week's theme: There's no place like home for the holidays.
#58 - The Holocaust , the sequel
#59 - Ars Poetica : Poetry about poetry
#60 - What are you doing New Year's Eve? - ringing in 1999
to everyone who has been sending me poetry submissions.
to those who expect to read about hallmark holidays in this week's
Christine Gilbert of Austin
in the gut in the fat stuffed gut that ate too much
the soul said feed me feed me and couldn’t get filled still
in hungry void in spaces between conversations between brothers
sisters who never learned to stop competing
and fathers who never touch strange strange strange
after Thanksgiving rush and family food fat feasting
around shooting the breeze empty hush so naturally Blues set
low sax tones sad guitar piano all day long Friday funky jazz
in the bones brooding and long drawn-out sighs slumped
grouchy gestures frowns loaded stomachs empty hearts
of gloom maybe unstrung and memories of cousins all singing and
in another room when we were young over the river and through
woods to grandmother’s house we go kind of idealized jinglejangled
in the snow stuff that never comes to pass when endless gray sky
useless restless wind rustles maybe electromagnetic fields
lack of sunlight cause this Jack Kerouac Charlie Parker indigo
low and slow Saturday slumps and Sunday dumps maybe we’ll go
church or to a movie or we could rent one or watch TV football
popcorn or work on the car or eat leftover turkey again
pumpernickel slices slopped in mayonaise with pickles, and
slice of artery-clogging gooey pecan pie with icecream ha-ha
set up a team & play ball or ride a bike or go for a hike or
Kathryn Gann of Austin
did not rise at two AM
slide the bird into the oven.
did not strain to remember
used since last year.
did not worry whether
was sufficient cranberry sauce
three more diners than expected.
did not concern myself whether
children would eat beans or squash,
only mashed or sweet potato.
did not slave the day before
forget it in the freezer.
was not deafened by the shouts
moans of football viewers,
was the dinner delayed
did not have to intervene
the wars of siblings and cousins,
sweet-talk a truce
their sullen parents.
did not stand on whimpering feet
clear a littered table,
bend an aching back
overload the dishwasher.
no! I went in peace to Denny's,
ordered and ate a BLT
fries and onion rings --
did do more exercise:
two mile walk in penance.
was worth it.
smile upon the world.
From Claibie Walsh, down around Alabama:
If It Was You? "
banning movie posters in Boston now.
the mere shadow of a female body
department stores play canned
people will BUY BUY BUY!
they're censuring posters in America
businesses talk about Christmas in America
Christmas in Honduras they have
malaria, misplaced parents,
children, homes and missions destroyed
ripped apart by hurricane winds, tides, rains
anything in it's path
a land and it's people.
weep for dead parents,
weep for dead children,
fathers, grandmothers, aunts,
grandfathers, sisters, brothers,
friends all gone.
is left is filth, debris, and human devastation.
don't censure anyone down there.
don't decorate for Christmas.
don't whine about the government
they don't give a damn about shadowy posters
the female body.
is no Christmas in Honduras this year.
only thing canned are goods sent.
shopping malls, no music, no trees,
tinsel and shiny ornaments,
brightly wrapped presents,
cozy little home and family,
choruses of happy voices raised in song
the missions are being rebuilt
you can bet down there
now they remember Christ.
fall on my knees this Christmas and ask,
how can I help your children?
God, how can I get others
lay aside posters, presents, censure,
Christmas so that they can
I remember Christ
look for the answer
Claiborne Schley Walsh.