Poetry Section: Pristine Poems

Henry David Thoreau once said, “Be not simply good – be good for something.” If writers Sergio Antonio Ortiz, RL Greenfield, David McLean, Anthony Jones, and Justin Hyde aren’t good for anything else in the world (which we are sure they are), then they are definitely good for writing poems for those who can never get enough of reading poetry. These short, quick paced poems are very satisfying to the poet’s diet.

But be not just a good reader, but leave a comment and be good for something. If you like what you see, let us know. These poems are sure to please. Enjoy!

Sergio Antonio Ortiz
December Lights

Back then, under a cold
December sun
you’d arrived naked
as a rose. I’d ask
for permission
so you could to stay under
my shadow.
You’d close your eyes
and open your skin,
the perennial light of desire,
to walk me through
brief appearances
of galaxies, infinite transit
of heartbeats, as if death
was strolling
between our legs.

The Rattler of Keys
Carapace of fake smiles—
eventually the day will ease into a long permanent dream,
a ghost ration of sweat lying in my eyelids,
folding the years where timid stars hide
in silence.

This dream is dying
and it has asked for my body.
It wants me to jump in the river
and search for an ocean inside a rose.

It burns my skin until there is nothing left
but impotent verses reaching for the stars,
suffocating. Run, go tell the jailer it is time for the execution.

BIO: Ortiz is a retired educator, painter, poet, and photographer. He has a B.A. in English literature, and a M.A. in philosophy. Flutter Press released his debut chapbook, At the Tail End of Dusk, October 2009. Ronin Press released his second chapbook, topography of a desire, May 2010. Avantacular Press released his first photographic chapbook: The Sugarcane Harvest, May 2010. His third chapbook: Bedbugs in My Mattress, was released by Flutter Press, November 2010. He was recently published, or is forthcoming in: A Generation Defining Itself Anthology, Exercise Bowler, MungBeing, and Guerilla Pamphlets. He is a nominee to the 2010 Sundress Best of the Net Anthology, and a 2010 Pushcart Nominee.

RL Greenfield
getting it right

people talk all
the time about

how the words
describe living

& know so much
more than the body

can ever possibly
state concerning

what is going on
behind the façade

of itself
i believe we

are talking
about nothing

all the time

because we
haven’t lived yet

& in all probability
never will

but we have
heard rumors

Belle de Jour
Catherine Deneuve in white silk underwear
Catherine Deneuve in white silk
Catherine D. in white
Catherine looking rather good & empty
Catherine looking rather serene
Chanel 19 wants a ride through the woods
in a horse & carriage & bells, bells
(tintinnabulating Catie)
a little something extra for French breakfast
ala mode: Catherine D. looking out the window
for a new shining star
Napoleon Bonaparte in riding boots
& whip-lash of a Jean-Paul Belmondo mind
O, Catherine!—O, Catie, Catie, Catie
Please make me red raw & rich one time—
one little time under a tree with sun
dripping on our hides
Kiss me, Catherine, with your eyes dipped in maple
before the fire eats us into air & little dancing dandelions

BIO: RL Greenfield was born in Wisconsin, moved to Los Angeles in 1962 & immediately The City of Angels became the home of his true birth. His recent work is posted online by Stride Magazine (4 poems, Aug. 2010), Poetic Matrix (3 poems posted Dec 15, 2010) 9 January & 1 December 2009—on Charles Wright’s Littlefoot and Russell Edson’s See Jack. Forthcoming poems in the Denver Quarterly, Chiron Review, Nether, Eunoia Review, & Sein und Werden. A review of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road appears online in November, 2010 Gently Read Literature. His poems have been in several LA magazines since 1975—Poetry/LA, Tsunami, OnTheBus, Bachy, Electrum, Meat & others. Also, The Wallace Stevens Journal, The New York Quarterly, The Minnesota Review, Pharos, New Verse News, many others.

He received an NEA fellowship in literature for an mss of poems in 1995. He created a television program that year The Greenfield Code & produced & hosted 150 one-hr shows in Santa Barbara featuring writers & artists. It was terrifically successful & a thrilling experience that transformed his esthetic forever.

David McLean
in the gray sky

might be a well deep enough
to throw all our nothings in
and live

for it falls beyond wherever the stars are
hidden behind my hand
and the loud clouds behind it

there might be a well full of night
and miles and time,
deep enough for everything

profound, a well gaping its mouth, hungry
to swallow nothings and secrets
and learn to forgive;

we can drop gods and nonsense there,
all the monsters under children’s beds,
morals and a sense of sin

the fire in the night

the fire in the night is flesh
and an anxious candle;

nothing pops up in us
in the form of small absences

flickering up into being
like angry electrons might,

if there had ever been a void,
nothing comes to us

and it is time,
anxious fire is always alight

while we are alive,
time’s weight waiting

for times to die,
push time aside

BIO: David McLean is Welsh but has lived in Sweden since 1987. He is an atheist, an anarchist and generally disgusting. He has a BA in History from Balliol, Oxford, and an MA in philosophy, taken much later and much more seriously studied for, from Stockholm. Up to date details of well over 1100 poems in various zines – both print and online, both degenerate and reputable – over the last three years or so are at his blog at http://mourningabortion.blogspot.com. There you will also find details of several currently available books and chapbooks – including three print full lengths, four print chapbooks, and a free electronic chapbook. A new chapbook is due out in spring 2011.

Anthony Jones
the mad scientists at prom

i never thought they’d show up
but here they were—
the mad scientists at prom

we smashed all their beakers
and crushed all their test tubes
but here they were in their lab coats—
ready to experiment on the dance floor

stockton, california

hearing train tracks rumble late at night
locomotives bellowing like wounded dogs
a fog gray feeling
seeming sometimes blue

BIO: Anthony Jones’ work has been published inWestwind (Spring 2006) and The Furnace Review (Fall 2010). He was also the 2007 recipient of the Ruth Brill Scholarship, awarded to the most outstanding fiction writer at UCLA. He’s performed his work with The Noah Garabedian Sextet (http://vimeo.com/13471981) and, most recently, he was selected to read one of his short stories at The Franklin Park Reading Series. Currently, he coaches basketball in the South Bronx.

Justin Hyde
i knew it wouldn’t work with the cocktail waitress/thespian

when an overhead tv at the truck stop
showed some middle aged actress
accepting a lifetime achievement award.

“if i ever had the chance
to work with her
i’d bow down at her feet,”
she said.

‘why in the hell would you
bow down to anybody?’

she’s just so far beyond me.”

‘respect fine
but we all bisect the keel
at ankle level.
study her technique
reach for her level
but bowing down to anybody
is like creating gods
out of coleslaw.’

“lets agree to disagree baby,”
she said
lightly running her fingernails
down the back of my neck.

that whole whirlpool
of deceit,
i thought
dejectedly stirring my water
with a knife.


is a
blue flame
in the mouth
of the adder

damp shade
south of
the anthill

in your son’s hand
as you
cross the street

mother’s voice
the telephone:

sixty years old
with opium


please come
bail me out

a thursday night in des moines iowa

we’re in her living room
shooting darts
while listening to
chet baker.

i don’t remember
the last time
i was so relaxed
with another person,
i say.

quit overanalyzing,
she says.

it’s just
you mean
a-lot to me.

that’s better,
she says
biting my ear

overturning center

with those
pale blue

BIO: Justin Hyde currently lives in Iowa, where he works with criminals.

One Response to “Poetry Section: Pristine Poems”
  1. frostwire says:

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