

overprotective ways, soon departed on their new modes
of transportation and left me on my own. I proceeded to

drive my motorbike directly into the nearest wall. I was
knocked down & dazed but unhurt. Now fully aware that

the throttle could throttle me. I was far more cautious on
my next attempt. Before I knew it, I was out & about on a

busy Bermuda thoroughfare. At a stop sign, the road forked
& I pondered which way to go. I began to see myself not as

myself but as Steve McQueen fleeing on a motorcycle after
cleverly slipping away from his World War II POW camp

captors in a beloved 1963 Hollywood blockbuster. Right at
this climactic moment, composer Elmer Bernstein’s rousing

score utilized pulsing strings and staccato horns as McQueen
on his modified TT Special 650 Triumph looked left, turned

right and hunched down for one last heroic flight for freedom.
I was so caught up in this daydream that if I had seen wooden

fences wrapped in barbed wire, I would have zoomed off and
tried to jump over them. But no such fences were in sight, so I

headed east and raced off at daring speeds that often neared 23
miles an hour. At no moment in my life (before or since) have

I ever felt such absolute liberation. I accelerated, leaned into the
next curve and continued on my great, but brief, escape.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Don Kingfisher Campbell

Dog Months

Time to take a volleyball

August is the best,
those long days

After all, why does a lifeguard
wear a swimsuit

Grill them steaks,
warm that chair

Sprinklers on the lawn,
sun visor on your head

Play badminton to the smell
of insect spray

First party of the summer
better be by June

Miniature golf is easier
than surfing, isn’t it

Loud as thunderstorms,
lawnmowers roll on

Flowers leap open
as if to scuba dive in blue air

A pool is the accessory
for tanning in the sun

Sunbathe yourself to match
the watermelon you'll eat

Fishing in the fall,
but for now, windsurfing season

Except for the wetsuit
getting full of sand

Mosquito buzz
around croquet mallets

The real question is, campfire
or picnic

Hot dogs
and lemonade

Nothing like road trip

Boating is especially splendid
with iced tea

Never forget to let your throat
ride the high tide of soda pop