Friday, November 30, 2012

in detroit

mustang sally waits
under the marquee
at the fox theatre
     inside leonard cohen
     kneels once more
     for her
     from an ornate stage
     projecting and lifting
     a deep sexual voice
     for all the outstretched
     idled hands
     lovers' hearts
     gone cold

 --- e b bortz

Monday, November 19, 2012

blue moon narrative

i remember seeing the marcels bass man
in the bluebell diner on brighton place
just after getting off my pinsetter shift
at the bowling alley down the street

as i think back now
he looked kinda lost
from the breakup of the group
     that was about 1962

everything around was being uprooted
so-called urban renewal was coming on
     no regard to where anyone would end up
you just drifted until you hit something to stop you

northside pittsburgh was a new neighborhood for me
my dad & i landed on buena vista street
as the mills were still smoking
& streetcars rolled up & down mountains easily

the neighborhood was beginning to mix
like a jumble of stew
black & white folks learning to pull together
     most everyone pissed

     by the so-called pittsburgh renaissance

the presbyterian church on brighton road was in for
a real awakening as reverend bob went door-to-door
welcoming in black people
     putting together a softball team

     & friday night flicks as he called it

jfk rolled thru in '62 sitting on the back

     of a convertible
we all lined brighton road like a swarm of bees
getting a glimpse on his fixed smile
wrinkles on his forehead beginning to show
     maybe even eye contact

     or maybe i'm reading too much into it

nearby columbia place was more than an alley
     more like a village
maybe twenty houses strung together
     hours on the stoops
     made learning the words
     or making up new ones
          the only harmony that mattered

--- e b bortz

(published in earth notes and other poems, Least Bittern Books, 2015)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

it never comes easy

death that is
or at least it shouldn't
where tunnels & bomb shelters
open their
parched empty doors
to a universe of
holding cells
reportedly steeped
in the magna carta
     and every fearful sigh
leaving your body
     just another step
     negating the last one

it never comes easy
love that is

--- e b bortz

(published in, Nov 19, 2012)

Friday, November 16, 2012

death & taxes

the president awakens early
to initial u.s.a.
     on the turrets of the israeli tanks
     amassed on the gaza border
     the big guns blasting into gaza
     from ships in the mediterranean
     the drones taking off
     jets dropping bombs
     communications equipment
          screaming thru the night
the newscasts from the felted echo chambers
the oil tankers refueling the death machines
     ignoring the bankruptcy receipts

     phony credit instruments

all the soil
is poisoned
in dollars

--- e b bortz

(published in, Nov 16, 2012)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

out thru the upper midwest & then further northwest

from the abundance
of lakes and forests
into the vast expanse
     where the common ground
     becomes a drought cracked earth
spreading past abandoned
     dry washes
falling down farm houses
cattle and buffalo shuffling
in search of shade
and then abruptly
thru western north dakota
the pillage of fracking
     chemical pestilence
carving out the soul
of lost prairies
     broken treaties

--- e b bortz

(published in, Nov 12, 2012)
(published in earth notes and other poems, Least Bittern Books, 2015)

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

now that it's over...billions later...this rant's free

& the president is reelected
     forgive my preachy
a few simple questions
for my friends & former friends
who felt compelled
to awaken/browbeat me
     (unsuccessfully...jill stein still got my vote)
with lesser evil (nonetheless evil)
calculations      rationalizations dreamed up
in a night sweat
(someone's been watching too much television)
to the questions:

can you be counted on now
to insist on
from here on
from this president

do fracking ponds scare you
enough to act
like your last well
of unpolluted water
is being hijacked
at the pennsylvania/ohio border
is that street theatre
or just another superbowl party
     to go with
     more war
     more drones
     more fear mongering

is the climate emergency
immediate enough
for yah

is a president who only promises
to tweak
at college tuition INCREASES
just after slightly reducing
medicare premium INCREASES
really on the side of "the middle class"

are you swallowing
the "grand bargain"
with congress
     have you bought
     the poison pill
     and called it a discount

are happy days here again

--- e b bortz

(published in, Nov 7, 2012)