Thursday, June 18, 2015

On Thursday

—Poems by B.Z. Niditch, Brookline, MA
—Photos/Artwork by Keely S. Dorran, Sacramento, CA


The laundry done
under intervals
of turn-around washes
and now drying in the sun
near the tall dune grass
by tuft and cluster
with all the energy
we can muster
in this June mound
shining spoils
of cloth and clothes
in socks and hose
up to my knees
by a vast dawn of light
from scant clouds passing
in a luminous yellow
wondering if after this winter
in hibernation
we are deserving
of a bright chirping laughter
as a cardinal hovers nearby
covering an Evergreen branch
hearing a mother sing
a Spanish lullaby
by a wishing well
to her baby daughter,
the crickets sing a miracle tune
in never-ending perfect harmonies
taking water from the springs
drinking in the blue lake
by the waking morning
of two mourning doves
shouting about the dunes
near neon butterflies
a fellow bard motions to me
by his churchyard fence
of his corner ranch
tells me that a bee
from his hive
might sting him
on his pitching arm
if he can't pay the rent
offers to play cards
from his own solitaire
and recites to me
on a deeply flowered bench
French verses of Baudelaire.


Fly fishing with Carlos
and Juanita off shore
who hail from Buenos Aires
after a stroll by the blue hills
and a swim in the ocean
trying to have patience
doing exercise motions
with amphibian gills.



Passer-by my city
a Beat poet with gentle proofs
welcomes you with a candle
returning to my past
half ghost voices going higher up
to his apartment for a reading
while resting in forgiveness
here beside a rock garden wall
near a sandlot playground
where the hounded
throw stones at the wounded
the night watchman arrives
on the fire escape
who barely catches sleep
in the deepest part of Babylon
where there are no hours
to stop the lights
between the taxi screens
and screams of cab calls
hailing its daily emergencies
near this poet's old hangout
in his adolescent years
outside a dance floor
as voyagers play jazz
on faceless Sixties nights
over the Brooklyn Bridge
quoting Ginsberg and Crane
on wisteria street walls
filled with young graffiti
as a Gothic young Edgar Poe
dressed up at carnival time
in black clogs
jogs by though the shadows
who refuses to pardon his past
putting his tongue out
as Oz's scarecrow
insists he is a futurist
as a breathless witness
of a world of art now gone
by summoning memory
which leaves you hungry
feeling in temporary distress
and powerless,
suddenly the big media sends
drones above us
eyeing a five-star actor
once in TV soap operas
who signs off
on his former contract
suddenly appears
for an outside audition
in a summer playhouse
of Shakespeare in the park
wishing for bravos
and autographs from a chorus
in radiant darkness on stones
like a loner Odysseus
returning home
having been in exiled perdition
after sailing the seas
now hearing an oboe wind
reciting life verses of Homer
about the human condition
awaiting his lover
and wife Penelope.


Within reach
on the water
we run along the beach
as the sun watches
the lovers under wraps
take cover and relax
from tourist traps
composing an entertainment
on my sax
as it starts to gently
then pours out
in the vaporous air
over our rain wear.



Life changes
as a worm and stork
head for New York
in the rain and snow
washing out our drains
in the Big Apple,
day after day while sailing
on the South Seas
Melville after whaling
fishes for wisdom
ipso facto in a hymn
to freedom,
a stand up comedian
realizing we the spoken
hear the June bug crowd
ripping with laughter
all the way to Hoboken
like feathers from waters
then watches
the feeding of the birds
near St. Francis chapel
by Brooklyn's graffiti walls
and gently with a surname
enters a French bakery
where saint Henry James
lives on by Washington Square,
the poet- comedian buys
a spinach croissant from a tray
catches a dripping hot latte
in a drenched cup and saucer
says a prayer under his breath
buckling under his knees
asking the angel Michael
that he make the right choice
by not taking a wrong turn
or going the other way
in the dead-end alley by the bay,
he wishes to visit an art arcade
with the exhibition's consultant
and a friend of his great aunt
Gertrude, full of Kultur
with her incongruent confidence
in her nephew
with inconsistent excuses
of his own critical indebtedness
to her back home in California,
her furniture always dressed
in Dutch laced doilies
who once taught
the Fifties expressionists
here on a park bench,
her nephew announces
"I'm here with her permission
filled with potential"
now a young poet
with existential nerves
like Hamlet
with adolescent inhibitions
in drawing lots with many coats
of multiple colors
covers the sunlight galleries
with his picture verses
and turning his life around
in creating a portrait of Gertrude
and her daughter on a napkin,
it's not enough to be merely good
in this artsy neighborhood
here after so many years spent
by Babylon's twin towers
now with the high buildings' rent
cannot hide any original spin
in any tree of life metaphor
as pastor James the lay minister
gives love to his neighbors
by the laying on of hands
from knuckles of his skin
once this morning
in a work-out at the gym
he trying to assure the congregation
as a priest returning from war
for he is a repentant chaplain
among the night sweepers
views the grim reaper
no longer as a stranger
at the lottery counters
giving out surplus food
to the multitude
meeting the former prisoner
and Santa Barbara gambler,
Tim, once a fresh captive
of Vegas's loser hell
in every show-and-tell
as in a wide screen personnel
who still hides out
but now arrives at church
to ring the bells
he returns the lector's pages
in a Latin-singing hymnal
Tim, once a former prize fighter
and champion of the flesh
as wrestler of his fate
once with carnal censorship
always passing on his plate
who now worships
in a new relationship
by the manger's baby creche.


Shuffling a pack of cards
for solitaire
under the rolling sea shore
flowing near wild flowers
and olive trees
at morning's high tide
the sun on our backs
and thunder away on the hills
childhood memories
return to me as a Beat
wrapped in June sand
along tall grass dunes
the hours sinking in words
shadowing my veins
from an inkwell of verses
as unruly waves overpower
washing the Indian blanket
near groves at my feet
the red winged bird sings
and drinks
by those taking to the waters
planting me by tendrils
that curl about a girl's hair
as was the actor Delores
who sang in the chorus,
as my past leans on life
corner me as the waves
thinking of so many things
that a poet saves
in his memory
my early plays in laughter
and stand-up comedy
written in a fury of youth
in curious histories
of my friends in the rafters
and rival enemy critics
trying to be fair
kindled by the summer breeze
when the day wakes here
on the open-air original theater
aware of tragedy
after the troubling war
scouring along the boulevards
with my urban acting troupes
composing and performing
in a new time
of breakdancing in mime
and in the now suburban outback
reciting the protruding phrases
of the troubadour author Villon
with the fervor of Baudelaire.

June 6, 1944

In the Normandy trenches
and back benches
of parliament and House
there is an uneasy quiet
of a mouse that roars
in a mighty war
for Europe needs hope
and in 1944 to be free.



Watching a T.V.
with the memory
of sitting on a monkey
bar stool rocking on a roll
in a five-star hotel
somewhere in Manhattan
not knowing who you are
like the British poet Pope
here after the '80's Roxy spell
my knees are shaking
down by my feet
Hell, feeling like a fool
a Beat with his heart breaking
here after school
can't you tell how we survive
waiting without hope
or life taking its toll
eyeing a celebrity
of sorts so we can tell now
there is Christine
still alive
speaking English out of school
knitting a sweater
or writing a dear John
or Saint Joan or Jane letter
about her self-esteem
who should know better
of requesting a cash loan
while putting the cream
or milk in her coffee cup
along with her make-up,
going back in her memory lane
once palpitating in the corner
hiding out in her living room
feeling the pain and gloom
without much composure
of the world's disdain
once at seven dressed up
crashing at midnight
in her mother's Dutch hose
and patent leather shoes
putting on her perfume
of heavenly ambrosia
her henna hair up in a net
in interest of full disclosure
knowing she will always
be more than a headline
for a publicity jester
to nickel and dime her
for public exposure
in the Daily Times'
society register,
she wishing everything smaller
taking off her stiff collar
of her snow white suit
to put her hand on a guy
perhaps an athletic fellow
like Bruce Jenner
(now a woman called Caitlyn)
after watching eye-to-eye
the Olympic decathlon
wants to pick a winner in sports
and measure a Marathon's span
on a muscular man of sorts
as the T.V. spins
from the high alabaster table
her picture on the screen
knowing she is different
when searching for a gent
not wanting his cash
on the dollar
yet not able to pay the rent
but lets him makes her
a trust fund good offer
for an x-rated tryst,
with what credentials she prefers
in her own master bedroom plan
to be sent or represent her,
others outed her
outdated passport
he insists to surrender
in a former affidavit
she initially supported
and proposed a writ
on her understated gender
in her well-courted transition
that awaited for her,
here a young poet
offers her a Lisbon rose,
for it's not the dress of clothes
or length of hair
that make you a woman
or words that make a writer
merely aware in his metaphor,
nor strength that makes a fighter,
yet Chris cannot be indifferent
for her being different
or cast you as an actor or actress,
does prayer make you a lector
of the saints' Latin
just walking by a church door,
then why do publicists claim
you as a satin golddigger
it's to their own shame
as any foreigner
being blamed and accused
of being a spy
not understanding the "why"
of a political dissident
as a nice conscientious objector
is loosed from the service
or a poetical dissident
pays the sacrifice and price
from any government's
royal ranger,
a criminal may be a beggar
without any inimical crime
are you destined
Christine, to always be a stranger
in the long hallway's mirror
wanting to flirt
in a flared new cotton miniskirt
imported from Lagos, Nigeria
to reverse roles
in a situation comedy's date
or play-act in Shakespeare's
Taming of the Shrew,
Merry Wives of Windsor

or Two Gentlemen of Verona
needing her to be assured
from the umbilical chord,
yet you cannot share
her impressive secret
knotted inside
like a foreign war bride
in a far-off zone
not understanding
the meaning or hormone
or testosterone
others mocking you
as you hide out
in your cold silk stockings
or talk in whispers
for four hours
hearing your own blues
still fishing for a prom date
with a mandate to refuse
an engagement ring,
chocolate bonbons or flowers
wishing for an expressive lover
perhaps for a bridal wedding
on this bar "The Other Side,"
how jarring is this reporter
in the print business to sell
his yellow journals
fully worth investigating
as the vile goal of chit chat
on the newsstands
(remembering Irish Oscar Wilde
who landed in Reading gaolin
in London, and all that
for his understanding soul),
though you are old news
still the selfish camera guy
from the Big Apple
will choose to show and tell,
others still challenging you
of what is Biblical
right or wrong
hearing Judy Garland
in her "Over the Rainbow" song.

Our thanks to Keely Dorran and B.Z. Niditch for today's fine fare, and a note that our green box at the right of this column has many new submission opportunities in the "Submit, I Say!" section; check them out. Contests are always tough, and the ones that offer big money are highly competitive. But then again, NorCal poets (and others who read Medusa) are top-quality poets and have, of course, a good shot at winning.

Note also that, starting tonight, there is a lot going on in our area this weekend, poetry-wise, both in Sacramento and in Placerville. Scroll down to the blue box (below the green box) for all the info.

My apologies to James Lee Jobe for leaving his name off of his three poems yesterday. Since they came right after Jane Blue's, there was Facebook speculation that they were hers. But no, it was just my goofiness at 6:30 a.m. Apologies all around.


Today's LittleNip:


Feeding the June birds and fly fishing
while reading Irish Paul Muldoon

enjoying Jonson's lyrics and plays
his comics of The Alchemist amaze

wishing for different states of mind
in W. B. Yeats we vent and unwind

offering a voice of quotes
a choice of Joyce Carol Oates.