Saturday, February 26, 2011

Working Words: "You work, Buddy. You work."

Excerpt of a poem by Ohio's Ray McNiece from Working Words: Punching the Clock and Kicking out the Jams from Coffee House Press:

Grandfather’s Breath (excerpt)

You work. You work, Buddy. You work.
Word of immigrant get-ahead grind I hear
huffing through me, Grandfather’s breath,
when he’d come in from Saturday’s keep-busy chores,
fending up a calloused hand to stop
me from helping him, haggard cheeks puffing
out like t-shirts hung between tenements,
doubled-over under thirty-five years a machine
repairman at the ball-bearing factory, ball-bearings
making everything run smoother -
especially torpedoes. He busted butt
for the war effort, for profiteers, for overtime pay
down-payment on a little box of his own,
himself a refugee from the European economy,
washed ashore after “The War to End All Wars.”
Cheap labour for the winners.

Detroit poet M.L. Liebler, editor of Working Words, will read and perform some of his own poems and those from the book at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Cheyenne's Atlas Theatre. Tix are $5 for adults, $3 for students, military and seniors. He will be on stage with musician Peter Lewis, one of the founding members of Ground-breaking sixties rock group Moby Grape.

Here's how M.L. described the show (from wyomingarts):
"We'll do some of the songs that are sort of more or less poetic, songs we've written together and then Peter will perform acoustically some of the Moby Grape songs from his group, some of his own original pieces. We kind of have a nice little set where we're merging some of what we do together, some of my poetry in music, some of his Moby Grape and some of his original."

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