Richard WeekleyRichard Weekley  “a Buddha with a sax…opens 84,000 empty gates to the source” noted Peter Levitt.  Jane Hirshfield said of Already There (2010)  “…the tiny poems of this book carry a multitude of reflections bright as mica, consummately free in spirit, and in equal measure comic and profound.” After seeing a performance Alice Pero wrote “we are held spellbound by words that bring us into the very fabric of life…Poetry that is so alive—makes us alive and we leave a Weekley reading uplifted, ready to take on the world.”   Richard is a prolific writer with 11 books or chapbooks including 100 Doors, The Scrubwoman, Not The Subject of Cocktail Parties  (Winner of the Black Bear Publications International Chapbook Competition)  and his most recent Already There released in NYC by World Audience, Inc. in 2010 under his pen name Zen Nam.  Four the last four years he’s been a featured poet at the Utah Arts Festival in Salt Lake City.  His poetry has appeared in The Literary Review, The MacGuffin, The Midwest Quarterly,Poetry LA, Queen’s Quarterly, Wisconsin Review, West Coast Review,Bitterroot, CQ, Crosscurrents, Pudding(featured poet)  are but a few of the North American journals that have published his poetry.  For 25 years he’s been listed in A Directory of American Poets and Writers complied by Poets & Writers, Inc.  He co-founded and co-edited Volume Number Magazine (Vol. No.) 1982-2000. Teacher of the Year honors were bestowed on him by Los Angeles County in 1999. Richard continues to host a widely appreciated Fall Poetry Festival.  His poetry has also appeared in England, Canada, Mexico and Australia.  He wrote:  “No one will understand your poetry but you.  Ten years from now not even you will understand them and you will wonder who wrote them.”

 

Late  at Night

You can hear
Me breathing the
Silence—sifting
The stone of my life

Lifting the dust
Of my dreams

I twist in the COOL
Agony of endless dawn

There I am again, by
The murmur of quail
And the thrashing of
The love stone

What dust I’ve made
With all my starving
(All the stars farther away
By the hour)

Silence is my wheat

I’ve made hunger
An art, you won't find it
In my pockets, but look
In my poems

I’ve been hungry
Since I began. I’m
Hungry now

 

There’s A New Religion In Town

5 Billion Strong
The Latter Day Church of Cell Phone-i-facation

And it has splintered
Into several vicious sects
Sprint, Verizon, AT&T,
All claiming
To be the ONE TRUE ONE
The one without
Dead zones

The one that never drops

And the worshipers are all over town
Heads bowed down
Staring at their hand held cube

Praying 24/7
That the great beyond will answer with a beep,
A buzz or maybe a tweet
Sometimes a little tune

Their prayer book is rectangular
And they are never ever without it

Fearing
A missed bleep
Would vaporize their meaning

Their problems
They tell to the cube

(Never imagining the cube might be a problem)

It tells them
Where to turn
And what to wear

 If the sun is out

(Yes, there’s an App for that)

Blinded believers
Who never see the people near them
(Virtual people are so much better)

                        *

A man bellows loudly into the cube
In the middle of the mall
And suddenly every knows more-than-they-want-to- know
About Harry’s loser wife
And if he pick up the biscuits
Or not

                        *

Followers worship THE GREAT
Satellitic  OTHER
And the other speaks with a voice
Or sometimes
Just electric ink

TEXT
Is the new scripture
The rule beyond the golden one

Some of you have a buzzing
In your pocket by your thigh
Right now

And you’re itching to see WHAT’S NEW
For this is the religion of fluidity
And motion

“Where are YOU?”
Is what everyone wants to know

And with every burp the answer is new

And when that “ping” arrives
Disciples are whole for nearly a second
Until they reply
And then waiting, waiting, waiting again

Eyes hypnotized
Frozen orbs staring on the sacred cube
Shoulders stooped
Bowed
In worship they walk.

 

He Had A Kid Or Two

and so he
lost a decade here
or there

then one day
he went back

his poems exactly
where he left
them

only he did
not remember them
even though
his name is on
them

and he couldn’t
tell if they were
done or just works
in progress

and what is
worse the poems
did not remember
him even though
he smiled—best
he could and tried
to look coy —

so he prodded
one—underlined
a key word here
and there

maybe it would
remember his touch—

it didn’t move

the way lovers
in old photos
stare stiffly into
forever even when
he caresses them

its life is
now its own
like a love
that has moved
on to a life he can't
imagine

and the poem
yearns for him
to put it
away, to close
the cover
the light is heavy
and hurts

it yearns for
the drawer's familiar
dark

where it lives
a lion among
many

willing to roar
in his dreams
if only he can
keep himself from
reading it.

 

 

 

 

2014 Richard Weekley


 

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