Friday, January 27, 2017

earth note 446

waves collapse
in a ritual
bowing to broken clouds

some say
there's a secret current & path
toward the bay & ocean

but only if you agree
to give up all
previous assumptions

follow the birds
lest you be lost
in the mangroves

--- e b bortz

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

before we five there was we three

and us dead-end-kids version
of the folk revival
circa 1963 pittsburgh
five hundred miles
heard by way of peter paul & mary
my fifteen dollar guitar
from an east ohio street pawn shop
dropping off my greasy
adolescent hood trench coat
for a beatup navy peacoat
and some finger picks

we practiced in the basement
of the second-fifth presbyterian church
on brighton road and made a debut
in the chapel under the
watchful eyes of deacon moe
(of moe's little place barroom)
and the young preacher rev bob
walking the neighborhood
in coveralls & broken down houses
dark steel streetcar tracks
& dusty alleyways
looking for souls and songs
for we three to mix it up with

we eventually got to if i had a hammer
and what a hammer it was
never realizing until
the weight of the world
came crashing up columbia place
black and white was
all blues to us
the girls were into winking
making our voices quiver
in the heat
of the stark concrete city steps
or just another way
of reaching for the sky

--- e b bortz

Monday, January 16, 2017

hemingway piloted his boat up the canal

until he reached
an end wall
and then tried
turning around
as if to undo
the complications
of a no-exit strategy

the wind picked his hat
right off his head
leaving his gray beard
brushing against his lips
like a hairy lover
lost on the mist
the clouds rolling in
canceling high noon
and then leaving him
to his own memories

--- e b bortz

Thursday, January 12, 2017

so what does that so-called poem mean

that it can hide
for years
without raising any eyebrows
like some kind of unintended gesture
waiting for
phony affirmation

the patches on the elbows
come from a long line
of academy

yet the streets are full
of broken wordsmiths
outliving every bottle
of ripple wine

--- e b bortz

Saturday, January 07, 2017

these words

have made contact
with the earth
every step
a space occupied
by a foot
and an imprint

there's no running away
from the result

once you've decided
to move
your effort is complete

value judgments here
are not commodities

--- e b bortz