Enter Home Planet News Poetry of Issue #5                        Page 16
                                   
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Escape from Ellenville


a child of highway and wine
    still doing what I did
decades ago. Jazz and the sad momento
    following me through town and hamlet
city and scape. Monk's mood and Trane
    blowin' by the riverside - finding the notes
coursing the curves. The sun in the East, then West
    rising, falling like love itself
bridges, streams - the four way stop.
   She tailgates w/lipstick. Monk approves,
Trane bops free - rising, falling,
   like love itself
Always in the foreground, back - always on
   the downbeat, sixteenth, whole rest,
left signal, right - like love itself
   particular, pesky. Of wayward origin
and design. Stick figure shadows
   dance en masse. Post road, turnpikes
thirty-two bars, and out.


  Mike Jurkovic __

topeka

I never did get back to Topeka.
What was the point? There was bullshit
in every direction. Just like here.
Up n down. Forward, back.
Horizon to horizon. Moon to moon
n Grandma's down eight fingers n falling
into her chili n chips as Pop Pop swears at Quick Draw
and little Lena gets off the bus n walks into
the dim lit, dimwit, gimlet, gin house that
only the brave defy. Which is why I'm here.
Hiding behind happy hour. My religion lost
and my faith failing fast. Each dark minute
hauling itself forward. Towards the water.
Towards the morsel. Towards the dead legends
I call my own and number myself
among. We jump off in droves.
The chasm yawning. The darkness rushing by.
The mothballed freighters
falling twice as fast.
Just grow soldiers they say,
reminding me a lot of what I heard
back in Topeka. Where prairie winds
blow rust and water mains burst
just like that. Just like everywhere else
neglected by its people. Dismissed as a political problem
when, in fact, it's a culture. A question of folklore
and the lack thereof. No present. No past.
No holds barred when it comes to demise
and the dollars it makes. Squalor. Contempt.
A breed I've indebted myself to. A ruined lineage.
Just like Topeka.


  Mike Jurkovic__
gathered here

Here’s hoping that,
as they lay me in down,
You gathered here
will not turn on me,
bewilder the bride
w/your delusions.

You’re gathered here
‘cause we danced w/o penance.
Fused an accord
no army could read.
Called upon wise men
for mercy. Called upon women
for love.

  Mike Jurkovic__

Progression
ŠAldo Vigliarolo: Progression #1
Pneumonia Morning

The boat in the storm
where the anxious
call for mercy
is my main mode
of transportation.
My fellow passengers and I
unmoored from belief. Adrift
on the high, aching sea.
The dead wind redolent w/salt.
Lifeless fish mount at our feet.
Causing list, panic.
The captain jumps ship.
The conductor foregoes coin
for lifeboat.

There is nothing to rescue,
really. All was left behind
when we boarded and paid
the beast. Dinari, dollar,
makes no matter. Our grasp is digital
at best and the service sucks
out here. We bitch about it constantly,
pay up and do nothing to rectify.
Small wages, smaller things
is the bottom line here
where the frightened
call for mercy
and the boats
routinely sink.

  Mike Jurkovic__