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Part 4 Contributors

 

Tony Barnstone
Willis Barnstone
Ellen Bass
Christopher Buckley
Neeli Cherkovski
Boris Dralyuk
Alicia Elkort
Mary Fitzpatrick
Michael C. Ford
Kate Gale
Frank X. Gaspar
Dana Gioia
Shotsie Gorman
S.A. Griffin
Donna Hilbert
Brenda Hillman
Glenna Luschei
Phoebe MacAdams
devorah major
Clive Matson
K. Silem Mohammad
Rusty Morrison
Harry Northup
Holly Prado Northup - In Memoriam
Cathie Sandstrom
Shelley Scott - In Memoriam
Daniel Shapiro
Mike Sonksen
Pam Ward
Sholeh Wolpe
Gary Young
Mariano Zaro


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

Part 3 Contributors

Michelle Bitting
Laurel Ann Bogen
Laure-Anne Bosselaar
Lucille Lang Day
Corrinne Clegg Hales
Marsha De La O
Charles Jensen
Eloise Klein Healy
Glenna Luschei
Clint Margrave
Henry Morro
Alexis Rhone Fancher
Phil Taggart
David L. Ulin
Jonathan Yungkans
Lorene Zarou-Zouzounis


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Click to enlarge picture Neeli Cherkovski
Neeli Cherkovski
Californian Poets Part 4: Three Poems
by
Neeli Cherkovski


 

 



There

There we go
The two of us
Driving to the Apple Orchards
In the foothills
Two days after the Kennedy
Assassination, that would be
1963 me and my older
Friend, unemployed roofer
Who steals lyrics
From Hank Williams and plays
Is balalaika while drinking
Cheap wine, Vince, yes,
Ohio born, father a steel worker, Vince served under George
Patton, we drink Red Mountain burgundy from plastic cups under the dark shelter of the apple trees night happy to shine on us . Lad
He Called me, one half gallon
Gone pure rotgut
In the In the orchard
Of an era that now seems
Innocent but was hardly so

Vince died 25 years ago
In a back room at Margaret’s
House on Arrowhead Avenue

I moved north
And ate magic mushrooms
Under the currents
Of Raccoon Straits
I try to tell Vince
How beautiful my life
Has been, how clearly
I am learning how to believe
That the entire
Dream has been worthwhile

Lad he says
What about all those
Wars and missed
Opportunities? I said
Sure you have
To wonder, you needn’t
Judge, just fold
The light of truth
And doubt around
Your shoulders
In the empty night
Long ago



Rain

The rain clouds are hypnotic
If you sit and listen
I see from three windows
The one hard fact
Forget everything else
Play for exhaled time
Prey on old poems
Plan for the future
Think of jazz back home
Coming from plastic radios
Rhythms of Norman
Tall and lanky
Drawing pen and ink
Drinking Primitivo
Coltrane Parker Monk
A trinity of sorts

Norman draws Moses
On Sinai talking to a firework
Then he puts down his pen
To follow the Music
Monk is on a roll,
Listen as the keys
Fall like rain, look
Memory straight in
The face, poor Norman
Died in the State Hospital
Wrapped in a robe
With red sash
I watch the rain outside
And the clouds



Form

In back of form
We find the official
Reason, in the heat
We hear
Turmoil of distant
Climes, men are
Sure of their
Survival, form
Over form, travel
To your self
In a crowded cabin

A few men cross the room
In search of solitude
The kind found
In a virgin forest
Long ago, how
Does it sound? Silence
On top of silence?
Follow the herd
Until they are no
Forms, no words
To speak of, no proof of
Any sort to offer
Stay solid in back
Of form, dare you
Blockade the vast
Reindeer herd?
Are you hearing
The heat?
Form will fade
And pretend
As it vanishes,
Men will be captive
To the circles
Squares and
Triangles, some May
Ask, “what is
Found” oh shade
Without substance,
A strange straight line
Struggles and
Is born