Songs of a Clerk. Review(Press Release) & Poems of Gary Beck

Poetry That Sheds Light On Daily Monotony
A Spotlight on Real Life
For Immediate Release
Sacramento, CA – Songs of a Clerk, another gem by author and poet Gary Beck shows us a unique perspective on life, hope, and our too-often faded dreams. Through his gifted poetry we are pulled in and touched by his relatable and powerful words. A poetic must-read.
With so many of us compelled to work under oppressive treatment for low pay, our dreams of a better life for ourselves and our families have faded under the denial of opportunity, education, and advancement. Songs of a Clerk expresses the anguish and frustration of people trapped in sterile jobs, toiling away in our futureless menial positions in the dehumanizing offices of our lives.
Songs of a Clerk, is a 132 page poetry volume. Available on paperback with a retail price of $11.99, and eBook with a retail price of $5.99. The ISBN is: 978-1-941058-16-9. Published through Winter Goose Publishing and available now through all major retailers. For more information or to request a review copy, contact Winter Goose Publishing at: info@wintergoosepublishing.
Watch the book trailer on YouTube:

Clerk’s Plea
Should I fall upon my sharpened pencil,
No. 2 lead?
Should I leap upon my desk and scream?
Terrify everyoneuntil they yell:
“You’re fired!”
Help me.
What shall I do to escape
the tedious, soul sucking
The Clerk’s Song
Hidden in the only ally, unbiased sleep,
the sudden summons rips my exile’s cave.
The clock that serves employers cries:
Arise! Dazed, apologetic, I mumble:
“Five minutes.” Silence the insistent nag,
my wife of passing ticks.
Stir awake. Oh, no. Overslept.
Fast wash, dry shave, yesterday’s suit,
breakfastless rush to the bus,
the guilty fears of lateness.
“Will he see me sneaking in?
“Will he fire me?”Off the bus,
following the tardy hips of typists
to the subway of suffering.
The brief pause in daylight,
the radiant sun gleams unnoticed,
scurry through revolving doors,
“Good morning,” to the elevator man,
archbishop of boredom.
My floor, entrance, trying to look
as if I just stepped out for coffee.
The potent eye of accusation falls on me
and I take refuge at my desk.
Sightless, I stare at my papers
(my face my maask of concentration)
dreaming time’s faster passage,
yet fearful of its passing.
Gary Beck
Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director. Published chapbooks include: ‘Remembrance’, Origami Condom Press; ‘The Conquest of Somalia’, Cervena Barva Press; ‘The Dance of Hate’, Calliope Nerve Media; ‘Material Questions’, Silkworms Ink; ‘Dispossessed’, Medulla Press, ‘Mutilated Girls’, Heavy Hands Ink and ‘Escape to Cyberspace’, Writing Knights Press . His poetry collection ‘Days of Destruction’ was published by Skive Press; ‘Expectations’, Rogue Scholars Press; ‘Dawn in Cities’, Winter Goose Publishing; ‘Assault on Nature’, Winter Goose Publishing. ‘Songs of a Clerk’, Winter Goose Publishing and ‘Civilized Ways’ will be published by Winter Goose Publishing. His novel ‘Extreme Change’ was published by Cogwheel Press; ‘Acts of Defiance’ was published by Artema Press. His collection of short stories, ‘A Glimpse of Youth’ was published by Sweatshoppe Publications. 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. He currently lives in New York City.


Old Bod. Poem by Leland Jamieson

Reflecting on Chapter 43 of
Paramanhanza Yogananda’s
Autobiography of a Yogi.
When these old lungs have finally heaved their last,
what happens to their animating soul?
The body’s struggles — character — have passed
and all that’s left is bone grit in a bowl.
What then? Do Hindi yogi sages troll,
by way of meditation, cosmic truth?
Is Yogananda’s Yukteswar our sleuth?
Sri Yukteswar said every soul is dressed
in three bodies — a nesting Russian Doll!
Once soul’s released from Flesh & Bone, it’s pressed
to fill an Astral body. (They’ll enthrall
us — mental telepathy’s shared with all!)
Inside the Astral lies the Casual body.
It’s realm? Ideas! Souls — Illuminati . . . ?
Given: My salty blood’s the salt of seas.
My six bucks worth of minerals are theirs too.
When tide’s outbound and there’s an off-shore breeze
I’ll trust my children, with little to-do,
to pour my ashes and my point of view
into retreating surf — returning earth
to Earth — and me, at last, to Astral Mirth?
Leland Jamieson
Leland Jamieson lives and writes in Monroe Township, New Jersey, USA. His three collections of poetry — 21ST CENTURY BREAD (2007), IN VITRO (2009), and SOONER (2014) — plus a handbook for self-taught poets-to-be and teachers-to-be, HOW TO RHYME YOUR WAY TO ‘METAPHOR POEMS’ (2012), can be found, with texts and video readings, at where you can also check out his latest book there, Sooner: A Crown of Sonnets & New Post-9/11 Poems.


In a Waiting Room. Poem by Valentina Cano


Legs like marionettes,
shuffling with feet made
of cotton balls and lead paint.
She swings them up and down
against the counter
and turns herself into a metronome.
No more than senseless rhythm
and tired wood.

Valentina Cano is a student of classical singing who spends whatever free time either writing or reading. Her works have appeared in Exercise Bowler, Blinking Cursor, Theory Train, Cartier Street Press, Berg Gasse 19, Precious Metals, A Handful of Dust, The Scarlet Sound, The Adroit Journal, Perceptions Literary Magazine, Welcome to Wherever, The Corner Club Press, Death Rattle, Danse Macabre, Subliminal Interiors, Generations Literary Journal, A Narrow Fellow, Super Poetry Highway, Stream Press, Stone Telling, Popshot, Golden Sparrow Literary Review, Rem Magazine, Structo, The 22 Magazine, The Black Fox Literary Magazine, Niteblade, Tuck Magazine, Ontologica, Congruent Spaces Magazine, Pipe Dream, Decades Review, Anatomy, Lowestof Chronicle, Muddy River Poetry Review, Lady Ink Magazine, Spark Anthology, Awaken Consciousness Magazine, Vine Leaves Literary Magazine, Avalon Literary Review, Caduceus,White Masquerade Anthology and Perhaps I’m Wrong About the World. Her poetry has been nominated for Best of the Web and the Pushcart Prize. Her debut novel, The Rose Master, was published in June 2014. You can find her here:


En dépit de la lamentation. Poem by Jim Dunlap with English Translation


Authors comment:
Writing it in French was a lot easier than trying to translate it into English since the languages are so different. I had to stop and think numerous times about how to say the same thing in English. I don’t envy translators in the least.

En dépit de la lamentation
par Jim Dunlap

Si l’on croit qu’on est à même de boire à sa vie
à quatre reprises comme boire à même
autant de bouteilles de vin rassi, tout de travers !
on serait si bouleversé par telle une idée
qu’on se mettrait à se trouver
pris en tout désespoir – et le temps
aurait semblance de passer bien trop rapidement
dès cet instant-là.
Mais moi, je crois bien que la vie
dure juste assez longtemps sans ce qu’on se soucie
de petits trucs comme ça.
Car ce monde en fait trop des soucis…
pourquoi donc perdre son temps à s’inquiéter
de ce que les jours ont une limite finie.
Chacun cherche à sa façon de se faire riche et sage,
mais personne n᾿y est jamais arrivée
tout en se fiant naïvement au calendrier
pour démarquer ses accomplissements.
Que les années sont peu nombreuses !
… en dépit de tout ça, l’on doit (sur)vivre… …
de jour en jour ni sans perdre le temps
ni nous inquiéter que la vie s’écoule
comme un fleuve au précipice
vers un avenir … incertain…
…and the English. I didn’t try to turn it into a poem really. I just translated it.(Jim Dunlap)
In spite of Lamentations
If one were to believe that one might devise in one’s life
a time-frame which would be equivalent
to comparing life to four bottles of old wine …
viz a viz the baby bottle to the IV bottle,
one would be nonplussed by such an idea
to such an extent as to be overwhelmed by despair,
and time would seem to pass far too quickly
from that moment on.
But myself, I believe totally that life
passes in such a way that it’s unnecessary
to dwell on such minutiae …
Simply put, life contains far too many worries;
why then waste one’s time worrying
since our days are numbered but we don’t
know how, when or why.
Each of us would hope in his own way
to be rich and wise, but one doesn’t arrive there
by naively checking days off on a calendar
and tying them to life’s accomplishments.
The years of our lives run out quickly.
In spite of that, we must survive and live
from day to day without losing time
in worrying that the minutes flee
like a river dropping over a precipice
towards an uncertain future.

Jim Dunlap’s poetry has been published extensively in print and online in the United States, England, France, India, Australia, Switzerland and New Zealand. His work has appeared in over 90 publications, including Potpourri, Candelabrum, Mobius, Poems Niedernasse, and the Paris/Atlantic. He was the co-editor of Sonnetto Poesia and is currently a Content Admin for Poetry Life & Times. He is also the chief proofreader for the On Viewless Wings Anthologies, published out of Queensland, Australia. In the past, he was a resident poet on Poetry Life & Times and the newsletter editor for seven years with the Des Moines Area Writers’ Network.
You may find him here:

Oasis. Poem by Neal Shetty

at the birth of your sister

you paid the nurse with

pesos, sat the newborn girl

on a lotus and called her the buddha.

i swore you were insane

but you said that’s alright

solstices always come in groups of three-


: : : : : :

the first is the summer

when the sun is at its highest point and you

are manic and we are stuck in the highest

gear, the gears of this bicycle stopped

working when you stopped pedaling–

your kickstop is broken and you fall onto

the highway but at least the white woman

across the street with the crooked nose was not

a doll.

because in the morning you hope you’ll wake up

next to one and snatch an alka-seltzer;

set the child down at the baby chair in the

korean restaurant where you

order bibimbap and burn your tongue. snap a picture.

the beach is empty from the chemical spill

but you can still walk the dog on the sand.

: : : : : :

the second is the winter

when the sun is at its lowest point

the single ring around jupiter, the arms

of the girl who does not have a navel

or a menarche

fits so certainly around her neck

like jewelry

or a noose.

you can drag yourself

back to the house gods

and prostrate at the feet

of your ancestors.

but can you hear the

click of a gun that has run out

of bullets-

moonlight and moon ice

because there is still water in space

so we can swim along

in the galaxy.


: : : : : :

the third is you–

the dying embers

of a hope long past-
Nihal Shetty (Neal)

Neal Shetty is a 17 year-old writer based currently in the Detroit area, which has provided him with insight into both social and personal paradigms which influence much of his writing. Raised in a library, besides poetry, he also enjoys the study of classical languages and novels told out of order. He hopes that his writing accurately reflects the space that he lives in.

Editors Note: This poet was introduced to PLT by the poet Jim Dunlap see Categories, Many Thanks Jim.


Piranha. Poem by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

The circus poster featured two beautiful girls
in a tank filled with ravenous piranha
This image appealed to the Sicilian soul
But the woman I was with
who had been on the lam
since the seventies for
being a domestic terrorist
having bombed a police station
told me that the circus manager cooled the water to nearly
freezing to keep the piranha inactive
Still, the women
who were not nearly as beautiful
as the women on the poster
looked terrified
maybe not of the toothy fish
but of the icy exposure
It was winter, which made it worse
They could not step from the tank
into Sicilian heat
They’d been waiting in a battered trailer
locked in a lesbian embrace
trying to build up some body heat
a futile act
considering how fast it would dissipate
in the icy water
Maybe the tropical piranha were just as terrified
Each ice bath threatened death
The circus owners were also scared
because piranha were expensive
They had considered replacing them with
other, less dangerous fish
and calling them piranha
but didn’t think they could get away with it
They would be discovered and ruined
So the women gingerly descended the
two metal steps from the trailer
These women were Rumanian sex slaves
who had to do what they were told
I was eating blue cotton candy when my lover
the domestic terrorist
explained all this
I could never fully accept that she had
bombed a police station
I couldn’t see her doing it
She was so soft in bed
I had met her at a gelato stand
in Agrigento
on Sicily’s rugged south coast
and we talked about flavors while the counter girl
scooped our cones
As the women submerged themselves in the
piranha tank
a cold wind whipped down from Mt. Etna
scouring us with pumice
and heavy volcanic dust
ruining my cotton candy
I threw it off the bleachers
then followed—
jumped off
the fifth row plank
I felt something give in my left knee
I picked up a fist sized rock
like the one the hobo heaved in Ironwood, the novel
by William Kennedy
I wound up
like a big league pitcher
and let fly
shattered the tank
All the piranha and the two Rumanian sex slaves
came out in a flood onto the rocky soil
The piranha flopped and the women gasped
They bled from minor glass cuts
The domestic terrorist and I each grabbed
a sex slave by the hand
and ran

Mitchell Poet
Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois’ poems and fictions have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad. He is a regular contributor to The Prague Revue, and has been thrice nominated for the Pushcart Prize. His novel, Two-Headed Dog, based on his work as a clinical psychologist in a state hospital, is available for 99 cents from Kindle and Nook or as a Print Edition