Monday, January 25, 2016

Etta, a poem by George Fish

Editor's  note: On this date in 1938, Etta James was born.


James    At Last!   in the midst of pop music doldrums
that magnificent voice came along   An’ yeah,
Somethin’ Got A Hold On Me   an’ so many, many others  
An’ yeah, it wasn’t just that It Must Be Love   It Was Love!  
An’ it was a lot more than just a Sunday Kinda Love   But, no,
I couldn’t Tell Mama   straight, uptight, white lower middle class
prig obsessed with shabby respectability   and an ignorant fascist
brutal father  for whom Etta’s powerful voice was just more
“nigger music” no decent  white person listened to   but I did  
guess I wasn’t decent!   But that was the way I liked it—and
wanted it!   Raw, powerful, soulful   ‘Cause I’d Rather Go Blind
than live in a world without Etta James’s music!
I saw her live about three decades before her death   opening for
B.B. King   ‘cause the King of the Blues knew he needed a true
Princess of the Blues to properly open the show   Yeah, so that’s it  
Etta   and this little exercise of Etta-mology in tribute      

            —by George Fish

Bio: George Fish is an Indiana freelance journalist and poet whose work has appeared in several national and regional publications and websites, especially those of left and alternative publications. He has been described as "knowledgeable in an unusual variety of fields." In addition to short stories and poems, Fish has also published extensively on economics and politics; popular music, especially blues; and humor. He also does Lenny Bruce/George Carlin-inspired stand-up comedy.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Roll Call, a poem by Grambi Dora

Roll Call
by Grambi Dora

You cut back the fro
’cause the Army sergeants 
said the long hair had to go

You wasted thirty some odd days             
at the shit-shittin’ 
Fort Polk duty station
another rotation
before killin’ in Afghanistan 

But you had to fuck it up
mixin’ the doctor’s prescription
Demerol with shots of Grey Goose 

Now they pay you
 a 21-gun salute 

Taps plays down the tears 

Your M16A2 Rifle
stands butt stock up
with a sand buried nozzle
dog tags dangle 

Boots laced 
just there
where your feet 
were supposed to meet

Bio: Grambi Dora served served 4 years of active duty in the Army from June 2005 to June 2009. He graduated from Indiana University in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in General Studies, with concentrations in English and Psychology. He works full time at the Indianapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He enjoys writing, playing guitar and doing community service.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Snow on Green Apples, by Donald Nelson

Snow on Green Apples
by Donald Nelson

Born one spring 
near the old orchard,
two fawns and their doe
summered here
until they could cross
the busy road 
and roam a nearby woods.

Seasons later now, 
they come back sometimes
to eat the fruit 
from our unattended trees.
I wish them safe crossing
on the road today. . . 
an early winter snow, 
on hanging green apples
is worth coming home for.

Poet's Statement: This is a poem written after a photograph of our old orchard in a year when an early snowfall settled on an unattended apple tree that still held its green apples.

Bio: Donald Nelson is a graphic designer of books and periodicals. He studies poetry writing at the Forever Learning Institute in South Bend.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Musically Challenged Under 30, a poem by Lylanne Musselman

Musically Challenged Under 30
by Lylanne Musselman

The future is here and it’s frightening.
When our youth aren’t showing signs
of good communication,
even with 24/7access to every 
technological device imaginable
it’s obvious we have problems.

But problems don’t describe
the news I heard today.
It seems some young ones
who are so familiar with Kanye, don’t 
have a clue who Paul McCartney is.
Talk about a new generation gap:
when I was young – don’t trust anyone over 30;
when I was young, we didn’t…and now:
I never envisioned a day when anyone under 30
could not, where anyone under 30 would not, know
one of the Fab Four that defined music,

a time when under-30 Baby Boomers were inquisitive
enough to look past Paul, Ringo, John and George,
to Ella, Como, Coltrane, Lady Day, or at least
were aware of who their parents listened to.
How can we just Let It Be? We apparently didn’t
teach our children to teach their children well –
oh well, that musical reference of Crosby, Stills,
and Nash, is probably lost on the Young.

Bio: Lylanne Musselman, a native Hoosier, is an award winning poet, playwright, and artist. Her work has appeared in Pank, Flying Island, The Rusty Nail, So it Goes, Issue 3, among others, and many anthologies. In addition, Musselman has twice been a Pushcart Nominee. Musselman is the author of three chapbooks, including Winged Graffiti (Finishing Line Press, 2011), and she co-authored Company of Women: New and Selected Poems (Chatter House Press, 2013). Presently, she teaches writing at Washtenaw Community College and Eastern Michigan University, University of Toledo, and online for Ivy Tech Community College.