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Part 1 Contributors

 

Rae Armantrout
Bart Edelman
David Garyan
Suzanne Lummis
Glenna Luschei
Bill Mohr
D. A. Powell
Amy Uyematsu
Paul Vangelisti
Charles Harper Webb
Bruce Willard
Gail Wronsky

Part 2 Contributors

Elena Karina Byrne
liz gonzález
Grant Hier
Lois P. Jones
Ron Koertge
Glenna Luschei
Rooja Mohassessy
Susan Rogers
Patty Seyburn
Maw Shein Win
Kim Shuck
Lynne Thompson
Carine Topal
Cecilia Woloch


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Bart Edelman
Californian Poets Part 1: Four Poems
by
Bart Edelman


 

 



Whistling to Trick the Wind

Ran out of words—
One letter at a time—
Found no use for them.
Spoke in speechless sounds
Only the deaf can hear.

Lost his job,
Refused to repeat destinations
The train passed as it wound its way
From the mouth of Manhattan
Through the belly of Brooklyn.

Gave his friends the heave-ho
When they requested an intervention,
Paid the neighbors for their services,
Climbed up the roof in the dark
And communed with the moon.

Came to believe in a God
Whose perfection was never in question,
Promised to wire his mouth shut
If the Almighty would agree
To keep his miracles to himself.

Lived a rather fruitful life
In the company of boulders—
Too old and tired to converse—
Took his final act of contrition,
Whistling to trick the wind.



How I Came to You

Bankrupt… petty... poor…
Without a drop of honey
Coursing through my veins—
The ire from another life
I led in slow motion—
When my soul departed
The moment I turned away
To scowl at the stars.

Aimless… shiftless… stuck…
In nothing except the mire
I could not escape,
But grew to embrace,
Because once you wear
The cloak of loneliness—
Day in and day out—
You don’t know how else to dress.

Admit… permit… submit…
Vows I refused to keep
Until I came to you
And heard you reveal them
For the first time—
This gift, a blessing,
To free me from myself.



Footnote

It’s how you view yourself now—
Nothing but a reference
At the bottom of the page—
One note employed to elucidate
A specific point well taken,
Yet, perhaps, never explained enough
To keep the reader on the mark.
In your youth you imagined
You might be more than a mere comment,
Cited on an as needed basis—
Required evidence of the lowest order;
However, it is safe to say,
Space still remains for you,
Albeit, often, south of the border—
The last tortilla on the truck,
Bound for a single destination.
And when the text of your life
Demands examination from a source
Whose credit seems beyond reproach,
Think of all you have given
To the field of scholarly discourse,
And choose the high road—
Before you slip into obscurity.



Anyone but Barrymore

On his best day
He’s anyone but Barrymore:
Unshaven, unkempt, untamed.
He hopes to meet a woman
Much like himself—
Who simply will not worry
About outside appearances,
A recent list of credits,
Money in the bank,
The proper Westside address.
He thinks lately he’s been
On a particularly bad roll;
Fate has cooked the dice,
And they’re not serving him well—
These long days and nights.

Perhaps, he needs to attend
The kinds of Bohemian places
Where his true creative calling
Can come more into focus,
Clean up his rough image
And let the boyish charm
Take control of his life—
Even though he doesn’t want
To sell his soul to Hollywood
And the first matrimonial agent
He meets on the granite street,
Filled with one star after another.
Still, a tall, elegant woman
Who resembles Bacall
Wouldn’t be bad, at all.