Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Poetry: Oliver Rice & Jason Wilkinson

Editors Note:
For the final time this year (although, we can change our minds if The Rear View springs to life sooner than expected ...) The Front View presents the poetry submitted last year to the late, great, Hiss Quarterly before the Marvelous Merge. Enjoy!

Oliver Rice
She lounges against the sofa pillows,
squinting, as if inwardly.

Lately, Myron is often at the beach,
photographing the kelp.
It is like a calligraphy, he says.
And may have meaning.

Squalls blow up out there.

What is the weather?

Still a reluctant sun.

They are in the streets,
going to court,
to a tanning salon,
to livelihoods,
donning their masks.
To overlapping eras,
the probabilities,
ironies out of the double helix.
Privacies light her face.

Sociology prowls the neighborhoods,
seeking its level, like water.

Protagonists move among auxiliary figures,
bearing restless lore,
libidos, density,yearnings,
ritual stories, rebellions.

Myron delights to explore extremes
and bizarre angles to actuality.
To listen to the utter jazz of what happens,
riding the shoulders, he says,of a cursed dancer.
She shrugs,
perhaps from an old dismay.

Reality persists, no matter what.
Congruities of reeling Earth.
A room. A death. A night journey.

She cannot recall when it began
that things looked the same but were not.
When all she knew took on a second life.

It is as if she were freefalling through ideation,
rumors out of her undermind,
fantasies of her alterselves.
A wisdom too hard.

Myron says he has a religious temperament
but no faith.
His neurons gossip of detrimental genes,
of lurid and melancholy colors,
although he wishes to speak in humanity's favor.
She rises,
goes to the window.

Time passes,
disguised as a Friday, a Tuesday.
Does not explain.

Music for an empty stage.

Photo Credit Orange42 on Flickr

About The Author: Oliver Rice has received the Theodore Roethke Prize and twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. His poems have appeared widely in journals and anthologies in the United States, as well as in Canada, England, Austria, Turkey, and India. His book of poems, "On Consenting to Be a Man" has been introduced by Cyberwit and is available on Amazon.

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Jason Wilkinson

This is not about the rambunctious pit-bull next door
that got loose and bit every child it could lay hold of.

Or the firearm that came to cease its untimely assault.

It’s not about the final days of a political regime
that did absolutely nothing for the masses
whose votes guided it to power.

It’s not about state-sponsored Fear,
Richard Gere,
or what the hell Kevin was thinking
when he married Britney Spears.

This is not about a poet who,
owing to his greater sense of aesthetic justice,
ought verily to abstain from rhyming.

This is not designated to elicit euphoria.

Nor will it leave you strung out.

It’s not about Identity Theft,
the far Left,
or who left the garbage bag on the porch
in absence of depositing it for collection.

This is not about a governor who spent his days routing out crime
and his nights in some pricey brothel.

Nor the individuals of a similar description,
who would see him burn for it.

This is not about the new pit-fighting league
that has garnered international eminence.

Or those unfortunate competitors
who now ruefully contemplate their inclusion in such
from a wheelchair.

By no means is this about a legislative body more concerned with performance-enhancing drugs, computer games, and otherwise pretending to look busy,
than it is with exercising the will of the people.

This is not about the photo-sharing community website that your preteen child,
in spite of all remonstrance, has defiantly pledged her last thirty-seven afternoons to.

Nor is it a reference to all of the psychos one is likely to encounter in such a place.

This is not about a haunted piece of real estate, whose multitudinous proprietors were,
over a score of decades, individually frightened beyond all imagination.

It’s not about the whiffle ball game that ‘got out of hand’ when you hit a line drive
into the neighbours prize-winning flower bed.

No, it’s not about the ensuing police reports that were slated in consequence thereof.

This is not about the person who ripped out your heart
for the singular purpose of unceremoniously depositing it in the nearest gutter.

This will in no way compromise one’s ability to maintain a pot belly
and eat chips until the surgeon is called in.

Nor is it an indictment of those whose corpulence
were far beyond their voluntary manipulation.

This is not about the entertainment console whose production
cost thousands of lives in an underdeveloped nation.

It’s not about the stores of tax money blown to revive mortgage firms
that evict families by the truckload(whose revenue once aided their piracy).

Or what percentage of that trust went into the coffers of the personal ‘massage’ industry.

It’s not about crappy drinking water.

Not a long finger-pointing session about who made it so crappy.

This is not about the bachelor party footage that quite inexplicably
wound up on a photo-sharing database largely frequented by psychotics and children.

It’s not about the annulment that was carefully averted upon its discovery.

This is not about a sponge that is purportedly capable of absorbing an entire lake.

Nor how many were spontaneously drowned by the aforementioned domestic article.

This is not about an education system that focuses more of its resources upon what variation of t-shirt your child wears to class, than it does in fortifying his or her intellect.

It’s not about the addle-brained court that would fail to succour its dying machinery.

This is not about to fix itself.

Photo Credit: badjonni on Flickr

About The Author: Jason Wilkinson is a writer who has spent the preponderance of his life in New York, a circumstance for which he were not so much proud, as bound by the absence of those pecuniary emoluments otherwise requisite upon severing that protracted engagement. Among the venues that have published his work are The Iconoclast, Offcourse, FourW, Soul Fountain, Spoken War, Freefall, Square Lake, Upstairs At Duroc, Neon Highway, Marymark Press, and the Argotist.