Rich Ferguson

 

 

FullSizeRender

(Photo “Orange Crush” by Rich Ferguson)

Unknown

What the What

What we argue about.
What we know to the depths of our souls.
What causes the soles of our feet to burn.
What our pain is, and what we do with it.

What we do for love.
What animals mate for life.

What weapons will look like in 100 years.
What our history of violence tells us.
What the silence tells us on nights we can’t sleep. 
What time whispers in our ears when another year slips by.

What slips between our fingers, between the cracks.

What cracks us up.

What gets us up out of bed every morning.

What we see when we look in the mirror. 
What to do for a broken heart.

What to do when your what-if machine breaks.

What your tongue can tell you about your health.

What your health can tell you about your wealth.

What we can learn from our mistakes.

What we can learn from the color of a star.

What we wish for when we wish upon a star.

What truths are self-evident.

What our parents aren’t telling us.
What our politicians aren’t telling us. 
What it means to be kind, what it means to be cruel.
What it means to be rich, what it means to be poor. 
What to do to cleanse your colon.

What to do to cleanse your soul.
What to take for a yeast infection, or erectile dysfunction.
What a dangling or misplaced modifier looks like in a sentence.
What a prison inmate’s life sentence costs the average taxpayer. 
What it costs to build a house.

What it costs to buy a house.
What Lincoln said about a house divided.

What Shakespeare said about destiny and the stars.

What scars we wear proudly. 

What wounds we keep hidden deep.

What we’ve lied about, rioted about. 
What we’ve remained absolutely quiet about.

What the coroner’s report will say about us when we’re gone.
What our families, friends, and coworkers will say about us when we’re gone.

What to do to get turned on.

What to do when you’re turned off.

What made Van Gogh cut off his ear.

What paint colors go together, or make people look more beautiful.

What it really means when people say beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

What eye color is most sensitive to light.

What it takes to power Times Square.

What 9/11 looked like from outer space.

What you can and can’t take on airplanes.

What you can and can’t buy with food stamps, or eat while pregnant.

What role folic acid plays in pregnancy.

What acid taught Timothy Leary.

What we should and shouldn’t be leery of.

What agitates us, brings us peace. 

What meditation does to the brain.

What cancer does to the brain.

What we know about wisdom vs. intelligence.
What we know about ignorance vs. stupidity. 

What stupid things people do with their smart phones.

What women do that drive guys crazy.

What guys do that drive women crazy. 

What it really means when a guy says he’s scared.

What it really means when a woman says, “Fine.”

What degree of separation you are from Tom Waits vs. Tom Cruise.
What your musical taste, or taste in movies says about you. 
What the chicken says when crossing the road.
What the road has told us when we’ve journeyed off alone.

What we’ve done for kicks on Route 66.

What 666 means to a mathematician vs. a devil worshiper, or biblical scholar.

What prayers to say for abundance, what prayers to say for healing. 
What we’ve held in our hands.

What we’ll be handing over to the next generation.
What we’ve handed over as a bribe, peace offering, or evidence.
What the witness saw.
What the victim saw.
What the shooter saw when staring down the barrel of his rifle.
What we see when looking up at the clouds.

What we see when looking down deep into ourselves.

 

Rich Ferguson

c. 2018

Advertisements

Mike Meraz

image1

1

You finally say
I love you
And she doesn’t
Run
Or reciprocate

She just says
“You shouldn’t
Have said that”
Which is good
Enough

The next day
She comes over
A little bit
Sweeter

A little bit
Kinder

Some of the
Edges have
Been smoothed
Out

She gives you
A hug upon
Entering

You realize
You made the
Right
Decision

You waited
Long
Enough.

••••••••••••••••••••••

2

You are a
Matisse
Painting

I am a
18th century
Sculpture

We are two
Pieces of
Art

One quiet
As stone

The other
Filling the room
With
Color.

•••••••••••••••••••••••

3

She is now
Back
And I can listen
To sad music
Again

There is nothing worse
Than a love song
When you yourself
Are heart-broken

But now she is
Back

And the stars
Are lined up
Again

The earth is
Well

At least
The Part
Under my
Feet.

 

Mike Meraz

3 poems by Mike Meraz

M MerazYour soul
Slowly
Undresses
As
Ink
Moves
Onto
Paper.

____________________

Took a
Break
From
Living on
The
Edge

But now
I miss
The
View.

______________________

Artists are
Essentially
Magicians
Turning
So much
Bullshit
That comes
Their way
Into
Beauty.

_______________________

Poems & Self Portrait by

Peggy Dobreer

AlexisFancher_ChairHandHeadUp

 

(Peggy believes “Figs ARE the flushest fruit and Tango is

absolutely necessary.”) 

“Scarlet Billows Start to Spread”

 I grew up learning to eat properly

at the Brown Derby, the Duck

Press, and the Pacific Dining Car.

We always sat next to the dance

floor, the sound of the kitchen un-

pleasing to father’s ear. Likewise

there was a wrong angle looking

into a mouth on a tv commercial

that made him cringe. I learned

how skin could crawl from my father.

 

I grew up singing lounge music,

making up for Daddy’s infractions

at the Palladium after the war. He

wanted to dance himself to death,

but mother never broke a sweat.

 

I grew up with Duke and Josie at Dino’s

on the strip. I drank Shirley Temples

with my three perfect sisters in patent

leather shoes, crinoline itching elbows,

grosgrain waist bands cinching our

smiles into place.

 

I grew up fearing Duke’s lizard grin,

frozen in time between verses of

Sukey Tawdry, and Miss Lotte Lenya,

I was always waiting between sets

for the shark to bite, with his huh huh

pearly teeth big. Look out old 

Macky’s back in town.

– Peggy Dobreer

Photo by Alexis Rhone Fancher

 

*The title of this poem and italics at the end are originally from “Die Moritat von Mackie Messer”, a song composed by Kurt Weill with lyrics by Bertolt Brecht for Mack the Knife.

 

Alicia Young

hell-on-heels-final-revision1

she is beautiful
.
.
sometimes
a waitress has the power
to break your heart
with her kindness

this morning
there is an 80-year-old
bringing me coffee
with the same
watch yourself it’s hot care
a grandmother would

one of her legs is longer than the other
she has a special lifted shoe
and walks with a limp

i see lines deepen around her eyes
with every step
she is in pain

she has sons who don’t call

she makes me want to sit her down
and wait on her
ask her lilting southern voice
where she was
when we killed martin and each kennedy

after my bagel disappeared
i left her a twenty on the table
though i can’t afford to
pondering that no one deserves this at age 80

the word expatriate
forms a bitter lump in my throat

settling up at the cashier stand
i tell the flippant manager
with the microphone
strapped all dip-shitted to his head
of the excellent service i received

she comes from the back as fast as her
feet are willing waving the currency
saying urgently

ma’am,
did you mean to leave this?

my mouth responds through a smile

if i could
it would be a thousand more

she is beautiful
when she’s speechless

© aayoung2013

Her book “Hell On Heels…”

Charles Bukowski

charles bukowski photo:  mural1.jpg

Consummation Of Grief

I even hear the mountains
the way they laugh
up and down their blue sides
and down in the water
the fish cry
and the water
is their tears.
I listen to the water
on nights I drink away
and the sadness becomes so great
I hear it in my clock
it becomes knobs upon my dresser
it becomes paper on the floor
it becomes a shoehorn
a laundry ticket
it becomes
cigarette smoke
climbing a chapel of dark vines. . .
it matters little
very little love is not so bad
or very little life
what counts
is waiting on walls
I was born for this
I was born to hustle roses down the avenues of the dead.

– Charles Bukowski

 

Stephen John Kalinich

 

4685876708_54ff0eff5f_b-2

 

Photo by L.K. Thayer

Art kills
and builds
levels all fields
strips power
from the unworthy
and thieves.
Art does not
overcharge
take advantage
of the market.
Does not cave in
or pander
to the lowest
common denominator.
Real Art
is pure intent
in my opinion.
Art does not manipulate
or call garbage or dreck
and lewd expressions genius.
Art is the destruction
of the mundane.
Art must be ever fresh
create new boundaries
that enhance
and bring benefit to all beings.
Stephen John Kalinich
© 2014

Charles Bukowski

charles bukowski photo: Charles Bukowski 33e729db.jpg

 

this kind of fire

  by Charles Bukowski

sometimes I think the gods
deliberately keep pushing me
into the fire
just to hear me
yelp 
a few good
lines.

they just aren't going to
let me retire
silk scarf about neck
giving lectures at 
Yale.

the gods need me to
entertain them.

they must be terribly
bored with all
the others

and I am too.

and now my cigarette lighter
has gone dry.
I sit here
hopelessly
flicking it.

this kind of fire
they can't give
me.

 

 

 

 

Charles Bukowski

charles bukowski photo: Charles Bukowski bukowski.jpg

“If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery–isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It’s the only good fight there is.”
― Charles BukowskiFactotum