Saturday, October 31, 2015

A Gary Hershorn Photo (NYC, 2015)

Write even a slightly better poem than the one I'm trying to write now about Siamese twins contemplating suicide after spending a glorious day in Central Park watching the squirrels...and everyone will thank you very much, I'm sure.

Friday, October 30, 2015

MUSIC: The Suffers, 6 Songs

The Suffers are an American soul band from Houston, Texas consisting of Kam Franklin, Adam Castaneda, Alex Zamora, Kevin Bernier, Cory Wilson, Jon Durbin, Michael Razo, José Luna, Patrick Kelly, and Nick Zamora. They were formed in 2011. Enjoy!

Monday, October 26, 2015

POEM: "The Fisherman"

The Fisherman 

Fish for bait, or the other
the eyes tell it deep or shallow
knowledge, such as it is, hard-won

the day begins with diesel smell 
and rags, I read luck with hope 
sixty years and never read a book
writing a thousand poems in my head

it’s early morning on the river, very still 
I put on a clean shirt and start the motor.

© 2015 Rob Schackne

Photo: Kristin Krahl (2015)

Saturday, October 24, 2015

POEM: "Suboptics"


What does it mean
the night's a dark box
and dogs are barking in it

reading the reports
of a spectacular sunset
looking at Colombian coffee

but the road's invisible
how do you know where you are
why sleep for a thousand years

there must be drums
before the poem is shouted
and spirits roll up to the dance

his big eyes are lifted
to the glorious Andean Condor
fading into tired binoculars

like sleep is to a hangar
like an airplane taking off
airspace turns to outer space

© 2015 Rob Schackne

Thursday, October 22, 2015

MUSIC: Titi Robin & Mehdi Nassouli, "La Femme Idéale" (Live, 2015)

The great French guitar, buzuq, mandolin and ’oud player Thierry "Titi" Robin, with the great young Moroccan guembri player El Mehdi for a few minutes you can stop what you're doing now and listen.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

POEM: "Incubo"


I. Politica/Sogni

Reach down under the blanket
late night attaching to your body
a little preening thing nondescript
misshapen unformed maybe white
like an invisible tail anyway it is
useless and indigent now certo
not a she this is no beautiful dream
it doesn’t intend to warm your bed
it wants you it’s not clear what for

II. Bertolt Brecht/Billy Strayhorn

The lush lives glide o’er the sea
a pinch here a pinch there you there
entitled to a rest with peaceful thoughts
the rest of service surrenders to the hungry ghosts
who cannot speak unqualified for the street
well it’s dumb waiting for unexpected things
lift my leg swerve avoid shun cross over
anything I don’t know yet is waiting
I won’t transubstantiate my sober body

III. Nessun Dorma

Were I a better fighter I’d stop writing
these letters to the future change me
into a demon that recharges fate
and if a better poet I’d crack skulls
till there was only the two of us here
tossing yarrow stalks in a dream
nothing won nothing gained nothing
that wouldn’t sit quietly inside the clock
waiting for our fortunes to flick past

IV. If It’s Not Asking Too Much

No matter where the male or female sings
a chattering ape sits in the corner of the room
the rule of fourths says that three-quarters
who have the disease will never be at peace
all teeth are grinding through the visitation
tie the fellow up he’ll listen to your counsel
providence offers a haven to the pirate tribes
men walked proud from the bluest ocean
out of frame there was a steep cliff and trees

V. Poetry/Sex/Eat/Sleep

Of course it will get something from you
third wife the boss girlfriend the barbie
incubi will incorporate all shapes remember
it’s not a fantastic dream there is no bed
awash in smells of precious oils these sheets
so wound in washing machine dreams
you awake wild-eyed lately even a hint
of smoke in the air above the pillows
the words poor teacher a poet this world

© 2014 Rob Schackne

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A Robin Beth Schaer Poem


In a time of faint beasts, no room
is left in the boats. With thin hands,

we huddle sheep and dip a hundred
reeds in mud. The nets wheel away

so often now, sinking through days
poured furious over threshing feet.

As though dared in a foreign tongue
to knot our sleeves, we swim through

broken oars, shout off slender days.
Snakes may cling to trees, and men

tear at bread, but the sky stays hinged.
Only heaven is full of furniture.

We harness ourselves over and over,
wherever hope is a yellow shore.


Monday, October 19, 2015

A Robert Pinsky Poem

Samurai Song

When I had no roof I made
Audacity my roof. When I had
No supper my eyes dined.

When I had no eyes I listened.
When I had no ears I thought.
When I had no thought I waited.

When I had no father I made
Care my father. When I had
No mother I embraced order.

When I had no friend I made
Quiet my friend. When I had no
Enemy I opposed my body.

When I had no temple I made
My voice my temple. I have
No priest, my tongue is my choir.

When I have no means fortune
Is my means. When I have
Nothing, death will be my fortune.

Need is my tactic, detachment
Is my strategy. When I had
No lover I courted my sleep.


Sunday, October 18, 2015

POEM: "To The Who That's Who I'm Talking To"

To The Who That’s Who I’m Talking To

Today the President got freaky
The bank manager killed himself
The kindergarten teacher cried all day
(You wonder what this has to do with you)
Your boss’s husband left for good last night
Your old waitress is thinking about quitting
The shoes you’re wearing will die next month
And you’re reading because you want some what?

© 2015 Rob Schackne

Saturday, October 17, 2015

A Louise Glück Poem (2)

The Night Migrations

This is the moment when you see again
the red berries of the mountain ash
and in the dark sky
the birds’ night migrations.

It grieves me to think
the dead won’t see them

these things we depend on,
they disappear.

What will the soul do for solace then?
I tell myself maybe it won’t need
these pleasures anymore;
maybe just not being is simply enough,
hard as that is to imagine.


Friday, October 16, 2015

A W.B. Yeats Poem (2)

The Old Men Admiring Themselves in the Water

I HEARD the old, old men say,
"Everything alters,
And one by one we drop away."
They had hands like claws, and their knees
Were twisted like the old thorn trees
By the waters.
I heard the old, old men say,
"All that's beautiful drifts away
Like the waters."


Thursday, October 15, 2015

POEM: "That Spoonful"

That Spoonful
                               Some men dies about it.
                                  Willie Dixon

Could be a spoonful of money
One more spoonful of hope
The spoon of one more tired mile

That spoon of her look as she walked past

Instant coffee under desert clouds
Of one more inch in the yard
Of the rain that mixes down

The spoonful of you and me
Could be a spoonful of little dreams
A spoonful of the ways and means

I don't think I remember

The many ways to come here
Of the cups that are poured in the sand
A spoonful of what a word can mean

Could be the spoon of old desire
Could be the spoonful of mystery
Maybe the spoon when the door is shut

Every story that was true

Could be the spoon of bad weather
The spoonful sitting in the dark
The spoonful against coming home

Everybody lies about it

The spoonful of being gone.

© 2011 Rob Schackne

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

POEM: "Casus Belli, A Slight Misunderstanding"

Casus Belli, A Slight Misunderstanding

The last war in Disneyland started when
Mary Poppins let off a few angry rounds
Mickey dives for cover, Minnie grabs an M-16

The tourists head for Goofy (lost it completely)
They then circle back around to Yosemite Sam
Who thunders Send those varmints to tarnation!

Elmer Fudd quickly hands out his rifle collection
Daffy (in his element) looks for better defilade
Beep-beep says Roadrunner this one's for you asshole!
Heckle and Jeckle are conducting some aerial recon
Unca Donald's ducks-in-diapers guerrillas move out
(Popeye and Olive Oyl are looking after the kids)
Then Tweetie Pie and Sylvester in common cause
Suspend their misery, they get détente, they get cracking
Put down an RPG on the enemy flank (for once exposed)
Scrooge McDuck is furious at his helicopter throttle
The tourists rally forces and overcome the rebels
Bugs Bunny emerges from his position singing.

© 2014 Rob Schackne

Saturday, October 10, 2015

POEM: "Past the pot-holes"

"Past the pot-holes"

Past the pot-holes
and the hot dust
all advice is bias

an empty cicada shell
is halfway down
a cormorant's throat

a gathering of memories
on the riverbank
noise like you don't believe

the magicians produce
jars of time and laughter     
there is no tomorrow

© 2015 Rob Schackne

Friday, October 2, 2015

POEM: "Mountains"


faded ink
in the distance
ideas are small
at breakfast
2 eggs & bacon
some toast

no cliff
no kisses
come sunset
a few cigarettes
a few beers
the pink glow
big lights
a cat rubs my ankle.

                   Oct. 1 - Yangshuo, Guangxi

© Rob Schackne 2015