News of the Day
poems of the times by john
Published by Poetic Matrix Press
140 pages, Price $15.00
Available from Small Press Distribution (SPD)
I call this collection News of the Day to indicate two things. First, some
of these pieces were written for specific events; momentary poetic statements of
the events of the day. The Social, written as a comment on the legacy of the left
in the early days of Clinton's Presidency, was one of these pieces, as was 28 Years
written after an invitation by Terry Hertzler to read at a Veteran's Day poetry
reading. Second, some pieces were written with specific events in mind like Voice,
written as a statement about Reagan's dirty war in Nicaragua. Certainly the piece
written on hearing of the passing of Allen Ginsberg, that is the dedication piece,
is one of these. And Impeachment, written about, what else, the Clinton Impeachment,
took a long time to write and had to be concise given the excess of the thing itself.
The poems of the second section, Poems out of Philosophy, were written in the aftermath
of September 11th and during a period of travel, mostly in the south. They seem
to be more philosophical which, like poems associated with timely events, can lend
a weight that if not handled well can crush the poetry. This is a chance I am willing
to take to say what I feel need be said.
i have tried over the years to find a bio that fits and is suitable and i have failed
still i was oddly blessed with a name that opens vast landscapes so this name is
john is found in more than 85 variants from many countries of the world juan jean
jianni ivan jan johan jon jahn jack johnny joao juanita juanito joan ivanovich jonathon
johannes joannes johnson jock ovan yohanan ioannes jeannot jehan
john is found in peculiar reference in the most unlikely settings as reference for
toilet — going to the john as the prostitute’s liaison — the
hooker’s john biblically as — john the beloved john means yahwah
there have been 114 saints named john and an infinite number of the hooker’s
News of the Day review by Paul Dolinsky
From News of the Day:
« Back to Press Titles
November 29th: Upon the Death of George Harrison
We gathered at Quel Fromage after Christmas as the bombs fell,
tiny children of Panama, their gifts coming.
This time we gathered at Soho reading poetry.
The small children screaming blood in the Baghdad bunker
are part of no conspiracy of history, they cannot indict
either one of their raging killers.
I remember a boy in Estelí playing with a cow
near the old theater while M-16 rounds tear
the heart from his older brothers
and a young girl with ancestral eyes at the orphanage
in Bien Hoa, standing as B-52s turned her village
into shrieking vapor.
We read again, collect clothing for the children on the cold
avenues of Tijuana, greeting the Buddha, homeless
and forgetful on San Diego streets,
Finding charred roots and the curling up,
Finding in the chilled air a conduit to the future, a believable rain
to water these children's deep places.
First, we were born the same year only weeks apart,
the heavens opened terribly at that moment.
We streamed through the opening when the world
was full of grief, and we share with others that grief.
‘My sweet lord' he sang out and I like many others
found a momentary blissful connection.
Enlightenment some say is but a stringing together
of momentary blissful connections.
They come, they go and they alter us, only so
that we can realize who we are.
We string them together, he in his moment of birth
and in his moment of passing and all the songs in between.