(All poetry by Bruce Dale Wise)


On Secretaries of State: Falling from Grace

by Brice U. Lawseed

Across the World in India, while touring for her book,
the former Secretary Clinton, trying to look cool,
upon the steps of Jahaz Mahal palace in Mandu,
slipped on the stony steps, not once, but twice, and saved twice too.
She gave her litany of reasons why she did not win,
and, too, a diatribe against the country once again.

Warned by the chief of staff to halt his trip to Africa,
Rex Tillerson received a tweet that he was to be sacked.
The Texan oil executive, unliked by Dems and Press,
was tossed by Prez just after he was back in the US.
“I’ll now return to private life…a private citizen…
proud of the opportunity to serve my country.” End.

Brice U. Lawseed is a poet of DC and its environs, of politics and law.

Bodies: The Exhibition

by Lu “Reed ABCs” Wei

“The Exhibition: Bodies” opened in 2005,
from Albuquerque to Zagreb, around the globe it’s live:
Atlanta, Georgia, business Premier Exhibitions Inc.
displays cadavers it receives from China’s Dalian.
Concerns about the provenance of bodies issues forth,
particularly tortured Falun Gong practitioners.
Last year in 2017, in Czech Republic, Prague,
four doctors and four NPOs, called for consentu’l logs,
which not forthcoming, favoured banning the exhibits shown,
along with bodies buried, though no thing has yet been done.

Lu “Reed ABCs” Wei is a poet of China.


The William Tell Overture by Rossini

by Ewald E. Eisbruc

Rossini’s operatic overture to “William Tell”
begins at dawn, a tranquil prelude on an alpine hill,
as if the Sun is shining in E-major cello lows
accompanied by double basses, mellow tremolos;
until the cloudy storm appears, E-minor violence,
and hits in frenzied, vigourous viola-violins,
there punctuated by the winds, flutes, oboes, clarinets,
and more, a bass drum, French horns, tombones and a trumpet’s threat.
Ah, then, clear skies return to G, a calling to the cows,
the wistful, alternating cor anglais and flute arouse;
the lovely melody arises upward to the skies,
the meadow touched by happiness, pastoral, peaceful eyes;
until E-major hits, like as a revolution loosed,
and galloping across the hills the pace is raced and juiced;
full orchestra with trumpet herald runs across the land,
one sensing one has come upon the soul of Switzerland.

Ewald E. Eisbruc is a poet and literary critic of Central European music.


On Falling Trees: March 2, 2018

by Usa A. Celebride

A fierce Nor’easter knocked out power, flooding East Coast streets,
and toppled down an old Canadian spruce-hemlock tree,
that had been planted back in the late 18th century
upon George Washington’s Mount Vernon landscaped property.

As well another tree that overlooked the tomb fell too,
the lost Virginia cedar dropped within the windy brew,
beside the low, obscure brick vault, where ivy vine leaves dew,
a plain and modest, unassuming, ordinary view.

Americans, it seems, pay less attention to their past.
Heroic leaders once they’re dead and buried vanish fast.
For after all, it isn’t walls or trees in spaces cast,
but something more intangible, a nation hopes will last.

Usa W. Celebride is a poet of America, who loves the USA.

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6 Responses

  1. Amy Foreman

    All I can say, Bruce Dale Wise, is that your creative use of heteronym is nothing short of spectacular–and the apt short bios after each poem only add to the charm!

  2. David Watt

    Bruce, you respond to diverse subjects, yet never falter in engaging the reader.

    I particularly enjoyed the final quatrain of ‘On Falling Trees.’ The sentiment you express in these lines rings true for many nations.

  3. Lew Icarus Bede

    As Ms. Foreman has drawn attention not to my poems but to my charichords (anagrammatic heteronyms), I will say a few words about them. They are partly my concession to the present emptiness of English poetic drama.

    It is true the Elizabethan and Jacobian dramatists, like Beaumont, Chapman, Fletcher, Greene, Jonson, Kyd, Marlowe, Marston, Middleton, Shakespeare, Tourneur, Webster, to name a dozen, reveal the depth and fertility of poetic drama in that period. Now I am aware of these writers’ works demonstrate many literary vices and flaws; but really, since their magnificent expressive power, great English poetic drama has been banished from, and nearly vanished from, Parnassian slopes. It has managed in little fits and starts to make attempts, exempli gratia, in the tries of poets, like Milton, Dryden, Shelley, and T. S. Eliot; but no later period comes close. [We Americans hardly tried, though, at least we have the prosaic dramas of the 1930’s and 1940’s.]

    This is an indictment of our age—which for historical reasons, I have called the New Millennium. I wonder how many others feel how benighted this period is in sheer poetic dramatic force. Even our epics seem less than those of Silius Italicus.

    Anyway, I lacked, then, the strength, power, and motivation to write poetic drama, except for sketches (my one uncompleted drama “Nelson,” on the Romantic admiral, became so enormous, with so many characters, French, Spanish, and English, and was rapidly evolving into a Hardyesque “Dynasts,” I had to drop it—Who in this generation would care anyway?).

    Thus, after being denied publication anywhere for the first six decades of my life, I decided to break myself into “selves countless.” After all, who would care? And then, ironically I started getting published, at first extremely slow, about two poems a year, but now, in Spring 2018, it has become a little more than a poem every other day on the Internet, who knows where. I certainly don’t keep track of all my over two hundred charichords, some of the more prolific of them getting more Internet hits than my own name.

    So, instead of bemoaning my lack of dramatic poetic power, and since nobody truly gave a rip anyway, I decided to become my own dramatic personae; and as Mr. Sale has pointed out, the various charichords talk among themselves. One key thing about these charichords (which are both serious and absurd) is that they are really just me with my letters scattered, the bios true of myself. It’s like throwing oneself away—and it’s very freeing. In this way, I can critically expound on my own works, since there really is no serious literary critic interested in them; so there will be in electronic media, at least, some critical analyses.

    After Eliot, Pound, and Pessoa, I suppose personae were in the wind.

    Although our era lacks poetic dramatic force, that doesn’t mean we don’t have other qualities; but it does show what we do not have. The Silver Age in Latin literature had many exceptional writers, Seneca’s philosophical works and tragedies, short-lived Lucan’s historical epic, Petronius dissolute novel (which Fitzgerald drew into “Gatsby”), Silius’ and Statius’ epics, Martial’s epigrams, Quintilian’s literary criticism, Tacitus’ history, Juvenal’s satires, the elder Pliny’s learned works, the Younger Pliny’s epistles, Suetonius’ history (to name a dozen); but, as exciting as those writers are, they were not members of the Golden Age of Latin literature. And that is what I fear we are, unless we work even harder than we are. Yet is it so bad to belong to less than a golden age?

  4. Wilbur Dee Case

    It is true, as Mr. Watt points out, that I respond to diverse subjects—really anything I can find some worth in, philosophy, mathematics, music, physics, religion, history, art, biology, economics, medicine, literature, occasional anecdotes, etc. We are very lucky in this time and place to have so much access to so many things.

    Amongst my works, the ones I think that Mr. Mantyk prefers are the political docupoems. In those timely works, I try to place modern events in the context of history. So, in the case of “Secretaries of State,” in the confines of a dodeca, I attempt a cursory contrast between two of the last few American secretaries of state. For me, the biggest flaw in that poem is the phrase “why she did not win…” because it is missing “the Presidency” and a century from now would not be self-explanatory.

    The second poem is an ongoing problem, really off the radar of most; but of significance to Falun Dafa members, American business and Chinese ethics. The tennos lacks the interest in character in the previous poem, but succinctly shows the crassness of our era. The only protest mentioned in the poem is that of the disregarded Czech medical profession.

    The third poem, really in four-line, iambic-heptametre stanzas, in the manner of Horace, takes a brief look at a favourite musical piece of mine, Rossini’s “William Tell Overture.” I allot four lines per movement, and focus structurally and technically (as opposed to emotionally) upon the work, noting the Italian’s expertise in his historical look back at Switzerland. The change I would make to that poem is I would replace the first “land” with “span.” It shows the modern mind in an analytical mode—which so many of us are in in this era. It also shows my emphasis on combining the intellectual with the poetic, which is really a continuation of the Postmodernist emphasis upon nonfiction.

    Here I am out of synch with poetic practics in the New Millennium. No one I know espouses such an extreme view of prosaic poesy. My desire is to make poetry out of absolutely anything. Of course that doesn’t work; but in a way it does. One can see that American poets, like Marianne Moore, Wallace Stevens, Hart Crane, and T. S. Eliot, were working towards that in some of their works. But I’m not trying to make prosepoems; I want to embrace as much of the traditional canon and practice as I can—with the fluidity of Homer and the intensity of Vergil, with the panorama of Dante and the power of Shakespeare, etc.

    Finally, the last docupoem, “Falling Trees,” attempts to, as Mr. Watt has pointed out, turn a small news story into a generalization of America’s disregard of history and its importance, and have it “ring true for many nations.” What all these poems do is move across the globe in space and time, and make comments; but they are decidedly not confessionals , experiments of flarf, or poetic slam material.

  5. James Sale

    It is a strange thing to realise that my place in history could be solely because I was the first to notice, at least in print, “the various charichords talk among themselves” of the immortal works of BD Wise, that American genius. And though I keep wishing that he’d stop doing it, there is a certain fascination and genius in it! As there is in the poetry: the Wise-one grows on me, and I love some of this stuff. My recommendation now would be: get a book out Bruce, but not any random book, but one – as Sauron suggested in another context: ‘build me an army worthy of Mordor’ – worthy of these charichords. Now that would be quite extraordinary and I’d buy a copy!

  6. Uclis Weebeard

    To Jem al-Seas

    Among the social justice warriors of Dark Sauron are
    the Trolls who love the Necromancer, for his love of war.
    The only greater in their minds, as they attack the Right,
    is Melkor, he, their lord who turned away from light to night.
    Now Morgoth, since he has destroyed Two Trees of Valinor,
    and murdered Finwë, Noldor’s King, so named by Fëanor,
    this Tyrant, Enemy, Oppressor of the World—Bauglir—
    is he who rose in might and fright, the lord of hate and fear.
    And though his sad disharmonies assault the good and true,
    they can’t supplant the beauties of the music of Eru.

    Note: If I had a middle name for Middle-Earth, I could improve the title.


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