Poems by Gary Beck


Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director, and as an art dealer when he couldn’t make a living in theater. He has 11 published chapbooks. His poetry collections include: Days of Destruction (Skive Press), Expectations (Rogue Scholars Press). Dawn in Cities, Assault on Nature, Songs of a Clerk, Civilized Ways (Winter Goose Publishing). Perceptions, Displays, Fault Lines and Tremors will be published by Winter Goose Publishing. Conditioned Response (Nazar Look). His novels include: Extreme Change (Cogwheel Press) Acts of Defiance (Artema Press). Flawed Connections (Black Rose Writing). His short story collection, A Glimpse of Youth (Sweatshoppe Publications). 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. He currently lives in New York City.

Help Wanted

Another summer
to a troubled land
that disinherits many
while the few revel,
supported by servants
bound to their masters
by economic need
rather than fondness
for indulgent ways,
capricious extravagance
as many go hungry,
their highest aspiration
a service job
on a mega-yacht.

A Day in the Park

A homeless man
brought two cats
in cat boxes
to Bryant Park
and let them out
on a short leash.
They looked fat, torpid, slow,
but intently watched
the park sparrows
hopping around,
searching for food,
oblivious to feline menace
never having seen cats before.
The fattest cat
watched a baby sparrow approach
oblivious to feline menace,
cat muscles tensed, sprang,
fast for an obese beast,
snatched the sparrow in its claws,
bit it savagely.
The baby fluttered for a moment,
died without knowing who killed him,
for the birds of Bryant Park
have a protected enclave
in the violent city,
and unlike urban people
face few dangers.

Few Tables of Plenty

Rumbles of discontent
echo through the land
and fall on deaf ears
as oligarchs don’t listen,
too absorbed in profit,
acquisition, accumulation.
And the cries of the children
dwindle in darkness,
uncomforted by empty hands
desperate for nourishment
prevented by the greedy
who begrudge assistance
lest the clamor of demand
disturb their feasting.

Evening Music

A summer concert in the park
hundreds sit silently
enjoying the diversion
on a hot city night
the unexpected music
a consoling treat
for tired urban dwellers
pleasantly enriched
by a taste of culture.

Interlude

City dwellers adapt
to city conditions,
visiting a park
for a taste of nature
ignoring traffic sounds,
construction machines,
passing sirens,
appreciating escape
from stifling concrete,
the illusion of fresh air
a relief from urban toxins,
the sight of others
enjoying the greenery
a consolation,
returning to harsh streets.

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