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  • Robert L. Giron

Issue 125 — Dzafer Buzoli, David Garrett Izzo, David Lawrence

In this issue, works by


Dzafer Buzoli

A Real Love

My father heard there was a pretty girl in a nearby village.

He went to see her and asked her hand for me.

I was 16, about the time to get married,

father came home with my potential father-in-law

who looked like a Halloween decoration.

I was wondering what she looked like!?

The arrangements were made,

and we sold our cow

to pay the bride price.

She cooked well,

washed our feet

and obeyed us all.

I learned to love her very much

but I still miss my cow.

Copyright © 2019 by Dzafer Buzoli.

New Bori

A new bori is in our house.

In our tradition it is important

to get up early and do the house work:

make bread, wash dishes, clean—

We did not get used to get up early

but she makes us get up very early

by making noises with plates, pots—

After few days

she was told

not to get up early

as she woke us all.

I think this is what she wanted,

now she sleeps until 10 am.

Copyright © 2019 by Dzafer Buzoli.

Dead Chicken for Supper

My father often brought

a dead chicken for supper,

said the chicken was hit by car.

We could not afford to buy chickens,

this was the only way to eat meat.

But since then

every evening we would

walk though the village.

Leaving bread crumbs

on the asphalt road.

Copyright © 2019 by Dzafer Buzoli.

School Love

I fell in love with

a Serbian girl in school.

We were doing well,

it felt almost like a dream.

My friends were very jealous,

her friends laughed at her

for dating a gypsy.

Holding her hand,

touching her hair,

made me feel like

I was in the clouds.

Then some of her friends

told her father about us.

He came to the class,

came straight to me,

and punched me in the face.

It did not hurt much,

I just felt blood coming out of my nose.

None of classmates helped me,

did not protect me,

even the school director did not react.

Ana’s father engaged people to follow me,

threatened to kill me

if I ever went near her.

She didn’t come to school anymore,

her friends told me

she was taken to northern Serbia

to continue her education.


if you ever read this—

I still have your T-shirt

Copyright © 2019 by Dzafer Buzoli.

About the Author

Dzafer Buzoli is a Gypsy/Roma activist who lives in Kosovo. He has finished writing is first collection of poetry which is an autobiography of his experiences of being a gypsy, with family, friends, traditions, customs and everyday life, war, love. These are true stories, of Gypsies living in the Balkans. Recently Frankfurter Allgemeine wrote about Buzoli and his poetry.

David Garrett Izzo

Postage Due

Richard had said: “She would haunt my thoughts and dreams.“

He was right!

A little slip was placed in the brass mailbox:


Why the hell can’t some people add right?

Probably a book.

Off we go to the post office.

The nice Chinese lady fades into the back.

(In a minute or less I will fade into black.)

What will it be?

When she comes out with it, the upper left says Townsend House.

I take a wrenching breath. Townsend House is a very bad memory.

She asks for the $1.75—twice.

I pay. I leave.

Townsend House was the last stop before that which was imminent;

The place my mother would be going.

“I don’t like it here, too many old people.“

She included.

The package has a book all right, a high school yearbook—

Newtown 1936, my mother’s yearbook that she’d kept for sixty-four years

With pictures that do not tell a story;

Now comes this book left behind by eyes that didn’t want to see what was left behind,

And ears that didn’t want to hear about yesterdays.

I know she’s in there—under “F”—Fiorentino.

I can’t get it open;

The cover is too heavy;

My hands are too heavy;

My eyes are too heavy.

When the Salem persecutors pressed Giles Corey,

They piled boulders on his chest to hurt him into lies.

This book weighs even more.

I feel his pain.

Even the cats stay away from it.

This was not something to give up one of their nine lives for.

Can this book hurt me into lies?

The tongue that cannot speak.

The ice that freezes me into dread alive or dead.

She of the book may have been

A someone else I never knew instead of the person

Whom Richard said “would haunt my thoughts and dreams.“

Postage due—$1.75.

Who could have known how much that would actually cost?

Previously published in The Pomona Valley Review, May 2014.

Copyright © 2019 by David Garrett Izzo.

Uncle Wiz: The Poet W. H. (Wystan Hugh) Auden

Uncle Wiz (what the kids called him)

Asked us to ask ourselves:

Who am I?

Whom ought I to become? (borrowed from Robert Frost)

The answers to which are the sum of existence encapsulated,

Debate optional, contemplation required.

He staked out the Twentieth-Century.

Evidence: The Modern Library labeled him one of 92 makers of the modern world.

His words are famous; the aged face more so.

Rows of Martian canals lined his with deep furrows,

Keith Richards lost older brother,

Yoda-esque—a retro alien.

The depth of those lines signified the arduous journey of his poems;

A trek begun in earnest precocity.

As a child, he divined Secondary Worlds in the mines and limestone of his English landscape.

The Rake’s Progress was his story,

But, oh, what a churlish rake!

Prone to great silences when disaffected,

Known to explode in volcanic personality when not.

(Glenway Wescott compared him to Vachel Lindsay.)


A poet who defined an era: The Age of Anxiety


And he, in his heaven,

Does crossword puzzles and

Solves his beloved detective novels

By Hammond Innis and Nicholas Blake,

(Born Cecil Day-Lewis, who was Daniel’s father and Auden’s Oxford classmate.)

Uncle Wiz looks bemusedly over us—the poor confused—

With a knowing, Tolkien grin, imploring that we not break, but bend.

In the end, he said:

Thank, thank you, thank you Fog

Auden lifted it a little for us,

And for that, we just say—

Thank you!

Copyright © 2019 by David Garrett Izzo.

The Well of Silence

We seek:

The hearts of space,

The eyes of an eagle,

An insular Tahiti,

The center of the hurricane...

An All-rightness of being,

An At-homeness in existence.

We get:

Gusts of apathy are the fodder of fools.

We are born in peace and will come to lie in a piece of earth

Or burst in flame—dust to dust.

In between, the musk of self-proclaimed demi-gods wafts from the cold sweat of

Steamy heads adrift in the frozen tundra; this is the heat of system overload,

An electrical fire of scorched synapses

Ignited by the friction of rubbing against the world.

Crash and burn,

And from the flames, the misguided begging knows not where to turn;

They’ve no learning—humanism has no meaning to them—they are headed for Dante’s Inferno—not that they know where that is. Prayers will not help if there is no spirit in these empty suits.

The inhabitants of real spirit neither hear nor fear petitioners’ prayers,

As these are merely an insincere supplicant’s psalm-sucking balm to a toasted ego . . .

The real spirit waits in a well of silence

To be melded with, not begged to,

Partaken of, not shaken by the zeal of the recently converted . . . .

One lifetime is not enough:

Of all the forms of genius, goodness has the longest awkward age.*

Faith in fate—

I praise all living, the light and the dark.*

* Thornton Wilder

Previously published in The Muse-An International Journal of Poetry, June 2012.

Copyright © 2019 by David Garrett Izzo.

About the Author

David Garrett Izzo, English professor emeritus, has published three novels, three plays, six short stories, and 17 poems, as well as 16 books and 60 essays of literary scholarship. Izzo has published extensively on the Perennial Spiritual Philosophy of Mysticism (Vedanta) as applied to literature. He is inspired by Aldous Huxley, as well as Bruce Springsteen, his wife Carol and their five cats: Huxley, Max, Princess, Phoebe, and Luca. Two of his novels are fantasies with cats as characters: Maximus in Catland (compared to C.S. Lewis) and Purring Heights (Gival Press, 2012). The third is a historical novel about Huxley (A Change of Heart, Gival Press, 2003) and his peers. Details and reviews at:

David Lawrence

Love Note

If I were a piece of paper flying through the air as the World Trade Towers fell, I’d wish that I were a love note to my wife.

I would float like our emotions through thick and thin and for all our little gestures that have been.

I would love her in my disappearance and hope that one day she would find this scrap and tape it to her forehead as a testimony that I loved her in imperfect penmanship.

I would separate myself from the newspapers falling and be a letter from love’s God to his failed children.

I would watch the jumpers diving past me and be glad that my final act to Lauren would be gentle and that despite the difficulties of marriage’s give and take I did not crash and burn.

Copyright © 2019 by David Lawrence.

Allahu Akbar

I stepped on a cockroach to hear its skeleton crack. It was beautiful. Or perhaps it was the ugliness of stale water In a pond.

Or perhaps it was the horror of planes hitting the World Trade Towers, killing women, children, men,

life itself and the breath of being.

When I see tapes of the Towers I want to poke out my eyes. I don’t want to see the twisted evil of those people flying the plane.

Why do they say, “Allahu Akbar?” As if God is great when he tears people into angry pieces.

We are skewered chunks of beef on His skewer dipped in the sauce of religious dogma.

Copyright © 2019 by David Lawrence.

On Fire

If you jumped from the World Trade Towers to avoid the fire I understand your not wanting to burn.

But if you jumped when you were already on fire then you double dosed your punishment and died twice.

A little piece of me burned like a charcoal and cooked the steaks of sadness in my suburban backyard

of shock and hurt.

If the jumpers didn’t hotly die I wouldn’t contest that life wasn’t worthwhile and that we should drag it out through the flames.

But falling and appallingly roasting in a leaping fire is too much for me to want to live, to want to appreciate God, to ignore the cruelty of the universe in its invasion of enemies poking at me like a fork.

Copyright © 2019 by David Lawrence.

White Dust

I visited my son’s apartment at Battery Park two days after the World Trade Center disaster.

There was a lot of white dust everywhere. I put some in my mouth so I could taste what it was to die,

dry mouthed, speechless.

So much disaster everywhere and my son got a pass from death. He was looking the other way when the Towers fell down.

The thing I don’t like about death is that it tears down life and buries it in religious hatred.

I’d like to stay in Battery Park for the next thirty years with my family and learn that life comes back to you If you’re lucky enough to hang around long enough.

Copyright © 2019 by David Lawrence.

About the Author

David Lawrence has a Ph.D. in English Literature from CUNY. His collection The Interrupted Sky from which these poems are part of explores 9/11 from an emotional, poetic aspect. He reads the tragedy of the World Trade Towers from the inside out through poems. But he uses the prose poem to try to make it more accessible for the average reader. Lawrence worked on Wall Street and was the CEO of Allied Programs Corp.

Lawrence’s published poetry books are Lane Changes (Four Way Books) and Dementia Pugilistica (Turtle Bay Press). He also published Blame it on the Scientists, a poetry chapbook, and a memoir, The King of White Collar Boxing (Rain Mountain Press). Living on Madison Avenue was published in 2018 (Future Cycle Press). He has also published a thousand poems in many different journals. His other memoir is On Jail: The Essays. Lawrence has published five hundred articles in places like the Daily Caller and American Thinker as well as letters in The Post, The Daily News, U.S.A. Today and the Washington Times. There are feature articles on Lawrence in People Magazine, New York Mag, Men’s Journal, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Time Out, The Daily News, New York Post, etc.

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