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.

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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,

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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,

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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.

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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.

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Two Poems By Sharon Randle

I’M GRATEFUL (2018)

By Sharon Randle

I knew the day would come soon.

At last I have keys to a clean quiet room.

Thank you for all the gifts you’ve given.

I’m grateful to have a safe place to live in.

Enjoying my comfort, grateful for space,

Looking ahead to a much larger place.

Grateful for the money,

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Felled by Fact

by Tony Robles

The winding roads
lead to a small
A-framed Baptist
church

a simple structure
where complex
questions reside

a stain of quandary’s
residue on the pages
of a holy book

the winding roads
unfurl wisps of gauze
colored mist exposing
A blush of hurt

the minister
is a pleasant man
who brings to mind
a ripe pear as i sit and
take in his sermon

feelings don’t
replace facts,

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Coffee

by Tony Robles

I keep going to Peep’s Coffee
The coffee isn’t great
But the place has been
A has-been place where
It still happens and once I killed
A roach there by accident
And the coffee is constant in
Its consistency ranging from
Watery to a semi-syrupy serum
that takes care of what ails you

A tight budget keeps
Me coming and I don’t
Got a plot to piss in but
The coffee is only 75 cents
A cup

On the wall is a
Calendar stained with a
Year that passed away many
A fuckin’ moon ago and the
Coffee keeps coming,

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Untitled

by Maxwell Rios-Klein

When I hop onto the 38 Geary headed downtown again,
For another century of living to work and working to live,
I stutter quietly while we all sit there in silence staring, longing for a friend,
I lie, and pretend, that I’m currently not depending on alcohol just to fend,
Off malicious content circulating through the tabs on my newly installed browser bend,
And I may be over 7 months sober,

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Fort

by Cesar Love

They were the secret places

You’d go there with friends

Maybe a meadow, a tree,

A basement, a cabin

 

No one knew where they were

Only you

 

And your small band of friends

You called them hideouts

You called them forts

 

Now where are those friends?

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