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
reason.

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.

Beautiful.

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
like...
'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"
fits...perfectly...
because you are neat...and...organized

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

Maybe this already happened
Sum...her-you
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
we
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
anywhere
with
you.

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
sum-her
and
autumn
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