Hargraves Blues

Hargraves Blues

No obstacles in the physical realm can stop the
Flow of fix or ruin. One bicyclist, content to move
In limited space, dodges traffic, kicks her stand
And heads in to read. She gets paid to read, not many do.

No life is long enough to support all the relationships
We build: kids to cats, Moms to cleaning, teacher-student,
Boss to worker. One walker strides down Rosemary Street,
Pulls his hat over his ears, holds palms open, seeking change.

No gesture, however insignificant, goes unseen
In a town full of women. Drivers bounce from one plan
To another, running reds. Phone calls, calendar notes and
Breakfast fill seconds between lane changes, defying death.

No effort, regardless of intention, can sew a revolution
Without mass appeal. Two men shrug, walking into shade.
Nothing for them to do but drink and smoke and go to sleep.
The truth is here to see but no one’s looking anymore.

No wind, even from Saskatchewan, can clean us now.
Some loudmouth stumbles in offering to teach, but
None will have it. A rider, bussing there and back for free,
Takes comfort when a man stands to offer her a seat.

No sandwich, ever so scrumptious, lingers past initial taste.
Sun shines on a bouncing orb. Four for four, he’s another
Wizard with his hands. He does not get paid to shoot a ball.
His hand-to-eye skills have no value in this part of the world.

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2002. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Mendy, in Manning

Mendy, in Manning

Barbara and I talk of James, the sweeper,
Met in Rochester, remembered on I-95.
So we stop at a Waffle House (James swept
Dunkin’ Donuts’ lot in February) where Mendy
Is having a hard time waking up. Her cook
Runs around and makes the day a rush.

Well, she has to rush, it’s six a.m.
And the crowd is starting to file in. Mendy
Smiles and says “there’s only one lake,
So we just call it ‘the lake.’ There’s only
One of everything in Manning:
One cop, one traffic light, one lake.”

Oh James, have you ever made it back?
Have you seen your grandkids?
Will you hear the music jam on Friday
Down at the lake, at Ricky Dees?
Will you get a meal without having
To Freeze? Is your life whole again?

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2002. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Genocide, Slavery, Greed

Genocide, Slavery, Greed

 

We cry for the slavery that led to such wealth,
This is not just the land of the free.
We witness genocide all over this earth.
What can we do to end greed?

We cry for the land, full of modified crops
We must work to save human life.
What will our grandchildren have to live through
Since our appetite causes such strife?

The oil wars that started a decade ago
Have moved toward the Caspian Sea.
We are the dissidents, loud, without fear,
Even if we are cut at the knees.

We cry for the news they keep off TV,
The grapevine could snap any day.
Disinformation is the age we live in,
So who’s going to show us the way?

The answer is simple, we grow as a team,
A new brotherhood in the light.
We must build the village, invite all your friends,
This is no time to give up the fight!

They have all the bombs, the juntas abound,
Monsanto is spraying the poor.
We must dig our hands into arable land
Or genetics will foul every spore.

Profit mongers have sucked the earth dry,
We must reclaim all that we can.
Industrial China, the last frontier,
Soon money will own every man.

The kids on the streets are locked-down together,
Push a bike, and you could get ten years!
All this is forced because we stopped caring,
Yet some offer blood, sweat and tears.

We couldn’t stop bosses from shipping our jobs,
The replacement is for-profit jails.
Our schools are rotting, so teach if you can,
Where it counts, not Harvard or Yale.

The time is upon us, united as friends
We can make anything grow.
Come join the party, sing and dance all the day,
Tomorrow we get out the vote.

We cry for the genocide, slavery, greed
That persists after thousands of years.
It’s late, but there’s time, if we really work hard
We can stop the torrent of tears.

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2002. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Ancient Tombs of Banan (finally a new one)

Ancient Tombs of Banan

Four very light pebbles attached
to flung-sprung rubber band found
between new laid bricks, retrieved
by mound-viewing haze-gazer reminds
him of the day he gave up that for this.

Tall seeded grasses wave as a group
passes and a small bee buzzes with
interest. The man with no plan sees rice
on the land, chattel by cart, its grain
raked onto black plastic on the road.

Some is still standing, Van Gogh’s yellow
landing between green and smoldering
fields. Ggachis fly by, bales are stacked
high, a rooster lets loose surrounded by
mountains’ shapes feathered in as if Ross

took his two-incher and stroked Payne’s
gray in a jagged horizontal line between
white grading to blue atop, and the
harvester’s fog below. Set free again, he
sits looking at ancient burial homes

so rounded and soft, kept mown, who
knows how, in pairs that excite the
dream of the lonely tractor driver
who precisely gathers the rows. He
leaves tracks for spring’s women to sew.

Here comes a guard atop Folk Museum
to punch his post. He doesn’t look hard
or he’d see the forbidden beer that
mimics the color of one more field’s
cloud that floats by but still notices tears.

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Sites Unseen

Sites Unseen

Melissa sings an aria to a din of writers.
Goatee-type taps a pencil, dazed by idiosynchronicity.
Stunned, eight poets somehow sing orchestral
Accompaniment. New notes blare to passing ears.
They walk to find a quiet place. Smug professors
Revel, undaunted by the power of 18-year-old sex.

Six sophomores smile as academia piles up.
Surrounded by precious T and A, T.A.s*
Tease these women with pretensions the homefront
Never offered. Coffee spills, lapping laps
With Colombia’s horror. Displaced campesinos
Dream, but never scenes like horrific Franklin Street.

* Teaching Assistants

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2002. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Wilmington

Wilmington

Sometimes the scary moments
Snap you back to the value of life.
No way to replace his smiling face,
Or the love of a beautiful wife.

Our families mingled in color:
Raspberry twisted with custard.
Sitting with wine while Nolan climbs
And Henry squirts Barbara with mustard.

These times do not often get noted,
Luxurious summer is spent.
Our children know more than we do
About where the blueberries went.

Hands wrap the new angel completely,
The hovering crew cracks a smile.
A simmering dish hits our noses,
The meal takes us from our trials.

Vegetables prosper in weather
More fit for flora than men.
An old lady lost her senses,
The creator stepped in again.

How many times have we noticed
Synchronicity’s humorous play?
Together we kick back and marvel
As the Jennies discuss Russian days.

We grind at our desks in the morning,
At night we seek comfort with mates.
Our triumphs are small, tragedies large,
But there’s always food on our plate.

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2002. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Eveline Braak

Eveline Braak

Her face is Bergmanesque, she paints like Calder might,
Had he grown around Utrecht. She doesn’t blame
When men trip and fall around her. She smiles, asks
Questions, searches for their souls and then decides.

As a traveler, unlikely to walk the route again, I
Had a chance. As a guide for 30 days the chance
Evaporated due to possible entanglements. How’s that
For Dutch? One hundred percent tolerant, but private.

Those “other fish” we hear about often swim away.
My heart swells and drops like tides every day.
But this is just November, Christmas sets in soon: the day
Those blood-drenched barons try not to act like goons.

When paint flows like a waterfall, love gushes off the edge.
No one knows when life will end, but I make this pledge:
That no matter what you need, no matter where you are
I will find a way to nudge you toward your highest dream.

She poses for the camera, she smiles at football games,
She has the magic that I seek. Eveline comes from royalty.
The type that work the land. Anyone who finds her
Will fall in love. A creative fish may one day hook her yet.

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2002. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Crystal

Crystal

Here she comes in patent leather thigh-highs, a snappy little
Sixteen. She pops bubble gum, wears a rainbow tam,
And just delivered her first child into the world. He’s a
Dandy little whipper-snapper, all bouncy and fresh.

She’s been on the job three years now, sometimes a little
Strung out, but always ready to give up some ass in
Trade for the high life. Her high life got a little lower
When her pimp showed up, already peeved about lost time.

You see, a girl is not supposed to hide her pregnancy. No,
She is supposed to get rid of it. Well Crystal’s a prankster
So she decided, being a little chunky anyway, to enjoy the
Bloodless months. But, when she started getting too sick to

Handle the trade, Tyrone got more and more mad. She
Endured beatings, went cold turkey for lack of cash, and
Got all the thrills of childbirth without any of the normal
Conveniences of hospital, midwife, or even companion.

Well this fine spring day in New York just sucked for
Crystal, because Tyrone, in one of his coked-up moods
Yanked the young child, two days old and still unnamed,
Away from Crystal, and standing on a bridge over the East

River, threw the child in. You’d think this would be an
Uncommon event for the child of a corporate princess, but
It was just an early instance of a girl, ignored or abandoned
At home, who struck out for the streets and suffered.

Twenty eight years later Crystal is about to die. She endured
Stabbings at the Port Authority, 10 years of Heroin, 15 years
Of Alcohol, and a life without children, steady mate or even
The love of a parent. How is she now? Well, she’s got this

Liver thingy-dingy. Been straight for over 20 years, and all
That she gets for her trouble is interfuron, vomit and crumbling
Bones. Did she ever accomplish anything on this earth? Well,
There’s the Holocaust Memorial at Monroe Community College,

The love of friends she met along the way. The hundreds, nay
Thousands of addicts she took under her wing. Now, just now,
When she could use the daily calls from Dad, or the hugs from
The old man, he’s off to Pritikin to heal himself. See, he couldn’t

Really handle all that his kids became. It was too much for him
Or any man to bear. But it wasn’t too much for Mom, heck no,
She’s been the type of trooper written up by Ibsen or Woolf,
Half deranged at times from the stress of doing it all alone.

Mom is only Crystal’s step mom, but sure enough, she even
Tried to save Crystal’s life too. Not much you can do from
300 miles away, but she tried. It was Dad’s attention Crystal
Was always trying to get, and the more times she hit him up

For $50 here and $50 there, the more times he must have gone
Home and had a drink about the whole mess she was in. There’s
No blame in any of this, as dysfunctional was not a word in the 60s,
But families, especially those of the hard working, hard drinking

Corporate kings, were crumbling just the same. It was the beginning
Of the end for the American family. Now, some 40 years later, so
Completely ignorant of their children as to be the shame of the world.
Leave it to the Gatess to help lead the way, as we have in many fields.

There is no moral to this convoluted story. Instead, what we have
Is a youth-laden prison population, men as an endangered gender,
Women, once so tender, now on mega power trips, and TV, yesiree a
Regular shitload of media to smooth it all over for us. Fuck this!

Take any standard suburban neighborhood and there you will find,
Smoldering behind closed doors, the seeds of a type of revolution
Even our forefathers never could have imagined. It is violent,
Sad, ADHD, unexpected, and entirely out of control. It is on us now.

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2002. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Marriage

Marriage

So much has been written about marriages:
Kisses, couplings, baby carriages.
The best kind are open
And we all keep on hoping
That one day they wont be so rare-istage.

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2002. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Armageddon or Eden?

Armageddon or Eden?

The creator cries a teardrop for peace,
Look at the Muslims down on their knees!
Still, Bush pushes missiles into the zone
In order to topple a noble crown.
ALL that Saddam ever did was not bad:
Hospitals, education, and good lives were had.
But Bush favors despots, easily owned.
It looks like Saddam Bitch is about to be boned
By an arsenal only Patriots love.
Raytheon, Lockhead, G.E. but no dove.

The creator cries a teardrop for peace,
As the cold war heats up, we’re down on our knees.

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2002. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Ringside

Ringside

Sleepy in a midnight chair,
You’re ringside for a wordy rap,
The stink of second-story air,
Polluted droning sounds like this:

(m) Because I thought you would take it seriously.
(f) All the same, it never occurred to me that there’s a way we can find out
(m) I can’t imagine who would do such a thing
(f) It was my parents
(m) Wow, that’s not right
(f) You probably don’t even know my parents
(m) It’s true, I only know what they do. Why was it so easy?
(f) Yet, it was not a “high priority”
(m) Right
(f) They told me it wasn’t going to last
(m) He doesn’t know Theresa
(f) He walked right behind her
(m) The Jugs’ are here!
(f) I think they left

Meanwhile taped Marlene sings,
White girls prance. A lounging boxer,
Red gloves, red trunks, sprawls under
Revolving disco ball dots of white light.

A full sax section resolves to a diminished
Piano chord. A slide guitarist cranks
Live as Billy and the boys warm up behind
A terrible Dean Martin baritone sound check.

You were told this is a rockin’ band,
But they slowed the arrangements to “dirge funk,”
The latest craze amongst the family and lovers
Who rank 82 percent of the small but loyal crowd.

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2002. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

17 January, 2002

17 January, 2002

Scraggly oaks arch over the road
In the section of Durham that’s white.
Holly pushes through concrete,
By the School of Science and Math.
Some smart-ass is taking a bath,
Abluted from head down to feet.
Urban schools are ruined from racism’s plight,
Young black men carry the load.

The traffic is heavy on Club Boulevard,
One house has panels for heat.
Cut rose limbs wait for warm weather,
A steeple bears war and foul air.
A Suburban rambles nary a care,
A bus whistles past some dead heather.
Flappy joggers try to look neat.
You can see love, but have to look hard.

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2002. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Three New Ones, Ten Old Poems, Copyright, Doug Stuber

Thanks to eyewillnotcry for bringing this one back to the fore.

Social Discourse of Disquiet

Here are three new poems, seven from my middle school days, when I knew PR and DM, and then three from the recent past, since I met KDW. First all three new ones, then the ten golden oldies. One pair is a combo-poem in that I wrote “Play” when I was 16 years old, and accidentally borrowed an idea from it 35 years later, hence “Play II” which are grouped together here. A type of historical link for my brain, hopefully also useful for the deconstructionists out there.

PR

Some tennis
coach teamed us up so
the year before, when
she chased me,
and I pulled a chair

down behind me, it was
sixth grade, and she tripped hard on
it, had to
be forgiven if
not forgotten. Priscilla

had grown so
large during the short
intervening June
she became
an instant “hit” with

her male classmates. But
I had…

View original post 1,535 more words

Each Day Complete Now

Each Day Complete Now
6 January, 2002, #4

Yellow springs to red:
Three week beard bristles under
Turtle-brass glasses.
Heaving chest attests to valiant days
Spent loving life, yet
Yearning for another shot.
Each day complete now.

Tufted gulls scream out:
“My food not yours.” New chicks chirp
In Palms, aware that Mom
Has won again, enough to feed them.
The clank of dredge barge
Snaps thoughts back to you, brother.
Each day complete now.

Blue, gray, white, unite
At constant horizon, soft
Even liquid here
On the patio, never the same,
Tears ever present,
The years flip by like pages past,
Each day complete now.

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2002. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

6 January, 2002, #3

6 January, 2002, #3

Jet plane engines in ears mostly pained by
Numerous infections from the past. One
Simple moment remembered: the last good-bye
I grabbed your hand, punched the ICU doors
And stomped to the elevator. I cried like a
Baby, pushed the doors open to drizzle, and drove
Back to Surfside #108. A well decorated pad,
We slept on your bed when you could not.

The deal now is to get Mom going again, keep Dad’s
Head above water, let Billy make a statement,
Call Nancy every night, hug Mike and demand that
We play some tournament every year, greet
Dibby with a fond hello, shake each day like
A ripe cantaloupe, until we’re sure we get the
Most from it, and throw the largest, biggest
Stu-bash come July 25th. Calendars duly marked.

Once again, somehow, I was granted the very
Best of your time. We talked about the Gators
Romp (56-23) over Maryland, and you even
Said “I’ll talk to you when I can.” In fact,
That’s the last thing you ever said to me. Perhaps
The next few weeks of writing will be nothing
More than an extended conversation with our personal
Angel. Is heaven as good as time spent with you?

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2002. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.