Joel Netsky


A soul confronting primal chaos, the cosmos exponentially decrepitating until even walls begin melting and all structure ceases, one by one family and friends into the smirking unanimity of sheer darkness, casually into a typewriter slips a leaf and begins typing. Upon town and country thoughts drizzle, onto ravaged, leveled, cratered. How much silence can one keep before the onslaught of lobotomy and genocide, carnage of psyche after psyche. Ancient Job types, and like those who with the patriarch had debated and censured, does the society with “Howl”, but likewise slowly they drift away, the electricity of the work sufficient reply – not for decades has such verse vivified the genre, engendering dumbstruck gratitude and deference.


Walking on sidewalk – eight, ten paces in front a gent towards tavern turns;

as the door consumes, over his shoulder he, his face the etch of the haunted.

Previously had I beheld such: the eyes of Apollinaire in photo, his temples swathed

in bandage from shrapnel –

while recovering would he coin “surreal”, to convey the laying fields of World

Conflagration One; within two years he is sod.

Mind drifts to Baudelaire who minted “modernity”, the Industrial Age having

transmuted his nibbling doe and fawn into automatons of the assembly line. Need

Author be haunted? Surely aesthetics does not require said ritualarium, say

Shakespeare and Tolstoy, Whitman and Mallarme, emerging from hallowed tides.


Enfant terrible, on his shoulders Atlas bearing this big marble – ours an uninhabited planet, a bucket with neither liquid nor well, a lost tribe, the homeless who through the cold stagger from minute to minute until in an alley, under a mattress, the last ember expires. Overcoat, beret, Le Monde, Gauloises, coffee – in an outdoor cafe he, the only to refuse the Nobel in Literature. I walked by, glanced, kept going. Jean-Paul, you who I have studied assiduously, were as many – alas, as I ! – shredded by the age.

New work by Joel Netsky: I was born in Philadelphia in 1946, and have always loved literature and writing. From 2008 to 2010 I owned and operated a used bookstore.

Previously published by Poetic Matrix Press – available on this website.

The Unequivocality of a Rose                                                                                        By Joel Netsky                                                                                                                Cover Art by Patrick Fisher

2006/07 Slim Volume Series Selection

Tom Petty

Tom Petty

NPR interview with Melissa Block 8/14/14:

“Yeah, you kind of spend the whole day gearing up for it, and the night getting over it. You just want to be as wonderful as everyone thinks you are, and you know you’re not. So something takes place where you reach down and pull from so deep inside your soul that this music happens, and you all reach the place you wanted to reach together, you and the audience. Getting over that takes all night.”