Saturday, January 28, 2012

earth note 170

wind & pines deep breathing
feed on each other
the plane overhead
gets short circuited
in the short arc
of the sun
even clouds lose their way

choices have limits
promises are in-season
money has no exchange

the river inhales
on its own
pushes whitecaps

--- e b bortz

(published in, Jan 30, 2012)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

earth note 169

dreary & warm
a winter message
like a cry for help

--- e b bortz

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

earth note 168

frozen hills tasting a thaw
can sometimes fool the songbirds
perched in the remnants
of a rusty gondola car
stranded on the siding

their singing seems random
to an ear still burdened
by the pinging
of a lean & narrow
railroad spike hammer

steel chirping
becomes the acoustic blend
a barge echoes
waiting at the channel
the river will ultimately
decide all propriety

--- e b bortz

Monday, January 23, 2012

the corps

have found a way
to shake inside their iron boots
& still let everyone think
that their benevolence
is in fact
with everyone eating
at the trough
diving into a new bag of monsanto hash
spread evenly
egalitarian in fact they say
unless of course your food stamps
have already run out
or you don't have bus fare
or your bones are too cold
to get up from under the covers
since they turned off the heat

and for every iron boot pair
with or without the make-believe
there are 99 barefoot pairs
.....waiting for spring

--- e b bortz

(published in, Jan 25, 2012)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

close your eyes & let me frack you

you'll get paid
piecemeal tax
for the clever milk-no-honey-toastmasters
serving up
in grand jargon illusion
a carbon under-crust
& cloak
for the status seeker nonprofit
eddie bauer backwoods-man-ship
in earth tones

just mechanical technocrats
even the apologists
in ready daggers
vertical then horizontal
into your bowels
you'll bleed-out
you know it

--- e b bortz

(published in, Jan 21, 2012)

Monday, January 16, 2012

angel baby


rosie & the originals
connected every wavering chord
loose in the body & mind
of a twelve-year-old

just climbing out
from under a school desk
from an air raid drill
     so out of touch

and as the story goes
rosie hamlin was cheated

     for a time
out of her songwriter rights
'cause she wrote the original
as a poem instead of a song

yet still
the poem sings
     like a single voice

          a heart

--- e b bortz

Sunday, January 15, 2012

earth note 167

koh samui, thailand, 1989

the undertow was almost secretive
giving you instant revelation
that it was best to dive in quickly
get beyond it
past the green surf
churning up sand
right before the crash
on high ground
.....a lesson respect
.....from a stern mother

the fishing boats
came buzzing in for dinner
the beach deserted
the sun screaming for a finish
like there might be some doubt
about tomorrow

even the coconut palms
were picked clean
& when i thought
about their emptiness
i realized that the last ferry was full
& had already left for the mainland

tides do melt away
what is left
is the substance
of time
every thought
buried within
.....not fleeting

--- e b bortz

Friday, January 13, 2012

multitudes waiting for facebook's class war

consider this your market research
things are so in the toilet
there'll be hell
& brimstone
awash this election year
all within the safe confines
of your subterranean cyber closet

act now
apps are standing by
that traffic snarl
is not a mirage

--- e b bortz

(published in, Jan 16, 2012)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

first arrest

summer 1964

when i was sixteen
reggie & i crashed
a party over on
howe street
the bohemian part of pittsburgh

the four tops
weren't there
but their music was
& a special spirit
you could call it

the police gave no warning
before they barged in
arrested a bunch of us
asking everybody
blacks & whites were at
the same party

the paddy wagon ride
stopped at juvenile hall
(was on forbes avenue then in oakland)
and after i was processed in
they pointed to a narrow wooden bench
for me to sleep on until morning
when they'd call my father
i didn't sleep
just laid there wondering
where they took reggie
who was a year older
but still juvenile
& later found out
they jailed him downtown
til morning

after all
we were caught
& at a 'disorderly' house

--- e b bortz

(published in, Jan 17, 2012)

Saturday, January 07, 2012

earth note 166

on the bus the other day
i heard a hunched over
in a very heavy coat
he wasn't sure what the future
looked like

wasn't what he thought
it would be
or a few years ago
he never believed in
an arrival
or deliverance
though the bus driver
did nod
as the front door
for him to exit

--- e b bortz

(published in, Jan 11, 2012)

Thursday, January 05, 2012

bread crumbs

that haven't yet
fallen to the floor
are well hidden
or scattered
over the table
to the point
of dispersing
the mass
to starvation

on another table
in the outer-burbs
the feast never ends
or even pays
its own freight
bread crumbs
trickle upward
like a steady

some believe
this is novel

--- e b bortz

(published in, Jan 8, 2012)