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absence abuse
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stress student
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youth

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Long poem by Chris D. Aechtner | Details |

Workshop Poem: Black Jesus


Sitting in an ultra-modern café,
sitting among people too cool to be warm,
sipping on a coffee with a long, fancy name,
I ponder about how far I've come
since making coffee over an open fire --
brewing it like a true desperado.

There's a poster pinned up on the wall,
an image of Black Jesus staring down at me,
causing me to feel guilty
for hanging out with all this money,

for hanging out with all this decadence.

Black Jesus stares down at me,
causing me to feel guilty.

Is this how the madness starts?
I can hear Black Jesus talking to me,
while he hangs there on the wall.

"Why have you turned your back on me again?"

"Black Jesus, I haven't done such a thing, why I still...."

"Oh please man, don't tell me how I died for your sins, because my message was lost in translation. I didn't die for your sins, your egos are massive. I was merely made into a mirror for you to pick up and see your flawed reflection within -- to see how many sacrifices you need to make for this world."

"But, Black Jesus, I am trying so hard...."

"Stop. Son, you haven't been trying hard enough, mainly faking mere forgeries to make yourself feel better, is all. I was the beggar you passed before coming in here. You turned your back on the beggar, you turned your back on me."

"You mean -- he just wants another fix. If I give him money, he'll use it to buy another hit!"

"Nonsense. I gave you a test, and you completely failed it again. You should've brought me home, offered me a hot meal and a place to hang my weary head."

"That dude! He might have lice or worse. He might be a crazy, slit my throat from ear to ear while I sleep."

"Please kid, don't talk to me about sacrifice. You can't just walk around singing praise, thinking, 'Jesus loves me this I know', or 'Jesus died for our sins.' 
Nah, it isn't easy like that, it isn't easy like that at all. You have to make a sacrifice each and every time, no matter how high the cost. And not because someone might be watching, not for the reward of a make-believe heaven, but because it feels right.''


I stare into my ten dollar coffee, 
wonder if someone had spiked it hard,
spiked it with Uptight-Timothy Leary's magical carpet ride,
Black Jesus looming over me, causing me to feel guilty.

Hanging on the wall, Black Jesus looks straight through me.



April, 2010

_____


Revised (so far -- needs more editing)


Sitting in an ultra-modern café,
sitting among people too cool to be warm,
sipping on a coffee with a long, fancy name,
I contemplate how far I've come
since making coffee over an open fire—
brewing it like a true desperado.

There's a poster on the wall—
an image of Black Jesus stares down at me,
causing me to feel guilty
for hanging out with all this money,
for hanging out with all this decadence.

I hear a voice emanate from the poster.
(is this how the madness starts?)


"Turned your back on me? Again?"

Black Jesus, I haven't done such a thing, why I still—

"Oh please man, don't tell me how I died for your sins, because the message was lost in translation. I didn't die for your sins, your egos are massive. I was made into a mirror for you to pick up and see your flawed reflection within, to see how many sacrifices you need to make for this world."

But, I am trying so hard—

"Stop. Son, you haven't been trying hard enough, conjuring up forgeries to make yourself feel better, is all. I was the beggar who you passed before coming in here. You turned your back on the beggar, you turned your back on me."

You mean—he just wants another fix. If I give him money, he'll use it to buy another hit!

"Nonsense. I gave you a test, and you completely failed it again. You should've brought me home, offered me a hot meal and a place to hang my weary head."

That dude! He might have lice or worse. He might be a crazy, slit my throat while I sleep.

"Please kid, don't talk to me about sacrifice. You can't just walk around singing praise, thinking, 'Jesus loves me this I know', or 'Jesus died for our sins.' 
Nah, it isn't easy like that, it isn't easy like that at all. You have to make a sacrifice each and every time, no matter the cost. And not because someone might be watching, not for the reward of a make-believe heaven, but because it feels right.''


I stare into my ten dollar coffee, 
wonder if someone had spiked it hard,
spiked it with Uptight-Timothy Leary's magical carpet ride.

In an ultra-modern café,
among people too cool to be warm, 
Black Jesus looms over me.

Nailed to the wall, 

Black Jesus looks straight through me.



2015 workshop version

*Author's note: 

After removing some of the repetition/redundancy,
I felt that too much of it had been removed, 
thus negatively altering the original motion and sound 
by cutting too close to the bone.
So I cauterized the wound, gained back some weight, 
and unpinched the nerves, to offer more vessel 
for the intended frequency to flow through.    


+/-


Long poem by Robert Candler | Details |

The Sooner Recruit

Fifty years, boy and man, I’ve been a Sooners fan;
And watched thousands of recruits try to make my Sooners Team.
Often, I’ve enviously wondered what it must be like
To be a touted Sooners recruit, living out his dream.

He’d had a great career through high school;
Made good grades, was a football star, played baseball too.
Coach said college recruiters were watching closely;
So, he tried his very best to make his dream come true.

You see, he’d played on the L’il Sooners as a kid;
Started getting serious about the game when he was only eight
Played with older, bigger boys and practiced hard;
Always told his friends, “To be a Sooner, ya gotta play great”.

Oh yes, his parents raised a football player;
And, even more important, a Sooners fan;
But he wanted more, to be a Sooner,
To feel the glory raining down from the stands. 

Now, the Sooners’ Head Coach is in his living room.
“Son, you’ve got talent.  We think you fit our scheme.
We’re offering you a scholarship, an opportunity
To be an important member of our great Sooners Team”.

His mother smiles her biggest smile.
His father nods proudly and pats him on the knee.
“Lord knows, son, it’s a dream come true.
Go be the very best Sooner you can be”.

He walks into the locker room,
Not quite sure what to expect;
But sure that to play for the Sooners
He will first have to earn respect.

He looks each man straight in the eye - 
Other recruits, trainers, assistants, and every coach.
“Be proud, but respectful”, his mother had said;
Your character, more than your performance, must be above reproach”.

His handshake is firm and he smiles.
“Only one chance for a first impression”, his father had said;
"Always put yourself in positive light, on and off the field.
That’s what it will take to play for the mighty Big Red”.

He meets so many other recruits, each one a high school star.
He’s played against a few and knows they share his dream.
And, to a man, each knows before any chance for Glory,
He first must prove worthy to play for this Sooners Team.

He knows a few will fail to meet the coaches’ expectations.
For some, the scout team will be their fate.
Many will suit up, but rarely play.
Only the very best will ever dare to be great.

Coach says, “If every man learns and executes when called on,
Then this team, we Sooners, will win a lot of games;
But, win or lose, if you play hard and give your very best,
You’ll never have to hang your heads in shame”.

“But gentlemen, with or without you, this team will win.
Every season, the Sooners strive to win it All.
So, listen, work hard, and prepare yourselves.  Each game is war...
And you must be ready when Victory calls”.

Through grueling practices, he finds himself.
As he walks to class, his closest friends are aches and pains;
But, just the other day, Coach helped him up, smiled, and patted his helmet.
“You’re doin’ fine, son.  Keep pushin’.  Remember, no pain, no gain”.

He sees his name on the "open scrimmage" roster for the very first time.
It’s a moment he’ll never forget, another milestone in his dream.
He calls his Mom and Dad, knowing they’ll tell his family and his friends.
He hopes they’ll actually see him play, proof he’s made the Team.

As he suits up for the last pre-season open scrimmage,
He wonders if the coaches would really let a freshman play at all;
But Coach puts him in for eight plays against the first team;
He makes two great open-field tackles and intercepts the ball.

He barely hears the roar of the crowd, as the whole defense “gives him five”.
He’s so excited, he forgets to ask if he can keep that ball.
Fans are buzzing, “Did you see that hit”!?  “Who is that kid”!?
“Will he red shirt or will Coach let him play this fall”? 

He sees his name in the Sunday paper, hears it on local sports.
He’s happy, but he doesn’t let it go to his head.
He keeps his focus and uses it as motivation.
After all, he wants to start one day for the mighty Big Red.

Yes, we’ll hear more of this young recruit.
Perhaps, one day he’ll be the hero of the game.
A seasoned veteran, maybe All Conference or even All American,
Who’s tasted Victory many times and helped glorify the Sooners’ name.

Oh yes, there have been so many who’ve aspired;
But many fewer who’ve actually made our Sooners Team.
They are our heroes, each and every one;
For it’s through their accomplishments, we fans can live the dream.

Billy Vessels, Steve Owens, Billy Sims, and Jason White,
The Selmons, Little Joe, the Boz, Josh Heupel, and “Q”
They, and so many others, were once touted Sooners recruits;
Who set a higher mark and built the Tradition that is OU.

So, c’mon! c’mon! all you great young football players!
Dedicate your talents to OU’s Team and OU’s Fans.
Make Oklahoma’s Owen Field your Field of Dreams,
And feel the Glory raining down from the stands. 


Long poem by Peter Duggan | Details |

In memory of Bob

In memory of Bob
A true story.

It was in spring of two thousand when I first saw Bob. I’d just started working at Perth Dental hospital, and in fact it was my first day there. I walked up to the front door of this building, but it wasn’t yet opened. So I turned around and went to sit in the bus shelter which was just outside the building. As I went to sit down I noted a dark skinned gentleman sitting there with a happy, benign look on his face. He was about five feet eight give or take a little, and he was rather a thickset man who looked like he’d done his fair share of hard work in his sixty years or more.

     There was something about this Gentleman that I could not quite put my finger on. He had a certain charisma about him; not the phony kind of charisma that one seen in the car salesman or the philanderer who messes with women’s heads, no, Bob had a kind of friendly smile for everyone that he met, and he seemed to draw people into him with his love, and gigantic heart. I knew as soon as I met him that Bob was most definitely for me.

      As Bob looked at me and smiled, the whole world seemed to open up. He said “Ow ya  going mate” in a loud ebullient manner, then we started to chat. Bob was like myself, a thinker, and straight away we started philosophizing about this, that, and the other, and it was like we had known each other forever. Then all of a sudden I found Bob talking about death, and the difference in the way the Maori people faced death, compared to the rather the silly way us white folk look at the subject with great fear in our hearts. Now this had always interested me, and  somehow it just seemed natural to talk to this Maori gentlemen on this subject, and we spoke about it till the doors opened and it was time to work.

      I don’t think anything happens just by chance, and I definitely have this feeling that Bob and I were meant to meet, and I really think this was a major destiny thing. I have found during the course of my life,  that as I am aging, I can feel something pushing me into a certain direction, and I always felt that Bob was part of all this; and I had much to learn from him. Although I have never believed in organized religion, and never followed one I have always felt deeply spiritual, and I have met many people who I learned from, and Bob was most definitely one of them with all his great wisdom and patience. As I came to know Bob, we had many dialogues together, on many subjects. Bob used to love music and could always have time to plonk away on his guitar. He used to come round to my place and we would play songs together, though both he and I were no Eric Clapton’s, I would bang around on my guitar and play the harp, while we would both take out turns at singing. We’d have a smoke or a beer or two, and we’d play songs all day long,  ahhh, I remember those days well, the memories are so strong.

     Bob was one hell of a man, I could tell that he had been a wild one in his youth,
But when I knew him in his sixties he was an icon of wisdom and virtue; he had a kind word for everyone, and gave all his time to anybody who needed him, always.
He used to hear me waffling on like an idiot, trying to make him like me [as I always did] but never once did he tell me how foolish I was, he would just smile knowingly at me. He used to stand there at the window for hours, just drinking in the trees, or the clouds in the sky, and yet he was so aware, I used to try to sneak up on him; it couldn’t be done. His awareness was incredible.

     Then one day Bob fell ill with terminal cancer, and he knew that he had very little time left on this Earth. He lay there sick for days in intolerable pain,  but you never heard one complaint from him, even when he only had days to live, he was still worrying about the welfare of others. When the day finally come for Bob to leave his shell; he was lying there in deep sleep, when all of a sudden he woke up, with a smile on his face. His children asked him ‘Dad, do you want some pain killers” Bob laughed, compassion written all over his face, and he said to them ‘Not one of you has a clue, have you’ and he died with a big smile on his face.

   His daughter got in touch with me, and told me about his death, and also told me that his last wish was to have me watch his soul leave his body. I felt very honored about this and went and sat with his body [as Maoris do]. I got the most peaceful feeling come to me [which I presume was his spirit leaving his body] as I watched his silent body, a Mari war stick and a beautiful rose lay across his chest. I still see it, and I feel blessed by it. He was my Maori warrior, and I adored the man.
 


Long poem by Gerald Dillenbeck | Details | . You can read it on PoetrySoup.com' st_url='http://www.poetrysoup.com/poem/its_about_notfracking_time_648923' st_title='It's About NotFracking Time'>

It's About NotFracking Time

A 1952 vintage Connecticut dormered Cape Cod
painted stark bleached white
with slick jet-black shutters,
hyperbolizing a deep racial minority
statement,
well, issue really,
in my mind of similar vintage
and incarnational permaculture,
conceived in bold ripe August,
born in bullish economy of May.

 

So, I painted her.
Wrapped my arms
and rolled around her
in turquoise sea,
and sky blue,
with rain-cloud grey trim,
so she might be less afraid
and so might I.

Born into late millennial Yang,
reconnecting and reweaving with each other
during trans-millennial now,
how will we transform our economic options
to full diversity and springtime
string-rhymed
polycultures of May?

We grow transformed,
reframed to coincidentally cooperate our octaves of color
and sound
feeling and mind
Yin and Yang,
concavely conceived,
convexly displaying economic ecological
principles of mindfulness as coincidental noticing,
advent of winter's grateful hibernation,
enthymematically aptic communication
inducing measured calculations back through RNA-regenerating
origin of living systems.

Deductive Left-brained dominance need not apply for comprehension,
unless,
balanced by summer's yangish nutritional bullish market,
hope of fruitful outcomed spring,
then summer's faithful following
of full polyculturing
permacultured information root system
formating strings and tendrils
cooperatively absorbing nutrient Spring's and sprouts consumption,
to produce within life-sustainably proportional karmic response
to yang/yin coincidental rich deep ecologically efficient,
and inclusively effective for full speciating diversity,
principles,
values,
norms,
nutrient cooperative economics,
that might actually be logical,
because they are ecological.

These, harvested permaculturally optimized
positive analogical and ecological,
digital and atomic,
temporal and spatial,
linear dynamic Open Set Universe String

AND

Polynomial Closed Set Prime Relationship
aptic-temporal
neural frequency and flow,
balanced bicameral logos-logic:
P=NP because
Left-brained information language
thermodynamically balanced with 3 spatial dimensions
covering 1  equivalent temporal-linear dimension
Commons Economic Balance Assumption
=
(0) Core Vector [B. Fuller and Euler] =
(+) e-function =
+space/(-)(-)time =
space-time-squared =
+1 magnetic balanced QBit quark-function

OVER

(-)(0) QBit.

 

So, all that going on,
more or less,
in our dominant Left hemisphere newer speciated DNA-brain,
AND Right-brained non-linguistic and non-polynomial
intuitive intelligence codes memory dipolar and
coincidentally confluent
(harmoniously proportional flow/frequency neural pattern recognition)
(0) Core Vortex =
(-)(-) [not-polynomial dipolar stricture--implicate order] (D. Bohm)

So,
putting all that mess together,
more or less confluently and permaculturally,
+Polynomial-Yang =
(-)(-)Yin (-1 QBit) Nonpolynomial
intuitive temporal-linear-neural balanced
Optimized Information Permacultured String.

Unfortunately,
now that my home and I are parting ways,
I'm finally noticing that even my friends and family
don't particularly care for our change of color
and culture.
It's still kind of a hard sell,
this more colorful permaculture
of community
and economy,
and identity,
and design.

Must be time for adventurous reincarnating revolutions
or we will remain merely ahead of our own non-polynomial ending time.

Time opens space's liturgical rite of passage.
Space coincidentally reincarnates time's
4 equivalent ecological dimensioned order.
Positrons incarnate,
inform negative-linear
4-dimensional equivalent dipolar time.

There is no such thing as non-polynomial time or space
or informatiion,
other than negative binomial time
(implicate ordered Right-brain reverse synchronic-aptic coded).
+P (+1QBit) = (-)(-)P =
+/(-)0 Core binary e-function
Prime Core Electromagnetic Balancing Binary-Binomial QBit.

Spring springs polyculture economics
composting through dark and winterish minds and forms and functions,
still looking for greatest inclusive nutrient yield
without suffering dissonantly wilting loss,
cooperatively flying our regenerative kites
co-id/eco-entity tied with time's river of flowing
informating memory strings.

I know,
you were wondering when
I would finally conclude
with the sex part.


Long poem by Timothy Hicks | Details |

Know That I Am There

It's the best I can do to explain myself
is standing in between it all, so I can view both sides.
Who are you to say that a summer days more beautiful
than the dead of night?
You profess to have to wisdom by dousing words in philosophical jargon,
but I'm here to let it all loose with an unchained honesty...
it's the best bargain
I have to offer. I practice love cause it's simple.
Respect your body cause it's sacred, a well built temple.
like ramen noodles from the supermarket, just add water
and presto! Easier than reading words off a teleprompter.
Uncensored laughter like it ought to be,
letting it self be know, however audibly.
You don't have to have to reason to love thy neighbor.
When smiles are born from your efforts,
ain't no such thing as hard labor.
Nobody's righteous, man, just a few
who strive to be a little less wicked.
No matter the masks we give ourselves
is ever gonna change the facts that the clock's still ticking.
I believe in God despite what friends close to me might say.
For the sake of fitting in I could claim ignorance,
but there's just no other way.
Cause I know at the end of the day,
there's one all encompassing thought that keeps the doubts at bay,
there's gotta be something more than what I see currently.
Is it so naive to think there lies ahead my unfolding destiny?
God's guidance may be obtained from a book, perhaps,
but I dare you to take a second look
when passing by a mirror
... tell me there's more than what appears.
Is it God you see or is it the devil?
Now let me bring it up a notch to a philosphical level.
Whether you're planting the seeds of kindness
or the seeds of deceit, either way,
it takes effort to roll up your sleeves.
You might as well just be providing carbon dioxide for the trees.
If you don't take chances nothing much happens:
the universe and I unanimously agree.
Call me cardinal cause here I am stating first things first.
Just who the hell are you and what's your purpose?
If a messenger is what you be make it clear as crystal.
Vagueness and obscurity be corruptions might.
A gardener need not be afraid of thorns and thistles.
That's where the berries congregate, am I right?
It's all just talk and not enough walk,
with poetic phrasing I aim to knocks your socks off.
But if you judge by actions I'd be lucky to get a sneeze or cough.
Oh the bitter irony of this conundrum!
A lover of the night who chaseth the sun.
I'm stuck between my two great loves:
The naps in the shadow
and the beauty of the spotlight.
My wish to see the crowds
from the solace of the clouds
or be squeezed between 'em, airtight.
But I just cannot seem to change my outlook,
in many ways I'm both a closed door and a open book.
War and politics wish to claim my writer's soul,
though love and kindness be the intended goal.
They be packing nuclear weapons, but all I got is this pistol.
Flashing with them golden intentions like bedazzled tinsel.
But when the end comes all our egos take advice from soft drinks, fade and fizzle
Guess peace never come, 'til Jesus blows forth the heavenly whistle.
I can't just brush the deaths going on around me as nothing,
despite what the Beatles sang about, love isn't everything,
from experience I've learned, however,
when all you care for just shatters,
love is perhaps the only thing that matters.
So when you see me or when you don't,
a person you can touch and feel or a singular thought
pulled straight from thin air,
know that I am THERE!
I have a heart and mind, and flesh and bone.
Knowing this none can say that I am alone.


Long poem by Robert Nehls | Details |

THE POET ISADORE

He sat behind the counter, 
   Inside the used bookstore.
      I thought I recognized him, 
         As if we'd met before.
"Can I be of service Sir," 
   He asked with smiling face.
      I'm looking for a book, says I, 
         Called, "Life's Impassioned Race."
It's poetry that touched my heart, 
   With words that long endure.
      Though we've not met, I know him well. 
         The author Isadore.
Introduced in sixty four.

I was but a young lad then,
   Whose race had just begun.
      My wings were young and fragile.
         My future plans were none.
Had left the comfort of my home,
   Determined to be free.
      Then, suddenly I found the world
         A dreadful place to be.
I was hungry, cold, and beaten.
   Had to fight the urge to steel.
      And many times I fought the cats
         In alleys for a meal.
It all seemed so unreal.

Yet, through the pain and hunger,
   My wings began to grow.
      I spread them wide and rode the wind,
         Wherever it would go;
Until I found a friendly town,
   That looked like home for sure.
      I saw a sign, "HELP WANTED,"
         Outside a Used Bookstore.
This very store we're standing in;
   An old man with a flame.
      In fact you look a bit like him,
         And, Jacob was his name.
Into his world I came.

Oh, I was grateful for the job,
   And Jacobs pay was fair.
      In back a cozy little room,
         He said that he could spare.
So, there I was, at home and work,
   With time and books to read.
      The wee-hours my companion,
         As mind and soul I'd feed.
I read my way to poetry,
   And high among the dust,
      The title, " Life's Impassioned Race,"
         Came at me with a thrust.
It's reading was a must.

I read it time and time again,
   Surprised at all I learned.
      I felt my soul cry out with joy.
         A fire in me burned.
So, I brought the book to Jacob,
   And asked of Isadore.
      "Did he write any other books?
         Are they here in the store?"
" Isadore? Oh, it's that old book.
   The only one he's done.
      Old poems of life's impassioned race,"
         He then began to read one.
A strange phenomenon.

As if it was a part of him,
   His heart poured out each line.
      With Isadore, he ran the race
         That God and man design.
And I could see, and feel, and smell,
   The world of Isadore.
      I thought that I'd found all his gifts,
         But, Jacob gave me more.
I asked him if he'd read them all.
   "Just one each day," he said.
      Each morning we would journey on,
         Until they all were read.
My need for truth was fed.

It wasn't too long after that,
   I felt the wind once more.
      "I'll learn of life's impassioned race,"
         "Like he author, Isadore."
So, I bid farewell to Jacob,
   With a tear and smiling face.
      "You might be needing this," he said.
         It was, "Life's  Impassioned Race."
I carried it for many years.
   It's wisdom served me well.
      It's words have helped me gain the strength,
         To shun the gates of hell.
There's so much I could tell.

Well, I came to see old Jacob.
   The book has been misplaced.
      Every man should have a copy,
         Of, "Life's Impassioned Race.
Then, the man that looked familiar,
   With a smile and a tear,
      Said, "fortunes your companion, friend.
         I have the book right here."
"You're right, I look a bit like him,
   This was my father's store.
      Well known as, Jacob to his friends.
         His Pen Name, Isadore!" 
  
 







Long poem by Laura Breidenthal | Details |

In the Upper Floor of the Scottish Rite Cathedral - Part 1

The name of my sidekick was Benjamin, a fellow church member An ornery, brown haired boy who had nothing in common with me Save for his sudden sense of adventure and exploration He asked me, “Laura? Have you ever been up there?” I said, my voice soft, innocent, and practical, “No. My dad says we are not allowed up there…” “I’ve gone halfway up already,” Benjamin said proudly. “What do you think is up there?” I looked at him in surprise. “You know you shouldn’t go near there Ben!” “I know, but what do you think is up there?” “I don’t know, Ben. I don’t know…” This was the first time I had ever entered the Scottish Rite Cathedral Where our congregation was to meet for the Passover Holy Day I was the snarky seven year old, and Benjamin was the terrible ten His eyes glistened in real wonder I remember my soul shuttered, as I stood there with him Just looking above at the staircase before me… My mind drifted, as it still does even now… The temple was grand, spacious, cream white I remember feeling very safe beside its lovely walls Upon entering, I marveled at the two Sphinx guardians, Watching over the temple in their strange stone supremacy I was recalling such things when Benjamin poked me “Hey Freckles! Quit your dreaming will you? We need to go see what’s up there! I mean look!” And my eyes were forced to look up those magnificent, Yet eerily dark stairs… He whispered, “I know they’re hiding something up there! I just know it!” The thought of me going up these stairs was terrifying, Yet…oddly, I felt suddenly drawn to it… I needed to know what was up that stairway, And I didn’t like needing anything at all He started tugging me, already standing on the first stair “Come on Laura. Come on! I don’t want to go alone! It will only be for just a few seconds. We’ll take a quick peak, and then we can go. No one will see us, I promise!” I felt a sacred and crawling feeling that someone was watching Like someone already knew our plans… I looked around warily, my eyes drifting back upwards toward the stairway Stop it, eyes…stop it… “Ben. No. What if we get lost?” He took my hand earnestly and forcefully “We won’t Breidenthal!” “Don’t call me Breidenthal, Ben…” I looked at him long and hard, Seeing him as both a bully and a blessing I wanted to go, don’t get me wrong, But I did not like needing to go up there, And I definitely did not like him holding my hand… His eyes were pleading me to come along It was clear he wasn’t going to have his adventure without me “Okay, okay…let’s go….” He smiled wide. “Yes! Don’t worry! I won’t let go of your hand!” A dully comforting promise… From then on, I cannot decipher dream from reality… As we ascended the stairway, I started hearing the air heavier than before Going up, the stairway was not as dark as I thought Though as we climbed higher, Ben picked up his speed And the darkness became heavier We passed the large glassed window of little light, Reaching the top of the first set of stairs On the left, I cringed There was complete darkness up the next set Ben looked at me and stared back up the stairs He was scared…really scared “This is how far I got last time,” He said quickly, His voice was strange to me, shaky and squeaky “Are we going all the way up?” I asked faintly, The sound of the air now sounded like a hollow hum “Yes, Laura. There’s no going back…”


Long poem by Laura Breidenthal | Details |

In the Upper Floor of the Scottish Rite Cathedral - Part 2

The truth was, we very well could go back, But there was sudden authority and determination in his voice It was the first time I ever respected Benjamin The first time and only that I ever liked holding his dirty boy hands “Well let’s go, scaredey cat!” I giggled, ripping my hands away from him, Running up the stairs crazily, I heard his voice at the bottom but I didn’t care “LAURA…. WAIT! DON’T GO WITHOUT ME…” I reached the top and stopped, My chest heaving, my fear returning There was a double door here, and it was wide open What I thought was pure darkness coming up the last stairs, Was evidently not as pitch black as what lay beyond that double door… “Ben, get…” My voice disappeared… I felt strange, like I was in a trance… The hollow humming was deeper now It sounded like a well with lips whispering unknown truths… It sounded like…slow dripping…dripping too… And it echoed…fading….and returning…. I heard Ben behind me, and I knew he heard the dripping too Without a word, I slowly walked inside the pitch blackness… I walked inside, seeing silhouettes of strange objects, Some human-like, others oddly shaped…some pointy, others smoother I touched the blade of a sword-like object It was cold, heavy and nice on my fingertip… I heard Ben groan in fear “Laura let’s get out of here!” I continued walking, disregarding Ben’s panicky pleas Till I was glued to a very certain position, The dripping purer and clearer where I stood… “Laura….look…” His voice was trapped in complete horror My eyes, getting used to the darkness Fixed in reverential wonder and bewilderment I slowly looked up, And there she was… It was a statue of a woman, surrounded by the darkness… As I stared at it, her face became clearer and clearer She was sad, she was intelligent, her face showing no alarm As if she expected two stupid children to come and explore her strange abode She was a fountain…the dripping… those were her tears… Sliding down her perfect cheeks… Falling into the dark crimson waters below Why is she crying….. “Tears of blood…” Ben screamed and pointed beyond the statue A bright glow from afar suddenly surrounded us My heart pounded out of my chest… There, beyond between two blue and gold silken curtains Was a bright white cross… extremely clear and crisp…. Petrifying in size and stature I was frozen, as if I had become like the objects in the dark Benjamin grabbed my hand and dragged me out of the room Behind us I heard the wailing of the statue woman in pain… Beyond child labor…past many lives as I would ever know She sobbed in sorrows beyond our youthful imagination The last thing that I know was real was running down the staircase Ben screaming, “Did you see that!? Did you see that!?” I hushed him and said with strange maturity, “You broke your promise Ben…” He looked at me like I was a loony… “What the heck are you talking about?” “You said no one would see us Ben… But you were wrong…” We never spoke about what we saw up there… In fact, he never really spoke to me at all… Sometimes we choose to be traumatized, even scarred by our past I see even my strangest, most frightening experiences As enlightenment, self-discovery and sacrificing illumination Assurance that we are always being watched over, By entities large and small, Ancient architects of fate Even in the growing darkness they are there… Even through bleeding tears…they are there……


Long poem by Pauly Plaster J.R. | Details |

Near Life Experience

 A subtle numbness overtakes my senses. I feel a slight heavy weight fall upon me in the gentlest of ways, almost like you’re wearing a fur coat in a meat locker and someone’s pissing on you while your spine is wrapped in cotton, or cold water falling from a shower in slow motion but from under your skin. Any attempt to fight is useless, and as you discover this you realize that you wouldn’t want to… even if you had the capability. Vision fades and yet becomes sharper and is intensified. I remember closing my eyes and seeing almost a faint kaleidoscope figure off in the distance of my mind that would fade in and out slowly. It was murky, dim even. A wave of euphoria washed over my body and I excepted everything as it came. The oneness with the grass I sat in and the people that lay all around me. This one girl who sat across from me wore a flower printed dress and a fedora. She kept laughing in a cackle and would say things like, “This is what dreams are made of” and “Can you believe this is really happening?”  Not just because of the annoying “hippie” banter do I recall this girl, though I was tripping rather hard. It was because of her large breasts that my memory alloys her in the V.I.P.  Section of my mind. I distinctively recall her breasts and remember as I lit the first joint of D.M.T. (Dimethyltryptamine is a psychedelic compound of the tryptamine family) that I was very nervous and at the same time very pumped about my first D.M.T. experience, but still those titties overcame my fear and occupied 99% of my focus while 1%, my basic stoner motor skills took over and hit the joint. The person who initially invited me to join the circle said to me “Hit it harder”. So I did. As I steadily drift off into the Ethernet to learn of such things like, what all of the hairs on my body were doing at that precise moment, 99% of my focus was rickety and speeding its way through oblivion while 1% was still very much tethered to those big ass titties. Keeping me safe, showing me my way back home.  Just as quick as it came on, it was gone. Something had showed itself to me and it was only very faint. I’d had a taste and while I got up from that circle I knew I wanted to try more. Get thrown in the deep end. Feed deeper into this trip and really get lost in it.

I wonder what it’s like to die. I sit up late at night often thinking what great visions await me when that last initial Trip of natural D.M.T. goes ripping through my brain. Like if I were to put a gun in my mouth and take several deep breaths then pull the trigger, what would go through my head following the bullet? Would certain parts of my brain still function for a short while before dying? Like when a person is decapitated, the brain stays alive for roughly 10 seconds. What goes through your mind then? If I shot myself in the head and some parts of my consciousness were still active, would I be freaked out when what was left of my jaw hit the coffee table? Not being able to feel it. Maybe being able to still hear the ringing in my ears or the screaming from the person or people I did it in front of.  It’s 4:27 in the A.M. Not thinking of dreams, but suicide. After all they both kind of go hand in hand.


Long poem by Robert Candler | Details | . You can read it on PoetrySoup.com' st_url='http://www.poetrysoup.com/poem/twos_magic_nose_538609' st_title='Two's Magic Nose'>

Two's Magic Nose

Such a nose had Ol’ Blue.
Best in south Missouri... everybody knew.
Could smell a pheasant across the plain.
Could point a covey in a hurricane.
That’s the way the legend goes.
Ol’ Blue had a “magic nose.”
 
As Blue got older, his master’s mind would drift away
To a place where he and young Blue used to play. 
In the mornings, sitting over his coffee cup
He found it sad there were no pups.
He thought it would be such a shame
If the only memory was Ol’ Blue’s name.
 
So, Jim was compelled and full of pride;
He made a search, far and wide,
To find Ol’ Blue a suitable mate.
No doubt, his offspring would be great.
It seemed likely, he supposed,
At least one pup would have his “magic nose.”
 
She was a Champion Miss from New Orleans,
A beautiful “red” named Cajun Queen.
But Blue suddenly passed away, before the pups were born.
Jim was broken hearted.  He and “Queenie” mourned.
Then came the litter, but there was only one.
Jim struggled for hope; after all, he was Ol’ Blue’s son.
 
Dappled and lanky, a handsome little cuss,
He looked just like Blue.  Jim made such a fuss.
Naming this pup would require no ado.
It was obvious.  Officially, he would be “Blue Two.”
Oh yes, these were mighty large tracks to fill.
“Can he?”, folks asked.  Jim would say, “Heck yes he will!”

So his nickname became “Two” and he seemed to be smart.
Soon it was time for his training to start.
The basics went well, but Jim’s outlook grew very dim
When, instead of pointing, Two would wag and jump and bark at him.
Oh, Two seemed to be trying; but try as he might,
He just could not seem to ever get it right.

“Blue’s son or not, he’s got to go!”
Jim found Two a “pet home” far away, in Tupelo.
On his way back, he stopped in Texarkana.
Been too long a time since he’d seen his sister Hannah.
Six days and six pounds later, he was back on his way.
Work at the farm was callin’ and he’d be drivin’ all day.
 
He thought about Ol’ Blue and wondered if and when
He’d ever have a birddog as good as Blue again.
Oh, he knew another “magic nose” was just a far off dream;
After all, it wasn’t something any man could scheme.
A “magic nose” was a gift from God, only given to a few;
And he was proud and very lucky just to have known Ol’ Blue.
 
As he turned into his drive, he broke into a smile.
“Why… I can’t believe it!  It…It must be 300 miles!”
Two was on the porch, thin and dirty; but he struck a handsome pose.
Jim ran and hugged Two hard.  “How’d you get back?  Lord only knows!”
Suddenly Jim realized; and struck with awe, he slowly rose.
A tear trickled to his smile.  “Why Two… you have a “magic nose!”
 
Two and Jim are best of friends, together everywhere.
From milkin’ cows to bedtime, Two is always there.
Jim doesn’t hunt much anymore, now Two’s a rescue dog.
Just last month, he saved a little girl lost in Cooley’s Bog.
Jim struts and tells proud, heroic stories;
While Two wags and jumps and barks, and shares his glory.
 
Jim boasts, “Like father, like son!”, then speaks fondly of Blue;
But all know the largest tracks to fill are those of Two.
His deeds are known far and wide,
And fill Jim’s heart with love and pride.
For with every rescue, the legend grows;
About a dog named Two, and his “magic nose.”


Long Poems