Born in Paterson, New Jersey, Robert Feldman was inspired at an early age by members of Paterson’s literary tradition, most notably Louis and Allen Ginsberg and William Carlos Williams. As a young adult, while living in St. Louis, he organized various poetry readings, produced and hosted a community issues news hour and a biweekly bebop jazz radio program on KDNA-FM. It was during this time his interest and admiration for the Beat Generation flourished. Robert was instrumental in publishing some of Arizona’s most influential writers, such as Drummond Hadley and Michael Gregory and, in 1980, collaborated with Lawrence Ferlinghetti on his Bisbee publication, “Mule Mountain Dreams.” During the ’80s and ’90s, he participated in dozens of poetry readings around the country. Now, years later, he continues to write, paint, and play tabla, besides working with high-school students as faculty advisor of the Park Vista Writers Workshop. The body of Robert Feldman’s writing and painting can be accessed at www.albionmoonlight.net. He can be reached at rffeldman@gmail.com.

The Sentinel

 

two alleycats sprang from their overhanging courtyard perch,

startling

the broken glass predawn midst,

interrupting

the occasional moans from a half-open 4th floor window,

astonishing the quietude,

but not my tell-tale heart

busy pounding loudly enough to signal the dead

 

for it was that distinct odor

emanating from a wooden cellar door

across from where I crouched,

grey paint flakes

chips and gouges defining its age,

and its pathetic groans

when the wind disturbed its constant corpse-like existence

some alien set of lungs hungering to resuscitate-

this sentient entity

masquerading as a hopeful opening,

this portal phantasmagorical

red teary eyed,

serenely seeking out yet another victim to yank inward,

heartbeat and all,

disguising hidden floors below,

the creaking now gesturing to me,

another psudosentient creature to feed from

to embrace its greedy hunger,

to drink deeply its severity

 

regarding those blood eyes of the emasculated hunter,

my defenseless eyes

involuntarily shut,

debating its offer of immortality,

the door opening,

the door closing,

prisoner subtly hijacked

blown invisible by some historic breath

other jackknifed nights,

me, the sentient breathless,

my image apparent

now obvious to other predatory eyes

greedily cowering among the debris,

lingering,

satiated by sanguinary centuries,

gorged with expectations,

my life irrelevant

its life relevant,

mere blood merging through this slight crack in the world,

comprised of man and phantom stalking each other

through wicked

skeletal grey doors

of polluted perception