Linda J. Albertano and brother James AA Stone

Poems: Linda J. Albertano and Her Brother, James AA Stone

VIRTUE
by Linda J. Albertano

Virtue rides into town on a
convertible Clydesdale. She’s wrapped
in blue-and-white
stars
and is eating an apple concoction.
Ah, Virtue! They want
you.
Your symbols
are so succulent! They want to use
you
for purposes of personal
adornment. They want to pin
you,
wholesome and lovely, to their lapels.

Virtue drinks nothing but
water
from glaciers and the sap of lacebark
pine.
Ah, Virtue. You’re deep
in danger. Of becoming a dull
boy.
Everyone knows
the most fascinating females are
hookers
with hearts of gold. They smoke
their cheroots and sing in their
whiskey
tenors. They wear flamingo
lipstick
and kiss your boyfriend on the mouth.

Virtue goes to a square
dance
with the cleanest of all the
cowboys.
Outside, dark-eyed men
lurk
smelling of rum
and rosewater. Ah, Virtue!
Don’t let them handle
you
with their hot hands!

Virtue wears a starched
blouse
and a pristine pair of gloves to
church. A silver
cross
in the crook of her neck. Virtue is
dainty.
She kneels at the altar. She swallows the
blood
and the body of Christ. Ah,
Virtue!

At the far end of the road,
they’ve masked a
sinner
and paraded him as you. You! Who
are as creamy and innocent as
milk.
Don’t let them
leave you too long in the
sun!
Don’t let them hang any
heretics
in your name!

Virtue has blue, blue eyes. And genuine
blonde hair. She’s the
Virgin
Spring. Really. Is that fair?
I mean. She never wears gardenia
perfume.
She doesn’t know how to swing
a hammer. But she looks
delectable
on the couch in any living room. I
worry
about you, Virtue. Are you tasting the
juice of life? Are you afraid to
stain
the bib of your dress?

Oh, Virtue. Run! Run before
they snare you in their pious and
hellish
nets! Save yourself, Virtue! They want to use
you for purposes of
narcissism.
They want to turn you upside-down
and imprison you in their green and glorious
gore.
Their hounds are howling
in the hills! Hide! Be the
purloined
letter, Virtue. They can’t hurt you
if they can’t see you. They can’t see you if you’re
everywhere.

Be everywhere, Virtue.
Be nowhere. Be something. Be nothing. Hide.
Ride
out of town on a white Clydesdale. Ah,
Virtue. We love your girlish
ways!

Don’t ever change.

This poem originally published January 20, 2017 and has since been updated.

“TEA, TOAST AND DUCK EGGS, DAD”
by James AA Stone

Old Donald McD. tromps through gumbo mud
until his shoes weigh twenty pounds apiece
to bring the woolies in from pastureland.
Quick words—“Get-away-by-far-off-Jock”—send

Scotsman’s dog around the way of Pecker’s
Knob, beyond two stubborn waywards at least
a dozen yards. He watches Jock hunker
on the run, one eye for sheep, another

for the signal wave, a wave the old
one knows will bring them straight to the weathered fleece
nailed to the pasture gate. “I could’ve sold
him once,” says he, “but she’s a long cold

without Mother.” Not so often lately
does he mutter, “What’s for breakfast, Katie”?

–Jim Stone ©


Photo by Alexis Rhone Fancher

Linda J. Albertano has run the gamut from the political to the ridiculous, unleashing her language on unsuspecting audiences in both the US and Europe. As a poet, she represented Los Angeles at the One World Poetry Festival in Amsterdam, and she’s featured on the Venice Poetry Wall at Windward Ave. with such local notables as Jim Morrison, Viggo Mortensen and Exene Cervenka.

At the LA Theatre Center she presented a full-length work complete with artists, dancers and a 30-piece marching band from South Central LA. Then for the Santa Monica Arts CounciI, she mounted Calisaladia – a condensed history of California — with a large, multi-cultural cast. In the new millennium she studied West African music (kora and bolon) in Guinea, returning to perform for more than a decade at such venues as the Getty, Royce Hall and the Sacred Music Festival with kora virtuoso, Prince Diabate.

Recently she’s been published in Maintenant, a contemporary journal of Dada art and poetry featured in the New York Museum of Modern Art. And she’s been performing experimental works at Beyond Baroque, City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco and Cabaret Revoltaire for the Los Angeles celebration of the centennial of Dada. In the winter months, she’s appeared as Prince Diabate’s accompanist at intimate home concerts in both Pasadena and Venice Beach.


Salient Sunday: Debbie Zeitman’s encore of “Before they Go” – Linda J. Albertano in her studio, see the Photo Exhibit at Wabi-Sabi

Three thought-provoking poems by Jim Stone on Montana, Love, Cowboys, Tequila, and the Tango

Three Rooms Press and Beyond Baroque Present LA DADA: Performance and new book release with Linda J. Albertano, S.A. Griffin and more…

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