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Walking My Dog During a Florida Thunderstorm

The rainclouds appear as a puffy silk shelf

from which gray garland cotton balls hang

from the saturated swollen sky

like ribbons of Christmas tree ornaments.

Cracks of thunder crackle with

flashes of lightning streaks that explode,

light up the darkness in flames

like oil and water sizzling in a frying pan.

A spectacle of blue spears

slice the sparkling heavens

illuminate the water-logged particles,

like dancing minstrels parading the engorged highway.

All this,

while my dog pissed and shit.

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Azaleas and Wild Onions



I’m in my Azalea bed digging out – again – wild onions that continue to
multiply there year after year.
When a hawk flew into the house and was killed
I buried her in this bed,
rested her on dried Sage,
planted an Azalea next to her,
placed a beautiful stone over her plot.
And the pungent wild onions grew.
When my brother died, Mom and I scattered his ashes
in a hidden clearing in the woods behind her house.
We planted Azaleas to adorn the earth
next to a beautiful stone I placed on his plot.
And the pungent wild onions grew.
Sometimes the sorrowful fragrance of this planet’s progeny is just too much.
Year after year I’ve uprooted the sad scented things.
I’ve covered them over with heavy mulch – leaves and bark-
so the sun can’t warm them, I believe,
so they can’t grow bigger, I think,
so they can’t multiply, I hope.
Still in the spring, wretchedness again grows up around the bushes of pink and purple joy.
Then I discovered I could eat them –
those tart, toothsome, allium canadense.
So now, I snack on them while weeding,
knowing that ants farm aphids, and flowers seduce bees
because they live in mutual symbiotic relationship.
And if I eat bitters, sweetness will by and by appear on my plate
from the soil of the One Earth
from the One Garden.
Where grow both wild onions and Azaleas.




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Three Poems - Karen Corinne Herceg

 A Thin Season

(For a young man beheaded for listening to Western pop tunes

in his father's grocery store)

It is a thin season

culling the air of blue breath

choked sudden as a sword

at the throat of a young infidel

the forbidden pop tune of his innocence

still playing in the annals

of his thoughts

kneeling, repetitive, insistent

as the accusations of the faithful

who behead him

on an afternoon like any other

clouds rising

in a decimation of distance

between the neck and heaven.

Isis goddess of love, the moon,

magic and fertility,

a healing sister of deities

daughter of earth and sky,

twists in a massacre

of celestial delusions

bearing the severed body

back to the arms that bore him,

the one who will hear music

no more. here ...


Autumn Waits

The day screams colder

presuming bare

desperate winter trees.

Leaves bleed out colors,

sap freezing in their veins,

skies running bleak.

I build fires

against a frigid

unforgiving horizon,

fabricating warmer hope,

when climate will not mirror

the measure of my soul,

dictate rhythms of desires,

the direction of spirit.

When melting or igniting

will not be issues

within the waiting.


Feline Intensity

She regards him

with a feline intensity

the pierce of question

disguised as bravado

fake it 'till you make it

says the swish of the tail

the come hither

bait and switch love trap

that knows you want it

so she gives it

hoarding triumph

like a flag

raised

while gazing in the moist aftermath

her sleek eyes following sky-framed rooftops

that keep reaching.

Cats never look hurt:

just indignant.

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Jewel Weed

The jewel weed is blooming 

In the late summer field. 

It's strangely sad that sweltering days 

are coming to a chilly end, 

Like a love affair that smolders 

with desires and resentments, 

Kept in teetering balance 

Till the tipping point comes sure as bills. 

And what once filled the dancing heart 

Now spills ashes on the floor. 

But while the jewel weed still blooms, 

The lingering high sun brings to blossom 

what could be, 

Then rolls downhill to the icy cold 

of what will be.  

(8/22/15 JM)

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The Book Faire


The book faire is a distraction.
Why would I leave an early
Summer morning of soft breezes
through my window;
gentle piano from the radio,
a Blue Jay's rescue from
sentimental memory;
the heavy burden of capturing
the plight of the charmed
and the damned—
rendering these hours of wealth
worthy of my attention,
with half of my life achieved,
to walk into a weekend carnival
of colour, food, and noise;
leaving money—earned from
my strange morning meditation,
for bound collections of ideas
scribed by other minds,
when I have hundreds
in my garret already?
The book faire is my destination.


-Robert Milby
July 2, 2016


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Jazz Is Me

The sax player blows upbeat soulful notes
The bass player punctuates the air with staccato beats
The drummer's drum brushes scratches the skins softly
The trumpeter's muted wa wa's is a stiffled laugh
Accompanying the pianist tickling the ivories.
Fingers snap to the scat and feet stomp ready to romp
Jazz is an exorcism of the mundane
An eclectic at times hectic proliferation
Of improvised mastery of a music artistry
Eclectic as it may be it has always appealed to me.
The greatness of Miles, Coltrane and Count Basie,
Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Dizzy Gillespie
And so very talented more.
Jazz for the rich and the poor
Black and white.
Jazz is me without the blues
Aaahh Blues, that's a whole new poem...

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Teachings

My mother taught me to walk in heels.
She didn't teach me to kick.

My mother taught me to smile.
She didn't teach me to question.

My mother taught me to be alone.
She didn't teach me solitude.

My mother taught me vanity.
She didn't like me.

My father encouraged my independence.
He didn't like rebellion.

My father encouraged my talents.
He discouraged my direction.

My father made me listen.
His voice buried mine.

My father made me eat.
He did not feed me.

My brother brought the world home.
I wasn't allowed in his room.

My brother wrote for the college paper.
I wrote for myself.

My brother went to Paris.
I defended against men on the subway.

My brother argued with my father.
I watched.

My parents held to monogamy.
I learned to suffocate need.

My parents held to thrift.
I learned to turn off want.

My sister took care of my mother.
My mother took care of my father.
My father taught Gabriela to sing.
Gabriela bought me a dress.

I took care not to cause trouble.
Trouble took me in.

Trouble took me in
so quietly, I thought it listened.

Trouble took me in
so softly, I thought it was love.

Trouble took me in
with such a thrill, I thought I was free.

Trouble took me in
so deftly, there was no choice.

Trouble has a gnarled face -
Unmasked now, it unravels.

I continue to follow
dazed, hidden
I await the infant to kick.

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jane street (our tellings)

Jane Street (our tellings)

 They all wanted to fuck me
on Jane Street but didn't.
Such was the luck
of the brotherly type.
A witness to women
learning to walk
along the Rockaway sand.

Playing them Dusty. Joni. Laura.
Our voices rising to the sky
black w/worry. Intrigue. Late periods
and trouble at home. Manhattan dying.
The Bronx afire. The autumns
in Washington Square.

We talked to the city and
the city talked back.
Whispered us secrets
and lies. And truths that later
proved true.

They all wanted to fuck me
on Jane Street but didn't.
Such was the luck
of the brotherly type and
some pangs still play
in our tellings today.
Certainly sickness. Certainly death.
Certainly the tides, high and low and
who did who on Jane Street.

       
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On the Spirit of Words (A non-villanelle)

I imagine myself without the know-how to find the words:
without a well to dip my fingertips like buckets into deep dreams
of wells. I am sitting here in a chair with no more than a few inspired words,
(dervishes of dervishes of swirling lights of words).

But I drop my hands. I am captive in my golden chest. I hurl it; I rummage from within it;
I search for diamonds in that golden palpitation, ventilating—like a whooshing military jet.
And the dirt, there? It sets much like a sun does set—like a stirring mold, or a fog—"roamingly."
And that dirt is
metamorphized into letters and the letters quench the inmost seams
of my most in-moist holes.
The dirt inside my ribs turns to mud and then becomes
so hard, so hard that wing-flapping little birds

shortly do and shortly will become like a good vinegar—
sweet, and bitter, and sour, all at once,
and will will to build upward, like city dwellers will,
dwell to build cages, changes and pages, like millers, civilizations and writers dwell to do,
and fly high when ready for bigger worlds,
types of worlds which remain without the restrictions of skeletal beams, it seems.
And so these same sweet birds, slow and sweet as molasses, then, metamorphize into my breath, and feel, at that juncture, as unfurled as
my spirit right now feels unwhirled.

This unwhirling is the succinct-est definition of my spirit.
It ascends to sky along the side of dogged leashless roams of herds,
heads pointed up to the tip of some mountain top in the wintry wilderness of poetic form.
I, I tell you, will metamorphize it —with fullest and big-bellied intention— into steam,
and make these animal roams more intangible to me
than my spirit and its karmic ascent to a Himilayan mountain temple,
wherein I am ample, and my interior steams as lurid as
a leery and lurid light: herded and unherded, sweetly sweetly unherded,

unknotted sleepily by the sleep-walking goddess of the moonlight.
Yes, I search for a word I must confine with nails, with guards, with boards.
This is so that I may keep that word in eternity, so that I may maintain it in low meager gleams,
in a slowest death-release, slow like the mirrors of light fading out
in the final sarcophagal bed chambers of kings, of Egypt, —that long eternal vault that stirs
in the cosmos, cosmically cosmically stirs and stirs

stirs---like a blue and red starry soup. The poems, or my breath, they likewise do stir.
And they keep their wet ink wet and far and home and away from herds that do not roam as animaling herds—
roves of scholars of men who wish to bridge with flaky black slate the infiniteness of my dreams
of wells. And so, as I began: I imagine myself without the know-how
to find those plum-red wheel barrel words.
For I am here sitting in a chair with only the spirit of my
self —hewn out at the expense of all others and their own holy holy turns.


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The Poet's Lamentation

A million pages, slats, and pins,
covers and supine bindings,
erupt off of shelves like colored
leaves of fall crawling down
and up crooked suburban streets
like dancing dunes of deserts;
wild gestures from the earth.

I stoop in poetic lamentation.
I stoop, but dying insects slowly
slink, go greet narrow pathways
on quiet arches near square
green gardens.

Keep beds. House ungrateful
breaths inside untimely waxy graves.

There in my fuzzy orange mosses, they
finally endure a good sleep and feel
full.

Moonbeams reach their hands into these shallow
openings. A café emits jazz and pop rays inside.
Meanwhile, the bugs gratefully breach the ugly
trench-line between time and literary turpentine.

Birds lap lightly, lowly, wholly,
but I do not glow yet. Radiant rafters sunlit
softly cast fading flight upon slow
folding river dreams. Asters float
freely, glimpse the looming lips of
winter.

Birds lap lightly, lowly, wholly, glow.
Golden sunlit rafters set. Tiring birds

fly, land, and depart,
fly, land, and depart,
like flowers wilting
inside a mucky vase.

The solace of the sun echoes, fecund,
in humid wave-swept halls. Sodden
star-ladders lean between Earth and
moon: lean weightless in between
the moons, grow hapless in between
the Earths.

Slow, I walk onto docks disheveled, drunken,
onto sleeping city streets, permeate the wall of
false truth nestling in the yellow-light world.
Aglow is the nighttime-earth. For a day, at least,
fast have I flown from faithfully naming the world.

My mother makes foam on the beaches of my
memory. My dog whistles to me through the trees
and tells me to come home, and I lift my spirit
tall and keep the names of the saints in my heart.

In dusk-laden mirror world at 7, beside deep
galactic twinkling, I am two million visions of
self, exchanging eyes with two million voices
of self. I am many contents without the crumbly
skin of a calciferous moon, whimpers within
the hills' winds, vocals hung without local guts,
echoes fast irrupting irresponsibly flopping free
filling mental gourds with ethereal unholy lords.

I trick you, hollow and criminal,
but wish to flower under, down under,
like a knife of a Zen butcher:
through the flesh to the bone,
to the bone through the flesh.

This acute slayer knows the truth, thinks I:
weaves a cleaver in and out of god's inner
workings, like a good writer heaves buckets of
verbs, emergent winnows of cindering ink
fishing, nets poised atop an electric powered boat. 

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