Monday, March 31, 2014

POEM: "Draw A Human Heart"

Draw A Human Heart

Sheets of blank paper 
Pencils to the KTV 
First time reach the note 
Can’t live if living is without you 
Draw a human heart. 

© 2014 Rob Schackne

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

POEM: "Thank You...And Goodnight!"

Thank You...And Goodnight!

Good evening ladies and germs...

Hey waiter how 'bout my fuckin' drink!
Hey! Does your mother know you're here?
(They get too excited they break things)

I’m going to rip off Bill Hicks
And I’m going to rip off Louis CK
Then I’m going to rip off Denis Leary
(I don’t feel like telling my own jokes tonight)

First day at the Shanghai Noodle Factory
The line-boss comes up to him and says
“OK pal so we’re making these noodles
There's 3 things you got to remember…”

It looks like everyone here is loaded
It looks like all my bills are unpaid
My dog can't walk toilet doesn't flush
I'm losing my hair as fast as my appetite

My wife left me last week stole my kids
Things are gone to hell right now we're here

I'm drinking lots more since then not least
The lump on my scrotum's getting bigger

You can figure out the first crunch
You can probably guess the second one
Punchline’s getting a little tricky now...
Believe me comedy is no joke.

© 2014 Rob Schackne

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

POEM: "Walking Down The Street"

Walking Down The Street

                                          for Tim Hetherington & Chris Hondros

Meet my gaze, it's only natural
Look at me as you would a friend
Wait on the way to child or lover
Boss or belligerence, sacred duty

In the family village compound
In Afghanistan, you shot bandits
What do you carry a knife for
When the fruits are all dried?

But my kingdom is a horse
My shoulders, all my humours
I do not count your invisible steps
Or the invisible weights you carry

Afterwards, after the cordite
There's always at least one starer
Beyond the buildings, a hard ship
She's fondling a brick like a future

I will follow you, it's how we move
Till we both gallop across the field
Opposite the glances that break it
A fierce young horse in the yard

The shoes and my silk dressing gown
You know how I yearned for softness
The rounds are closer now, a shit-fight
No better cover here, I run, good night.

© 2011 Rob Schackne

Monday, March 17, 2014

POEM: "6 Little Poems to Remember"

6 Little Poems to Remember

No form for beauty
anywhere near the end
till I scuffle to get in line

Jeez even mangoes
which are born to be ripe
have a Platonic form

Here I dream of bridges
that have always led to
places I’ve been before

Young Chinese Neighbor
has a finger up his nose
how perfected the search

Jeans dream of youth
it’s no embarrassment
it's a small planet

[hidden track]

© 2014 Rob Schackne

Saturday, March 8, 2014

A Floyd Skloot Poem

Open Country

It is both spring and summer here
where we have stopped, halfway home.
Lupine blues the hillside still capped
in snow, the air braces as it warms
between drifting clouds, and a late
afternoon squall brews to the west.
We walk to the fence and stretch.
Calves bolting from our shadows lose
themselves in the sheer joy of play.
We can almost touch a rippled ridge
of Ponderosa Pine that could be five
miles away. Now the light we saw leave
the tops of those trees flows downslope.
It seems to stagger across a fold of land,
then ripple through the grass on its way
to find us where we stand together.


Friday, March 7, 2014

POEM: "A Little Kid On The Beach"

A Little Kid On The Beach

Whether out far or deep in
the arm is near the sand
we’re drowning or waving
a little matter of perspective
now looking at Miller’s photo
of the night sky with Jupiter
as near to us as the Moon
thus I have almost heard
the thunders of a distant god

& what remains of this time on Earth
like the Sun Buddha might again
come back as Smokey the Bear
to shout only you can conquer fear

don't rest but rescue everything
unravel the tide watch it coming in.

© 2013 Rob Schackne

PHOTO: "A Shanghai Bird in March 2014"

You’re a poet, so how do you forget your memory? How don't you see it? Just the other day my mate and I were complaining about how we never hear the birds anymore. How we miss them. But for once early this morning I was actually awake. As the sun was coming up I heard some singing outside my window. (You're very funny, Julie. Yes, they were birds.) They stopped around 7:30. After that I suppose they keep their voices down. After that something zooming past sounded like a Ducati. But maybe I was wrong about that.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

POEM: "A Letter, Hello, Farewell"

A Letter, Hello, Farewell

Dear friend I have heard
life in the shape of animals

it gives life everlasting
till each slave beast dies

sidewalk moves masses
from the sides of the fence

& the real true road has
no obvious destination

wind takes every face
& offers another breath

before all gets kited on
last pent-up feelings

rain (water) the last resort
up on the next long strings

(I don’t know how they do it)

somehow the show-off is
demagnetized at the poles

positive and negative
it's a planetary swing

tomorrows (time is a thing)
seem to come long after the days.

© 2014 Rob Schackne

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

POEM: "Three Walls"

Three Walls                          

                                   for Yang Lei, 1982

Because when I was much younger
I imagined a warmer home for us all
A haphazard collection of good uses
Our next tradition, a different love

About the same time Comrade Lei Feng
Becomes immortal watching his old mother
Famous for three walls, no candles, no roof
The rain, cold winters, a long history of bugs

Proletarian dreams...a country girl
1980s slowly kicking home from school
Why couldn’t Xiao Feng try the temples
Sounder sleep, regular meals, a job for life?

The day Mao admires a common soldier
Propaganda’s tale becomes the Truth
The spiders get busy spinning Revolution
Four walls, cold water, dirt floor, mud roof

Wherever He went, we would follow Him
Forty years of Slogan to ensure momentum
They said the People’s Will was everything
(In the museum we saw the ropes they used)

Like any hunger does, tomorrow came at night
Selling beef and chicken, rice and oil futures
Cement floor, shower, low interest, electric light
The dizzy architectures of our glorious comrades

For all I have of this life today, one good turn
Away from the past and all that dereliction

I still dream of whatever it was that was coming
Mostly of beehives and hybrid strains of pollen.

© 2004/2014 Rob Schackne

Sunday, March 2, 2014

POEM: "At Losar"

At Losar

                         for Patterson

It’s a test in moderation
I’ve got a date with Spring
with some Shanghai poets
plum trees & new blossoms

some are pink some are white
the Famous Poet tells us
it's the new emblem of China
young Charlotte introduces me
we all read a couple of poems
Minnow reads one that invokes
Li Bai then he mocks himself
Sexy Girl reads most seriously
Actress can dance hers beautifully
kids are scattered beneath the trees
they sway like little lotus roots
Imei says poetry isn't a profession
and for once I hold my tongue
I read a poem about frustration
a hundred photos are taken
I wear your soft red scarf
when this sun stops the rain
and shines for just an hour
people say they love you.

© 2014 Rob Schackne

Saturday, March 1, 2014

A Cees Nooteboom Poem


Desolate species, humans.
Everything needs to be conquered,
a thousand Buddhas can’t reverse the stream,
the stone in the middle remains unpolished.

The teachings of the titmouse.
What’s that supposed to mean?
Minus ten and it’s been working all day,
searching the hedge for a morsel.

In the distance I see the world,
in the corner, behind that car,
deeply passionate music
sweeps the litter into a heap.

It’s here alone or more.
Woe to those who have the most words.
They’re up to their knees in night,
their book of faces full of names
and mould.

In the stable thirteen goats are born.
Trixy barks at a shadow of white.

(2012) Tr. David Colmer