Wednesday, December 16, 2009
A non-plagiarizing tribute to the novel AT SWIM, TWO BOYS by Jamie O’Neill
Arthur and Gavin, boys nearing manhood,
soon to fight for Irish freedom,
Easter Rebellion of 1916,
rising to expel the British:
Arthur slim under thick auburn mop
he shakes from his hazel eyes,
tossing his head to meet the world,
shyly biting his lower lip
at certain special pleasures:
honors in school for Latin,
reading of heroes in ancient times,
watching a sea storm:
Over gray water the waves peak white,
echoing lightning above.
A lad from a Catholic home,
he used to bind his hands with the rosary
not to fetch himself,
bottling his lust into fever
till his father and brother heard his moans
and said "Don’t struggle,
you can’t sell sweets in the shop lying sick."
Arthur’s reluctant to act his passion
for muscular black-haired anti-Church Gavin,
laboring son of the poorest folk,
who donned a kilt with him at school band,
curly black hair on his legs, dark eyes,
daring and quick, a sudden sharp grin,
who’s been with a man but it’s Arthur he’s loved
since the auburn lad struck in like thunder
to stave class bullies off Gavin the new boy,
soon to die wounded in Arthur’s arms;
but now, alone with each other,
(word’s gone out of Rebellion delayed)
an Easter morning sunny and cool,
they swim the sea near Dublin,
their bodies only as nature created –
"Dare your pope to say it’s wrong" –
clothes hidden dry on shore meanwhile.
They’ll carry them up the hill of new grass
but throw them aside to race about,
members bouncing and leaping, Gavin ahead.
At last out of breath, they drop to the land.
Alongside each other, on their fronts,
what work they’ll do in free Ireland,
Gavin a postman, Arthur a teacher,
living together of course;
enemy boys in school they fought:
"When O’Connor sneered at our so together
I saw your fist come out same as mine,
you’re the man for me, Arthur McNally – "
"And Gavin, we decked him, Monahan too;
and thanks to the priests, they’ll keep away."
"Why God made priests, you muddy red mop-head,
also for tickling us on the sly – "
"And who’s to stop them? tell me now."
"If any – " "You’ll be first to hear."
Now Gavin turns on his right to face Arthur,
nudging his pal to lie on his left.
The amorous narrow of Gavin’s black eyes,
his full red lips tucked in, beckon Arthur;
but when Gavin’s fingers walk up his friend’s thigh
to fondle his desire,
Arthur protests, and he lets go.
"A kiss at least?" "Ah Gavin, one day....
Please touch me face and tell me you love me."
"Arthur, I love you," and tenders his palm
on the cheek and brow of his auburn mate,
mussing and smoothing his hair.
"I love you meself, Gavin McCall.
Bit nervous about today I was,
bit nervous where it would lead,
and now I feel brought down to rest."
"Well Arthur, come to me arms, sleep so."
His drowsy lad he softly cradles,
gazing the water to lull his passion.
Naked they lie, alone on hill-meadow.
Soon Arthur awakens: "If we might stay."
They speak of Ireland’s liberty battle.
When dressed, Gavin sports a green uniform:
Will he take Arthur to see his commander
in time for them to march side by side,
"Like that we’ll be most together, Gavin,
lover-soldiers of ancient Thebes."
At first these words dislike dark Gavin,
silently fearing the fight, who’ll die like a man:
"You’ll join me in battle?
Arthur McNally, you danger yourself,
I’ll bate you blue-black, or wreck meself tryin’....
A teacher of Latin you want to be?
then keep in school, prepare so –"
"Gavin McCall, I’m grand at shootin’,
I’ll come where you – "
"Laddie, no tears, I’ll write you me place,"
an arm round the mop-head’s milkwhite shoulders....
Sea and hill, the quiet around,
invite them to taste a last day of peace.
Sweet hunger stirs in the freshening breeze.
His deepest desires tenderly roused,
held warm and tight by his black-haired Gavin –
will such a moment be theirs again? –
Arthur who’s never, now turns his back
and solemnly offers himself to his friend,
who gently warns it may hurt.
"Now think to kiss me before you come in."
"Glory be!" shouts Gavin; and when he does enter,
the pain to hazel-eyed Arthur is brief,
allayed by the taste and touch of his man.
"Are you fine so? It’s your time in me,"
but Arthur says wait, let me hold this feeling.
Gavin’s full lips now stretched in a grin,
Arthur openmouthed in delight,
they surge with love, groins pressed together,
limbs wide, hands locked,
their eyes all afire, another kiss panting
pal o’ me heart evermore.
editor's notes: This poem was originally published in August of 2008; Poet Barry Frauman has revised it and here it is, re-presented and represented in its intended entirety.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
This is Russell. I haven't updated OSFR in a while, and here's some explaination to that:
1.) Side project: Good Hurts. It's a hot sauce review website. It's a different kind of fun than OSFR in that it's 100% in my own control and up to me to update, work on, et. al. As long as there is hot sauce and I have a camera, Good Hurts lives. No need to prod or seek out submissions. Check it out, why don'ch'a? ? ?Stay spicy.
2.) I'm actually going to be teaching a course I've designed, Frontiers of Poetry, here in Iowa. It's mostly about emerging internet poetry and communities, with looks at more experimental contemporary stuff. If you'd like your site or poems included in the couse syllabus (it's 5 weeks long, but fierce!), go ahead and email me.
3.) Attention spans may wane, but OSFR is unbreakable. Keep submitting! Enjoy!
Sunday, November 1, 2009
I've shifted focus to another site--Good Hurts, a hot sauce review blog. OSFR is dedicated to poets and poetry; sharing ideas and voices; cultivating emerging poetics. However, Good Hurts is something I have full control over. I don't have to ask for submissions, deal with annoying blogger cut-and-paste formatting issues, etc.
This is NOT the end of O Sweet Flowery Roses, but just my explanation for the slowdown. I'll be teaching some poetry courses in Iowa in Spring 2010, and be rest assured that more solid stuff will be showing up here.
You keep submitting, I'll keep posting. Feel free to check out Good Hurts, especially if you like hot sauce!
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
poetry and short stories. He lives in
Los Angeles County. His latest chapbook, Overcome, was published by Kendra
Steiner Editions, and it is a
collaborative effort with photographer, Cynthia Etheridge.
The news of another murder on television,
or the news of crooks getting away scot-free
makes me long for the days I watched cartoons.
In those days there were fewer murders.
I could do without television.
I would just stare at mirrors instead.
I would watch myself at noontime
eating an apple. In the evening
I would change the mirrors to another room.
I do not need television.
Maybe without it there would be fewer murders.
Perhaps there would be more.
I think I would read a book instead.
I could turn on the radio
and listen to the untalented musicians
on the popular music stations.
I would complain about what happened to
good music. A mirror would break.
I would long for the days of TV.
The news of murders and crooks would return.
In the evening I would lock all my doors.
THE SOFT EVENING
In the soft evening
we sing without sound
and carve our hearts
and dig out the pumpkin seeds.
Broken of heart we eat
of what is left of it
and descend into the abyss.
THE MOON’S DISEASE
On this night the moon
is not easy to look at.
Its light fills my nose
with a pungent scent.
My lips turn blue and
cold. The distant moon infects
me with a sadness
I cannot escape.
I pace aimlessly
in the black night with the
devils of the soul
whispering to me
to give up my soul to
them for a night of joy.
I become moist with
sweat and defend my
sick heart with silence.
More awake than ever I
keep my soul hostage.
It is all I have.
Unlike my heart, my
soul is intact.
Still I shiver from the
moon’s disease as I
walk in confusion like
a lost child. When I cry out
it is my soul, which
this night, where the moon
is an eyesore. It
fills me with sadness.
I cannot escape.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
James Jason Dye is a 26-year-old college student from Dubuque Iowa. He is a new writer whose poetry can be found on various publications such as Ampersand, Dogzplot, Poor Mojo’s Almanac, The Clockwise Cat, Aphelion, Calliope Nerve and Public Republic. He can be reached at email@example.com or check out his blog at http://jamesjdye.blogspot.com. You can also download his free poetry e-book at www.poemhunter.com
The Rose Again
The rose again above the mountain goes up the valley down. The wind lifts it off the ground its gravity pulling back around.
Ambush arose from its seat. A pillar of smoke arose in defeat.
The sun bowed down again.
The Fate of Night and Day
Darkness boasts the night. The Sun is down. Evening settles in.
The thickness blackens. Heavy is the weight. The gloom stagnates. The mass curdles.
Twilight congeals. It consumes the whole world. In the morning Dawn mourns.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
Monday, June 8, 2009
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Alfonso is a friend who has read at OSFR I and has some new poems he'd like to share. Please enjoy!
QUICK PLUG: While I am on the subject of enjoyment, I recommend suckas who gots to know check out Juliet Cook's 13 Myna Birds. Really interesting design and format of rotating poems; many imagistic, expository, and confessional...all really damn good.
Alfonso Colasuonno is a 25 year old writer based out of Brooklyn, New York. He is a former New York City secondary school teacher. He graduated Beloit College with a BA in Creative Writing. This is his second submission to O Sweet Flowery Roses and has also been a performer at an O Sweet Flowery Roses-sponsored event.
Regarding your “poetry” -
It is not complex enough
Nor is it obscure enough
To catch even a faint glimpse of my eye.
The beauty of poetry
Is that it leaves the proletariat
Completely baffled as to what you mean.
Your writing is as obvious
As the cumshot
At the end of a porno.
You hit people over the head
With your arcing stream of ideas.
That is not poetry.
Maybe it is spoken word.
It doesn't have the staccato
The je ne sais quoi
I have never heard
Something as complementary of my work.
No, this is not poetry
That you learn in classrooms
Or from going to readings
And it never aimed to be.
A visceral reaction
A masturbation break
This is what I aim for
Not bored applause
Like you aim for.
I live a life of multiplicities
Responsible for the future of this country
A New York City schoolteacher.
Gutterpunk? (On weekends?)
My preferred mode of dress is a ratty t-shirt
With a picture of Exene Cervenka
And a pair of jeans with holes at the kneecaps
And Eurotrash written in black marker on the pant leg
Like a wrestler's iconography on his tights
Signaling to all parties
A false delusion.
Yet, still, I wear the suit and tie
Monday through Friday
8 to 4
I suck Joel Klein’s cock.
I do it by the book.
How do I react inside those four walls? Student comes in blazed
Out of his mind.
Reminds me of someone quite familiar
And how false it is to say - “get yourself together” When having a few drinks later in the day
Crack up at the thought.
I think back to same student and wonder:
Am I really getting that old and yawn-mouthed
That a student needs to show up high to enjoy my class? And then I realize he is not enjoying my class at all
But the company of his comrade in the next seat.
Question: Did I ever do that? No. I stifled my laughter.
I respected my teachers.
I tell myself these lies
Until they become truths.
Am I doing a good job?
Can I say what I want to say? No!
The trick to education is knowing one golden rule
Your teachers are full of shit.
A trip to the principal’s office
And a great big unsatisfactory on my teaching record.
I’ve lost control:
Big fat j
On the dole
Back to bumming
In short, a rubber room existence. There is no such thing as fate.
You have a high pitched voice
An anxious tremor
Resonating to the stratosphere
As if your lungs were never consumed with internal clouds of mist
Sucked in like steamboats in vile vortices
Smoke from a thousand fags
Ashes staining your fingernails yellow
Disguised under press-on nails
And teeth off white
Remedied by Crest white strips
And brushing at least three times a day
In painstaking circular motion
And time permitting, vertically and horizontally, as well.
But you still have a smoker's cough
And your perfume doesn't hide
The smell of countless nicotine cravings.
Monday, June 1, 2009
(a slav-ish raillery in no parts)
--…tellement / camoufle…
Scandallion standala y catapostrophe.
Bas alt relief belie goncourtier
\?--:…rue the infinite gimmegimmick a la
NRF(I)NRF(II) dire la roches-elle dans un
Et Gaston IIieme dans deux 1953.
Insta instro insitu insu introck.
Ref fer ere frere ren enc yclo clochard hark arkhe.
(a fenceless optical zone)
Depistillated sermonizing wavebreak,
Immense pillar of talking flesh
& the great sewer of existence underlorded
Papal cyborgs &
How God subcontracted Adam to name things.
I walk / unkempt millennium garden / public works project
Failure / empty beer bottle by bathtub / she and bubble /
Abducted from Oshawa / portable office relocate @ bar /
New fonts derivative / syncategoreme / portfolio construction
Professionalization anti-seminar / non-marketability aspects of
Doctorate.\ move to Vancouver \ organizations strategies \
Collaborate with and learn from here \ midstroke.--
The future threatens
to make us seem quaint and ridiculous.
while the applause
has died away well before we arrived.
Mode juste today,
critical gaffe tomorrow.
We who write now will be subject
to cruel normalization
and barbaric standardization,
lost somewhere in a canon
the young are forced begrudgingly to honour
The political choices we make today may feel right.
Tomorrow will judge us harshly
and we will be condemned.
The future is like that: and it has the luxury
of history and consequence -
we should have known better becomes our epitaph.
The future will consign us to haunt the earth
spurned devils and the mark of Cain.
Our actions, once laudable, become burdens
as death renders us mute and indefensible.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Happy belated Memorial Day from the (Russell, oft-involved Becky, friends) staff of O Sweet Flowery Roses! Please find more poems from Barry Frauman below. No, we are not hard up for submissions quite yet, but Barry is the first poet signed up for the Super Duper Blowout Chicago Reading (date, time, et. al: TBA)!
Let me know if'n your down to read and I'll put you up on the list!
I dreamt of you Tony in morning twilight,
that you were admitted to hospital care
not sick, not well,
that I was your room-mate,
not ill at all.
You wore silk pajamas, white, I think,
your hair thick and dark, a few strands of gray.
Your body flourished, exciting and strong,
I ached to sex you.
Instead we unpacked, each one for the other,
We talked long and warmly about... can’t recall,
more friendship of love than in stormy life-days,
the tension of AIDS.
he first of my heart is quiet, certain
and serene as all the Buddhas.
When I err, when for a fraction of a second
I am not quite honest, the motion of his eyes,
their change of light, point back the truth to me
with no less love than in our perfect harmony.
He is my soul.
* * * * *
My other love maintains there is no soul
there is no God
there is no human life
outside the robot masses of our time
stampeding all his words into my brain;
yet deep within, his fury seeks affection:
At a crowded café, not too gay,
he cornered me with a hug;
and then one night, good-bye at his door,
he beamed when I kissed his beautiful face.
* * * * *
The eyes of my soul are in white white skin
under jetblack hair.
He is young-tree slender and elastic,
shoulders open and embracing
even when his arms are down.
The breeze nestles in his thick black thatch,
dreaming of eternal June, and he has
the soul of a tree in young manhood,
sometimes playful, more often stilled
in the half-smile of serene growing.
* * * * *
He calls himself fat, that's a laugh,
short wiry devil-dark mustache,
eyes of gray lightning.
* * * * *
Hello to you! Yes to you!
From all my soul to all my soul I call.
You are the tree in whose branches I nestle,
the lightning will not strike.
Your faults are like a summer shower,
soon to dry away.
* * * * *
Leaping to your feet? still fast asleep?
Thinking of you, wondering how you are,
I wake up late and slowly Sunday morning,
glasses on the table from last evening
stilled into the memories of fun.
Now silent, mostly empty, they'll sit out
the hour or two until I get to them.
Ever think of weekends you were here?
We've showered music breakfast yes or no,
it doesn't matter all that much,
we've had our sexy talky turbulence.
I won’t approach your nakedness now,
tempting though it is,
but will instead anticipate a lingering good-bye.
What are your plans?
* * * * *
The greatest number of people,
whose kin are family-tree,
would not understand my joy in you,
beloved keeper of our light.
I have small knowledge of your prior years,
I did not see the steps you took
to form the inner workings of your life,
a discipline so perfect and serene,
that you should be a beacon to us all..
You grow and thrive around a core of stillness,
a happy silent purity
toward which my restless spirit stretches endlessly..
You never come to me to lay confusion,
but work a trouble through then hail me
to share your joy in hard-won resolution.
* * * * *
Ten A.M. Sunday thunderhissing discoblitz
you shut the door against the din so we can talk
your rage boils up at years of sexual repression
your lightning strikes the wordhouse you have built
as shelter from the storms you generate.
I lash past your downpouring sentences
to bring my love to your intelligence
and turn your storming elements to sunforce.
Burning tired your head falls to my shoulder
still you say you do not feel love
it must be no right now, maybe not forever,
but firmly for this time you back away.
* * * * *
You let me rant about the world's nonsense,
then you embrace me.
* * * * *
Better this way you say in the labyrinth
of bar-and-bath nightmerchant anonymity.
Better this way than learning in the hurt
of amorous friendship somehow gone awry.
* * * * *
Remember the time you stayed during the week?
I’m sure it was December snowy rainy
muddy morning grumbling down to work.
The sidewalks were in slush,
we made the bus-stop walking in the street.
The night before I’d lain down at your side,
though I still mourned the parting of another.
As we were trudging slave-like in the grayness
toward the dreary obligations of the day,
I felt my guilt glide up into my throat.
With gentle indirection you forgave.
Your compassion that sad day gave birth
to the sweet closeness all our own
that keeps us free of all the cushioned traps
the gray Decembering world sets
to ground the flight of those who love.
* * * * *
You say, "I’ve never felt... whatever it is,
but that's alright, I live from day to day.
If somehow I could change, that would be nice,
but I don't count on anyone, OK?"
* * * * *
In front of your house good-night, I’ll call you soon.
Our hug is long and strong,
and always with the imprint of your face,
you touch me in my quiet tender place.