April 15-21, 2002: Greg Stant and Fred Marmorstein

week of April 15-21, 2002


Greg Stant and Fred Marmorstein


BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK

click here for submission guidelines

Greg Stant
stant@spokenwar.com

Bio (auto)

Greg Stant lives in Fontana, California He believes in many things Sometimes they believe back

The following work is Copyright © 2002, and owned by Greg Stant and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

Tidewater

The river is right there It flows into the living room There is a
battleship It sits less than 100 yards for the door of the terrace I know
this river The root beer river, a place where all manner of sediment comes
to rest The old guy sits facing the water He is not the powerful Not now He is an old guy with a walker He is an old guy with malfunctioning fake
hips waiting Waiting The river waits He waits
At eighty she has been presented with a full time job It is actually more
than that because she is on call 24/7 She dispenses pills, helps him get up
when he falls down His artificial hip has popped out 8 times, so far She
calls the ambulance She sends him to the hospital then uses oil soap to
blur his shape from the floor He has dislocated both of his shoulders He
has trouble lifting a glass
The battleship sits between It is not in mothballs It is not in service It is not living It is not dead Once, its 16″ guns hurled 2,000 pound
shells twenty miles through the air That day has passed Occasionally blue
men crawl on its decks carrying new life for its planks It is clean, well
painted It floats between this world and the next
Afternoon The river is a mirror for a hot winter’s sun Even with the
shades down, the rays heat the living room four stories above the water They have recently moved in She still has trim work to finish She needs
photos of the antiques placed around the condo French lithos Medieval
English tapestry A bench from Spain Two 4 inch Afghan heads on black
bases They watch with Greek eyes and comment with Hindu smiles
He makes momentary and casual conversation Sometimes he gets lost The
sound of the auto winder on the camera obscures passages of voice A voice His voice It used to fill courtrooms and union halls; spoke to Jack Kennedy
and Lyndon Johnson The same voice alienated his family Colorado is
mentioned Do they have boats there, he asks Sure, large sailboats in the
bigger lakes He will nod off, and reawaken minutes later
Conversation finished Three years of silence is gone in a slight afternoon They have been busy with the business of aging and the certainty of dying It’s time to die It’s time to die when you have lived too long The
battleship stands sentinel to the certainty that even the powerful, even the
mighty must come to rest

The river waits Standing back from the door, looking toward the water, the
river begins to move It blends into the hardwood floor Within the
reflection, you can see the waves and believe the tide Pray to the river Take him to the sea.

Doors

We walk through doors We shut them We think about going back, but we
continue forward We climb, not because it is there, but because there seems
no way around it Fraught by the specter of a hundred lightening strikes, we
put our heads down and step again And again
Alone from the journey, I make gravity using tuna fish and brown crackers In stillness I eat and recommend ways to vote for myself I manage thoughts
arranging them like flowers at my own wake The light is subdued and I
wonder what I am eating Not that it matters Hunger Proof that I am still
alive
We make plans for moving from one state to another Check the Internet Print the map Open the garage door and forget to leave We hold the keys
and move the fob between index and thumb; thumb and nebula and grant
ourselves grace in inaction while waiting for rain
Air is a rumor God is a passion and a thousand pages from the Mystery
section of the library main I am building honorable mention on a personal
computer, cascading style sheets that won’t ever feel the wind I will take
this moment to break, garner my courage and walk down this hallway There
are a thousand doors I will check them Each and every one.


Fred Marmorstein
MARMORFX@pwcs.edu

Bio (auto)

I live and work in Manassas, Virginia, and I teach in an alternative high school Much of my time is spent backpacking in the wilderness with just map and compass

The following work is Copyright © 2002, and owned by Fred Marmorstein and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

untitled

There are no more words No more midday moons
purple shaded skies
no left over ruins
the cliches are gone We have grasped nothing
and our lives close too tightly
painting on top of paintings
where every boy wants to
be Pinnochio There are no more words
only refugees
that follow pieces
of month It is all
familiar, the stones Two shadows form
for each person Fields
start to whisper sawdust.

News I Heard From Home

He was killed in a car accident coming back
from skiing at Bristol Mountain some drunken
crash that put his best friend under
sedation when he found out his best friend
had been killed and for some reason his parents
don’t know what to do
with his smashed up green Triumph and his German shepherd
he was always driving around with until now
because he got drunk
wanted some fun had some
when never is just enough
to find yourself
between a mountain and home and nothing
seems quite as good at 31 years old
which is 124 seasons that build up in between
holds a place in the box
slowly lowered onto straps that lower
into the hole that fills up almost perfectly
unlike car crashes
and their awkward squares

Dating Ambiguity

The telephone rings (if you mean the telephone as a symbol, please use
Freud to gauge your response if you don’t, it’s
a phone Note: a ringing phone can be titillating )

Hello?
(this is always a problem if your intention is to
discover if anyone is home, someone will respond otherwise, you’ll get the machine )

Hello (a response generated by a question usually involves
some form of intelligence stay on the line until
you can distinguish it from some form of stupidity )

Is Ambiguity there?
(a loaded question obviously, the expectations for
both parties involve some ambivalent feelings play hard to get )

Yes and no (lots to decode here and interpretation is important
if you intend on getting anywhere past baboons,
periwinkles or braceleted arms an illusion
is always helpful )

Well, are you busy tonight?
(that’s a fairly relative term studying poetry means
you’re always busy teaching poetry means
you’re usually playing golf or involved in aerobics )

Yes (a rejection could mean anything the overwhelming
question is, why? maybe you just weren’t subtle enough )

O.K See you later (a moot point near the woods, lovely dark and deep?
in the hospital, created hue of stained glass?
sailing to Byzantium, where trees are silver and gold?)

Goodbye (we all know what this means )