Chronogram Poetry | June 2019 | Poetry | Hudson Valley | Hudson Valley; Chronogram
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Chronogram Poetry | June 2019 

He said I should listen to him more.
I said I would if he talked less.
—p


The Night

The night is when trees blow in the
Wind
And owls swoop overhead.
Creatures scurry on the ground,
And in the air
The night is when mysterious things happen.
And in the morning, windows are opened to the bright sun.
—Ryan Alejandro Kraeher (10 years)


Michelle, I Take Poetry Classes and Think It’s Just Messing Around Because I Don’t Feel I Write Poetry So Well and I Asked The Professor What Is Not A Poem and He Shrugged Saying Everything Is, So, Here Ya Go


Stepping out on the snow I feel the wet weeping into the holes in my Converse soles and running fast won’t reverse that, but I can at least get out of the cold, though your heat only works in defrost mode, my feet are steaming, and our cigarette smoke gets thrown up the windshield to join with that curling from the upholstery hanging under the ceiling which you are melting with the hot end of a Zippo and off to campus isn’t where we go but a visit with Will working retail who left school last year but won’t get off ‘til four so we head downtown to see Billy in the Jamaican record store who asks if you party to which you reply with a shrug and shy nod not knowing in our inexperience what he really means at the time and the sky is grey at noon and I say I’d like to hibernate inside a cocoon all winter and you’re now married with chickens a garden knitting a husband and kid and I’m still trying to pry myself uninvited into summer from this chrysalis shell.

—Christian Chism


Marty’s 81


Marty’s 81, has a parched, post-pneumonia cough
and the shits from diverticulitis. A blood clot in his leg
he can’t afford the apixaban for
cos you can’t survive on a pension and social security.
Lives w/ his daughter in a shit-lorn town in the Hudson Valley
that everyone struggles to avoid lest you’re
driving through in a funeral procession
because his third wife Peg, a beautiful girl, a very smart girl,
took to the booze and the old farm house they’d rehabbed
somewhere in shit-lorn, Pennsylvania.
28 years. He counts. 28 years.
Played Carnegie Hall as a child
and sang doo-wop w/ the mafia boys
back in Bensonhurst. Bought his first Vette in ’59.
A turquoise baby that stole your breath
while Sal The Snake stole your wallet.
Shows me pictures on his cell phone.
His whole life in his hands. In the hands of strangers.
The old stone house he restored w/ Joan, his second wife
who had five kids and took on my three.
Plays piano for Saint Margaret’s
down the road in shit-lorn at the intersection where
the light don’t work. The ’62 Corvette. The ’65.
People were worth something then he rasps,
cold phlegm seizing his pipes.
Shows me his cousin Maury’s place up in Saratoga.
Raises horses and runs a marina on Manhasset Bay.
Maury’s the smart one he swears scraping his lungs.
More pictures of grandkids and horses, cars and pianos.
His fix-it shop in shit-lorn where
he still fixes vintage stereo equipment.
I take in a piece here a piece there he says for pocket money.
I tell him about my McIntosh w/ the fried left channel.
Here’s my email, send me some pictures maybe I can help ya
he says. Served in the service but that don’t mean shit.
His son’s got his hunter green ’74 Vette until he can get
a place of his own. Pictures of his daughter’s daughter
who just turned four. Gonna start her on scales
when the cough’s all gone. Any day now, he says.

—Mike Jurkovic


Spring Haiku


I
Trees’ purple blossoms,
Young women in fine clothing:
Come, pollinate me.

II
Forsythia fade.
Dandelions, daffodils
Fill the soft green lawns.


III
Like a slow sunrise
Greening trees climb the mountains.
An old man on a bench.

—Jim Lichtenberg


A poem called "Day Off"


In a cafe, I'm trying to read about communes in Venezuela,
and this just awful dude in Dog the Bounty Hunter shades
is cocksplaining libertarianism to his date.

My first instinct is sympathy for the girl
but she may be even worse—
flattering his verbal crescendo,
some Yoo-Hoo sophism about
how his homophobic grandfather
isn't technically “a bigot,”
and their physiological excitement for each other is
just crushing my spirit somehow,
they can't wait to finish this
“both sides of the issue” foreplay before
tumbling awkwardly between dorm room bed sheets while the
Netflix hums some docu-banality into the unfilled space.

I pretend like I'm mad at them as indicative of
some Great Evil but,
really am just ashamed of my own voyeurism,

and I walk out into the frigid day
Chris Weisman my guide to the next nowhere,
Spring is in the air.

—Quentin Mahoney


Scenes from a coffee shop


Shift.
She sits east, he sits west.
She smiles first, then waits
but lately he finds less
to smile about.
Shift.
Momma settles daughter
into her seat, but only just.
She wiggles a little
too much, leaving Momma
unsettled.
Shift.
The page remains
the same for several minutes,
then slowly the head tilts back,
mouth opens, and air
flows to and fro.
Shift.

—William J. Joel


The Gift


putting an end to his
waste
of a life, I put
down the gun
watch the last

tremors wrack his
body as he dies. I
open my eyes and he’s still
alive, he
sleeps so quiet

he might as
well
be dead. I count off the
minutes until he wakes up
sees the gun in my
hand and begs me to do it
sees how special I am
that I love him so much
that I would even kill

to bring him
some peace.

—Holly Day


Neighbor


In the morning, cold, white light
Blankets all like heavy snow.
There’s my neighbor walking by;
His tracks fill with drifting glow.

“Neighbor!” I call loud and clear.
But my neighbor does not hear.
He is walking, white-haired, tired
Further, further,
Higher, higher…

—Ed Pobuzhansky
Translated from Russian by Yana Kane, edited by Bruce Esrig


I hold my wife's
Ceramic bowl
Crafted with love
Filled with onions for soup
It overflows slightly.

—Daniel Brown


If I had prepared,
things would have been different, but
I can’t say just how.

—Jennifer Fiorile


Boot Fence

On metal fence posts
stretching barbed wire
across undulating hillsides
worn cowboy boots hang
upside down. Perhaps a reminder
that trespassers will be prosecuted,
perhaps a ranch’s totem
of generations passed finished
when all fence posts marking
the family’s territory support footwear,
the scent to stay out, leave us alone,
boots required to enter.

—Diane Webster


A Haiku


I looked haikus up.
They're often about nature.
Do they have to be?

—Christopher Richard Cook


Perseus

I am the future,
I have,
I am far, far away from civilization,
I treasure those who wish upon me,
I hear rockets whizz by, light years away,
I want,
I pretend to shoot through space,
I feel invincible,
I am celestial,
I eat,
I touch the hearts of millions every night,
I worry,
I cry when dreams don’t come true,
Perseus, Citrus Triplett, continued…

I understand,
I speak,
I dream of being an alpha to a constellation,
I try to make wishes come true,
I hope to never burn out,
I am infinite.

—Citrus Triplett


Consider


A door solid
Set plumb in a wall
Lock latch and hinge
Pregnant potential
Lintel to sill
It only takes
One step

—Steve Otlowski

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