Wise Words with Bruce Wise


 

The Cellist Playing at the Bluegrass Festival
          for Erin O’Neill Armendarez
          by E. Caderius Blew

It was a fair, a party atmosphere, and aestival.
He was a cellist playing at the bluegrass festival.
The man before him on the platform played a blue guitar.
Somebody said aloud, “You do not play things as they are.”
He got a light applause. That audience was difficult.
The cellist stepped up to the platform with his instrument.
He played his solo to the crowd. He did his very best.
It wasn’t good enough. Ah, no. It did not meet their test.
He heard a couple people clap, pro forma, nothing more;
and when he packed his cello up, the rain began to pour.

 

E. Caderius Blew is a poet who is definitely out of the main stream of his cultural milieu, i. e., another typical Uh-merican.

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Jim Harrison Has Let Go of the Goose
          by Eb “Walrus” De Ice

He sits upon the edge, his wagging feet above th’ abyss,
the moon is in his lap; he gives it one, long, sloppy kiss.
This is his job, to study, from his bridge, the universe.
He has the sky, the sea, and now he reaches for the curse.
Jim Harrison has let go of the goose up rising fast,
his head back flat against the ground, wings beautiful flap past.
The faint, green streak of forest trees on Canada’s far shore
looms just above the stark horizon for him nevermore.
The dead man floats away upon the sea too big for him;
and any of us, anyway, so wide, and so long, Jim.

Eb “Walrus” De Ice is a poet of the North, influenced by writers, like Jack London and Robert Service, and lovers of the epic “Beowulf,” like J. R. R. Tolkien and Seamus Heaney. He likes searching for gold with fellow explorers, like Eric Albu, “Swede,” and Wes Caribu Deel. His favourite composers are Sibelius and Grieg, while his favourite song is “I Am the Walrus” by the Beatles.

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Joseph Conrad Square
          by Cal Wes Ubideer
          “We live as we dream—alone…”
          —Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

Some benches, bushes, grass, and trees, less than an acre’s size,
the Joseph Conrad Square’s dead-space in San Francisco lies,
triangular and hopeless, hardly anything at all,
a dismal spot, some drink and shoot up drugs, so dark and small.
It perfectly fits Conrad’s style, not breezy, bright, or clear,
uncomfortable, a negation of the known, yet near.
Peculiar, strange, impressionistic, stark, aloof, unfurled;
it’s odd to even find it anywhere within the World.
In the entire city there is nothing that appears
as empty and forgettable as Joseph Conrad Square.

 

Cal Wes Ubideer is a poet and literary critic of the West and of California in particular. Influenced by the longer lines of Robinson Jeffers and the hard poetic sensibilities of Greek tragedy, his favourite American literary critic is Michael Dana Gioia. In his youth, he was enraptured by California; and his favorite popular songs of that era included San Franciscan Nights, San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair), and California Dreamin’.

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Jing-Jin-Ji
          by Aw “Curbside” Lee
          “With our flesh and blood let us build a new Great Wall.”
          —Tian Han

The Chinese megalopolis they’re calling Jing-Jin-Ji,
in-spi-red by the Socialist dic-ta-tor Xi Jinping,
will be home to 130,000,000 people and
encase an area about the size of New-Eng-land.
Here Beijing-Hebei-Tianjin will be recipients
of a one-hour-long commuting circle’s common sense,
a network of high-speeding rails that criss-cross the space,
there traveling up past 200-mile-per-hour rates.
Along with Yangtze River Delta and One Belt, One Road,
the Jing-Jin-Ji free-trade-zone is a future trading node.

 

Aw “Curbside” Lee is a poet fond of Chinese construction in roads, rails, bridges, and buildings. He is dumbfounded that a Chinese development company built a 57-story tower in 19 days in Changsha, a city of 7,000,000.

 

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