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Jagged Thoughts # 20: Singing Songs of Solitaire at Scusset Beach

Everyone has their eyes closed
On this train
I have my eyes open
Praying for the rain
To end and
Bring sunshine around
Again

Sunshine reminds me of Scusett Beach
an early morning retreat
Just over the Borne Bridge
The long Jetty that was always pronounced Jedi to me
Those waves
The waves overwhelmed me with laughter and later
overwhelming sadness
The joy of knowing that there never will be a never after and when you walk on that sand blessed by the summer sun
Nothing matters
the joy of knowing the water never stops
It bathes the coast with bright
Blues and greens
The curl of the waves
That sound of waves crashing
Receding and returning to the shore line
I look back at those times
With a happy heart

I visited Scusset many times
being young
growing up
Lost in songs

One time
I brought my manic bride to the edge of the water in the summer night
She left me alone playing a song about
How she could always make me smile

Scusset was the stage of my
endless summer
The boredom
The heat
of Summer nights
Left me the desire
To visit more
Often
Alone
With a guitar and a deck of cards
Playing songs and solitaire at the same time

Writing down with feverish quickness
Each page filled with ink
The thoughts came so quick
I thought I was brilliant
Never thought
I was
sick

I haven’t been back to visit Scusset Beach
In all it’s awesomeness
but one thing I know true
The ocean always gives back
what ever love you give to
It
And in its massiveness
It will never desert you
It will always be the cause of constant memories

Writing about the summer sea and the sunshine
Killing time on the red line
Listening to the kinks

You are a misfit
Just like me

 

Jason Wright is the founder and Editor of Oddball Magazine. His “Jagged Thoughts” column appears weekly.

 

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3TV Presents: LUCCI

 

Cancer

Cancer!
Why do you exist?
Why am I born with you?
There is not an ounce of construction in you,
Only destruction.
I take it back.
You Can be constructive
On how you plot to invest our bodies
With pain and suffering, organ by organ
And you do Not discriminate.
You make travel paths from our brains
All the way down to our feet
As if not a bone or a muscle stands in your way.

You play with our minds.
We are dogs that tilt our heads when you
Do something we don’t understand, like,
Come back.
Then we cower in the corner
Wondering what we did wrong,
What we did to deserve this.
Your policy of no mercy is Effective like a death sentence.
One way or another it’s going to happen.
Dragging bodies through stages of Hell
Wished only for afterlife.

Don’t look away when I’m talking to you.
If you wish to End me one day
You look me in the eyes first.

That’s just like you.
Not a care in the world.
You move your eyes
Like you relocate your most trusted destroyers.
Throat.
Breast.
Bladder.
Lung.
Colon.
Kidney.
Prostate.
Pancreas
And too many more bricks
Of our most beloved walls.
You are like a kid at the playground
Where the human anatomy is a jungle gym
At your disposal and discretion.

I’m glad you’re having fun at our expense.
One simple fact keeps me grounded.
Hopeful.
Peels away layers of the cynic
You ripened inside me.
You are Not undefeated.
You Can be beaten.
You Can be overcome.
You Can be conquered
And it doesn’t matter
That you’ve won more battles than lost.
What matters is Just because
You press the start button
That doesn’t mean the game is rigged.
People have a Chance to beat you.
The levels will get harder, and harder
Because that’s the way you like it
But you can still slip on that banana peel
And land flat in remission.

You don’t like that word, remission, do you?
Reminds you of all those times you cut and run.
You staked the white flag
Because you knew you couldn’t win.
You felt as useless as the masses you’ve preyed on
And you felt Less, than a Fraction,
Of what We go through,
Day by day simply after
Making yourself known.
You even leach on to Kids,
Making adults not enough
To quench your thirst for cold blood.

It’s OK.
You will always have an advantage.
Your resources are everything inside
And outside
Because we are hosts,
Born with the cruel and unusual
Parasite that you are
But you are Not the unbreakable
And you are Not an untouchable.
Your weakness is the knowledge
You always have a chance at winning
And losing.

So keep us in hospitals.
Expose our scalps.
Pale our faces.
That’s why we started fighting
And we will Never stop,
Even if it Kills us.
We are not afraid of you anymore.
As superior as you are,
You are just as capable
Of being humbled into your Own corner
Of nonexistence.

I’m not asking you to leave.
I’m telling you you should go.
I’m not asking authorities to
Vacate you from my premises.
I’m gonna be the one to show you the door.
I’m gonna prey on You for a change.
I’m gonna put you in your rightful place.
Outside…of me.

 

LUCCI (which stands for Listening, Understanding, Caring, Considering, Inquiring) is a poet, an actor and aspiring comedian who enjoys being creative while making positive change and entertaining in the process. He has featured in such places as Boston Talent Showcase, Wierdstock 2011, The 2nd Annual Haught Pink Breast Cancer Fashion Show, Writer’s Block, and also had a role in the independent film Supa Dupa.

 

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Stone Soup Servings Presents: Ryk McIntyre

Stone Soup Servings is a regular series for Oddball Magazine that features upcoming performers at Stone Soup Poetry, the long-running spoken word venue in the Boston area that has recently partnered with Oddball Magazine. Stone Soup Poetry meets from 8-10 p.m. every Monday at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery at 106 Prospect Street with an open mike sign-up at 7:30 p.m.

On March 31, we welcome back beloved performance poet Ryk McIntyre, who is celebrating the recent release of his full-length collection After Everything Burns from Sargent Press. Below is an example of newer work, with hopefully much more to come.

 

Thankful

I have so much in my life to be grateful for, sometimes
I forget to be thankful for the things that are not
and never were, amen, so won’t it be. I’m grateful
for every problem that didn’t cross my path today.
Thank you, weird looking mole, for the inoperable Cancer
that you are not. Oh, not-out-of-City Bus, thank you
for not hopping the curb, ‘cause your driver didn’t stroke out
‘cause his blood pressure is just fine, thanks for asking!

I am grateful for lovers who were not serial killers,
I’m also grateful that question never occurred to me
at the time. … that would’ve been awkward…
And when this body fell ill when my legs grew disability,
I came to love every test that told me nothing
and crossed-out a cornucopia of cancers, a whole alphabet
of Hepatitis; thank you every damned disease I was ever tested for,
for not being what’s killing me. Thank you, things that are
killing me for being as disorganized and lazy as I am.
Now, when someone asks “Why do you carry that cane?”
I don’t have to explain, or even say, “I have to, ‘cause otherwise
it has a hell of a time keeping up with me.” Thank you, sense of humor
that now I just deadpan “Shark attack! Happy now?” and walk away…

Thank you, unhappy accidents, for all the near-misses I never saw
coming; for every shark that passed me by, and kept on swimming;
every guardian Angel I’ve worn down to the wing-nubs. I am grateful
to that asteroid that wasn’t the size of North Dakota, and didn’t
crash into the Earth today. Thank you, luck of the draw, thank you,
skin of my teeth, thank you wire for letting me under – Thank you,
moments of grace. Thank you Facebook for not causing Face Cancer
(I don’t know if that’s actually true, but I hope so. I’m on Facebook
…a lot!” This is my song to the whole of creation, for the loopholes
and quiet odds in my favor; for every bad thing that could have happened,

today, and didn’t. God, just for today, let me be grateful for Nothing.

 

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It’s All One Thing #21: Three Pennies

The very first time I threw those three flashing coins
they fell a broken line at the beginning and the top
and four solid lines between to become the dreaded
I Ching reading, Preponderance of the Great,
“the ridgepole sags to the breaking point”.

And sure enough within days there was a fatal confrontation
with my old mentor Arthur when I told him his drinking and smoking
were contributing to his wife’s impending death of rheumatoid arthritis
and he so drunk and enraged by my indeed impudent and certainly naïve
deployment of what turned out to be the truth came back in the middle of the night
to threaten to go to the Dean and the police about our marijuana use no small chump change
in those days when the drug laws were being regularly used to put people we knew away
part of the Nixon years reign of political terror.

So we ended up packing everything we owned in the back of a U-haul truck
(it was possible to rent one without a credit card in those days) and we absconded
In the middle of the night for Ohio where my mate and eventual first wife
had an Uncle Patsy who was still owed a favor by the mob from his days
in the Cleveland rackets working the slot machines so he actually got me a job
first temporarily at the Hot Dog Shoppe and then at Gen Motors new Vega Plant
working on the line spot welding one of the best paying jobs I ever got laid off from.

I was sick of college at the time anyway and my son was conceived there in Ohio
so just, perhaps, maybe it’s not so terrible bad that sometimes that old ridge pole
does collapse but to this day when I see those three pennies sitting on the shelf
by the edge of the bed I shudder to remember Preponderance of the Great.

 

James Van Looy has been a fixture in Boston’s poetry venues since the 1970s. He is a member of Cosmic Spelunker Theater and has run poetry workshops for Boston area homeless people at Pine Street Inn and St. Francis House since 1992. His work appears weekly in Oddball Magazine.

 

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Poem by Christina Murphy

Labyrinth

Jetties stoic in a sunset of drizzling rain and mist. Blue and bronze waves parade as miniature
seas, and all hearts regard the sea and the earth as home, even if home has no meaning in infinite
realms.

Deeply in moonlight, stars uncoil in silent patterns against a silver sky, knowing that
illuminations are required of all seaward beings. The calls of the seagulls over silent shores are
the flow of agency and transience. Isolation has the feel of another sea, and midnight is but one
mark of time’s indifference.

Within the blues of a night sky, dreams are locked into progressions timed by the tides and
nocturnes. Across the water, transformations originating in moonlight become a labyrinth of
golden flowers opening into all possible universes.

 

Photography © Allison Goldin
Photography © Allison Goldin

 

Christina Murphy lives and writes in a 100 year-old Arts and Crafts style house along the Ohio River in the USA. Her poetry is an exploration of consciousness as subjective experience, and her most recent work appears in PANK, La Fovea, Chicago Literati, Pear Noir! and Contemporary World Poetry. Her work has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and for the 2012 Best of the Net Anthology.

Allison Goldin is an artist living in Cambridge. Her work is a collection of spontaneous drawings from the imagination. The most common link throughout her art are the semi-recognizable creatures scattered amongst and bringing together the surrounding doodles. She is currently studying Illustration at The School of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

 

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The Last(ish) Word Presents: The New Breed of Star (Same as The Old?)

In this new series for Oddball Magazine, cartoonist George Panagopoulos and poet Chad Parenteau will take political cartooning and mix it with light (and not so light) politically charged verse inspired (sometimes loosely) by the illustration, sometimes maybe even in opposition to it. This will be an experimental venture with words and pictures, which might be intertwined more so in the future. Don’t forget to give us your feedback, both “likes” and “dislikes” (though there is no button for the latter).

 

Comic © George Panagopoulos
Comic © George Panagopoulos

 

The new breed of starlets are gone
Oddball tells us “Take ’em on!”
So now I must work
a rhyme into “twerk”
and pretend they don’t make me yawn.

 

It’s all the same this n’ that.
Justin and Miley are twins! How ’bout that?”
My own views unsung.
When I look at that tongue,
I can only think of Bill The Cat.

 

Vogue showed Kim and Kayne’s space
in a photo that looks out of place.
If this particular pic
is all photoshopped schtick
why not change the kid’s freaked out face?

 

One thing remains all to clear.
whenever there’s a new young dear,
Madonna will glom
like a real creepy mom
and once again have a career.

 

George Panagopoulos is an Artist, Writer, and Comedian from Worcester, MA. You won’t catch him pulling punches, he tries to focus on truth above partisan politics. “I want you to be compelled to discuss my stuff, it’s about starting a dialogue, making you reflect, and hopefully laugh”

Chad Parenteau’s limericks have been seen floating around in places like Salon and Mad Kane’s Humor Blog. He is a contributing editor to Oddball Magazine.