width=61 height=87> Scott Malby
Featured Poet


In the words of Mr. Malby:   "When among singing birds, it's not wise to crow about yourself. I'm a rooster without portfolio in a barnyard of hype. From Coos Bay, Oregon, I invite you to *google* me."

We are pleased to present the following selections and links to additional work by this mesmerizing poet at the end of this document.

At Hardscrabble Creek
(Part 5 of American Pastoral)

Water passes over rocks 
whispering of baptismal suffering, 
of endless mysteries. 
I'm unremarkable it seems to say. 
Essence of water and blood my destiny. 
My hands get dirty.  
I am bound by insatiable appetites,
by the unfathomable and dark graffiti 
marking with scars my private sanctuaries 
and yet, when I was born 
the world began again, knowing neither 
of success or failure but asking  
all the questions that really matter 
echoing inside me: I am not alone.  

From hip, bop, punk rock, 
lyrical and concrete. Up from New York, 
Black Mountain and San Francisco streets 
come incantations caught 
in the head lights of my own mind 
calling for an end to hypocrisy. 
Be real, they say. Be honest. 
No voice stifled. No cruelty condoned. 
No injustice unredeemed. 

Copyright © 2005 Scott Malby

Cheap Cig's!

What was I to it? 
Had it less spunk, 
done a song and dance 
or even whistled
I would have kept it. 
I took it for a drive 
and chucked it. 
I mean my self respect.
Now, it's hopelessly 
addicted. Panhandling 
for cig's and change 
on Commercial Blvd.

Copyright © 2005 Scott Malby

On the death of Robert Creeley

    "Meditate on the word's distractions 
    and see what you find."
                           Paolo Honorificas

What is most difficult to hear comes in whispers, 
as if one good or bad deed secretly craves another. 
This was supposed to be about Robert Creeley. 
It's about us all. A meditation on broken things.
Where should I begin? With found thoughts?  
Condensed emotions? The history of American 
words in the latter half of the 20th. century? 
A history of chance meetings, drugs, dreams
gone bad, sad faces, mental illness, art, human 
frailty, exile, war and a hunger always unsatisfied
rising from the failure of words to sustain.
A time of dismembering voices; lost, haunting
the lonely ghost towns of exhaustion. A time 
burdened by global meltdowns, plots, 
body bags and the dirty laundry of countless
human humiliations, a breathless time pleading
from the dark house of its corrupting century. 
Struggling to be made whole again. You tell me, 
was it a house of seduction, tragedy or horrendous
humor. Did it validate the power of words or rape them? 
Did they represent a blessing or cursing, did they 
matter or mean anything at all?

Let me tell you what I saw and heard. 
The cultural scene was like watching
a movie. The screen filled with violence 
and loss while three rows down, two 
young lovers were lost in some beautiful 
time warp. They choked on their own 
awkwardness. They spoke in tongues, 
like saintly deceivers deceiving nobody 
but themselves while the advertised 
special, brittle and two dimensional, 
flickered on and on and on. 

The twentieth century Hitler bug wears a mask.                   
He lives around the block. You wouldn’t recognize 
him. He comes in the form of twisting reality 
into a virus, mutating truth into a preconceived 
point of view. He's taking a leak in front of you. 
His end justifies his means. He could be an artist. 
He could be a radio pundit. He could be a popular 
religious televangelist. He could be taking Prozac 
and sporting a crap eat'n grin. Guaranteed, 
the Queen of Hell as the Sister of Satan 
is still feeding him lines like: *See, in my line of work 
you got to keep repeating things over and over 
for the truth to sink in, to catapult the propaganda.*

Last year I was diagnosed with a bad case of Optimism. 
Today, everything smells like poached fish. I ramble on 
inconsequentially like I'm bandaging wounds, clearing 
congested lungs, distracted, wondering; if there is truly 
a God of infinite compassion, grace and power, 
who organizes heavenly things and resides in our thoughts, 
wouldn't we all have wings? Robert Creeley is dead. 
The artist in him hunted with the mind of a gun, stalking 
the craftily elusive word that was too beautiful to die, 
so he killed it and mounted it and became one instead. 

Robert Creeley is dead. People sucked up to him. 
I never met the man. He published sixty books 
and I have a suspicion that if he lived longer 
he would have published sixty more. What was 
he afraid of? Was it the curse of the 20th. century? 
His words are copyrighted, their own medium 
of exchange. He wasn't Whitman. He wasn't Ginsberg. 
He was Robert Creeley. He was better than most 
and more than we deserved.

Copyright © 2005 Scott Malby