width=61 height=87> Voracious Verses
Summer / Fall 2008


 

Gary Beck

 

Encounter

How can I sing
of the tired, old Jewish man
of subway mornings
and strange remembrance,
spawned in some distant ghetto,
bearing the scar of lost roots,
still tortured by Cossack dreams.
I look up from my naval,
see your face of prayers,
holier than death,
or are you death,
wearing a sad dreamer's cloak?
Old man of unequality
hornless, unterrible,
you must have a wife,
more ancient monkey of sorrow
than woman.
Evenings after work
you listen to violin music
on your console radio.
O leaf blown through
this strange world,
I'll look for you tomorrow.


 2008 Gary Beck


Nomad

I fall upon the world of promise
a hungry Goth, or Vandal,
battering on Roman doors.
I am soothed by pledges
and pause assaults
in expectation of a triumph.
Seduced by city ways,
I ponder the changes
from shabby cloth
to splendid garments,
then the chilling voice of dawn
drives me to migrations.


 2008 Gary Beck


Release

The night yowl
of the alley cat,
with the earthly burden
of nine lives,
rends the silent air,
awakening the slumbering corpses
from infinite reveries,
in soporific dreams
of earth madness
that were fettered
by the bonds of sleep.


 2008 Gary Beck


Renewal

Rushing footsteps poke the light from hiding.
Morning faces shaven, or new-painted
peek behind yawns at wristwatches,
as engines belch from parking places.
The winter darkness stretches its toes,
departing with reluctance as shops open.
Fresh bread snuggles on the shelves,
rubbing tantalizing odors on dawn-smudged windows 
as we renew our hunger for the hope of day 
and continue the rite of existence.


 2008 Gary Beck


Revels Ended

We have dreamed your spires and towers, city, 
raised you not quite cloud high, 
bursted your innards with commotion, 
threatened with dreadful intention, 
bringing fear to your people, 
filling the streets with terror.
We have betrayed the covenant of tomorrow, 
consuming today with material pleasures.


 2008 Gary Beck

About the Poet:

Gary Beck's poetry has appeared in dozens of literary magazines. His recent fiction has been published in numerous literary magazines. His chapbook, The Conquest of Somalia, will be published by Cervena Barva Press. His plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes, and Sophocles have been produced Off-Broadway.

The poems included in this issue are from his collection Dawn in Cities, not yet published.



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