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Piotr Balkus Feb 9
They have children,
they have homes,
they have money,
they have jobs,
they have good cars,
and many more things they want to have.

I have paper and pen,
I have my poems,
that's enough.
Mark Wanless Aug 2023
i don't have to i
don't want to there is no why
just fill in the blank
agatha Jun 2020
i stopped wearing shorts—
unable to stop feeling eyes raking my legs
up and down, up and down.
i didn't even know there was a word for that.

i started wearing clothes
a size big for me.
they did not ask why
i get angry whenever they force me
to wear something that clings.

i hated puberty,
how things would grow and change,
and they would stare.

i tried wearing shorts again.
immediately i get the feeling of someone
trailing behind me.
i went home as quickly as possible.

i wore baggy clothes during commute—
a blouse and jeans. it was a thirty minute ride.
it felt longer. especially since this man
sat next to me,

hounding me nonsense— anong pangalan mo?
i do not answer.

that night, i had my resolve—
i will never commute alone again.
people laughed at me. hinahatid ka kasi lagi.


i started giving prolonged glares,
staring into the eyes of the beast
whenever i hear a whisper as i pass by.
hello, saan ka pupunta?

so i stare them down. funny how
they back away
as i stop in my tracks asking with my eyes
"what now, imbecile?"

does it feel bad when people don't tolerate
the ******* coming out of your mouth?

ano ba kasi ang suot niya? they ask.
everything feels white-hot, searing.
i refuse to hear anymore of that.


every time i go home on my own
i carry something
in my hands, a blade if you must.
the night sky begins to envelop the horizon.
the streetlights cast their sickly orange hue
on the pavement as i take one last look at the hospital.

i hope i make it home in time.
"hello, anong pangalan mo?" : hello, what's your name?
"hinahatid ka kasi lagi." : well, you always have a ride.
"hello, saan ka pupunta?" : hello, where are you going?
"ano ba kasi suot niya?" : what was she wearing?
why do the white gulls call? (everyday must have its poem)*


the cries are intelligible,
each a separate story of:
patient waiting, of seas
unending waving, unchanging,
cycling, waiting, prophesying,
propelling history, retaining a
staining past, future similar...

why do the white gulls call?

for evening tide rapid approaching,
we may even have a decent sunset,
first worthy of being drunk toasted,
all reminders that this ordinary Monday,
has nearly escaped without an extraordinary
composition, you prone position negates
inspiration, so rouse yourself, rise taller

tribute due, tribute demanded, tribute needed,
that is why the gulls screech, fearful of lapse,
that poet will suppress what is compelled, no,
compulsed! the senescent days offer no excuse,
indeed, the time of limitation is nigh, is here,
the gulls know their history human, its lore,
needs foretelling, retelling, and keeping

humans come and go, but gull generations require
the prescient precision of their words, to define,
to record each day’s unique way of living/dying,
so they can become forebears of the future,
the passers down, of that they cannot exclaim well,
we humans are their heroes, living close by,
we carry the gulls thanks given, for skilled appreciation

so they cry out, is our poem be readied, for the day’s end
comes closer and
every day must have its poem!
lmnsinner May 2020

“Have you reckon’d a thousand acres much?
Have you reckon’d the earth much?
Have you practis’d so long to learn to read?
Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems?”

Song of Myself (1892 version) by Walt Whitman

                                                      ­      §§§

A night of reckoning, calculations repeated-checked, sums divided,
did I use too many, or not enough, words to be understood, verbiage eloquent,
did daytime reveal my poetic meanings, or double-occlude it’s essence?

I have reckon’d Manhattan Isle, circumnavigated its riverbed boundaries, a younger me, by kayak rounded it, from the Spuyten Duyvil Creek to the Battery, 14,500 acres give or take, a lifeatime to complete a dead reckoning, an unfinished full configuring.

but haven’t reckon’d that Earth and I will be entwined/entombed in each other’s arms, until such time, one of us or both, will be reduced to cosmic dust, our pride, our poems, will be equally unimportant and irrelevant, I reckon.

in retrospective rear view perspective, come to understand that we spend every moment of our lives, reckoning, determine the odds of which fork we will take, laugh out loud, for each moment, a poem  is titled, the resultant, a poem - who needs a muse, you’ve got choices!

So, yes, Walt, the questing  answers you’ve requested:
Aye, yes, yup, but no to pride, for pride and poetry in one sentence is
a death sentence at multiple levels, pride, poetry, ego, suicide,...sins,
so better no proud for it is the entree, the invitation to fall-fail...

                                                   ­      §§§§§

12:03AM  Frieday
May 15th
my deadline missed,
but what is three minutes,
but empty pride...
Manhattan Island
Robert L Jan 2020
It seems like today
I have little to say
Nothing amusing or clever

No biting retort
Nor subtle bon mot
Or an idea to use as a lever

To open the crypt
Of my bottom lip
A relevant thought to deliver

The very concept
Makes me feel quite inept
Yet also sets me aquiver

No funny remark
Providing a spark
Which bursts into creative flame

So while others may hark
From lives shallow and stark
Remember that this is no game.
Masha Yurkevich Jan 2020


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