September 5-11, 2005: John Birkbeck and Jeffrey Spahr-Summers

week of September 5-11, 2005

John Birkbeck and Jeffrey Spahr-Summers

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John Birkbeck

Bio (auto)

John Birkbeck is the producer and host of a local cable TV show called The Poets’ Corner in Iowa City, Iowa He is the author of five books of poetry and has appeared in numerous magazines, journals, and webzines world wide.

The following work is Copyright © 2005, and owned by John Birkbeck and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

It’s Charity

Has the species
reached the point
of ultimate and
logical absurdity
he wondered
and is it possible
for such a life form
to imagine a fourth
primary colour?

The pretty girl
all heart and not
very too smart
laying on top of him
rolled him yet
one more cigarette;   
the work of an amateur
all floppy and wet
and falling apart at
its seams It seems
she was being too
kind too good but
in her own mind
she she thought
that she was taming
something wild–
but in whom?

It’s Innocents

A series of
jerked them
onto the  Lakeside bus
lulled en route to
a trailer fulla
goodwill furniture
bare walls
bare light bulbs
hanging stark
suckin on a 2-litre bottle
of death sugar
mixt into red-coloured
fizzy waterwater
a-gape at streakèd windows
looking out across
playgroundsful of pagans
masturbating a big shepherd dog
if not crash-coarsing their
aggressive skate-boards and
scaring prim walkers-by
–they wondered —
was it what the savages do
whenthey’re not running
murder races
or freeing themselves
of wonder
with quick-fermented daydreams
and about what  ?

It’s Continuity

Is it possible for the species
to conjure another primary colour
from the point where debate stops
and killing begins?

And soon metal nightmares
fall from the midnight sky
drifting down in silence and
seconds later rebounding into
irreconsistant leaps of  fire

It all stands waiting ahead
like a life-size Mobius strip
looping forever over the foot-hills
of the homeland no longer home.

Jeffrey Spahr-Summers


Jeffrey Spahr-Summers is a photographer and the publisher and editor of The Poetry Victims A former Chicago stage poet, founder of the Chicago Poetry Agenda and a former active board member of the Tulsa Arts and Humanities Literary Arts Council Jeff’s poems have appeared in print in Hammers, Strong Coffee, Newsletter Inago, the Dallas Review, the San Fernando Poetry Journal, Scenezines, Erie, Ebb and Flow and 2 print anthologies, Chicago Saloon Poets and Step Into The Light, and the soon to be released Voices Israel Anthology 2005 Online his poems have appeared in Lily Literary Review, Abalone Moon, the Coffee Press Journal, Black Medina, Poetry for You, Poetry Super Highway, The Poetry Victims Jeff has numerous submissions presently under consideration and is slated to appear in DEAD DRUNK DUBLIN He is working on a number of collaborative poetry efforts Jeff currently lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The following work is Copyright © 2005, and owned by Jeffrey Spahr-Summers and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

sonny boy

driving bootleg
driving moonshine
for pennies
and driving
putting pedal down
another bad ass
country road

johnny ono

no one drives a band
like johnny can
no one
drives a band
a rock n roll stake
a sharp butcher ballad
country two shoe blues
rock of gibraltar
right through your heart
like johnny does
demanding it
slamming it
driving it
flat out
finger tips
like johnny does
no one does it
i mean no one
no one
belts it out
like johnny does
no one does it
like johnny can


Suddenly she appears out of nowhere
Her miniature fingers grip the counter
Her big Bambi eyes peer over the desk
Her head an umbrella of sky blue cap
She asks I am looking for Mr Strong
My uncle please has he checking in yet?
She cocks her head like a dachshund
But the little child’s uncle is not here I
Am afraid not so sorry and I tell her so
Perhaps he is at a different chain then
She smiles twirls marches out the door
flip flop flip flop in shoes as big as God


So I have this stop smoking aid it is
A little sound patch 2 inches in diameter
A nicotine transdermal system it says
But really it is just a little round Band-Aid
A stick-on skin colored little badge of admission
Something to slap over my lifelong addiction
You see I have convinced myself I must do
Something constructive while you’re gone

incommunicado in italia (day one)

today i feel like an angry pit viper not
to be trusted my heart is dead empty
ALA dracula as black as coal as cold
as an iceberg as barren as arctic due
north i mean i want to strike out draw
blood some hot cabernet burning my
tongue boiling in my mouth swish not
swallow this spit poison into the eyes
of strangers as they shiver and cower
today i’ll dare anyone to fuck with me

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