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Kyle T Oct 2020
Alex 2 breathes, stacks and unstacks papers, distantly
Alex 1, front cubicle, coughs, clicks his mouse
Eddie pulls out his drawer, pushes it back in, clicks his mouse
Alex 2, yes two Alex's, saunters up to the coffee machine
Alex 1, head down, clacking his keyboard
Mouse clicks, keyboard clicks, electricity
Monitors glow, fluorescents never flicker
Alex 1 opens a new file, two clicks of the mouse
Eddie sips his coffee, puts it down, clicks
New folder, new file, new data
Data entry, spreadsheets
Alex 1 asks did you get the email
Alex 2 has his coffee, his white shirt, under the fluorescents
Statics noise, static, mouse clicks, keyboard
Every new click, new file, new data, new folder
Data in, data out, file, click, the static electronics
Alex 2 clicks, files, new folder, new deal, new data
Eddie clears his throat, softly, the static noise, flickers,
Every new love story is a tragedy
Alex 2 opens a new folder, inputs data, spreadsheets
Numbers in, Eddie clicks his mouse twice rapidly
Stale effluvia coffee, static noise, electric light
Alex 1 sniffles, clears his throat, the clock ticks softly
Eddie opens a new file, the electric screen reflects his fixed eyes
Alex 2 sips his coffee, opens a file, clicks, keyboard clacks
Stasis, complete stasis, electricity, nodes, linear graphs
Numbers input, data, new file, file transfer
Every old tragedy is a ghost story
Alex 2 sips his coffee, breathes, clears his throat, data
Spreadsheets, monitors, electricity, static, data input, output
Every ghost story is infinite
Alex 1 gets up for a new coffee
Eddie inputs data, spreadsheet, file, new folder
Electric lights, stasis, data, file, click, file, input exp..
J J Jul 2020
Halt the advice throw away your opinion
Your lips are rug burnt from all that dragging on
You're doing  nothing is ever
going to get better unless I let it
and that's my path I've got to carve on my own
I've been grown for forever (a term I've already wrote
but now it fits better)  picking apart my reflection
just so I could note the differences between us Both.

The waves of the uncrushable ocean sweeps the sky
like a supernatural flower blossoming beneath a frozen lake
and I extinguish my spliff  happy with where I'm at.
I am finished speaking  I have alot of changes to make.
Tanushree Verma Jul 2020
I can see your want to wrap yourself in me,
I can feel the amaze radiating from your body;
The tingle you feel when my waves touch the tip of your toes,
How you mesmerize your soul with the beauty I behold
But that's just the brighter side to this green-blue field that I am.
Beneath the blanket of foamy waters are dangers;
The ones you should beware of while walking on my banks.
While the birds elatedly chirp overhead me,
I smile to ingest the humanity within me.
For the love of creation, beings add to my aggravation.
I hold under my claws your tempting childhood,
And beside me is the muddy patch of your adulthood.
I may look euphoric at a glance
Yet you need to rethink before stepping in my trance.
Sit on the bank and by my waves be cajoled,
Once you let me swallow you, there's a lot that will unfold.
Michael R Burch Apr 2020
To the Post-Modern Muse, Floundering
by Michael R. Burch

The anachronism in your poetry
is that it lacks a future history.
The line that rings, the forward-sounding bell,
tolls death for you, for drowning victims tell
of insignificance, of eerie shoals,
of voices underwater. Lichen grows
to mute the lips of those men paid no heed,
and though you cling by fingertips, and bleed,
there is no lifeline now, for what has slipped
lies far beyond your grasp. Iron fittings, stripped,
have left the hull unsound, bright cargo lost.
The argosy of all your toil is rust.

The anchor that you flung did not take hold
in any harbor where repair is sold.

Published by: Ironwood, Sonnet Writers and Poetry Life & Times

Keywords/Tags: poets, poetry, postmodern, Muse, floundering, shipwreck, argosy, cargo, anchor, drowning, voices, underwater, lifeline, lost, mrbmuse



Perhat Tursun (1969-) is one of the foremost living Uyghur language poets, if he is still alive. Born and raised in Atush, a city in China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Tursun began writing poetry in middle school, then branched into prose in college. Tursun has been described as a "self-professed Kafka character" and that comes through splendidly in poems of his like "Elegy." Unfortunately, Tursun was "disappeared" into a Chinese "reeducation" concentration camp where extreme psychological torture is the norm. According to a disturbing report he was later "hospitalized." Apparently no one knows his present whereabouts or condition, if he has one. According to John Bolton, when Donald Trump learned of these "reeducation" concentration camps, he told Chinese President Xi Jinping it was "exactly the right thing to do." Trump’s excuse? "Well, we were in the middle of a major trade deal."

Elegy
by Perhat Tursun
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

"Your soul is the entire world."
— Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

Asylum seekers, will you recognize me among the mountain passes' frozen corpses?
Can you identify me here among our Exodus's exiled brothers?
We begged for shelter but they lashed us bare; consider our naked corpses.
When they compel us to accept their massacres, do you know that I am with you?

Three centuries later they resurrect, not recognizing each other,
Their former greatness forgotten.
I happily ingested poison, like a fine wine.
When they search the streets and cannot locate our corpses, do you know that I am with you?

In that tower constructed of skulls you will find my dome as well:
They removed my head to more accurately test their swords' temper.
When before their swords our relationship flees like a flighty lover,
Do you know that I am with you?

When men in fur hats are used for target practice in the marketplace
Where a dying man's face expresses his agony as a bullet cleaves his brain
While the executioner's eyes fail to comprehend why his victim vanishes, ...
Seeing my form reflected in that bullet-pierced brain's erratic thoughts,
Do you know that I am with you?

In those days when drinking wine was considered worse than drinking blood,
did you taste the flour ground out in that blood-turned churning mill?
Now, when you sip the wine Ali-Shir Nava'i imagined to be my blood
In that mystical tavern's dark abyssal chambers,
Do you know that I am with you?

TRANSLATOR NOTES: This is my interpretation (not necessarily correct) of the poem's frozen corpses left 300 years in the past. For the Uyghur people the Mongol period ended around 1760 when the Qing dynasty invaded their homeland, then called Dzungaria. Around a million people were slaughtered during the Qing takeover, and the Dzungaria territory was renamed Xinjiang. I imagine many Uyghurs fleeing the slaughters would have attempted to navigate treacherous mountain passes. Many of them may have died from starvation and/or exposure, while others may have been caught and murdered by their pursuers. If anyone has a better explanation, they are welcome to email me at mikerburch@gmail.com (there is an "r" between my first and last names).



The Encounter
by Abdurehim Otkur
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I asked her, why aren’t you afraid? She said her God.
I asked her, anything else? She said her People.
I asked her, anything more? She said her Soul.
I asked her if she was content? She said, I am Not.



With my translations I am trying to build awareness of the plight of Uyghur poets and their people, who are being sent in large numbers to Chinese "reeducation" concentration camps which have been praised by Trump as "exactly" what is "needed." This poem helps us understand the nomadic lifestyle of many Uyghurs, the hardships they endure, and the character it builds ...

Iz (“Traces”)
by Abdurehim Otkur
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

We were children when we set out on our journey;
Now our grandchildren ride horses.

We were just a few when we set out on our journey;
Now we're a large caravan leaving traces in the desert.

We leave our traces scattered in desert dunes' valleys
Where many of our heroes lie buried in sandy graves.

But don't say they were abandoned:
Their resting places are decorated by springtime flowers!

We left the tracks, the station ... the crowds recede in the distance;
The wind blows, the sand swirls, but here our indelible trace remains.

The caravan continues, we and our horses become thin,
But our great-grand-children will one day rediscover those traces.

The original Uyghur poem:

Yax iduq muxkul seperge atlinip mangghanda biz,
Emdi atqa mingidek bolup qaldi ene nevrimiz.
Az iduq muxkul seperge atlinip chiqanda biz,
Emdi chong karvan atalduq, qaldurup chollerde iz.
Qaldi iz choller ara, gayi davanlarda yene,
Qaldi ni-ni arslanlar dexit cholde qevrisiz.
Qevrisiz qaldi dimeng yulghun qizarghan dalida,
Gul-chichekke pukinur tangna baharda qevrimiz.
Qaldi iz, qaldi menzil, qaldi yiraqta hemmisi,
Chiqsa boran, kochse qumlar, hem komulmes izimiz.
Tohtimas karvan yolida gerche atlar bek oruq,
Tapqus hichbolmisa, bu izni bizning nevrimiz, ya chevrimiz.



When I Was Small, I Grew
by Michael R. Burch

When I was small,
God held me in thrall:
Yes, He was my All
but my spirit was crushed.

As I grew older
my passions grew bolder
even as Christ grew colder.
My distraught mother blushed:

what was I thinking,
with feral lust stinking?
If I saw a girl winking
my face, heated, flushed.

“Go see the pastor!”
Mom screamed. A disaster.
I whacked away faster,
hellbound, yet nonplused.

Whips! Chains! *******!
Sweet, sweet, my Elation!
With each new sensation,
blue blood groinward rushed.

Did God disapprove?
Was Christ not behooved?
At least I was moved
by my hellish lust.



You!
by Michael R. Burch

For forty years You have not spoken to me;
I heard the dull hollow echo of silence
as though strange communion between us.

For forty years You would not open to me;
You remained closed, hard and tense,
like a clenched fist.

For forty years You have not broken me
with Your alien ways,
prevarications and distance.

Like a child dismissed,
I have watched You prey upon the hope in me,
knowing "mercy" is chance

and "heaven"—a list.

Originally published by The Bible of Hell (anthology)

NOTE: I call mercy “chance” and heaven a “list” because the bible says its “god” predestines some people to be “vessels of mercy” and others to be “vessels of destruction.” Thus mercy is reduced to the chance of birth and heaven is a precompiled list of the lucky chosen few. Of course there is no reason to believe in such a diabolical “god” or such an unjust “heaven” ... but billions have, and do.



Winter
by Michael R. Burch

The rose of love’s bright promise
lies torn by her own thorn;
her scent was sweet
but at her feet
the pallid aphids mourn.

The lilac of devotion
has felt the winter ****
and shed her dress;
companionless,
she shivers—****, forlorn.

Published by Songs of Innocence, The Aurorean and Contemporary Rhyme



The Wonder Boys
by Michael R. Burch

(for Leslie Mellichamp, the late editor of The Lyric,
who was a friend and mentor to many poets, and
a fine poet in his own right)

The stars were always there, too-bright cliches:
scintillant truths the jaded world outgrew
as baffled poets winged keyed kites—amazed,
in dream of shocks that suddenly came true . . .

but came almost as static—background noise,
a song out of the cosmos no one hears,
or cares to hear. The poets, starstruck boys,
lay tuned in to their kite strings, saucer-eared.

They thought to feel the lightning’s brilliant sparks
electrify their nerves, their brains; the smoke
of words poured from their overheated hearts.
The kite string, knotted, made a nifty rope . . .

You will not find them here; they blew away—
in tumbling flight beyond nights’ stars. They clung
by fingertips to satellites. They strayed
too far to remain mortal. Elfin, young,

their words are with us still. Devout and fey,
they wink at us whenever skies are gray.

Originally published by The Lyric



The Singer
by Michael R. Burch

for Leslie Mellichamp

The sun that swoons at dusk
and seems a vanished grace
breaks over distant shores
as a child’s uplifted face
takes up a song like yours.
We listen, and embrace
its warmth with dawning trust.



Dawn, to the Singer
by Michael R. Burch

for Leslie Mellichamp

“O singer, sing to me—
I know the world’s awry—
I know how piteously
the hungry children cry.”

We hear you even now—
your voice is with us yet.
Your song did not desert us,
nor can our hearts forget.

“But I bleed warm and near,
And come another dawn
The world will still be here
When home and hearth are gone.”

Although the world seems colder,
your words will warm it yet.
Lie untroubled, still its compass
and guiding instrument.



Your Pull
by Michael R. Burch

You were like sunshine and rain—
begetting rainbows,
full of contradictions, like the intervals
between light and shadow.

That within you which I most opposed
drew me closer still,
as a magnet exerts its unyielding pull
on insensate steel.



Water and Gold
by Michael R. Burch

You came to me as rain breaks on the desert
when every flower springs to life at once,
but joy’s a wan illusion to the expert:
the Bedouin has learned how not to want.

You came to me as riches to a miser
when all is gold, or so his heart believes,
until he dies much thinner and much wiser,
his gleaming bones hauled off by chortling thieves.

You gave your heart too soon, too dear, too vastly;
I could not take it in; it was too much.
I pledged to meet your price, but promised rashly.
I died of thirst, of your bright Midas touch.

I dreamed you gave me water of your lips,
then sealed my tomb with golden hieroglyphs.

Published by The Lyric, Black Medina, The Eclectic Muse, Kritya (India), Shabestaneh (Iran), Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry, Captivating Poetry (Anthology), Strange Road, Freshet, Shot Glass Journal, Better Than Starbucks, The Chained Muse, Famous Poets and Poems, Sonnetto Poesia, Poetry Life & Times
Merry Oct 2019
I’m just a postmodern bush poet
Roaming and roving rusty roads
Writing, wordsmithing, amid yellow grass
Fondling the various ******* of Mother Nature
The hills and mountains, all her nooks and crannies
Looking at peeled potato sheeps
Dreaming about what great stews they would make
Listening to a bit of AC/DC
With no wuckin’ furries
Getting eyed by work dogs
With no sense of self-preservation
Telling me I’m going to die all the same
As those rotting roos lying in the dirt
Sodomised by cars just like mine
Their pink, esoteric entrails getting pecked out
By the crows I call my friends
GL Thompson Mar 2019
Bob Dylan’s hats mean more to me than a requited lust for fame.
On our screens over the summer months,
with it’s logo slapped obnoxiously onto the water cooler -
covering more pressing concerns.
As people rant and rave, the so called stars of the show are prominent for a matter of days.
In their fifteen minutes of fame they become better recognised than a man called Dave.
Some are hated for things they have said or done.
trending on twitter and being memed from day one.
But as the winter solace rolls into place
Everyone forgets the familiar face
that pranced and clapped on morning TV
What was his name again who was he?
What once was a Dave is more like a Huxley or Mort.
He was far too easy to replace, when fame hit abort.
GL Thompson Feb 2019
I’m starting to think she may have died
gone up to blue tick heaven after being verified
Caught up in a mockery of an internet led democracy
World wide fame to blame for the tragedy
Her Tightened grip on reality was merely a saga of concise works of fiction.


She tried to Reach out for profanity and found a hundred degrees reality.
Well It all means nothing to nobody now
Here comes latest trend you’d be mad not to bow.

Been inactive for days lost track of the newest craze
Whilst her exploits were insightful
They ultimately led to her downfall
Spin the wheel line up to play the game
Because nobody remembers your name
Only your handle.

I’m starting to think maybe she lost her mind
all of the tape unravelled when she tried to hit rewind.
There was no filter there when she opened the window to look outside
without the second source she was unable to decide
she went offline to go backpacking in the sky I wonder why?
It all seems so alternate
With her curtains drawn at the break of dawn it seems so analogue.
She had a shockproof phone case but I can’t say the same for her mind
GL Thompson Feb 2019
Gary met Sally for some backseat bingo
because she’s the lucky one that razzed his berry.
The word from the bird is that she’s past her prime
The sort of girl whose personality is cheap chocolate and wine.

He greeted her with gimme some skin
She thought it was too formal of a way to begin.
Because sally still lives in the past
Sharing chain posts on facebook
To keep her from things in the dark
Sally’s a bit backwards but she’s well meaning at heart.

You’ve got to make it to this party it’s gonna be a gas
Sally said she’ll think about it, but really she just wanted to pass.
She’s got ice cream in the freezer and an appointment with the mad hatter
(with a special appearance from his twirling tip).

Gary looked rather gloomy, realising she looked quite different from her profile.
That, and he thought the way she chewed was vile.
Nevertheless he thought he’d place his bet on a submarine race.
He reckoned for the price of lunch and a bit of sweet talk, he’d be left with a smile on his face.

Sally was blind to Gary’s plan
She was off in training as a space cadet
Thinking this date was quickly becoming an experience she’d forget
But back on earth things started to pick up
Unlike Sally’s self esteem, which was left in a rut.

And to this day Gary and Sally are married, with a kid, a cat and a shared checking account.
here I have used a combination of out of fashion sayings with 21st century issues in order to convey a duality and a reflection upon today's society
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