Holly Day

Mermaids

we were going to take the boat out, sail
to the edge of the world, tease
the monsters waiting there with our
bare, dangling feet, toes tickling the ocean skin
like tiny pink fish

but you had to go and ruin it
chase shore-hugging mermaids instead
had to search clam-shell bikinis for pearls
find out where baby mermaids come from

we were going to become pirates
treasure hunters, world explorers
wrestle giant squid at the world’s edge
find the fountain of youth

but you had to go and spoil everything
in your search for suburban normalcy
chase dreams of apron-clad mermaids
who’d give up their kingdoms for you.

 

Brand New

I threw away
everything that came
before he
was in
my life so
I could pretend
that I was brand new
just like the baby
I held in
my arms, just
like the perfect
baby that somehow
came out of me

 

The New Place, The New Thing

it lies beneath a trapdoor in
the floor. the best way to find it is
to open the door. She
opened the door and entered
the room and was introduced to the thing that was
waiting inside. I watched as you
took her under your wings and erased her.

she woke up that morning
felt destiny stirring in her chest, flutter
in the pit of her stomach in a spot
that should have been empty. The butterflies
would not be still no matter how loud she yelled
no matter
how hard she beat against the growing
knot with her tiny, ineffectual hands. She
who had always required screaming at to
do the simplest things, she picked up the phone
and called me and told me I had to
come over and find away to make

it all go away. You, who sit at her bedside
you brush the hair back from her forehead and tell her things
will be much better now. I
hope you’re not lying.

 

Holly Day

Short bio: Holly Day has taught writing classes at the Loft Literary Center in Minnesota , since 2000. Her poetry has recently appeared in Oyez Review, SLAB, and Gargoyle, while her newest poetry book, Ugly Girl, just came out from Shoe Music Press.

 

I am a white man

It is time, before the coming Republican primaries, for me to say something I first formed 40 years ago. Before the pundits spew out the stereotype about disaffected white men voting for the likes of Trump and Cruz, let me say this, I am a white man (even an older white man), my three sons are white men, my two little grandson are budding white men and we do not support the mindless, ignorant and dangerous nonsense coming out of these two and the others in the Republican campaign. Stereotypes of all sorts are false and this one is a great and demeaning falsehood.
 
I have spent the last 45 years associating and working with white men who have been working for the rights of the working class, civil rights, immigrant rights, gay rights, religious freedom and understanding, women’s right, and the freedom of people’s around the world for the right not to live under the heel of economic and political subjugation. The opportunity to work with people who share these values, whether, black, women, gay, hispanic, asian or white men, gives freedom to us all. Nothing is lost rather so much is gained.
 
So, do not mix me and my sons in with a group that is, in fact, false from the start. To the pundits, find another more accurate and more enlightened way to account for the fear that animates so much of the people who support these demigods.
John Peterson
 
Here is a short list of some white men, celebrities and associates, who are not motivated by fear but by love of all people.

Peter Yarrow
Paul Stooky
Bob Dylan
Edward R. Murrow
George Clooney
Shaun Penn
Tony Bennett
John Brown
Frank Sinatra
Gregory Peck
Bill Clinton
Paul Newman
Rock Hudson
Harry Truman
James Woods
Gene Hackman
Pete Seeger
Woody Guthrie
Tony Bennett
Orson Wells
Tim McCoy in a 1932 movie
The entire cast of 12 Angry Men
Tony Curtis
Robert Ryan
Walter Reuther
Every white man at the March on Washington
Marlon Brando
Bobby Darin
Ken Hart
Craig Cherstrom
Lawrence Rouse
Ren Maby
Warren Kessler
James Downs
Ed Maupin
Rick Gold
Jack Seileman

The list is endless.  To add names to this list go to the Comments and send them to me.  I will add them.

 

FRANCISCO X. ALARCÓN

image

We have lost a rare and beautiful person.  To Francisco, my friend, my love to you on your new journey.  It has been my privilege and my joy to have gotten to know you and to work with you.  Thanks to James Downs for introducing us and thanks to Devon, my son, and Kiirsti, my daughter, for the good work we did on your book project.  And thanks to Javier, blessings to you.

Francisco is one of those special people, special poets, who in his life and in his poetry he showed us the best a person can be.  In his poetry you see the man and in the man you see his poetry, they are the same.  As James said to me tonight, “he is now the Borderless Butterfly flying over us all.”

Loco                                                            Crazy
mis puertas                                            I leave
las dejo                                                      my doors
sin cerrar                                                 unlocked
los extraños                                           strangers
me parecen                                            look to me
tan familiares                                      so familiar
a todos                                                      I would
los abrazaría                                         embrace and
y besaría                                                  kiss them all
cada día                                                    every day
en la calle                                                on the street
hallo a Dios                                            I run into God
en vez                                                        instead
de llorar                                                  of crying
ahora me río                                        now I laugh
quiero poner                                       I want to
el mundo                                               turn the world
al revés                                                    upside down
nada                                                          nothing
me convence –                                  sways me –
debo de estar loco                            I must be crazy
3 de agosto de 2009                        August 3, 2009

 

Buckminster Fuller

(Buckminster) Fuller said that he had experienced a profound incident which would provide direction and purpose for his life. He felt as though he was suspended several feet above the ground enclosed in a white sphere of light. A voice spoke directly to Fuller, and declared:

From now on you need never await temporal attestation to your thought. You think the truth. You do not have the right to eliminate yourself. You do not belong to you. You belong to Universe. Your significance will remain forever obscure to you, but you may assume that you are fulfilling your role if you apply yourself to converting your experiences to the highest advantage of others.

Fuller stated that this experience led to a profound re-examination of his life. He ultimately chose to embark on “an experiment, to find what a single individual [could] contribute to changing the world and benefiting all humanity.”

TWIXT 5 poems

Water Tactics

Drops’ jots and tittles form icicles
that lock up in temperature drops and yet
drip in more warm phenom clear and present
placebo venom.

 

Is Defines Is

This beautiful panorama of is
somehow has arrived at being what’s there,
and not whatever else might have, had it.

 

Reply

I can sympathize with what you have e-
mailed me, having to break off with someone
for whom you weren’t exclusive who was
for you just what you wanted hurts like hell
and leaves you cold and broken – that took strength
of purpose.  You wouldn’t drop your standard.
You held to what you know is real so good
for you, good for the too of you.

 

Brake-Fast Serial

The roads are full of white noise from tires
on snow, the sidewalks are full of the white
lies of flakes.

 

fertile bush

each berry a yolk
in a raindrop egg

 

“TWIXT is the mononym-onym of Peter Specker; he has had poetry published in Margie, The Indiana Review, Amelia, California State Quarterly, RE:AL, Pegasus, First Class, Pot-pourri, Art Times, The Iconoclast, Epicenter, Subtropics, Quest, Confrontation, Writers’ Journal, Rattle, Prairie Schooner and others.  He lives in Ithaca, New York.”

 

Mandy Patinkin

Earlier today I saw a CBS News piece on actor Mandy Patinkin as he went to a beach on a Greek island as refugees came ashore.  He went to, as he said “connect with reality” and meet these people as they fled conflicts in the Middle-East.  Patinkin said “fear is the poison of our lives.” Our humanity is at risk if we don’t help these people. “I’m not a politician. I’m an actor. I refer to myself as a humanitician. And all I want for myself, my children and for all people all over the world, is to be less afraid,” Patinkin said.

After the obscene pronouncement from the Republican candidate in the earlier news segment Patinkin’s passionate and oh so human response to these people was so so heartening.  In him I saw a man fully human and I was so touched and moved.  Fear is a poison that must not take over our lives else we walk around devoid of what it means to be human.  He said reaching out to those in need is a kindness and is what we must do.  And I am so grateful to him for manifesting his humanness. That is what we must see in this time of bigotry and playing on other’s fear.

Mandy Patinkin is a man of consequence, my respect and love to him in this time of confusion. Go here to see the news item.

-John Peterson

Thanks Leroy

I just saw Trump’s disgusting and abusive portrayal of a disabled person. Having just published Leroy Moore’s book Black Kripple Delivers Poetry & Lyrics I realize how much Leroy has affected me. Leroy has the same speech and physical patterns that Trump caricatured but the great difference between them is that Leroy has great compassion for those who share his disability. And let me tell you his intelligence far out shines Trump’s and mine. He works tirelessly for the rights of the disabled, for the rights of black disabled persons, the rights of disabled women and for the rights of all of us to give up our prejudice and ignorance. May his love spread far and wide. Leroy is the kind of person I wish to see showing us how to include all people in our human community. Thanks Leroy.

John Peterson

John Grey

PARADE

Some are big-boned, some are egret-thin.

For every tall one, there’s another squat and dumpy.

Most are brunettes, a few blondes, now and then, a red-head.

Many noses are up, many chins are down.

Some chatter constantly. Others remain silent.

Morose, happy, solitary, cringing to the crowd,

there’s many kinds, and then the subtle variances,

the loud one in a quiet moment,

the cold one who suddenly warms.

There’s a flood, then a trickle, then a flood again.

Sometimes there’s even none, but not for long.

What starts it? Who knows? But, from time to time,

I hear my voice cry out of nowhere, “Come, lie beside me. Stay.”

***

EMMA GOING BLIND

The dark wants your eyes.

Your pupils don’t know what’s coming.

The faces are about to go unrecognizable.

Better hone up your touch

because, soon enough, the light won’t do.

Sounds are taking on importance.

The TV is killing off your favorite characters.

The newspaper is telling you it’s all a blur.

Color schemes are the enemy now.

Your children are whispering behind your back.

The words “nursing home” pierce your still keen ears,

draw your blood, not theirs.

So what if you bump into the furniture.

If your eyes desert you,

then you’ll learn to see with your knees.

It’s getting late.

Your children need to get back to their lives,

to the plotting of their own offspring.

You look forward to sleep,

your life on equal terms.

***

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in New Plains Review, Perceptions and Sanskrit with work upcoming in South Carolina Review, Gargoyle, Owen Wister Review and Louisiana Literature.   

 

 

Gail Rudd Entrekin and Charles Entrekin

cover

The Art of Healing
by Gail Rudd Entrekin and Charles Entrekin

Gail and Charles are well known to Poetic Matrix Press. We have published two books by Gail and one by Charles. In this volume they alternate pieces exploring the very trying journey through Charles’ cancer. Charles writes confronting this in himself and Gail writes as his spouse, lover and caregiver. They both are gifted poets and through this writing they reveal the difficulties and extreme love that takes Charles to complete remission. To say this is beautiful is an understatement. This is a read that all those who have experienced a trauma or have cared for someone will find enlightening and just beautiful. (available soon)

 

Black Swan
“A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence.”
David Hume (1711-1776), An Inquiry Concerning
Human Understanding

Cold and dark, the moon on the pond,
the black swan sits unseen,
undiscovered, waiting
like a shadow on a PET scan
a mass in my chest.
The exception disproves the rule.
The white swans everyone finds
do not define the color
or the shape of despair.
I wake to the sound of a sheet
flapping in the breeze.
My wife sits at my side.
With the coming of dawn,
my black swan recedes.
Too soon to choose
the right pair of shoes,
what to be buried in,
the color of my shirt.

C.

 

The Love Embrace of the Universe….
after Frieda Kahlo

Here I am in my red dress, my long hair blowing
and in my arms you are curled, a naked child man
your blind blue eyes, a third eye large, black
and wiser than we know, in the center of your head.
A brown goddess fills the frame, holding us both
in her generous lap, her nipple dripping, a tree
sprouting from her shoulder, and around us
in her arms she is holding everything that grows
roots dangling from her wrists and fingers
and, love, we are safe here. You are holding
fire but the sky is awash in mist and moon
and we will not burn. Go to sleep.
We will not burn.

G.