ed markowski | valentine’s day

14 02 2010

Valentine's Day  By Ed Markowski      On her nightstand beside the ice bucket      beside her bra beside my Wranglers behind      her blouse behind my t-shirt behind her      skirt behind our picture between her pills      & my bottle between her bed & bedroom      window between Detroit & Chicago between      her legs & mine between the Moon & Mars      in a sky of hot red wax the remnants of      two moths.

ed markowski | photo in a junk drawer

24 11 2009

PoetryDispatch No. 300 | November 24, 2009


photo in a junk drawer

i show up under a tangle
of shoe strings rubber bands
& holy cards left over from
my mother’s funeral wearing
a long sleeve black flannel shirt
mime’s make-up & black wayfarers
that on this frigid january 11, 2008
still reflect the light of an explosion
dead center in both lenses back into
a drooping smile that disguised two
fractured eyes as my third grazed
blinked & wept in the seductive scent
of a malignant blossom before waking
as i slept in an aluminum lawn chair
on skinny jimmy’s sagging porch under
a pewter moon gripping a flame tempered
tea spoon that held the delicate & delirious
soup we fed each other under lock & key
in a cellophane bubble of oxygen
deprivation rocketing back to that
deserted planet we discovered in a
sun starved upper flat above jupiter
avenue the night of july 22nd, 1972
thirty sad & suffocating days before mary
splashed down somewhere off the coast
of nowhere & drowned in the shallow
golden bowl of a souvenier spoon from
coney island on the hood of doc magee’s
64 galaxy in an alley with no exit behind
vito’s tel-star bar & pizza.

ed markowski | three by…

23 10 2009

Poetry Dispatch No. 296 | October 23, 2009


Heaven’s Gate

she kissed me where
the beach turned mean
an hour after winter began
we drank the draino
we loved each others others
with dread & disease
cascading down for seven years
every black cat that
crossed our path had
all nine lives reduced
to none then blew
two flutes for luck
& love was blazing
bleak where one last
look confirmed our sex red
big finned fleetwood idled
in the shade & panic
of a ponderosa pine
on the outskirts of
a one way window
in a half horse town
between three pains of
shattered glass we laughed
& crackled twice as crisp
in the heat of a
sixty watt light bulb aglow
with sin & sensation &
lies laced with honey
adrift in the dust of
an ancient desert on
a mattress stuffed with
amber roses that scented
those nights we free fell
from the ledge of
orion’s lips & rumbled
through a sheet of stars
then drowned in the depths
of a souvenier shot glass
from mickey ratt’s rio roadhouse
when i was doc hologram
& she was ma darker
on cloud double zero at
the heaven’s gate motel.

death bed
in the calm between tremors
her vow to guide me
when i get there

the argument,

yard chickens

on my shadow.

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaashows up

ed markowski | a poem and a note

11 10 2008

Poetry Dispatch No. 255 | October 11, 2008

ed markowski

(a poem and a note)

Ed Markowski seems to be one of those writers who awakes, walks, eats, drinks, works, plays, loves, sleeps, dreams poems. I don’t know this for sure—but I suspect it. Like the old ad for Jay’s Potato Chips: “You (he)can’t stop eating (writing) them!”

I suspect ed markowski could easily write a poem a day–or more. Most of them pretty damn good poems. Keepers.

Often he’s playful, always thoughtful, occasionally political. I’m sure he prefers the long art of a short poem to the short life (politically) on things. Nevertheless, the poem is where you find it, feel it—at that moment. And put it down.

Granted, there is a ‘momentary’ zone some of us writers are fortunate to enter almost at will. A free zone, inner time zone…the kind of thing that happens when we are consumed by that which we discover to be writing in our heads—all the time, till it finally falls in place on paper.

You nourish that, court it, stay connected with that long enough…and you enter a state of what I compare to ‘zen awareness’ where everything you see becomes a poem. I suspect, here again (and finally), that ed markowski knows and religiously occupies that zen zone on a momentary/daily basis, honoring it all—feeling it flutter inside, alive in the place where words grow into telling images of revelation.

I’m not quite sure what ed does for a living—then again, it doesn’t matter. It’s pretty obvious. He lives to write poems. —Norbert Blei

an american dream

by ed markowski

the garden of eden featured
synchronized dolphins two
roller coasters & fire eating
vigilantes who fashioned each
rosary into a noose while we
pledged allegiance to a flag
that shed its skin & became
a snake beneath an oak where
the guilty women hung their
wombs at one time or another
every raisin used steroids
at the major league level &
bloomed into barry bonds the
baseball mirage who charged
an adoring autograph 15.00 for his
illegible boy before a windstorm
uprooted the virgin who was packing
apples into the pie she crushed
for christ at the church bake sale
last week in alaska every cherry blossom
that drifted down in washington d.c.
exploded while a man cried out the
box was always more nutritious than
the burger before a horse broke loose
from a carousel & won the kentucky
derby by a nose i walked eight years
in the president’s shoes only to

[Source: Author…new poem, first publication]


right now as far as print mags go, i’ve got…

8 short poems coming out in a magazine called “labor.” jim daniels, who is a native of detroit & is the chairman of the creative writing department at carnegie mellon in pittsburg is labor’s poetry editor.

this haiku…

[Editor’s note: Sorry, wish I could print it, it’s a beauty, but first rights are elsewhere]

is due out in a british print / haiku mag called presence. presence is a top flight mag in terms of content & production.

have these two poems…

[Ed’s note: Sorry again. Same excuse]

due out in a very tiny but well respected mag called the lilliput review.

have a large number of short poems due out in the next five bottle rockets. the editor, stan forrester has a backlog of my poems. bottle rockets is well done & a lot of fun. the mag comes out of windsor, connecticut.

have two haibun due out in the winter edition of simply haiku.

have a short story due out in the next smokebox. the story is basically a letter from charlie manson to his mother. i’ll forward the piece to you.

so, that’s what’s out there now. i’know this will seem contradictory considering the list above, but i’m not all that bent on sending things out.

it’s like in another life i was a chef & now i prefer to cook for family & friends.

as much as i like print mags, i think poems & stories travel much further on the internet. after all, the most visible magazines (the new yorker etc.) have online editions.

i get invitations all the time from fledgling e mags to send poems. i realized along time ago that it’s not necessary to be published everywhere.

over the weekend i received an invite from an ezine in india called the taj mahal review. turned it down.

stan forrester asked me to write a 10 part piece on my experiences at the naropa institute.

i turned that down too. told stan, “that was 30 years ago, anything i’d have to say would be totally inaccurate. i can’t quote alan ginsberg or gregory corso thirty years after the fact, besides the most interesting part of the trip was the 2 weeks i spent in jail in central city, nebraska. my girlfriend had to live in a pup tent the whole time. she’s the one with the story.”

so , the new yorker would be nice & maybe some day i’ll get there, but if not, that’s ok too. the small press really is the backbone of american arts & letters & that’s gotten me on a bill with billy collins at the national arts club & on a stage at chautauqua & i’ve been discovered by you who i have the utmost respect for. in my book, that’s pretty good. the small press has been very very good to me.

Ed. Note: Other small poems/haiku work by ed markowski to be found on my site devoted to the small poem: Basho’s Road

ed markowski | candidates 9/3/08

9 09 2008

NOTES from the UNDERGROUND… No.150 | September 9, 2008


candidates 9/3/08

election news a woman spits up sticks & stones

sharpening the darkness of her smile a poet

the color of a crow on the clothesline is perfect

-ed markowski

Editor’s Note: Sometimes you leave it to the power (political) of the poet to find truth in words. More of Markowski’s mastery of the small poem can be found at: www.bashosroad.outlawpoetry.com . “Candidates 9/3/08” will be posted there as well. –Norbert Blei

markowski | stafford | sandburg | three poems on july 4th

4 07 2008

Poetry Dispatch No. 246 | July 4, 2008

Three Poems on July 4th

independence day
the dulled point
grandpa’s foxhole shovel

-by Ed Markowski

Allegiances by William Stafford

It is time for all the heroes to go home
if they have any, time for all of us common ones
to locate ourselves by the real things
we live by.

Far to the north, or indeed in any direction,
strange mountains and creatures have always lurked–
elves, goblins, trolls, and spiders:-we
encounter them in dread and wonder,

But once we have tasted far streams, touched the gold,
found some limit beyond the waterfall,
a season changes, and we come back, changed
but safe, quiet, grateful.

Suppose an insane wind holds all the hills
while strange beliefs whine at the traveler’s ears,
we ordinary beings can cling to the earth and love
where we are, sturdy for common things.

Fourth of July Night by Carl Sandburg

The little boat at anchor in black water sat murmuring to the tall black sky
A white sky bomb fizzed on a black line.
A rocket hissed it’s red signature into the west.
Now a shower of Chinese fire alphabets,
A cry of flower pots broken in flames,
A long curve to a purple spray, three violet balloons—
Drips of seaweed tangled in gold, shimmering symbols of mixed numbers,
Tremulous arrangements of cream gold folds of a bride’s wedding gown—
A few sky bombs spoke their pieces, then velvet dark.
The little boat at anchor in black water sat murmuring to the tall black sky.