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Topic: American Open Mike: New American Voices
The new items published under this topic are as follows.


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spacer.gif   The Whoopee Awards Have Been Postponed
Posted by : cj on Monday, April 09, 2012 - 01:02 PM
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  American Open Mike:  New American Voices
5285 Reads

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ChicagoPoetry.com is postponing the Whoopee Awards and is presently rethinking the theme for the next issue of Poetry Cram. I thought it would be a good idea to sponsor a contest and create a publication that features "funny poetry," and although many have expressed support for the project, the bottom line is it seems not enough people write what they consider to be "funny poetry" to sustain a project of this magnitude. Instead of stubbornly attempting to pull it off anyway, I'm going to just admit that what I thought was a good idea at the time isn't coming to fruition in reality. CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT TO THE NEWLY REWORKED POETRY CRAM 14. Yours, CJ Laity.


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spacer.gif   IMMORTALITY, a poem by John Dickson
Posted by : cj on Monday, April 02, 2012 - 10:03 AM
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3972 Reads



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spacer.gif   CHICAGO POETRY CONTEST
Posted by : cj on Friday, August 14, 2009 - 11:59 AM
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34662 Reads


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spacer.gif   LAURIE BLUM
Posted by : cj on Friday, November 07, 2008 - 08:27 AM
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6175 Reads



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spacer.gif   OPEN CALL: HOW TO GET YOUR POETRY PUBLISHED NOW
Posted by : cj on Sunday, April 20, 2008 - 09:50 AM
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  American Open Mike:  New American Voices
135279 Reads


Note: This is your chance to get published in one of Chicago's most popular poetry periodicals, POETRY CRAM. Here are the details.


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spacer.gif   Vittorio Carli
Posted by : cj on Tuesday, April 08, 2008 - 10:46 AM
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5827 Reads



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spacer.gif   Jason Sturner
Posted by : cj on Tuesday, March 18, 2008 - 12:05 AM
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6379 Reads



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spacer.gif   Dan Cleary
Posted by : cj on Monday, March 17, 2008 - 02:26 PM
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6365 Reads



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spacer.gif   Frances Buckley
Posted by : cj on Tuesday, March 11, 2008 - 03:06 PM
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5969 Reads



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spacer.gif   Dred Sista Ren
Posted by : cj on Sunday, March 02, 2008 - 10:05 AM
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6528 Reads



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spacer.gif   Ruan Wright
Posted by : cj on Monday, February 25, 2008 - 12:23 PM
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6286 Reads



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spacer.gif   Frank Varela
Posted by : cj on Friday, February 22, 2008 - 01:45 PM
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6473 Reads



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spacer.gif   Kristin Latour
Posted by : cj on Wednesday, February 06, 2008 - 12:04 PM
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6615 Reads



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spacer.gif   Larry O. Dean
Posted by : cj on Sunday, January 27, 2008 - 08:29 PM
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7966 Reads



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spacer.gif   BUDDHA309'S EULOGY FOR THE PIGEON MAN OF LINCOLN SQUARE
Posted by : cj on Wednesday, December 19, 2007 - 02:35 PM
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6995 Reads



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spacer.gif   ARTHUR HOLLAND
Posted by : cj on Sunday, December 09, 2007 - 12:22 PM
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8129 Reads



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spacer.gif   MIKE PUICAN
Posted by : cj on Friday, November 30, 2007 - 09:22 PM
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6499 Reads



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spacer.gif   MARILYN PERETTI
Posted by : cj on Sunday, November 11, 2007 - 08:05 AM
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6588 Reads



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spacer.gif   MIKE PELIKAN
Posted by : cj on Friday, October 26, 2007 - 02:01 PM
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6549 Reads



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spacer.gif   SUSAN SPAETH CHERRY
Posted by : cj on Tuesday, October 23, 2007 - 10:26 AM
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6381 Reads



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spacer.gif   SANDY GOLDSMITH
Posted by : cj on Monday, October 22, 2007 - 10:37 AM
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7093 Reads



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spacer.gif   LAUREL GRAHAM
Posted by : cj on Friday, October 19, 2007 - 04:18 PM
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7537 Reads



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spacer.gif   DONNA PECORE
Posted by : cj on Friday, October 19, 2007 - 04:15 PM
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6533 Reads



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spacer.gif   American Open Mike Volume 2: Kelly Nicole Thomson
Posted by : cj on Thursday, July 27, 2006 - 11:09 AM
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5842 Reads

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** Kelly Nicole Thomson **


Unclaimed Property Office, State of Virginia

It’s one hazard of a job that buries me in the lives
of others – a peril unrecognized by workman’s
comp. and the paltry paychecks for which I lose my day
amidst suffocating piles of the miscellaneous. I’m left
here, with yellowed tape and dried up markers, to sift
through the misplaced and forgotten, for an hourly rate
of tepid coffee and moth-ridden memories.
This morning’s inventory: a leather-bound wallet smoothed tan
along the edges - John Taylor/Organ Donor- child-size
sunglasses black with hot pink stars, a broken blue umbrella,
and one small, dusty journal - scribbled on the inside - its pages
crinkled with remnants of water stains. On my left, a locket
lies resting, To Mary With Love, 1954. I catalogue to forget
myself in pieces, and inventory those with a life to lose.


Haiti

My feet dangled behind the missionary truck,
and granted kisses to the dusty ground with each jolt
of its shaky frame. I let my toes swirl left and right
in the dark sand. I was being pulled up the road by a force
that believed grace could be delivered to a broken down
shack in the form of a church that lay resting,
crumbling, on the top of a mountain.

It was then that I saw you and your feet plodding
uphill, dust caked up the sides of your brown legs,
a dark knotted stick digging into the ground
before you. A shawl - turquoise, black,
and red hung on your shoulders – burdened
by the weight of lines carved on your
face and dulled by dirt that matted strands
of your gray hair. My toes trailed through earth
as I caught your steady gaze – old soul eyes
that followed my progress up the trail before you.

Hours later I sat in the darkening, crumbled
church, feet smothered in the dirt, as sunset pierced
through cracks in wooden, planked walls. Flies buzzed
in chorus with the circle of damp bodies that sat
sweating for salvation and a message
of grace. Our leader was praising God
when I saw you hobble through the open
back door, the sun setting on your shoulders
in shades of turquoise, black and red.


Kelly Thomson is a "struggling 20-something" living in Richmond, Virginia. She graduated from the University of Mary Washington with a B.A. in English. Kelly Thomson says: "I have opinions and experiences that I'd like to share with readers and I feel like I am able to do it well. My creative writing teacher in the University of Mary Washington, Claudia Emerson, just won the Pulitzer Prize for her recent poetry book. I'd like to make her proud."


Copyright 2006, all rights reserved.

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spacer.gif   American Open Mike Volume 2: Paulette Stewart
Posted by : cj on Thursday, July 27, 2006 - 11:00 AM
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5612 Reads

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** Paulette Stewart **


THE BRIDGE

A chasm gigantic lies between,
Disbelief, incomprehensible that an abyss exists,
We began enraptured, enthralled,
Adoring each other,
Now we live as strangers,
Fear, bewilderment, doubts,
Nimbus clouds floating in... our.... mind....'s....
Daunting, questions nag,
Will it last,
Can it work,
Or is this t... he end?
Different pl...aces, different people.
I reach my hand into nothingness it seems,
Once tangible now intangible reality,
Was any of what we shared real?
The feelings are surreal,
I want to scream,
At the fool caught in fantasy.
I search for invisible answers,
None come to mind.
Helpless, in agony,
Will this love I knew die?
A bridge unconditional love I see,
Fragile though it be,
Gingerly I step on it feeling, crawling,
Land I reach new,
Unexplored pastures wait,
I nibble, taste.
Unique individuals we remain,
Different paddocks we graze,
The fences once that stood now gone for good,
Unconditional love the....Bridge.


A HEADY WINE IS REGRET
(Dedicated to my mother)

Words of a fool she utters,
Shallowness grasped tangible.
Like a baby's hand grips tight.
The silent inner taboo broods, waits...
Eternity everyman dreads it's name,
Its face cold, dark, void, the unknown.
Her dream to travel,
An abandoned car left aside on the road of life,
Broken, rusted, decaying useless.
Ignoring the dream she continued the journey,
The stronger force of decorating the home,
Regrets' lament wore her inside and out.
She lies in bed, eyes like cherries glaced look back at me,
Skinny, emancipated, dying,
Rage a volcano red hot fills my stomach,
I want to rant, scream, shake the feeble body,
heaving for breath,
I watch helpless,
Sadness engulfs us both,
You for the dream wasted,
Me for the life you never tasted.
Folly!.... Foolish Woman,
The life you lived now is ending,
You lie in red velvet blood,
A heady wine is regret.




Paulette Stewart, 50, lives in the South Island of New Zealand. She is an Ordained Minister, Counselor, Artist and Writer. Paulette Stewart says: "I have been seriously writing for the last six years and am a staff writer for Poetstage.com. I would like to share my work with people to bring hope, insight and enjoyment."


Copyright 2006, all rights reserved.

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spacer.gif   American Open Mike Volume 2: Laurene Slicer
Posted by : cj on Thursday, July 27, 2006 - 10:50 AM
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5761 Reads



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spacer.gif   American Open Mike Volume 2: Natalia L. Rudychev
Posted by : cj on Thursday, July 27, 2006 - 10:41 AM
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5807 Reads

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** Natalia L. Rudychev **


and .. i’ll show you the way to be

there’s no point in whining
my life would not form a Cheshire smile
the dead leaves are falling
a taxi bound nowhere’s signals to me

i don’t play any games
post-Hesse rubbish’s in dust on a shelf
only Prufrock goes on
prolonging the torments of Tantalus

i’m trying to master
the Holly Inquisition in vain
my thoughts slowly ripen
and burst like the buboes of endless plague

i am waiting for you
forget that Sisyphus’s cursed forever
break the cannon of myth
exhale and.. i’ll show you the way to be


Chilly Spring

the geese are brawling flying in
the end of winter – snow is weak
the icicles show wicked grin
my dreams are sinister and bleak

i see the house – lines are foggy
but smells are making me at peace
with being desolate and groggy
awakened by the brawling geese

i see the city – it appears
a bit familiar to me
as if i watch it through the tears
shed by this morning’s raining spree

the geese are brawling driving out
the dream to which i try to cling
i sigh and leave my silver cloud
of memories this chilly spring


Natalia Rudychev lives in Des Plains, IL. She is a philosophy Ph.D. student at Duquesne University. She has published several scholarly articles on Joyce, Hegel, and Tarkovsky.


Copyright 2006, all rights reserved.

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spacer.gif   American Open Mike Volume 2: The Rev. Rodney Reinhart
Posted by : cj on Thursday, July 27, 2006 - 10:32 AM
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  American Open Mike:  New American Voices
6505 Reads

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** The Rev. Rodney Reinhart **


Paralyzed

I am paralyzed
You looked at me across the bar and left me paralyzed
Profound serpentine energy
Rose like lightning bolts in my soul and left me paralyzed
Your eyes locked in on mine
Like radar on an Iraqi Bomber
A heat-seeking missile took off
In my gut and it's headed for you
And I cannot stop it because
I'm paralyzed
Your eyes drilled deep in mine
And your lips licked like Lava
Flowed in slow motion to the sea
I stood there paralyzed in desire
To drill an oil well in your heart
And pump forth oceans of
Unfulfilled desperation and need.
You reached out to me and
Your hand moved with all the
Majesty of a New Orleans Jazz
Funeral or the coronation of the Queen and I wanted to kiss it and
Lick each finger as if frightened
by a mystic vision but something hot, sinewy, and succulent surged in my bones and I was paralyzed and able only to groan
You touched me and I was frozen in mid flight like the bishop's hands upon my head or Mohammed Ali's fist upon my face and I wanted to so much to say, "I love you" but I was paralyzed
and could only croak out "Hi!"
And when you spoke, that voice of hot honey and liquid steel streamed into my
Ears and down the small of my back with the burning tingling fire of lust so close to fulfillment that my whole Body shrieked for release
And you asked me the question…
The question each man so longs
To hear…

"Hey baby," you said, "Do you wanna….?"
And voices screamed like the
Oceans in my ears, "Yes… Yes...
I wanna! I wanna! I really do wanna"

"Hey baby," you said, "Do you wanna help me find the Lady's Room?"
And I said, "Yes! Yes! I wanna
I wanna help you.
I wanna… I wanna…. I wanna.
It's just past the pool table
And down the hall

And you walked away
Like Lincoln at Gettysburg
Or Jackie at Arlington
Or Monica in the Oval Office
And I was too paralyzed to
follow


Torture Today

We feel today like
Overwhelmingly significant
Information starved soldiers
We scar the souls of children
Abducting vulnerable young men
Subjecting them to
Sustained blood stained drilling
As we stared cheering from the stairs
Watching them drown
In rivers of freshly cut flesh

Oh we loath trudging to the office
Shopping for old branding irons
Asking permission
Or obeying conventions
Listening for ticking bombs
Or the cry of the conscience
At inconvenient times

We seek precise items
To help us find secret
Hidden knowledge
Obtained in dark places
From reputable dealers
Who whisper high prices
To suitable patrons
In cryptic transactions
Away from large crowds
Who assure delivery
To late night places
In far corners of the globe
Where no one hears
the screams


FROM KING TO MANDALA

America, we see ourselves through misty
Mirrors of meaningless dreams
Who condemned us to despair?
Who will rock us from the rut
Of diamond ice
Crystallized like a crack baby's scream

We remember '48…Kent State and '68
Days of purity and days of rage
Days we walked the streets uncaged like tigers
And felt the summer soft against our skin
Days are coming and days have been
When we shall walk those streets again

Days when we could float a loan on an ice-cream cone
Days our festively physical lives were filled with force and flowers
Days we could feel that power for hours
And cops would cower when the crowd came by

It is no lost youth. It is the coming of truth
Some wildly renewing force and faith
Dwelling within us…welling up from us
Flowers breaking through stone

Agony across Africa
Freedom born of blood
Stonewalls fall in a cataclysm of flame
And empires crumble
Consumed in the comfort of his smiling eyes

And we, in America
Trapped by mist and mirrors
Faith defying…. death denying
Trapped by lies disguised as smiles
Desperate to believe our own press-releases
While our machines melt in our hands

Whose voice have we heard
In this disturbingly absurd urban reality
Was it King, or the crack dealer?
Mandala, or the man with the gun?

We have borrowed every dime
To pay of the hucksters and the hustlers
Who sold us the promise that hate was just fine?
We are become the Prodigal Son and we can't go home this time

And my job and my jaccuzi got me jacked up in chain
And I see I sold my soul for vasciline visions and a viper’s bite
And you won’t be free till I’ve unchained your neck from my knee
And I won’t be free till you’ve unchained your hate from my heart
But the word has been spoken
We are called to hear it
We must be touched by that truth
Enflamed by their spirit

We must be gleamed by their gleaming
The mirror must be broken
So we are no longer falling or screaming

We have heard their voices
Comforting the nails in our hearts
We awoke to focus a broken song
A word spoken in pain
A token long gone
Down roads of redemption
Drawing down dawn

Days are coming
Days will be
Mountains falling
Haters flee

Days will be dancing
On flowers of desire
Dancing on flames
On the highest high wire
Falling and flying
Higher and higher

We kneel to seal
Our prayer with a prayer
Peace beyond flame
An end to despair

Joy beyond joy
Joy beyond sorrow
No lie can destroy
Our hope for tomorrow

Freedom
Peace
Power


The Rev. Rod Reinhart was one of the major poetic voices in the City of Detroit before he came to serve in the Episcopal Church here in Chicago. Fr. Reinhart played a significant role in the 1960's and 1980's revitalization of the cultural life of Detroit's Cass Corridor. Fr.. Reinhart co-founded Detroit's Community Concert Series. He founded the Plymouth Poet's Movement in Detroit's west suburbs. He also founded the Poet and the Power poetry cable TV show in 1994. He has been published in many small press books and magazines. He is also the founder of the World Sabbath of Religious Reconciliation, the international program to heal the wounds of racial and religious war.

Since coming to Chicago Fr. Reinhart has established Spirit Quest, a poetry reading on the south side. He is a co-founder of CASA, the Blue Island Hispanic empowerment group. He is an active member of Clergy Speaks Interdenominational, a new Chicago, church-based civil justice organization. He is also active with the Episcopal Church's Jubilee Ministries. Fr. Reinhart is the pastor of St. Clement's Episcopal Church in Blue Island. He is also the pastor of St. Joseph/St. Aidan's Episcopal Church in Blue Island.


Copyright 2006, all rights reserved.

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spacer.gif   American Open Mike Volume 2: Ted E. Recio
Posted by : cj on Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - 05:52 PM
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5897 Reads



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spacer.gif   American Open Mike Volume 2: Andrew Rafalski
Posted by : cj on Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - 05:37 PM
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6850 Reads

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** Andrew Rafalski **


NOTHING DAY

a day of nothing

nothing doing nothing going
a day of reptons and kleptons

which I construct out of leptons
my digitary splendoids

then wrap myself in
sheer cuddlons
and {with you} gleep

on a day of nothing
what's there to do
but gleep?
at the speed of dark no less


DISAPPEARING

As I disappeared
into thin air
they grabbed
my hat
but that’s all they got.

Zooming over poles
and buildings
dropping in at a party
unexpected, uninvited
and unseen.
Dull party,
no sense turning on.

So I didn’t, but instead
zoomed home,
through the wall
sat in my chair,

and
appeared!


EDIT MY NIGHTS

If I could right click and
delete my life
because of fatal errors
damaged sectors
and PC terrors,
would I?

If I could
edit my nights
from nebula oscura
for regions secret to you,
format my days,
Click
and Undo vows, wraths
and impudence,
forget your fault and my fault
and make it no fault,
would I?

The life …
all fragmented
virtually demented
sent to the recycle bin
erased from memory
expunged from cache
fatal errors recorded
logged and saved

But…
it can all be fixed:
a new PC
a fifth of scotch
and you .


Andrew Rafalski says: "My poetry sometimes reflects the tension and incompatibility between living a professional career for material benefit and a literary and philosophical life for the love of it. I have lived in several countries, but spent the majority of my recent years in the US. I’m a member of the Illinois State Poetry Society."


Copyright 2006, all rights reserved.

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