BANG! authors are showcased individually here online for a month. Each author installment is made up of three pieces in any combination: poetry shorts (20 lines) or fiction or nonfiction (500 words each) for a month. All work on must be previously unpublished. Submission period runs all year round. BANG! pieces are not published in The New Guard. Work should be very short: flash-short. Pieces on BANG! are meant to serve as a kind of calling card for the author. $22 submission fee. :: Our next installment will be posted on May 1, 2019. ::
Ronald Okuaki Lieber is a BANG! Selected Writer.
Ronald Okuaki Lieber, LP, MFA, served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Costa Rica and returned to earn a graduate degree from Columbia University's Writing Program. He has worked as a waiter, cook, laborer, editor, and adjunct instructor—before becoming a tenured professor at SUNY Nassau—while simultaneously undertaking psychoanalytic training and opening a private practice in NYC.
:: Per the author: Ronald welcomes contact via email. ::
“quiet Observations” — new POETRY BY RONALD Okuaki LIEBER
It was a moment, if that,
Among the many diversionary and picayune
Moments, so many in a grey day where
The bristled strokes of a neighbor sweeping the stone
Floor of the patio garden below and a hacking
Cough disturbed a calm sought for and intermittently
Found that morning, balmy,
Strange for October, more so for the grey
From which one expected a brisk slap, not
The diaphanous embrace of air, which quickened an unease
Growing with the steady sweeping of a broom over stones,
And I remember standing, looking down into the green garden,
Transfixed by the stark fact of ivy and brick, eave
And pigeon, and a man bent over a wooden broom, coughing,
Against a grey backdrop—and it had to have been just then,
The moment between intimation and thought—that a drift
Of silence just out of reach, beyond the dome of sky
From somewhere deep inside, somewhere ancestral, brushed
Me faintly, like a breath, all my skin alert,
Apprehensive, and in in my ear whispered
What I am only now beginning to hear.
On the Battery City Promenade
An elderly woman and her still
Attractive daughter lean over the rail,
Exclaiming. A mother hurries a gaggle
Of adolescents into posing for
A snapshot. A bicyclist brakes, then straddles
The bike, his eyes widening. Strollers slow
Their pace. All are joined to a sun flaming
The westward facing facades and under-
Side of clouds with a brilliance that rivets
Attention. And as soon, the flickering’s gone.
The woman gathers her daughter, the Polaroid
Wheezes, Sunday blurring to dusk so deftly
No one notices the ashes everywhere falling.
I woke late and stood on the porch.
Mrs. Fudjinski, bent over in her garden, snipped
Sprigs of thyme and basil. Behind her
A cardinal lit on a maple, a shudder
Within the green, through which, out in the bay,
White sails floated against a patch of blue.
Then a breeze stirred the hedgerow,
And turning, I noticed a hummingbird
And yellow jackets flecked thick with
Pollen. I wanted to share this moment
But what the moment was I could not say.
And then it slipped away.
Poetry © Ronald Okuaki Lieber, 2019. All rights reserved by the author.
Previous authors with appearances on BANG! are: Patricia Smith, Jose Padua, Stephanie Cotsirilos, Pete Follansbee, Jillian Brenner, Susanna Baird, Alexandra Oliver, Kerri Quinn, Mike Heppner, Marc Mewshaw, Lola Rainey, Timothy Dyke, Marcia Popp, Quenton Baker, Dan Ritter, Anne Riesenberg, Courtney Campbell, Joshua Graber, Charles Wyatt, Ingrid Norton, Julio Duggan, V. Hansmann, Margo Orlando Littell, Scarlett S. Diaz, Erica Vega, Elena Tomorowitz. Amy M. Alvarez, Jonathan Segol, Lissa Kiernan, Roger Bonair-Agard, James Kimbrell, Bridget Boland, E.G. Cunningham, Melissa Goode, Mark Wagstaff, Carla Stern, Sarah Glass, Jennifer Amell, Zakia R. Khwaja, Julie Poitras Santos, Lyall Harris and Amy Nash.