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bio from michael :

I was about 15 years old, son of a lawyer, growing up in Miami Beach, Florida, during the 1960's, when I first heard the poetry of John Keats, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Allen Ginsberg. I decided right then that's what I wanted to do. Write poetry. I believed in the IDEALS being put forth by the poets of the day. The Beats were the persuasive ones. I imagined a life of art, beauty, community responsibility, ecological awareness, "peace, love and understanding". I still do. Idealism is a chronic ailment, and Poetry tells the story, win or lose.

michael edits THE BIG BRIDGE - a webzine of poetry and everything else; featuring works by himself, ira cohen, david gitin, anselm hollo and a host of folks. pay a visit!



by michael rothenberg

Every old fucking same!
Same old clock. Same old plane
Stuck behind a desk, a manatee, a Florida panther
Dodging propellers, cruise control
through Big Cypress
Same old stories of hooked jewels
tipping the scale
Schools of red drum, mackerel, yellow-tail
When the Rat Pack played the Fountainbleau
Boxers spun sweat on leather or skipped an invisible rope

Same old pot and Scotch
When I wanted to be a grandpa dishing out
wisdom like a banana split
Same old sweet tooth and politics
Important sensations, growing pains, infatuations
Same old elegies, mother, father buried
Who could console me?
Grains of Atlantic sand between my toes
Ammonia for Portuguese Man of War sting
Vinegar for sunburn
Same old cures for itch, scratch, twitch, desire, ideal
I was a movie marquee,
a car park, full head of hair, dragging leftovers
of my mop on the asphalt in protest
But the women didn’t know how to scratch
beneath the vest, get behind the torn appearance,
shy effect to the cashmere depth

Same old surface, same old cheap paint
on sapphire skeleton
Same old bruised eyes blinded by a price tag and school
Walking down the street 4 am
shit-faced with Prufrock
Scratching chewed fingernails on the chalkboard
Wild child in the science lab taking pictures of the moon
Calling from the silk cave of furry chest
with dulcet moans
I’m here again. Talk to me. No I can’t love you
I’m married to a ghost phosphorescent trail
flailing brackish reefs

Same old reef. Same old palm. Same old psalm
Lost between disintegrating dwellings
rising high and blue
And a body that resists the continuing
rejection from a renegade soul
Same old child, same old boy, same old man
Waiting for my son, my country, America to call
For that last American smile


December 14, 2001.



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