Saturday, August 1, 2020

John Guzlowski - Five poems

John Guzlowski's poetry appears in North American Review, Rattle, Ontario Review, Salon.Com, and many other journals. His poems and personal essays about his Polish parents’ experiences as slave laborers in Nazi Germany and refugees making a life for themselves in Chicago appear in his memoir Echoes of Tattered Tongues. He is also a columnist for the Dziennik Zwiazkowy (the oldest Polish language newspaper in America) and the author of Suitcase Charlie and Little Altar Boy, noir mysteries set in Chicago. His most recent book of poems is the autobiographical True Confessions.

1. FUCK ART: A Sonnet

fuck you.

every work of art should say it.

fuck you.

fuck you to death and fuck you to life.
fuck you to hate and love
and to sorrow and greed
and politicians and priests
and fuck you to poets and people
just like your mother and father
who never understood you any way,

fuck you to Jesus and
Cheezits and
rhesus monkeys too,

Fuck you.

2. Wordsworth's Sonnet “The World is Too Much with Us” in 9 Lines
The world is too much with us,
& then it isn't & we're dead or dying,
& the world just becomes the smell
of something we can't remember.

Don’t even bother listening to this.
I'm just an old pecker out of tune,
out of gas, with last year's Mac.

I've given my heart away,
and every other worthless thing.

3. Busy with Many Jobs (for Tadeusz Rozewicz)

I will start dying

Today I have
Too much to do

Especially the rusted
Bolt in the toilet

That is leaking

And the poems
By Rozewicz

That were

By a friend
Who needs the book back


But tomorrow, well
I’ll start dying then

If the rusted bolt
Can be worked loose

And the poems

4. Song of Whitman’s "Song of Myself"
Fifty-two sections!
1337 lines (approximately)!
465 "I"s!
Not to mention all the "me"s, "my''s, "mine"s, and "myself"s!

And commas, apostrophes, periods, questions marks,

And exclamations!

5. T. S. Eliot’s Wasteland Erased
Part 1. Burial of the Dead

April is lilacs
and spring rain
summer feeding showers
and children

And the trees we see
are something different
from what we once thought.

They are kind
and known.

Part 2. A Game of Chess
The green and orange dolphin
swam and played with the wind

There was nothing in his head
but water and some teeth
and a good straight look

Oh proper fool!

Part 3. Fire Sermon
Silk nights run softly
run softly

touched by the young man
the lovely woman
the pleasant whining
of a mandolin.

4. Death by Water
Gulls turn
To windward

5. What the Thunder Said
There is rain
in the mountains
in the pine trees
in the air

Singing in the moonlight
the wind's true home

Drape your heart in down
and dream