July 28-August 3: Richard Fein and Gary Barnes

Week of July 28-August 3

Richard Fein and Gary Barnes

Richard Fein


I live in planet Brooklyn, in the galaxy of New York I have been published in numerous E-zines and print journals Some of the print journals are: BlueUnicorn, Soundings East, the Macguffin, Z Miscellaneous, Orphic Lute, Oregon East Birmingham Poetry Review, Droplet Journal, Zuzu’s Petals, Touchstone, Windsor Review, Maverick, Sonoma Mandala Literary Review, Hollins Critic, Ellipsis, Roanoke Review Parnassus Literary Review, Half Tones to Jubilee.

The following work is Copyright © 1997 and owned by Richard Fein and may not be distributed or reprinted in any manner whatsover without written permission from the author.

End of a Summer’s Drive

Even her sweat could seduce;
his hand sweeps across the vinyl seat
and he tastes her salty residue on his fingers Through the windshield, in humid July, he sees
her hair, her blouse, her shorts, recede She turns the corner,
gone He is left only with her impression
on the car seat cover Underneath the foam freed at last from the weight
of her buttocks and bare thighs,
slowly rises till the outline fades, 
and the seat cover returns to the flat and level One last time his fingers caress the seat
searching for a trace of salt to preserve the moment.

Forensic Truth

Factually it’s wrong The error probably arose from a misperception,
a sloppy unscientific observation,
but myths die hard, unlike flesh Perhaps the myth was born from a desperate hope
that within a stilled finger remains a spark
awaiting rekindling by a magical breath
which somehow will again rage as a fire and rouge an ashen face,
or perhaps the myth is simply a failure to let go But no cabal of life rests on the nail bed,
no last holdout of the animate hides within a cuticle,
no spark flares to an eternal flame,
at least no corporeal spark,
not a
growing but a shriveling The nail itself is lifeless and always was The illusion springs from the surrounding flesh,
it simply dehydrates, wrinkles, peels away,
the fold of tissue relaxes its grip The nail remains staid and stoic,
and as unyielding and palpable as rigor mortis The flesh is cold to the touch No skeleton finger points the way up or down Those seeking myths of eternity from the tangible will be disappointed For death will always do what it’s meant to do,
survive the living.

Brighton Beach Back Alley Secret

Painted on the entire back wall, two stories high, eclipsed
by the perpetual shadow of the latter built six story tenements
which now enclose the gray courtyard,
is the call of a forgotten cause,
That building:
once the Communist party headquarters,
then a dance hall for overaged singles,
then a bingo parlor for those who met and married at the hall,
is now a bank
that faces the el where underneath
Russian Jewish emigrants walk
in the dappled light, finally,
without ever having to glance backwards That soot-layered sign,
only bored housewives looking out of dirty kitchen windows,
and an idle poet, who shall remain nameless,
have the time to make out its barely legible words But if the tenements are torn down and the tenants evicted
to make way for luxury co-ops,
then briefly the sign will again be visible
all the way to the ocean,
where bathers float on the tides.

Reflections While on the Madison Avenue Route

She is a trooper in an army of dreamers,
head-turning models armed with portfolios
of glossies of their every pose She is both in the back and front of me The beauty behind me is real—
but the angel I face is virtual,
a creature of bus smoke and mirrors,
a vision in a sooty glass Both are untouchable
In the window her face and mine move to kissing closeness My face is then eclipsed by hers I become gorgeous, a beauty in the beast I could toss my hair and get a million dollars for my smile
as the cameras roll;
then the light shifts,
and suddenly I’m some peddler selling papers on the street Beauty alights from our city chariot,
and passes my window Now we really are face to face But her eyes are fixed
on the Madison Avenue skyscrapers
where high above this lumbering bus
are scores of ad and talent agencies My dream pursues a dream
of cameras tricks and bent light-beams.

Under a Nova Star

There is nothing new under the sun,
but on the last day the sun will go nova In the heavens there will nothing but light,
and where all is light no one stands in anyone’s shadow But what will be the literal truth?
Under the midnight sky there will be no one living
to witness Mars and Jupiter brighten the dark,
as the planet gods bask
in the reflection of that convulsing light Nor will the last of the living look to the east,
to behold a star dawning in an angry red,
No wise men bearing gifts will plod in cool sands No Savior to find Nothing to save
For the searing wind will have stirred to a whirlwind, 
which will be circling the earth
gathering into it all that could move The Judas heaven will give no eternal life,
as a tightening belt of heat
cauterizes the earth of all flesh The dead world will still turn,
and on it each cracked rock will face the burning dawn,
then the dusk, then the dawn, then the dusk,
in a world where dawn and dusk no longer have meaning.

Gary Barnes



sojisan, geebee, Randy .those are a few of the names I’m known by around the Net (one of my consuming interests at this point) My other interests include poetry (obviously), spirituality, cartooning, Renaissance Faires and finding the worlds best doughnut Born in 1938, I sometimes feel lost between two generations, maybe three For those interested in that sort of thing, I am an electronics/computer tech The most interesting job I ever had was working on the Glomar Challenger, a deep sea research ship, as the resident computer tech , cartoonist an movie projector operator My biggest pet peeve is people who throw away chewing gum anywhere that others may have to walk

The following work is Copyright © 1997 and owned by Gary Barnes and may not be distributed or reprinted in any manner whatsover without written permission from the author.

old letters
I was going through some old letters
a few days ago
when I came across a picture of you
from all those years ago It was sort of odd too, because
just a couple of days ago
I’d been thinking of you
and how beautiful you were
I smiled when I saw you there,
then I frowned I hadn’t remembered
your nose being quite that large
or the way your right eyelid drooped
a little more than the left
and I wondered if
you always had your hair done that way
It had to have been a bad picture,
so I crumpled it up
and threw it away
and sat there, smiling, remembering
how much in love we were
and how beautiful you were
Some days are
When I was young
(just last Tuesday)
the world was a wondorous place
a grand, great-to-be-alive place
but, full of unanswered riddles
and mysterious things
I could never hope
to understand
But, now it’s Wednesday
and I am older
(I’m always older on Wednesdays)
and the world
is still very much the same
Tomorrow, if it’s Thursday
I may be a drum (I’m not always a drum on Thursday)

I want
I want to love you
to find the key
that unlocks the door
to the soft warm core
inside of you
To soothe for a moment
the fierce fear
that bares its claws
when love comes near
To strip you bare
of every care
and linger in the light
of your loving eyes
To share the secrets
hidden deep
in the darkest corners
of your soul
To make your memories
of loving sweeter
To caress you
gentle you
kiss you
keep you
embrace you
and set you free
I want to love you.

Lemonade afternoons, ice cream Sunday haiku

Lemonade afternoon
slowly front porch swinging
passing neighbor waves.

Walking barefoot
on fresh mown grass
the old one smiles

Lemonade afternoon
fades into twilight
fireflies tango over the lawn

Ice cream Sunday
young girl in pink dress
savors strawberry sundae.

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