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CONCRETE MEAT SHEET ISSUE 13

 

FOR AN OLD LOVER

She started off front-page news

Became the crossword puzzle

And then the obituary until

IOU's became her calling card

And debts accumulated like autumn leaves

Buried in the bones of mutilated lovers

A frail starving vampire searching

For an open wound

An angry cat with arched back

Hissing at that which she never knew

 

A D Winans (USA)

 

short timer

word is out that
I'm retiring and
they come up to
me one by one,
asking if it's
true (yes) and
why (because
I'm worried the
politicians will be
going after our
state employee
pensions soon.) they
all want to talk it
through but I'm
already bored with
the subject. I
lost sleep over it
for a couple weeks
and then just
took a leap of
faith (or lack of
faith) and jumped, and
now I'm committed,
I'm moving on, right
or wrong. the ones
who are close to
my age all want to
be convinced they
should go, or
stay, or wait and
see, but I have no
wisdom to share.
some of them
think I have some
inside information.
I don't. all I know
is what they know,
I've heard the same
rumors. I remember
how in 2003 the
politicians went after
our pension plans,
made cuts, and
I've heard that
soon they'll be
coming back to
finish the job. in these
terrible times, I flat
out do not trust them
not to rob us. I'm
paranoid, I explain. don't
do what I do. do what
you think you should do.
I'm making a
pre-emptive move here. it's like
I'm giving up city life
and heading for the hills
before the shit hits
the fan. I could be
making a big mistake.
maybe I'll starve on my
pension and rue
the day I gave up my
well-paying job.
we'll see in the
long run who was
right and who was
wrong. I'm okay
with landing on either
side of that. at
least I won't feel
powerless, at
the mercy of
ruthless forces. I
took my shot. there's
risk in any thing
you do, and there's
risk in inaction. it'll
work itself out. all
I have to do is
hang tough during
this uncertain
time. maybe
they'll all look back
and wish they'd done
the same as me,
or maybe I'll look
back and wish I
hadn't retired. whatever.
meanwhile, let's
not talk this thing
into the ground,
okay? I still
have work to do.

 

DAVID BARKER (USA)

 

 

Angular in Urgency

A small plane breaks through the silence

of a clear Autumn sky. Trailing, is an

advert that is unreadable, like those in

Black & White Hollywood 'B' Movies.

 

Bank of leaves gutter gathered, captured

in isolation. Trees angular in urgency while

in St James Cemetery, a lone walker glances

skyward to seek the message.

 

 Andrew Taylor (UK)

 

 

ANGELA     

Angela’s on her stationary bike back
in the back-room, me in the living room
listening to the Addio area from Puccini’s
Edgar, then Mimi saying goodbye in La
Boheme, reading my own COLLECTED
POETRY this morning, seeing how I’d
moved from Abstract Classic to this kind
of reportage, after becoming pals with
Bukowski, poetry itself drifting further and
further into total
            electronification.

 

HUGH FOX (USA)

 

QUARTER TO NINE

Quarter to nine, the birds outside,
I count six different species/songs,
non-stop, heat-wave continues, do
they know they’re in West Hollywood,
that the economy is plummeting, that
Verdi died at 87, that T.S. Eliot was
skin and bone before he died, that
Edgar Lee Masters looked like a
Communications Arts Exec, that
Planet Earth is about to implode in
on itself and then move from
         im
         to
         ex?

HUGH FOX (USA)

 

 

ODD

They can’t hear it.

They don’t listen to leaves

in the moon light. The mystical

whisper of branches rubbing.

 

Funny what happens to a life

when trees start talking to you.

When you hear the voices of your

garden.

 

CHARLES P. REIS (USA)

 

ENTRENCHED   

It’s windy today.
The house is shaking

but you’ve got your “vitamins”
and you’ve vowed not to leave

until dawn melts in reverse.
The town is deaf,

words fall like leaves.
I can hear sand

blowing against the window.
I turn on the tv.

Golf on one channel,
war on the other.

 

MATHER SCHNEIDER (USA)

 

 

HOW IT SLAMS BACK, A LETTER USED AS A BOOKMARK

who could figure out

love? Not the old

blues men with

their whiskey and women,

women who've changed

the lock on the door.

Not Robert Johnson,

busted and poisoned.

Blues all around the bed,

the blues dogging,

dusting his broom.

How could some old

words make me remember?

Baby, won't you follow

me down. Old words.

No words. Even before I

started thinking of

him I knew if he

read this it was way

too late.

 

LYN LIFSHIN (USA)