The Vietnam Effect | Poem by Jennifer Schoch

Vietnam Effect Vietnam poem

The Vietnam Effect
by Jennifer Schoch

The aroma of lilac drew me
away from my son
quiet as a crystal bowl in his stroller,
the early curious mosquitos almost kept us home.
Am I able to appreciate
this lilac,
her symmetrical perfection, without conjuring your pain?
I am fearful of this flower
I am panicked by her swift impermanence,
of my inability to hold her comforting fragrance
for those mostly marshmallowed mugs of hot chocolate days,
sequestered from the dirty New Jersey snow
where the radiators’ imbalance
from room to room
would make you yell when we opened the windows just a crack
“Goddamn waste of money!”
And the belts sang in their choir on the back of the closet door,
because the boys were fighting over remote controls again
And then, after my downward gaze had watched your darkness dissipate into the cracks
between the hardwood floors,
You would read me Shakespeare:
“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”
Is this
why I ran away?
To places where there are no seasons
to the endless
summer days,
where flowers never seem to die.
Your toes were stained with cigarette ash the last time I kissed you goodbye.
Did I
even kiss you?
You hadn’t showered for weeks
and I was scared.
Scared of your skin
scared of your scents
scared of my
shame.
The blue of your eyes was bright
against the rivers of bloodshot.
Mom says your eyes were green
It’s like she never knew you.

Sad and lonely, you asked me to stay
“Live here.”
You said.
“I hate LA.”
Like my brothers also bound to plastic liters?
They were small like my boy,
like you were once.
I am fearful in the face of this flower and her reminders.
Your grandson screams now like a broken dish
and
I wonder if you are there
silently crying
out into the black jungle for God to spare you
for your mother
for a future with mom
for a future with me
with a grandson you will never meet.
How could you have known this jungle
it would never leave?
Dying on the old hardwood floor in May
did you make it to the yard that Spring?
The worst death you died is not your final fall
it is the tree outside our window
cowering with dainty, dusty stars
you could not notice.
Did you glance outside that morning
and think to tell me of the lilacs that had bloomed?
Was your fall swift?
A small, unopened purple “bud of May”
gently shaken free?
The pain you healed, my father,
by noticing the lilacs
reading Shakespeare in Irish accents.
The unfolding damage it has caused,
in the tiniest creations
this unreconciled war from long ago.


Jennifer Schoch is a recent graduate of the University of Southern California where she received a master’s degree in Social Work. She is currently staying home with her young son while contributing as a writer for a book on social work and the arts. She has written, performed and directed for the screen and stage.

The Vietnam Effect Copyright 2021 by Jennifer Schoch. All Rights Reserved.

Isolated | Poem by David Michael Jackson

isolation poem | as it is poem
As It Is
David Michael Jackson, 2020
36″ x 48″

Isolated,
making up games
on my little acre,
I’ve learned to
not expect
the knock on the door.
I wave,
they wave,
the mail truck drives by,
and so quiet
so quiet
is the sky.

Artvilla Sampler | Our Music on Spotify

Artvilla Sampler


Here is a sample of our first playlist on Spotify. We’d appreciate your plays and support for our artists and efforts. Thank you!


Robin Hislop reads Amparo Arróspide´s Poem Can´t All Poets. Arrangement by Dave Jackson. Guitar Andy Derryberry

 


 
“tagged”….dear reader/listener you can add it to your playlist and it will have a cover.You can play and download from here.
 

Transforming with Poetry Homage to Guadalupe Grande

Transforming with Poetry Open Word Screen Performance Video

Transforming with Poetry Open Word Screen Poetry Performance:

Rotations. A Poem by Gary Beck

‘Learning Curve’ is an unpublished collection concerned with the decline of Western civilization: Gary Beck

 
We do not know why we are born
because we cannot question
until we have maturity
and relearn curiosity
to seek answers from elders.
And if we do not know wise men
we must search confusing books.
 
The need for understanding
does not affect everyone,
preoccupied with daily tasks
to provide food, shelter, clothing,
to their loved ones, dependents,
while those elected, appointed
to serve the people, the nation
do not always do their duty.
 
In the clash of interests
between the haves and have nots
rulers usually decide
in favor of the privileged,
whose wealth, resources, influence
allows retention of power
for cooperating leaders.
 
When we come into the world
without the means of advancement
we are creatures of coincidence,
nothing assuring accomplishments
except brains, talent, acquired skills,
opportunity discovered
by accident, luck, chance,
a haphazard path to the future.
 
Those dissatisfied with status quo,
demanding comprehension
of the forces that control us
are destined to be exiles
from the comforts of the system,
malcontents identified,
opponents to a sterile life.
 
 


 

Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director and worked as an art dealer when he couldn’t earn a living in the theater. He has also been a tennis pro, a ditch digger and a salvage diver. His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway. His poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines and his published books include 26 poetry collections, 10 novels, 3 short story collections, 1 collection of essays and 1 collection of one-act plays. Published poetry books include: Dawn in Cities, Assault on Nature, Songs of a Clerk, Civilized Ways, Displays, Perceptions, Fault Lines, Tremors, Perturbations, Rude Awakenings, The Remission of Order, Contusions and Desperate Seeker (Winter Goose Publishing. Forthcoming: Learning Curve and Ignition Point). Earth Links, Too Harsh For Pastels, Severance, Redemption Value and Fractional Disorder (Cyberwit Publishing). His novels include a series ‘Stand to Arms, Marines’: Call to Valor, Crumbling Ramparts and Raise High the Walls (Gnome on Pig Productions) and Extreme Change (Winter Goose Publishing). Wavelength (Cyberwit Publishing). His short story collections include: A Glimpse of Youth (Sweatshoppe Publications). Now I Accuse and other stories (Winter Goose Publishing) and Dogs Don’t Send Flowers and other stories (Wordcatcher Publishing). The Republic of Dreams and other essays (Gnome on Pig Productions). The Big Match and other one act plays (Wordcatcher Publishing). Collected Plays of Gary Beck Volume 1 (Cyberwit Publishing. Forthcoming: Plays of Aristophanes translated, then directed by Gary Beck). Gary lives in New York City. https://www.facebook.com/AuthorGaryBeck
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; his publications include
 
All the Babble of the Souk , Cartoon Molecules, Next Arrivals and Moon Selected Audio Textual Poems, collected poems, as well as translation of Guadalupe Grande´s La llave de niebla, as Key of Mist and the recently published Tesserae , a translation of Carmen Crespo´s Teselas.
 
You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

My Birthday Wish | Poem by David Michael Jackson

socball
Socball

My birthday wish poem,
dropped into a box,
like a vote waiting to be counted,
a wish,
to just get along,
to notice the clouds in the night sky,
and see things the darkness between them,
to play games with children,
and give them an extra kick, another shot,
and let them be a ringer,
“That kid’s got it!”,
a wish to make that snapshot,
that one image captured,
for a lifetime
left in the mind to see again and wonder.

A perfect wish
left in a box of words

…David Michael Jackson