Friday, July 04, 2014

July 4th

Port Sanilac, Michigan Marina Flag
—Photo by Katy Brown, Davis

—B.Z. Niditch, Brookline, MA

It's July Fourth
if only for today,
we live for independence
in our poet's underground
filled up with cool poets
giving a first reading
from their own silences
uprooted for summer
by blinding light breaths
on native American blankets
outside the waves
of the ocean
in trembling sounds
with sparkling small words
in profiles at laptop dawns
giving way to sunshine
blazing out on window blinds
on mirrors of luminous times,
as bluebirds circle
over faded pines
covering tall grasslands
in newly radiant fields
of green tumbleweed,
we compose elegies by light
from upturned lamps
even at midnight prisms,
we trace our creative steps
as a traffic of images in town
exchanging with nature
its secret exposures
as experimental or Beat
in a poetry slam
through hypnotic insights
inside unseen phrases
await their debut
and I'm one of the judges.


—B.Z. Niditch

Running away
on July the Fourth
in a monster marathon
on my own red lines
miles yet to go
hearing the young
with unexpected invectives
at my weather-beaten body
already dissolved
in sweat and years
of races now trembling
like the dunes ahead of me
on this weighty competition
as the sunflowered wind
rises off the ocean
hoping to match
my own former speed
on the tall grass
already wet with dew
on this reclusive jog
at an open Bay crossroad
until large showers fool me
in its reckless breezes
as earth-wise leaves
and early acorns
fall on common ground.


—B.Z. Niditch

‪We need to have freedom‬
on long summer days
watching the waves
from on Bay
bathing on inner tubes
in rough sprawling surf
making castles on sand
which vanish by sunshine
as the tide moves in,
we suddenly think
how we can have peace
as we watch parades
we open up our shades
and click on our cameras
or splash our initials
on our backyard lemon tree
by our balcony verandas,
what reverie to celebrate
by going with our family
for a picnic by the zoo
to see the bears or pandas,
as we take color pictures
to retain a poet's memory
of a transparent spirit
in our country.


Today's LittleNip:

—Donal Mahoney, Chicago

All that hair
trapped in a braid 
silver to the waist
Opal this morning
nude in the mirror
brings the braid up
between her breasts
and around her neck,
a python of her creation

that she promised Elmer
she would cut off
for a pixie hairdo
like Audrey Hepburn
if he would take her
on the Fourth of July  
to the Senior Dance,
something Wilbur
would always do

if she wore high heels
and that red dress
and those black
nylons he found
with the seams
like the ones she wore
the day he came home
all crew cut and cowlicks
from Korea.


—Medusa, with thanks to today's contributors for their July 4th poems, and with apologies to Todd Cirillo, one of whose poems had its last three lines inadvertently cut off by me yesterday. Here's the complete poem:

—Todd Cirillo, New Orleans

         for Bill Gainer

Sitting at the bar
I think of you
while listening
to Bob Dylan,
not the, Like a Rolling Stone
or Tangled Up in Blue Dylan
but later, current Dylan—
voice like three packs of cigarettes,
sandpaper and rotten whiskey.
The Dylan that is hard to understand
but can still write lines
like a motherfucker
when you listen closely.

I ordered three fingers
of Bourbon
even though
I don’t drink Bourbon,
but I know you did
on those dark and tense neon nights
of years ago
when you too spoke loud
and clear.

I drank the Bourbon slowly,
looked around at the girls,
paying particular attention
to their shoes
which you like so well.
Dylan sang,
the whiskey burned hard and fast,
the heels were high,
the dresses short
and I thought this might be a long way
of saying
that even though
the times went a-changing,
I think of you
and your voice,
loud and clear
and that you too
still write lines
like a motherfucker.

Michigan: Lake Huron House on the 4th
—Photo by Katy Brown