published in Inlandia: A Literary Journal
The Official Literary Journal of the Inlandia Initute
Jul 1, 2020
©2020

introduction by krysia jopek, Founding Editor of diaphanous micro

It’s a pleasure and priviledge to feature new poetry by the nationally-acclaimed Gerard Sarnat. The first section “from WIPING 2020 SLATE CLEAN  [5+],” a section “from KAFKACETERA  [3], the second section of “Irregular People: M-W-F,”  from his book HOMELESS CHRONICLES: from Abraham to Burning Man (Pessoa Press, 2010), a brief statement of poetics, and previews to four of Sarnat’s published collections of books, all available for purchase on Amazon.

Sarnat’s post-postmodernist, experimentalist poetics builds off and beyond L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poetry. The short lines “from WIPING 2020 SLATE CLEAN  [5+]” scroll vertically but cannot be read quickly because of the surprising jumps within lines and from line to line, the composition’s superimposition of original imagery (abstract and representational words) and contemporary political references. Sarnat critiques the highly-complex, disturbing political reality—skewed by former, twice-impeached president, Donald Trump, his refusal to concede to president-elect Joe Biden, and his dissemination of fake news to his equally-delusional followers. The first line with its apropos reference to Shakespeare’s Macbeth parallels the doomed Macbeth and Trump, especially now as the Senate Impeachment Trial is due to begin in just a few days.

In “Transformation,” the second section “from KAFKACETERA  [3],” the poet utilizes longer lines to create a creative, poetic narrative for the reader to experience as the event of the poem unfolds horizontally versus vertically as in the first selection of Sarnat’s poem featured in annulets. This section of Sarnat’s longer sequence juxtaposes Ashberian everyday American idiom (rooted in the important modernist poetics of William Carlos Williams) with provocative, philosophical inquiry. Sarnat incorporates references to our shared American TV and film tradition with references film heroes: “this latest loopy as if I metamorphed / from Tarzan to Charlie Chaplin.” The second stanza begins with “Daddy, I loved you as the sea horned moon” and speaks to the poet’s close relationship to his children and grandchildren.

Please enjoy annulets! We eagerly welcome comments, shares, and new followers of our diaphanous micro Facebook page. Thank you for reading / spending your valuable time here!

new poetry:

from WIPING 2020 SLATE CLEAN  [5+]

      1. Out Damn Spotify

Mac music faced

ending a weird year

 

perhaps Pence,

acting as President

 

not of USA

(unless Trump quits,

 

is pardoned)

but rather of Senate

 

rules in favor

of motion to throw

 

out Electoral

College results…

 

but no entity

has standing to sue

 

so then Flynn’s

martial law ensues.

 

Today you ‘n

I maintain minimal

 

expectations

beyond making real

 

sure garbage

trucks still come here

 

plus filling up

the bronze birdbath so

 

at least robins

can feel clean: males

 

(they’re much

bigger and redder)

 

one-by-one dip

in while their ladies

 

hang back

waiting to use what

 

could be

maybe considered

 

this Jewish

family’s mikveh*.

 

* ritual purification

from KAFKACETERA  [3]

     2. Transformation

Doors just opened. But this latest is loopy as if I metamorphed

from Tarzan to Charlie Chaplin. Obsessed with onomatopoeia and

assonance boxed sets?  Give me a break: no Hemingway Left Bank

celeb seductee, if muses stalk moi, a Cheeto-eater in underpants

they might stalk anyone. Exceptionally dedicated never to publish

medically (Pops’ published over 400 so far), here I am at 64.

 

Daddy, I love you as the sea the horned moon.

The sun unconcerned continues its arc.

A she-wolf calls me home.

Martini glass near bare

one last golden egg, the germ I must grow and share

releases.

©2021

from HOMELESS CHRONICLES: from Abraham to Burning Man (Pessoa Press, 2010)

1. Irregular People: M-W-F, 

i. Monday 

Head of the queue, once proud pro QB, traded his rifle 
for a gun, bizarro ex-con Gerardo charms my inner Howdy Doody,  
     “Hey, Doc Gerard, my brothas don’t buy we’z cousins!”

A hooligan calls hisself Morphyne on the clipboard, 
just in from the tulies, bullshits a med school bud from Willets, 
name can’t recall, wrote him Vicodan, dog ate ‘em – orders more.

“Sorry, Sir, we don’t do pain scripts here. I’m no shopkeeper. 
      Community clinics work better that way 
              for most everyone in the long run.”

     “Screw you, dude, I was told you was different, 
           but you’re a prick like the rest.  
Better be careful – or …”

Covering my back, big black cuz puts an end to that, 
      taunts the outsider, “You’re on the nod, tomato can, 
      – it’s time to move on, and make it quick.”

       Injecting her weekly STD cocktail 
through vermilion slattern Capris, I remind flaming Maria Diana 
      this ain’t the place to transact charnel house commerce.

My Chi-town chum Sam unhooks his bike from the train’s eco-rack. 
       Boom box atop paraphernalia balanced on handlebars, 
                     crossing the ties, he rides over his latest paranoia. 

         “Ger, I’ve definite proof your smirks fibbed all along 
about us both attending O’Keefe Grammar School – why screw  
  my head up the butt of your cryptic uncathartic clinical shit?

 If you closed your eyes, maybe you could finally see something. 
I’m gonna sic Legal Aid on your fucking friendship lip service ass 
                   should you refuse to cease and desist.”

Alma Rose, all kindhearted lard and grins, heartache and breakdowns, 
fiddles brilliant water color beach primitives of now foster twins: 
 I’ll buy one for rent money, try to get some into Stanford’s Fair. 

 My fave Mona Lisa sashays in, mustache trimmed, cig hung. 
      “Doc, is you collecting gutter art or buyin’ runty people? 
In any case, them free sample shemale hormones sure work great!

Ain’t it time you start ooching them Christians 
to raise that long green, get me on the tits and cunt fast track? 
          By the way, what color is they, Poles or Italian?”

A charming diabetic OCDer, Jill’s sexy ex-librarian fingers 
   finger Braille while sipping Styrofoam tea and sugar 

– no NutraSweet ‘til we reopen day after tomorrow.

2. 67% Hopperized Bathos, from Melting The Ice King, 2016

Freshboy eye candy larva, after Latin class in the Harvard Yard, this puerile grub 
put out 2/3’s the hard yards required to acquire Life Magazine’s worn mustachioed 

thrift-shop-Brooks Brothers-tweed-jacket-torn-leather-elbow-patches + pipe persona

An apostate commonly caught up in the wash of a sunny big square state, 

I got taught nodding Yessir to Pops and Gramps about pumping gas, slopping 
the hogs then squeegeeing their crap off the pickup, in the end is what really counts.

Absconding self-conscious introvert, I bathed in Waldorf Cafeteria shadows 
of cigar circles whose prodigies fueled my piggybacking doom: Disregard pale fools
who raised you, kiddo
. That’s what this damaged rube from the other side of the Rockies 

did while the splintered men’s room mirror futilely attempted to dispense PEZ. 
50 years later Nordstrom redoers impart, Crayon remaining hair. Bleach teeth. Switch
out bifocals for contacts
 — which preps this moldering fart for a less than gala college reunion.

a brief statement of poetics:

“Real” life  suffuses my work. High-stress medical career, leisure around family in a forest, confronting climate change. Humor and poetry interact with each other to keep this mid-septuagenarian feeling energetic, happy, and useful. Brave poetry is important to me because such gyrations elevate life, both by reading others’ work (think Rumi, Sylvia Plath, Frederick Seidel, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen)  and creating my own which expresses Sarnat’s voice, makes me happy, perhaps keeps me young(er) Gerry.

more poetry collections by Gerard Sarnat:

 

Gerard Sarnat’s website

more information on Gerard Sarnat

biographical note:

Gerard Sarnat won San Francisco Poetry’s 2020 Contest, the Poetry in the Arts First Place Award plus the Dorfman Prize and has been nominated for handfuls of 2021 and previous Pushcarts plus Best of the Net Awards. Gerry is widely published including in Buddhist Poetry Review, Gargoyle, Main Street Rag, New Delta Review, Northampton Review, New Haven Poetry Institute, Texas Review, Vonnegut Journal, Brooklyn Review, San Francisco Magazine, Monterey Poetry Review, The Los Angeles Review, New York Times, London Reader and Review Berlin as well as by Harvard, Stanford, Dartmouth, Penn, Chicago, and Columbia presses. He’s authored the collections Homeless Chronicles (2010), Disputes (2012), 17s (2014), Melting the Ice King (2016). Gerry is a physician whose built and staffed clinics for the marginalized as well as a Stanford professor and healthcare CEO. Currently he is devoting energy/resources to deal with climate justice and serves on Climate Action Now’s board. Gerry’s been married since 1969 with three kids plus six grandsons and is looking forward to future granddaughters.


at 70th birthday party
©2015

Comments ( 2 )

  1. Miguel Escobar
    Enjoyed, wow. Especially M-W-F.. what he does with language, meaning the whole enchilada, just hits home in a never-ending sweet spot.
  2. Ti Pi
    I live near San Francisco and near this great poetry? May the gods guide me to God!

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