ECSTASCENE

System: Activism

Her poetry

Gave medicine

To the broken

In heart & mind,

Revolutionaries

Found within

Their ranks sometimes.

Her plays

Gave us

Reason to laugh

At the misery

Associated with poverty

In our lives brought to heel

In one act or two.

A different play

For each

PeopleSkool

Kept things interesting

For the privileged

And underprivileged students.

READ MORE

Mr. Hardtime

by Dee Allen

One afternoon, around

My high school days,

Grandma Lillie

Took time away from

Sewing clothes and talk show

On daytime TV to tell

My little brother and me

An important tale

About a guest

Who often came

Uninvited. Hard to predict his moves—

Being a teen-aged girl

And young mother in

The Great Depression of the 1930s,

READ MORE

THE GAZA ARCANE

by John Hirschman

1.

Shema here,

shema hear me,

a child born

and raised originally

in Superman’s

capitol of Death,

whose rule is trumpery.

This stack of

matzohs I fling

one after another

across your Rosh

Hashanah clear

to your Yom

Kippour

like a paroxysm

of memory,

READ MORE

To Ronnie Goodman

by Alice E. Rogoff

Ronnie
Is running
To run to get
His art
From being
Run-over,
Carted away
In trucks rumbling.
Ronnie was running
To sketch, to
Print, to paint,
Black lines,
Lives.
Running over
Sidewalk cracks,
Feet moving, stepping,
Sitting for a moment.
Ronnie is bicycling,
The pedals drawing
Circles on
Sixteenth Street.

READ MORE

Despite Everything, He Smiled

by Vivian Imperiale

The tired homeless man

worked his way across traffic lanes

to stand on the divider strip,

hoping that drivers

would open their windows

and hand him change.

Not terribly likely

but he had no other plan

than to stand in the cold,

breathing in fumes,

seeing stern faces

turning away.

READ MORE