Condolances, Beer, Poetry and War

First off my condolences to the family of, Mary Alice Gallagher Kaufman. I have a link to Mary’s blog, it is called, “Meander with me.” Mary was just shy of 90 and one wise woman. I learned a lot from her blog, I loved her poetry and her views about religion. We corresponded back and forth and I am glad now that I was able to tell her how much her views meant to me. If you have someone who has affected your life in a positive way DO NOT put off telling them that before they are gone. The world has a little less sunlight in it with Mary’s passing. Bless you, Mary.

Last week I went downtown Youngstown for an event. Mrs. Elecpencil was busy at a work meeting. I was on my own to grab a meal. Being a spring like day the only thing I was craving was a cold draft beer. Where does one go in Youngstown for the best cold draft? The Golden Dawn on the North Side,of course. The Golden Dawn has been around since, 1934. The bartenders are dressed in white shirts and ties.

What you want to get to drink is a schooner of Genesee. The schooner is a 15 oz. frosted glass of ice-cold draft that makes you say, ahhhhhhhhh.” The menu includes steaks costing over $15. Though the bulk of the menu is Elecpencil budget friendly. They have whole pizza for $5.25 or by the slice for a little more than a dollar. The pizza is on a soft dough with a slice of cheese on it. It is very different but quite good. Also available are cavatelli, fried chicken, and meatloaf dinners all very reasonable. From the sandwich section I got a meatball splash with homemade sauce and two schooners for a total of, $4.75. Truly one of the many treasures of the Youngstown area.

April is poetry month. To celebrate attend the Pig Iron Literary and Art Works Second Tuesday Open Poetry Reading, April 13, 2010. It will be held at the Art Outreach Gallery at Eastwood Mall, Niles, Ohio at 7:00 p.m.

I like poets who have something to say about the world we live in. I cannot think of poets who deserve to be heard more than soldiers serving our country. One such soldier poet is, infantry team leader in Iraq, Brian Turner. These poems are from his book, “Here Bullet.”

What Every Soldier Should Know

If you hear gunfire on a Thursday afternoon,

It could be for a wedding, or it could be for you.

Always enter a home with your right foot;
The left is for cemeteries and unclean places.

O-guf! Tera armeek is rarely useful.
It means Stop! Or I’ll shoot.
Sabah el Khair is effective.
It means Good Morning.
Inshallah means Allah be willing.
Listen well when it is spoken.

You will hear the RPG coming for you.
Not so the roadside bomb.
There are bombs under the overpasses,
In trashpiles, in bricks, in cars.
There are shopping carts with clothes soaked
In foogas, a sticky gel of homemade napalm.
Parachute bombs and artillery shells
sewn into the carcasses of dead farm animals.

Graffiti sprayed onto the overpasses:
I will kell you, American.

Men wearing vests rigged with explosives
walk up, raise their arms and say Inshallah.
There are men who earn eighty dollars
To attack you, five thousand to kill.
Small children who will play with you,
old men with their talk, women who offer chai —
and any one of them
may dance over your body tomorrow.

Here, Bullet

If a body is what you want,
then here is bone and gristle and flesh.
Here is the clavicle-snapped wish,
the aorta’s opened valves, the leap
thought makes at the synaptic gag.

Here is the adrenaline rush you crave,
that inexorable flight, that insane puncture
into heat and blood. And I dare you to finish
what you’ve started. Because here, Bullet,
here is where I complete the word you bring
hissing through the air, here is where I moan
the barrel’s cold esophagus, triggering
my tongue’s explosives for the rifling I have
inside of me, each twist of the round
spun deeper, because here, Bullet,
here is where the world ends, every time.

One must admire a poet who can kind poetry in such horrible surroundings. Such poems need to be read to our politicians who send generation after generation off to wars. Let’s not forget that we not only need to get our soldiers home from Iraq and Afghanistan, we need to stop the insanity of war.

To read other peoples war poems see here.

Michael Franti and Spearhead: Time to Go Home

Hey World (Don’t Give Up)

In time of war the loudest patriots are the greatest profiteers. ~ August Bebel

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