June 11-17, 2012: J.K. Durick and Gene Grabiner

week of June 11-17, 2012

J.K. Durick and Gene Grabiner

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J.K. Durick

Bio (auto)

J.K. Durick lives in South Burlington, VT and is presently a writing instructor at the Community College of Vermont and an online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Third Wednesday, Steam Ticket Poetry Repairs, and SN Review.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by J.K. Durick and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Efficiency enters before they do,
their blue shoulders and baggage,
the sigh and silence of careful haste.
You nod and then point. They move
down your hall to the bedroom –
a walk you’ve made a thousand times –
and they have questions, questions
of who and when and how much,
and you wish you could lie, make
things all better with your words,
appearances too easily deceive
and sometimes don’t.

Now they have it, it’s theirs, your
familiar things turn strange, all
domestic associations dwindle down
to this. The bed you knew, the room,
even the people you knew before
become strangers, garbled radio voices,
a second siren blaring and a wall of
neighbors watching.


 Gene Grabiner

Bio (auto)

Gene Grabiner’s poetry has appeared in the following publications: Blue Collar Review, J Journal, In Our Own Words (ezine), Poets Against the War (web site), Earth’s Daughters, HazMat Review, Mediphors, Eclectic Literary Forum, Esprit, Wordsmith, Images, Poetica, Cutural Studies<->Critical Methodologies, Transformations, the Buffalo News, etc. His work has frequently been anthologized and is also forthcoming in; IFPOR Anthology 3, (Toronto), the Western New York Poetry Anthology (Buffalo), and in the D-Day Anthology, published by mgversion2>datura, Nantes, France. He is listed in Occupy Writers (web site), reads in Canada and the U.S., and was a featured poet at the Jackson Heights Poetry Festival (2010), and a semi-finalist in the “Discover”/The Nation national poetry competition, Unterberg Poetry Center (2002). Grabiner received his M.Crim. and PhD from Berkeley, lives in Buffalo, New York, and recently retired as SUNY Distinguished Service Professor from Erie Community College.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Gene Grabiner and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


with drones, there are
no pilots to become casualties.
―NPR report, September 4, 2007

Some fast thumbs joystick
kid from Vegas in this windowless
desert room out by the Spring Range,
in front of a huge quad array,
backlit vid screens.
Room in perpetual fluorescent daylight
just like casinos downtown.
Gets laser right on target,
on the money, on the button,
it’s a win.
Collateralizes that insurgent
Afghan wedding party.
Breaks for ham
sandwich, some pop and a smoke before
ducking back down
in his bunker, Creech Air Force Base.


When the slim disease
came to Sing-Sing,
the hacks would shove in dinner
on metal trays
with brooms: a
quarantine shuffleboard.

He had blotches on his face,
or his teeth rotted or maybe
he was queer, with a strange cancer—
worked in the kitchen. So when other cons
burned his cell,
he got administrative segregation,
was sent to the hospital—
out of the narrow alleys
of their lives.

One time, this lifer met with the counselor,
filled out a form,
handed back the pen.
She just sat there,
pen untouched on the table.

When the slim disease
came to Clinton, hacks in the yard
wore goggles, gas masks, gloves.

In that beginning,
AIDS fingered eight thousand when it came inside.