July 29 – August 4, 2013: Ron Kolm and Serkan Engin

Ron kolm and Serkan Engin

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Ron kolm
kolmrank@verizon.net

Bio (auto)

Ron Kolm lives in New York City. He is one of the founding members of the Unbearables literary collective, and an editor of several of their anthologies: Crimes of the Beats, The Worst Book I Ever Read and The Unbearables Big Book of Sex! Ron is a contributing editor of Sensitive Skin magazine and an associate editor of the Evergreen Review. He is also the co-author, with Jim Feast, of Neo Phobe, and the author of The Plastic Factory. A collection of his poems, Divine Comedy, has just been published by Fly By Night Press. He’s had work recently published in Jeff Wright’s Live Mag! and Steve Cannon’s Gathering of the Tribes. Kolm’s papers were purchased by the New York University library, where they’ve been catalogued in the Fales Collection as part of the Downtown Writers Group. He has worked in most of New York City’s independent bookstores, including the Strand, St. Mark’s Bookshop and Coliseum Books. He currently works for Posman Books in Grand Central Station.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Ron kolm and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Divine Comedy

I.

Let’s take a walk
You said.
Okay, I said.
And here we are
High above the East River
On a pedestrian walkway
On the Triboro Bridge
Hiking from Astoria
To Randall’s Island
As rush-hour traffic
Streams by.
I hate my life
You say.
And I know
You’re not joking.
I wonder if you’re
Thinking of jumping
And what I would do
If you did.
It’s a long way down
To the tug
Pushing a barge
On fiery waters
As it disappears
Beneath the bridge.
Should I grab
For your arm
And probably die too
Or simply admit
I want to live
And let you fall.
It’s late afternoon
When we finally reach
Our destination
Descending a cement
Stairway that deposits us
Onto a parking lot
Near the Manhattan
Psychiatric Center.

II.

We’re both too tired
To turn around
And walk back
Over the bridge.
The only other exit
Off this island
Is a narrow
Pedestrian overpass
That connects it
With Manhattan
But to get there
We have to cross
The grounds of the
Mental institution
And blocking our way
Is a guard in a booth.
You’re reporters!
He shouts at us,
Trying to do
Another fucking expose!
No, we protest,
We just want to get back
To the city so we can
Take a subway home.
He pats us down
And searches our bags
Then grudgingly waves us on.
It’s early evening now
And large bright lights
Come on, illuminating
Everything surreally.
We can clearly see inmates
Through plate-glass windows
In 1ow, ranch-styIe buildings
Watching TV.
If it weren’t
For the barbed-wire
You’d almost think
We were in suburbia.

III.

Beyond the last building
The underbrush thickens
And the asphalt path
Is cracked and broken.
It’s pitch black —
A hot, humid night.
Indistinct shapes
Dart into the bushes
In front of us —
I take out
My Swiss Army Knife
All two inches of it
And flick it open
Just in case.
And, like that
We come upon
The other guard booth
Burnt out
And abandoned long ago.
I’m not feeling too good
But you grab my arm
And motion
To a string of lights
Rising above the trees
And I realize
It’s the footbridge.
As we step onto it
We’re almost swept away
By a wave of humanity
Swarming from Manhattan
Onto Randall’s Island —
A never-ending procession
Of shopping bag ladies
Sneaker kids, junkies
And sodacan collectors —
And we the only two leaving
Tired and relieved
And even perhaps vaguely
In love with each other.


Serkan Engin
sekoengo@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

A Laz poet from Turkey, Serkan Engin was born in 1975 in Izmit/Turkey. He was influenced by his parents to study at Navy Military Lycee but was dismissed from Navy Military High School in 1995 because he was undisciplined. He then studied at technical high school in Kocaeli University, and now he is a vigorous antimilitarist. His poems have been published in more than fifty literature journals in Turkey and he has also published a poem manifest in a literature journal in 2004, “Imagist Socialist Poetry.” He has tried to start a new poetry movement in Turkish Poetry. He has also published numerous articles in literature journals about literary theory according to his poetry movement. The basic motto of his poetry movement is “Imagist in the form, socialist in the content“ and the other basic motto is “If you have no fight, you don’t have any poem”. His poems have been published in The Tower Journal, Poetry’z Own and Mediterranean Poetry in English. Also his poems have been published in one of the major philosophy and poetry journal of Japan named Shi to Shisou in Japanese. He lives in Izmit/Turkey and works as an editor in a local paper.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Serkan Engin and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Children of Homelessness

They draw a knife of grief and throw a razor to hell
while slicing their courage thinner.
Their stomachs are deserted and their dreams are blinded,
their pupils are dice shaken to pain.

They walk along with a suicide anthem
as violence suckles their teazel life.
They are wasted of life and,
their history can be read in a welter of blood.

Their innocence is scratched out on their skin,
their hopes capsized before sailing.
Desolate birds settle on their shoulders,
their necks are written cursive in every language
as the children of homelessness rot away from scratch.