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We’re New. Arts, Letters & Culture from SF Bay & Beyond.

Issue #1, April-May 2017 – Contents:
 
 

Digital Ambivalence

Faceless minions every day
bubble up from coffee cups
gadgets of all shapes and sizes
piteously holding sway

A harrowing despair
spilling over everywhere
bodies pink and overweight
pasted into chairs

Frantic fingers plinkity plink
knocking over pricey drinks
overflowing greed
an arrogance that lingers

Icky packs of yupsters
simply don’t look up
pawing pointless laptops
a south of Market coffee shop

 
 

© 2017 by Robert Lane Wilder

Rainbow Grocery - San Francisco

Meeting at Rainbow Grocery

Suzi endearingly perceptive,
she concludes,

Not with cell phone…
he’s not someone who can’t bear to be alone.
He might well be complicated,
soulful being situated.

She sees in him something
only artists understand.

Suzi rolls up satin sleeves,
showing in her pleasant face
sensitive insightful visions of
the human race.

Suzi sorta smirks and smiles
glowing with substantial grace,
owing to some special
rainbow flavored dreamlike taste.

 

      Meeting At Rainbow Grocery (Sound Clip) - Robert Lane Wilder

The above is just a sound clip. You can get the entire track, of the author reading this poem, by clicking here.

 

Rainbow Grocery = A popular health food co-op in San Francisco. A random scene from it pictured above.

 

© 2017 by Robert Lane Wilder

George Grosz

George Grosz rearranged and reinvented imagery.
Into human folly, grasping zeitgeist by the throat…
he took apart convention and conformity poignantly.
Nailing its reality, civilization in decline.

George Grosz - Robert Lane Wilder poetry

Pointing out pointlessness,
the evils of an ugly age.
Grosz, a peerless visionary zeroed in…
exposing all the underpinnings of corruption.

Skillfully he’d spotlight this milieu,
its grim chokehold…
Grosz unequaled social critic
prescient, he foretold.

Everyday I trudge around
disgusted much like him,
social failures wreaking havoc
without and within.

Bureaucrats, pervasive
corporate robots waving fists,
clearing out the best and brightest
from within our midst.

 
 

Drawing above by George Grosz

 

© 2017 by Robert Lane Wilder

Unfulfilled Desires

Unfulfilled Desires - Robert Lane Wilder poetry
Jaded I parade around
under San Francisco
waiting for a train to come
underneath feeling glum

Noticing the dim and dumb
wannabes from office towers
rap tap tapping phones
todays faceless robot workers

Everywhere distractions
tech geeks discomboobulated
clamoring for something better
gazing down at shoes

Inside gobs of ire flailing
flummoxed by my never ending
unfulfilled desires

True enough a little dopey
mild mannered joe
falling prey to corporate metal teeth
that don’t let go

 

      Unfulfilled Desires (Sound Clip) - Robert Lane Wilder

 

The above is a sound clip. You can get the whole version, of the author reading the entire work, by clicking here

 

Drawing above by Frost Newton

 
© 2017 by Robert Lane Wilder

Machiavellian Business Snakes

Machiavellian Business Snakes - art by Frost Newton

Spotlights on the fellers
felling old growth trees

Fatboy business CEOs
wrecking homes of creatures
steamrolling habitats
wiping out wetlands
sacrificing nature to install
a bloody strip mall

Corporate crooks who factory farm
practice mutagenics
global warming’s just a start
sweeping under carpets
the poison deeds they do

Bulbous parasites these fakes
machiavellian business snakes
shortsighted money grubbing
wormy squirmy weasels

In their hackneyed coats and ties
narcissistic weenies
chasing tin pot strategies
bulldoze all that’s in the way

Spewing starkly dangerous
plumes of air pollution
machiavellian business snakes
claiming they know what it takes

In reality they hide
inside brazen towers
interested in strangleholds
monopolizing powers

Choking every creature in the forest
quite capricious making sure
more and more
life forms disappear

Hollow and barbaric
a juggernaut this world of suits
multiplying knockout blows
pumping toxins into creek beds
dumping plastics in the ocean

All the time refusing
to accept responsibility
high strung power grasping pricks
raping mother earth

  

Drawing above by Frost Newton

 

© 2017 by Robert Lane Wilder

Have a Pressing Problem?

A place on Sacramento Street
that sits you in a catbird seat.
For finery in need of care,
Peninou, he’ll help you there!

Gamely Pierre Peninou
knowing what your garment’s worth,
glowingly he measures girth.
Brings unrivaled service to you…
plucky Pierre Peninou!

Need to hurry? Do not worry.
Accommodating through and through,
skillful Pierre Peninou!
See the fancy logo on his company hat.
Consummate taste, it shows in that.
Cultured Pierre Peninou!

Pierre mending collar stays.
He’ll impress proper plays.
Remarkable his craftsmanship
especially with finer things.
He’ll make sure seersucker suits
positively sing!

He’ll unwrinkle, block, repair, even cuff & collar
skirts, culottes, sweats and blazers.
Pierre spruces laundry bags
always with a winning splash.
Velvet capes he’ll brush with style.
Get your night gown pressed with dash.
Suits he tailor makes for you.
Crafty Pierre Peninou!

He will reinforce, depill,
stain guard & repel for you.
Flat cuffs cold, that’s old hat.
Complicated tasks he’ll do…
Call on Pierre Peninou!

  

© 2017 by Robert Lane Wilder

Casing the Headlands

Casing the Headlands

In these hills, occurs to me
the remains of fortress walls…
the housings where great guns
once stood to defend America.

Here by Rodeo Beach,
before there were A-bombs
mammoth gun turrets
kept enemies at bay.

Gath’ring under clumps of trees
a wistful klatch of inductees…
in this place orderlies
from distant eras congregate.

Attachés from long ago
in silver hazes by the sea…
backlit by metallic notes
buoys, fiddle dee dee!

Gazing out at blue sea stack
(along this coast a shimmery glaze),
taking in the crashing waves

Like Helmut Lang in days of yore,
a slinky wisp perambulating
prancing this majestic shore
wandering ’round I lurk and ponder Hill 88.

What ghosts will some
strange cat see
fifty years from now?

Will there be another batch of
narley spirits by the sea?
Gaucho reincarnates
loping scrubby straits?

Maybe they will perch
beside a dreamy wag like me
who also comes to perorate,
a little philosophical
atop Hill 88.1

  

1 Rodeo Beach & Hill 88 are in the Marin headlands of Golden Gate park, locations which for a hundred years plus were part of a monster military base. Happily, these are now a staging ground for spectacular sunsets.

  

© 2017 by Robert Lane Wilder

The Managed Care Machine

The Managed Care Machine

Managed care reptiles
building up steam
suffering for hours
waiting to be seen

First fill out this form sir
handed wads of paper and a clipboard
hokey art darns the walls
everything in here it screams

You’ve Arrived Inside
The Soulless Managed Care Machine

Short shrift is what you get
blinded by fluorescent lights
through your head disgust careens

What you think or feel is
deemed completely insignificant
Kafka-esque this place obscene
The Managed Care Machine

   

© 2017 by Robert Lane Wilder