Quaking Kilauea: May 23, 2018
by Cruse Wadibele
“O, blowing away / the rocks of Kilauea / invernal sunlight.”
—Ewa Lei Ucdrebs
Hawaii’s Kilauea keeps on course its killing ways;
the lava when it hits the ocean makes a deadly laze,
a lava haze, an acid steam of high toxicity,
there shooting up large massive fragments when it hits the sea.
Laze can be hazardous, producing cloud-fumed, darting gulls
of acid steam, composed of tiny, glass-like particles.
Another risk that’s facing residents is methane gas,
exploding vegetative, rotting pockets due to vog,
volcanic smog of toxic sulphur, hur-tl-ing big rocks,
some giant boulders so far are as large as trucks or cars.
Cruse Wadibele is a poet of Hawaii. What Ewa Lei Ucdrebs, an intimate of his, likes about the poet W. S. Merwin, who lives in Maui, is that his art is voracious. He adds to his art with other voices and other cultures, like his collected translated haiku of Yosa Busan, enlargening his vision. The haiku quotes above alludes to one by Matsuo Basho: fukitobasu / ishi was asama no / no waki kano, that is, blow away / rocks of Asama / autumn windstorm.
A Celebration of Hats and Suits: 19 May, 2018
by I. E. Drew Bascule
A not long time ago within our present galaxy,
the Sussex Duke and Duchess wed across the silver sea.
Some rose up at the crack of dawn to catch the couple’s vows,
amidst the televised event of ahs and oohs and wows.
There were few bahs or boos or bows, Saint George’s Chapel oozed
with royalty and Hollywood, enthroned, enthralled, enthused.
The crowd was proud, those there allowed, the Queen in green supreme,
and Princess Kate in pale yellow, whiter than a dream,
while Pippa wore an Arizona Green-Tea Dress—What fash!
Not every, no, Chuck, Bill, or Harry could attend the bash.
The Prince of Wales walked the cable TV starlet down
the aisle in her wide, white smock and train of nine-feet long.
The father of the divorcee did not attend the fete;
because he recently had had a heart attack—the bête.
Amidst the joy, and crazed young boy, there were all kinds of looks,
from boredom, snoredom, moron dumb, to OMG gadzooks!
But afterwards the party rocked, there was a dance-a-thon,
pork belly, Pol Roger champaigne, and cheery-eyed beer pong.
The wedding cost 2,000,000 £, less than security,
which cost some 30,000,000 £ to keep guests safe and free.
No politicians were invited—what a lovely day—
as happy ever after and the laughter went away.
Poet I. E. Drew Bascule, like the Tower Bridge, carries Brits aloft, along, among the nitwits and the glitz. The newly-wed actress had been in the cast of “Suits.”
To the Ghost of Andrés Bello on the Election of Nicolas Maduro
by Lud Wes Caribee
He would be blessed, o, he who could, o, Biobío, be
in a thatched cottage, in a grove, amid fresh greenery,
where limpid waters calmly rush in gurgling silent streams,
away from fickle things of state, where birds sing artlessly.
O, Andrés Bello, Ven’zuela has now been transformed.
You might not recognize the state…into…which it…has stormed.
It has the World’s highest rate; inflation climbs the skies.
Last year it rose above 10,000—that’s percentage-wise.
This year it’s even more than that. O, where are all the perks?
Maduro wins, the country spins, and socialism works.
O, all are rushing in the starving crowd, confusion sent;
the unemployment rate is rising; disillusionment
has sent 500,000 people to Colombia;
the government continues on its way, o bum-bull-ing.
There missives from its Babel Tower speak of better days;
the President explains: the nation enters a “new phase.”
The bolivar is going far to meet new mortgages:
inflation, urban violence, and chronic shortages.
To life, to life, o, Biobío, far from nation debt,
help them to live, and help them to forget how to forget.
Lud Wes Caribee is a poet of the Caribbean, an intimate of Cesar Dwe Uribe and Ruel Widee Bacus. Andrés Bello is a 19th century poet of Venezuela, from whom some of the allusions come.
Laurel and Yanni
by Wic E. Ruse Blade
Is that sound yanny? Is is laurel? Which one can it be?
Computer generated choices touch insanity.
You call a business and connect up to a robo-voice,
an irritating, bad-inflected, semi-screechy noise.
Because of techie echoes in the strata-data-sphere,
some souls hear yanny, some hear laurel; it is not that clear.
Now I hear yanny when I listen to that bit of sound;
but when I cover up my ears, then laurel comes around.
Apparently, however, Yanni’s hearing Yanni! ah…
Perhaps he could be in a movie, Laurel, his co-star.
Myself, I’d rather have the laurel, crown, tree, nest and bird,
while yanny is not anything if it is not absurd.
Wic E. Ruse Blade is a poet of the ridiculous. Among Wic E. Blade’s favourite New Millennial pop-art impressarios is Yanni, for his eclectic primordial soup of ethnic-fusion sounds, from early European favourites, like Beethoven and Chopin, to gleanings from the Americas, the Mediterranean and Asia, including even bands, like Led Zeppelin.
by Ric “Bead” U. Elwes
Anon mathematician confided,
that the Möbius strip is one sided,
and you’ll get quite a laugh,
if you cut one in half,
for it stays in one piece undivided.
A nonmathematician responded,
that it now has two twists, though it’s bonded,
when I cut that one too,
tell me what do I do
with two twist-loops intwined? I’m beyond it!
Ric “Bead” U. Elwes is a bead-counting poet, who enjoys mathematical puzzles and arithmetical conundrums, like sudoku, which he likes to occupy himself with when in jet travel. One of his favourite novels of all time is Herman Hesse’s The Glass Bead Game.
The Eight Parts of Speech, Singing Each to Each
by Beau Lecsi Werd
A noun, like an idea, is a person, place or thing;
a pronoun takes its place when saying it is tiring.
A verb acts when it’s time for something to be happening,
becoming verbal when infinitive or gerunding.
An adjective describes the nouns to give them greater pith;
an adverb modifies the verbs it comes in contact with.
A preposition makes positioning a vital link,
while a conjunction joins the other parts it wants to sync.
Ah, finally, the interjection, freer than a bird,
flies off the handle, when emotion adds another word.
Beau Lexsi Werd is a grammarian and neologist.
At the “Brown Apocalypse”
by Wic E. Ruse Blade
“I likewise broke my right shin against the shell of a snail, which I happened to stumble over, as I
was walking along and thinking on poor England.”
—Jonathan Swift, “Gulliver’s Travels”
A semi-trailer overturned upon a median,
in Poland, blocking traffic in both ways, in early morn.
Its contents spilled near Slupca o’er the six-lane motorway,
and tons of choc’late formed a rocky road upon display.
A head policeman said the cooling mess was worse than snow,
and they would need a lot of water just to make it go.
The driver went to hospital; he had a broken arm;
but luckily no other travelers were chocked or harmed,
except perhaps an overzealous local journalist,
who walked along the edge, but slipped and fell into a ditch.
O, what a waste that none could taste the choc’late with their lips,
but there were lots of smiles at the “Brown Apocalypse.”
Wic E. Ruse Blade is a bit of a wit. This poem refers to a tanker overturning on A2 motorway on May 9, 2018.
A Bad Batch
by Cause Bewilder
Northeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, came the crash;
some twenty carts of cookie dough hit pavement with a splash.
Along US Route 17 the spill occurred pre-noon;
though cookie dough was everywhere, it hardly was a boon.
The driver’s truck got through the light, but dough carts were rebuked;
and it was only 80, so no cookies could be cooked.
The sticky situation messed up traffic for the day;
three second rule does not apply to pavement anyway.
Oh, dough! the dump was quite an accident. Was it insured?
Containers can be dangerous when they are not secured.
Cause Bewilder is a poet of the South. On May 16, 2018, a North Carolina highway was covered in cookie dough.
Relocating San Francisco Crime
by Cal Wes Ubideer
T. Gioia, in his essay called “Bach at the Burger King,”
reveals music’s power to quell Frisco’s murdering.
With weaponized Baroque, at corner 8th and Market Street,
with cranked up harpsichord it’s hard for felons to compete.
The music never stops, not night, nor day, Vivaldi, Bach;
a mounted high, beige speaker blasts from Burger King rooftop,
repelling anybody who dare stop; it is so loud,
this criminally harpy-happy, screeching, blaring doubt.
Like birds we humans sing our songs and play our melodies
to claim our space while casting out our demon enemies.
Cal Wes Ubideer is a poet of California.
In the Communist Chinese Re-Education Camp: After Gerry Shih and Dake Kang
by Lu “Reed ABCs” Wei
Omir Bekali, one of many, recently was held
in a re-education camp, his story hard to tell.
He had been born in China—1976—then,
back in 2006 he left and moved to Kazakhstan.
When three years passed he next became a Kazakh citizen,
and had been living there ten years till 2017.
In March of that year he returned to get a work permit;
and all seemed copacetic to the Chinese government.
He visited his parents, and with them he planned to stay;
until police arrived next day and took Omir away.
There was a warrant for arrest, from back in Kamanay,
and so he had to go with them. There was no thing to say.
First in a cell, held incommunicado for a week;
then off 500 miles to “high-crime” security.
They strapped him in a tiger chair, his wrists and ankles clamped,
and hung him up against a wall, his spirit had been tamped.
Interrogating him about work for an agency
inviting Chinese to apply for visas, he was seen,
as one of those who help the Uighur activists escape.
“I’ve not committed any crimes,” he cried. “For goodness sake.”
The few names that they asked him of, he told authorities,
and then dressed him in orange for political misdeeds.
In mid-July Omar received a Kazakh diplomat,
but only got out of his cell four full months after that.
But still he was not free. He joined 1000 internees,
receiving communist indoctrination fervently.
‘Wake up by dawn and sing the anthem, raise the flag up high.
Without the Communists no China can solidify.
The Central Asian Xinjiang are backward people and
they’ve been unyoked and liberated by the Motherland.
Thank Party bosses, thank the Motherland, thank Xi Jinping;
for all is for the best in this best land Chinese Xinjiang.’
Omar was locked around the clock; eight shared a toilet bowl;
how lucky could these people be; this was food for the soul.
They could eat pork, and they weren’t forced to wash their hands or feet;
no wretched practices need make them feel incomplete.
Forced repetition and self-criticism came to him;
he would be safe to fight off any warped, extremist whim.
Professors lectured on the dangers of religious law,
and students got to criticize themselves, each heart-felt flaw.
Those who learned well received reprieves and got to better spots;
while those who held tenaciously to their beliefs did not.
‘I had been taught the bad Quran; I thought that it was good.
I’d been exposed to vile extremist thinking when abroad.
O, yes, we have done evil things, but we know better now.
We speak in Mandarin, don’t bow to Mecca—only Mao.’
Because he would not speak in Mandarin he could not go
into the courtyard, thus receiving greater mental growth.
He did enjoy his stint in solitary; he endured.
It made him better able to fight harder to be pure.
‘O, take me back and kill me now. Send me to prison, o.
I cannot stand it anymore. Don’t ever let me go.’
More solitary, then November came with falling leaves;
and that was when headstrong Omar Bekali was released.
He was escorted to his sister’s home in Karamay.
He finally was free at last, and he could go away.
But then this spring, one sister, mother, father, were detained.
‘There is nobody else I can protect,’ Omar explained.
Lu “Reed ABCs” Wei is a poet of China.