Thursday, November 08, 2012

Traces of Halloween and other This's 'n That's...

frank andrick 
—Photo by Annie Menebroker, Sacramento

—Tom Goff, Carmichael

No asking now for your birth certificate.
Their stupid mouths are shut for good on the question,
Was Islam your religion in Indonesia?
First African-American elected president,
then reaffirmed in his high place four years after.
Yet by what mapless road, what twinnings and unspoolings
of origin, racehold, fate, did you even get here?
Regardless, we beg of you: Goad us, provoke us to nail
the glaciers in place, stomp seawaters down to their level.
Just a few such impossibilities for us together!
When—if—we survive our inborn mindlessness,
will our grandchildren trace back their freedom and self-respect
to our one grain of good sense, trusting you once more?


—Michael Cluff, Corona

Traces of couplet humor
are not remaining DNA solid
the water shatters bonds
ions have worked too long
to sequentialize and maintain
and puns are soggitized
beyond a reference
that bonding
will not condone
to take a route from
tongue-twisting to
vocal vasectomies.


—Michael Cluff

Mr. Hardy was suspended
right on the dot
of the moment
it was decided
the white powder
on his pure black suit sleeve
was more-than-likely
something illegal and not tolerated
at his high school
in somewhere suburbia.
Vice Principal Deidre Munroy
had caught him sniffling
more often than usual
for her taste
and lately, Lawrence Abbott,
the school nurse,
had seen him stumbling
when there was no thing
that should be blocking
his way.
For five days
Mr. Terry
remained Hardy
that a baby's rash
and old-school talcum
applied with a half-blurry eye
would be discovered
and win him
back his days.
He now works
in a better-
than-ever place
than he used to.


—Michael Cluff

Mrs. Munroy
would outline
during numbing shifts
in her busy school day
the edges of the photo
she kept of Cameron
on her vice principal's desk
when he was pure of face
and acceptable intent.
Saul the janitor
had found him
in the bathroom
several days after
the summer vacation began
and sanitation became
more of a driving force
on that date
in all the high school's mind.
she was only clean at her office
and areas common to all
at home
dust, regret
and embittered remains
of pomegranates and pumpkins
and placebos
overran the place.

Eva and Mikey West (Evan Myquest)
—Photo by Annie Menebroker

—B.Z. Niditch, Brookline, MA

In 1966 Maui
on a hot island night
watching Mishima's
new film,
Rite of Love and Death
you made up
that you made out
with another guy
from another island
with tight jeans
who taught you Japanese
under the green lanterns
in the Calla lily garden,
your books piled up
like our egos
on the table of contents
by the sake
which spilled your secret.


—B.Z. Niditch

Drowning in
the monotony
of defrosting air
exhausted from cold
even before
wool stockings
take over your flesh
compressing varicose veins
caretaking your
upside-down outlook
in the barefooted night.


Today's LittleNip:

—B.Z. Niditch

Beside us
no one else
hears you
are growing deaf,
I offer to be
your ear
of escaping words,
you refuse
a hearing aid
I am no longer there
but always there
for you.


—Medusa, with thanks to today's chefs! Annie Menebroker's photos were taken at Poetry Unplugged's Halloween Party last Thursday night, November 1. See Medusa's Facebook page for an album of photos from that night provided by Michelle Kunert and Evan Myquest: Halloween Plus One at Luna's.

 Annie Menebroker and her son, 
Doc Velocity