Home Planet News Online
                                                               The Literary Review
                                                                          Issue 8

Page 25

                                                                                                                                                                                       Swipe left         Swipe down

America and Other Festive Occasions

the embryo of a giant
a newborn giant
an infant giant
a growing Giant
demanding from the back seat
Are we There yet?
till adolescence, then

a sleeping Giant
a waking GIANT
What the wha—?
while rubbing sleep-sogged eyes

another adolescence, then

a tiptoeing GIANT on bug-infested boards
What was that?
ever the adolescent, then

a GIANT that must be finally destroyed
or at least one whom all the former and future giants

(the toothless geriatric
and the spineless embryonic
feel that way about

and so we sleep again

till another adolescence,
our best always what’s yet to come

the eternal adolescent
beautiful, unpredictable,
who makes everyone else at the party
wish we would sleep
or wish we would wake
but mostly wonder

Now what?

James B. Nicola__


We're both the empire and the Nile

We’re both the empire and the Nile.
All food turns poison, in excess.
With ample tears the vale cheers: Life!
But surfeits drown and drain to death.

The river’s turning red. Too many
too near its banks live far too well.
If we don’t move, there'll be not any,
or far too few, to tell the tale.

James B. Nicola__

© GeorgeZavala: Caballito

          © GeorgeZavala: Caballito


Suburbs right the lawn and bright the fence,
scrape offal off fine family china white,
send garbage off to land in China red,
flush fecund feces ripe down plumbers' pipes,
turn wooden homes to vinyl one by one.
And plastic plenty’s molded for one use
as toys, bags, bottles, pitchers, pens, plates, crates,
and six-pack rings that hold but don’t dissolve.
Toxicities of chemicals are sloughed
and gases’ poisons instantly set free
to find their own way as the legacy
of you, me, and the land of liberty.

Far off, myriad camps too soggy-new
for pipes and processes to have been laid
house crowds of ad hoc souls from lands less free.
Welters of makeshift rust-sheet shacks withstand
the elements, and hurry-hoisted tents
and cardboard lean-tos line the littered lanes
where desultory dreck has been so strewn
that noses tingle until red and sore.
These camps, though, will not matter any more
than distant glistening warrens, in due time.
For crowded concentrations—people piled
or thought-thick texts of prescient poetry,
in safe and spacious files or flowing free
and wild as chaos—thin out, fade and go.
And whether we are rich or refugee

shall credit no credential; at the gate
where souls get sent to heaven or to hell,
the temporal will be topsy-turv'd at last.

Meanwhile, as the inheritance of ice
succumbs to trends so lucrative and warm
that polar diamonds sink into the sea
and heighten waters irrevocably,
and fresh air funneled from the Amazon
is suffocated to oblivion,
two brand-new camps of humankind shall form:
those who’ll drown in excess of excrement,
and those who will from excess of excess.

  James B. Nicola__


Biography of a Man

hum drum life hum Drum life hum DRUM life work blast work blast Blast BLAST then seeingHer!for the First!Time! pitterpat drum drum MEETING! and then going on with life life drum cALLing Yes a Date Fal l inginlovetogethernessweddinghoneymoonlovelovelove T I M E marriage life marriage life humDrum Then: seeingHerrrrr!fortheFirst!Time! pitterpat no. bad. guilt guilt. but ya didn't DO nothin!down marriage marriage life hum cALLing... Yes! F a l l i n gIntermittentmeetingsaround ste- life -alth sec- marriage -ret adu- hum -ltery aff drum -air DDDISSSCOVERYYY! shh s/he shshsh s/hear t brea kkkk. . . (hurt) GUILTGuiltguilt(guilt)g. . . separ ation life life DI\ /ORCE BLAST Blast blast LIFE life DRUM life drum (life) (drummm) (over) and?

  James B. Nicola__

The Moment

The moment of God
deciding to violate a virgin
as so many of his Colleagues had once done
might seem a salient episode
for a terrific turmoil-stuffed Role
in some deep and daring drama
hallowing and harrowing the times.

A human, mortal and flawed,
to conceive of such a Character
would border blasphemy, as
so many worthwhile words
so duly dare.

The human role, however, as per usual,
proved far more piquant, poignant, and perplexing.
For what dim-witted power-hungry person
should ever espouse a God that sires by force,
and such an awe-full act
part of a Plan?

  James B. Nicola__


The Crowd

You write?
Oh, what do you write about?
Oh, is that all?
Well the crowd
is seven billion now. More.
They’re approaching the ramparts.
You think it’s best though to entertain
the folks inside, and not worry about
the crowd outside, and when they storm the gates?
I guess that’s wise.
It must be wise
since you are wise
and you know what you’re doing
and it is what you’re doing.
It certainly seems to be lucrative at least.
Well I hear them getting
louder, closer, louder, closer, louder.
So we’ll soon see.
Me? Oh, no one in particular.
Just an observer. Just someone who wishes and hopes
everything will turn out all right.
Just someone who wishes he could write.

  James B. Nicola__