In Rome with Maia
          by I Warble Seduce

I saw her on the plane above green, rocky Italy.
I saw her with the fumes of Fiumicino settling.
I saw her pass graffiti and the lush plants, green and dark.
I saw her at Termini station when she disembarked.
I saw her walking, o, above the people in the streets.
I saw her while avoiding drivers winding through the trees.
I saw her near the cars whose only etiquette was speed.
I saw her lying down in the Suburra deep in sleep.
I saw her in the hollow, crumbling Colosseum’s core.
I saw her by the Arc of Constantine. She seemed to soar
                                                                                   o’er everything.

I saw her shining spirit stroll the Forum’s social scene.
I saw her rising up the steps of high Capitoline.
I saw her near a replica of Marcus on a horse.
I saw her pass both Pollux and twin Castor in due course.
I saw her noting Trajan’s Column rising in th’ azure.
I saw her trippingly traipse past Marcellus Theatre.
I saw her gazing o’er the silver Tiber rushing fast.
I saw her in the Present and I saw her in the Past.
I saw her in the rain. I saw her on the roof-top eat.
I saw her in the sky. I saw her in the sunny heat
                                                                                   beat on the wing.

I saw her at the tiny pharmacy on Tiber’s Isle.
I saw her promenade the arching bridges, and her smile.
I saw her seated by the lovely petals drooping down.
I saw her contemplating history, o, then and now.
I saw her drawn along mysteriously through time’s shrouds.
I saw her balanced on a vision at the ridge of clouds.
I saw her importuning, pray for opportunities.
I saw her at the Temples, Portunus and Hercules.
I saw her passing time at the Boarum, like a dove.
I saw her lingering awhile, a little more like love,
                                                                                   of Roma, o.

I saw her sitting on the grass with poppies, orange-red.
I saw her on the steps that rise right up to heaven’s edge.
I saw her on a wall, upon a fountain shooting up.
I saw her in the steam that rises from a coffee cup.
I saw her crossing busy streets with taxies passing us.
I saw her promenading empty Circus Maximus.
I saw her ambling below the Palatine in May.
I saw her on the subway, moving slower than the day.
I saw her on a laptop, scrolling, as the ages drown.
I saw her leaning on a balustrade, and turn around
                                                                                   bound for Amor.

 

I Warble Seduce is a poet of romantic love. Maia, a goddess first sighted in ancient Greece and Rome, with whom the month of May is associated, is the eldest of the Pleiades, and a close confidant of I Warble Seduce.

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El Zorzal Criollo
          by Wibele Escular

Caruso said his voice was very good, and beautiful,
and that he had an unmistakably pure diction, clear
and perfect, that allowed for lyrics in the proper tone.

Nicknamed The Creole Thrush, with his expressive baritone,
among the first to make the tango popular in song,
his heartfelt ballads soared with South American élan.

Born in Toulouse, he went to Argentina with his mom,
and there became Carlos Gardel, the singer in the storm;
with lyricist Le Pera, penning many classic tunes.

Still, in this aeon, one can hear his transAtlantic croons
he poured forth even with a bullet in his lung, deep, o,
long after his plane crashed in Medellín, Colombia.

 

Wibele Escular is a poet of Argentina. The writer he most admires in Argentian literature is Jorge Luis Borges, who wrote of the tango, that among other things, it was “una mithología de puñales,/ lentamente se anula en el olvido;/ una canción de gesta se ha perdido/ en sórdidas noticias policiales,” that is, a mythology of knives/ slowly annuled in oblivion;/ a chanson de geste that has been lost/ in sordid police notices.”

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On Continental Coach
          by Cur A. Wildebees

He cut a season through his characters, J. M. Coetzee.
Is there no limit to the shame a human being feels?
In England, IBM and ICT, Ford Madox Ford,
to Texas, Beckett beckoning, then booked in Buffalo,
he cycled through the dusklands to the site of Adelaide,
South Africa and Cape Town left behind upon the trade.
He fought the blank page nausea, that set before his mind,
in prose that, like a taut leash, held mad dogs within lean lines,
and cast his boyhood, youth, and summertime in stark, sparse art
with Dostoevsky, Kafka and Defoe, his country’s heart.

 

Cur A. Wildebees is a poet of South Africa, and intimate of Badrue Ecsweli and Cabeesie Wurld.

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Liu Xiaobo (1955-2017)
          by Lu “Reed ABCs” Wei
          “China remains a prison of the mind: prosperity without liberty.”
              —Liao Yiwu

Two days before release of Charter Zero-Eight was shown
the Chinese Communist Police arrested Liu Xiaobo.
His crime was that he called for human rights, democracy,
and greater freedom of expression, less bureaucracy.
In prison, he was not allowed to meet with legal help.
Confined in solitary, he was only offered health.

It took the Chinese Communists six months to charge him for
suspicion of incitement to subvert the Chinese Core.
In 2010, Liu Xiaobo got the Nobel Prize for Peace.
In 2017 he died, and had not been released.
Before he died, the Beijing PSB said he’d confessed;
and liver cancer took him off—Xi Jinping’s happy guest.

 

Lu “Reed ABCs” Wei is a poet of China. One of the recent books to come out of China this year (2017) is that by Liu Xiaobo’s still-living, imprisoned lawyer Gao Zhisheng, about whom Wei has written,

“His book, entitled “Stand Up, China 2017…” describes the many years and torturing of Gao Zhisheng, predictions for the downfall of the Chinese Communists, and speculations on the future of their hate-filled tryst. Police kidnapped him for supporting practicing qigong, forbearance, truth, and kindness, the beliefs of Falun Gong. The Communist Police shoved needles in his genitals, and also beat him with spark-sharp electrical batons. How often did he disappear in cruel custody, exposing enemies with nothing but bare bravery?”