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 Kosrof Chantikian
Kosrof Chantikian
Californian Poets Part 5: Four Poems
Kosrof Chantikian



Hamlet’s Regret to Ophelia

This letter arrives to you because I have also crossed
the sphere of the living to the shades of the dead

I remember only the man who seemed older than the waves of the sea
approaching swiftly   chiding me for arriving late   putting his appointments
in disarray

by whatever authority exists in this state of disorder I knew then
I was not dreaming and he had come to collect me as dead

when there are no moorings to guide us   when the wind’s compass
itself is doomed   does time quickly shed itself once we are dead?

do you recall you wanted to return the gifts I gave you?
I spoke harshly to you saying
        I did love you once   and then   I loved you not

but that was all a trick   my love   to trap the murderous king
for you lad long ago burst out of me   like the shooting star
breaking free violates its ordained path to seek its heart with you

the world well knows each of us bore witness to the folly
and betrayal of others   and I did not tell you then
the full story of the horrors that became me

but now we are here in this ghostly place
and you will have become informed of these events

tell me   would not the Greek poets so taken with murder
and revenge also weep for us?

I have no wish to justify the wrongs in which I was the cause
what was done cannot be repaired
but someone jammed those lines down our mouths

Ophelia – give me one more chance for a soul who died
before he could give the stars to you

I loved you in life   and do still in this dead place

when we meet there shall be no made-up script
no counterfeit lines to bind us

I’ll bring rosemary to remember our lost love
and willow as soft as your touch

lovers even now   with hope almost dead

–– Hamlet

In the Time of Memory

The subject of our life and the world is secret
we may decide now’s the time to fly away

but we have learned each day of living
grows deeper into the next

and the dreams we summon
will consume our breath

this is our life

the heart will live until
it cannot see past the darkness

then our breath will know
it is time to summon light

where it first was born
for that final touch of your kiss

Commands of the Poem

Slow   slow
ever reluctant

the rain this night
falls in the rhythm of song

I get out of bed
to write these lines to you

is it the will of the poet or does the imagination
come from other depths where seeing resides?

it would be a blunder to imagine a spirit
within our own spirit

that causes these phases to appear
spontaneously from our dreams of nothingness

even flawlessly to be forged from that mysterious
intersection of desire and thoughts of you

the furnace of the imagination
urges the creation that hammers existence into being

from the white heat of your eyes
that transforms itself eventually into love

and so love into the clarity of seeing
the rain dropping on the roof

even when in the
full night of darkness

when only our hearing
embraces and rubs silence

into creation
into your heart

that furiously wants to see
beyond itself

When Memory Forgets

The way you move   how you stir the soup in winter

the jam you spread on your homemade bread
and the flowers you place in mother’s old orange vase

memory cannot be robbed of its inheritance
only murdered when twilight comes

you ask what does memory do?
it tells the story about what passed before you – in the present
before it begins to write the history of your eyes

to remember the event is possible
yet not clearly   not with the precision
demanded by elegant schemes of orderliness

under the moving liquid ice
then coming up for breath   seeing something
vaguely resembling scenes of my life

to breathe   to hold onto the world   not let go of you
memory knows all this

tries to tell us      to recognize what we must know

witness how the wind behaves
when it has stopped running away

and you   lost in reverie
under the quivering sky

the beating of your heart
calls the ocean finally to rest