Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Four Short Poems By Thomas L. Vaultonburg Written On a Spanish Olivetti Studio 45 Typewriter

My fellow writer David Pedersen let me borrow his Spanish Olivetti Studio 45 typewriter, so I took it to the 317 Art Collective and wrote these poems. 


The onion-skin paper
Disappears into the black
Void of the roller like Persephone,
And re-appears on the other side
Like a blanket of fresh snow
No one has pissed on yet.

Spanish Olivetti Studio 45 Typewriter


I finger the keys
of my red
Spanish typewriter
until she gushes
forth this poem


Everybody wants to
ride my bicycle,
but no one else knows
how to oil the chain


for fifty years my
heart and roof leaked until
Death fixed them both

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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Poetry By Jack D. Harvey

His Fifty-Sixth Birthday

On the marches of March
we march on regardless;
birthdays bring
no one out of the
even the birthday boy
saws his horse in two.

Spectatio, sweet delicate
mouse girl believes;
Swanhild the swan maiden
swoops down on her
priapic darling.
O idle Ides,
O pretty days
boating along, my idol,
I ruffle your rough hair;
you toy with my
veiny tiller
while the winds
with cheeks
bulging like buttocks
blow soft gales.
Our bark flies
like a flea
over lake and loch.

Wales guards England
on the marches;
in the garden of Eden
sword-bladed angels
stand like cataracts.
In the urban wastes
I guard you.

Watch out, forwards
and scouts,
danger ahead;
enemies, fiends
as relentless
as German
as hard as
stones in the cradle.

Little Liza

That's your name?
Butter could never melt
your Thai mouth,
making English words
in far-off Bangkok,
where playgirls
looking for cock to bang,
what else,
zip along
on motor scooters,
looking for you, brother,
taking you
right, right, left, left,
right to Hotel Ecstasy,
right into your arms,
palsied with desire.

Two by two
or in a bunch,
like Brantôme's band
of jolly jumpers,
the black-maned cowgirls
of Soi Cowboy
stand at the doors,
the windows,
cruise the streets
wide-eyed and ready for
bumpy combat, a little
of the old in and out;
for a long moment
more than a thumb plugged
in the eternal hole in the dike.

The value of satisfaction
in the vales and dales
of loamy female loins;
your wild oats measured out
in the coin of any realm.

Leetle kid,
you fockee me?
Shy girl-lashed
paratroopers hem
and haw.

Beautiful, transporting as bhang
in this carnivorous market,
the boyhood dreams come true
and the boys dream,
dropping their pants and
Little Liza or
whatever your proper name,
your dark Asian eyes,
your furry doolittle
not wet with
tears of love for
me or Joe Bunkbuddy
or any little thing.  

Ravishment of the Holy Wisdom

With a heroic cry, I throw myself
on thoughtful Her, the fount of all,
whose Platonic shoulders hold up
a host of philosophers searching
for that hard stone,
Sophia, Sapientia,
the Greeks and Romans called it,
that aspect of God as wisdom;
the edge of Him
we think we can know.

My profane logos,
Christ's intact loaf
on its base erected,
invades, invokes
the opera singer in Her
and striving to hit high C
while diving into
Her sea of prolixity,
She cracks the shaky dome
of Byzantium's Hagia Sophia;
Hers and Hers alone.
Her legions of words
become its stones,
thousands of precious pieces,
beaten down by time to ruins
and rebuilt and again rebuilt
to pure light immanent
from the enormous trembling dome.

In varied embraces and poses,
to break the routine of rapture,
I assume the aspects of saints and
eremites, sinners of note,
palsied misers, lawbreakers,
kings, popes, emperors,
royal oafs of some distinction;
anything to keep Her attention.

I don't have it and she
dismisses my efforts, tells
of the sunrise of earlier ages,
concerned architects, geometers,
on their rounds meandering
through the Hagia Sophia,
peering through the keyholes,
seeing more than
what is in plain sight;
sensing dilapidation and decay
behind the walls, tapping, tapping
the hidden vulnerabilities
of stone and mortar.
Far from the wisdom
heaving down from above,
they picture this
holy massive ruin renewed,
revived in glory for all to see;
its substantial presence
bringing God down,
beneath the dome
for all to worship.

Meanwhile, we two
lose the thread of discourse,
flop around among
the dead blossoms of Plato's
prose, trying to find something
we can use, a fragment
we can bring to bear
on the problem at hand:
the Son of Man in the second seat.
The Holy Wisdom sees no sense in it;
the church is Hers, but
Jesus, incarnate
forever debases Her power,
Her feminine wisdom sublimely
rendered irrelevant, out of place.

Graceful, practical,
softening under my tuberous
ponderosity, losing
interest in the labor at hand,
She sighs about sacred words,
sacred works, incisions
brought down from on high;
the sharp light of grace
brought down in a narrow beam,
divine insights piled on a plate;
John's severed head opened up
to show how close he was
to the one who brought more
than water could bless.

So we sit under a portico
someplace or other
in Byzantium, where we started,
in the warm spring
discussing God the Son,
the Father, the Holy Ghost.
The sun sinks below the horizon,
the cold moonlit nights progress
and in Byzantium
the dome will rise again.
She bites my ear
in a moment of exasperation;
I don't care.

We will build again.

Larger than life beside me,
she tries to bind me to her reasoning;
in her passion shaking her head,
animating her white neck to
splendid anatomical disarray;
I lie long hours with her
like a sled dog after a hard day's run,
putting forward my reckoning;
we get nowhere at all.
My faith in the Holy Wisdom
corrupted by my doubt in God incarnate,
tainted by my failure to see
God's wisdom as love.

I complain to Her about
the imperfect complexion
of God's justice, his unjust
power to tip the scales
any way he wants.
She smiles and looks askance.
We push and pull, like sumo wrestlers,
in this battle that never ends.
The discourse goes on
and we are no nearer the truth
of the Holy Wisdom, the sense of it,
the intent of God and His angels,
lost in the vault of heaven, the intent
to tell us something, impart something,
a vision, a divine process,
constructed again and again on ruins.

But it's not at all like that,
that's the little we do know;
the painful bit in our teeth.
Never, never will we know more
than the divine coruscation,
the decorations that leave us cold
to the core, caring no more for
a fake cake that is all surface;
a pretty thing with no heart
that we can see.

Caring no more for wisdom,
holy or not, that we
cannot take in our hands,
bring to understanding in our minds
and make one with our human flesh.   

The Ishmaelites

Then give them exactly
what they deserve, the
god come from them, the
prophet born from them, the
child gone from them,
the forest hid from
them, the desert their portion,
and let them depart from
us and let them take
nothing from us and
give nothing in return.

Let them wander, lonely,
graceful, proud,

far away from us.
Ganger Rolf

Got lots of heart
and guts, you
walking bulwark
of the middle ages,
son of Ketill Flatnose,
brother of Harold Harfagar
so they say,
yourself ancestor of a famous line;
your troop of soldiering
homicidal drudges,
Vikings, Northmen, Danes,
whatever name came to
the minds of Francia's
peaceable populace or
writ by frightened monks
keeping score in the cloisters;
they felt the sword's weight,
saw the spear's point;
landing in the clear,
your band of long-shipped
blonde-bearded buccaneers
coming from bays and creeks
carved victory like a
chef carves meat.

You ravaged Francia's ragged coast,
boxed it in and left lovely
Rouen a ruin;
bought off in Paris
your ponderosity in gold
even for a king
too much; you got
to keep the westlands.

Pacts and marriages,
willy-nilly, you didn't care,
walking before or after
a broken horse,
so the legends say;
stories made up
as time went on.

Your brilliant rollicking fable
hits us in the face still,
scraps of it only, but enough.
Dust you are, become famous,
become famous
as the dust you trod upon;
marbled up in Rouen,
a statue far away in Fargo.

Nobody sang your song better than you
and it remains with you.

Rolf, bulky ponderous hero,
scant proof of you,
no history to speak of tells us
anything precise
and that's to the good.

I haven't the faintest idea about you,
no real conception from the little left,
a man without a horse,
a raider, a rover,
but I know your life
like a boy knows his dad.     

Jack D. Harvey’s poetry has appeared in Scrivener, The Comstock Review, The Antioch Review, Bay Area Poets’ Coalition, Zombie Logic Review, The University of Texas Review, The Piedmont Poetry Journal and a number of other on-line and in print poetry magazines over the years. The author has been a Pushcart nominee and over the ensuing years has been published in a few anthologies.

The author has been writing poetry since he was sixteen and lives in a small town near Albany, N.Y. He was born and worked in upstate New York. He is retired from doing whatever he was doing before he retired.