Truth is a Green Rubberband by Garen Zakarian

Because we need more / Chinese helicopters / to fight famine in Ethiopia / and Italian submarines / for the Western Sahara.

Because we need more
Chinese helicopters
to fight famine in Ethiopia
and Italian submarines
for the Western Sahara.
Don’t ask how or why
because they’ll make a movie about it
and when they make a movie
then it’s true.

And who needs jobs?
Everything has been premanufactured
prepackaged and shipped in.
Now we create stories about
things we used to make
and purchase things,
unpack and trash
to justify our sense of touch
and perhaps possession
Because very soon happiness
will be assembled
and shipped in aluminum cans.
And it will be rechargeable
and very “green.”

Interrupted by Garen Zakarian

You talk / I listen / then I nod / I draw a line on a piece of paper /You spill the coffee

You talk
I listen
then I nod
I draw a line on a piece of paper
You spill the coffee

I drop the needles on the record
It’s Bach … it’s black … it’s plastic
But it’s perfect
D minor doesn’t sooth your mood
You are an ‘A’ flat with a suspended seventh
laid over burnt sienna dipped in cobalt blue

I crash-land to negotiate
and offer numbers: 2 … 4 … 8 …
But you withdraw into your prime
Rebel with: 9 … and 47

We’re disconnected
Line’s dead

Confused we look for rust
The gold was real
but the finger chose to leave the ring
The ash has smoldered the best of memories
Sinks drained the rest

What’s left of our tastefully composed duet
diminished into a solo tennis game
Go hit the wall
We’re interrupted.

Happy Days by Garen Zakarian

Some days you won’t brush / your teeth going to bed / those are the crazy days

Some days you won’t brush
your teeth going to bed
those are the crazy days
because we are preoccupied
brushing off each other

And some days
I won’t take the trash out
you’ll come home
and find me [assed out
on the couch
Those are the busy days

Some days I’ll walk out
onto the balcony
stare at Van Gogh’s bright sky
and ask      What now?
You’ll sneak behind me
wrap your arms around my
docile shoulders
We’ll stand here
listen to the silence of the moon
Those are the happy days

We Who Are Left Behind by Michael G. Springer

must tighten the cinch / wrap up the reins and open the shoot / eventually this rodeo will buck / us all to the ground

for my brother Greg

must tighten the cinch
wrap up the reins and open the shoot
eventually this rodeo will buck
us all to the ground

it won’t matter much
at that time
who gasps in the stands
if there is a little blood

we won’t cry
if we live long enough
between now and then
we may welcome the thud

perhaps if we cowboyed well
when the moment arrives
we’ll be allowed to be
with the ones we’ve loved

after the clowns come rescue us
from the raging beast
that is this life

Going Home by Leland G. Heathco

One last road to follow, one more hill to climb / You won’t need your tools this time or a thermos to fill

For my Father

One last road to follow, one more hill to climb
You won’t need your tools this time or a thermos to fill
There’ll be nothing to build; you’ve done your work; it’s time to rest
The foundation has been laid from the most precious of stones
The walls are up and the roof is on, and it’s waiting for you
The builder made everything straight and true as can be
It is worthy of a man like you; one last road and you’re free
There is a chair on the porch; have a seat; you’re finally home.

 

Childhood Memory by Ruben Garza

It’s dark and it’s late, downtown modes to scare me at night / Streetwalkers and drug dealers lurk in the shadows /They sing the song of sirens luring men to their doom.

It’s dark and it’s late, downtown modes to scare me at night
Streetwalkers and drug dealers lurk in the shadows
They sing the song of sirens luring men to their doom.
I sit alone in the car anxiously waiting for my father’s return
I spot him in the sea of the crowd and thank God he came back
Such relief, I exhale. Had I held my breath all this time?
No matter, I’m safe now. Fear removes its hold on me.
The cabin light comes on when he opens the car door and goes
out when the door shuts after taking his place behind the wheel.
“Dad, where were you?” I asked, trying to sound like a big kid,
but there was no hiding my tear-stained cheeks.
He looked at me and smiled with sadness in his eyes. “It’s okay,
son, I’m here now,” he replied as he leaned over and kissed my
forehead. A father’s love and affection was all the reassurance I
needed.
He pulled a crushed beer can from his pocket and placed it on his
lap using its bowl-shaped bottom to prepare his fix.
I watched as he drew it into a syringe and tucked it into his arm,
dumping its dark contents into a vein.
“Dad, what are you doing?” I saw shame on his face.
“Nothing, son, nothing.” He began to hang his head.
He didn’t look at me, but I didn’t care. I had him here with me.
The presence of my father was all I needed.
Though he is reckless and broken to pieces, I’ll travel any sea
with my junkie Ulysses.

Broken Glass Heart with Fresh Flowers by Tommy Antrez

Shattered into a thousand
Tiny pieces shaped
Like a maze
A kaleidoscope design
Carved by two soft
Smooth hands
With French-tip nails
Cold as seashells
Stuck in white sand
My wild scented
Rosemary

Shattered into a thousand
Tiny pieces shaped
Like a maze
A kaleidoscope design
Carved by two soft
Smooth hands
With French-tip nails
Cold as seashells
Stuck in white sand
My wild scented
Rosemary
With short mostly red hair
Now floats
With dead leaves
In a dirty stream
Of a sidewalk gutter
Sun-ray beams
And tasteless rain
Nourish
My new bouquet
Of beautiful bloom’d
Lilies, jasmines and violets
With color’d green-eyes
Music
Pours into the vase of a
Broken glass heart to seal the cracks
When I sing to my new
Flower
Named Daisy at
The park