Theater Of Your Absurd Arguably during life’s central act, drama included both of us finishing education and training, raising our family plus finding fulfilling work; I was the adult more in need of nurturance, well as support. But during one of these last smaller phases, maybe approaching a decade now, it occurs that I, more often than not, am likely partner to give in excess of receive. Fair’s fair, reciprocation fine ‘n dandy unless Gerard’s basics aren’t being met? Thanks, Stanford Medical School While passing on their short-lived plan you get joint Ph.D. in social psychology then oy veh become an academic shrink (Didn’t happen); when I chose The Farm because of virtue of five not-standard-four-year curriculum, which unlike maybe say Havad, seemed extremely convenient for kid who never took any college pre-med--also since pass-fail rather than grades-although first semester was flunked by Nobel Laureates teaching biochemistry’s ust-review course for most classmates ---But all new to Sarnat….Schmoozing one noon with Dean’s Office secretary he reveals Faculty Senate now’s looking at my exam book as example of students on LSD: specifics being absurdly wrong I complained to Chairperson they should at very least, give Gerry a chance to defend self against charges. He expressed guilt t denying due process, and after Gerard ranked tops on year-end final exam, R.M. look it upon himself to make things right. Although I used extra downtime to major in San Francisco’s 1967 Summer of Love, sex, drugs, rock ‘n roll; I luckily ended up sponsored by sequential Internal Medicine Department honchos for plum internship then junior residency at Beth Israel Hospital! subtle absurdity some folks (perhaps all, & I am just not observing other bodies) have commodity runs, maybe changing glasses frames every year whereas Gerry only gets new ones if my style is no longer available would guess occurs in neighborhood of once per decade though yesterday for a very 1st time you began to understand or realize, after 2-term-President or even cicada lifecycle periods of wearing that single quite old pair of slippers over last most recent era, it appears Sarnat’s become sooo promiscuously volatile
Gerard Sarnat has been nominated for the pending 2022 Science Fiction Poetry Association Dwarf Star Award, 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 2022-2023 San Diego Poetry Annual, 2022 Awakenings Review, 2022 Arts & Cultural Council of Bucks County Celebration, 2022 Rio Grande Valley International Poetry Festival Anthology, The Font, BigCityLit, HitchLit Review, Lowestoft, Washington Square Review, The Deronda Review, Jewish Writing Project, Hong Kong Review, Tokyo Poetry Journal, Buddhist Poetry Review, Gargoyle, Main Street Rag, New Delta Review, Arkansas Review, Hamilton-Stone Review, Northampton Review, New Haven Poetry Institute, Texas Review, Vonnegut Journal, Brooklyn Review, San Francisco Magazine, Monterey Poetry Review, The Los Angeles Review, and The New York Times as well as by NYU, Slippery Rock, Northwestern, Pomona, Harvard, Stanford, Dartmouth, Penn, Columbia, North Dakota, McMaster, Maine, University of British Columbia and University of Chicago and University of Virginia presses.
He is a Harvard College and Medical School-trained physician who’s 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 progeny consisting of four collections (Homeless Chronicles: From Abraham To Burning Man, Disputes, 17s, Melting the Ice King) plus three kids/ six grandsons — and is looking forward to potential future granddaughters.
FREE, IF your past can’t recognize you for what you are now Free, IF you know that the face you carry is a mask that has been unmasked many times Free, IF you realize that you are a pretender that you always wanted to become Free, IF you can think even when they want to think for themselves but they can’t Free, IF you let your life speak rather than measure your being on the shadows of other lives FREE, you want to try again, even IF you have been tested out many times Free, IF you remain interested in something just to feel its resonances in your bones Free, IF you can travel on a bumpy road that doesn’t have any destination Free, IF you can let go of everythings you have for who you are FREE, IF you realize that your a selfish gene and you are only here for a brief survival Free, IF you recognize the difference between having and being Free, even IF someone closes the door on you, we are all under the same sky Free, IF you can imagine a possibility even when without any probability Free, IF you can walk in and out of the market without buying anything Free, IF you can suspect what you have been told with what has been discovered Free, even IF you have chosen the most traveled way, you know there is no other way out FREE, IF you are not framed within an idea or identity, which says you are us/not like them Free, IF you can meet someone for that moment, without diluting her present with past Free, IF you know that you have to carry a rock to the hilltop and roll the burden down Free, IF you realize that it's just a circus in rounds and the audiences admire their clowns FREE, IF you can find ALL in NOTHING and Nothing in All
to kill any horse around welcome to the place where laughter died where the dreams of innocent children are hung from a tree for the birds to pick at and eventually slaughter where the crosses are burned with the same gasoline that the police use to trap the wrong colors on the wrong street on the wrong side of this town where the ghosts have enough drugs on them to kill any horse around where old poets seek a quiet death in some abandoned relic of a vibrant past when the creative ones only have violence left run for the fucking hills -------------------------------------------------------------------- nice and festive they have the christmas decorations up at the hospital they look nice and festive it's a quick smile before the doom starts a few doors down ---------------------------------------------------------------- sink deeper old lovers laugh at me as i sink deeper into this fucking depression all chances now officially pissed away toxic isn't even the beginning of it but the urgency of now still exists one fist for the bottle both fists for the gun there's bound to be a cold, lonely night before too long --------------------------------------------------------------------- i should change my ways my doctor told me the other day alcohol was slowly killing me i laughed and said my plan was finally working he didn't seem amused told me i should change my ways that train left years ago i told him i'm closer to being one of my heroes now he said i should pick better ones i laughed and told him if i would have had his life of privilege maybe that would have been possible ---------------------------------------------------------------------- a little closer than these old people were comfortable with i was following a blue car out of town i was running late and the blue car couldn't give two shits about going the speed limit i never tried passing the car i probably did get a little closer than these old people were comfortable with i breezed by them once we got on the highway, never bothering to even look over i was on the off ramp getting ready to turn when that blue car came by in the other lane honking the horn and giving me the finger i laughed hopefully, i'll get the chance to see that blue car in town one day you know, return the favor so to speak
THE BLIND ARCHER Oh Love, how unfair and rude are you Shots without permission, of two hearts, one Makes him suffer the pain of heart, one blur hue While the other freely live in vain and fun With your arrows and bow, one like the mouth of a bay, you’ve made many a deceived sheep fall in love with the mouth-watering wolf, its death While he thinks he’d give him a sound sleep And Echo with Narcissus, the narcissistic angel-boy That her voice, in the cave she waited, vitiated to echo And through you she avenged on the one that toy For you made him fall for a self-nymph, his reflect Harmless you look though armed Can’t see that, because you’re blind Though sweet you infect, you’re wicked But the love of Aphrodite, your mother Is one soft, gentle, loyal and tender For she comes abreast only when you bid her That sweet I crave for in, and further On her lips I slept off when I kissed her For her love compared to yours is sweeter Shall you continue to make monkey fall for sparrow And you, partially with Psyche, but your bow and arrow
Streams Stepping across, carefully, there’s a stumble built into this, a foot on the closest stone then onto the next and next, till you have crossed with your feet, shoes almost dry. I did this in a dream last night, like when I was young crossing that stream by my in-laws camp in Bakersfield. It would be full in the spring, the water racing downhill and only a trickle by late summer. Crossing was the challenge and I was young enough to do it without thinking twice. And I remember the stream up by Bingham Falls, even earlier high school, college, and when I was first back around here. I would step off and feel safe, so surefooted that it was just another thing to do. Now, even in my dream, I stumble then step out and over, afraid the whole way, as if the streams have been waiting for me, as cocky as I was, waiting for me, ready to get their revenge. Flee They flee from me from fear or instinct – grey squirrels, the few red even chipmunks run scramble away and birds of every feather color and size, fly away from something they fear and yet there I am, filling the feeders sunflower seeds and seed mixes handfuls of peanuts every morning a free soup kitchen of sorts but they flee from me even when I use my soothing soft voice, the one I reserve for small children and animals of all sorts and I make a real effort to seem harmless, calm, slow moving and yet they flee from me as if there’s a line we never can cross and they’ll flee from me regardless of what I try to do. Last Day With one day left before you leave Planning becomes awkward Dividing time between The obligatory and the sentimental Between the need to go and The urge to stay The what to do next and The what can be left undone. The hours slow down and Then disappear Get used up and are gone As you become gone. Last time I was caught in this Awkward setting, this space and time Twenty-four hours left I walked around taking pictures Random pictures of the place I was leaving – The table and chairs we sat in most Afternoons, reading or just watching The water around us The statue we liked – that rabbit’s head Its ears flopping forward Even the couch and bedspread And a single picture of my right foot Held up to show the carpeting and how Close my wife’s foot was on that carpet. More the sentimental than the obligatory But that’s what I did.
A PORTRAIT Her eyes followed me, Not like many portraits. It was a sly shifting, There and not there. Her breast seemed to heave, Much like her eyes stirred. She lived for a moment. I wondered why.