Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Featured Poet #5

Five Poems From 'Songs of a Clerk' by Gary Beck


I seem to be so alone,
each night trapped in my room,
each day spent at my job.
No friends, home, comfort,
just the daily vision….
Daily failure.
Dare I name my hunger?
Just one hope, one satisfaction, writing.
Yet I neglect it.

Bitter Awakenings

We had a dream when we were young,
in the recess of a child’s fun,
that of future glories sung,
merely waiting to be won.
First school, then work the pattern,
avoiding much pain and care,
then deceived by a slattern,
taking refuge in despair.
The pause that suffering brought,
the vision of elation
that brings all passions to nought,
lost in time’s acceleration.


Subway faces
reduced from joy or care
to almost animal despair.
The fragments of laughter,
one brief and dear
mirror to the constant fear.
When underground hordes emerge
they appear new born
for a daring instant they return
to the shell of containment.


How to drive away this anguish?
This bleak man haunting my days
with too unstealthy force,
capturing my power.
The fingers of desolation grip me relentlessly.
All day, all night, no rest;
ever battered in restless dreams.
The days pass with fleeting swiftness,
as I sit dreamless and inactive,
waiting for beginnings.


Fires burn forever in the heart
loneliness breeds always in the mind,
fed with the barren fuel of repetitive days
we stampede to each weak diversion,
entwine ourselves within the coils of fantasy
dream of legendary deeds – any escape
from the sterile confinement of the office.

Biograpy Note:

Songs of a Clerk, an unpublished collection of poetry, expresses the frustration of a young man trapped in a menial clerks job, while dreaming of a meaningful life.

Poems from 'Songs of a Clerk' have appeared in: Istanbul Literary Review, Agency Magazine, Fiction Press, Kyoto Journal, Poetry Life and Times, Rattlesnake Review, Written Word Literary Magazine, Pegasus Magazine, MadSwirl, YaSou!, Words Words Words, Juice Magazine, Struggle Magazine, Flutter Poetry Journal, Iddie, Strange Road, Halfway Down the Stairs, Poetry Monthly, Calliope Nerve and many more.

Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director and worked as an art dealer when he couldn't earn a living in the theater. He has also been a tennis pro, a ditch digger and a salvage diver. His chapbook 'Remembrance' was published by Origami Condom Press, 'The Conquest of Somalia' was published by Cervena Barva Press, 'The Dance of Hate' was published by Calliope Nerve Media and 'Mutilated Girls' is being published by Bedouin Press. A collection of his poetry 'Days of Destruction' was published by Skive Press. Another collection 'Expectations' is being published by Rogue Scholars Press. His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway and toured colleges and outdoor performance venues. His poetry has appeared in hundreds of literary magazines. He currently lives in New York City .

Q @ A with Gary Beck

CH: How long have you been writing and why did you start in the first place?

GB: I've been writing a long, long time. I was compelled.

CH: Who or what were your inspirations?

GB: Walt Whitman, Byron. Lermontov, Mallarmé, Thomas Wolfe.

CH: What would you say is the hardest thing about writing?

GB: Being left alone to do it.

CH: What advice would you give to a new writer who is struggling to find his or her identity?

GB: Writing is doing, not discussing, debating, or self-examination.

End of Interview