June 26, 2009

counting money (a sonnet)

Work ends, the paymaster gives what is owed
The worker is left to count his money
Mail comes from the bank that I must decode
Bills come together: today is rainy
Seems there is never quite enough in there
The taxman takes his cut before I do
Everyone wants to take, God, is this fair?
Something left for me is long-overdue
Counting does not make the bank account grow
Counting does not make the creditors leave
It only tells us to sacrifice so
Next month we can spend less than we receive
When I count I see that I will survive
With care, I think that I will even thrive

michael david jay (Hutchinson, KS, 1976)

June 23, 2009

when we were kids, mom was married
and dad was a hero

drawn sand strand anew
the backseat full and sticky
covered with two towels
burning plastic and coconut

dwell in peace, slow motion,
everybody up and running
yet another beach
late ping-pong hours

mom was always cooking
dad was always fixing the car
he didn't let us in with sand covered feet
we did our best to clean

mom was always cooking
she didn't let us burn
and pulled her cotton wrapped finger,
iodated touch, hideous trick

all healed and cured
she always seemed so happy
fixing sandwiches, spreading sun block
she seemed but wasn't

summer was two weeks of ping-pong,
tool handling, cleaning after
dad could fix everything
mom loved him and all of us

mom could fix an itchy throat
yet another beach
and they went for a walk
and we all seemed so happy

we did our best not to bring the sand in
clean after ourselves
we did our very best
all of us

paul betbeder (Washington, DC, 1978)

June 10, 2009


below my chest lies concrete
a scarf half stolen bears resemblance
the crisp memory of a narrow street
you and me wishing for a ride home
elbows, neck, are all the same
expect no delays as I've said it all
won't come back for a negative answer
I won't ask what I already know
though bear in mind
love is persistent, weather resistant, geographically challenged
and curiously circular
in long unexpected returns
back to the very beginning
starting all over again from nowhere

michael s. lebon (Baltimore, MD, 1974)