March 24–30, 2008: Jonathan Hayes and Gene Barry

week of March 24-30, 2008

Jonathan Hayes and Gene Barry

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Jonathan Hayes

Bio (auto)

Jonathan Hayes lives in San Francisco, California He has taught poetry at 826 Valencia – a writing center for children – located in the Mission District of the City.

The following work is Copyright © 2008, and owned by Jonathan Hayes and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

from T(HERE)

The title wishes not to be pronounced.

There is something terrible, terrible with a capital “T,”
eating away at it all

In the horror, the buttocks of the peach were pink with
smooth fuzz enveloping the fruit

After white jaws clench delicious A hard rippled pit
resides inside

The grammar’s tense changed as often as everything else.

Emptiness stubborn refuses admittance Shreds of wet flesh
hang in disgust.

Sticky hands in the City playground hear every sound

The stank of ammonia piss by the jungle gym Peddling orange
Big Wheel thru projects skidding and laughing adrenaline toddler.

The park smells of dead brown leaves and horse shit
On the Bridal Path and under dark dry-stone tunnels, the walk
is kinder than joggers above ‘round the reservoir of turtles
and a shrinking exposure of algae and whatever regret swam over
the cold cyclone fence.

The peach blossomed beautiful At high noon the mother said, 
“A beam of light.”

Transparency of memory Salt marshes Gullah
Beaufort, South Carolina

The United States Marine Corps The Sea Islands Beat up the shrimp
with the bottom of a Coca-Cola bottle: shrimp burgers and sweet-potato fries at The Shack.

And the crew boss with white gloves will check the picker
and his bin and call him on bruised fruit and tearing the spurs
off branches

What follows is of this cycle

The economic soil Winter recession
And employment up again in the spring.

The buses at 42nd St Port Authority
will always run

The subway will not breakdown

Newark is the splinter of New York and New Jersey: a corporate organ leaking capitalism, fast-food pollution and serpent highways

The craft of childhood On a rocking horse A photographer captures DNA

The pond [Shut up Holden!] Where ducks and sailboats float
the gray water and Alice in Wonderland smiles statue Neverlands
The zoo! Picking nose and staring at giraffes

Boston is an Amtrak away Tighter and colder than
a central nervous system left behind in Fanual Hall
of couples and high school trashcans Sad aquarium seals
and pathetic penguins squeal in the tourist glassy wetness.

The grass The fallow fort The hilly bunkers near seashore
Fish and chip breath and imaginary friends swashbuckling pirates
The rocks and sailboats The tipsy buoys The earth falling into
the sea and making love to it all, again, with salt


it’s the sadness
of sulfur, or
the fact that
suicides are just
statistics, that
makes me want
to love you, while
i still exist, and
fill in that empty
four-letter word
with all my blood
and breath

Gene Barry

Bio (auto)

My name is Gene Barry and I live in Cork City Ireland I am a Biomedical Engineer and a Psychotherapist and I am married to Margo I love cooking, music, rugby and poetry and I have had poems published in the Irish Examiner USA, Stony Thursday, Revival, Dark Stream, the Douglas Post and Emara My first collection of poems will be published this year by OBheal Press I have read at the Patrick Kavanagh Celebration in Dublin and I read as the guest poet at the Whitehouse in Limerick and at Obheal in Cork.

The following work is Copyright © 2008, and owned by Gene Barry and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Beginning
i.m Dee Dee McCarthy

The ambulance steps introduced grief
quick as an ignite; he was elbow
held as he alighted The brief identity
seemed to take ages to us, a crowd
of misunderstanding teenagers who
earlier had trawled the muddy bed Pull, slosh, release Pull, slosh, release
hour after long hour
When we rested at midnight on the
grassy bank drinking donated tea and
swallowing un-tasted sandwiches,
one of the experienced fishermen from
our boat noted the full moon and insisted
that the light would help us with the
falling tide It was agreed that we would
search for another hour How right he was
At fifteen I was afraid to admit to my
exhaustion Tired mostly from the growing
pains gradually infused by the faint whispers
of reality I continuously overheard The
swell to the side of the bridge had caught
him off guard and whisked him to where
Jimmy Mac would slowly say, ‘hold it, I
felt something there, turn the boat around’
They reached in and pulled the stiffening
frame on board Not a word was spoken Reality bit hard in the onboard silence The oars, his guard of honour gently
nursing our way to the assembly that dotted
the embankment The uniforms announcing
that it was all over and I a child knowing
full well that this was only the beginning.


I lose myself twice daily
to daylight’s elbow of awakening
to fondness and fondling
to carbon plates of yesterday
when my lover stood for all
I wished for without standing
and lost to the embrace of
uncertainty a world will
greet me with and found
in a canyon of affection
sweat dug to hold our love
and echoing volumes of
Extreme Unction

To night time that magnet
for my chewing when I will swim
in juices familiar to one that is us
and you will come and satisfy a
thirst no tongue could transport
no buds will taste but for
the imbibitions of our love
that will skip us through the
non-rapids filling the sails
of sleep with memories of a day
when soldiers played and children
wore no more than the happiness
they had been fighting for

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