Read Poem: Spurned, by Gary Beck

The beaten, the homeless
the mentally ill
trudge city streets
in the kinship of defeat,
dreams departed
like so many others
who believed in the Declaration,
who believed in the Constitution
and painfully found
it wasn’t written for them.

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 original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway. His poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines and his published books include 23 poetry collections, 7 novels, 3 short story collections, 1 collection of essays and 1 collection of his one-act plays. Published poetry books include: Dawn in Cities, Assault on Nature, Songs of a Clerk, Civilized Ways, Displays, Perceptions, Fault Lines, Tremors, Perturbations, Rude Awakenings, The Remission of Order, Contusions and Desperate Seeker (Winter Goose Publishing. Forthcoming is Learning Curve); Blossoms of Decay, Expectations, Blunt Force, Transitions and Mortal Coil (Wordcatcher Publishing, forthcoming is Temporal Dreams) Earth Links (Cyberwit Publishing: forthcoming Too Harsh For Pastels). His novels include a series ‘Stand to Arms, Marines’: Call to Valor, Crumbling Ramparts and Raise High the Walls (Gnome on Pigs Productions). Acts of Defiance, Flare Up and Still Defiant (Wordcatcher Publishing: forthcoming is Pirate Spring). Extreme Change will be published by Winter Goose Publishing. State of Rage will be published by Cyberwit Publishing. His short story collections include: A Glimpse of Youth (Sweatshoppe Publications). Now I Accuse and other stories (Winter Goose Publishing) and Dogs Don’t Send Flowers and other stories (Wordcatcher Publishing). The Republic of Dreams and other essays (Gnome on Pig Productions). The Big Match and other one act plays (Wordcatcher Publishing, Forthcoming: Collected Plays of Gary Beck Vol 1). Gary lives in New York City.

Read Poem: Self-Assertion, by Gary Beck

The desperate need
to differentiate oneself
from regular citizens
was once done
by wearing a social garment,
zoot suits, pegged pants,
motorcycle jackets,
disheveled jeans.
Social responsibilities changed.
It was no longer sufficient
to dress differently.
Body art, piercing,
gaudy colored hair
became normal,
to allow conformists
to stand out from the herd.

Read Poem: Rough Flight, by Gary Beck

Migratory birds
fly south for the winter
to escape the cold,
find good feeding grounds.
Imagine their shock
when they finally land
in North Carolina
and it’s so cold
they just keep going
until they reach
Miami Beach
that’s so crowded
with SUV’s and hummers
they can’t even find
a place to land
and get something to eat.