Poetry Compilation

The Three Blood Brothers

by gerald nicosia, corte madera, ca
for Tony Scibella (1932-2003)

Voice of war, voice of peace
Your majestic profile cut across
My workspace every day in
The broadside photo given me by
Jimmy long ago up in his mountain hideout
With him and Stu standing as if
Protective over you &
Stu’s deathly powerful poem “moonwash sea”
Which left no doubt you guys
Were in it for life together
And not giving an inch to
Popularity or social demands
What I remember most now
Besides sorrow at never having got to meet
Your living human fireball
Was yr kindness to me in letters
Late in the game when
You could have opted to play
Solitary successful highhat
But wrote me instead like Italian father
Concerned that I carry it on
Hope you dig death.

*The “three blooded brothers” were Tony Scibella, James Ryan Morris, and Stuart Z. Perkoff


Somewhere Past The Pueblos

by lyn lifshin, vienna, va

deeper than Joshua
trees and pinyon
we stop where a
woman smokes a
Marlboro past a
clothesline of
blankets, turquoise
and coral coated
in dust. our car
broken as every
thing we tried to
hold, we rented a
pale one to drive into
the dust while parts
came from Oregon.
We wanted some
thing like the sky’s
hot white light to
burn the blues from
us, heat bleaching
bones. I write down
the names of exotic
plants in a notebook:
ocotillo, palo verde,
smoke tree, sage as
if the music of the
names will soothe


Sylvia

by brian morrisey, santa cruz, ca

Turning back hands on the clock
To 10:00 pm Friday night,
February 1956
She is staring blankly
Out the front window
Snow falls delicately
Animated between thoughts

Her eyes roll
To the ceiling
As she studies the pattern
From which each crack
Begins and ends

Blond locks of hair
Fall behind her breath

inhaling
Night ridden despair
exhaling
Momentary sickness

I fall to your whims
before you bow in secrecy
I hold your ambition
locked in the pill jar
next to the bed

I saw you let go of the night
Braced between your fingers
Blood beneath your pen
Back against the wall
Embracing the fall
As your knees buckled
Beneath you


Poor Boy At School

by alan catlin, schenectady, ny

he came along
for all the wild,
crazy rides to
the end of night,
no money for
beers or booze,
partial scholar-
ships don’t cover
consumption in
seedy college bars
listening to Mustang
Sally, wanting a
woman, wanting
everything he didn’t
have, wanting out.
Even enlisting in
the Navy, shipping
out overseas in ’67
seemed better than
penniless in Utica,
always 30 below,
inside and out,
until the sniper
round that wanted
you dead like that
Uncle Sam poster
on Roomie’s wall,
found a home.
The leaves were
still on the trees
when we heard
what hit you.
Doc said sophomore
year was going to
be hell & he was
right.


Nothing Becomes Her as the Leaving

by doug holder, somerville, ma

It is not her place to stay.
It is her’s to exit —
When the fat lady
drops her last
sonorous note
it is then
when she leaves us
with only our applause
perhaps her scent
behind the empty
flapping of a scrim
the hollow swing
of a back stage door.
And this is
when she is most beautiful
when she is no more.