ditch,

the poetry that matters

John J. Trause

JOHN J. TRAUSE (Wood-Ridge, N. J.) Director of the Wood-Ridge Memorial Library. His chapbook of poetry Seriously Serial is published by Poets Wear Prada, Hoboken, N. J.  His translations, poetry, and visual work appear or are forthcoming in Sensations Magazine, Cover (New York, N.Y.), The Rift, The Troubadour, Global City Review, Xavier Review, The Alternative News, Parse (Alchemy), Radix, Now Culture, The Rutherford Red Wheelbarrow Poets Anthology, Off the Coast, TAU-USA, Maintenant, The Journal of New Jersey Poets, Lips, Xcp: Cross Cultural Poetics, Offerta Speciale, Plainsongs, Sulphur River Review, the on-line journals Sidereality and Pedestal Magazine, and the artists' periodical Crossings, published by the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition. His chapbook Latter-Day Litany (Éditions élastiques, 1996) in its performance version (Latter-Day Litany & Other Pseudo-Hagiographica) has been staged Off-Off Broadway and elsewhere by Daniel P. Quinn since 1998.  Mr. Trause was a participant in the City Lights Books 50th Anniversary celebration and reading (East Coast celebration) at the Poetry Project, St. Mark’s Church, NYC, at which he interpreted work from Frank O’Hara’s Lunch Poems (1964) and shared the stage with Steven Van Zandt, Anne Waldman, and Karen Finley.  In 2005 and again in 2006 Mr. Trause was chosen along with Jerome Rothenberg to participate in the Visible Word exhibition and poetry reading (Stevens Institute, Hoboken, N. J.), which paired poets and visual artists.  In 2005 he co-founded the William Carlos Williams Poetry Cooperative in Rutherford, N. J., where he serves as programmer and host.

                                                          Cigarettes, Coffee, and Beer, Oh Dear
                                                                                                            
For Jackson Pollock.


                                                         Cigarettes, coffee, and beer, Oh dear,
                                                         remain my diet, the drip  drip  drip
                                                         of a rattled hand and magic wand
                                                         my staff of life.

                                                         And so I drive  drive  drive
                                                         and expedite
                                                         with stains and ashes
                                                         through storm and strife
                                                         until I crash against the canvas
                                                         of life

                                                                       on the floor

                                                                                      in a barn

                                                                                                    at the farthest point east

                                                         of an island and a state
                                                         of death in life                   totally totemically

                                                                        crushed in the crash

                                                         cras        s

                                                         ly





                                                                          13 Most Beautiful…

                                                        Poems for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests



                                                                           Ann Buchanan

                                                                           A tear rolls
                                                                           down
                                                                           from
                                                                           her right eye       her left eye
                                                                           and in a beat
                                                                           lands on
                                                                           her chin.



                                                                          
Paul America

                                                                           You can chew
                                                                           on me
                                                                           for four minutes
                                                                           too.




                                                                           Edie Sedgwick

                                                                           If not silver,
                                                                           burnt sienna.

                                                                               ****

                                                                           I wish they all could be
                                                                           Callie-pornia girls.



                                                                           Billy Name

                                                                           Lighting by Billy
                                                                           Lit by Billy
                                                                           Lining by Billy
                                                                           Silver by Billy,
                                                                           and what’s in a name?
                                                                           With eyes disguised,
                                                                           named by Billy.



                                                                           Susan Bottomly

                                                                           The bottom left
                                                                           of her face
                                                                           is left.
                                                                           That’s right.



                                                                          
Dennis Hopper

                                                                           Trading in his
                                                                           leopard-skin loincloth
                                                                           for a herringbone tweed blazer
                                                                           Tarzan gazes gorgeously.



                                                                          
Mary Woronov

                                                                           Slackening
                                                                           near-palindrome
                                                                           swimming underground
                                                                           smirks, smiles,
                                                                           a sphinx.



                                                        Mary Woronov

                   Slackening
                   near-palindrome
                   swimming 
                   underground
                   smirks, smiles,
                   a sphinx.




                                                                           Nico

                                                                           There are worse
                                                                           sins than nicotine:
                                                                           nicophilia
                                                                           nicomania
                                                                           nicolatria
                                                                           nicodulia
                                                                           nicosis.
                                                                           And she nictates
                                                                           and takes dictation.



                                                                          
Freddy Herko

                                                                           Before he danced himself
                                                                           to the end of love,
                                                                           he had his last cigarette,
                                                                           another window of opportunity.



                                                                           Richard Rheem

                                                                           California: 26 gasoline stations
                                                                           New York City: 26 husbands
                                                                           13 most beautiful…
                                                                           13 most beautiful…



                                                                          
Ingrid Superstar

                                                                           Blondie (another)
                                                                           from New Jersey
                                                                           chokes back tears,
                                                                           another blonde on
                                                                           the Factory production line.



                                                                          
Lou Reed

                                                                           With eyes disguised
                                                                           one pop icon
                                                                           drinks another
                                                                           pop.



                                                                           Baby Jane Holzer

                                                                           Me brush long time.

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