The People’s Doge of Venice – By Jim Smith
Hybrids – By Mary Getlein
Two Thousand to Twelve – By Ronald Keith McKinley
My Pain Is Never Borrowed – By Krista Schwimmer
You deserve to fight for you – By bETO at al
whole world eye – By Rex Butters
Homeless I? – By John Davis
Centurion’s Complaint – By John Haag
Roger Houston

The People’s Doge of Venice
By Jim Smith

It’s a long time since I seen John Haag
He was a sweet talking man
and a genuine hero
Saved a lot of poor people
down in Venice.

When they sent the bulldozers
to wipe out the canals
John said “Don’t worry,
it’s not gonna happen.”

Next morning, those dozers wouldn’t move
the trucks couldn’t start.
They had to tow them all away.
“What a pity,” said John.
Looks like we’re here to stay.”

John never raised his voice
never cussed anyone out
He knew he could talk pleasantly
when the people had his back.

John Haag was a Harvard man
Specialized in Italian Lit
Went to Italy and put it to use
Married a Roman beauty named Anna
They came to Venice, on the California coast

They took over Stuart’s coffee house
the Venice West Espresso Cafe
to let the bongos play and the poets read
from dusk to dawn.

When L.A. sent their bully boys to shut it down,
John stood his ground for peace and freedom.
That day he became the People’s Doge
of Venice reborn to fulfill Kinney’s dream
where life, not work, could reign supreme.

The Word became beauty incarnate
in the worn out bungalows and foggy brilliance
of our lonely slum by the sea,
and John Haag lives on in the summer breeze.


to compare yourself to an animal:
a wolf-hybrid
a recovering alcoholic
who was trained and condemned to a life
of pain:
The pain never goes away
you’re looked at as a monster!
so you drink & drink & drink
trying to drown out all the things
you had to do:
kill babies, kill mothers, kill families
kill the enemy
Five years later they are not our enemy
but everyone is dead, anyway
what they say is all lies
U.S. Army bullshit
takes young idealistic men
and turns them into monsters
who can’t sleep at night
PT SD all the way
new war cries burble out from their throats
like what happens when you cut someones throat
wolf-hybrids are shot & killed
don’t trust the mixing of wolf and dog
you can’t treat them like a dog
or a wolf:
an unpredictable killer-dog
listening to the genetic code battling itself
both sides want to kill
no rehab can wipe away the tears
of hybrid dogs or ex-soldiers.

– Mary Getlein

Two Thousand to Twelve
By Ronald Keith Mc Kinley

What does it take to feel
When are twelve more than two thousand
Bodies’ bodies everywhere
France for the French the world sees responds
Nigeria bleeds and all I hear is underinflated footballs
The Earth soaks up the pain and fear
Two Thousand dreams transcend
No suffering is less because of tribe and place
This music is so sad
To be calm and not of earth, how so
My skin is just my skin
How do I process this
What I taste is more than bile
Three hundred and sixty degrees back to apathy
I cannot live in anger or fear
The human condition seen and not loved
All my senses engaged create a kind of psychosis
Reality becomes less real
A covered wound will not heal
It will fester and rot fall away
While the odor of political positioning remains

My Pain Is Never Borrowed
by krista schwimmer

“My Pain is Never Borrowed”

states the white chalk scrawled on the street
as i round the alley onto Market and Main.

For years now, i have meditated

on that message, left by an unknown sage.
Yes, my pain, too, is never borrowed.

It is the pain of seeing that lone person

huddled under a blue tarp one December rainy day
outside the Trading Post Liquor Mart.

It is the pain of recalling my friend, Andrew,

whenever i walk out my back door and see the stairs

to his old haunts, renovated since his disappearance & suicide.

It is the pain of witnessing the fierce battle for land

here, in my own Venice, that casts asides those souls

who, like the Oxford Lagoon monarchs, only seek sanctuary.

Yes, I tell myself, my pain is never borrowed.
And neither is your pain. It is there, right now,
to gather and to hold tightly until you, too,

feel its queer blessing — until you, too, let it ignite

that inborn sun which illuminates a relentless truth
ready to hunt down the ruthless, the cruel, and the inane.

You deserve to fight for you
By bETO et al

Don’t forget to set your clocks
back, back 60 years.
in the grave with Martin
is filling with tears
Even with our doors locked
we’re living in fear.
accidentally discharged,
6 bullets in the chest,
even lady liberty’s gasping
“can’t find my breathe!”

Television people are
just lying clowns
Calling out the police
as they keep us down.

This is how we shoot back:
I hear our brother crying
“I can’t breathe”
our sisters crying
“I can’t breathe”
our fathers our sons crying
“I can’t breathe”
our mothers our daughter
“I can’t breathe”
we’re all being choked
“and we can’t breathe”
till all people are freed.

television People are
just lying clowns
calling out the police
as they keep us down.

We have d’right to be killed
please don’t shoot
Us-murdered by Policeman
please don’t shoot
When the laws break in,
please don’t shoot
will ya be lying on d’streets
crying please don’t shoot

I still hear my Brother crying “I can’t breathe”
so now I’m in the struggle and I can’t leave
we’re calling out the violence of racist Police
we aint gonna stop(clap, clap) till people are free (2x)

whole world eye

living jewel
life source orb
growing chi pulsation
electric magnetic kinetic
water protein mineral matrix
primordial stew that made you
energy ocean surfer, fer sure
you forgot Her
like this meat blood bone
came together on its own
while you were busy on the phone
instead of the sacred temporary loan
she makes us

we wander your surface
altering the crust
till it no longer supports us
changing your skin on a whim
arbitrary borders fences and boundaries
we picture you with bad tattoos
we’re ants with explosives
clumsily spilling corrosives
fracking hacking attacking
anything that moves
separate desperate tricked into
dancing to death grooves

your rich damp dark 
fragrant grainy squeezy through my fingers
she who is all we see
we feast on your radiance
lust after your luminescence 
absence of force connects us to the source
she gladly feeds us when
we ignore them that bleeds us
the cycle continues within us
and without us

– Rex Butters

Homeless I ?

The Sand is my Pillow,
The Sun is my Blanket,
The Moon is my Gaurdian,
The Earth is my Home,
I am not homeless

– John Davis

Centurion’s Complaint
By John Haag

I tell you Rome ain’t what it used to be
The town has gotten fat
The boys don’t want to fight
or want to fight for spoils
They’ve gotten sights on manor houses
& mansions by the sea
We don’t know what we fight for anymore
Time was the farmers fought for their own farms
Now its noble slaves we keep down by arms
and lucky if we eat outside the core
We’ve planted the wide world with Roman graves
and still plow on
but can you tell me why the lordlings dance and banquet
while we die
The Jewish cult that claims even the slaves have souls
is being ground
and no surprise
You push a guy too far and he gets wise

05:50 Thursday, January 29th, 2015, Adullam ….. Got up too early. Tried to lie
back down. My troubled soul would not let me disown. I’m worried for the world.
Disintegrate. Can sense the misery. I contemplate. The end game of the nations.
Drawing near. If anyone has ears. Then let them hear. The peace that we’ve been
promised. Won’t arrive. Except to individuals. Who live. To find it on their
doorstep. So prepare. To measure out some peace. Not to declare. It on your
income tax. The Fed or State. This peace. Referred. An item on a plate? Not
something one can barter or to pawn. It’s earned the day one learns to stand
alone ….. Roger Houston, post-beat romantic

That was one bad and
buggy place, Snorky.
Cockroaches all over
the house and into
Kid, what would you
do if just after the
first fine mouthful of
morning coffee, you
realized that you had
swallowed a half –
grown roach?
I’ll tell you what I did.
It wasn’t easy, but I
convinced myself that
I had swallowed not a
cockroach but a small
brown moth. That
idea I could live with.
I haven’t always lived
in splendor, as I do
now at the Ellison,
Snorky, but I have
always been master
of my mind.
– John Thomas

Categories: Poetry

Leave a Reply