Friday, February 12, 2010

Nathan Zhao

THE VALENTINE PARTY

How will people be happy without this day?
At the huge
Party with cake and candy
People sing and dance and
You'll enjoy it too.
Very empty tummies soon fill up with
Anything anyone could dream of on their plate.

Love is in the air and
Everything was fun.
Night time is coming ,
The time is running out.
In the cars the people go, because a
New day is coming,
Ending this Valentine's Day with a little song and dance.

Charles Harmon

MANHATTAN, MON AMOUR

Their apartment in Tribeca near West Broadway and Trinity
Had a view of the sunlit Twin Towers, that bright September morning,
She had worked the night shift, awakened late with the crash and watched
The second plane hit, realized that her firefighter husband was already
Inside, gasped when they crumbled and she also was engulfed in a
Blinding, choking cloud of tortured concrete, glass, and steel.
Still she rushed off to the hospital where she worked as a nurse.

Eight years later she was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer,
Prognosis incurable, she had outlived him and their baby
Who had been lost to miscarriage precipitated by that toxic stew.
Both had been immigrants from opposite ends of the Earth,
They had met while standing in Battery Park gazing at Lady Liberty.
They had shared a dream of freedom and worked to make it true.
She died with a clutch of his Valentines in her hand.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Baudelaire Shepherd

I SMELT A BITCH IN HEAT

I smelt a bitch in heat, upwind from me,
and strained upon my leash. This is the bite
within, which stirred my fathers' shivaree,
and which I sing myself in turn, despite
the knife which made a eunuch from my might.
No blade could cut away the ceaseless flood
of lust, of joy, of sorrow, in my blood.

I curse the vanity of human love!
You sigh, you swoon, conspire, and complain,
and then imagine all you're thinking of
is worth recording in a stale quatrain,
while amorous beasts merit only disdain.
And yet, with neither words, nor human soul,
I see; I breathe; I ache; I am not whole.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Jon Epstein

CUPID'S CROSSHAIRS

Mr. Cupid was an unfriendly sort
His quiver was filled with sub-machine guns, machetes, and grenades
My heart had bullseye written on it
Right next to the indelible “kick me” sign
And believe me you Jack,
Red on red ain't pretty;
Mangled aortas, and a punctured Vena Cava are no hoot

But the troops came and rallied; first the Cherub Cannabis,
Then followed by the bigger guns: Mrs. Poppy Juice
My riddled heart was temporarily soothed
By the devil's potent salves
But Like a Dutch-boy amputee,
My fingers will surely not number enough,
To plug the holes of my deprived soul

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Sharmagne Leland-St.John

I SING YOU THE MORNING

my love, I sing you the morning
as sunlight drenches the Tokyo sky
and small brown wrens gather to fly
while I, in a silken kimono
with chrysanthemum sash
gaze through my window
at a porcelain sky the colour of ash,

in my mind’s eye, I picture you oceans away
and thus, erotically, I begin my day
as I evoke the memory of the thrust of your hips
yours is the name that escapes the darkness
of my parted lips yes, I, in a blue silken kimono
with chrysanthemum sash
gaze at a sky the colour of ash

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Gabrielle Mittelbach

THE FIGHT

Like two feathers that have fallen
here by chance. We sit side by side
drained, motionless, eyes barely open
as if we had just spiraled down from
the sky in a locked embrace.
Minutes ago, across the hall, neighbors
shrieked at each other and slammed doors.

On this side of the wall, the fight was
subdued. Two hearts wrestled. Their
arteries and veins constantly tangled
and it was impossible to know
who’s blood was on the floor because
even in this lowest of moments,
we both would claim it to be our own.