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Poem by Jake St. John

 

The Distance
           For Joe Gouveia

When you’re born
they turn you loose
into the ring
no experience
just a punchers chance
and a good chin
swinging and jabbing
and always taking
two punches
just to land
one
but it’s a good one
for sure
and if you can stand
the onslaught
sooner or later
that one punch
will be the only punch
you need
to end it

 

Photography © Allison Goldin
Photography © Allison Goldin

 

José Gouveia, poet, radio host, and poetry activist, passed away in May 2014. Saudades, his poetry collection, can be ordered by clicking here.

Jake St. John has been called “a neoBeat adventurer” by poet Tom Weigel. He writes out of New London CT where he serves as editor of Elephant and Flying Fish. His latest chapbook I Talked To The Moon (Wandering Head 2012) is a collection of poems detailing a summer long trip across America by way of back roads and side streets.

Allison Goldin is an artist living in California. 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.

 

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The Oddball Hour With PB n’ J, Episode 2: The Sound of Ice Hitting Glass Is Our Toast to 2014

After flailing about from waking up to a new beginning, we continue on. Chad Parenteau, Toni Bee, and Jason Wright return to record their first podcast of the new year. Recorded on January 31st, much ground is covered as we talk the Massachusetts Poetry Festival, the Somerville Scout, the Joe Gouveia fund, the return of Billy Barnum, and so much more.

Also available in YouTube.

 

 

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Go JoeGO Go! Let’s Bring The Love Back

Months ago, Oddball welcomed a series of poems dedicated to José “JoeGO” Gouveia, who underwent cancer treatment over the holidays. We hoped to raise awareness of the Joe Gouveia Recovery Fund, an online effort to help offset the cost of his costly and vital surgery.

The original $,5000 goal was met before his surgery on December 30, which was only partially successful. Joe has been in and out of the hospital since and is expected to undergo chemotherapy once he has recovered. The fund has raised it’s goal to 10,000, and is now less than $3,000 away from succeeding.

Fellow poets, friends of JoeGO, please consider sending in more poems for Joe to Oddball Magazine and consider making a donation to the recovery fund. We can get together and accomplish something amazing a second time.

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Class Struggle by José Gouveia

 

I have one carpenter an alcoholic who’s drinking again
             He whacked his wife good got a court date today
             She may not show up if he goes back to A.A.
             He’s desperate now so he’s only smoking pot

Another lumper a Vietnam Vet can only work alone
             He’s afraid of heights and can’t be trusted
             Near anyone with a hammer or nail gun
             We use him for clean-ups and dump runs

By the end of the week the new kid from the tech
             Who knows more than the rest will be fired
             His dad used to beat him, won’t be told what to do
             He’ll say his boss sucks & move to Florida

Summer I’ll hire that student from the community college
             Whose Dad was a carpenter & died when he was 6
             He is slow but meticulous has a new girlfriend each week
             He’ll have one pregnant by August and transfer to full time

My foreman’s in rehab withdrawing from heroine and crystal meth
             He’s the best I’ve got his wife picks up his checks
             She says he was molested by a priest as a kid
             That he’s not a bad guy if only he could stay clean

Before mid-spring I’ll need more help & hire a half dozen
             Helpers unskilled from the labor temp agency
             Two will work out and stick around for a while
             Unlike their parents who too are in rehab

One new hire will learn fast replace the foreman one day
             Thank me for teaching him a trade that pays
             And giving him a chance to prove himself
             Something the folks in the foster home never did

Others will quit steal tools start their own business
             Take down payments never do the work
             File for bankruptcy and keep the funds
             Pay off gambling debts instead of get-rich-quick

Some will be replaced by divorced union carpenters from the city
             Who’ll say they moved to Cape Cod for the slower pace
             Ask to be paid cash under the table or can’t work
             While somewhere in Boston his kids are hungry

Another kid from the tech will eventually come along
             Hungry to show that he’s one of the guys
             He’ll spend 10 minutes in the trailer looking
             For the wood stretcher the journeyman sent him for

Next week that same journeyman will cut off his finger
             On the table saw while wearing OSHA approved
             Eye goggles after bragging about the safety course
             He took and how many year’s experience he has

Before the year is out and our building projects complete
             The rookie will start dealing pot this summer, get arrested
             The journeyman will switch careers selling insurance
             And the foreman might not make it thru withdrawals

Of those who stay on
All will ask for a raise.

 

José Gouviea is a poet, journalist & poetry radio personality who lives on Cape Cod. He is Poetry Curator at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod, author of the Meter Man poetry column for the Barnstable Patriot newspaper in Hyannis, and host of the Poets Corner poetry radio show out of WOMR-FM in Provincetown. José’s reading of this poem was recorded at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery in Cambridge, Massachusetts during the 100 Thousand Poets for Change Event hosted by Stone Soup Poetry.

Oddball Magazine has published poems by José as well as tributes to him in order to raise awareness of the Joe Gouveia Recovery Fund, an effort to help offset the costs of the poet’s upcoming cancer surgery.

 

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Go JoeGO Go! Poems for José Gouveia, Day Eleven: Len Germinara

Oddball Magazine will be publishing ongoing tributes to José Gouveia to in the hopes of raising awareness of the Joe Gouveia Recovery Fund, an effort to help offset the costs of the poet’s upcoming cancer surgery.

 

For Joe and His Beat Motor Scooter

Hey Joe hang up the colors for now
The ones with the picture of Ginsberg
Kerouac and Burroughs on the edges

As beat as your old scooter
With its faded paint
And worn out tires

Never really beautiful but
She does keep the rubber on the road

And the seat is well worn
Evidence of two asses

The peg is bent

Which indicates as well as anything
The reason why they call it dope

Put a tarp down in the living room
It’s time to strip the engine
Pull the carburetor
Rework the timing

While you’re at it
Re-chrome the pipes
Give her a new coat of paint

But leave the peg bent
As a reminder

Have her ready for a putt
Come next spring

 

Len Germinara lives 26 miles out to sea with the woman he loves, a dog he adores, and two cats he finds mildly amusing. He hosts along with Sarah Oktay, the long running poetry series Spoken Word Nantucket.

Oddball Magazine will be publishing ongoing tributes to José Gouveia to in the hopes of raising awareness of the Joe Gouveia Recovery Fund, an effort to help offset the costs of the poet’s upcoming cancer surgery.

 

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Go JoeGO Go! Poems for José Gouveia, Day Ten: Barry Hellman

Oddball Magazine will be publishing ongoing tributes to José Gouveia to in the hopes of raising awareness of the Joe Gouveia Recovery Fund, an effort to help offset the costs of the poet’s upcoming cancer surgery.

 

Landing at Madeira
for Joe Gouveia

What if a man fled from one country to another
and his ship was knocked off course by a storm?
How could he manage to stay alive? He’d have to
rough-hew a part of the forest to make shelter,
find a way to bring water to where there wasn’t
enough, all the while knowing he was living
on top of a volcano whose lava flow resembled
a warrior’s shield lying on the ground. And
if he had to remain there for a long time he’d
plant sweet-salt in a field of bougainvillea, learn to
make a wine that could survive for years after it was opened.

 

Barry Hellman has been Joe Gouveia’s co-host at the Poets Corner Poetry & Music Open Mic Series on Cape Cod for the past 5 years. He is a clinical psychologist, poet and workshop leader whose most recent poems have appeared in Ballard Street Poetry Journal, Comstock Review, Cape Cod Poetry Review, Still Crazy Literary Magazine, Muddy River, and Ibbetson Street. His chapbook, The King Of Newark, was published by Finishing Line Press.

Oddball Magazine will be publishing ongoing tributes to José Gouveia to in the hopes of raising awareness of the Joe Gouveia Recovery Fund, an effort to help offset the costs of the poet’s upcoming cancer surgery.