April 11-17, 2016: Poetry from Stuart Buck and Joan E. Bauer

​Stuart Buck and ⁣Joan E. Bauer

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​Stuart Buck
stuartmbuck@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

Stuart Buck is a poet and writer living in North Wales with his wife and two children. His poetry and prose have been widely published in journals such as The Stare’s Nest, Cultured Vultures, Deadsnakes, The Bitchin’ Kitsch, Erbacce Journal, The Seventh Quarry, Walking is Still Honest, Yellow Chair Review, The Sunflower Collective and Under the Fable. He has been a featured poet in both FIVE magazine and poetrykit. When he is not writing or reading, he enjoys juggling, cooking and ambient music.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​Stuart Buck and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Ode to the Bus-Stop Outside your House

here’s where
you took me
……………………..when we first
……………………..made love.
when we were
still young enough
……………………..to kick through
……………………..people’s lives

……………………..like autumn leaves.
to snap back
slate grey limbs
……………………..and winter dreams.

to cross our palms
with silver silk
……………………..and kiss the
……………………..crusted scabs of
……………………..wounded knees.

 

 



⁣Joan E. Bauer
jbauer103w@aol.com

Bio (auto)

Joan E. Bauer the author of The Almost Sound of Drowning (Main Street Rag, 2008). Her poetry has appeared in Cider Press Review, Confrontation, 5 AM, Poet Lore, Quarterly West, Slipstream, and US 1 Worksheets, and in more than a dozen anthologies. With Judith Robinson and Sankar Roy, she co-edited the award-winning anthology, Only the Sea Keeps: Poetry of the Tsunami (Bayeux Arts and Rupa & Co, 2005). In 2007, her poem “Sleepers,” won the Earl Birney Poetry Prize from Prism International. For some years, Joan worked as an English teacher and educational counselor. She now divides her time between Venice, CA. and Pittsburgh, PA, where she curates the Hemingway’s Summer Poetry Series with her friend Jimmy Cvetic. Listen to our audio archive at: www.hemingwayspoetryseries.blogspot.com .

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ⁣Joan E. Bauer and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Fig Season

Late August in my mother’s big LA backyard
was fig season. She had fourteen trees
which she grew impossibly from scratch, cutting off
a branch then planting it in dusty soil
& hey presto another fig tree.

Each day, a dozen figs
to share with friends & neighbors,
her Farmer’s Market buddies, even strangers. She was
a share-the-wealth gal. Not all her cousins were,
but she was.

So I’m happy to see this sturdy fig tree
in Darlene & Derwin’s garden, along with the arborvitae,
the Arcosanti bells, the turquoise oriental rug made
from recycled milk cartons.

I start telling them about my Sicilian family
who came through New Orleans to Waco, then LA.
Escaping what—poverty, oppression, the Black Hand?
I don’t know the real story,
but they all grew figs & when I’d go back to visit,
even when it’s wasn’t easy, dodging the xenophobes
& crazy Birchers, I remember thinking—

I can’t help loving fig season. How their succulent green
oozes a sticky milk—the moment that you pluck them.
The centers rich with seed & fruit. The slightly-furry skin.
Of course, you eat the skin. If you don’t eat the skin,
you’re not a real Sicilian.

-previously published in Beyond the Lyric Moment
Edited by Jim Natal, Cathie Sandstrom and Lynn Thompson.
(Tebot Bach, 2014)


Leaving Silverlake, 1971

Wearing your old blue-plaid shirt,
I remember twenty-one: scrubgrass
beneath my clogs, long hair past my waist,
California sun on my face. Juicy burgers
at Tommy’s on Beverly, grease-fries
from Jim Dandy Chicken. We told friends
& parents “Silverlake”
—but really—
……………………..we lived on Benton Way,
a noisy block from the Rampart Police Station.
In that kitchen, I wrote a Vietnam chronology
for our peacenik buddies on a borrowed Smith-Corona.
When the Sylmar quake rolled through,
that was the day I tried talking to our neighbors,
the old man in the wheelchair,
a little boy whose folks were always working,
but my fractured Spanish only went so far.
We were young, in a hurry—
……………………..…………………What we left behind:
a broken Sinatra LP, Strangers in the Night,
your worn brown boots, a bent-up French grammar,
the iron-frame bed, spindly chairs, unpainted bureau.
Cement cracks and weeds. We never thought
about the blare of squad car & ambulance
in the midnight blue. We were there, then gone.

-previously published in Pearl


El Sanctuario de Chimayó

An old Hispanic couple approaches,
she in black dress, silver cross at her neck,
he in a starched white shirt, trim slacks,
steadying himself with a hardwood cane.

This August morning is a brilliant blue
with streaming clouds & my friend,
the Frugal Traveler, is taking photographs
painstakingly with his large format camera.
I’m reading & studying the trees. Cottonwoods.
Piñon pine. Desert willows.

I have remembrances from Chimayó.
Paul’s wool vest recovered from the fire,
the black purse woven by the Ortegas
thirty years ago, so precious I dare not
wear it.
………….Today we arrive too late
at Rancho de Chimayó & miss our chance
for carne avocado, flan, prickly pear
& posole. But the Frugal Traveler says
he’ll cook green chile from scratch
when we’re back home.
………………..……………….I hope the photographs
come out. Especially from the village:
piñon ladders, faded-turquoise window frames,
rusty corrugated roofs on ramshackle adobes.

If I could—I’d take back
fistfuls of healing dirt from el pocito,
the round pit in El Sanctuario de Chimayó.
One fistful for my crazy self,
another for my crazy friends in Pittsburgh.

-previously published in Pittsburgh Poetry Review
(volume 1, number 1, November 2015)