Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Joe Napora remarks about distance, concealed weapons and one redwood.

Joe Napora sent three poems for the Cloudburst Council. Suggestion...you might read them.
                                                                                                --- Alan Casline

A few remarks about distance  
                                for Mary Laird

As he records in his book
lonely Jack Kerouac
saunters through Ashland
looking for Walt Whitman’s
abode, not any house

no domicile but a haven
not a haunt nor
a haunted house
where ghosts refuge
from the open road,

he spies a woman
standing beneath the marquee
 of the Paramount Theater.

It’s over seventy degrees
in my Kentucky town
along the Ohio River
on a January day that
should freeze the breath in
 to short gasps of pain. Jack.
 You are not on my mind.

It’s this eleven year old girl
who asked her  mother
to buy my book, a hand made
book of a long poem called
Snaketrain  Freightrain

and though it could reference
you and Neal and take me
along for the ride
it’s with Khlebnikov
Mayakovsky, Sandino
and the massacre of students
in Mexico City at the 1968
Olympics. What was it

that this girl read
at the table where Mary
was packing up her books
what did she find that
moved her to ask for
this poem for her birthday?

For the price of the book
she could have had an X-Box
an I-Phone, a couple pair
of running shoes
to take her on the road
from Los Angeles to Ashland
to stand below the sign
at the theater where
I would write a world
about her that would be
a home where she
could be safe, a place
where she can be
the Queen of Hearts

and not end shattered
and a broken princess
against the bullet holed
wall that keeps us  alone
and distant forever

Concealed Weapons

                They locked
                the Police State
                in with us. –Jack Hirschman
                                “The June Stilts Arcane”
This and that.
His nd hat.
Is n at.
We stop and look
not from this
and then that
is what we see.
His hat. My god
how could we
you and me have
missed that?

It is a soldier’s cap
on the head of
a head of
a child.
The child who you
you just met
walking toward you
on the street.

They have interiorized
the terrorists.
Terror was no error.
It fit them as
as they say
to a T an error
purposely done
to keep us down
not out  not out
with each reach
of our desire to be
complete. Take that
child’s hand
take both and that
give him a ball cap
and maybe that
will keep him
from his gun.

One Redwood: the abc’s of money
                        for Jack Hirschman

a.  The pathology of accounting

“If you’ve see one redwood
you’ve seen them all.” He
never said that. He said
something much worse. A curse.

We live still
and restless and we die
in the long night
of dark money. Millionaires

of deviant schemes and
billionaires buy elections
the way we buy espresso
at Specs and Café Trieste.

He said, and it began with him
this rapid and rabid turn
against the poor, the young,
against the people who create wealth

with hands and heart. Against the artist
the poet. He said,
and he turned on you, us, he said
when my highschool friends

were playing cards and I think
Csaba was there, someone turned
on the television and he was there
pimping for laundry detergent  I said

that’s one scary son of a bitch,
he said,  I mean, if you've looked
at a hundred thousand acres or so of trees—
you know, a tree is a tree, how many more

do you need to look at?” Look at
the dollar bill in my hand. I see one
and a hundred thousand in his. How many
more do I need to look at?

Judi Bari saw one and tried
to save them all. Reagan gave the EPA
to Lee Muller Thomas who became
the president of Georgia Pacific.

Sharon wrote the great poem
about this attempted assassination
of Judi and Daryl. She’ll drink
with us as we wait and watch.

 The money grows
and goes to the 400 families who rule
over us, who stamp into “this Neruda earth”
their bloody booted Iron Heel.

b. Counting lesson

At the gift shop I buy a baby
redwood, 6 inches now to grow
to 200 feet in some distant future.
Ronald Reagan is long dead

but his spore have spawned a multitude
of zombie politicians whose only goal
in this dead living is to transfer money
from us to their masters.

Financial (Non-Home) Wealth
Top 1 percent  Next 19 percent Bottom 80 percent
1983    42.9%              48.4%                 8.7%
2010    42.1%              53.5%                 4.7%

We accept as the nature of things
that the top 20% own 95% of the wealth
and create none. My tiny redwood
 is the only one I can see now.  It

sits at my window where outside
three deer eat up the corn
Barbara leaves for them.  There is
a sadness in this side and out.

But when I return to San Francisco
and we walk and talk again
we’ll count the redwood rings
on display at Muir woods.

We’ll mark the growth
of wealth garnered through the tricks
of no tradesman’s work
of the great and widening gap

from us to them. We mark a big flag
at the Walmart ring: "Today the Walton family
 own more wealth than the bottom
 40 percent of America.”

c. Fairy Tale Finance

I wanted a bumper sticker
that read I Hated George Bush
Before it was Cool. But now
I feel as square as the Congress

who follow Obama, rats chasing
the Pied Piper of Big Money.
We dance to another tune
but we know that soon

it all comes crashing down
like London Bridge between
those who have taken
and those who have given

of themselves. The sleeping giant
 rises with no illusion
as to who is the enemy.
The dirt under nails

and on hands is enough
to feed the growth
of the thousands of redwoods
Reagan wished to cut

for condos for the rich
and famous for wanting
it all and for once
in a time beyond counting

they get only what
they deserve. And we
we get ours. Espresso.
I’ll buy. That banker serves.

3 poems by Joe Napora

bio:  Joe Napora, most distinctive achievement: over thirty five years of correspondence with Ken Warren. Former editor and publisher of BullHead. Most recent publications:Sentences and Bills : 1917;  and FINK; and The Daniel Boone Poems.

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