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.
Sunyata by Ronald Linder
Exactly centered on the first floor, above the basement, below the skylight of the Modern Art Museum the
observer and organizer directed a sculptored room be built - - to sit on the floor like a hen - - with walls, white inside, dotted with white blobs 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 called Sunyata 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!”
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.
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.
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.