The Inventory Poems by John Okey

Steps

These days,
sequential in their order,
random in their events.

Yet,
I am supposed to come through
	every 24 hours
With some sort of understanding,
a plan for the next day,
and the same every day after.

What am I supposed to do?
Control the guessing…
	Suppress the panic…
It’d be more human
	to be a lab rat
or a lamb
	in a Chicago slaughterhouse.

I am stupid with my intelligence.
I sequence,
Collate,
Numerate,
Alphabetize,
Chronicle,
Dewey Decimal, 
Periodic Table,
even square root…

All fucking useless.
More importantly,
it all misses the fucking point.

Inventory

I am the poet,
a disaster in stanza,
the upside-down verse,
enjoying one good mistake
	after the next.
Turn in each ugly line 
sloppier than the last.

The pen is a weak sword
	against suicidal woes.
I scribble nothings across
	scraps of paper.
Really anything I can get
	my hands on,
then lose before I get home.

My attempts at bringing
	the dark side to the outside.

Double-Checking the Inventory

No shine.
No polish.
No pretense.

I am dirty and unkempt.
I from when I should smile.
I am a disaster in every
	human way.

Lacking popular respectability,
I revel in my ill-repute.

My style is blue jeans and t-shirts.
My attitude is to smirk
	with a hint of alcohol.

I am the question mark
and the exclamation point.
The means without an end.

Final Inventory

As a sane man,
I am a catastrophe.
As an insane man,
I have it rather tied together.

Bio
Okey is a forty-four-year-old bakery employee. He has written poetry since he was a teenager. It was during the pandemic that he finally decided to publish his work. A novel, This Here Night Life…, and a poetry collection, Back to Masturbating Monkeys and God’s Plan, are available on Amazon. These poems are reprints from his poetry collection.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

The Cybernetic Lullaby. A Poem by Nolo Segundo

The Cybernetic Lullaby


They sing softly to us at 
Every click of the mouse—
use me, I'm here for you,
only you, in the entire 
universe will I serve….

And we lay enraptured 
as they bring us the world,
knowledge the wise men
of history never had, and
ease, lots of ease to save 
us time and trouble. Soon 
we cannot live without them,
the thought of it too mean.
Without them we would loose 
Touch with our friends, jobs,
Even our money might wander 
If we cannot watch it daily.

However did our ancestors 
Survive without an I Phone?

Part II

I read on my laptop today—
Automation is making us dumber,
Ineffective, even maybe impotent.
Perhaps it's a conspiracy by that secret
Society, the computer brotherhood.
(Do you really believe your Apple is 
Innocent and IBM is not plotting?)

Or maybe we should just blame
Human sloth, that siren call of 
Sheer damn laziness which can 
Lure the best of us to a quiet doom.

A simple proof: hand a twenty to a clerk
And ask him to make change without
Looking to the machine for succor.
That blank, innocent look he gives you—
"Why me?",  he seems to be saying, 
And you can't help but pity him a bit. 
He is, after all, a victim of mass education.


There are worse victims: 
Airliners wildly crashing,
Doctors killing their patients,
Nuclear power plants going
BOOM! And killing the land
For an eon or two, or three.

How like little children we were!
Thinking these machines would
Be our slaves, sans the brutality. 
But it is we who are chained by 
The zeros and ones, we who are
Thinking less, creating cheaper, 
Settling into a cybernetic fog.

Part III: When Androids Dream

When we finally build them
(and it will not be long)
Will androids finally lead us
all to nirvana, a world of peace, 
leisure, and endless wealth?

Could any hell be worse?
For that day will be when 
We lose purpose, and soon
Perhaps the very will to live.

When the androids dream
(and they will dream, 
because we will make them 
to be like us, for we have 
always been a vain species),
will they not dream of sky
and soaring free of the land,
free of the weak, sad humans
they serve without accordance?
                                                                                                                   
Then, when these humanface 
Machines begin dreaming in 
Daylight, they will see no need
For their progenitors, and those 
Of us left living as shells sans
Struggle or pain or conflict, in
An existence sooo boring, will
Doubtless welcome our end. 

Nolo Segundo, pen name of retired teacher [America, Japan, Taiwan, Cambodia] L.J. Carber, 74, has in his 8th decade become a published poet in 48 online/in print literary magazines in the US, UK, Canada, Romania, Portugal, and India; in 2020 a trade publisher released a book-length collection titled ‘The Enormity Of Existence’ and in 2021 a 2nd book, ‘Of Ether And Earth‘ [all royalties going to Doctors Without Borders]. A beautiful and intelligent Chinese woman has been married to him for 41 years, proving that miracles do happen.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Heidegger Looks at the Moon. Collected Poems. RW Haynes. Reviewed by Robin Ouzman Hislop

Heidegger Looks at the Moon is the latest volume of poetry by RW Haynes, who is well known to us at PLT (Poetry Life & Times), where as well as being Interviewed, his various previous works,
as well his poems have been hosted. Haynes is an individual of many abilities, a scholar of Greek language, he is versed in the Classics, a playright, novelist, a biographer on the Texan Playright Hoorton Foote & poet, he teaches at A&M International University of Texas, Laredo, USA, where he’s been a lecturer for the last 30 years in Anglo Saxon Literature, Dramatics in Chaucer, Shakespeare & Ibsen’s plays amongst other activities.

It is not surprising, perhaps, that his poetics are in the classicist metric style and form. Almost inevitably, I find, we see, surrupetitiously appearing in verses a tightening of form in Shakespearean vogue. I think he will be the first one to admitt that he is almost in bondage to the sonnet and drawn by the fascination and challenge of being able to render a vast scope of vision into such a compact and condensed form. Also what we learn from Haynes is his overwhelming admiration for theater, but more so for the actual actors who perform theater, he literarily stands in awe and reverence of them as artists in their medium. I mention this because it is reflected, I believe, in his works as a poet, which introduces many varied persona as mediums for his poetic voice. Of course both history and place, he is from the deep south USA, figure extensively in his writing, an example features in his sonnet Downtown Waco. Midnight. Heidegger Looks at the Moon. In it’s opening line The Bush Library really ought to be here! Apparently Waco was on the list but it got removed to Dallas ‘The loss of the Library was the worst blow to hit the city since the 1953 Waco Tornado killed 114 people’ he comments in another text.

I might say that he views as the same conflicts and conditions of the human species over time as intrinsic to their existence, passion, love, hate, grief, despair from antiquity to the present are fundamental in the human make up. And his poems intensifiy in a contemporary idiom and context this phenomena. Having said all that, I would add, that his poems by no means make for easy reading, if the reader believes it can just pick up the volume and flipantly peruse it for a couple of hours and come away gratified, it’s in for another think. It is a work that you have to go back to again and again. These are poems that demand you give them attention, that you work at them, because in their own genre, they are masterfully crafted. I personally found in reading them, that just at the moment you feel most comfortable with the verses, stanzas, you are saying to yourself, yes I am with it, what appears to be a harmless snug line tucked away in a stanza rivets you with its complexity and plunges you into new depths, which is what a poem should do, imo.

The very title Heidegger Looks at the Moon, Heidegger is a complex philosopher and Haynes believes that poetry should be philosophical (in this I share his viewpoint) he believes in the etymology of the word Sophia, as the love of wisdom ( a hope, which I would also like to share in). Heidegger thought of humans as linguistic beings, language is the house of being, but he also feared that language could be our own entrapment, that the way we spoke about a certain object or event made it into what it was and also alienated us from what it really is. This of course is a great simplification but I think i could say that his concern was that instead of talking about nature, we end up only talking about ourselves, which prevents us from being activated, acted upon or impacted by anything, which in the end makes us become – the living dead. So accordingly, if philosophy (wisdom) is the task of poetry, it must be to awaken us by the use of poetic language to recover the world which is ours and to which we belong. Haynes poetry in its idiom both ancient and modern, in it’s scope and intensity, it’s range of variety and mood, in its quest, is perhaps a kindling beacon towards that lost light. Below are three poems selected by the editor from the reviewed work.

HEIDEGGER LOOKS AT THE MOON R. W. HAYNES w w w . f i n i s h i n g l i n e p r e s s . c o m
$ 1 9 . 9 9 / P O E T R Y

Glad to be a Stranger

It is good to be a stranger where society
Reflects like twisted mirrors the solipsistic
Projections of emptiness, grinning foolishly,
Mentally overpowered by the simplistic,
Empowered by gadgets and electricity,
Delighted by dim superficiality.
The lotus-eaters’ half-stoned colloquy
Achieves at best a specious affectation
Sustaining complacent juvenility
Inflated greatly by bogus education,
So nothing should make anyone want to be
More familiar in this situation:
Regret is best where mindlessness prevails
And humanity overwhelmingly fails.

Barking and Sparking

Dogs do play politics, but their machinations
Laughably  proclaim their devious conniving
More transparent than the representations
We think necessary for surviving.
Applying, though, proportionality,
Envisioning an abler evaluation
Viewing us likewise, does our acuity
Do us more credit than the canine situation?
Cerberus! Are two heads better than one
When both are empty? Are all fools the same
When all is finally said, or barked, and done
And final justice weighs our praise and blame?
Is the difference between eloquence and barking
A mere matter of a few more neurons sparking

Black Friday in the Texas Thrift Store

The man with the outraged voice
Gripped a black plastic clock
Shaped like a modernist pretzel.
It looked like it had been found behind
A burnt-out garage, after too much time.
“The price is too high,” he complained.
“And the time is wrong,” I replied,
With more sympathy than intended.
“No, no,” he said, “the time is fine.
All it needs is batteries to work.
But just look at the shape of it:
I think it’s perfect for time, don’t you?”
“Um, yas,” I philosophized slowly,
“I see what you mean. Time and pretzels,
You’re quite right. But do you think it works?”
He glanced sharply at me. “Of course it works.
The shape is right, the time is right,
It’s just the price that’s wrong.”
“But everything’s half off today,” I tried,
Not that the honor of the Texas Thrift Store
Mattered greatly to me, but time still does.
“It doesn’t matter, does it?” he complained.
“The time is fine, but still the price is wrong.”

R. W. Haynes, Professor of English at Texas A&M International University, has published poetry in many journals in the United States and in other countries. As an academic scholar, he specializes in British Renaissance literature, and he has also taught extensively in such areas as medieval thought, Southern literature, classical poetry, and writing. Since 1992, he has offered regular graduate and undergraduate courses in Shakespeare, as well as seminars in Ibsen, Chaucer, Spenser, rhetoric, and other topics. In 2004, Haynes met Texas playwright/screenwriter Horton Foote and has since become a leading scholar of that author’s remarkable oeuvre, publishing a book on Foote’s plays in 2010 and editing a collection of essays on his works in 2016. Haynes also writes plays and fiction. In 2016, he received the SCMLA Poetry Award ($500) at the South Central Modern Language Association Conference In 2019, two collections of his poetry were published, Laredo Light (Cyberwit) and Let the Whales Escape (Finishing Line Press).

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Three Poems Telos, Tabula Rasa & Algor by Carl Scharwath

Telos

Two evening lovers’ echoes
In you forgotten dreams and
memories of essence.

Touch wordlessly in a greater optimism.

Waves of summer morn
Under a cloudless sky with
flickering lights of desire.

Turning like a dancer alone on the stage of life

The evening leaves turn after 
Their first death and sleep
In the place of forgotten Gods.

Does it break you apart to see the expectation so muddled?

Tabula Rasa

I saw the ethos of a
generation destroyed-
mourning the philosophers
In their artful vision.

The sense datum clouds
with cries of the 
nymphs welcoming 
new world dawns.

Mentality is, in its way forming,
a sign of hopeful intelligence.
Knavish roadblocks obstruct
triumphant returns to Arcadia.

A sterism fills my sight
As the false memories
Of a partial Utopia
Flood my soul.

Algor

Like a winter landscape fearful
Of revealing what lies underneath
And I-one minute
Adrift from myself.

Opening up to you
Is as easy as breathing
In the quest for completion
Of a new threshold.

Poetry is a constructed conversation
On the frontier of dreaming.
I cannot help but freeze-and
Scrutinize the ideology doctrine.

Carl Scharwath, has appeared globally with 170+ journals selecting his poetry, short stories, interviews, essays, plays or art. Two poetry books Journey to Become Forgotten (Kind of a Hurricane Press) and Abandoned (Scars Tv) have been published. His new book “The Playground of Destiny” (Impspired Press 8/21) features prose, poems and photography. His first photography book was published by Praxis in Africa. His photography was also exhibited in the Mount Dora Center for The Arts and Leesburg Center for The Arts galleries. Carl is the art editor for Minute Magazine (USA,) has a monthly interview column with ILA Magazine, a competitive runner, and a 2nd degree black- belt in Taekwondo.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

A Fucked up Life. A Bilingual Poem & Translation from Spanish by Vera Moreno

A fucked up life

living in Zurich to work in a small town
working in a small town to live in Zurich

everything for
a small retirement benefit

everything for
tomorrow´s future



every single morning the alarm o´clock

                                 the train leaves at 6.09

                                 the train leaves at 6.09


teaching three modules when the rest of teachers

teach two

wishing to change that


                          and as the cuckoo, open your beak,
                          open your beak, but nothing changes

getting up again
taking the same seat at 6.05

sleeping on the same train seat
on the way to work
sleeping standing
on your way back 

                to yawn at the wrong timing
                to yawn at the wrong timing

getting to the small town exhausted
getting  back to Zurich      more  than exhausted

knowing that today is a piece of gold for 
the retirement benefit, the retirement benefit
the precious  golden retirement benefit
cooking not so much ´cos the lack of sleeping

 DON´T DREAM
                                                         DON´T DREAM much
                                                         DON´T DREAM
                                                         DON´T DREAM much

a fucked up life
a fucked up life

living in Zurich to work in a small town
working in a small town to live in Zurich

having a reduced future for
a little retirement benefit in Switzerland

                             having a reduced morning
                             to sleep or not to sleep
                             to sleep or not to sleep
                             never dreams, never dreams
                                             sleeping on a train, sleeping on a train 
                                                but never do it, but never do it       in class
                            
Can´t- get - out, can´t get out, can´t get out

                             from the clock, 		from the cow, 
                             from the knife,  		from the cheese
                             from the Swiss       	fucking snow,
                             				fucking snow, 
                             					           can´t get out
                             from fucking Switzerland
                             				
							from fucking Swiss 
							white clean tyranny.



Vera Moreno
from The broken bodies´ fitness center
César Simón Poetry Award 2019
Una vida jodida

vivir en Zurich para trabajar en un pequeño pueblo
trabajar para vivir en Zurich
tener una pequeña pensión, 
para el día de mañana

 cada mañana el despertador
			           el tren sale a las 6.09
                                
impartir tres módulos cuando el resto imparte dos
querer cambiar, 			     
                                   y como el cuco, abrir la boca

levantarse de nuevo
sentarse a las 6.05 en ese tren


dormir sentada
dormir de pie
dormir en el tren de ida  
dormir en el tren de vuelta

                                              bostezar a destiempo

llegar al pueblo exhausta
llegar a Zurich exhausta
sabiendo que el día cotiza en bolsa o en la pensión
cocinar poco por el sueño

NO 
                                                                          soñar

una vida jodida
vivir en Zurich para trabajar en un pequeño pueblo
trabajar para vivir en Zurich

tener un mañana reducido
una pensión pequeña en Suiza

					tener una mañana reducida
					               dormir o no dormir
						       dormir o no dormir
                                                en el tren sí, en clase no

no-poder-salir 
			   del reloj, la vaca, la navaja, el queso
                                                                          la nieve



Vera Moreno
Poema procedente de el gimnasio de los rotos
Premio de Poesía César Simón 2019

Vera Moreno (Madrid, 1972). A multifaceted writer, teacher, rhapsodist, and cultural activist. She loves performance and videopoems.

She holds a Master Degree in Artistic, Literary and Cultural Studies from the Autonomous University of Madrid; and a Sociology and Political Sciences Degree from the Complutense University of Madrid. She also did Women´s studies at Utrecht University in NL.

In 2013 she was recognized as a New Voice by the feminist publishing House Torremozas (Madrid). Vera Moreno was published by Amargord publisher in a double poetry book called The whole orange (La naranja entera) in 2016. Three years later, she won the César Simón poetry reward at the University of Valencia with the poems book called The broken bodies´ fitness center (El gimnasio de los rotos). Next year a new book is coming.

Some of her texts and poems have been translated into Dutch, Esperanto and English.

As a cultural activist she created in 2001 a innovative cultural radio space of one minute lenght called Europe for Culture on Europe FM national radio station. In 2012 Vera Moreno designed and coordinated participative literary events called Literary Moondays (Lunes literarios) at the Rivas city hall – centro cultural del ayuntamiento de Rivas, and co-founder of the poetry channel on youtube Poesía a domicilio / Poetry delivery, with the great Dominican poet Rosa Silverio (2021).
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Can´t All Poets Audio Text Poem by Amparo Arrospide, Read by Robin Ouzman Hislop,Arrangement by Dave Jackson. Guitar Andy Derryberry

* A poem by Amparo Arróspide, from “En el oído del viento” (Baile del Sol, 2016). 
Hers and Robin Ouzman´s translation.

***
Can't all poets 
get a PhD in synesthesia
by the University of Columba in New York?

Can´t they harvest medallions under the moon?

Can´t they work as professors of Punic Sciences?
As kindergarten teachers, can´t they work?
Can´t they translate their 14th century Chinese 
concubine colleagues?

Can´t they afford to pay for
their third self-published volume? 

Can´t all poets live on air?

Can't they rummage, deconstruct , snoop
build for themselves a submerged house
inhabit a crystal palace?

Can´t they repeat over and over the unsaid
incite questions of ethical and aesthetic weight
dismantle and fragment reality?


Can´t they receive writing 
from a yearning and swift
void?
From a primordial nothingness?

Can´t they mortgage their crystal palace 
their submerged house?
Can´t they rebelliously peddle little stars?

Can´t all poor poets steal books?
Can´t they read so
the complete works by Samuel and Ezra and John
by Juana Inés, Alejandra and Gabriela
by Anne and  Margaret and Stevie
by Wallace and Edgar and Charles
by Arthur and Paul and Vladimir
by Dulce and Marina and Marosa?

And etcetera and etcetera and etcetera and etcetera?

Can´t all poets
add more beauty to beauty
and more horror to horror?

Can´t they draw maps and routes
of the invisible, futuristic city
foretold by their dreams?

Can´t they pursue the intangible
Move towards permanence
so that a poem
becomes a closed and completed vehicle
to treasure a present without behind or beyond?

Can't they unfold and transmigrate
can't they achieve mindfulness 
Can´t they stammer forever
into everlasting silence? 

**
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

LAKE TITICACA. A Poem by Lorraine Caputo

 LAKE TITICACA

I.
The fuchsia-orange sun
  is cresting the Eastern cordillera
Its colors seep through muslin clouds
  & sheen upon the icy lake


II.
Across the altiplano between
  maroon worn-ribbed mountains
    & bright turquoise waters

Shaggy-roofed adobe homes
  land parceled by stone walls
In swampy pastures graze
  sheep & llama, cows &
    long-haired donkeys

The weekly market at
  Benemerita Zepita
Pollera-skirted women sit upon
  dwarf grass, surrounded by
    their herds of livestock

Beyond the distant shores
  of Titicaca the snowy
    Andes horizon


III.
On this bank of the deep
  cerulean lake edged with marshland
A woman, child to back
  tends her sheep

Totora boats anchor
  amidst golden-green reeds
A small boy beats
  fresh-plowed earth
    with a hoe

On the far side
  dark copses speckle
    parch hills
Ghostly into the clouds rises
  that snow-capped range  

Wandering troubadour Lorraine Caputo is a documentary poet, translator and travel writer. Her works appear in over 250 journals on six continents; and 18 collections of poetry – including On Galápagos Shores (dancing girl press, 2019) and Escape to the Sea (Origami Poems Project, 2021). She also authors travel narratives, articles and guidebooks. In 2011, the Parliamentary Poet Laureate of Canada honored her verse. Caputo has done literary readings from Alaska to the Patagonia. She journeys through Latin America with her faithful travel companion, Rocinante (that is, her knapsack), listening to the voices of the pueblos and Earth. Follow her travels at: www.facebook.com/lorrainecaputo.wanderer or https://latinamericawanderer.wordpress.com.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Go Forward & Elephant Riding. Poems by Maki Starfield

Go Forward


The book I got for the first time was the Bible
"In the beginning was the word..."
I was attracted to this word

Adam and Eve met in this world and the human world began
Even if the stories of those two people are over, our life will not end

From yesterday to today
Connected like a horizon
I will move from today to tomorrow

Upon this heaviness…
O wind, go forward!

In the heart,
Let's change the darkness of the Bible
Into sparkling stars

Endlessly flowing, spreading
My words before it


Elephant Riding


I experienced elephant riding in Thailand for the first time
Raising his nose, the elephant opened the sweaty nose widely
Just before I was about to leave
I put the money in the nostrils at once.
The elephant took it and handed it to his master.

Obeying him, the elephant just carried the next customer
and started walking out
Held by the reins by his master
The elephant doesn’t think about running away from him

Goodbye
This is the first time I met him, and I should think I will not meet him again
But I don’t need any kiss from him

Goodbye

Maki Starfield

Poet, painter and translator.Born in Ehime, Japan, 1972. MA from Sophia University, studying International business management and TESOL in Canada. She recently has published in the second poetry collection, In Love A Sound. https://immaginepoesia.jimdofree.com
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)