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Monday, July 24, 2017


 
The Book Burning

They were throwing books onto the fire.
They were pouring lighter fluid onto the flames. 
Streams of lighter fluid shooting across space
like the Tholian Web in Star Trek.  The flames brightened
for a moment and crackled with renewed vigor.  The crowd
cheered, taking their cue from the flames. 

Even though it was a chilly evening and people were dressed
in mufflers, beanies and sweaters, some of the men shouted
“show your tits,” which some of the little ladies did.
This inspired another round of books and lighter fluid. 

“God damned Mark Twain,” somebody muttered.
Henry Miller can go to hell for all I care,” shouted
a chick with a John Wayne face.  Then a guy, strode up
through the circle of people,  hands full of DVD’s.
Tried dropping them onto the bon fire.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” said a man wearing a
windbreaker that read SECURITY.
“Whatcha got there?”
“Dirty DVD’s.  They gotta burn.”
 
“Aww no, that’d ruin the purity o’ the thing.”

They argued back and forth for seven minutes
till the guy with the DVD’s lost the fight
‘cause he didn’t have SECURITY stenciled
across his back.    

Somebody added more books.  More fluid. 
The flames stretched like they were high fiving
Mr. SECURITY

The circle just stood there.
Silently. 
Proudly. 
They’d defended the integrity o’ the thing. 
Damn straight.  


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TIME & Again

Did you hand TIME the keys to the car?

Did you hand TIME the keys?

You NEVER hand TIME the keys,

he’ll be gone for HOURS on some

JOY RIDE.  TIME TIME TIME & again,

you piss it ALL away.








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Monday, July 17, 2017


Lean

Smoky ol’ bar,
the sinful sounds of jazz, waiters
movin’ thru jigsaw bodies, balancing
trays of booze; sawdust on the floor,
scrape of shoes, swirl o’ skirt,
flecks of sweat.

Oh, you can just feel the body heat,
a room full o’ sinners on a Saturday night
an’ you can just feel the sizzle,
hell, it’s tasty as a skillet full o’ bacon;

got an empty pint, got a  torn stocking,
a little rough stuff under the light
of the silvery moon; but for now,
see that looker over there,
see the way she just---- leans?


All some dames gotta do, is just lean.
Every man in this room’s aware,
men with rot in their minds,
cash in their pockets.
all she gotta do is jus’ lean.

Look at the way she raises that cigarette,
rotates it slowly toward those blood-red lips,
they burned Joan of Arc for less.

An’ get a load a’ those god damned smoke rings---
perfect little hoops
any o’ these jaspers would hap’ly jump thru.

ain’t a man in this world,
ain’t got a yen fer  a bad girl,
she’s the kind fat Sheriff Buford says is,
pretty enough to get into trouble,
pretty enough to get out of trouble---

And her eyes are on the band,
always on the band,
licks her lips and sways them hips,
an’ the band gets into her blood,
eyes on the sax man,
“he’s beautiful.”

A waiter brings her another drink,
motions with a thumb toward some jasper
at the bar who makes with the eyes.

She salutes, downs the shot o’ firewater,
an’ then chump is forgotten. Now, forgetcher
pity, most are just cowards,
take a look at the soles o’ his shoes,
ain’t worn down, they ain’t rarely
stood up and strode the full length of a room---

rot in his mind, sure---
cash in his pockets, debatable---
but no marrow in his bones.

Oh, there’s a hate in places like this,
doll feels it blowin’ in on the back of the north wind
each time she raises that cigarette to her mouth.
Yeah, someday she’ll end up, crushed windpipe,
dead in an alley or tossed
on the side o’ the road,

but for now she leans
into the lurid shadows
and savors the burn of whiskey

in the back o’ her throat. 






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Monday, July 10, 2017







Wall of Words

Where are the pictures? I can’t just look at a bunch of words. Where are the pictures?  This isn’t 1865.  This isn’t 1645.  This isn’t even 1945.  Haven’t you heard?  Somebody invented the moving picture. The Silver Screen.  Technicolor, Panavision, Cinemascope.  There are images flickering across screens the size of walls and you ask me to buy one of your thousand page novels and spend the next month turning it, page by tedious page, when I can pay ten bucks,  wander scatterbrained into a Cineplex,  gobble down popcorn, sugar drinks, and Jujubes while the director spoon feeds me a titillating story of his choosing?  I need pictures.  Haven’t you heard men are hard-wired to respond to pictures? Hell,
why do you think we prefer Playboy to poetry?

Where are the pictures, you ask?  Where are the pictures? The pictures are within this wall of words as you call it.  But they are also within your skull.  The author may be the cameraman, but you are the revealing fluid. And you have to do more than stare in horror at his wall of words. You have got to explore those words with the same intensity you reserve for the exploration of airbrushed tits and clits.  Sorry, but you do have to make some effort.

























Monday, July 3, 2017

 -EDITORIALS- 






 -EDITORIAL COMMENTARY BY TOM ESPOSITO- 








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