Meditations on And Then Volume 18. Bernard Tuchman

Sapa kuti And Them  lluqsimuptin imaynata haykaynamanta chaypi llapanku qellqasqankumanta poemachata qespichim. Hinaspa brother Robert Roth kay Hawansuyupi churanaypaq chay poemata reqsichiwan. Allinmi. Every time a new issue of And Then comes out Bernad Tuchman writes a poem- comentary about each one of the contributors. And brother Robert Roth shares the poem in Hawansuyo. Great!

Meditations on And Then Volume 18

Bernard Tuchman

Cover Shelley Haven

in formation

awareness

gathers

clustering

touching

taking

in each

knowing

only

not yet

complete

  1. 1 Kenyatta Prisoner No. 74A3701

    the chain
    that binds us
    inextricably
    together
    cannot be seenand is not felt
    except for

    the yearning
    stretching

    creating space
    out of no where
    to enclose

    imagined
    fire

    in reflections

  2. 2 Kenyatta

    not separate
    not equal
    intermingleddesire reveals
    the Unknown One
  1. 3 Safiye Bandele

follow your nose

overwhelming

busy-being

ol-factory

life-product

swamps sweet reason

not only one’s own

but all, mingling

wafted together

and reason learns

it is not there

to command

but only

to serve

intense

sense

of being

alive

p.5 Ana Lopez-Betancourt

all in the details

in the smoke

the love

in straightening seams

the love

care worn grace

keeping her grip

on the sail

of fancy

dressed for

the dance

to the end

p.7 Fostina Dixon-Kilgoe

without revelation

seeing is the gift

that blinds
p.8 Lea Diaz

in the beginning:
word

vision seed
without being

potential without power

needing
the dreamer

to nourish
with magic

word into world

of her own making
p.9 Kundalini Nicholson-Walker

the true coin

you mint

discovering

your own self

is the gift

that can’t

be taken

from you

self trust

the essential good

wanting to know

even more

keeps running

for life

p.10 Lennox Rafael

the answer

my friend

is

the body knows

no matter

how many times

thrown away

returning

true

ascendant

resurrected

in the throb

which is

incessant

reminded

that innocence

is unconditional

and can never

be lost

only mislaid

p.12 Roger Santivanez

being

taken

for a ride

past the point

of no return

and released

p.13 Hae Sol Song

the refuge:

water-bed-scape

idyll image

transient peace

even in surrender

turbulent troubles

pierce repose

in the dream

this world’s

pressures

intrude

and so we

arise

for another

day

p.14 Howard Pflanzer

everything we know

is metaphor

the body

politics

poetry

the medium

of communion

solidarity

the possibility

of being

more than ourselves

as ourselves

  1. 15 Julia Palfi

displaying

evidence

to the contrary

man

stands

nonetheless

asserting

the right

to be sad

p.16 Marianella Medrano

forgotten

horror

does not rest

homeless

dancers

infiltrate

imagined

pool

from which

they have

been cleansed

  1. 17 John Reid

unpunctuated

life flows

ceaselessly

rising

falling

memory

striving

to hold

waves

as its own

story

  1. 18 -1 Zaadia Colon

creation’s labor

not unbound

wills

not escape

but structure

all with all

complex edifice

expelled

stretching

the membrane

of expansion

as

poised balance

til dying mother

of a billion worlds’

silent insistent

recall

draws in

her works

calling them home

in mutual embrace

encircling

vortex

hurtling

towards

destined

conception

beyond being

  1. 18 -2 Myrna Nieves

raise hands in praise

the human project

is in good hands:

physician,

eyes closed,

attention

undimmed

by sight,

palpates

quicksilver hands

blazing guitar:

Manitas de Plata

hand in hand

“More than 1,000

join Muslim ‘ring of peace’

outside Oslo synagogue”

applausible future

  1. 19 Laya Firestone Seghi

naked to

all

the pain

she sings

freedom

fearless

life

free from

supports

she flies

as she falls

into

a space

beyond

your

wildest

dreams

  1. 21 Tanya Torres

pump

of life

before

the quest

the urge

bearing being

into the

only now

  1. 22 -1 Milton Polsky and Warren Wyss

co-labors’ offspring

a bouncy play thing

novel poem

happy omen

from pen,

a toy

and then,

enjoy

  1. 22 -2 Eli Cohen

Coney Island

my homeland

between

Neptune

and Mermaid

then the long block

past the old

trolley line

to Surf

from there

just a little further

up ramp

onto the boardwalk

turn right

to Shatzkin’s knishes

turn left

past the Half Moon hotel

(already a home

for aged Jews)

and onto Coney,

reappearing

every summer,

eternal carnival

dream factory

that delivered

spectacle

you live

with a million others

or

not the ramp

step down

onto the cool

often damp

sand

striped with sun

streaming

between the

shadow-casting

boards above

there, the mystery

of Coney

couples making out

bold but shy

as if they found

a secret place

for passion

that did not need

the sun

to burn

at the very back

under the boardwalk

concessions

hidden places

that I loved

retreats

from heat

and hunger

stands for

the beach crowd

that’s where

I first

ate pizza

Neapolitan

ten cent

rectangles

if you were lucky

and the young man

serving you

was in a good mood

you got a corner

with crust

on two side

those were

the days

  1. 22 -3 Donald Lev

let us

celebrate

bad

attitude,

embrace our

rejection

“not like us”

uninvited

the business

barging in

where you

don’t belong

the price

becoming

the insider

without

the comfort

always

at the edge

the precipice

even at home

even in Israel

black humor

our salve

  1. 23 -1 Vincent Giangreco

are you one

of us?

guileless

mission

do you need

to know us?

we, the medium,

are our message

we are

for you

to be human

is to melt

face to face

losing boundaries

into the

common stew

we are

a mongrel lot

Jews are human

  1. 23 -2 Alicia Cintron

god bless you,

Kalylah

  1. 24 David Neiditch

needing

a name

defining danger

to quell

nameless dread

enter

natural suspects

those

wronged

by those

like us

that which

we fix

our fear to,

our apartners

a living system

tormented

tormentor

reciprocating

objects

orbiting

each other

respectful

only at a distance

but when impinging

spinning

in rage

fantasy

and vengeance

and so it goes

with race,

our construct

framing perception

distortion

misimpression

then

fresh injury

to self and other

  1. 25 Marlene Nadle

Ike knows

he’s liked,

Nixon nix

neither man

started rich

grace and disgrace

perfect match

Ike leavens the dough

Dick raises the cash

Neither man has Jack’s aplomb

Ike seems dumb

And Dick has plumbers

  1. 26 Luis Benitez

sea

scape –

beyond

bonds

of being

life force

becomes

waves

  1. 27 George Malave

rage propelled

camouflage legions

lesions

in desert sands

strange oasis

blood attractors

bring ‘em on

and on

and on

  1. 28 Lia Gladstone

vain mission

dubious achievement

sowing discontent

but

dangerous

subversive

dreams

come natural

rising weeds

breaking the ground

profligate of life

regenerative

power that needs

to move

unbottled being

cracking

whatever the order

our own story

two hundred fifty

years of slavery

and then

another hundred fifty

policed

kept out

and still

dignity

the measure

of worth

engenders

the push

one by one

and together

because

once there’s

a chance

to be as good

as can be

imagined

the genie

uncorked

will find

a way

out

and all

our genius

will connect

will help

find a path

for the dance

to proceed

  1. 30 Mitchel Cohen

History of Western Civilization

war

the mission

an end

in itself

accomplished

  1. 31 Bernard Tuchman

delusions of stability

balanced

on

tip

of

a

b

a

y

o

net

  1. 31 G. F. Phillips

a real relationship

reliably attached

meeting needs

of the other

each knowing

what to expect,

matter of fact,

without judgment

no leash

no control

free flying

they flock

around him

man the provider

center of attraction

and you alone

by yourself

watch

and wonder

  1. 32 Amber

in my shtetl

Communist Jewish

Coney Island

pumpkins a threat

American as apple pie

directed against us

Halloween assault

trick or treat

wide soft chalk

red white and blue

to slash across

new fall jacket

leering pumpkins

candles inside

expressing fire

directed against us

by Richard Nixon

channeling

Whittaker Chambers’

Pumpkin Papers

only later in life

fear repressed

by time

I learned to love

pumpkin pie

  1. 32 Ralph Pessah

there is no point

to beauty

it is the only point

  1. 33 Margaret Yard

not a simple task:

transcendence

by the unacknowledged

victim

unseen

unwitnessed

invalid

collateral damage

the doer of deeds

always justified,

serving

a higher purpose

having no regrets

not responsible

for outcomes

no crime

no amnesty needed

and yet profoundly lost,

the trust

that makes life possible

and you, a refugee,

one among many,

in need

of a sanctuary

where borders

are not closed

where openness

is not weakness

and new connection

knits again

life’s fabric

we need

each other’s

otherness

there is

no higher purpose

than respect

  1. 34 -1 Johannah Segers

flung

wildly out

of bounds

hopscotching

vagabonding

this great land

strangely

not frightening

dad’s

great escape

with us

too short

not to remember

it all

  1. 34 -2 George Spencer

nearing

the finish line

still a beginner

  1. 35 Larry Simonberg

give us this day

our daily news

lifeline pulse

in fleeting lights

fame or infamy

ephemeral

only news

itself

is

constant

as

contest

and we

are alive

placing

our bets

on history,

As It Happens

  1. 36 Nat-Lee Saxenian

listening as

the hunger

gnaws

consumer is

consumed

  1. 37 Nadina LaSpina

offering the help

he needs

to give

the stranger,

sensing rebuff,

turns hostile

  1. 38 -1 Michael Kranish

it’s all in the rules

Canasta

a gracious

class order

meld within rank

a place for jokers

and other wild cards

seasoning the meld,

never dominating

1950

Canasta new

party game

for the young

choose your partner

and your strategy

aging well

the game goes on

through

appointed rounds

of life

knowing

what to do

discovering

new tricks

getting better

over time

and then

dismissed

by the children

now with lives

of their own

like aging hippies’

transcendent dreams

out

of the

picture

long

full

glory

hair

cut

fallen

swept

away

  1. 38 – 2 Dyske Suematsu

purity

beyond

grasp

the end

of play

offers

nothing

to appreciate

art is

journey’s

path

the way

longing

discovers

what it is

seeking

to grasp

another

aspect

only to

realize

the end

is not

in sight

  1. 38 -3 Laura Costas

not apart

not with

home free

and you

stranded

shorebound

listening

for echoes

of echoes

  1. 39 Johanna G. Martinez

reaching

The object

is not

something

above

who we are.

To be human

is heroic enough

to go with

sympathy

into this world

in resonance

and sometimes

at the edge of

life force in motion

always seeking

the path

of joy

  1. 40 Sofia Angelina Marrero

drawn

by your

attentive

hand

cow

looks

astonished

  1. 42-1 Neil Silberblatt

closely focused

on what’s next

and nearby

set in our place,

we need to be stirred

turn on the novel,

tune to the news

medium message:

not hot and not cool

Goldilocks’ porridge

does not disturb us

it’s not my problem

my plate is full.

  1. 42- 2 Ralph Nazarethwhat’s in a name?

    owning imagination

    price of one’s soul

    to die for

    authority
    to rule
    the heart

    of billions

    it’s your story
    your continuity

    your terms of
    peace

    your cut of
    space time pie

  1. 43 Barbara Ann Gardner

    Africa
    cannot be
    turned asideit calls
    insistently

    see me
    while I am
    as I am

    mirrors
    shining
    into you

    illuminating
    don’t knows
    you never
    suspected

    reflections’
    kaleidoscope
    turn
    your life

    cascading
    into worlds
    more real
    than your own

    and more
    transient

    props
    askew as
    your world
    invades

    offering
    solutions
    dissolving
    complex fabric
    that is the wealth
    of humanity

    into extractable
    exportables

    raw materials
    for an
    interchangeable
    future

  1. 45 Daney Forbes

    like money,
    science
    grows its power
    by aping Godself-renewing
    eternity,
    life
    everlasting

    from which
    it draws
    its tribute

    from
    tribulations
    of beings
    drowning
    in the storm

    living
    dying
    real
    momentary

    compelled
    by need

    contracting
    a debt
    beyond
    understanding

    in gratitude
    for moment’s
    grace

    eternal submission

  1. 46 Millie Niss

1

Lord

creator

of war

source

of rule

master

beyond

reason

destroyer

of doubt

fill us

with your

image

your word

our conviction

in your rites

communion

magnified

as one body

we are

your host

our arms

embody

your will

consumed

in pursuit

of your

cause

we

become

ourselves

in action

freedom

our service

fulfillment

for life

everlasting

2

in faith

men

must do

just

crime

horror

shame

vengeance

valor

heedless sacrifice

glory

that you

may be

unrivaled

in your

power

and we be

secured

in your embrace

3

secretly

knowing and

needing

not to know

even victors

are scathed

in your name

(moral

wounds

cannot

be named)

4

rut only

deepens

retracing

beaten

path

hardening

closing self

to deaden

pain

and on from there

to greater injury

5

soul on fire

soul on ice

raging within

a greater

emergency

after the pain

burning light

passion

for ourselves,

our common

being

and what

might be

remorse,

finally knowing

the loss

that is ours

to redeem

ignites

contagious

love

to reclaim

God’s world

  1. 47 Martha Deed

Knowing

it’s time
to start

what remains
forever

unfinished

is better
than hope,

the choice
is not
in danger.

Making
meaning

(joy of life)

itself
the end.

And we
still
left
in life

receive
what we must:

the unbearable
gift,

tangle
we share
beyond being,

to pass
through us
and on

because
trust
is all

that matters.

  1. 49 Sophie Neiditch

    at the end of the day
    still standingtogether
    as always

    of a seed
    impelled
    sky bound

    reaching
    for light

    each seeking
    its own way up

    alike and
    distinct

    marked
    from within

    like all of us

  1. 50 Robert S. Holzman, M.D.being
    ourselves

    (richly
    complex and
    contradictory)

    revealed

    even to
    ourselves

    only
    as we live

    in the don’t know

    inventing
    new dialogue
    to tilt
    the balance

    those words,
    that look

    to turn
    the story
    towards
    our intent.

    who we are
    in the moment

    the sum of
    what we know
    and
    what we can’t know.

    for the daunted seeker
    easier to see
    abstractly
    without
    connection

clear definitions
one thing
at a time

searching
the world
for clean borders
resolvable
problems

do

what we can count
write off the rest.

But
the sufferer
and the healer’s
never ending quest

living as themselves
in the everlasting
don’t know

is to
understand

merging

emerging

in resonance with

whole being
in distress

  1. 53 Dr. Janice O. Bennett

I can breathe

but barely

pulled inward

spirit bruised

not crushed

to get by

narrow space

allowed to pass

but not

to breathe

deeply

not to take

more air

than necessary

just enough

not to choke

because

I am not

the exception

I live within

the rule

I am there

watching it all

and so

are you

who know

my name

but do not speak

take no issue

with maker

of rules

defining

your space

your reality

denying me

my name

me, whose name

you do know

  1. 54 Carol Jochnowitztelling
    the story

    foretells
    the lesson

    add complexity
    spin
    and the wheel
    of fortune
    and misfortune

    stops
    with many
    messages

    no clear order

    and still
    we see
    and feel
    and need
    to respond

    not intimate
    not knowing

    and yet

    they also serve
    who only stand
    and wait

    and say
    “my friend”

  2. 55 Jim Story

 

art does not exist

without

attentive

observant

receivers
willing to be

undone

blinds
(self
chosen
deflections)

open
resistance down

And Then

art comes in
unfolding
layering
bending
remixing
firmament

ever

changing

setting for

fixed star

never before

noticed

placing us
where
we didn’t know

we need
to be

  1. 56 Rona D. Schenkerman1

    in whose name
    holy murder
    is done

    victim of
    your own
    consumer
    fraud

    you bought
    your salesmen’s
    g-dspiel

    you know,
    One Truth
    saves all

    the rest
    be damned

    and now
    you want
    your good name
    back

    lots of luck

    2

    we who start
    from zero

    trying
    our damnedest
    just to get along

    don’t expect
    paradise

    (except our
    True Unbelievers,
    who, like your crew,
    express their
    killer genes
    with pride)

    3

    we who
    are coming
    to believe
    we need you

    share your
    disappointment

    we cannot ask
    of you
    what you
    have promised
    and failed
    to deliver:

    to save us
    from ourselves

    we feel your pain

  1. 57 Kika Stayermansun
    seducer
    of life

    what waits
    below for
    your sign
    to embrace

    pure need
    gentle impulse

    that which must
    be coaxed
    to become

    more than
    you can know
    bound by
    your own power
    needy of worship
    and alone

    your true gift
    desire
    maker of right

to breathe

awakening
partners
to be

called forth
from a sleep
without
turbulence

to breathe
because
they are stirred

beggars once
begotten

whose purpose
is no longer
yours to use

but are grateful
as you shine

  1. 58 Nancy Ross

    this is not
    a bad dream
    because
    I cannot
    wake from itbut like a dream
    its logic
    pierced
    by loss

    undealt
    hands

without
chance
to play
execrable
inexorable
forced debts

and the dream
to awaken
in a state
in which
I am
prepared

to teach

the next class

And Then 18 p. 58 Louise Rader

after
diagnosis

trial
by ordeal

on altar
an offering

own body
altered

and what
are we
offered?

not life
everlasting

but,
with luck,

another
helping
of now

and ours
to guess

what all
is worth

  1. 59 Stephanie Hart

Christmas

Rockefeller Center

The Tree

sixty years ago

a child’s

joyous memory

first threads

crisscrossing

the loom

and it’s wonderful

each year

a different tree

but The Tree

remains the same

imagined

fabric

informed

by new

lain threads

renewed as

magical tapestry

ending each year

wish fulfilled:

ever greater wonder

through chaos

disappointment

and fresh love

The Tree

of innocence

shimmering glory

draws forth

witness

to envision

impossibilities

made real

wills spirit’s

resilience

resisting acid

analysis

defying

deconstruction’s

malice

the fabric

of life

enriching

as it unfolds

becomes

you

  1. 60 Etnairis Riberawatching the motion
    of lives
    other than
    your own

    all so clear
    and loud
    enough
    so you can’t hear

    the wind
    going through you
    carry you away
    without intent
    of your own
    or even
    of it
    the wind
    itself driven
    by pressure
    from behind
    where
    it can’t see
    but knows
    it must
    flee
    or be
    swallowed

  1. 61 Margaret Cooper

    dim fortress
    buttressed
    by souls
    staffing
    desks
    bearing
    intolerable day

by day

longing
for fog
air
uncontainable
over river mist

at rest and in motion
barely visible
boats knowing
somehow
their way

  1. 62 -1 Rozanne Seelen

before

firstborn

marked

and taken

First of Adar

plague

of

darkness

hold fast

in time

of fear

touch

is all

we need

to feel

  1. 62-2 Erika Medinabetter than
    I know myself

    you
    show me
    my feelings

    like they have
    a shape

    what
    I mean

    like I’m
    a person

    recognized

    like no one
    ever

    given me
    that much

    and you
    can show me

    to be
    a better person

    like I want to be

    someone
    who you love

    like I love you

    p. 63 Frank Murphy

listen

like that

attentive

to flux

space

held open

unfilled

between

self-announcing

densities

being

not busy

bearing

witness

dissolves

membrane

holding

each

together

as self

against

the other

and in

that dying

freeing

cherished one

from grip

of possession

into

the flux

  1. 64 Rosalie Calabresethe New York City dream

    when City madness
    too much to bear

    calls forth
    craving
    to breathe

    close to nature

    a getaway

    another
    place to be
    ourselves

    troubles aside

    and then

    someone else’s
    dream ended

    for sale: upstate,
    a house

    our dream
    come true

    we
    had
    our house

    appearing
    magically

    last house
    before the woods

    (Soon after,
    the woods were sold
    and we owned
    the old house
    before the development.)

    Our house

was inhabited
not by ghosts
but squirrels

some in the attic
one
down the chimney

which we discovered
as we pulled into
the driveway

one window shade
swinging

Summoning
courage
as in a dream

we entered
to find
every window frame
gnawed
evidencing
an heroic
fearsome
struggle
in quest of
squirrel
freedom.

We called
Jack Russell
our handyman
whose ad
in the Pennysaver
had said:

“Your the boss.
I’m the horse.”

Jack set traps,
but the squirrel

was never found.

He told us
it must have escaped.
Jack said

(as he always said)

“The problem is

you don’t live here.”
We loved our house
like an old
infirm relative,

who, in later life,

we had adopted.

After sixteen years
we sold our dream
house.

an adventure
with many misses
which we still miss

  1. 64-1 Robert Roth

    there is no
    comfort
    to be had
    in being
    comfortedonly
    a weary
    grudging
    duty

    to comfort
    the comforter

    assure
    it really
    is OK

    how are you
    doing?

    fine!

    I lie

    seeking
    rest

    where
    there is

    no peace

  2. 64 -2 Danielle Rothin those delicious
    crepes
    taste her love

    made for you

    your delight
    her pleasure

    that’s how
    love works

    she could tell
    by how you were
    that it worked

    taste is
    a living memory

    only remember
    the taste
    of that sweet love

    and you will know
    deep inside

    more goodness
    will be there
    for you

    no doubt
    love is real

    you can
    taste it

  1. 64-3, 65-1 photographer unknown, Bill Cafone

two pictures

more than

sixty years

apart

spirits not

apart

in the beginning

eyes engaged

outside picture’s

frame

towards

another

presence

fixing

the moment

in a pose

the opening motif

proud to be attractive,

appealing and entranced

and then

jointly and apart

the play unfolds

we rejoin

the scene

in act four

(it is a

long play)

the same beings

fully themselves

eyes

engaged

looking deeply

and with pleasure

into

the presence

of each other

  1. 65-2 Carletta Joy Walker

she didn’t slip away
no retreat
the siege lasted
longer than any war
Kato, wily warrior
cheated death
again and again
until the last

not conservative
she burned life
and watched with delight
the curling smoke
of life consumed
rise and fill
the room with
mischief and mystery

she knew a thing or two
and could not
brake that express
from hurling forward
into the night
on a mission,
it’s headlight needed
to illuminate
the art of living

and that she did
in payment
more than full
to her devotees

attendant
players
spinning with her
in her wild yarn,
a tale beyond belief

and much more fun

  1. 66 Jens Magnussen

    prodigal thought
    spilling seeds
    new bornonto barren
    fields
    not in our
    dream

    but only
    what we
    live through

    and still
    pour forth
    content

    undeterred
    by consequence

    like everyone

    expelling
    by-product

    and in that
    fertile
    waste

    produce
    the world

  1. 68 Rosemary Drescher

in

perfect

trust

at the

end

of the

earth

one

small

step

and then

another

I

walk

the path

of my

parents

careful

not to stray

into eternity

  1. 69 Farishta Ramin

because

it is

irrepressible

space opens

not consumed by fire

not smashed by fist

but the echo

of our need

an arch

we can

conceive

(once we see

we are not

alone)

within whose

canopy

under

standing

we find

ourselves

forming place

which cannot

be taken

from us

because

it is not place

at all

but spirit

the space

mind-will

constructs

ample

grounds

for life

to play

to live

without

permission

life worth

the pain

life worth

dying for

  1. 72 Mali Obomsawin

even now

when

pieces

fall away

despite

your will,

each day

a trial,

not all

is loss

more story

yet to tell

if anyone

is there

to listen

  1. 73 Jenne Vath

    swimming against
    the river of timetraces of Rachels
    and Sarahs
    and Josephs
    and even Samsons

    my own family
    transported
    from Poland
    to British Isles

    and then again
    washing onto
    these shores

    names reappearing
    peopling anew

    generations
    without memory

    unrelated
    related

    each swimming
    in their time

    holding onto
    a name

  2. 74 George Jochnowitzwe, objects
    of your pranks

    playthings
    in your
    sport of gods

    butts
    of your jokes

    our
    impotence
    your merriment

    grievance is
    our legacy

    in our weakness
    enemies abound

    exposed,
    we know
    we lack

    and so
    we fight

    contesting
    title
    to our soul

    and if
    we fear
    gods
    run amok

    we simulate
    your
    power play

    setting
    sights
    on ourselves

    fight on
    for unity

    one will
    one god
    in human form

    and focus ire

    to kill
    shame
    at its source

    self or other
    it doesn’t matter
    which

    p. 75-1 George B. Pitts, Jr.

if I die

before

I wake

life

and

world

go on

your gift:

continuity

holding

together

the thread

to pull us

through

this day

this night

keep us

spinning

unaware

hurtling

through

space

we stand on

solid ground.

We

must have

illusions

we can

believe in

our realm

only real

between

forces

beyond

control.

Within it

we widen circle

of play

and live.

for this

magic trick,

your gift,

praise

  1. 75-2 Oliver Ogulnickhow good
    to be
    where
    elephants
    are commonplace

    and
    being you
    is surprising

  1. 76 Mike Wagner

it’s not like this dream

a one day wonder

just popped up

got caught

ending

the inning

no, this kid’s dream

was always ready

in the dugout

waiting to be called

even when other

kids dreams

struck out

shaken awake,

dreams lost

in the glare

of days’

compulsions

to take care

of business

Mike’s kept on

swinging

waiting for play

to resume

and then

a break

in the glare

the call comes

one fine

bleak

Vermont day

off the bench

onto the field

it’s time to

Play Ball !

  1. 77 Jonathan Mindell

And Then

Appeared

The Lord

To Tell

The Truth

To Answer All

the panel’s

questions

Who is like You,

mighty One!

And who can be

compared to You,

for the sake

of His Name

the panel voted

  1. 78 Delilah Soler

Self Damnation

attunes ascent

across-along

the fretted rack

screws tighten

stretching

Pain taut

but true

skin tight

spirit sail

caught unaware

in breath’s wisp

updraft

Rises

Resurrection Bound

and

released.

  1. 79 Jerome Levkov

stretching

twisting

being-space

not a pose

but life stance

curl’s enclosure

enforcing

separation

yet

in the stretching

longing

drawn towards

the past

well of possibilities

from whence

we spring,

perhaps to

spring again

  1. 80 Lourdes Cintron

prisoner of choice

freedom’s hostage

what you need

is not offered

those cute cat

videos

your friends

spread virally

on Facebook

do not satisfy

you need

real cats

living with you

in real time

with lives

of their own

free from choice

pursuing

and catching

their object:

each other

and you

adore them

  1. 81 Charles Pitts

Immortal

Love and Power

two faced god

passing through

each

not-so-other’s

presence.

Unresolved,

power of love

love of power

mixed messenger

calling us

from tower

of babel

creative

confusion

the one

true way

wild variety

only natural

And Then

Power’s play

to check

mate’s

threat

to order,

instills

fear

of fantasy

contracts

ligaments

ruling

from within

as

violent

self loathing

Love’s

slow soft

lubricant

responding,

slips

knot’s

constriction

loosing grip

of Power

over Love

and in

repost

hard control

Power’s

last

defense

to stop earth

quaking,

it must be

flattened

none the less,

Love’s waves

uncontrollable

roll on

  1. 82 Regine Dhoquois-Cohen

living in the comfort zone

not belonging

a sniff test

deeper than racism

anti-semitism

and all other

phobias

we know ourselves

by whom we exclude

by who isn’t.

who doesn’t,

how we know it,

and show it

learn from

jokes

proof

they’re funny

if you’re one of us,

solidarity forever

you’re

Jewish?

but you’re not

like them

you’re normal

like us

are you not?

  1. 84-1 George Spencer

 

my Coney Island

homeland

of outsiders

welcoming

intrusive guests

suckers all

out for a good time

at any cost

til pockets

emptied

barkers

hawking

sensation

overload

active bodies

at the center

of attraction

and we

of immigrant strivers

marking ascent

the background

chorus

a mile from

the midway

cheering on

what we

could hardly believe

we with

outside dreams

college

and the world

inheritors

of the New Deal

we partaking

tepidly of

life in an

amusement park

we knew

what not

to eat

did not go

on roller coasters

on a full stomach

enjoying

the ride

secure

in our

detached way

in it

not of it

love at

a critical distance

we who cannot be

mesmerized

do not

get taken in

easily

wise too soon

seeing the trick

missing the magic

to this day

regretting

our good sense

 

 

  1. 84-2 Anonymous

name

droppings

crack

open

fertility

rights

  1. 85 The Sticker Dude

games

do not play

they suck dreams

spit them out

war weary

wrecks

and you

the joker

as always

the win

almost

in your

hand

reconstruct

your house

of cards

  1. 86 Anonymous

unmet needs

safely

behind bars

unloved

and unloving

must escape

emotional

prison

this is

not a crime

placing

being

in

another’s

hands

not a fault

trust

betrayed,

ill use

by one

you trusted

a choice

that failed

pain tells

us

don’t do THIS

again

but exactly THIS

never happens

twice

pain itself

is dumb suffering

you have power

to feel good

about why

you make

your choices

no matter what

the outcome

your pain has meaning,

lessons to learn

the question is:

What are

your questions?

  1. 87 Zaira

always there

vital systems

very old

beneath

our notice

because

they work

  1. 88-1 Art Gatti

    and then
    we all converged,not remembering
    what we forgot,

    when everything
    became known

    by everybody

    instantly

    and liked

  1. 88-2 Howard Pflanzer

It depends on what the meaning of the word “is” is. If the “is” means is and never has been, that is not— that is one thing.

If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement.

— President William Jefferson Clinton

  1. 89 Fredy Roncalla

It is

the turn

of poets

that makes

the generation

audience

entangled,

pieces

connecting

poets

themselves

first audience

the bed

of love

calling

voices

to chorale

ambitious

to evoke

unheard

melodies.

We

consume

our poets

and must

have more

rooting poetry

into being

fashioning humanity

out of that bounty

(not a fashion

to be coveted

and followed)

gifts

we must

assemble

for ourselves

as

meaning.

No great

poet,

no matter

the gift,

can do

the job

of poetry:

transgressive

reach

only a tide

pulls

each small

incursion

crossing

against

the rule

defiling

barren

institutes

of convention

whose order

absorbs

as it

kills

only

perhaps

to crack

the seed,

and thus

itself,

renewing

landscape

to refresh

humanity.

Poetry

must swarm

life

whelming up

and over

and over again

each time dying

as it

sinks in

becoming

the us

we had

not yet

known

ourselves

to be.

  1. 90 Vincent J. Tomeo

how uncivilized

to share

the earth

with beasts

who shit

unlike

ourselves

  1. 91 Peg Reilly

Uneeda biscuit?

no more

Nabisco’s

dark

satanic

factory

re-purposed

artisanal

Chelsea Market

where the

High Line

ends.

Consciously

we throng

Fat Witch Bakery’s

brownie ovens

our destination.

In Good Taste

We Trust

  1. 92-1 Joel Shatzky

In the spirit of Courses for the Studentrepreneur, from a piece I wrote after the 1994 election “Modest Proposals for the New(t)Age”:

Why should the poor be prohibited from selling their children or their body parts, as people already do in many poor countries? This would provide income to the poor and productive services to their buyers at no expense to taxpayers.

The list can go on and on. The market system is the natural way by which the stronger capitalize on their advantage over the weaker. At first it may seem crazy to treat people like excludable and disposable things, but once the bonds of human solidarity have been dissolved by the acid imperatives of a profit-maximizing market, you’ll soon find there is no logical limit to the pain that you’re willing to have other people experience for your benefit. We all buy cheap third-world products without a lot of thought about the conditions under which those goods were produced. But when it gets closer to home, subjective (human) values may kick in. For example, some still believe that less human suffering is a good worth paying for. They lost the election.

As for marketing babies for food, it’s already been proposed by Swift.

  1. 92-2 Anonymous

http://maps.google.com shows 10 “marriage counselors” on West 86th St.

(no marriage can survive that much choice)

93-1 Albert Paul Thomas Waugh

no joke

the homeless

a people

born of malice

it was the 1980s

when dispossession

became public policy

for my generation

(itself too young

to remember

Hoovervilles)

homelessness

hardly existed

here in the U.S.

sure

always a few

George in the Village

“sketch for a dollar”

near Smiler’s

Moondog around

Rockefeller Center

a poet

and always

the Bowery

now trendy

  1. 93-2 Marvin W. Schwartzfrom dust to dust

    kicked up and out
    from its own home

    dust
    fugitive
    tempest tossed

    seeking surcease
    from flight
    a happy landing

    a place
    unused to agitation
    to settle
    in peace

    to reside
    to form
    new attachments

    refuge

    welcome

93-3 Robert Roth

always some joker

not part
of the scheme.

Power,
frustrated,

turns
nasty.

p. 94-1 Samaris Ayala

whole beans

rattle

in a bag

but Latin coffee

from bodega

vacuum packed

like a brick

knocks you

in the head

awake

  1. 94-2 Ronna Wineberg

there is no trouble

in America

the land is large

its people

not pre-occupied

by urban stress

loving God’s

natural

order

they will

defend

it

no

joke
p. 95 Milo Shepherdson

an accounting

three days:

8   4   1

8

8   3       +1

clues

we

(who are not

you)

can only

guess

  1. 96 Anthony Thomas De La Puente

as she

listened

listen

as

she knew

you to be

be

open

to be

filled

the spirit

the listening

we share

lives

onward

  1. 97 Pat Koleser

because life

is possible

it wants

to be

splitting

the rock

to grow

by still

waters

all it needs

it has

the beauty

of its being

it offers

for free

  1. 98-1 Sohnya Sayres

managing

the lives

of others

that’s where

the money is

life force

extracted

discreetly

bestowing

honors

or not

wielding

the club

whatever

gets to job

done

  1. 98-2 Jefferson Guillaume

the name of the game

is who makes the rules

joining a force

you can’t control

makes you a tool

there goes your essence

but keeping that essence

a journey of change

beyond fixed ideas

of who you are

change is loss

but also choice

the game you can win

is change with respect

plenty of room for

what you must keep

you share it with others

and you take on

what they must keep too

honor the past

is the task of the future

what that means,

ours to discover

live and let live

a hard path

but true

  1. 98-3 Gene Brown

not Jews like us

what does it mean

to be a Jew?

here

in America

on the slippery

slope

towards

homogeneity

to live on

how separate?

how engaged?

how to hold

your ground?

Jackson Heights

Williamsburg

just a few miles

and centuries

apart

one family

two cultures

each

to the other

strange

who the better

carrier

of the message

through

the generations?

what is the law?

what is its spirit?

afraid

of each

other’s

questions

leading to

unacceptable

answers

each a danger

sharing

gut feeling:

it’s bad

for

the Jews

  1. 99 Ann Yarmal

and then

from our

entwined love

one stays

embodied in

another day

passion to let in

and express

compressed

but not lost

slowly painfully

gathering

anew

to receive

and

give light

  1. 100 Eleni Begetis Anastos

Terror shock

ground

gives way

clutch

for fix

beyond

grasp

held by

nothing

hard rush

a moment

prolonged.

And then

startled alert

sudden death

dream

a wake up call

to life.

Or else,

the thing

itself.

  1. 101 Jaycee Ray Greer

Not in the beginning,

but very close,

wild dogs

domesticated men.

Noticing their ferocity

and prowess,

but also certain deficits

in which dogs excelled,

like smell,

and the ability

to work together

as a pack,

Cooper’s

canine ancestors

came around the campfire

and made a deal.

Let’s team up in the hunt.

You can plot, and trade.

Rely on us to find, follow,

and kill.

And we’ll treat you like

Masters.

Men, having

their egos stroked,

readily complied.

Economic surplus

and hierarchy

followed naturally.

And, to this day,

slavish obedience,

the deal

of dogs

is what makes

Rule

possible.

  1. 102-1 Oliver Ogulnick

the class

will now walk

the class

will now write

the class

will now play

the class

will behave

as told

Play as

ordered

is not much

fun.

Which is why

they can’t order:

“the class

will now have fun”

and your mind

is still your own

  1. 102-2 Catherine Ednie

perfect mango

perfectly peeled

cut, served and

in mind’s

tongue,

tasted

before wielding

the knife

hacking away

at messy reality

  1. 103 Ros Lipps as told to Carol Jochnowitz

driven

by parents

needy for a

Star

to light

their way

imagining

her future

fulfilling

their own

disappointed

and hurt by

the child

who was

failing them,

thwarting

their dreams

dreams

for her own

good.

She

driven out

by impotent

rage

plotting,

escaping,

seeking asylum

in a free

new world

bold

young heroine

of her own novel

inspired, perhaps,

by immigrant tales

not long in the past.

And then

the end

freedom

failed

hauled back

to the life

she chose

to flee

her life

impregnated

by guilt and fear

still damned

more than

seventy

years later.

Strong Family Values.

collateral damage

  1. 105-1 Walter O. Beaton

skin

against

skin

kiss

  1. 105-2 Jack Robbins

a bald-faced lie

when

none-of-your-fucking-business

would have been enough

  1. 105-3 Marvin W. Schwartz

bravery

suicide

honored

with glory

parents

finally

proud

of their

son

  1. 106 Cynthia Harting

craft itself

subject

our nature

to create

dream

truth

fashioned

into form

expressed

as art


  1. 107 Heon Oh

simple our order

obey

without question

bearing great sacrifice

strengthening will

primary color tells

who is the enemy

red is the color

we’re sworn to destroy

we who are green

stand assured

of our victory

one day will come

no matter the cost

this is our time

hard life

and glorious

later remembered

best days

of our lives

  1. 108 Laura Libenloss
    fruit of love

    yours

    needs
    embracing

    fresh born

    cries
    to heed

    nourished
    with memories

    painful the joy

    strengthened
    resilient

    withstanding
    beside you

    supporting
    forthcoming

    your wisdom

    so sing it

    mourning’s
    blessings

    gift
    beyond
    time

  1. 109-1 George Snedeker

there is

no happy

endpoint

to be had

in the grip

of not having

reality

too thin

sucking

breath away

why wonder

you ask yourself

and yet

without

a point

breath still

insists

listen

a new kitten

in the house

making

trouble

  1. 109-2 Marvin W. Schwartz

black humor laughs

last

  1. 109-3 Laura Costas

rash to judgment

  1. 110-1 Ian Vollmer

reading your message

in And Then

she responded positively

  1. 110-2 Michael Szpakowski

this package is X rated

  1. 111 Pat Kranish

Seduced by

the senses

calling me

forward

unmoored

from my

berthing

I roam far

beyond

to bright worlds

unknown to me

richer

than

promises

bounty

unbounded

mine

for the taking.

Having

to have

reaching

to get.

Choices

attachments

holding

is rooting.

The price

never counted:

out of sight

out of mind.

Gone are

the sorrows

and joys

of the loving.

Possessed

by my quest

abandoned

alone

only

my longing

remembers

my losing.

Who could

have known

each moment

a choice?

This fable

repeating

in lives

through

the ages:

Misunderstanding.

the source

of regret.

Ours not

to blame

for the

pain

caused

and suffered.

To live with

and learn from

the most we can do.

  1. 112 Nívea Castro

thank you for living it

telling it vividly

courage contagious

encourages all

each has a path

a way to expose

the joy

from within

awaiting release

joy freed

becomes us

a gift

we must share

circles

embrace

as our lives

intertwine

  1. 115 Marcia Singer

end of the day

birds final call

soaring to catch

last of the light

fish in the dark

hidden from notice

fear abating

safely bathe

  1. 116 Carletta Joy Walker

imagic you

in your shoes

steps to do

no minding

out of sync

blues’ shoe

stops beat

in sinks

refrain

we

is all that

we be

times three

Inside Back Cover Marvin W. Schwartz

his horse

not young

resembles

the man

Back Cover Shelley Haven

in completion

corrugated

but unbroken

life textures

background

sustaining

all content

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