• Discovering the Presence of Beauty – John Macker
  •  IOU, All – –Tina Catalina Corcoran
  • Things I Wished I Had Said At The Talking Stick –     Mary Getlein
  • making love – –Harry E. Northup
  • Spirit of Venice – Jim Smith
  • The Fall of Troy ( for Troy Davis) – Mark Lipman
  • Hip Replacement  – Tim Weil
Discovering the Presence of Beauty (for the Temple of Man)
Tony Scibella greeted me the other night
on the dawn threshold of a dream,
Said: How’s that poetry thing working out
For you? I was high
over Taos and told him everything
was fine, fine, that I’ve known Her for over
30 years and I still get all tongue tied
in Her presence, my 
heart races
my feet swell, I’m
docile and feverish, both, my
mind becomes a circular firing squad
of Catholic boyhood images.
At times, cold sober, I
feel like the most stoned Western
ever filmed—
I asked him what he was doing, he
said just smoking, dreaming, walking
the beach, I go to Hollywood Park
and win everyday.
I asked him: Tony, are you and Stuart myths?
He said, I don’t know about him,
But I am and I know why I am where
I’m at, at
Any given moment.
I told him I thought
Stuart Perkoff had an assortment of mini-
gods running through his veins, that
his human love stories could never compete
with his romance with the Muse,
Our Lady of Venice, spirit-sister of
born tricksters/
Lover to human poets.
I said I’m always getting turned
on: by
a meteor shower high over the Pecos River,
the elongated summer of September, with
its dry soaring highs and star power nights
where the Milky Way looks like
grace on black velvet,
by the Kid in America sipping
brandy coffee outside the Suicide Room,
by hearing Alphabet mouths
speak Love is the Silence in
dreams of
autumn waves on pale
dawn beaches.
By Frankie’s center ring–
Scibella said it best:
For it is a mad quest
This poet gig
Ridiculous if you choose it
Doomed if you don’t
It chose me, Tony, and you
helped lead me through the mindfield of self-
deception and broken blossoms
of prayer and promise until we 
uncovered beauty
on this landscape of sighs—
and she sang like Aretha Franklin.
Emoted like Brando.
Was as silent as John Cage.
Cursed like an Irish Priest.
Exploded into the existential border
mayhem of 
bad whisky Peckinpah,
her guns of September cradled
in the revolutionary doomed passions
of Zapata;
she did the bars in the badlands
with Venus,
she flowed out of Miles’ horn like
a death row butterfly,
and in the end, beauty,
was as elusive and mythic as
Zapata’s white horse.
That’s why we craved her. That’s
How she revealed herself 
To us.
Jimmy, Frankie, Tony, Stuart, John, Philomene,
S.A., David, Larry, Ed and everyone who taught
me that beauty is 
always more than dream deep.
–John Macker

IOU, All

I am One, Lucky Lady
And, I owe it ALL to YOU!
When – I didn’t know what to do.
So – From One Lucky Lady
Please accept my I O U
You picked me up when I was down
Just – By being YOU!
You are my FANTASY
You’re my SYMPHONY
So – From One Lucky Lady
Please accept my I O U
And, if your “Lady Luck” runs out
Here, I am, for YOU!
–Tina Catalina Corcoran

Things I Wished I Had Said At The Talking Stick

By Mary Getlein

For all the women that came before us
and became artists –
which was not allowed –
Nothing was allowed –
Actresses, prostitutes, mail-order brides, singers –
all the women who dressed like men –
all the women who became myths –
who had snakes in their hair
who were goddesses of death, of birth,
(snakes snakes snakes – snakes contain wisdom)
all the women who could talk to animals
and understand …
all the women who wrote poetry
that no one ever saw
(like Emily Dickenson! 1775 poems!)
until they died
all the artists who never sold a single painting
until they were discovered
years and years after they died
all that creativity –
LOCKED UP in a mental hospital
LOCKED UP behind the meds
Oh-my-god-she thinks she’s
an artist?, an actress?, a poet?, a painter?
does she think she is?
Well, she’s herself, you idiot!
And who the hell are you –
get a grip on your Oprah-watching self!
Everyone gets a chance to re-tell her story
you can go back and start over and say:
Oh, yeah, poverty? Is that all?
I’ve been poor my whole life – is that all?
Fuck, as long as I can get my hands on
some paint, what the hell do I care?
I’ve invited myself to my own table.
I’m going to sit at the “Welcome Table”
and I’m going to drink with all my ancestors!

making love

i sat on a bench
faced the sun setting
shielded my eyes
3 couples sat nearby
2 surfers walked
from the water’s edge
never looked back
1 surfer emerged
stood his board up
next to him
watched the sun go down
8:05 p.m.
you could feel the heat go
before the sun
was entirely gone
i walked past the showers
the bongo player was gone
–Harry E. Northup


Spirit of Venice

By Jim Smith

The Spirit of Venice is NOT
an army of occupation
brutalizing the poor
and homeless.
The Spirit of Venice is NOT
hate spewing out 
of the internet
like waste water.
The Spirit of Venice is NOT
the slick, the sly,
and the corrupt
just thinking of making a buck.
The Spirit of Venice cannot be bought,
cannot be awarded,
cannot be owned.
The Spirit of Venice is NOT for sale.
The Spirit of Venice is breaking
the chains and flying free
like the gulls, the crows,
and yes, the little pigeons, too.
The Spirit of Venice is a Black man
and a white man, Irving and Abbot,
walking through a swamp
and dreaming it into a city.
The Spirit of Venice is all of us
becoming smarter, kinder,
and more loving,
day by day.
The Spirit of Venice is learning
the language of the sea
and the slow rhythm
of our world of sand and surf.
The Spirit of Venice is alive in
our musicians, our poets, 
our artists and rebels,
and all who live by l’esprit. 


The Fall of Troy

  for Troy Davis

By Mark Lipman

They followed a man who would later sacrifice his entire crew, so that he alone could return home safely.  Still, they volunteered willingly, blinded by their own bloodlust for victory.  In, they crammed their battle worn bodies, full of musk and blade, into those hollow crevices, those muscular niches of fallen timber that would fool every eye, but Cassandra’s.

Heaving, their unexpected victims pulled on the ropes of their doom, joyously dragging that dead horse through the gates, to the very doorstep of their homes, where their wives and children slept.  This would be the last time their brows would feel the tender kiss goodnight.

A sacrifice must be made of innocent blood to temper a king’s rage.  For all kings and politicians assert the right of divinity as their own, the power over life and death.  With fixed concentration, the executioner glides his sharpening stone over the cutting edge, readying the assault of their governing authority.

At the stroke of midnight, while all are fast asleep, they pull the levers, unhitching the trap doors of insanity, making a nightmare of our dreams, hacking away at the black flesh of night, silencing our screams with the noble fist of their self-righteousness.

Sound the alarm!  Alas too late.  Troy is burning.  Bound in chains, crushed and defeated, hung in the public square, the echo of injustice is deafening.


Hip Replacement 

Swami X has left the Beachhead
Has he left the public dais
from the park bench heights
where he was discoursed,
admonished and exhorted
to his fool’s court crowd,
the Venizens of the Beach?
Swami X needs a hip replacement?


Lord Buckley, Lenny Bruce,
Mort Sahl, Bill Cosby,
Richard Pryor (The Town Crier)
Milton Berle (thief of bad gags)
Jonathan Winters (Maude Fricket),
Henny Youngman, Jackie Mason, 
Borscht Belt Barkers
George Carlin and The Florida Marlins
All need a hip replacement!
On walkers, on soap box,
on sidewalks, on streets,
help Swami X get back on
his feet!
We Venizens of the Beach
don’t want a hip replacement
You Dig?
-Tim Weil

Categories: Poetry

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