December 15–21, 2008: D.A. Hagelberg and Richard Lynch

week of December 15-21, 2008

D.A Hagelberg and Richard Lynch

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D.A Hagelberg

Bio (auto)

D.A Hagelberg was born on October 18th, 1941 in Lunenburg, Massachusetts His family moved to Berkeley, California, in 1947 and Don has been a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, almost always, since then He came to the Civil Rights movement late “When a picket line began to be formed for the secondary boycott of segregated seating in movie theaters, I took action Getting rid of Jim Crow at the movies sparked me to do social justice.” On November 22, 1963, he sat at his pre-induction physical exam when the insight of the day “hit” him “The object of military training is to kill people.” D A walked out of the Induction Center He phoned his Draft Board office an hour after he was required to report for service He asked, “Where do I report to be arrested?” He served 1964-1965 in prison for his refusal to be drafted He attempted higher education but only seemed to be able to complete Creative Writing courses with satisfaction In 1974 he created, produced and hosted “Live Poets,” a two-hour radio program broadcasted weekly on a listener-supported Bay Area station A founding member of the Bay Area Poets’ Coalition [BAPC], he supported the organization in trying to get dental insurance for its members as well as supporting its members’ guerrilla poetry readings on BART’s rapid transit trains The break-up of a special relationship prompted him to move to the California foothills Her death coincided with his 1981 nervous breakdown “She refused to annotate her poetry for easier understanding She also refused to get treatment for her mental illness or her cancer I miss her.” He got into recovery for his dual diagnosis (mental illness/addiction) He’s past his 25th year in recovery and still writes and works for social justice.

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

There Are Still Tigers
For Allan Fong, Debt Acknowledged

The Bengal jungle is being turned into small
farms Soon the Bengal tiger will have to leave
the jungle floor for the hills In those hills, the
tiger can easily be hunted to extinction

There are still tigers
Who chill the marrow fibers frigid;
Tigers in the hill high lands
And once in onces of whims
And once in onces of whiles
One comes down
Onto and into the fields in heat
When the grain crows sigh high
When the grain grows scythe high
Like the coming of the sun, his coming;
As orange as the sun, his coloring;
His eyes even thrown with the explosive flares of the sun,
He comes, down onto and into the fields in heat The orange-striped flame of his head
Fire-sways in the fleck-headed grain
As his path-tracing tail snap-snakes
To spill-melt the sweat-stemmed grain
He fling-sifts into the grain And the grain churn-mills up to milk-white,
Bleached by the flush of the sun
Blanched shivering by the one still tiger
Come down from the hill high lands
Come down onto and into the fields in heat
When the grain crows sigh high
When the grain grows scythe high
Mother India!1 Rabi!2 Indra!3
Give me the eyes not to see
The heads of still tigers hanging from walls Mother India! Rabi! Indra!
Give me the eyes not to see
The skins of still tigers draped from shoulders Mother India! Rabi! Indra!
Give me the eyes to see the sun stalking once again
Onto and into the fields in heat Mother India! Rabi! Indra!
Give me the sight to see
Bapugiʼs4 dream of those still tigers
Living with the already lambs

(1) “Mother India” is the title of the national anthem of
India written by Rabindrinath Tagore, the poet who was the
fi rst Asian winner of the Noble Prize in Literature He also is
the only poet/composer to have written national anthems for
two countries (2)“Rabi,” in Bengali, means “the sun.” It is also the
nickname for Rabindranath (3)“Indra” is the name of the god of the vault of the skies, for
whom the nation of India is named It is also the god for whom
the assassinated Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, was named (4)“Bapugi” translates into English as “little father.” But it
is also the word used to refer to Mohandas Gandhi, no relative
to Indira Gandhi.

The Craving Aftertaste

For Martha Stewart

You wrote your poem
In dark chocolate words
On white chocolate paper,
Which I slipped under my tongue
Like nitroglycerin
To melt into heart-felt warmth I am, now, addicted to the poem and even
Suck and lick my fingers after words.

Richard Lynch

Bio (auto)

Richard Lynch suspects he might annoy some people as his attitude is a guest in the house of his head and it snores something awful The house of Richard’s head has several levels and a garage that smells of an oiled lawnmover, and he spends a lot of time there amidst wafts of oil encouraging the spiders to spin webs so that he can take pictures of tools that look like they’ve never been moved The house of Richard’s head expands in water, and often needs to be hung out on the clothesline to air Richard has lived in his head house with his attitude for as long as he can remember it snoring, and he has proof the neighbors steal his mail in efforts to get his attitude to move as it is worse than a barking dog He himself has stood over his attitude with a rake during the snoring ready to poke the attitude when the spiders go in its open snoring mouth so the attitude will awake with a spider in its mouth, but the snoring is too loud and the spiders are scared He hopes, in a way, that his writing acts as spider ear muffs The attitude resides in Western NY, just north of the snow belt that comes off lake Erie, and Richard lives with it in consideration of divorce, his hands calloused from the rake handle.

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

The Reluctant Manual

1 The manual practiced difficult behaviors.

Called to duty, the manual responded with enthusiasm graphed in sign wave peaked amplitudes diminishing like the bounding of a rubber ball till it became an absolutely still, flatlined EKG.

2 Presented, it coveted thoughts of drama and exaggeration.

The crowd shuffled, stooping to look with magnifying glasses, leering in spectacles, the manual, exposed, unexpectedly before a parted curtain in the exam room, violated, its skirts wide open, ankles in stirrups, uneasy, apologetic, menopausal, wishing the last of its ink would evaporate before lusting eyes that reared over naked pages on fumbling horses indelicately, hooves trampling the flower beds in search of deeper meaning, fertile gardens destroyed for another year.

3 Fantasy did not come in waves of watercolor.

Sustained blows of a searching hammer and chisel sought the heart of stone Organized archeological digs and excavations with sophisticated earth-moving tools strip-mined and catalogued into interpretations Hunts with hounds and trackers, morsels flushed from hiding were seized on the tips of spears to yells and whoops, brandished in triumph above balding warrior heads, where lizardly last attempts to escape, ended invariably hanging loose as a knotted rope too oily to climb, the meat of it gone, the skin a deflated balloon over its death of jutting ribs, rock hard, hollow and grave.

4 Spastic metaphor danced lithely cheeseballs into fondue.

Inside the covers the manual swept and dusted, chased cliches under rugs and behind drapes In disguises of mustaches, scars, clown suits, rubber noses, and blowing bubble pipes, it wreathed itself in smoke and incense to disguise odors of basements and mold, stored fragile tidbits in vacuum bags and volleys in plastic re-sealable receptacles, sanitized, disseminated, debriefed and scattered deliberately and haphazardly all in word labyrinths, empty sentence hallways, stairways of logic to nowhere, so paragraphs became haunting ghosts in catacombs themselves scared that every scrap be found and the harbor of meaning fill with silence like shipwrecks and broken hulls far below the crest of waves.

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