Adam Brodsky Cleveland Heights, OH poet

*
and though the live-oak glistens there in Louisiana,

solitary in a wide flat space,

uttering joyous leaves all its life without a friend a lover near,

I know very well I could not

Walt Whitman

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jb
Jim Lang and Ben Gulyas clear of sockets

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Oh, Sunflower (for Lang)

Oh, sunflower–
socket clear & skeleton thick–
w/roots every which way
connecting it
across time
to loneliness…

Oh, beauty,
waiting perfect
in tin cans
we’ve come
to gently stew in…
Sunflower,
the foto finish shows
you’re black & white,
a stalk in the night,
a glare,
a caption.

In twilight,
you stood alone
with it all running through,
a rail yard,
a bottle cap,
a memory,
a train.

Those shoes
were big enough for two
& two more.
You led the pack
putting familiars
before
the direction
your beard pointed.
A theme.

Even with strangers,
you were never alone,
sunflower.
On the bus.
Horsing around.
Trailing the tears.
Making moments.
Climbing
lines of smoke
into clouds.
Disappearing
into a hat.
It was a party:
Lang gone wild.
A discussion.
Take your stalk & go.
Hoof it
back into family,
forward into history,
with a paper bag
of words
that stars fall out of
& dreams.
Look, there’s a penny.
No, it’s a dime.

June, moon, tune, croon,
Oh, sunflower.
Train, train, train.

*

Adam Brodsky is a poet, publisher and educator who performs guitar songs round the parts of Cleve.

Ben Gulyas Cleveland, OH

In the orphan twilight…
footsteps walk with low beats in the dirt…
somewhere over us all is this river mist…
the boat docks clang in the dark,
bells of fog memory come loose,
lives walking in lost shoes,
a bottle of retsina slips from a stained hand,
shaped like a crow’s wing…
miles of tangled tales and chest treasures of the human roar…
food for blues…
buckwheat and egg fat,
pulled groin, instant coffee and navy beans…
and here comes ungendered red, who can’t keep a single bone straight in his body,
baring witness to the unfit and the ever-unyielding shell game…
a lifetime here, a theatre hall there,
3-penny ballads of tropic isles and coal towns
pulling down the mountain
where the gamble is the perfect blues
by which to hang your heart out on the line,
washed in steamed hops, corn-apple & rye… making a fine wardrobe
for walkin the tracks
in between cultures and histories…
bus stop gardens and yesterday’s mail delivered in torn pants…
down the rails churn the skarchangling-pummeling sounds of
train tonnage heaving past
just a wing beat away from tug boat femurs of the depot…
a coffee jaw at the diner, a bent eye on the hot wire…
diesel horn, sparrow throat,
pound that pavement and fly!…
pound that pavement and fly!…

Ben Gulyas is a poet bartender and librarian in Cleveland, OH. Friday nights he performs his Money for the Band routine, improvising poetry for a ten minute set between acts, before passing a hat for the musicians who play at the Barking Spider Tavern in the campus of Case Western Reserve University. He was short listed as the Best Performing Poet in the Network of Schemers and Dreamers three times between the years 1987-1993. He once climbed out his window and scaled a tall tree to get at a branch and shake off a catbird who wouldn’t let him sleep.