Roger Houston
I Too Bled – Ronald Keith Mc Kinley
I Can’t Breathe – Majid Naficy
Blooms, Blossoms, and Blessings – Tina Catalina Corcoran
Alan Rodman
At the Laundromat Off Main & Market, Venice, 1999 – Krista Schwimmer
Diane – Mary Getlein
A Sunset with Mary, Patty & Greta – Marty Liboff
Philosopher for Hire – Levi Giafaglione
Roger Houston
22:22 Tuesday, November 25th, 2014, Adullam ….. Jim Crow’s alive and well. In
Ferguson. And just when you were thinking he was gone. Oh, no. In fact. He’s
very much alive. And not in any mood to shuck and jive. Jim Crow’s a bit upset.
And rightly so. He’s tethered to the system. Don’tcha know? Jim Crow’s been
dogged around a bit too much. Give it some gas. And let up off the clutch. Jim
Crow has let the rage ignite. To show. Disdain for being forced to more Jim
Crow. He’s not in any mood to shuck and jive. Oh, no. In fact. Got one foot in
the grave. He’s come for Darren Wilson. Whereupon. Jim Crow unleashes hell. In
Ferguson ….. Roger Houston, the ghost of Christmas Past
I Too Bled
By Ronald Keith Mc Kinley

Checked by law and ignorance
Held down by the Dow
My soul can’t soar
My ancestors scream through my blood
Words are not enough
I have ideals
What are they to a gun
In an unenlightened hand
I cry
Am angered
Because I only cried
Worse than dying
Is not living
Fear binds my intellect
Molds me for the next assault
The incursion into my actuality
Pigmentation predicament
Lynched by nine-millimeter
I too bled America
My talent used
My body vilified
I Can’t Breathe
By Majid Naficy

In Memory of Eric Garner

“I can’t breathe!
I can’t breathe!”
What a painful statement!
For the first time
I heard it from my own tongue.
I jumped from my asleep in panic
And ran toward my dad’s bedroom
He put my head
On his chest,
Caressed my face
And said: “Majid!
Be calm!
Be calm.”

Today I hear that statement
From the tongue of a black man on YouTube
Who is being choked
Held by a white policeman.
No one puts the black man’s head
On his chest,
Caresses his face
And says: “Eric!
Be calm
Be calm.”

Hundred years of slavery,
Hundred years of brutality
Press on the black man’s throat
And do not let White America
Hear his voice:
“I can’t breathe!
I can’t breathe!”
Blooms, Blossoms, and Blessings

I will Bloom – Where I, am planted!
I will Bloom – Where I, am found.
I will Bloom – WHEREVER I’m wanted –
I will Blossom, and Fall – to the ground.
I will Fall, and Rise – Like the Phoenix!
I will Fall, on my knees – and pray.
I will Fall asleep counting my Blessings –
I will wake, and Be Blessed – By the day!
I am Blessed, with my Life and my Pleasures!
I am Blessed FAR MORE than I can know.
I am Blessed – With Infinite Treasures –
My Blessings – that go, where I go…
My Blossoms – that blow, where they blow…
And My Blooms – that grow, where they grow…

With Love,
TIna Catalina Corcoran
She hears birds
blesses a world with
her feet
he listens to news
curses greed blood
conquests his fist
a perfect conjunction
without him she would
be head in the clouds –
without her his feet
would sink in the soil.

– Alan Rodman
At the Laundromat Off Main & Market,
Venice, 1999
by krista schwimmer

It’s funny
what you hear
in public laundromats.

One time in particular
it was just me, the silent hindu
laundry attendant &
a family of three –
grandma, mom & her daughter.
i was sorting my socks
on the beat-up table there, praying
they would all be there.
The little 4 year old
started wailing hard, stopping all of us
simultaneously in mid-fold.
Mom squatted down & asked her
“what’s wrong?”
The little girl yelled that
she wanted the sun to come back
(it was twilight then even
inside the laundromat.)
& the mother & the grandmother
& the silent hindu tried hard
to convince the girl that
of course, the sun was there
of course, the sun would return
the sun had not left forever.
But the little girl kept shaking and sobbing on.

Cursing silently myself over
a single missing sock, i bagged my clothes
to walk the one block home.
i left the laundromat thinking
this small being
amidst laundry, detergent, and coin machines
was already contemplating the cosmos
already crying about
something that truly could matter.

Frankly, i empathized
with the little girl’s position.
Diane –

i didn’t believe you were gone

were really gone

i thought you would be back on the next wave
you waved your hands and laughed

and clapped your hands

and skipped on down to the wading pool

we sang together

and our voices melted in the air

and I was you

and you were me

and we were we

we were happy singers – singing in the sun

we were sisters, always

always happy to see you

didn’t have to see you every day

i would disappear on a regular basis

but i would always come back

for the rhythm and the shake

shake your booty, baby

you were dancing and got me to dance too

and saw the child inside the woman

a child who made sure to stay on the outside

a quick and easy “get away”

The last days on the beach

there were so many birds –
flocks and flocks of seagulls and pigeons

They were your babies –

They are already calling you a living saint,
Diane how you would laugh at that

you are all around me

i will dance with you

all the days left me

i will dance with you
ou are my angel-child

i will dance with you

i will dance with you

i will dance with you

– love, Mary
A Sunset with Mary, Patty & Greta
By Marty Liboff

Sunset in Venice
we’re blessed.
Beaming down your power & love
sunshine and warmth from above.
Angels painting the sky
while birds fly by.
Rainbow of colors, yellow, orange, purple, red
another day till we’re dead.
Another beautiful day done
another wonderful day till we’re gone.
Everyday the sun moves a little north
then turns around & goes south.
Our sun smiles & shines different everyday
whether its sunny, cloudy or gray.
Cotton candy clouds in pink & blue
holding my honey so true.
Seagulls & pelicans flyin’ home
a long day’s journey they roam.
Over the sea they fly
knowing some of us will soon die.
Down falls the sun into the sea
a blessing to be free.
The waters extinguish the light
what an amazing sight.
Without the gleaming jewel
the air gets cool.
The darkness slowly creeps over our city
another day gone, what a pity.
Far across the sea
the sun rises to grow a rose & a tree.
Mother Earth turns her face to kiss Helios
to the moon & stars we say adios.
The morning sun awakens the Ocean Front Walk
People begin to hawk & talk.
A new day is here
put away yesterday’s pain & fear.
New dreams with a new sun
a bright beautiful ray of hope & fun.
Birds sing their thanks for morning
let’s give thanks with dancing & singing.
All we are is sunshine & love
a gift & blessing from above…

How foolish one should be
That he go to school
Only to study Philosophy
As if to learn a rule

Only to work
To pay off the loans
Homeless he lurks
Down to the bone

“Philosopher for hire”
He analyzes to death
At night he tires
With nothing left

~Levi Giafaglione
21:12 Sunday, November 23rd, 2014, Adullam ….. A distant siren wails. Dogs are
for hire. And so. A canine chorus does inspire. Tonight’s thoughts turn to
Venice Beach. And love. Ante gentrification. I think of. Developers and money.
Funneled in. The last remaining artisans begin. To taste the bitter exile that
I’ve known. For three years now. A residential zone. Re-drawn. For building
condos. It’s a sin. But real estate takes precedence again. Big money does the
howling. Soon to prove. That it has the last word. Soon it will shove. The last
embers of Bohemia’s fire. Into a dust bin. Light a funeral pyre ….. Roger
Houston, post-beat romantic

Categories: Poetry