May 3-9, 2004: Andrew Grossman and Jeffrey Spahr-Summers

week of May 3-9, 2004

Andrew Grossman and Jeffrey Spahr-Summers

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Andrew Grossman

Bio (auto)

Andrew Grossman began the poetry database at to realize his goal of using poetry to communicate understanding, peace and caring among people of different religious, cultural and lifestyle beliefs The unity between humanity and nature is for him the template for creating unity among all humanity.

The following work is Copyright © 2004, and owned by Andrew Grossman and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Things We Know
The things we know-when the projected image falls from the screen,
.when jacketed animals bristle on their leashes,
.when faucets are seen to flow
with unfiltered excrement-
the things we know shed of 3D density,
pierced with the pin of an airplane nose,
they break, the things we know,
they lay down, and are exposed.

Suddenly We Bleed

Suddenly we bleed the pledge:


Schoolchildren in sneakers
Mumbling in the early morning
Words they will sign one day
On the side of a half-track carrier

Suddenly we bleed the privilege
Held for us behind iron-gated estates,
Ringing the buzzer on the video monitor,
Begging the guard to check his list of guests
All the front liners are dead, Americans They solved the riddle of nothingness
Without cowering in the Taco Bell,
Handing off to you the rights of citizens.

Red Self

We should have kissed their corpses who felled the towers The deaths they caused have given endless purpose
To our otherwise suburban lives Count the dead
And multiply by three thousand, and FUCK THE PERIOD,
We’re not finished yet

What would we do, buy stocks? Wave pennants at ball games?
Update the scoreboard ticker:: WE’RE KILLING THEM ALL We’re planting the flag in the chests of sand people Johnson & Johnson has cleansers for the splashing up
That colors the hands

Fern Holland Outruns The Hubble Telescope

she comes toward earth on a meteor, emerging from the unknown systems
that human kind has begun to investigate she flashes past the sensors
we have particles of cloud in which she formed her visible mass
put them in a glass, hand them out, DRINK! SWALLOW!

we can scratch the universe with lingo and catch a snapshot
of what occurred say twenty-four hundred years ago; we have a picture
of a blonde-haired woman posed in a village square, a face
to put on the deep field photo of space, our house on the hill

this is our technology, an array of laser guided penises in a row;
go ahead, fire at her, she&Mac226;s coming around the corner
of what we define as death, a month since she absorbed six bullets
at a checkpoint, one two three four five six, little numbered planets

Cow Self

Let us be penalized for not envying cows
Their supremely self-possessed selves Let us graze with them on a grassy continent
To learn if we can the ways of contentment Herd us from the feeder, but let us live Give a last chance to turn consumption inward,
A last chance to chew and produce sustenance
In the flow of energy going out our udders,
In the lazy sway of ships leaving our flanks,
Our tails flicking off the flies of censure:
We have earned mercy more than once.

Jeffrey Spahr-Summers


Jeffrey Spahr-Summers began writing poetry 30 years ago while living in South Africa He currently lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma he is a former Chicago Stage Poet and Founder of the former Chicago Poetry Agenda (CPA), which sponsored feature readings and workshops throughout Greater Chicago and its school systems He has also read his poetry on the University of Chicago’s radio station, at the Chicago Peace and Music Festival and in front of teepees He is also a former participant of The Greater Dallas Community of Writers As a former active Board Member of the Tulsa Arts and Humanities Literary Arts Council, Jeff has participated in numerous poetry ventures, readings, workshops and the early evolvement of The Write Place (now called The Poetry Cafe) Years ago, Jeff ran a series of workshops annually in conjunction with Tulsa Junior College (now called Tulsa Community College) and has been involved in workshops across the country
Jeff’s work has appeared in Erie, 7 different Hammers issues, 2 Strong Coffee issues, Newsletter Inago (featured in entire issue as Poet of The Month), Scenezines, San Fernando Poetry Journal and other small presses He is in 2 anthologies, Chicago Saloon Poets and See the Light He has published 1 book Fear of Heights through his own press in 1984 Jeff currently edits, produces and publishes not for profit in The Poetry Victims, a free daily email Poem of the Day along with guest poets.

The following work is Copyright © 2004, and owned by Jeffrey Spahr-Summers and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Snakes Never Stray
Far From Their Mates

for Daddy George

A fact of nature, you said
Poised and ready to strike again
As we watched the Night Adder die,
Writhing its blood back and forth
Across the floor in front of my dresser There’s always a mate nearby, you said
And I hated you
For making me clean my room anyway
Then came the psychotic game I played Where would the second be found?
At my feet?
Wrapped around the toilet seat?
Or maybe
Lured to my bed by body heat
Like the stories I’d heard
I should have known
Two weeks to the day
On the very same spot,
Once again
A taste of blood
Pasted hot on the floor I waited by the door
Until I knew by your breathing
Another was dead,
Relieved there where no more
Unless there are eggs, you said.

Take a Separate Train
(Johannesburg to Cape Town)
for Anna

The best in the world, they say
And it’s true
The Blue Train is special,
Like a first kiss
Picture a windowed mansion
Whisked brashly down the line
Tailing a quick ocean scent,
Sailing through the vineyards
Intent on a smooth ride
But they’ll hide you
(we both know they will)
On another train
As if to blame black pride
For your ties to this ripe country So your time must be spent
Sitting up a straight 24 hour ride
Unable to lay down for sleep,
Frustrated and hungry,
Keeping track of the reasons
Why you cannot ride with us.

The Ridge was on Fire Tonight

It was very hot
And it’s not the first time this year
That we’ve seen such mean heat It lit up the sky for miles around,
Gave it a bright orange and yellow glow
And it very nearly caught
The trees in the driveway on fire,
But my father and the natives
Tired it out Fire fighters even came We feel very lucky, because
It’s very dry here this time of year
But there’s nothing to fear now,
Except the snakes
Flushed out
Bound to take the shortest way down,
Toward us
Away from the hot ground.

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