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Maura Gage Cavell - January Poet of the Month

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Money and Art

I recently had my working hours reduced at my day job and it was then that the economic situation of the world truly hit me.

Luckily I did find another job which I believe is pure luck but it would be so awesome if poetry actually paid for someone like me.

Even if you win competitions the prize money is not that great. How many people really get to work for greeting card companies and i haven't seen any poetry collections from poets in this century making millions.

It takes me months to perfect a poem and selling it just to get a dollar a line seems a great injustice.

A poem maybe a few lines but the effort is the same if not more than writing a full length  story.

It's a damn shame.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Allen Ginsberg

Death & Fame
When I die
I don't care what happens to my body
throw ashes in the air, scatter 'em in East River
bury an urn in Elizabeth New Jersey, B'nai Israel Cemetery
But l want a big funeral
St. Patrick's Cathedral, St. Mark's Church, the largest synagogue in
First, there's family, brother, nephews, spry aged Edith stepmother
96, Aunt Honey from old Newark,
Doctor Joel, cousin Mindy, brother Gene one eyed one ear'd, sister-
in-law blonde Connie, five nephews, stepbrothers & sisters
their grandchildren,
companion Peter Orlovsky, caretakers Rosenthal & Hale, Bill Morgan--
Next, teacher Trungpa Vajracharya's ghost mind, Gelek Rinpoche,
there Sakyong Mipham, Dalai Lama alert, chance visiting
America, Satchitananda Swami
Shivananda, Dehorahava Baba, Karmapa XVI, Dudjom Rinpoche,
Katagiri & Suzuki Roshi's phantoms
Baker, Whalen, Daido Loorie, Qwong, Frail White-haired Kapleau
Roshis, Lama Tarchen --
Then, most important, lovers over half-century
Dozens, a hundred, more, older fellows bald & rich
young boys met naked recently in bed, crowds surprised to see each
other, innumerable, intimate, exchanging memories
"He taught me to meditate, now I'm an old veteran of the thousand
day retreat --"
"I played music on subway platforms, I'm straight but loved him he
loved me"
"I felt more love from him at 19 than ever from anyone"
"We'd lie under covers gossip, read my poetry, hug & kiss belly to belly
arms round each other"
"I'd always get into his bed with underwear on & by morning my
skivvies would be on the floor"
"Japanese, always wanted take it up my bum with a master"
"We'd talk all night about Kerouac & Cassady sit Buddhalike then
sleep in his captain's bed."
"He seemed to need so much affection, a shame not to make him happy"
"I was lonely never in bed nude with anyone before, he was so gentle my
shuddered when he traced his finger along my abdomen nipple to hips-- "
"All I did was lay back eyes closed, he'd bring me to come with mouth
& fingers along my waist"
"He gave great head"
So there be gossip from loves of 1948, ghost of Neal Cassady commin-
gling with flesh and youthful blood of 1997
and surprise -- "You too? But I thought you were straight!"
"I am but Ginsberg an exception, for some reason he pleased me."
"I forgot whether I was straight gay queer or funny, was myself, tender
and affectionate to be kissed on the top of my head,
my forehead throat heart & solar plexus, mid-belly. on my prick,
tickled with his tongue my behind"
"I loved the way he'd recite 'But at my back allways hear/ time's winged
chariot hurrying near,' heads together, eye to eye, on a
pillow --"
Among lovers one handsome youth straggling the rear
"I studied his poetry class, 17 year-old kid, ran some errands to his
walk-up flat,
seduced me didn't want to, made me come, went home, never saw him
again never wanted to... "
"He couldn't get it up but loved me," "A clean old man." "He made
sure I came first"
This the crowd most surprised proud at ceremonial place of honor--
Then poets & musicians -- college boys' grunge bands -- age-old rock
star Beatles, faithful guitar accompanists, gay classical con-
ductors, unknown high Jazz music composers, funky trum-
peters, bowed bass & french horn black geniuses, folksinger
fiddlers with dobro tamborine harmonica mandolin auto-
harp pennywhistles & kazoos
Next, artist Italian romantic realists schooled in mystic 60's India,
Late fauve Tuscan painter-poets, Classic draftsman Massa-
chusets surreal jackanapes with continental wives, poverty
sketchbook gesso oil watercolor masters from American
Then highschool teachers, lonely Irish librarians, delicate biblio-
philes, sex liberation troops nay armies, ladies of either sex
"I met him dozens of times he never remembered my name I loved
him anyway, true artist"
"Nervous breakdown after menopause, his poetry humor saved me
from suicide hospitals"
"Charmant, genius with modest manners, washed sink, dishes my
studio guest a week in Budapest"
Thousands of readers, "Howl changed my life in Libertyville Illinois"
"I saw him read Montclair State Teachers College decided be a poet-- "
"He turned me on, I started with garage rock sang my songs in Kansas
"Kaddish made me weep for myself & father alive in Nevada City"
"Father Death comforted me when my sister died Boston l982"
"I read what he said in a newsmagazine, blew my mind, realized
others like me out there"
Deaf & Dumb bards with hand signing quick brilliant gestures
Then Journalists, editors's secretaries, agents, portraitists & photo-
graphy aficionados, rock critics, cultured laborors, cultural
historians come to witness the historic funeral
Super-fans, poetasters, aging Beatnicks & Deadheads, autograph-
hunters, distinguished paparazzi, intelligent gawkers
Everyone knew they were part of 'History" except the deceased
who never knew exactly what was happening even when I was alive

In Back of the Real
railroad yard in San Jose
I wandered desolate
in front of a tank factory
and sat on a bench
near the switchman's shack.

A flower lay on the hay on
the asphalt highway
--the dread hay flower
I thought--It had a
brittle black stem and
corolla of yellowish dirty
spikes like Jesus' inchlong
crown, and a soiled
dry center cotton tuft
like a used shaving brush
that's been lying under
the garage for a year.

Yellow, yellow flower, and
flower of industry,
tough spiky ugly flower,
flower nonetheless,
with the form of the great yellow
Rose in your brain!
This is the flower of the World.


CIA Dope Calypso
In nineteen hundred forty-nine
China was won by Mao Tse-tung
Chiang Kai Shek's army ran away
They were waiting there in Thailand yesterday

Supported by the CIA

Pushing junk down Thailand way

First they stole from the Meo Tribes
Up in the hills they started taking bribes
Then they sent their soldiers up to Shan
Collecting opium to send to The Man

Pushing junk in Bangkok yesterday
Supported by the CIA

Brought their jam on mule trains down
To Chiang Mai that's a railroad town
Sold it next to the police chief's brain
He took it to town on the choochoo train
Trafficking dope to Bangkok all day
Supported by the CIA

The policeman's name was Mr. Phao
He peddled dope grand scale and how
Chief of border customs paid
By Central Intelligence's U.S. aid

The whole operation, Newspapers say
Supported by the CIA

He got so sloppy and peddled so loose
He busted himself and cooked his own goose
Took the reward for the opium load
Seizing his own haul which same he resold

Big time pusher for a decade turned grey
Working for the CIA

Touby Lyfong he worked for the French
A big fat man liked to dine & wench
Prince of the Meos he grew black mud
Till opium flowed through the land like a flood

Communists came and chased the French away
So Touby took a job with the CIA

The whole operation fell in to chaos
Till U.S. intelligence came in to Laos

Mary Azarian/Matt Wuerker I'll tell you no lie I'm a true American
Our big pusher there was Phoumi Nosavan

All them Princes in a power play
But Phoumi was the man for the CIA

And his best friend General Vang Pao
Ran the Meo army like a sacred cow
Helicopter smugglers filled Long Cheng's bars
In Xieng Quang province on the Plain of Jars

It started in secret they were fighting yesterday
Clandestine secret army of the CIA

All through the Sixties the dope flew free
Thru Tan Son Nhut Saigon to Marshall Ky
Air America followed through
Transporting comfiture for President Thieu

All these Dealers were decades and yesterday
The Indochinese mob of the U.S. CIA

Operation Haylift Offisir Wm Colby
Saw Marshall Ky fly opium Mr. Mustard told me
Indochina desk he was Chief of Dirty Tricks
"Hitch-hiking" with dope pushers was how he got his fix

Subsidizing the traffickers to drive the Reds away
Till Colby was the head of the CIA

Friday, January 2, 2015

Maura Gage Cavell - January Poet of the Month

"Come Visit," They Say
Ruby and Slade
call Venus to come visit
them for the evening.

They cook a soup
together since the air's chilly,
and Venus provided

some cherry pie for later.
She and Ruby sip hot
chocolate as they all

dance around the kitchen
cutting up carrots, potatoes,
peppers, onions, celery,

tomatoes, Ruby with her
shining eyes and cute grin
looking up at Venus

in a way that sings to Venus'
heart, and Venus knows
that no matter what

she will always protect, love,
care about, and be there
for this bright gem.
With Music in His Motions
Slade has a world of songs
inside of and around him.
With him there is always music
reflecting the currents of the sea,
the rhythms of wind
and fishing, the tempo
inside of him. Music stays
in the cadence of his steps.
Whether he's working on his boat,
tinkering inside of his truck's engine,
building something, or earning
a living--there is a certain
music to his motions, songs
filling up the daylight hours
and the nighttime shifts
as he cooks for Ruby,
plants a garden or plays
with or trains his hunting dog.
Whenever he drives, there are always
songs reflective of his happy
spirit as well as his deep soul.
Slade lives with a full heart
and a soul filled with song.
These songs have touched Venus,
The blue sky open and calling
her to him; his song draws her near.

The Kitchen Dance
The air is fresh with violets
on this gray, rainy day.
Slade calls Venus over
to cook a gumbo with him.
He leads, she follows,
stirring, cutting, the scent
of roux, onions, peppers,
and celery rise along with spices.
Soon there will be seafood
and seasonings, spices filling
the air. On this gray day
a gumbo sounds pleasant
and warming. The pot
is stirred, more vegetables
and shrimp, crab claws,
and crawfish go into the broth.
They two-step a few steps,
pass by each other,
Cajun waltz once around the room,
toss items into the pot.
Every so often, Slade,
a mighty fine cook with glimmering
bright sky blue eyes,
teaches Venus how to cook
one of his numerous recipes
over the phone,
sometimes meeting her
to shop with her--generously paying,
sometimes leaving her with a list.
Tonight. as they cook, they dance,
play, laugh, share stories,
sneak in kisses
between cutting up
whatever's needed.

Lemon Trees
in Someone's Yard

Slade always seems
to understand signs
Venus knows nothing
of but wishes she "got"
as she travels the blue-
white highway, signs
along the crawfish ponds,
mist hanging above them,
fog drifting over the road,
egrets over the fields,
other birds blending into the fields,
owls sitting on the phone lines,
hawks perched on telephone poles;
how should, can she read them?
She's never been one to know
how to follow the stars,
and planets, but if her heart
is a sign, it pulls her
to wherever Slade and Ruby are--
drawing her to them
as if they were two magnets
guiding her home--
lemon trees in someone's yard,
her heart's sunlight calling.

Venus: Lost and AloneVenus feels empty this day
as she looks off into nature's
vast acreage, the sun low and white,

the clouds stretching on, growing gray,
filling up the sky, blocking pink light.
The songs in her heart are not singing.

She's in love with a man who may never
love her in return even though
he may care about her--

still, she cannot be certain of anything,
and as long as he remains as hazy
as the sky this day, Venus

cannot act, move, or make anything happen.
She says to herself, "if he loves me,
he will claim me for himself,"

and then, "if he doesn't really
want me, then there's no sense
to my world--as much as I love him."

Venus' emptiness fills up the room,
her heart and soul so sorrowful
she does not know what to do.

The memory of his touch
haunts her skin with sensations
she longs to feel again;

She wants more than what Slade
can give her, yet she wants no other
but her blue-eyed lover

who sets fire to her soul,
in her body; she pictures herself
with him, dancing together

through a night of magical loving
and she feels as lost as a drunkard
meandering down a dark and lonely road,

aimless, compass less; will she center
herself again, she wonders, or will she
stay lost, reaching for Slade who is not there.
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