junkmail oracle

poem o' the week


"I have a city to cover with lines." - d.a. levy


dec. 26, 2006

to be x 4

for rj

say nothing
to quiet revolutionaries
of bee glue
and trojan crocus'
maybe it's all we need
all we ever needed
to be
to be
to be
to be
honest oasis
unafraid of raptor
and hyper-glyphs
who can hope
to attain
such illumination
of being
a freedom of
his own
in his

-- joanne cornelius


dec. 18, 2006

Acme Interstitial Express and Machine

A handful of ball bearings
rolling down the shop floor
into the hot ozone electric trains
make leaving the stations of the cross
the crackling smell of the in between
in the waffle iron of time
the bearings like miniture bowling balls
spin down the lanes
striking all the pins and needles
that pierce the subtle place
where heart and mind confide in each other
and all the voices of the heart are strangled
the spare unvarnished God vanishes
the ball bearings rolling roll and bouncing bounce
all along the grease stained corridors
up and down elevators propelled by the fluid drive
of the in betweens for eternity
that is a sidelong glance and carom
of heartbeats deep and wide
so much like that huge Russian novel
you never got around to reading
the warehouse is cavernous gray
with row upon row of metal cabinets
stacked into the clouds which form
it's upper reaches everything the color
and sheen of ball bearings and the only
sound is a faint echo when by chance
one ball bearing meets another
and each manilla folder contains
all the unsaid and unintelligible choking
sounds that died somewhere in the in between
on isles sad sorrowful all alone
where the craven and cowardly huddle
putting on brave faces masks of disavowel
vegetation oh the sad vegetation of the meat
we are and long grow the tendrils as love drips
all down the electric surfaces of the grid
that is the fabric the woof and warp
which is existence
the in between that separation the subtle distance
of cells dividing that is breath and eons
lightyears and the 10 to the 13th interstices
that poets try to capture try to align the ball bearings
to recreate and give life to the rattle in the rib cage
the roaring in the flesh that is the memory
the spark and smoke of the inbetween
when the ball bearings rush back
like some special effect in a cartoon flashback
and they are still as stars in your hand once more
they meld both sides of the coin of all the realms
that attainment once glimpsed
those moments mostly in childhood
when you knew the truck wasn't going to stop
or you were eating apple john and the apples
were just right not too crunchy perfect
and the room was bright with promises
of time slowed by the perfect alignment of days
and finding the groove of the inbetween
was easy as pie and the numbers of the days
were sunshine
the voice was one voice and the sound
of it was love so whole and pure
that a tree or sky or mother's smile were equals
and feeling incorruptible we didn't hear the crack
smell the ozone feel the rupture slow inxorable
the inbetween splitting open leaving a gap
that we try to fill in a lovers embrace hearing
only the the faint echo of the bearings
just beginning to roll from the surfaces
of something that looks like a grid that pulses
all along the edges of the inbetween.

-- dan smith


dec. 11, 2006


For Dan Smith

Poezija je pitanje srca
Yes, poetry is a question of the heart,
why some sing and skip a beat
and others ache for loves long lost
why some almost stop,
working like some
battered old pump pushing
oil through the bowels of a
10-ton machine
24 hours a day along a
crooked river‚s edge
through jungle days and still, frigid nights
through shift changes and championships
through good times and bad
through the great blizzard of Œ78
through breakfast specials and chemical coffee elixirs
through grit and grime
through cheating tax crime
through burnouts and sellouts
through down-and-out demolition days
through seedy dive rockin‚ times
through pothole vibrations
through back shack hipster beats
through smoke on water and fire in the eyes
through and through and through it all
and on the other side
you, my friend,
like this sinking, scrappy city
NOT going down
without a fight.

-- Miles Budimir


dec. 4, 2006

poem 4 dan smith

you have too much heart
for that one to give out, man,

you ol' poet of the crooked river,

i am down with you in parma hospital,
i am down with you & yr ekg,
i am down with you & yr miracle meds,
i am down with with you ogling the nurses,
i am down with you in yr vibrant aliveness,
i am down with you in healing energy,
i am down with you looking death in the eye,
i am down with you in the whir of machinery,
i am down with you in spacey twilight,
i am down with you on the physical plane,
i am down with you in eliptical orbit,
i am down with you with a cuyahoga blessing,
i am down with you in poems of truth,

the bells of deep cleveland are ringing yr name
(with the strength of four bulls we pull you along)
high as the eye in the pyramid cloud

-- markk

nov. 27, 2006

note: the following few lines of genius are from "euclid creek," a long, captivating poetic work about northeast ohio, filled with people, places and all manner of historical hysteria. the book will be available on deep cleveland press in a few weeks. -- markk

To d.a. levy

You were a guerrilla in the insurrection against ignorance

(pushing for the expansion of consciousness

beyond the current boundaries of the mind)

dropping mimeographed bombs of culture

(The Marrahwanna Quarterly,

The Buddhist Third Class Junkmail Oracle,

books and chapbooks,

both your own and others’,

far too numerous to mention individually)

among the denizens of coffeehouses and downtown bookstores

(people, mostly young, searching desperately

for a way to escape the suburban monastery)

charged with the unspeakable crimes

of reading poetry to teenagers

(How dare you!)


pointing out the obscenities of the status quo

(real estate scams for gentrification,

the power of the warlords,

the same-old same-old still the same today)

in such a manner that the status quo hit back

(secret indictments,

                        raids on bookstores,

confiscation and destruction of property,

eventually arrest and jail) ,

earning for yourself ‘eighty-nine cents a day’

(another intended irony mistakenly taken seriously

by those on whom irony is lost)

-- michael ceraolo


nov. 20, 2006

election revisited (ohio 2006)

i will remember how i stalked
into that sterile polling place,
in rural backwater medina,
& i will remember the look on
that old lady's face as she gave me
the voting card, & i will remember
how each punch on the electronic
ballot felt like a blow struck for freedom,
& i will remember my hunger as i
watched tv waiting for election returns,
& i will remember how at 7:32 pm,
two minutes after the polls closed,
CNN called the ohio governor's race
for strickland, (& i will remember how
i laughed out loud about it) & i will
remember how sherrod brown thrust
his fist into the air, a mighty fuck you
to the republican establishment,
& i will remember how the gop
house of cards came tumbling down,
& i will remember how pathetic
bush looked at that press conference
(which took place on a beautiful blue day,)
spayed like an alley cat, neutered
like a poodle, reduced to a lame
duck on a polluted pond, & right
then, right then, just for a moment
i was proud of america, for giving
the world a glimmer of hope, for
offering a chance that these
psychotic barbarians would no
longer clutch our collective necks
with dirty fingernails -- now, we
hear music that sounds like grace,
& the stars & planets are ripe
like apples on summertime trees,
& nothing is perfect, only better,
but that's a start ( moving on from here)

-- markk

nov. 13, 2007

Acts of Piracy

Decisions made 'midst gang
Plank tread leave nothing

According to chance / thoughts
Gleam gold inside empty skull

Scrim shawed on the marrow-
Less bones of calamity

The sea don't mind which side
Of the flag your dreams intend

What is forward / what is aft
And oft‚ times remembered

Like sun rays bent by the
Waves with no one the wiser

Save patch eyed promise spit
Into proffered hand

Oh / Aye
There be secrets here traveling

Up the sainted river / it's not
The rowing but the digging

Draws the blood / turning
Liquid death into diamond

Crystals of salt exhumed from
A Great Lakes grave by a

Future with a rusty map and
Only one good leg to stand on

-- kevin eberhardt


nov. 6, 2006

more lines for the erie st. cemetary

i confront these feelings
at the juxtapostion of
light & dark, truth & beauty.
sinking slabs of limestone
not troubled by lack of character,
i am here in the guise of
a conscientious objector,
i will not fight in the battle
between life & death, i am
a sheer cliff face of spirit,
my heart running in circles
upon the red brick of erie st.,
notice how the iron fence
runs around the cemetary --
its the same exact thing.

-- markk


oct. 30, 2006

the rabbit flew over c*levy*land (for d.a.)

when the rabbit flies over clevyland
he trails behind him garlands of
aluminum flowers, the river silk
of graveyard blankets, great green
fruit trees of the soul, blue jeans &
october rainstorms, red wine
& sawdust machinations, the sun
so hot behind the clouds that
it could light a cigarette with
its fried chicken smile -- they walk
the grim streets with poetry tattoos,
objects of permanent desire &
it's best that i just get out off the way.
d.a. levy is coming and he means
business. i want to be the first to
tell him, "you left almost 40 years ago
man, welcome home, welcome home,
t.l. kryss & rjs still live here, you can
ring them up on one of them newfangled
cellular phones. s.a. came from california
just to see you in action, roberts has a
fresh bottle o 'smoke & a letterpress scream.
it's a perfect day to be here in c*levy*land --
(happy birthday, once again, old friend.)



oct. 23, 2006

Captain Penny's Law*

Fabricated engineer of
Chocolate syrup insight
Be-crowned and
Be-decked in
Railroaded attire
Off the beaten path of
Steel track & wood tie
Riding the air waves
Into juvenile terrain

(commercial interruption
for Bosco)

With cartoon companions
& slapstick conclusions
Broadcasting Cleveland
From E30th & Euclid
Conducting the show for
Baby boomer battalions
Supper's ready
Superman‚s dead
Mr. Jingeling's here

(commercial interruption
for Good & Plenty)

-- kevin eberhardt

*You can fool some of the
People all of the time
And all of the people some
Of the time
But you can't fool MOM

oct. 17, 2006



Like the wayward daughter,
Everyone disowns the cancer.

It’s my toothache, my broken arm,
Or my heart surgery.

Keep my tooth, keep my arm,
But rid me of this invader in my body.

At Parma Hospital it was my tests
My health, my MRI – until they found the cause.

It is never my cancer
Since it is an unwanted guest.

To keep it at arm's length, cancer
Is “it” or “the cancer.”

Something requiring distance,
Removal, cloistering.

The C-word is rarely mentioned at Cleveland Clinic:
We got it out in surgery. It requires chemo treatment.

It’s my car, my cat, my condo,
But never is it my cancer.

Big C shows up unbidden
Makes itself at home

Then is thrust out,
A guest overstaying its welcome.

Eating one out of house and body
A malicious toxin, poison to the self.

My clock, my coat, my Chrysler,
But never is it my cancer

Cut it out, burn it out,
Irradiate it, autoclave it.

Erase it from my memory.
I never invited it in the first place.

-- curt harler


oct. 10, 2006

Always Be Trippin' aka Pray For The Black Dog (for Joanne Cornelius & Jim Stanley)

Trippin' on Dylan & Gorka defying gravity with Jesse Winchester & Jimmie Dale Gilmore wild lyrical poets ride the night the black dog in the headlights regal unperturbed and the lights out van that I warned about the black dog wandering homeless in the Cleveland deep as we flew under the white sail drinking the moonlight music of teenage souls trapped in ancient bodies shouting poetry of constant renewal sad songs ever in a minor key yet denying the deep slumber on the voyage to the void WE ARE ALIVE!!! so pray for the black dog & deeply live hug the knees that can still bend but will not kneel & hoist the black dog's banners to ripple the grey skies & fly across the wine colored seas of deepest sorrows.

-- dan smith


oct. 2, 2006


Down the empty Cleveland streets

bereft of music

shadowed by the glass and plastic hall

the ghost of Alan Freed hurries

to rendezvous with bagmen of time

I wrestle with my soulless self

in sterile clamor of now

searching in vain the visored eyes

for life some shred of poetry some liquid fire

to ignite the sky

but the dark remains

and swallows

every faint flash echo of real music

and Cleveland slumbers deep in rhythm

I awake to a hollow shell

of artifacts

my ghost trembling to return.

-- dan smith


sept. 25, 2006

stiffed a thousand ways

man standing
corner of bricks & boot
lobby of the bp building
dressed on a great left
compass yoga & yellow proof
what faint know how
reaching north toward canada
when tempest hangs yet

-- michael gabriel

sept. 18, 2006

get well soon, captain zero: a poem for rjs

(this poem was previously published in a slightly different form as the poem o' the week. it is republished to send good energy to cleveland literary legend rjs, currently in intensive care at university hospital.)

what do you say to the
master alchemist, he
who weaved paper & type
into gold, side by side
w/d.a. levy, who took
those silkscreen rabbits
of t.l. kryss & pressed
visual hallucinations
together like a peyote
sandwich, who sat on
the floor of the jailhouse
& told the cops not to
bother him while he was
meditating, sed that
injustice would not
stand, who scraped the
litter & dirt & blood
& piss off of the grim
cleveland streets &
twisted it into art, who
burrowed his way deep
into subterranean burton
ohio, in a concrete bunker
of the mind, neck deep in
the genius of the mimeo
revolution, what do you
say to the man who, to
this day, presides over
the famous d.a levy offense
fund (needed now more than
ever before) -- you say,
get well soon, captain zero, &
let yr thoughts do the rest



sept. 11, 2006

red pumice

as autumn comes
i dream of
savage beasts
in 4 houses,
all you,
completing an
incompletion of
lines &
irreverent symmetry
still catches
me off guard

you are math & wonder;
mixed alloy,
suspicious properties
100 neurons
involved &
burn &

you are
you are

you are
you are
you are
you are


red earth pumice
wandering through
the Valley;
a sweet, wet
that spreads
into a zillion

on fire

-- joanne cornelius


sept. 4, 2006

Out of Cleveland

Sitting in the rain writing
Water logged poems
Watching ink tainted
Rivulets demarcate the
Glass topped table

Dissolving paper words
Into illegible piles of
Gibberish / fascinated
By the drops drumming
Rhythm out of rhyme

Trying to remember what
Was said and what was
Silence in the hung over
Morning before you had
To catch your plane

-- kevin eberhardt


august 28, 2006

immigrant dirge

lazar speaks broken english
fixes factory machines for a living
hears the scream of a morning
horn, in the land of the free,
the home of the brave, far
from the fertile dirt of serbia
where war destroyed each
merciful dream, sometimes
in a phantom funk he yearns
to go back, sit beneath the
grape arbors of koprevnica,
hear the wail of the guslar's
song, here in cleveland he works
for his bread, & when the shift
ends he heads for the end of
a quiet bar, the whiskey muffles
hollow laughter, the dirt beneath
his fingernails, the skin of his hands
cracked, they cover his face so
no one can see his expression,
so he can see no one at all

-- markk

Parastos za imigranta

(translation by milos petrovich)

U zemqi slobodnih, domu hrabrih,
Jedva govore}i engleskim,
Pre`ivqava popravqaju}i ma{ine.
U zemqi slobodnih, domu hrabrih,
Ujutru ~uje urlik roga,
Daleko od kala rodne Srbije,
Gde je rat uni{tio i posledwi bla`eni san.
On `udi za povratkom,
U momentima nekog nejasnog straha,
@udi da se vrati, samo da sedne me|u ~okote
Svoje Koprevnice!
Lazar ~uje jad guslarevih pesama
Dok ovde u Cleveland zara|uje svoj hleb nasu{ni
I kada smeni do|e kraj,
On zavr{i u kutku kakvog tihog bara
Isprazni smeh zaogrne viski,
Prqav{tina ispod wegovih noktiju.
Ispucale ko`e, dlanovi pokriju wegovo lice
Kako niko ne bi mogao videti wegov izraz -
Tako da ni on ne mo`e videti nikoga!


august 21, 2006

not blackwell, but whitesick:
(notes on the race for governor of ohio)

blackwell blackwell blackwell
blackwell blackwell blackwell . . .

not black-well, but white-sick, (a disease
where people become somehow convinced
that rich white men have their best interests
at heart), where corporate whores pour salt
on gaping wounds & call it a recipe for healing,
where tax relief goes to those who make the most,
not to those who can't pay bills (let alone taxes.)

where george w. bush thanks you for not asking hard questions
(that's what it means to be red white & blue)

where the biggest issue facing society today
is whether a gay couple can marry, not death
and murder in the ruins of iraq, not an economy
that shrivels like a raisen, dries up like mercy,
not a minimum wage that pays next to nothing
not the wholesale slaughter of the working class
as jobs are shipped overseas at a dollar an hour.

not voting devices rigged like a vegas slot machine,
not election fraud so profound, so blatant, that tony
soprano says he likes what he sees, not the rape
& plunder of the national treasury by haliburton & bechtel,
not the pain felt by an inner city family, sick & hungry
each night, shot in the face by dick cheney's gun.

blackwell blackwell blackwell
blackwell blackwell blackwell . . .

can you really, with a straight face, discriminate against
my gay friends diann & sue, raising two wonderful kids
in a cleveland suburb, a regular holy american family
and still tell the white-hooded ku klux klan that they have
no right to discriminate against you for yr race? can you
stand with a straight face & call yrself a good christian
when yr heart is as sour as thick curdled milk, when
yr very actions violate the creed you pretend to uphold?

how many pieces of gold have you received for
selling out the christ of yr soul, in that place where
charity & sanctity go hand in hand, heart to heart,
how many days will you stand up for a lie, the vision
of our nation's state of power over powerlessness,
how many more people will you try to fool with theology,
mythology, demaquogery, tomfoolery, mysogeny

george w. bush thanks you for your support, wonders,
just for fun, where you hid those 350,000 votes

oh blackwell blackwell blackwell
blackwell blackwell blackwell . . .

ohio is waiting for you to show yr face, come down
from yr ivory tower, you can't serve two masters,
we are waiting for you, for a reckoning of justice

we are the backbone of this heaving dream of better life,
& we will sink you in hopes & hallelujah's a mile high

-- markk


august 14, 2006

Nightfall: Middleburg Towne Square

to Cat, Dan, John, Marie & Mary

Ousted from Ala ad-Din's Magic Garden
the science fiction poets
take refuge in the tiny cemetery
nested in the middle
of the asphalt parking lot,

this small piece of New Connecticut
never surrendered to Ohio,
now under bright Regal Cinema lights
"Monster House"
"Night Listener"
"The Descent" . . .

Let all good people of the Heights
doze off to the 11 o'clock News,
unaware that in their midst:

Galileo scans a moon
they'll never see,

mythical gods,
forced to relive ancient battles,
bleed red stars
from fresh wounds,

slain soldiers,
barely past adolescence,
rise and march again,
slow and awkward,
compelled by the forbidden strains
of an alien dirge

and the plaintive wind
echoes the sad cries
of a sacrificed virgin,
the beautiful young girl
so carefully chosen

to die.

-- j.e. stanley


august 7, 2006

Ernie Revisited

What time is it

What month is this

What does it matter

Armageddon’s around

The corner and

I‘m trying to get inspired

Listening to the Ventures

Play the 60s space music

I first heard on Ghoulardi’s

Friday night Shock Theater

The same place I first learned

About explosives /

                           I also used

To watch a late night black

Music program out of


I can’t remember which night or

The name of the

Show but it would scare me

Worse than Ghoulardi / yet thrill

Me at the same time / and isn’t

That what all good music is

Supposed to do

What year is this

-- Kevin Eberhardt


july 31, 2006

digging through smith's garbage

smith prepares to leave town,
leave this sad ass country,
& there is treasure in garbage
bags strewn on the floor of his
tremont studio & loft, high
in piles on the tree lawn
of west 14th st. -- in a fat black
bag i find a mangled copy
of the book 'agent of chaos,'
i tell him, you can't pitch this!
it's a piece of literary history!
smith tells me i can have it,
smiles at kathy, piles up a stack
of magical artwork, tells me i can
have it all. i feel almost
guilty digging through smith's
garbage -- (not garbage) but 20 years
of creative beauty in all forms,
smith is ready to leave here,
leave the country, expatriate
of the cleveland underground,
happy as a mischievous child,
& why shouldn't he be? the world
is his oyster, & it is covered
with an aluminum/medium mixture
poured onto wet copper corrosion
which swirls like cosmic galaxies
as near as fine cream in yr mind



july 24, 2006

Steelyard Commons, a
tripped breaker saga

and while we're sleeping
they plug in
and lay down
a new path
over the grave
of Grandpa's black lungs
and call it
among other mind sucking garbage,
a tribute
but i call it
capatalist shit
as long as the song of
OUR city's steelworker's
cries can still be heard
in the darkness
of swollen valley
as long as the purses of
OUR city's steelworker's
remain empty
as long as pensions
remain empty
as long as grandma's dreams
are dead
not even the allure
and promise
of a crushed limestone
Towpath running through
"Steelyard Commons"
will turn me on

-- joanne cornelius

july 17, 2006

the beautiful ruins of cleveland

we sit there on that
old back porch,
drinking apple wine
from plastic cups
in a summer where
nothing really matters,
& alex bevan sings
'skinny' on the radio
(& there is no other
station but wmms),
& it's 1978,
& you laugh like
a clear-eyed child
as evening's tarp
drops onto the city
& i hear car tires
on the red brick street
& yells from
the basketball court
up the block --
we could be on a fishing boat on lake erie
we could be in a smoky bar in the flats
we could be cruising down lake shore blvd.
with the top down
& cigarette ashes flying,
but instead we sit
on that old back porch
& listen to alex bevan
sing 'skinny'
here in the
beautiful ruins of cleveland,
& everything is right with the world

-- markk


july 10, 2006

Prostituting Imagination

After attending the Crocker Park Fine Art Fair in Westlake, OH

Walking the faux street
Viewing originality
Down the left side
Up the right
Some familiar & similar
Springing from the mind
Of one under the influence
Of many
Some fantastic & unique
Springing from the influence
Of one into the minds
Of many as
Brilliant rays of light
Radiating from the holy


Fact into fiction
Like mud into gold
& wine into blood
Like ideas into religion
& life into art
To buy or not to buy
That IS the question
I understand nude
But this...

-- Kevin Eberhardt


july 4, 2006

4th of july, cleveland, 2006

as the rocket's red glare
ascended the sky & burst
in a puff of light & dust,
the crowd went, ooooooooooh
but all i could think of
was the light of a life
snuffed out with no remorse
by george w. custer
& the 7th calvery of
ideology & oil -- red,
white & blue fading in water
color streaks upon rain-soaked
cleveland skies. happy birthday
america. oh, how we have
let you down

-- markk

june 26, 2006

brookside park-far below a dream

spoken words not mentioned
walking in an idle valley breeze

where blackberries droop
beside dark green leaves
softly waiting for a stranger's tongue.

with each step a small life is lived
in hope that distant deer
advance safely
by the iron of train tracks
quietly lurking among unseen eyes.

thoughts provoking
whimsical and intimidating
like the breath of soaring creatures
felt unnoticed
chilling a startled skin.

lost love is found unsuspecting
the true meaning of life
down in a ball field
far below a dream
forever within reach.

-- buddy schmotzer


june 19, 2006

We Gave A Reading At The Jake

for FREE
police estimated about three thousand people
we shot haiku into the stands
like a wedding on new years eve
only three people sued
( for better poetry )
we wrote each one
a commemorative ode
in the style of Pindar
they were satisfied
maintenance still talks about it
" the fucking assholes. "

-- dan smith


june 12, 2006

working, 1952

my grandmother worked for osborn brush,
she bristled when i asked her if she liked
her job, “a factory hell,” she said, “but i
made friends i keep to this day -- i remember
the summer picnics at euclid beach park, the
christmas parties at the old slovenian hall,
how during world war two we made tank parts,
our little contribution to the war effort,
the way they gave me an advance on my paycheck
when the going got rough, how they took care
of me when i cut off a piece of my finger
on the blade of a machine, yes, it was a
factory hell, but back then, your company
took care of you. and after 25 years they
gave you a watch with the red osborn logo
right on the face.” that's what she told me,
back when i was young enough to ask questions
and she was still alive. i have an old black
and white photo of her, wearing glasses and
an apron, eyes cast down on the whisk broom
head as she tooled it, i can only guess what
was going through her mind in 1952 when there
was honor in factory labor, and families were
as strong as the back of a labor day mule.

-- markk


june 5, 2006

saved by the psychotropic tempest

saved by the whisper of blessing

saved by the ghost of cleveland

saved by the rapid montage

saved by the arm in a sleeve

saved by the creative cello

saved by the west wind

saved by the caliber of red bells

saved by the hypnotic dance

saved by the revolver of love

saved by the awkward cadence

saved by the miraculous gloom

saved by the trinity of sorrows

saved by the midnight howl

saved by the gold tooth

saved by the quick and the head

saved by the silver ghetto

saved by the twist of belted riches

saved by the michaelangelo swivel

saved by the perfect maneuver

saved by the radio queen

saved by the maternal epoch

saved by the vigilante

saved by the lake erie monster

saved by the curious valley

saved by the refraction of dreams

saved by the sway of the palm tree

saved by the gold of yr skin

saved by the tranquil nest egg

saved by the violet morning

saved by the wise man of york

saved by the fragrant destination

saved by the wag of the tail

saved by the gilded spirit

saved by the hang of the lily

saved by the indigo children

saved by the collision’s end

saved by the spirit of memory

saved by the highway sister

saved by the universal jewel

saved by the metamorphosis

saved by the flip of a coin

saved by the yellow mountain

saved by the cryptic history

saved by the teetering calm

saved by the deep freedom

saved by the pirate legend

saved by the man on public square

saved by the sweet legions

saved by the garden of catacombs

saved by the muscled crutch

saved by the magnetic vortex

saved by the forest city

saved by the needle marks

saved by the necessary hatch

saved by the petals falling

saved by the millionaires row

saved by the rapid mystery

saved by the art of smoke

saved by the maximum mojo

saved by the angel of Coventry

saved by the whistler’s harp

saved by the Grecian urn

saved by the optimistic creed

saved by the dragon tattoo

saved by the placid pool

saved by the welding torch

saved by the gist of it all

saved by the imaginary witness

saved by the tunnel of remorse

saved by the rip tide

saved by the ancient drum song

saved by the library statues

saved by the elegant trajectory

saved by the acid horses

saved by the grist of the mill

saved by the energy peaches

saved by the nick of time

saved by the fountain pennies

saved by the bricks and mortar

saved by the tremor of Willoughby

saved by the psychotropic tempest

(I repeat the mantra of repeat)

-- markk



may 29, 2006

memorial day

"we were soldiers once
...and young"

--Lt. Gen. Harold Moore

mourning bells echo
through still skies.
picnics and volleyball nets
mingle with flags, flowers
and the memory of freedom.

parades crowd narrow streets
while forgotten ashes fall like black snow,
the ghosts of ia drang lie silent
and a wedding ring is returned
to a young widow.

even later, as darkness falls, 
one cannot forget
the smell of death.
yesterday is gone
and there will be no tomorrow.

--J.E. Stanley


may 22, 2006

Hessler Street Angel 5-20-06

The lady
on oxygen
flat on her back
spirit screamed
through cloudy eyes
life never lasting
sucking and screaming
can't get enough
her blue sky oxygen eyes
massaged my heart
I walked on

-- dan smith


may 15, 2006

& i dream that i punched superhost

half sleeping in a chair
at my grandmother's house,
in the 1970s,
west 1-3-0 & bennington,
& i've finished cutting the grass
& i've finished a healthy lunch of
ground beef cooked in mazolla oil
with fried onions & leftover noodles
with sour cream & whole milk,
& on the black & white tv i see
superhost, with his idiotic cape
& tights, his bad toupee & that,
that, that -- red nose, like
bozo on acid, like superman
from the nerd factory, like
ronald mcdonald's loopy uncle,
like rudolf the red-nosed reindeer,

& i fall asleep, & i begin to dream,
& I dream that i punched superhost,
knocked him silly, bounced him
on his ass, & he went back to
being a weatherman, or newscaster
or whatever other job he did
when he asked us to take him
seriously, & his eye was black
& his nose was blue, & i felt bad
about it, & i wake up in hot sweat,

& my grandmother asks me if
she can get me anything, & i say no
thank you, the three stooges are
on tv now, & all is right (again) with the world

-- markk


may 7, 2006

Does the Rapid Stop Here?

History floats on thermal winds
Pieces of plaster too little to
Matter & rodent fur flung to the
Four corners of what once was

And now what has become
Souvenirs of brick and mortar
Mutating into coffee tables and
Gangrenous garden pathways

Besieged inner city Alamos
Stand naked & desperate
'Midst jack hammer salvos and
Cracked habit habitués too tired

To get over and too broke to get
Out from under the politics of
Poverty and privation pinned on
Their souls like an angry Star of

David spinning out of control
Disturbing the lazy revolution
Of particle urbanization & spatial
Segregation via red & blue lights

-- Kevin Eberhardt


may 1, 2006

Cleveland Bricks so Dirty


that wouldn't happen in Cleveland, right sean?
i mean you wanted me to write poems about Cleveland.
my father, he's writing poems about his finally father
falling in a grand blanc hospital. when will he fall
as i spit lead on the ground? pictures of pike after
losing six mucked carefully caste lure

we crunched our numb knuckles on the marina look out
board walking, both secretly thinking about a great
scene we're known to compare, or can it finally be
  what a great pair we are to piss on the lake and
wonder if the truck will start.

we met every seagull winged city lake traveler
flocking in hot Lake Erie december night.
every one a word flapping and bobbing spitting a
squawking there are to fish here!
they're all in michigan
i met a few of them in a parking lot last year when
they were still warm, while world war one bullet
wounds still served stories of memory. how many are
there still singing by our deaf imagination this hour?
  cause if you had any you'd know that a breathing
machine keeps the fun coming, right grandma?

flick your ease on top of a garage, watch it blow out
fast as the memory of seeing Cleveland from every
bridge in the city only two nights ago. factor less
factory windows spark as we pass, they're everywhere
down here, grounded and content. kept those colors
and reminded everyone of revco from the highway.

but come come my love

you know teresa's fucking casper now; i couldn't find a
ride home. i could have walked but it would have only
been a trial anyhow. i decided to sleep here. we
heard barreled aggression signed with intent from east
Cleveland racing towards our echo ears over garfield's
cemetery anyhow. rockefeller body ignited,
illuminating inhabited hills on mayfield. hieghts
cops smile and hand out jaywalking tickets.

you once asked, Cleveland why do you snow?
- its something with the participation of scowl our
cities life people carol in chorus even when its
so press and bend to these Cleveland bricks so dirty

--Ryan O'Cunnigan


april 24, 2006


my city is
today, dressed up
for the cameras, Hollywood
and basketball reckoning

abuzz with that aging
adolescent‚s confidence
in moving on beyond
the games of childhood

all the elements join in
sun, sky, classic rock n roll
turning up the temperature
melting, yes! finally

and Easter for the tribe
that claims me
is just a day away so I
can‚t help but feeling crucified

and yet again alive
how could you not, with the
smell of fresh cut grass
everywhere, thumping car speakers

late into the night
doors and windows opening
all across this sleepy city
witness our rebirth.

-- miles budimir


april 17, 2006

this ones for you

a shred of evidence
out from what or where
or when You were
in my world except
my own rememberment
and all i know is soul
and how you stood
on that snowy roof
one sharply shaved cleveland night
and no one else dared but you
because it wasnt about falling
it was about doing something else
and yeah maybe flying
course then you showed me
right down to ground
how to make angels
in the snowy pieces
of our souls
there at the corner
108th or maybe 7th and
euclid avenue praise
whatever devil made
this one real
you regally screeched
more than fear and more
even before
i knew your name
not sure i considered that
you were just always smack dab
in around among my shit
makin sure whatever it was happened
would be at least because of what
inside me and you
and whoever minded
to partake in such fascinating feats
of monumental moment cause youd keep
makin me catch and hold my own
selfsoulness and piss on the fears

you stood for me when fire came
you filled my own explicit place
with unimaginable grace
and when you let me know
i was not alone
your face stayed still
maybe your eyes shone just a little

And there's just this one more thing
were Who showed up
to show me who i was
just in case
i was havin doubts

-- priscilla caretto


april 9, 2006


Again rain,
steady and relentless
as I wait on Broadview Road
across from the vacant fire station
that maybe I’d buy if I had money,
live there like Spenser in “Spenser: For Hire,”
use the oversized garage for
firehouse poetry readings-
Bring Your Own Brainstorm.

A police car speeds southward,
siren blasting in concussive bursts.
An old woman across the street
turns and watches,
frozen under her black umbrella,
even after it’s long gone,
out of sight and out of earshot.
I wonder why she cares,
why I don’t

and why I’ve become so tied
to this urban landscape
where the only angels
are exiles who wander lost,
the only gazelles
are either caged in the zoo
or virtual:
living and dying in penciled couplets.

And the only color
is the occasional jazz blue echo
of a lone trumpet
paying tribute to the moon.

And, of course, the rain-
rivulets rushing in miniature street rapids
trying to shape outline of a poem,
signifying everything,
signifying nothing.

-- j.e. stanley


april 2, 2006

America Your Strip-Searched Stars Are Weeping (Love Rant #9)

your red white and blue stars
are weeping
and I cry
for all those crying in the hearts wilderness
night trained urban hobos
leaving Cleveland on the fast freights
of their minds
I cry for you Parma
Ghoulardi death march after images
as sunsets flame pink flamingo t.v. eyes
I cry for the shoppers at Marc's
when they run out of Ramen noodles
and the apple juice has gone from .98
to a buck twenty-nine and you can bet
it wasn't due to an increase in wages
I cry for the naked poets
who run through Marc's
stealing glances
at cashiers
who ring up
the everyday low prices of poetry
I cry for the I.W.W.
( syndicalism spindicalism )
the lost perspective of streetcar tracks
and jobs railroaded out of the country
I cry for the lubricant tears
of a dry eye nation with restless leg syndrome
I cry for the bed bug infestations
of world trade viral infections
I cry for the weasel President
and puppets everywhere
I cry for the people's fear
and the gutted Constitution
for which it lies prostrate
one nation under the gun
so easily divisible
with liberty and justice
for those who can buy it
I cry as school systems
are dismantled
for easy brain-washing manipulation
I cry for that Orwellian future
where we have always been at war
and one man's fanaticism
is another's profit
I cry for the singers
the poets and all non-ventriloquist voices
I cry for the wilderness
from the mountains to the prairies
to our oceans flecked with oil
( it's the U.S. of us not just them )
I cry for all the new memorials
built on the hideous lies
of the few
I cry for you

napalm scented flag
stained agent orange
glowing with depleted uranium
I cry for the workers
who have nothing to lose
but their irradiated Cadillacs
I cry for the double-talking drunks
hung up on the nonsense syllabus
of life
( put the freebus on the rebostater )
I cry as the Washington monument
gets up and starts walking to the sea
and Lincoln leaps out of his chair
hollering that play was lousy
and looking for his hat
and symbols symbolically ( father forgive them
they know not another way ) wrap themselves
in the flag and turning into cluster bombs
tell everybody to go fuck themselves
while the Statue of Liberty's face
turns red and she takes off
her statute of limitations
having run out
oh you

was it only yesterday
you seemed so beautiful
was it only illusion
oh you had a history alright
you were there when old George
pocketed the coins
from the national armory deal
you leered lasciviously
in Congo Square
you were in on it
when that Sacco and Vanzetti
thing went down
you flounced and batted your eyelashes
for the Scottsboro Boys
you squealed for Prohibition
then guzzled bathtub gin
your eyes lit up
over Hiroshima and Nagasaki
but this morning you old harridan
you are something worse
something alien
and so

I weep.

-- dan smith


march 27, 2006


for d a levy, in response to his poem "wild horses"

bursting bouquets
die in
cloudy water

muddy thick
portals to
cacti sunsets
electric iris
you, as
lonely pony
terrify me

here, the light and infinity of
your beginning
eludes me.
frightened of
exploding corals and
turquoise that
offer so little
of your
City chaos
finds me

As I
have come
to see-
for Her,
you bleed

-- joanne cornelius


march 20, 2006

20th Lakewood High School Reunion

fat white

drunks trying?

Lake Erie Screw Corporation, sponsor 1984 Cinema
now, made in Taiwan

poor sons of bitches and their women
cannot escape.

still heartland Midwest

but don't laugh, you're not much better,
else why come back?

Detroit Ave.
rental car by General Motors

Wilbur Wright Junior High School
praise our heroes

ornate sculptures
no one sees

downtown offices,
before air conditioning

memories, affection

-- michael dediu


march 13, 2006

Midnight runner

charcoal rivers at midnight
miles and miles
Parma's best asleep
the darker the better
the best when wet
trotting through void
escaping dream by nocturnal beam
I don't get this place
why am I alone in
such symphony?
saxy jazz blows quick
through misty air
heats my blood
quickens my stride
this night dance
solitude romance
best kept quiet or they
will find the paradise
of the midnight runner

-- joanne cornelius


march 6, 2006

While Franco's bones lie rotting

in this year of our Generalissimo
the strutter  the swaggerer
in pompous circumstance

we lie together and dream
courageous dreams that keep
Federico alive  yes, more alive
than the Florida betrayers

while Franco's bones lie rotting
we lie together and dream
Federico alive and well
and living in Cleveland, Ohio

In this year of our Generalissimo
courageous dreams and poetry
keeps us alive  the orange blossoms
perfume our little room  &  moonlight trickles

like blood across your face.

-- dan smith



february 27, 2006

The Nomadic Season

Hobo heretics travel paths
Of ragged proposal

On freighters
With sunken names

On railroads
Running out of track

Unfortunate souls
Of checkered pedigree

From Cleveland & Detroit
From Chicago & Buffalo

From sunrise to sunset
From midnight to dawn

The customs of legend
Sing doggerels of weather

All the portents are there
(red sky at night...)

Thru terminated trestle &
Port of call un-answered

The highway’s re-routed
To capture the moment

When a picture’s worth
Was a thousand words

& a battle w/death was
The only sign of life

Heading for the harvest
Of American promise

Passing time like a bottle
Amongst vagrant ghosts

-- Kevin Eberhardt


february 20, 2006

His Own Hood

     for Pam
     at the Dancing Sheep

on linn drive
we didn't celebrate
america &

didn't celebrate
linn drive

a dime store crystal ball
would have foretold
the outcome

where there is no future
no future will be seen

lightweight insanity
july 18, 1966

that summer
every brothers' mothers' son
rode the grotesque carousel
gripping a blazing brass ring

believing the gun mightier
than the tongue

raising hell most
every night

cutting a path of rage
across glenville
& hough

they cast their lots together
sparking flammable

green trees in full bloom
red brick buildings
& the shops
owned & operated by the old
jew merchants

an urban centralia
emptied of gross mutilations &
retaliatory scalpings

played out
to a mellow backdrop
of soul music

in the night air
arson smoke &
the family bar b q
mingled freely
as one

when the national guard
rolled in
their machine guns mounted
loaded & at
the ready

even the darkness
was placed under curfew
had to turn in
no later
than 10 o'clock

when the saner heads
laying prostrate &
hugging floorboards
prayin' safe passage into dawn
i was six years of age
and i too tasted
hard wood
& until
this day
i know not why
any man
would burn down

this is it.
maybe you can use it.

-- barry phillips


february 13, 2006

Un-disclosed office building Cleveland OH / circa 1975:

There’s a cabinet on one side of the room
And an un-deciphered bit of machinery
Directly across from it / one has many
Drawers and compartments while the other
Has many levers and gears / the cabinet is
Silent and sulking while the machine whirs
And clicks / one keeps secrets while the
Other is quite the gossip /
Between them both stands a
Man / un-decided / silently humming to
Himself as if trying to appease both objects
At once / his hands / firmly ensconced within
The pockets of his out-of-fashion suit / move
Nervously / not playing with himself / exactly /
More like eager to escape / to pull a lever or
Open a drawer yet unable to find the courage
To do either / he just stands there / fidgeting /
Uncomfortable /

-- Kevin Eberhardt


february 6, 2006


for Joss & Summer

those few of us still left
now follow this young girl,
in peace as we did in war,
our own “jeanne d’arc,”
our own “river tam.”

south across the water
to the shores of our origin,
the birthplace of our tribe,
the city-that-was,
now lying in ruins
at the mouth of the cuyahoga.

at her behest,
i wade deep into erie,
surrender my ancient,
no longer needed, sword
to lady vivienne of the lakes.

at nightfall, we gather on the banks
of the crooked river,
throw our torches
onto the oil-slick surface
while she falls to her knees,
prays to our lady of the burning river
and sees visions in the fire:
and cleveland-that-could-have-been,
now lost.

i see only flame
but believe every word.

--J.E. Stanley


january 30, 2006

d.a. levy  WAS DEAD RIGHT

It's all a lie
Nothing changes
The trees shed their leaves
Like a summer tv special
The undertaker goes about
His business dressing the dead

The walls hide messages
Like greedy beggars
The doorbell rings
The telephone rings
Nothing changes
It is all the same

The old man is thinking of death
The young man is thinking of riches
Poets have become exotic merchants
Of death

Butterflys are beautiful
They have no desire
To fly to the moon
Like Bob Kaufman said
"Poets don't sneak into the zoo
And talk to tigers anymore"

It is perfectly alright
To cast the first stone
If you have more than the
Other person

The Avon lady walks the streets
The blind dog sniffing
At her leg
Nothing changes
The boxing matches the  bullfights
The football games go on
And we go on too
Like a tired tongue
Resting between the legs
Of a very bored woman

The truth is that d.a. levy
Was right, "sum people
Just cannot beat the system
And poets can't even pretend
They are beating the system"

-- a.d. winans

A.D. Winans is a native San Francisco poet and writer.  He edited Second Coming Magazine from 1972-1989.  He is the author of over forty books and chapbooks of poetry and prose, including The Holy Grail: The Charles Bukowski Second Coming Revolution.  Latest books: The Wrong Side Of Town (Cross Cultural Communications) and This Land Is Not My Land (Presa Press).


january 23, 2006

Rustbelt Romance

The faded neon sign
pulses dull
lights the cracked hardness
of the city's brick façades

we stumble out into
the cold midnight air,
walk this quiet street

swerving towards an
old Cleveland beater,
oblivious to

surrounding darkness
coming down

the snow ankle deep
wets the inside
of our fur-lined

coldness stings
our pale dry skin

nothing to do but
throw it all off,
wet clothes like
the must of years,

entwine ourselves
in beautiful knots
to await
the eventual

-- Miles Budimir


january 16, 2006

No answers in the Valley

Somewhere between Boston Township
and Africa, we listened to grass.
And then you asked:
“Can it be that our dreams are really
what we're living, and what we're living is really
just a dream?”
There were no answers. Just hawks,
flying over the shadows
of our bodies, lying naked in the Valley.

-- Joanne Cornelius


january 9, 2006

Under Age Rage / A Sailor's Demise:

I remember when Lake Erie was the ocean
And its water's unsalted siren’s song caught
In perch throat net / released from the agony
Of fisher man sport by the gut knife's invasion
The boats of the ancient mariners anchored
Me to death as I unhooked the hook from the
Hooked / vomiting over the side as an offering
To Poseidon / waste not want not / no shy
Bladders we / unzipping and dipping our bait
In the briny air infinity / from where we stood
Miles and miles of maybe one other boat or
None / catching under our limit / it’s back to the
Shore and the jolly chore of skinning the scales
From their eyes for fish fry surprise and fries
What lies in the deep of a fisher boy’s dream
When the dawn’s still miles from shore...
...worms / please God / no more worms
Rise and shine / early bird

-- Kevin Eberhardt


january 3, 2006

The Hungry Muse

Cleveland you hold me
this way and that
in ways I never knew existed
tied up with ropes of smoke
manacled to your engines
in thrall to greasy lips
seized by tight black leather night
to travel your equator of thickness
guided by stars of want I
am lost in the hum
salacious heartbeat music
lashed into red welts of dawn
gaunt poetess
crush me to your heart
swallow me in orgy
and watch me burn
in your uncaring plasma gaze.

-- dan smith

2005 poem o' the week archive

2004 poem o' the week archive

2003 poem o' the week archive

2002 poem o' the week archive

2001 poem o' the week archive

home page


copyright deep cleveland llc, all rights reserved
comments: deepcleveland@hotmail.com