August 5-11, 2002: John Horvath Jr. and Bill Gleed

week of August 5-11, 2002

John Horvath Jr and Bill Gleed

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John Horvath Jr

Bio (auto)

Pudding House Press has released my “Golden Hits-1970-2000” Having sunk into the South (Mississippi) from South Chicago, my poetry is rich and varied by region and the people I’ve met John Horvath Jr has also authored Reverend Terrebonne Walker: a Dozen Southern Fried Poems, and Iliana Region Poems: Harboring the Enemy An interview by Ward Kelley appears in Porcupine (July 2002)
Interview ~
PoetryRepairShop ~
Bibliography ~

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

American Onanist

Too long we’ve perched on melancholia
(none of mine supposed to use words of that kind)
spilled cool juices into hot asphalted alleyways
summer nights behind the DDT trucks
riding our lives out on our rusty bikes
under stars like grandmother’s apron
(she always wore blue like the canton
she said patterned like the northern wagon
whose slow wheels twice brought us north)
protecting my youth and my innocence, come
on out, boy, them nogoods is gone now, come
on outta there where a man’s got no business
it’s been struck like the judastree–fruitless
In the wet thick night
I stand matronly with
the power of my hand
ready to start the slaughter of innocents
whose cocky heads raise for a look-see
into darkness wondering why here now

FOR GOD unlikely
PRO PATRIA implausibly
FOR GLORY impossibly

Lies go unpunished;
published as history;
a thing and a fake like the statue of liberty
She was comely, telling me sin is behovely,
knowing I could be tempted by illusion, waving
her arm to me, stepping over the chain worn
by huddled masses, tempest tossed dregs, kiss-
asses, gurkha-like fools who fight for her honor
Spikes in her hair,
spikes on her heels,
spikes in the names
she whispers into your ear
when you’re making love
and you suddenly know
it’s not you in her diary

There’s one born every minute;
another washes ashore or sneaks
through the night where no one notices She fills back rows of their low grades
fills them full of struggle for freedom
from which I emerged, a conquering hero But it’s just me in this moment self-
flagellant in the jungle holding my hand
up to the light of the moon–white on white
crime, my trigger hand sticky, why at such a time
Come to me, she had said When I returned,
she belonged to some college kid waving
her red banner panties Call me a nigger, Lady Another good blackfaced ghettoed in belief
that I could
be different Just call me a bohunk–
now you’ve no need of my kind–or Chink
to my face if you can; run me down rails
outside of your town feathered and tarred And it’s grandmother again I hear praying
for Justice for All and I remember her saying
Justice is a cat’s ass broomed off your porch First you call to the cuddly fur then it
drops on you then you just hate the beast
Hold yourself steady; don’t move when they come
for you; make your eyes narrow; your breath shallow;
focus your thought on their movements; be unmoving;
be the night itself; hold your hand ready to start
the loud conflict of boys screaming at boys falling
holding their chests as if pierced their young hearts
cleft their bellies disemboweled and bring it home
into hot asphalted alleyways where matronly skirts
no longer stop bullets But you’ve someone to blame
for your misery–
So you start sleeping with yourself
killing the babies of guilt yourself
filling with lead the dead seed
that you see Live life with envy and greed
for what never was and if so you don’t need
THEIR words for it THEIR doctors to name it
THEIR kids to study it THEIR books to read
THEIR terms for the financing of all of it
factory farm bank and bunk but most of it

I’m here to put blood back in her pale green cheek
I’m her once a month and blue moon minstrel man
I’m the manbaby she birthed knowing nothing bout
birthing no babies cause she lied, lied to all of us
out in the rice paddies of the gullah and the gook
And when under that moon I brought my hand to my face
to inspect what I had done unthinkingly the bullets flew
and I fell in that spot and I touched to my lip and tasted
what it was to be a man
It’s time to stop hiding To get on with MY life–
stand up; walk out of their mess;
cut my own path through darkness.

Jew Who Fought for the Reich at the Battle of Stalingrad

A Poltava hero in Ukrainian garlands, at Stalingrad I was a demon
killing myself again and again Other Magyar Jews were led from
Vas, Pest, and from Alford farms Numbers cannot count them;
earth stained with blood won’t tell; justice, a dog that buries a bone,
when starving forgets to return
I left father’s house to visit gypsy Imre in his loft that night
when the soldiers came to herd our families like sheep
dressed in long wool gowns No curse in my native tongue
describes early homeless mornings when strawberries
grew wild, the chamomile flowered, and grass, still tall
enough to hide boys’ bodies, greened along the Tisza
which flowed toward salvationland
Outside Csongrad a young cowmaid who loved justice found
us barely standing among weeds where our ribs pointed toward
our hearts She fed us dumplings and cow’s milk, then seduced
Imre Only a madness god inflates the male member in the midst
of war Not until Szeged did we rest from running ahead
of Gestapo who answered to cries of the maiden
raped by young gypsy and juden
In Senta that winter we dressed in uniforms of young dead Nazis
we found on the banks of the Tisza Imre shot my leg so the blood
and the hole would match; I shot him through the temple–a gift
he had never expected would await him across the border.

Bill Gleed

Bio (auto)

B Gleed teaches writing and literature at Southern New Hampshire University and has taught at several other small colleges He is a contributing editor at Maelstrom ISSN# 1096-3820, and a poetry editor at Moondance
Gleed is a graduate of the master’s creative writing program at the University of New Hampshire where he studied with Charles Simic His poetry, fiction, and essays have appeared in Isosceles, Kettle of Fish, Pregnancy, Concrete Wolf, the Anthology of the Houston Poetry Fest 2001, The Boston Globe, the web site of Harvard University, Kimera, and other print and online publications Gleed has also written news and features for the Portsmouth Herald in Portsmouth, NH , and other local area newspapers.He lives in Fremont, NH on the banks of the Exeter River with his wife and two young boys

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


Small bugs become organized because they must walk across a bridge They do this under the hellfire sky This is happening at all times and will go on
A small boy wonders if this is all necessary
They begin to talk amongst themselves There is a distinct scarcity of shade,
this brings on a sense of mild unease

Cannibalism breaks out due to this fear of the daylight
as they all pressed in toward the center, 
where every bug tries to stay nonchalant; where they eat their young,
and bury them under the weight of mortgaged promises
Several important bugs get mistakenly eaten before its all over They are martyred to the god of justice and anti-somethingism
Truly patriotic bugs are practicing how not to notice
when the cannibalism breaks out somewhere else
because some bugs have blue eyes This is not uncommon
A thinking bug postulates a cause:
The bugs all lack something in their diet This hunger can only be satisfied by sacrifice
on the part of the poorer bugs They move into specific neighborhoods designed as a haven
for these &Mac226;Äúproblems&Mac226;Äù to be &Mac226;Äúhandled&Mac226;Äù by special bugs
who do not speak The definition of cannibalism is rewritten to fit this new situation
There is constant movement toward goals
everywhere The bridge grows long
The far shore floats furnace like

On huge screens in stadiums,
Social design consultants instruct them in ways to keep up with Technology
Morality and Ethics czars monitor the organization
enforce unconditionally the greatest good for the most insects In every work section, production is found to be too low To streamline some bugs are pushed off the edge
Officially blamed for their own fall
In regular cycles the social consultants are eaten by their own
rebel worker organizations Their cephalus pinched off at the thorax
beheading as
An act of civility on the part of the outraged
Let that be a lesson to ’em

The rebels are hailed as liberators
Attempts to reorganize use the same plan as before
Near the end there are 63 really fat bugs held in nobility legs ripped off, they are kept in jars,
carried on the backs of their subjects
who marvel at their graced mutations; attribute natural phenomenon
to the them All salute their own good fortune, several attempt to pray
The screens are now kept at the front, carried by reimbursed “volunteers “

The movement continues
At the end of several thousand generations
they all march into the fire at the end of the bridge
The small boy puts away his glass
Previously published in Maelstrom, spring 1998

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