Map of Austin Poetry #304-3
Featured Poetry Supplement
Theme:  Leaping Tall Buildings

Upcoming themes:

304-4 Gold Earrings

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This week's selections include:

1.  Balcony by Maryann Hazen Stearns
2. I always wanted to be SUPERMAN by Bennet Pomerantz
3. South Austin Honky-Tonk by Ralph Hausser
4.  Leaping tall buildings is rather passé by Arthur Seeley
5. Diversity by Su Falcon
6. New, Tall Buildings by Marvin G. Kimbrough
7. Leaping Tall Buildings With Gold Earrings
   or Killing Two Birds With One Stone by Randy Ott
8. Tonight I walked through walls for you.  by Chris Vannoy
9. Leaping Tall Buildings by Jerry Silverberg
10. Reminiscing about 'tall' by Ingeborg Carsten-Miller
11. Negative Cash Flow by Mike Gullickson

1.  Balcony by Maryann Hazen Stearns

No one ever sees me.
People don't look up
the side of the building
from their scuffling shoes
as they walk by below,
their heads full of - what?

(the leather woman)

There's the woman fond of leather-wear.
Every morning she buys
a single organic yellow apple
from the man on the corner.
She wears the skin of dead animals,
only ingests "natural" fruit.
Perhaps she barbeques gray tofu dogs
beside a built-in swimming pool
designed to look like a country pond.
It probably comes with miniature waterfall,
green fronds, palms, water lilies.
A muscular pool boy named Hank,
who wears cut-off jeans and nothing more.

(mr professor)

Here comes the gentleman with the hat
that reminds me of an old gangster movie.
He looks scholarly; a librarian or bookstore owner.
He doesn't walk this way every day;
once or twice a week in good weather.
Sometimes he carries an old briefcase.
He turns onto this block from Bogardus,
walks two blocks, turns left,
disappears around the corner onto Rivendell.
Hi might be going to a poetry read
in St. Anthony's basement.
I imagine he writes poems in the evening,
relaxes with his cat, Bernie,
in the tattered brown easy-chair
in front of the fireplace,
listens to Tchaikovsky, quietly,
on an old phonograph while he pens
his latest poem about Greece, red wine
and ivory colored lovers.

(the bicycle boy)

The boy I think of as "Skinny Jimmy,"
swerves his clunky bicycle down the street,
just misses a car door as it opens
unexpectedly, nearly collides with a cab 
and thinks nothing of it. Skinny Jimmy
is young. His belly is probably full
of macaroni and cheese, pockets packed
with trading cards; but what could be inside
his head? Perhaps worry over that math test
on Friday, or how he's going to earn
enough money to buy his mother
a present next week for her birthday.

(the invisible man)

I don't remember my birthday.
Camilla comes by every day.
She doesn't remember my birthday either.
There is no one left who does.
No one looks up here.
No one sees me look down at them.
No one sees my legs
or knees, my ankles or feet
as if they were not there
at all, including the man
who used to be me.

©  2004 Maryann Hazen Stearns
2. I always wanted to be SUPERMAN by Bennet Pomerantz

I have this dream, where I am flying thru the clouds without a care
in my blue tights and red cape, faster than a speeding bullet!

Reaching Mach one without even trying,
Bounding up and down skyscrapers,
sightseeing the world without a plane,
knowing I am SUPERMAN

Seeing  children and adults alike, waving their heartfelt thanks
knowing I am the most  powerful being in the universe,
faster than The Flash, Smarter than Batman
and being able to hang out with Wonder Woman.

Yet, being the strongest man in the world,
it  can also be the weakest link in my life
I can change the course of a mighty river
and bend steel in my bare hands.
But I can not stop a child from going hungry

I can save the galaxy from evil doers
However, when I make a mistake in not saving just one person
I become a sorta cosmic joke, Suddenly I am a Super jerk

and the press isn't kind to me when I err,
highlighting other failures over the years
and ironically, it seems a personal slap to me,
since my alter ego is a Daily Planet reporter

So, Citizens of the Galaxy, hear my cry
I have fought for truth, justice and the American way
Apple pie and Baseball, the Red , white and blue
However, I am just one man, SUPER as I may be
Just another tabloid celebrity
and as you see me fly away,
I did my best...for as alien as I am, I am human by nature
and I dream be being a real SUPERMAN

I awake from my illusion, gather myself into my wheel chair
gazing  out my window, at the tall building outside
and hope one day I can scale it like Superman

©  2004 Bennet Pomerantz
3. South Austin Honky-Tonk by Ralph Hausser

I know I took a wrong turn
when I see the wire cage
the band plays behind,
and a red-faced man,
drunk and in a rage,
crawls on hands and knees
bellowing his hatred,
intent on killing another sod.
This is no place for
mild-mannered old farts.
I'll always be Clark Kent,
not his alter ego, Superman.
I don't leap tall buildings or
try to outrun locomotives.
Bullets do not bounce from me
nor knives, nor do I want to
risk four grand in dentures.

And why did I let another
old guy make me think
there might be a kicker soul
beneath the grayed-out stubble?
Like roaches scattering when
the lights come on, graybeards
run for parking lot and cars.
See no evil, hear no evil,
hope to heck there is no evil
following out the door.
All the way home, nervous
glances in the rearview
mirror until I'm pulling in
at my own apartment, giving
thanks for empty streets.

©  2004 Ralph Hausser
4.  Leaping tall buildings is rather passé by Arthur Seeley

A dragon explains the reasons for his metamorphosis
from a singeing dragon to a singing dragon

Ah'm wicked and clumsy, no fingers, all fumsy,
a clatter-clawed, slobber-mawed, ragged-jawed blimp.
Ah leap over  high `scrapers,
indulge in wild capers,
leering in at the penthouse with dinner plate eyes,
and make all the ladies scream and swoon with surprise.
Ah'm a scaly dumpling. A fumbling, tumbling, all-blubber lump.
An awkward-squad saurian quadruped ah's been called by some
as should know better than to use dreadful langige like that.
Ah`ve forgotten his name but ah ate him the same
and for afters his coat and his hat.
Muh gob when it gapes' like uh couple of gates,
all-palings and spikey and wide.
Ah'm sluggily-ugly, ah'm slippery-slimey,
gut-wrenchingly grimy and gooey and green deep inside.
Ah stink like Vesuvius' asshole,
ah'm a parcel of cinders and ash.
Ah bump into things as ah'm passing
and make `em fall down with a crash.
Ah'm a blunderer, a thunderer, a shaker,
an earth-quaker, a tree-breaker, a lout.
"Watch out, it's about" they scream and they shout.
Ah'm a gurner, a burner, bigger than bunsen
but brighter and hotter when cross.
Ah slithers and scrapeses through all the dark places,
make the foulest of faces,
crying  `Boo!' and "Ah don't give a toss".
Ah eat sheepses and goatses,
one or two boatses but only the fattest of hogs.
Ah chases old ladies and the smallest of babies
and granddads and children and dogs.
Ah'm big and ah'm bad and mostly ah'm mad.
ah's scarey and shows it, ah don't care who knows it,
ah've no saving graces, ah'm a galumph, a bully, a cad.
A horny-backed, leather-winged terror,
the Curse of the Skies, ah've been called,
ah'm damned and doom laden, with a penchant for maiden.
They knows it, and fears me,
throws bloody great spears at me
pursue and harass me, abuse, insult and sass me,
rewarding my slaughter with the hand of their daughter,
and a third of their kingdom, no less.

Well ah'm finished!
Ah want none of it now,
there's no fun in it now,
ah want done with it now.
Ah've found me a tune
it's one ah can croon
put words to as ah'm flying along
so just let it be
the music and me
ah'll be happy you'll see.
You can watch my sparks fly
across the night sky
if ah'm winging close by,
my shape hanging black on the moon.
Alone with my strumberling, tremberling
smouldering- emberling,
tootling, fluteling
malodorous melodious tune.

©  2004 Arthur Seeley
5. Diversity by Su Falcon

We speak different languages, you and I.
I signal passion while you talk politics
until I accuse you of hiding behind
world news.

I look in longing through your angry denial,
trying in vain to see the man I once knew
could ride wild stallions through
crusty waves.

Ours has become a match made
on earth

©  2004 Su Falcon
6. New, Tall Buildings by Marvin G. Kimbrough
Abstract sculpture
The new, tall buildings will be
Computer generated, unconventional, creative
Sculptured masterpieces
Not boxy, not phallic
Not like the Tower of Babel that crumbled
Not like the Tower of Pisa tht leaned
Not like the World Trade Center
Vulnerable to man's inhumanity to man
Not like the Empire State Building
Great in its time, but relegated to the status
Of a move set for fictitious
King Kong
New, tall buildings
Computer generated, unconventional
Sculptured masterpieces, super strong
Still made of concrete
Concrete made of God's dirt, His gravel and His sand
Subject to His will

©  2004 Marvin G. Kimbrough
7. Leaping Tall Buildings With Gold Earrings
      or Killing Two Birds With One Stone by Randy Ott

I read the poems
that people write
at Anastasia's
every night.

Some I get
some are silly.
Some I doubt
are poetry.

But who am I
to judge a scribe?
Just a poet.
Well, sometimes.
These two themes
I think this time
would sound OK
if combined.

So as I leave
I'll say one thing:
I leap tall buildings
wearing gold earrings!
©  2004 Superman a/k/a Randy Ott
8. Tonight I walked through walls for you.  by Chris Vannoy

Clawed my way over those
dull brained boys
that you call men.
Scraped their skin from under my finger nails:
their bird faces sucking air as they ran.

I chewed through the boulders;
filling in the crevasse of excuses
with the excess gravel I picked from my teeth;
slowing only for a moment to check my progress in the blazing sun

I triumphed over your stiff wind adversity.
Any other superhuman would have sobbed in defeat just trying to

You said,"The snow doesn't set well on the mountain when it rains."

So I straightened the picture for you.
Hope the hurricane didn't muss you up too much!
©  2004 Chris Vannoy
9. Leaping Tall Buildings by Jerry Silverberg

Fred the frog jumps without fail.
He croaks in time with a hop
able to leap tall buildings
Fred croaks when he goes to shop
for a perfect fly to nail.

Around Lilies and green chutes
the lean one hides beneath lake weed
where a neighbor with the small tale
moves land bound from water roots.

Fred jumps with bulging eyes open.
His glide at ease on nature's trip,
croak he does when he leaps tall buildings
of mud, tree branches, predator tips.

An old frog maneuvers quarter circles
centered upon water he loves to skim
rocks flat as a silver dollar, pathway
witnessed by Oscar the cat fish watching him

as sunshine reflects the glow of country
in a wet world that Fred is one jump away
from a gullible croaker set to jump as well
where tadpoles and fins ring like a bell, today.

Marie, a shy neighbor sits upon her patty.
She spies Fred who leaps tall buildings
she's a fatty with the bull croak snore
one lucky frog that will finally score.

Fred reacts with a powerful hop to the top
of a low branch with his lunch on hold,
love escapes eyes that scan a bunch of flies
every one knows! Best eaten when cold.

Time is a game that bonds croaks in place,
grace not Fred's
yesterday, for him, is another bug for prey
that will lose in a sticky tongue race.

Marie and Fred live happily ever after 


©  2004 Jerry Silverberg
10. Reminiscing about 'tall' by Ingeborg Carsten-Miller
When I was small
to be tall was all I
wanted to be - tall
'tall' - to look up to
'tall' - to speak of
'tall' - to think of
Now that I am not as small
I still want to be tall -
in outlook, idea, life -
tall to know
tall to give
What can I give you
not to go against the tall
not to destroy, to make fall what is tall
not tto ponder, not to revolt, not to topple
what you cannot reach what is meant to be tall?
There go the highest towers
fall aflame to powers unforeseen
There storm nature's floods
twentyone feet waves
into fourth floors
Where nobody on this earth in
their right mind would take the
leap from any tall building
but fate - that pushes the
tallest leap to a fall
Could I be so tall
to take the fall
of any leap
from a tall
©  2004 Ingeborg Carsten-Miller
11. Negative Cash Flow by Mike Gullickson

"... could it be that in your mind, I'm falling off the earth?"
from CRAZY by Erin Hill

I gave up leaping tall buildngs
when my uniform expired.
It had a "best before" date
that had long ago passed,
the "S" was limp almost horizontal,
the tights had a run in them
the waistband was stretched out
from years of too many
car   bo   hy  drates
(my personal kryptonite
was chocolate cake
overfrosted some might say
but the box said FROST AS DESIRED
and 2 inches thick sounds just about right)

CNN talks about me
"Where has he gone?"
Analysts debate my abscense
with Bizzaro theories
like I'm dead
like I left for some other planet
like I settled down
in a small town
just south of Metropolis.

It's not easy being me
on call 24/7.
I've learned to shut the voices out
realize I can only be one place
at a time,
that as hard as I try
people will still die
and the world
and the flesh
   and the devil
show no mercy
there are always dues to pay.

I think I'll audition for
the next "Survivor"
as an aging reporter
who once knew Superman.
I'll fish like Rupert
balance on cross beams
use just enough of my powers
to win every challenge.
With my super hearing
I'll listen to the plots against me
make alliances with those who'll help me most
as always be careful
with my enemies.

I'm reduced to this you see
I need the money.

©  2004 Mike Gullickson
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