Commentary seems superfluous here: 3 poems + a call for submissions from a possibly unexpected source. Consider though social protest in oral tradition ~ ballads, songs, oral and print poetry. Slam poetry, samizdat, broadsheets, Shelley's Mask of Anarchy (which became the anthem of the British Labor Party). Brecht, anonymous romances (ballads) from the Spanish Civil War and after.
December 3 -5, 2010The Long Unemployed
by FRANK FORDare pressed to become messiahsFriends and relatives gain cupboards
for ordinary soap or the like.
groaning with the crap. Hey it's all
disguised charity. Better straightforward
thirties with rent parties where players
threw a buck or two in a hat
and proceeded to drink a bathtub
of gin and lose a spouse and gain
another's for the nonce. In screaming
over the roar, some excoriated Capitalism, but
the gin made the vile monster not worth spit.
Frank Ford lives in Cocoa Beach and witnesses space-bound rockets from his
front window. He feels that one day we'll reach aliens, and shoot or bribe them--more of such nonsense can be glimpsed at http://motleycrisp.blogspot.com/
A Plurality of Worlds
by LEO YANKEVICHIntensities of pain—The scientific gain
of those once persecuted
and those once executed.
belongs to us, but who knows
of Giordano Bruno’s
suffering on the square,
tongue-tied on cobble stone,
as he met fire alone?
Around him everywhere:
wine spilt amid the jeering,
grimaces and cheering,
squeals from a paederast,
smiles from thieving hawkers,
bishops, whores, and gawkers.
—“Into the Tiber, cast
his ashes!” —could be heard,
“for every wicked word.”
Leo Yankevich’s poems have recently appeared in Blue Unicorn, Chronicles,The Flea, and Trinacria. He has lived in Poland since the mid 1980s.
Crossing the River in the Wrong Direction
by CHARLES ORLOSKIGround along the Delaware River,
moss stones, Addie Bundren bones,
a likable old leap frog,
and a string tied to a maple tree branch .
My feet, blistered and sore,
I heard British cannonball whistle,
and removed my wool socks.
Fate, it was war – interrogation,
search-time before boarding.
Beneath a gray candle, a frozen willow,
I answered corkscrew questions
about the Tea Party, the Boston Massacre,
“do you own Crown property?”No, no, Admiral Sacajawea.
I own only lakefront property in Orleans,
hold stock in the English Channel Tomorrow Tunnel,
support Blairite marketization,
and Catholicism's Just War Theory.
Yes, yes, Admiral –
just war, “all we need is just war,”
and I trade in fur and GMC troikas.And Sacajawea gave me that Inquisition look,
And how many boats have I missed?Stamped “T.S.A. Unfit for Waterway Travel”--
it was that flintlock Hershey chocolate-bomb
stuffed in my back-pocket that did me in. .
I watched USS George Washington sail across
the Delaware's swirling waves,
and shined a Gatsby light upon him.
A spectator, I yielded,
yelled, “to the left, to the right!”
And I returned to the dragoon Bushes,
cared not about that old indentured frog,
leaping behind me, denouncing me,
following my chickenshit retreat.
It knew I could not bear the paddling anyway.
Charles Orloski lives in Taylor, Pennsylvania. He claims that in order to properly understand his works, one must know the password, possess secret identification. He can be reached and broken-down at CCDJOrlov@aol.com.
Editorial Note: (Please Read Closely Before Submitting)
To submit to Poets’ Basement, send an e-mail to CounterPunch’s poetry editor, Marc Beaudin at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, the titles being submitted, and your website url or e-mail address (if you’d like this to appear with your work). Also indicate whether or not your poems have been previously published and where. Attach up to 5 poems and a short bio, written in 3rd person, as a single Word Document (.doc or .rtf attachments only; no .docx). Expect a response within one month (occasionally longer during periods of heavy submissions).Poems accepted for online publication will be considered for possible inclusion of an upcoming print anthology. Please submit your poetry by Tuesday in order to be considered for the CounterPunch Weekend Edition of the Poets’ Basement. The Weekend Edition will now run on Fridays instead of Saturdays.Marc does not archive poetry nor biographical sketches. (At the very least, tell us where you are from and how you can be reached through CP’s Poets’ Basement). For more details, tips and suggestions, visit CrowVoiceJournal.blogspot.com and check the links on the top right. Thanks!