Featured Online Poems
The Poseidon Adventure Comes to North Babylon, New York
Crammed like steerage in the old theater,
we all recognized Shelley Winters’ character—
each one of us had a grandmother like that
or had a friend with a grandmother like that.
Growing up on the shore, we were also not
surprised by that great wave of movie water—
we knew what the ocean could do.
Our 70s were filled with pious reminders
of Good and Evil, messages from movies
told us that anyone, anything could sift through us:
sharks, earthquakes, mad bombers on planes,
the Devil’s son, the Mafia, fires in high rises.
We knew long before the house in Amityville,
just two towns away, gave way to ghosts
and film rights what might await us, and it did:
Ronald De Feo, Jr.
Son of Sam.
We had seen them before, in the dark,
as we cheered and screamed and filled up on popcorn
and candy. Goodness would not help.
We saw good characters die and become
an off-hand remark made by the heroes
at the end of the film.
Evil came in many forms,
and when Shelley Winters gulped
water for air and clutched her heart
as it exploded, we learned like
the good children we were that no one
was safe and nothing could be trusted.
It would be a handy lesson to know.
Crab Orchard Review Vol 7 No 2 S/S 2002
Sex and Death
One student sees sex in everything we read,
but not in a Freudian way, or a frat boy way,
or even in away that would make me cancel
early morning office hours like that semester
I had a level 2 sex offender in class.
He sees it and is repelled, chastising
with tongue clucks each pervert author.
He has cracked the code
and his tests are wars of morality,
battlefields to prove how duped I have been,
how naïve I must be. He is sure I am innocent
of purposefully trying to deflower
their brains, those tender muscles that are too busy
to think about death—which I can’t help
but see in every dead author we read—
because there is sex all around them, the sex
I am forcing onto them as if I were groping them
in my office, the sex that has so obviously
obsessed everyone secretly until—
thank God for us all--he came along.
The Teacher's Voice, 2005