SCHOOL DAZE

Posted: August 22, 2014 in Poetry

Here’s two poems inspired by today’s Last Stanza Poetry Association challenge to write a poem about school starting.

School Daze

SCHOOL DAZE
By David Allen 

Seventh Grade was the beginning;
The change from teacher’s pet
To the underachiever.
In elementary school I was an A-plus student.
In the seventh they had me looking at pieces
Of cardboard marked with weird-looking black ink stains.
“What do you see?” the psychologists asked.
“Cards smeared with ink,” I answered.
“No, what do you SEE?” she repeated.
“What do you see?” I responded.
Today they’d probably diagnose me as
Suffering from attention deficit disorder.
They dis-enrolled me from the advanced classes –
Latin, algebra, biology –
And put me with the average kids.
And that was okay with me,
It gave me the space to
Catch up on reading Science Fiction
And writing my own future Top Forty rock hits.
The counselor had plenty to work with trying to figure
Out what went wrong over the summer;
I had started a newspaper route, hung out with
The housing project’s juvenile delinquents,
And spent two weeks at a Salvation Army summer camp.
No one knew why I had changed.
 But the “outsider” image was being molded
And it’s lasted me to this day.
 

 
SCHOOL DAYS
By David Allen

School days, school days
Good old rotten school days
Readin’ and writin’ and ‘rithmatic
Faking a cold so my Mom thinks I’m sick.
You were the girl whose braids they inked.
I was the strange kid at whom you winked,
And I wrote you poems that you never got
‘cause we were just a couple of kids.

School days, school days
Those too many rule days
Faking religion to get a note
To skip class to attend the church of the pope.
You were into dance and love songs,
I was the kid they said would go wrong.
I read Sci-fi books that drew stern looks
From teachers who said they were trash.

School days, school days
A 12-year fighting rules phase
Skipping a class to hang out in the john,
Staring out windows and stifling yawns.
You were the straight A student
I was the kid who said screw this.
I already knew more than most kids know
So, I played the outsider instead.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Story-So-Far-David-Allen/dp/0925062480/ref=sr_1_13?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1397184666&sr=1-13&keywords=the+story+so+far) in paperback and Kindle formats, or by sending me $10 at:

David Allen
803 Avalon Lane
Chesterfield, IN 46017

bed sheets over head 1

CLEANED CONSCIENCE
       By David Allen

My conscience
is clean.
I washed it
last night,
rinsed it
with beer
and dried it
by pulling the
bed sheet
over my head.

assasination1            Princip_arrested

Gavrilo Princip assassinates Archduke Ferdinand and is promptly arrested

WRONG TURN

By David Allen

A wrong turn
A stalled engine
And a cup of coffee
Ignited the “Great War,”
The “War to End all Wars,”
That sparked the century of conflict
That left untold millions dead.
Gavrilo Princip
Leaned against the wall of a café
On Sarajevo’s Franz Josef Street
And wondered how the plot to
Start a revolution went wrong.
“It was a good plan,” he told a friend
While standing on the sidewalk in front
Of Moritz Schiller’s Café.
“Six of us of ‘Young Bosnians’
Lined the motorcade route
That damned royal son-of-a-bitch
Was taking to city hall.
We each had a bomb. Six of us!
How could it have gone wrong?”
The first Young Bosnian
Chickened out and ran from the scene.
The second threw his grenade a second too late
And it exploded under  a car following
Archduke Ferdinand’s convertible.
The heir to the Austro-Hungarian crown,
Emperor Franz Josef’s nephew, was unhurt.
The blast injured two in the second car.
The motorcade sped up , leaving
The four remaining Young Bosnians,
Trained in terror by the Serbian nationalist group,
The “Black Hand,” lost their chance for infamy.
“We were willing to die for a united Yugoslavia,”
Princip told his friend. “Serbia and Bosnia together,
Free from the Austro-Hungarian Empire
Later, across the city, Ferdinand decided to
Visit those injured in the bombing.
While en-route, the Archduke’s driver
Took a wrong turn.
To his amazement,
Princip saw the Archduke’s touring car
Swing into Franz Josef Street,
He watched in awe as the car attempted to turn
And stalled, just feet front from where he stood.
Quickly, Princip took a few step forward and fired his pistol,
Killing both Ferdinand and his wife.
And the old world died with them.
Princip attempted to turn his gun
On himself, but an onlooker slapped it from his hand.
Nearby police then beat him senseless.
He was tried, and sentenced to only twenty years,
Because he was only 19 years old.
Princip died of tuberculosis in prison
In 1918, just a few months before the war ended
And the wheels spun into motion for World War II
And the rest of the bloody century.

WRONG TURN TWO
By David Allen

“See?” the student asked
When he finished reading
His history paper.
“World War I started
Because of a succession
Of mistakes.”
“A fine piece of history,”
The teacher said, smiling.
“But don’t believe for a minute
The war could have been averted
Had Princip not stopped for coffee.
Franz Josef was looking for
An excuse to invade Serbia,
The capture of the failed Sarajevo
Bomber would have been cause enough.
Hell, a bad night’s sleep could have
Moved him to give the word.
All of Europe was itching for a fight.

These poems were  a challenge for the Last Stanza Poetry folks. This summer marks the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I and we weretasked to write a poem about the war.  

ALL NIGHT LONG

Posted: August 5, 2014 in Poetry
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DSCF0072


ALL NIGHT LONG

All night long,
I’ve been wishing on this fading star.
But my thoughts won’t go that far,
and your health, like the star, is fading.

It was the first star to come out last night,
bright against the fast darkening sky.
But now, I can barely see –
it’s gone from me.

All night long,
I’ve been worried that your strength is gone,
you’ve been fighting this for far too long.
Your health, like this star, stopped shining.

I should go back inside our room,
but I’m too afraid I’ll catch the gloom,
it’s too hard to be at ease
with this disease.

All night long,
I’ve been sitting here while you’re in bed,
wishing you were sleeping, knowing instead
that you lie awake, body hurting.

I can see no other woman as my wife
to you I pledge my all, I’d gladly give my life
If it’d mean a cure for you
That’s what I’d do.

All night long,
I’ve been putting my words to song,
singing for my love, but something’s wrong,
your health, like this song, stopped rhyming.

      By David Allen

 

Like my poetry? Then buy my book, “The Story So Far,” published by Writers Ink Press, Long Island, N.Y. You can find it on Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/Story-So-Far-David-Allen/dp/0925062480/ref=sr_1_13?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1397184666&sr=1-13&keywords=the+story+so+far) in paperback and Kindle formats, or by sending me $10 at:

David Allen
803 Avalon Lane
Chesterfield, IN 46017

 

 

 

 

athiests2

(god) DAMMIT

Sitting here
Drinking coffee,
Scarfing down
A cheese Danish,
Waiting for the atheists
To arrive.
A movie night
With the Okinawa
Freethought Society,
Gonna watch a flick
About how religion’s
“The Root of All Evil,”
By Richard Dawkins.
But it’s already 8 p.m.
And no one’s
Showed up yet.
Goddamit!
Where the hell
Are they?

                                  By David Allen

A LIE

Posted: July 29, 2014 in Poetry
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IMAGE001

 

A Lie

once upon a time,
i found the secret
to the truth
and,
to protect my sanity,
i smashed it
with a rock
and destroyed all trace
of the liar.

                  By David Allen

 

Like my poetry? Then buy my book, “The Story So Far,” published by Writers Ink Press, Long Island, N.Y. You can find it on Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/Story-So-Far-David-Allen/dp/0925062480/ref=sr_1_13?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1397184666&sr=1-13&keywords=the+story+so+far) in paperback and Kindle formats, or by sending me $10 at:

David Allen
803 Avalon Lane
Chesterfield, IN 46017

 

leaving home 3images (19)

CHECKING OUT

And then the door slammed
and he stood there
in the middle of the room
looking toward the finality,
as if he could see the tracers
of her striding angry,
furiously from him.
“Fuck this!”
she had said,
and the shock
of those two ugly words
echoed inside his foggy brain,
already confused
and struggling
to make sense
of what had happened.
The coins and the change bowl
and paperbacks and pens
she had swept with an angry arm
off the top of the bookshelf
lay scattered on the floor.
In his hand he clutched
the orange she’d thrown
at his head.
“Is this it?” he wondered.
“Is it finally over?
Or is this some new torture,
the start of some new
chapter in this confusing mystery?”
Outside, an engine started and revved
and the peel of rubber told him
another non-supporting
character had just exited
stage left.

By David Allen

Like my poetry? Then buy my book, “The Story So Far,” published by Writers Ink Press, Long Island, N.Y. You can find it on Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/Story-So-Far-David-Allen/dp/0925062480/ref=sr_1_13?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1397184666&sr=1-13&keywords=the+story+so+far) in paperback and Kindle formats, or by sending me $10 at:

David Allen
803 Avalon Lane
Chesterfield, IN 46017

 

Cover

ACCEPTANCE

Flying over the pacific
is never peaceful –
I return to the problems
I left behind when I fled
to the East.

The woman sitting next to me
strikes up a conversation,
she’s the mother of a Marine
assigned to Okinawa
and is returning after a visit
to her first granddaughter.
“She is healthy,
God bless,” she declares.
And this woman’s husband
has a successful electrical business
in St. Louis — “God Bless!” — and life,
“Praise the Lord!”
Is good.

Somewhere in the conversation
I mention I am going to Indiana
for the birth of my second grandchild
and a brief trek to New York
to tout my new book of poetry.

She asks to look at the book
and I find one in my bag,
and, as she reads, I watch
out of the corner of my eye,
pretending to read a magazine
while trying to fathom
her reaction to my poems.
My blood is all over the pages.

I spot her reading
the one about another flight
and the religious Filipina
and scientific Japanese student
sitting next to me, the dirty old man poet
reading Bukowski and dreaming
of smooth, creamy white thighs,
and I wonder what my new seatmate
is thinking.

When she is finished
she mentions the poems are
“interesting,” and handing
the book back asks –
“Have you accepted Jesus
as your personal savior?”

I smile, realizing the conversation is
about to end and answer,
“I tried several times
but he never accepted me.”

And we slept in silence
the rest of the flight.
                                              by David Allen

 

 

Like my poetry? Then buy my book, “The Story So Far,” published by Writers Ink Press, Long Island, N.Y. You can find it on Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/Story-So-Far-David-Allen/dp/0925062480/ref=sr_1_13?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1397184666&sr=1-13&keywords=the+story+so+far) in paperback and Kindle formats, or by sending me $10 at:

David Allen
803 Avalon Lane
Chesterfield, IN 46017

 

 

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AMERICA REVISTED
By David Allen 

America, I’ve given you all and now I’m something
America, nineteen dollars and twenty seven cents June 27, 2014.
Inflation fried my mind
America, when will we end the Islamic wars?
Go fuck yourself with your drone bombs.
I feel good now, follow me
I write my poems when I’m in my right mind
America, when will you be Humanist?
When will you take off your masks?
When will you look at yourself in the mirror?
When will you be worthy of your pacifists?
America, why are your schools full of fear?
 America, when will you feed your poor?
I’m sick of your insanity.
When can I go to the supermarket and buy what I
Need without fear of poison?
America, after all it is you and I who exist now,
Not in some next world.
Your capitalism is destroying us.
You make me want to be Canadian.
There must be some other way to settle this debate.
If I could travel to Japan I don’t think I’d come back.
Are you really serious or is this some kind of reality TV series?
I’m trying to come to the point.
I refuse to give up my freedom.
America, stop tapping my phone and internet.
America, your poll numbers are falling.
I read the newspapers every day
And every day somebody goes to prison for drug possession
While the mega-thieves on Wall Street get new tax breaks.
America, I feel sentimental about Carter.
America, I read Ayn Rand when I was a kid
I’m now sorry.
If I could, I’d smoke marijuana all the time.
I sit in my house for days on end and stare at the news on TV.
I stayed at the Roach Motel and never got saved.
My mind is made up, there’s going to be trouble.
You should have seen me reading Bukowski.
My Muse insists I must write more.
I won’t say the Lord’s Prayer at Al-anon meetings.
I have crazy thoughts that bleed into poetry.
America, I still haven’t told you what you did to our
Soldiers after they came back from Iraq.

 

NOTE: This was a “challenge”poem for The Last Stanza Poetry Association, a group of poets that meet regularly in Elwood, Indiana. The challenge was to write a poem that answers or was inspired by a famous poem. I chose Allen Ginsbergs’ “America.” I used just the first stanza. Here it is:

AMERICA 
by Allen Ginsberg

America I’ve given you all and now I’m nothing.
America two dollars and twentyseven cents January
17, 1956.
I can’t stand my own mind.
America when will we end the human war?
Go fuck yourself with your atom bomb.
I don’t feel good don’t bother me.
I won’t write my poem till I’m in my right mind.
America when will you be angelic?
When will you take off your clothes?
When will you look at yourself through the grave?
When will you be worthy of your million Trotskyites?
America why are your libraries full of tears?
America when will you send your eggs to India?
I’m sick of your insane demands.
When can I go into the supermarket and buy what I
need with my good looks?
America after all it is you and I who are perfect not
the next world.
Your machinery is too much for me.
You made me want to be a saint.
There must be some other way to settle this argument.
Burroughs is in Tangiers I don’t think he’ll come back
it’s sinister.
Are you being sinister or is this some form of practical
joke?
I’m trying to come to the point.
I refuse to give up my obsession.
America stop pushing I know what I’m doing.
America the plum blossoms are falling.
I haven’t read the newspapers for months, everyday
somebody goes on trial for murder.
America I feel sentimental about the Wobblies.
America I used to be a communist when I was a kid
I’m not sorry.
I smoke marijuana every chance I get.
I sit in my house for days on end and stare at the roses
in the closet.
When I go to Chinatown I get drunk and never get laid.
My mind is made up there’s going to be trouble.
You should have seen me reading Marx.
My psychoanalyst thinks I’m perfectly right.
I won’t say the Lord’s Prayer.
I have mystical visions and cosmic vibrations.
America I still haven’t told you what you did to Uncle
Max after he came over from Russia.

 

Like my poetry? Then buy my book, “The Story So Far,” published by Writers Ink Press, Long Island, N.Y. You can find it on Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/Story-So-Far-David-Allen/dp/0925062480/ref=sr_1_13?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1397184666&sr=1-13&keywords=the+story+so+far) in paperback and Kindle formats, or by sending me $10 at:

David Allen
803 Avalon Lane
Chesterfield, IN 46017

 
 
 

MIRROR IMAGE

Posted: July 4, 2014 in Poetry
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DSC00017

Me and my Muse, Okinawa 2000

MIRROR IMAGE

He looked into the mirror
and wondered where
the smile had gone.
It was there once,
long ago, on another
face, in another
place. The one he
loved then called it
his “crooked-assed” grin
and there are pictures,
scattered memories,
of sailors hoisting
beers, buddy shots
on liberty and, later,
posing with loves and
dancing at love-ins and,
much later, family
shots before the
break-ups and
the scatterings;
long-ago joy shown
by a wide, toothy grin.
Decades passed –
laugh lines hidden
by a beard and lips
that learned to hide
broken teeth.

Staring at his mirror
image, he attempted what
he imagined to be a smile
and the mirror reflected
a scrunched up face,
closed lips curled
slightly upwards,
puffy cheeks,
just as the now love
wandered by.
“What are you doing?”
she asked.
“Trying to find my smile,”
he said, turning toward her.
“I seem to have lost it.”
“Don’t be silly,” she said,
kissing his cheek.
“You are a smile.”
 

By David Allen

Like my poetry? Then buy my book, “The Story So Far,” published by Writers Ink Press, Long Island, N.Y. You can find it on Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/Story-So-Far-David-Allen/dp/0925062480/ref=sr_1_13?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1397184666&sr=1-13&keywords=the+story+so+far) in paperback and Kindle formats, or by sending me $10 at:

David Allen
803 Avalon Lane
Chesterfield, IN 46017