Part 5 Contributors


Millicent Borges Accardi
Kim Addonizio
Marjorie R. Becker
Jacqueline Berger
John Brandi
James Cagney
Carol Moldaw
Kosrof Chantikian
Brendan Constantine
James Cushing
Kim Dower
David Garyan
Valentina Gnup
Troy Jollimore
Judy Juanita
Paul Lieber
Rick Lupert
Glenna Luschei
Sarah Maclay
Jim Natal
Judy Pacht
Connie Post
Jeremy Radin
Luis J. Rodriguez
Gary Soto
Cole Swensen
Arthur Sze
Charles Upton
Scott Wannberg (In Memoriam)

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

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

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Click to enlarge picture David Garyan
David Garyan
California Feature 5: Two Poems
David Garyan



Trial by Twitter

Today, and for all time,
don’t read Dr. Seuss
to your children—
he drew
of Asians and Blacks.
Likewise don’t show
your kids Disney cartoons—
Walt invited
a Nazi director
to his studios.
Neither look at Picasso’s
paintings, nor those
of Diego Rivera—
they were rude
and treated
women like shit.
Don’t teach
the nonviolence
of Gandhi—
in South Africa,
as a young man,
he said some
racist things.
Remove statues
of Robert E. Lee—
he was great
at military tactics,
and also a great bigot,
but if you topple
those statues,
drop Grant’s as well—
in 1862 the great General
issued General Order No. 11,
which expelled every Jew
from his military district.
And speaking of Jews,
the whole Protestant religion
should be canceled,
because its founder,
Martin Luther,
wrote this here work:
On the Jews and Their Lies.
Neither read
the books of Marx
nor keep Marxist
scholars in college—
killed millions.
And sure as hell
avoid the theories
of Louis Althusser—
that commie
scholar killed his wife.
In short, communism=murder
and capitalism=salvation.
Don’t think MLK is a great man—
he plagiarized
much of his dissertation.
Don’t teach Darwin’s evolution—
at the age of 29,
he wrote white
missionaries in Tahiti
had banished “dishonesty,
licentiousness, and intemperance.”
Surely, all this is racist,
and while we’re on racism,
don’t mention the beauty
of Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address.”
In 1858 he said:
“There is a physical difference
between the White and Black races
which I believe will forever forbid
the two races living together
on terms of social and political equality.”
Go. Run. Deface
the Lincoln Memorial.
Burn all the books of Freud—
he loved cocaine
and was a total misogynist,
and also burn
those by Lovecraft
and Kipling.
They were,
as you guessed it, racist.
Trial by Twitter.
The Jolt Generation.
Fully electric.
Social media shock therapy.
Burn. Cancel. Erase. Destroy.
Do all but build.
Wake up, you Woke Generation.
The apparition of these faces in the crowd:
Petals on a wet, black bough.

Beautiful, isn’t it?
Absolutely. Yes.
But don’t you dare read it,
much less derive
pleasure from those words—
they were written by Pound,
and we all know about Pound.
Pound. Pound. Pound.
A fan of Hitler—
killed millions,
but a loser.
Yet professors
across the US
freely cherish
Lenin and Stalin—
killed millions,
but victory made it okay.
Give them tenures and paychecks.
Truman. American. Hero.
Fat Man and Little Boy—winners.
Mussolini. Italian. Disgrace.
“Fascism, now and always,
believes in holiness and in heroism;
that is to say, in actions influenced
by no economic motive, direct or indirect.”
Don’t dare praise the idea.
Hanging upside down
at a gas station is a crime.
But, respect communist
dictators who won wars—
everything is forgiven.
Forget Adam Smith’s economics—
about native tribes,
like those in North America, he said:
“the lowest and rudest state of society.”
Racist. Racist. Racist.
Elvis Presley stole black people’s music—
force yourself to hate his songs,
even if you can’t help loving them.
Don’t teach or read Dante—
he put Muhammad
in the lowest circle of Hell.
Retrieve American flags
from the moon—
German Apollo scientists
had worked for the Nazis.
Scold Germans for driving
Fords. Yes, their ancestors
committed the Holocaust—
‘ole Henry himself
was an anti-Semite.
Take down the statues, America,
but keep producing the cars—
by God, the economy
can never be taken down,
even if it drives millions of people
into the ground.
Through starvation,
pollution, and stress,
America will survive—
it will keep the statutes
of capitalism and topple the statues
of its violent history.
Silence the dissidents
and spy on our “enemies,”
but let IBM stay in business—
who, after all, speaks today
of their role in tracking the Jews?
And to hell with sympathy.
The worst don’t deserve it.
My dog has died.
I buried him in the garden
next to a rusted old machine.
Some day I'll join him right there,
but now he's gone with his shaggy coat,
his bad manners and his cold nose,
and I, the materialist, who never believed
in any promised heaven in the sky
for any human being,
I believe in a heaven I'll never enter.
Yes, I believe in a heaven for all dogdom
where my dog waits for my arrival
waving his fan-like tail in friendship.

Why do you feel
pain for this speaker?
Don’t you dare do it.
His or her thoughts
came from the mind of Neruda.
Pablo Neruda, that is.
A fervent Stalinist
and defender of communism.
That hombre wasn’t a poet.
And don’t get fancy
with Hobsbawm.
That bloke wasn’t a historian.
Cancel him now.
Do something, for God’s sake.
Neruda. Hobsbawm.
Admirers of Stalin.
But so it goes:
The casualties created
by winners are written
on the sands with no memory—
on stormy beaches where the wind’s
fury remembers only the present.
The faults of the loser
are thoroughly recorded,
written in ink whose stains
are impossible to remove—
a liquid that never forgets an insult,
like women cheated on and forgotten,
left for younger wives.



Origin: A phenomenon first observed during the Cold War. Guilty parties: Russia, China, Iran, and anyone hostile to American interests—democratic or not (see definition 2).

Etymology: Ukraine, a resource-rich country, trying to exit the Russian sphere of influence. Also possible, post-1979 Iran. (Refer to Jimmy Carter, 39th US President, Term: January 20, 1977 – January 20, 1981, more specifically, Iran Hostage Crisis, leading to the creation of Iranium.)

Compare American uranium and Russian уран. The former is democratic, while the latter is authoritarian. Each substance is the same, but also very different, like the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the American one. (See OED’s definition of “logical” or “justified hypocrisy.”)

1. A radioactive political situation—capable of escalating into carnage—that really has nothing to do with Ukraine. A new Cold War to assert American hegemony. Examples: Korea, Vietnam, Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, Afghanistan, and now Ukraine.

2. Freedom on American terms. Example: Salvador Allende, democratically elected president in in Chile. Overthrown by the US. Pinochet, a dictator installed, leading to a successful ukraineium revolution.

Berkeley, January 17, 1956 — The first time “ukraineium,” as a phenomenon, was described in a major literary work, though the word itself wasn’t used. (Refer to Allen Ginsberg’s America.)

Asia is rising against me.
I haven’t got a chinaman’s chance.
I’d better consider my national resources.


America it’s them bad Russians.
Them Russians them Russians and them Chinamen. And them Russians.
The Russia wants to eat us alive. The Russia’s power mad. She wants to take our cars
from out our garages.


Ukraineium enrichment: Creating conflicts—preferably inside Russian or Chinese spheres of influence—to destroy a country so it can be “rebuilt,” i.e., plundered by American corporations while rebuilding it. Example: Almost all of Sub-Saharan Africa, where the Cold War was quite hot.

Ukraineium rich: Countries with poor political institutions, fertile for bribes, and ready for American economic penetration.

Depleted Ukraineium: Countries with poor political institutions, fertile for bribes, but years of American economic penetration have stripped them of their resources. Also: any country that has served American interests for a time, but its service is no longer needed, having become dispensable.1

Ukraineium bomb: The total defeat of Russia by the American military industrial complex. The wet dream of Joe Biden, and really every US president since WWII, except for maybe FDR, who needed the Soviets to liberate most of Europe.

Poster from the German-Russian Museum in Berlin. Photo by Author.

Ukraineium isotopes: The loudest and most hysterical cheerleaders interested in Russia’s destruction—Poland and the Baltics. Standard modus operandi: Blame the Russkies for everything, even when it’s not their fault. (Refer to OED’s definition of Russiatwist: If a building falls in Warsaw, and no one is there to die, it doesn’t make a sound. If a building falls in Warsaw, and there are victims, it sounds like Putin singing the Soviet Anthem.)

Ukraineium Gorebachev: An unnaturally occurring human material—valuable political concessions can be extracted from It/Him/Her/Them/You-238/Proton/Electron/Atomic Number 92/146 Neutrons/Alpha/Beta/Omega to profit the West, i.e., the downfall of the Soviet Union. Also: A politician mined for his policies that benefited non-Russians. Hero of Chernobyl. (Synonym: Bores Yeltsin: a radioactive human substance that keeps Russia weak and the West laughing. Mined in Russia. Enriched in the West.)

See also: Hide and Seek Ukraineium

1. A popular game played during the Cold War. Revived when the US no longer had an enemy to play with. The Middle East proved to be a strong contestant, sometimes posing interesting challenges. Still, Russia was always the most desirable—and toughest—opponent, though largely the weaker party. (See collapse of the USSR.)

Instructions for playing: A simple call and response, until one party runs out of ideas. Below is an example of a game supposedly played in Reykjavik by Reagan and Gorbachev in 1986. Before discussing Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles and human rights, they broke the ice in Iceland this way. Since it all happened in unofficial capacity, no transcript of the game exists. Accounts of the event are steeped in controversy—many doubt the two leaders ever played. Though viruses and computer hackers existed in the ‘80s, the presence of “canceled” is an outright anachronism—no one was canceled in those days, and if they were, they weren’t canceled, they were simply ignored: Indeed, there was no internet, much less Twitter. Others argue that “canceled” was an incorrect translation of the Russian word “замененный,” which refers to someone who’s replaced—in the sense that, like on assembly lines, everyone is completely free and yet totally dependent. They work and yet make nothing of their own. They have only their labor to sell.

Russia violates human rights.

            US law overreaches inadvertently.
            #I can’t breathe.

Russia commits war crimes.

            America bombs hospitals—
            for democracy and by accident, of course.

Russians have state news.

            American news is freely private—
            controlled by corporations with agendas.

Russians bribe.

            Americans donate.

Russia hacks.

            America is more intelligent—
            it works in cyber intelligence.

Russia is aggressive.

            America just has the biggest military.

Russians vote in rigged elections. Nothing ever changes.

            Americans cast their ballots fairly—
            electing those who talk too much and change too little.

Russians dwell in the prison they’ve built.

            Americans reside in a free society
            where they’re free to be canceled.

In Russia, it’s nearly impossible to live.

            In America, it’s very difficult to make a living.

_____________________________________________________________________________________ 1 Having enjoyed cordial relations with Ronald Reagan, Mobutu Sese Seko also received the support of Reagan’s successor, George H.W. Bush—being the first African leader to visit Bush at the White House. However, the US radically changed its approach after the Cold War’s conclusion—his role in containing communism was over, and the US withdrew all support. Mobutu himself stated: “I am the latest victim of the cold war, no longer needed by the US. The lesson is that my support for American policy counts for nothing.” In 1993, American authorities rejected his visa to visit Washington, D.C.