Ronald Linder – Relic Ocean

Relic Ocean
by Ronald Linder

swirls the scavenged beach a thousand feet
     below the road, becalmed by the

ice-crystals Martini in that bar in Jenner
                      at the instep of the mountain

wilder than dreams of food or sleep,
     frost-fire ocean won’t drown rim-ants now,
     but the fin-filled waves will
     eat everything eventually,

waters coerced to bed will wake at the end
     when earth explodes or freezes,
     fringes to battered quartz …

This convex plate of soup,
     moiling, crackled bowl of mother’s blood
                           terrifying with its love,
     wet souvenir of who we are.

Ronald Linder – Sunyata

by Ronald Linder

Exactly centered on
 first floor, above the
below the           skylight
Modern Art Museum the
    observer and
      organizer directed
a sculptored room
          be built - -
to sit on the floor
      like a hen - -
with walls, white
dotted with white
of cotton, around a white-
 painted floor, in the
  center of which, a
   mirror, surrounded by
white plastic confetti,
         reflecting the white ceiling
          of the room, and
the whole white dazzle

     void, emptiness, possible
     spaces between times between
     colours – white reflected by
     white by white – the Artist
     she meant it to mean emptiness
     void - - -

Beside me a distraught
gangling girl said
“What a shame! –
I haven’t seen her for three years –
we were good friends – she was so good
an artist – so much promise
such imaginative ideas –
and just look at what she’s come to –
bad influence, bad friends –
such a waste, such a shame --
Sunyata! –
Why this is NOTHING!”

Bryan R. Monte – All Roads

All Roads
by Bryan R. Monte

For Ronald Linder (1930-2004)

All roads lead to the same place
We said laughing to each other
Listening to John Cage on the car radio
That Presidents’ Day Weekend, unbelievers
Lost in the sudden, spring-green Olema Hills
Looking for the Vedanta Retreat
The day after we heard the bald, brown
Orange-robed swami chant
OM – Shanti, Shanti, Shanti
OM – Shanti, Shanti, Shanti
In his peach socks and brown wingtips
And say: The teacher is the student
and the student, the teacher
And suddenly we exchanged places
Fathers and sons to one another
My arm swelling strangely from your tetanus shot
My ex-lover barricaded in the back bedroom
Coughing through Christmas with pneumocystis
As we read poems at my kitchen table
About lunch counter dinners and interstate abductions
Your mother’s monthly suicide threats
Or the iron block on the door lock
Your father reamed with a $20 bill
Until your family disappeared in the middle of the night
Your brother laughing at the landlord
Your parti-coloured books left behind
On the shelf over the radiator.

The years we gave to those who never loved us
The years we lost to those who never knew us
Borrowing money for textbooks, going without meals
Sleeping on the sofa or the floor
Working weekends, school breaks, summer vacations
Watching the smiling, tanned, college men with their dates
Rush out of the stadium after the game
As we rode the bus home from another Saturday shift
Arms still twitching for typing contracts or mopping floors
To pay the tuition, to the earn the diploma, to get permission
To make the endless daily rounds with maddening precision
From nursing home to hospital to office
From insurance company to night school to students’ homes
The 9.30 PM private English lessons
The 3 AM hospital admissions
The booze, the drugs, the invisible armies
Under the skin that carried our friends away
The paperwork glaciers that froze out our poetry
Then buried, ground up and wore away the years
Cannot be undone no matter how carefully we turn
On these steep, green hills above the Pacific Ocean
Breaking beneath us or ask the swami for directions
OM – Shanti, Shanti, Shanti
OM – Shanti, Shanti, Shanti
He chants as we sit and wait to go home.

Edward Mycue – Looking Back

Looking Back
by Edward Mycue


To be young and not know what’s coming
–blurring of focus, burring of your edge

And life’s not poetry now just a kind of verse
Not what is there here: what is not here there

Aging of elbows and bagging of the knees
Calendaring the bitter butter batter banter

Dry barley (pearl), peas, lentils, oatmeal
Walnuts? Milk, eggs, tamales, green soup

Greens (kale?) Brussels sprouts, cucumbers
Let it go big joy like a lost friend in Cairo

Let it go memory of omnivorous figits
Let it all fly away: Max Klinger’s gloves

Are flying out the windows in a fever
Consumption, private pleasure, leisure

Then the simply tourism’s private sphere
I acceded my reach not my overreachings

I grasped my failures of a lengthy history
Learning dying before severing life’s link

Notice the far shore before you reach it
Welcome the far shore before you miss it.


Looking back into the hand mirror it all
Seem so gemütlichkeit, not kitsch but more

The front parlour of that old family place on
Ontario Avenue in Niagara Falls, NY with

The unused Biedermeier furniture that
Waited there for gestures of formality(s).

Memory is also documentation with some
Parts highlighted to such an extent that the

Rest fades away to the back of the turtle
That holds up the universe and our worlds.

Edward Mycue – my life is louche and seen from any

my life is louche and seen from any
by Edward Mycue

angle empty and odd unevenly

because especially when i have an

agenda esp one such as just the

viewing from a literary biography it

leaves out all the warmth of friends

and the complexity of interactions

and connections that maybe only a

novel could take on with some

emotional honesty or do i mean

meaningful fullness.