Ode to a Welsh Rarebit (Nizam Khorassan)

Ode to a Welsh Rarebit

by Nizam Khorassan

damn fool 170,530, etc.:
do you like this painting?

d f 715,230, etc.:
gord, yes, i understand it!

d f 523, etc.:
you understand it not
it is fulfilled representation
of a former sort
and a reproduction through
the medium employed by humans
is second hand, — — — untrue
mere kinship
and your understanding
is a revision of
the idea of the latter sort
sold for $3
expression @ $2 & 99¢
impression @ $2 & 98¢

listen to gossip for instance

the black suit picks up
more and more lint

the opposite is sure to happen
and even as i speak, you find not
the importance of each word as i
tempered it.

d f 715,239 etc.:

“Ode to a Welsh Rabbit,” by Nizam Khorassan originally published in Forum (1950, City College of San Francisco).

Untitled (Robin Cohelan)

by Robin Cohelan

it had to happen
sooner later
they run to men with please protect me
i will be your live in maid
just pay the bills
i’ll clean drink coffee
vacant stupid
for your pride.

im stuck
i can’t play either
strong or weak
more Bold out freely so
and that’s as good enough as nothing

count the beads
the sweat rolling
mop the head
rush back the anger
curse the life and let death hurry

take me to another town
another time
im lacking luster
can’t shine neon
give me heaven
soundless space
can’t win this race
im a defeater
let the talent burn in hot air

“(untitled),” by Robin Cohelan originally published in Mild Perversions ([Forum] 1974, City College of San Francisco).

Cadillacs Will Roll (Clare Jonte)

Cadillacs Will Roll

by Clare Jonte

He looks so beautiful she thought. His round boyish face was lit with delight. Again he was the whole show, and there was something splendid about him. This is what she had known and loved, but now she knew his other side as well. She knew how the slightest defeat, the slightest disapproval could disfigure this loveliness and change it into something dark and frightening that crushed and destroyed her.

Continue reading Cadillacs Will Roll (Clare Jonte)

“Road” by Leo Greenfield


by Leo Greenfield

The new road
cuts straight through the hill.
The bare sides of the cut
are ugly scars that mar
the green surface of the land.
But they are beautiful, too,
witness, undeniably, of man’s mastery over dirt.

“Road,” by Leon Greenfield originally published in Forum (1947, City College of San Francisco).

Rockets and Callalilies (Ryan Johnson)

Rockets and Callalilies

Ryan Johnson

True conviction in half-
baked ideas and what you said he
called something like genius
organic logic   (not divine
but inherent)
shot his bullet words through his
double-barreled esophagus past his
tongue and mossy teeth right in my
face you said was
red   But what do you expect?
This guy with a mouth like a loud leaky
faucet dripping stuff so surreptitiously
insubstantial it can’t get stuck even
in the drain   the worst kind of
philistine, can’t see himself
in the a mirror so transparent   and ignorant to his
own ignorance and
yes, oh so fucking charming and
you’d all bottle his precious words if
you could stop listening
for just a moment
and what about
all those things we soared on
you with a silver tongue and me with
olden eyes and it was
all so real that none of you remembers.

“Rockets and Callalilies,” by Ryan Johnson originally published in City Scriptum ([Forum] 1989, City College of San Francisco).

“Can nobody speak the truth anymore, / Is it all a forgotten, dark past;” (Sandra Verdi

by Sandra Verdi

Values seems lost in this haphazard world,
Righteousness seems not sincere;
The eyes of the guilty lurk all about,
Life’s purpose does not render clear.

My world is colliding with rapid speed,
With all that I cherished before;
Nothing seems worth believing in now
All beautiful thoughts, I ignore.

For they are not real in such chaotic times,
When the merits of man are unsure;
When honestly falls prey to tyrannical foes,
When life’s pain is so hard to endure.

Can nobody speak the truth anymore,
Is it all a forgotten, dark past;
Can no one find strength in the glory of virtue,
How long must such a deception last.

I’m tired of running and searching,
For values that do not exist;
Must I cast aside my ideals like all others,
And score those who try to resist.

One last question now invades my mind,
That which I can’t comprehend;
If all of humanity proceeds as it has,
Is not the world close to its end.

“(untitled),” by Sandra Verdi originally published in Forum (1968, City College of San Francisco).

“but always the impact has hurt for want of complete expression.” (J. Gardener)

Rosenberg Archive
Past issues of Forum magazine can be found at CCSF’s Louise & Claude Rosenberg, Jr. Library, R335 (Archives).

Rapture in Retrospect

by J. Gardener

I remember vividly my first inkling of beauty. I can recall, now, the sensation of being too small to hold that surge which seemed ready to burst my seven-year-old boundaries. I remember, too, the overwhelming melancholy that arose with it; the desperate feeling that this thing was too big for me, that is must be shared; and the hopeless certainty that sharing was impossible.

There was a strangeness in the air that afternoon. It was hot and still with the ominous tension that foreboded a thunder storm. I had been to the library and had found “The Dutch Twins.” Although I walked home under shade trees all the way, I could see the heat shimmering in little waves in the middle of the street. It seemed as though I were all alone in an inferno of giants, for the trees and houses looked tremendous. A titillating dread sent delicious shivers through me as I scurried onward. By the time the downpour started, I was home and lost in my book, oblivious to everything.

Then it happened! With a start, I looked up from my reading. I saw that it had been raining, and now the rain had stopped. Although I hadn’t been conscious of the storm, this sudden silence brought me out of my book. I looked out of the window on a new,  washed world. The grass was incredibly green. The sun was glinting in myriad drops that were falling from the trees, the roof, and the frame of my window. This was not my familiar world.

As one bewitched, I opened the window and leaned on the wet sill. I remember the smell of this new world. It was acrid with the dust beaten down in the carriage drive: it was sweet with fresh-cut grass; it was a smell of newness that seeped into my being.

I know, now, that it was beauty which held me in thrall, but at that time I had no idea of what affected me. The spell lay on me for a long while. I cannot remember being called to my dinner; I cannot remember going to bed. This same experience has met me several times since then, but always the impact has hurt for want of complete expression.

“Rapture in Retrospect,” by J. Gardener originally published in Forum (1945, City College of San Francisco).