Monday, June 20, 2011

Donal Mahoney- Three Poems

Country Cafeteria

The two weeks
I spent in that small town
on assignment, I saw no blacks
except for two older women
regal in every way,
hair coifed in silver gray,
working in the Country Cafeteria.
They walked like pastors’ wives
as they bused their 20 tables.
White badges on their uniforms
announced in red their names,
their years of service.
They never said a word,
not even to each other.
They just took the cups and plates away
and wiped oil tablecloths pristine.
I took three meals a day in silence there,
the only place in town to eat.
I was the stranger in a suit and tie,
a city weed among stout farmers in old coveralls
who came to town each day to note
“no rain yet” and “the corn is dyin’.”
Before each meal instead of saying Grace,
I wanted to stand and ask these ladies
as they bowed before the clutter on their tables:
If you have worked here all these years,
and lived in this town also,
where in the Name of God,
other than at home or church,
are you free to talk or laugh or sing
or clap your hands in emancipation?

Convention in Miami
for Gerard Manley Hopkins

Around his navel this morning
a halo, a red stipple
Hopkins would love:
"Glory be to God for dappled things..."

It's a gift from this woman
he doesn't know
who welcomed him last night
with open arms and open legs

and sent him back to his wife
this morning, unaware
he was bringing home a souvenir,
a bright halo of crab lice.

Whole and Steaming
Dingle, Ireland

The bathroom carpet,
wall to wall, is blue,
the lightest blue,
to complement
the bowl and ceiling.

Apropos the moment:
I bend the waist
and heave the gristle
from last evening's steak.

Tomorrow I shall row again
to see those ancient men
in caps and coveralls
stand like statues
while they talk
and tap gold embers
from clay pipes
forever glowing.

I'll go there
at the dinner hour
and see them once again
fork potatoes,
whole and steaming,
from big kettles filled
at dawn by crones
forever kerchiefed
and forever bent.

At dawn you hear
these women
sing their hymns
like seraphim
a cappella
as they genuflect and dip
big black kettles
in the sometimes still
sometimes foaming sea.


Donal Mahoney, an immigrant from Chicago, lives in St. Louis, Missouri. He has had poems published in a variety of publications in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal- 3 Poems


Why am I here?
My head is radioactive.
I can read your mind
only when the moon is full.
I check the skies for it.
There is just a quarter moon.
The signal is weak. Your
medicine puts me to sleep.
I want to be discharged.
Tomorrow the moon will be
full. I don’t want to read
the thoughts of my fellow
mental patients. They could
read my mind too when
my head is radioactive.
I don’t want them to know
that I came from outer space.
I was born on the moon.
My mother was a comet.
My father was half-moon man,
and half- human from LA.


Where is the camera?
Where is the microphone?
There is a movie set
in this place. There are no
doctors, only actors.

I am not a patient.
I am a movie star.
They wrote a script on the
medical chart. I see
everyone reading it.

They add to the script each
shift. The nurse actors and
social worker actors
write most of the lines. I
need a makeup artist.

I need eye liner and
red lipstick. I do not
need to take the pills. They
are just props. The doctors
are not such good actors.


When you were born
did you feel death in the room
with a stupid smirk on his face
and laughing with his cloak
open wide exposing the souls
caged between his bones?

Did you cry or did you give
the bird to that vulture?
There is no peace of mind
in this world with death always
lurking around. It would be
easier if he would let us be.

Luis was born in Mexico. He works in the mental health field in Los Angeles, CA.
His poems have appeared in Blue Collar Review, Camel Saloon, and Pemmican Press.
His chapbooks have been published by Kendra Steiner Editions, Deadbeat Press,
and New Polsh Beat. Pygmy Forest Press published his first poetry book, Raw Materials.