Sunday, December 2, 2007

Poetry by Peggy Landsman



Three Poems
by Peggy Landsman

Twentieth Century Tragedies

All our victims should be angels.
It's too hard to muster compassion
For kvetchers
And other run-of-the-mill
Sons-of-bitches.

Holocausts can happen to anybody
Caught in the cross-fire
Crossing the wrong field.

Survivors are a dime a dozen.

I can't take it any longer.
I miss how the horizon used to stretch
Smooth as the tightest skin
Over the empty, unfurrowed fields
Of my inner-vision
Until these tragedies moved in.

What ever happened to the good old days
When victims knew their place?
They either died or disappeared
Leaving us in peace to pray
They all turn up safe and sound
On some slightly Higher ground.

Nowadays, these bastards go shopping.

I get stuck behind them all the time
In Safeway and Lucky checkout lines.

They're forever holding up the Express lines
Trying to smuggle--one more time--
Those last two items
Or
Fumbling for ID and pen,
Failing to understand--again--
The "No Checks, Please!"
Sign.

Holocausts can happen to anybody.
Stretch your imagination across that field.

Imagine how it happens to you:
No gang shower, no tattoo.

Your nine items get their bar codes read;
You make it safe through checkout.
Carrying your paper-in-plastic bag,
You're home before your Häagen-Dazs melts.

*****************************

As It Happens

Intoxicated as Ted Koppel
Swelling under his toupee,
I bulge from where I am most brittle;
I break instead of bend today.

Don't tell me I drink too much;
See how parched my mouth, how dry.
Don't tell me I drink too much;
Each minute they drop, each minute they die.

Intoxicated by Ted Koppel,
I drink his drafts of poison news.
Do I dare to change the channel?
Either way my hangover growls.

There is no hair of the dog for me,
There is no hair of the dog.
I have plucked all dogs bald.
Damn the marrow of their dug-up bones.

*******************************

Coup de George

Since his Florida coup, quelle humdinger!
George has given the people the finger.
Though Iraq's nothing new,
This Bushwacker ain't through:
Be on guard for his ultimate zinger.

Author bio:

Peggy Landsman's poetry and prose has been published in many literary journals and anthologies, including Calyx, The Kerf, Thema, Moondance, The Muse Strikes Back (Story Line Press), The Largeness the Small Is Capable Of (Score Press), and Bridges (Indiana University Press). She lives in Pompano Beach, Florida.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Interesting variety of poems. I especially liked the subtlety and power of 20th Century Tragedies. Made me think for a change.

Richard said...

Interesting variety of poems. I especially liked the subtlety and power of 20th Century Tragedies. Made me think for a change.