junkmail oracle

featured poets & artists


richard krech

attorney richard krech is a survivor of the 1960s poetry revolution. after parking his muse for 25 years, he has emerged from retirement into the light. he lives in berkeley, calif. the poem 'in chambers' which was originally printed in a DPress chapbook, the 1932 3Af Claret, which was a very limited edition & the publisher, Richard Denner, has given permission to re-print it. krech1@mindspring.com


Virtual Justice

Video hook-up w/ the county jail.

In between live arraignments

and calendar matters

the Robe two-way video conferences

w/ a concrete cell

miles away across the freeway.

Dejected distracted jail-uniformed men

standing next to deputy sheriffs

plead guilty to infractions

and misdemeanors for time served

and probation.

A promise of immediate freedom

for a hook chained to their back

for three years.

[Probation violation hearings

are perfunctory affairs] The

bargained-for illusion of freedom

memorialized in the video-tape

of the judicial proceeding

in virtual

open court.


Boiling Water

The cool air of the evening

thru the slid-up window

crossing my consciousness.

The faint modulated hum of the world,

a car accelerating into the distance.

In the next room the water

is making boiling sounds

as dinner cooks.

I look at the objects in my room,

the accumulation of a lifetime.

"We use things

to try to get beyond

them" I wrote

in 1968.

Still waiting 35 years later

for the transcendence to happen.

At least dinner

will come sooner.



No songs to sing.

I put away my notebook.

Glance at the cover of the book I'm reading

which lies on my table. The photographic cover

makes it look like a video

that I don't know how to access.

I feel empty but not hungry.

I blame the early-setting Winter sun

for my not watering the lawn.


I pick up this tablet

start writing

& regain that sense of purpose

of trying to craft that thought,

so brilliant

so lyrical

so hot!


Trying to write a novel about no



In Chambers

"It's the most high stakes poker game

in the world" he said,

exaggerating only slightly,

leaning over in his chair towards mine

as we spoke in quiet voices

heard by no one else in the chamber.

Advocates and adversaries

sitting in a circle

as they have for years.

The black robe in the center

of attention, the center of power

the robe changing its inhabitant

on a cyclical basis.

Showing enough of your hand

to create a threat to the opponent.

Keeping as much powder and ammunition

dry as possible

for use in battle if it comes.

Presenting technical legal issues

or broad constitutional claims

always against a factual background

limited by provable facts

and evidentiary objections of your opponents.

Always the facts. Yr skill

or that of the adversary

must always bow to the provable facts.

Yet the sieve of evidentiary objections

of "hearsay" and 352 and 1101(b),

the sieve of "judicial discretion"

strains that factual material

so thin sometimes

so fat at others

that its rough weave resembles the truth

like a general outline

but details, perhaps crucial

perhaps not, are distorted.

The advocates and adversaries

discuss with each other

trade facts and arguments

and often turn to the robe for approval

or to tweak the deal

one way or another.

The currency of these transactions

are paid in bodies and time.

Time taken from a life.

There is no symbolism here. The words

are used to describe exactly what occurs.

Time taken from a life in being.


the adversaries try to take a whole life

all at once

and destroy it.



home page


copyright deep cleveland llc, all rights reserved
comments: deepcleveland@hotmail.com