Archives for posts with tag: 1960s

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Seventeen
by Joseph Kleponis

post-election blues
silent majority wins
Nixon finally prez

swaggering QB
Broadway Joe leads Jets past Colts
bettors take big hit

our dreams coming true
Neil Armstrong walks on the moon
nothing we can’t do

no acrimony
The Beatles do it again
Abbey Road album

making love, not war
tie dye t-shirts, long hair
except the squares, man

The year was nineteen sixty-nine
Times were oh so wild, we were so fine.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: On the road somewhere a little older, but not by much, than 17.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Since the topic was “AT 17” I tried to be quirky and create 17 lines broken into five tercets/haiku lines with seventeen syllables each and a closing couplet of seventeen syllables.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Joseph Kleponis
lives North of Boston, Massachusetts. His poetry has appeared in Leaflet, the Journal of the New England Association of Teachers of English,  paperwasp, Eucalypt, as well as Boston Literary Magazine and other small publications. He writes a blog Pieces of My Mind: Mendacious Musings.

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1969
by Kerfe Roig

My only thought what
I was not. Uninvited.
Unrequited. But

Beautiful feeling
The Age of Aquarius
New day is coming

These new voices gave
more choices: one of many
singing harmony.

What am I to do?
Time to sit down and wonder
Better get ready

With guitar and Hair
going where an opening
mind left fear behind.

SONGS FROM 1969 BILLBOARD TOP 100 REFERENCED IN THE POEM:
“Crimson and Clover,” “Aquarius,” “Crystal Blue Persuasion,” “Going in Circles,” and “Too Busy Thinking About My Baby.”

IMAGE: Psychedelic self-portrait by Kerfe Roig.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: At 17, I was lost, a bundle of insecurities. The music of that tumultuous year, 1969, helped me to find a place to belong both with my peers and in the world, while at the same time opening my thinking to new possibilities.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kerfe Roig
enjoys transforming words and images into something new. Follow her explorations on the blog she does with her friend Nina: methodtwomadness.wordpress.com.

AUTHOR IMAGE: Self-portrait by Kerfe Roig.

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Crossroads
by Cynthia Bryant

Nightfall contained pitch-thick air of desert
though muted night-lights glistened above
no light made its way through doorless opening
into the adobe pueblo with earthen floors
floors to sit, fitfully sleep upon
ample water from a nearby well

Daylight hours spent in town
daughter perched on hip
husband’s eyes hawk-like from a distance
as we pulled manna from the hearts of tourists
for formula, diapers, food
enough to gas the psychedelic painted van
bartered for in Colorado the month before

Barely into my seventeenth year
on the sly with Army-deserter husband
who hid beneath a dark-haired wig
tied at his forehead with rawhide band
Our hungry daughter
whose bottom prickled with rash
that year outside of Taos

Summer season brought happy diversions
shared with brightly clad wanderers
whose long hair, beads, bandanas
colored my world
as they trickled eastward
toward rumors of days and nights
filled with free love, music

We stayed on
unable to follow the dreamers
Our young family
pressed deep into living
that summer of ’69
battling survival and dysentery
against colorless New Mexico backdrop
under shadow of fading youth

SOURCE: “Crossroads” was previously published at othervoicespoetry.org (1/18/2007).

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: The picture was taken in 1969 — when I was 17 —  with my daughter after we escaped the marriage.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: “Crossroads” was written after much therapy and healing from the childhood horrors I escaped early to marriage at just 16, motherhood at 17.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: First published in 1997 by two important journals dealing with childhood sexual abuse, Cynthia Bryant has since been published in over 50 anthologies. Her poetry is on numerous websites, an e-book and she has recorded her poems for play on e-radio as well as community television. She has self-published eight chapbooks of poetry which are available in Kansas City, Missouri, as well as many California locations. Most notably Cynthia’s poetry books Sojourn, Pebbles in the Shoe as well as No Time to Shoot the Poets have been accepted in the Ina Coolbrith’s Circle library section in Sacramento’s State Library’s Special Collections Reading Room. You can find her Poets’s Lane page on Facebook.

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Summer 1966: After France & Remembering Bobby,
Who One Day Would Learn to Multiply and Divide,
Write Love Poems, Define Home, Fight Unfairly and
Live with as Much Gusto as a 7-Year Old. Perhaps.
by Robert Okaji

From left coast to right, or the wide arc between,
which place claimed you? In New York you marveled
at the building’s backs scratched by clouds, and all your
pale cousins in Baltimore spoke strangely and couldn’t fathom
your nuclear family’s private lingo, while the drive to Texas
and its red ants and iced tea blossomed into adventures between
pages in the back seat of the VW bug. By the second week you
learned that Texans sweat as much as the French, and swear even
more, that you couldn’t fight one twin without taking on the other,
sometimes both at once. There was no question of fairness then,
just brotherhood, but the librarian would slip you the choicest
donated fiction, and you played baseball every day in the vacant lot
until sundown called the players home to black and white body
counts and cigarette commercials on the three channels received.
Sometimes you lay in bed under the half-light of the whirring
fan blades, and dreamt of heroes and ornithopters, zebras
and the scent of chocolate chip cookies in the oven. Other nights
you wondered how words could rest so calmly on one page yet
explode off the next, or why a man would climb a tower in Austin
to kill fourteen people when opportunities for mayhem and murder
burgeoned across the sea. Wasn’t living a matter of simple
subtraction? One by one the days parted and you walked through
that dwindling heat, eyes squinting, questions in hand, emerging
fifty years later having suffered additions and division and the
cruelties of love and success, honor and truth, still asking why
and how, home or house, where it went, your shoulders slumping
under the heft of those beautiful, terrible summers stacked high
like so many life-gatherings of unread books awaiting a bonfire.

SOURCE: A version of this titled “Bonjour, Texas” appeared on the blog A Holistic Journey.

IMAGE: Vintage Texas postcard.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Robert Okaji lives in Texas. A self-described military brat, he moved many times over the course of his childhood. He is the author of the chapbooks If Your Matter Could Reform (Dink Press, 2015) and The Circumference of Other, which is included in Ides: A Collection of Poetry Chapbooks (Silver Birch Press, 2015), as well as a micro-chapbook, You Break What Falls (Origami Poems Project). His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Glass, Hermeneutic Chaos, Panoplyzine, Steel Toe Review, riverSedge, Eclectica, and elsewhere. Visit his blog, O at the Edges, at robertokaji.com.

PHOTO: The author with his Italian guitar, purchased between moves in 1976.

Hands of young potter
Throwing a Perfect Pot
by Tobi Alfier

IF I had an imaginary skill it would be as an artist. I would wear flowered sundresses and sandals, braid my hair, and have a booth at the long-gone Whole Earth Marketplace where I would throw pots all day. I would take them to my aunt, the REAL artist, for glazing beauty and then to a studio that rented kiln space. I would sell my work for what amounted to ten cents an hour, make friends with all the other hippie-types with their VW vans and a dollar fifty-two in their checking accounts, say “yes, I saw Ghost” a hundred times a day to all the “real” people coming to shop, and be perfectly happy. I would trade a bowl for a pair of dichroic glass dangling earrings, shave my legs never, and sing Joni Mitchell songs, or all the songs to Hair, in my head as my hands got strong and the clay did my bidding.

PHOTO: “Making a pot” by Best Photo Studio, used by permission.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I’m still a bit of a hippie. I still know the words to most Joni Mitchell songs and most of the songs to Hair. But the art is gone. Others in my family are blessed that they can call themselves artists. I can’t even pick out paint colors.

talfierABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tobi Alfier is a multiple Pushcart nominee and a Best of the Net nominee. Current chapbooks are The Coincidence of Castles from Glass Lyre Press and Romance and Rust from Blue Horse Press. Down Anstruther Way is forthcoming from FutureCycle Press. She is the co-editor of San Pedro River Review (www.bluehorsepress.com).

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L’amour s’en va
(for Françoise Hardy)
by Françoise Harvey

Disappointment is a flavour I carry with me;
it’s salt cast behind me against men of a certain age and disposition.
Eyesight marred by music, they read V as D and hope they’ll see
you, smouldering behind your fringe in a mouldy flat in Peckham;
you, behind the lines they thought sang from that story.
We neither of us ask to be stalked or talked to or misread
but I have to shield myself against the wince that is my lack of your glory.
No beauty, it’s enough to bathe in the afterglow of the light shed
by you, and smile, and nod, and sprinkle salt on their tongues
by being older than the you they cling to, by not knowing your songs.

PHOTO: French singer/actress Françoise Hardy, 1960s.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I jumped at the chance to take part in this call for submissions. My parents occasionally tell me I was named after Françoise Hardy, but I’m not sure how true this is. As well as writing poetry/prose, I also sing and play a number of instruments –- with no results that go beyond soundcloud –-  and the name comparison tends to come up with middle-aged and older men either before they meet me in person or if music comes up in conversation (it’s never been mentioned by women). I have been accused, when submitting writing, of making up a pen name, and someone has turned up on my doorstep with an Ebay parcel (a cheap Asda dehumidifier –-  très glamorous) they could have posted, just to see if I looked like her. I don’t, and the utter disappointment was awkward and palpable. Basically, Françoise Hardy has haunted me in my interests and beyond for most of my life. As far as I’m aware, I have never heard one of her songs. I sort of resent the comparisons, because she’s not someone I could ever live up to –- and actually this resentment made me pick a form to work with for this poem, to keep me focused and stop me just having a bit of a rant.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Françoise Harvey lives in the North East of England. She writes short stories and poems, and her work has appeared or is forthcoming in publications including Bare Fiction, Synaesthesia Magazine, Litro, Agenda, Envoi, The Gingerbread House and anthologies Furies and The Casual Electrocution of Strangers. She is one of the founders of Literary Salmon (literarysalmon.wordpress.com) and works at Mslexia magazine.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: Getting in touch with my French side, playing in a park in Paris, 2010.

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Shake Hands (and Walk Away Cryin’)
by Kenneth Pobo

In May of 1967 Lou Christie
made #22 on WCFL’s music survey.
How upsetting to miss the Top 20!
Years later, I learned it barely made
Billboard’s Hot 100. At 12

I had little money, waited a few months
until a favorite record hit the oldies bin,
39 blissful cents. At Kresge’s
with early crush Dale,
I bought “Shake Hands.”

Lou sang that his sweet baby
put him down. After several months,
Dale put me down. I was a book bag
lost on a playground. Even now
I get every Lou Christie record I can find,
saw him twice in concert. Songs

cool like a summer swimming pool.
Dive in and notes splash up.
Swim to your past
and find it’s your present.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kenneth Pobo has a book forthcoming from Blue Light Press called Bend Of Quiet. Also forthcoming from Urban Farmhouse Press is a book called Booking Rooms in the Kuiper Belt.

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PORTLAND COLISEUM
by Allen Ginsberg

A brown piano in diamond
white spotlight
Leviathan auditorium
iron run wired
hanging organs, vox
black battery
A single whistling sound of ten thousand children’s
larynxes asinging
pierce the ears
and following up the belly
bliss the moment arrived
 
Apparition, four brown English
jacket christhair boys
Goofed Ringo battling bright
white drums
Silent George hair patient
Soul horse
Short black-skulled Paul
with the guitar
Lennon the Captain, his mouth
a triangular smile,
all jump together to End
some tearful memory song
ancient-two years,
The million children
the thousand words
bounce in their seats, bash
each other’s sides, press
legs together nervous
Scream again & claphand
become one Animal
in the New World Auditorium
—hands waving myriad
snakes of thought
screetch beyond hearing
 
while a line of police with
folded arms stands
Sentry to contain the red
sweatered ecstasy
that rises upward to the
wired roof.

– August 27, 1965

“Portland Coliseum” by Allen Ginsberg commemorates the Beatles’ appearance in Portland, Oregon, on August 22, 1965. The poem is found in READ THE BEATLES: Classic and New Writing on the Beatles, Their Legacy, and Why They Still Matter (Penguin, 2006), available at Amazon.com.

Photo: The Beatles performing “I’m Down” in Portand, Oregon, on August 22, 1965 (Bob Boris, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)

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“I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel
you were famous, your heart was a legend.
You told me again you preferred handsome men
but for me you would make an exception.”

From Chelsea Hotel #2, song by LEONARD COHEN

Over the years, Leonard Cohen has expressed regret about naming Janis Joplin as the inspiration for “Chelsea Hotel #2,” a song from his 1974 album New Skin for the Old Ceremony. (Read the lyrics here.) Others believe Janis — who died in 1970 — wouldn’t have minded, since she spoke openly of her encounters with Jim Morrison and Leonard Cohen. Apparently she met Cohen in the elevator at the Chelsea Hotel while  looking for Kris Kristofferson. When Cohen learned of her mission, he told her: “I’m Kris Kristofferson,” though he was sure she knew that the author of “Me and Bobby McGee” was a lot taller.

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PORTLAND COLISEUM
by Allen Ginsberg

A brown piano in diamond
white spotlight
Leviathan auditorium
iron run wired
hanging organs, vox
black battery
A single whistling sound of ten thousand children’s
larynxes asinging
pierce the ears
and following up the belly
bliss the moment arrived
 
Apparition, four brown English
jacket christhair boys
Goofed Ringo battling bright
white drums
Silent George hair patient
Soul horse
Short black-skulled Paul
with the guitar
Lennon the Captain, his mouth
a triangular smile,
all jump together to End
some tearful memory song
ancient-two years,
The million children
the thousand words
bounce in their seats, bash
each other’s sides, press
legs together nervous
Scream again & claphand
become one Animal
in the New World Auditorium
—hands waving myriad
snakes of thought
screetch beyond hearing
 
while a line of police with
folded arms stands
Sentry to contain the red
sweatered ecstasy
that rises upward to the
wired roof.

— August 27, 1965

“Portland Coliseum” by Allen Ginsberg commemorates the Beatles’ appearance in Portland, Oregon, on August 22, 1965. The poem is found in READ THE BEATLES: Classic and New Writing on the Beatles, Their Legacy, and Why They Still Matter (Penguin, 2006), available at Amazon.com.

Photo: The Beatles performing “I’m Down” in Portand, Oregon, on August 22, 1965 (Bob Boris, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)