Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Where Have You Gone To Godzilla? by BJ Neblett

…memories are realities ghosts…

Where Have You Gone To Godzilla?
by BJ Neblett
© 2008

Where have you gone to Godzilla?
Are there no more toy
tanks to stomp,
children to scare?
On a burning Saturday afternoon
indecisive leather clad doors swing freely
their oval panes frosted with the fingerprints of time,
just two bits a head to enter the tunnel of dreams.
Yellow brick carpet
worn smooth as grand mom’s mohair sofa
lumbers into the inky darkness,
bruised seat cushions
and jealous velvet ropes
smack of popcorn and promises and disinfectant.
A three story shroud yawns gracefully
and the billboard sized screen materializes,
celluloid church commences.

Where have you gone to Godzilla?
Have you retreated to your
octagon metal crypt for good?
White T shirt and blue jeans
the uniform of the faithful,
red Converse hi-tops
and pink Keds
become one with the floor
awash in a sea of Pepsi cement.
Coiled springs bloom like May flowers
out of the tired recliners
where me and freckled Amy Johnson
and two penny Mary Jane
form a sweet ménage a trios
in the center of the sixth row.

War, protests and hatred
dance  on the silver wall
a muddled juxtaposition
of newsreel
and preview of things to come.
Speechless Tom and Jerry
do what comes natural
to a cartoon cat and mouse
with frying pan and anvil.
Amy’s elbow has found my ribs
and my hand retreats to her shoulder.
Hazel star filtered eyes
and 70 millimeter reverie
take wing with discerning dialogue
and butterfly kisses.

Oh, where have you gone to Godzilla?
Rampaging terror in black and white
psychedelic clown in Technicolor,
there is no joy in Erewhon tonight
the king of monsters
has gone dark,
the last reel flapping your dirge.
Wide screen CinemaScope illusions
have flickered into letter-boxed reality.

                                    Youngstown, OH
                                    January, 2008

Sunday, February 17, 2013

July Cool by BJ Neblett

As my memoir Ice Cream Camelot about growing up during the Kennedy era is about to be published, here's a look at the poem that started it all, a poem I wrote for my first girlfriend Amy. Enjoy.

July Cool by BJ Neblett
© 2008

Burning July
sidewalks as hot as
the tip of the smoldering punk
clenched tightly between
teeth and gum
like some fancy cigar
because we were cool
in red hi-tops
and white T shirts
sleeves rolled
with empty Marlboro packs
like the older dudes
because it was cool
cool as the locking blade
knife ordered
from the last page of
a Green Lantern comic book
it bounced in the back pocket
of our torn
and faded jeans
stained with rainbow badges
proclaiming our cool
bloody nose red
and fishing hook green
and the wide dirt brown stripe
from sliding into home

Torturous July
stealthy pendulum
hovering between youth and tomorrow
when we were cool
and not yet cool
like the tarnished silver ring
that spent July sleeping
in that cool little pocket in my jeans
I bought it from Woolworths
to give to Amy Johnson
in the flickering coolness
of a Saturday matinee
it felt warm
and full of promises
but I didn’t give it to her
because I was too cool
or not cool enough
and Chris called me
a coward
and he was right
so I bought popcorn
with my last four bits
just to hear Amy’s
freckled laughter
and taste her hazel eyes
that made my stomach bubble

Enchanted July
when days exploded
with sunshine
and dandelions
and wishes
like the Black Kats
and Lady Fingers
we ignited with the punks
we pretended to smoke
when shy fireflies
sang in Morse code
and bold butterflies kissed
when I got my first pair
of Matador boots
but had to wait
till September
to wear them to school
because they were cool
and they made me cool

Sultry July
of watermelon days
and transistor nights
when one Willie Mays
was worth two Richie Ashburn’s
unless you lived in Philly
that magical July
our clubhouse
in the woods
became the smoking spot
no more un-cool punks
we had Salems
from mom’s purse
and Chesterfields
for twenty five cents a pack
they burned our throats
like the warm Schlitz beer
Timmy stole
from a neighbor’s garage
then the smoking spot
became the drinking spot
the same spot
where I first touched Robin
in that spot
and Amy knew
and killed me
with her hazel eyes
that made my stomach bubble

Ineluctable July
of inky nights
spent hanging out
because we were cool
trouble matured with us
from playground
to bowling alley
to pool hall
we were too old
for the curfews
we ignored
too old and too cool
but too young to drive
except for the cars
I stole
to impress the guys
and to win back
Amy Johnson
who told me
I was just too cool

Too cool for the July
that melted too soon
like the tangerine sun
and the jealous moon
and Amy’s hazel eyes
that made my stomach bubble
that cool July

For Amy, wherever you are thank you

                                                Elkton, Ohio
                                                February, 2008

Monday, February 11, 2013

Valentines Day by BJ Neblett

          Valentines Day

Candy coated memories
Sugar sprinkled fears
Chocolate drops of sorrow
Bitter and sweet tears

Greeting cards of perfumed verse
Hearts with painted lies
Words that melt in your mouth
Rose that wilts and dies

Lover’s kisses passion’s touch
All grow cold in time
Promise to forget-me-not
Be my Valentine

                                                            Raybrook, NY
                                                            November, 2006

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Black Wall by BJ Neblett

            Black Wall

 A peaceful march
‘I have a dream’
In Washington DC
What does it mean?

Hope for the future
A nation in doubt
In Dallas, Texas
Shots ring out

Black dog white cop
A church in flames
In Selma, Alabama
Nothing’s changed

Black Panthers roar
A country’s shame
In New York City
A leader is slain

Ten thousand more troops
A limited war
In countless speeches
We’ve heard this before

 Summer of love
Restlessness churns
Across America
Cities burn

Napalm rains
Children scream
In Memphis, Tennessee
The end of a dream

‘I will not run’
War escalates
In a LA hotel
Hope meets its fate

Police mobilize
Storm troopers marching
At a Chicago convention
The whole world is watching

A solider dies
The boy next door
In the USA
A living room war

Draft cards afire
Lives on the line
At Tranquility Base
A step for mankind

Protesters unite
Answer the call
At an Ohio college
Four students fall

‘Bring the boys home’
‘What’s going on?’
In America’s conscience
The words of a song

Soldiers return
A mother’s sorrow
Trapped in a wheelchair
No hope for tomorrow

Fifty-eight thousand dead
For our father’s sins
In the end
Nobody wins

Black Wall cries out
A generation turned
In Iran and Afghanistan
What lessons learned?

                                                            Raybrook, New York
                                                            June, 2006