In The Now

In a voice reminiscent of Raymond Carver‘s minimalist realism, Charles Bukowski‘s raw journals of life’s underbelly and Alan Ginsberg‘s poet-political essays, Nick Masesso Jr’s fictionalized, short stories, philosophical essays, poetry and prose are funny, insightful and heartrending, describing often in non-linear dreamscape narrative with the liquid lyricism of a poet; the love, loss, joy and angst of the fascinating and often mystifying connections of men and women in the intimacy of their daily lives. His writing style is both Anti-Novel and Imagist; fragmenting and distorting the experiences of characters, forcing the reader to build a reality to the story from a disordered narrative, stressing economy of language; writing free; with precise imagery, clear, sharp language, clarity of expression and meticulous visual images in musical phrase. – Gino Rossi

 

Refugees

Defenses & Fences – Borders & Boarders

A young man in Mexico,

poor enough to live in a hut

with a dirt floor,

fiercely religious,

speaks no English,

crawls across an imaginary line

in the Desert

in the dead of night

to OZ.

He labors bent over

in a strawberry field

picking my food

for sub-standard wages,

no health care,

no other kind of care,

no safety codes,

no rules that favor him.

He pays taxes to an invisible hand every payday

for which he receives nothing.

He is reviled.

One day men with American flags

festooned on their drab military style uniforms

approach.

They call out “Criminal”.

He looks around to see

who they speak of

as their well fed

white knuckles

grip his arm.

He is going home.

Migrants in Mexico

who risk the road to Xanadu

are folk heroes.

They are urban mythologies.

Those that hire them,

the Patrons,

rich and powerful,

when weighed against their brown Mexican sweat,

are the beneficiaries.

Closed borders did not make America.

Borders open to young men and women

everywhere did.

Is it a crime to cross that line?

To feed hungry children

or wives or mothers

or only to hope

to improve one’s life?

Shame on the heretics of the American dream

and legacy.

An American is not defined

by which side of an imaginary line

he is on.

In Martin Scorsese’s epic historical film

Gangs of New York”,

the war in the streets of Hell’s Kitchen

for cultural dominance

was fought between

the Nativists,

born right” (in America)

and the foreign hoards (immigrants).

The present day debate on the “illegal”,

an unfortunate term,

smells like the stench in the five corners section

of New York City

at the dawn of America.

Take to the streets.

Strike!

Tear down the fences.

Build bridges instead.

Fences’ Fool – Americas’ Maginot Line

It won’t work you know.

The Germans proved that in 42’.

It’s a curiosity now,

a tourist destination,

a monument to man’s stupidity.

Patton said then,

If mountain ranges

and oceans

can be overcome,

anything man made can be overcome.”

Besides, The American Ponzi Scheme,

the world’s fastest escalator

to the American Dream,

must have new boarders at the bottom

to take the ride up

so the fortunate few

at the top

win.

Without the Latinos,

now the only Americans left,

(that used to be the province of the Japanese),

we are no longer America.

Archaeologists will find

the “left behind”

had fat wallets and small necks

became soft and decadent.

Like Rome.

The Maginot Line

The slaughter of French soldiers in the offensive operations of World War I haunted the nation and France was unwilling and unable to assemble a large standing army after this terrible loss. Fortifications were therefore necessary to provide time for a general mobilization. Moreover, French generals had concluded from their victory at Verdun in 1916 that defenders always triumphed.

The Maginot Line was never tested. It’s supposed impregnability lulled army leaders into complacency. They neither extended its fortifications along the French-Belgian frontier to the sea nor grasped the significance of the new German tank tactics that permitted Germany in 1940 to skirt the Maginot Line and break through the thin French defenses in the Ardennes.

New Americans Needed

We were great once,

when we huddled in masses

yearning to be Free,

before we hid behind phones

in glass and metal cars,

xenophobic, torturous, murderous.

We are ugly,

gelatinous masses now.

America belongs to the Seekers,

not to those here resting

on her fat belly.

New Americans are Needed

Apply within.

In the Hope Business

A-lone

All-alone

All-one

End Borders

Give Amnesty

Tear down fences

Build bridges

Give Sanctuary

Abolish the State

Rasta-Far

I-Man

We

can not

be

cautious and

extraordinary

at

the

same time.

Pisces Rising

“Fix your hair just right; put your jeans on tight, or wear a dress, so I can get it off real easy. Cause I’ve been thinking I’d,  like to see your eyes; open up real wide the minute that you see me.” Up All Night – Counting Crows

dress held up

Angelica sat in front of her dressing table mirror with her hair brushes, lotions and perfumes. She took down her hair. Looking over her shoulder she sensed the falling darkness in the hall as Angel swallowed the light on the stairs and listened as his familiar steps approached;

Angelica and Angel slept unaware until the sound of the milkman’s bottles clinking together on their stoop stirred Angel. Awaking he threw an arm over her soft breasts and tussled with the tangled bedclothes, a single muslin sheet that covered them, until he was pressing his muscled body fully against her, tightly; as if he were trying to melt them together as one. She felt his warm brown arm against her chest and as her eyes opened she noticed how the moonlight made the dark sheen of his skin contrast her milky white flesh. They said not a word as they made love tenderly; then silently fell back into dreamland wrapped in each others pulsing arms.

A few hours later a golden light burst through the tattered shades. It bathed them in sunshine; engulfing the bed where they lay entwined like serpents. Angel pulled his weary body up and flung a leg over the side of the bed. He felt his toe brush against the cold steel pistol as it searched for his sleepers. He made his way to the kitchen and filled her grandmother’s heirloom china tea cup with cooled water from the chilled Mason jar they kept atop a block of ice in the old galvanized dishpan. He carefully wrapped a cloth napkin around the cup and brought it to her.

I had a dream”, Angelica said as she lay in his arms. “Tell me”, Angel said. “In my dream the whole world was on fire and I was an archangel dressed in a pure white robe flying around the planet putting out the flames with a silver fire hose that had a nozzle shaped like a woman’s head with the mouth wide open. It spewed a torrent of white love light. I sprayed away at the orange flames and put each fire out one country at a time. The love water came out of my hose with so much force that I could barely hold it and when I looked down to see the source so I could turn down the volume; I saw that the hose was connected to my heart. I saw you too; down there in the crowds of people with your gun hanging at your side. As I flew away you kept getting smaller and smaller”, she said.

Angel held her even tighter. “You’re thinking beautiful thoughts again”, Angel said. “It was like free energy blasting out of my heart. The water just kept coming in torrents and coming so strong I was afraid I would drop the hose”, she said. “My friend who knows about such things, Angel said, would tell you that you just broke the first rule my sweet; nothing is free” . “Your friend is wrong. Love is free Poppy. It is a fountain that never runs dry”, she said. “We push it out in a constant stream all of our lives” Angelica said in a whispered coo.

Angel pressed his lips against her ear and asked; “Who do you love”? Angel thought she’d say “you Poppy” like she always did when he asked this rhetorical question, but this time she said, “Everyone; whoever is in front of me. I love them with my firehouse, powerful and constant”, she said. Angelica caught a sudden love shiver and whispered their secret in his ear as she moved his rough hand down between her soft damp thighs. “If you don’t want to get wet she said as she pressed his familiar hand against her flesh; don’t stand there; I’ll drown you in it”.

Football and Murder

The crescent new moon

is an eerie sliver of light.

The men are spoiling for a fight

Straining against the bonds

Of normal everyday complacency

Yearning for the purity of open combat

To labor against the cord

Once broken the fury unleashed

Where we need not modulate our force

Football and murder are in the air

We crave to flex and stretch and apply

Ourselves against an opposing force

The joy of unfettered adrenaline rushes

The Id set free

The ego bursting

To act like men

Till the day be ours

And the taste of sweat and blood and heroism and righteous victory

Trump all other pleasures

If only life were just sometimes like football or murder

And we could absolutely know who won.

STARMAN

We are stardust; billion year old carbon. We are golden; caught in the devil’s bargain. And we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.” Joni Mitchell – Woodstock

Met the Perseid Meteor Shower in the wee hours, that one happens ever year on my birthday, thinking, after waking up the following afternoon in pieces; bit at a time, that I was one of those pinpoints of light, arcing the planet for just a moment; lighting some ways. 24,090 days alive; 66 winters, 66 summers.

Should have been dead five or six times that I know about, or damaged at the least. Yet now I’m strongest at the broken places; at the top of my game. Is this heaven; the women loved? It’s to those gentle ones my memory runs. Or is it some new fresh hell to conquer? More likely its somewhere in-between, a Purgatory, wrapped in a Roman Carnival; with Barkers on the Midway.

Tracking memories from that first day to this, that first victory; the winning sperm from Dad’s joyous moment, beating out five hundred million of his others by the whimsical nature of fortune; through all the other victories and defeats, despite the joy and madness my path still finds me mostly winning; yearning for just one more adventure, one more kiss from your perfect fairy-tale lips.

The daylight world outside is tugging like a hobo at my sleeve. I hear fragments of music carried down the wind from some distant radio; like listening to your telephone voice whispering echo’s soft and low. While California’s shaking like your love hips in my brain, whispering and sighing like my tires in the rain.

To Be A Poet (by Aubrey Marcus) 

To be a poet is to wake up every morning and file the callouses from your senses. You scrub them until they are so raw that your familiar lover smells of lust and danger, a cup of coffee is like a warm hug from an old friend, and morning sunshine still tickles with the light of unmanifested dreams.

Stephen Dunn says, “All good poems are victories over something.” The poet trades 1000 days of idle leisure for any adventure. A chance at victory. A chance that their entire life can be an epic poem that echoes in the halls of eternity.

If on this path a poet suffers a tragedy, she does not claw in panic from the depths of despair. She breathes… and digs deeper. For she knows that her only salvation is on the other side of that hole, where there are no demons left unmasked, and no poisonous tears unspilled.

To be a poet is to have one true enemy with many names. Emptiness, numbness, apathy. When a poet feels these things he throws himself into a passion, a challenge, a fight, a dance, anything to make him feel. He despises those ameliorates that dull his senses, and heralds that which fuels his fire. And if that which fuels his fire is fire itself, he cares not. For as Soren Kierkegaard says, “A poet is not an apostle; he drives out devils only by the power of the devil.”

A poet can express unimaginable joy, but he never brags. A poet can express unimaginable heartbreak, but he never complains. A poet is a tuning fork that resounds the human experience, and Fortune herself, the striker.

The difference between a poet and a soldier, is that the soldier’s heart is full of scars armored in Spartan red. Whatever pain he might feel, whatever innocence he may carry is guarded by his impenetrable ethos. A poet goes to life without armor because he knows only when you are vulnerable to injury are you susceptible to bliss.

Walt Whitman wrote the prayer for the soul of a poet. “Sail Forth- Steer for the deep waters only. Reckless O soul, exploring. I with thee and thou with me. For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared go. And we will risk the ship, ourselves, and all.”

What is life then, but one grand adventure, one epic poem? To be a poet is to embrace the story of your life as it unfolds. To play the hero, to fall in love, to have your heart broken, to fall in love again, again, again, to fail, to despair, to inspire… To be a poet is to live.

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