Excerpts from "Unveilings"
by Gary Beck





Time Out of Joint


Once everyone believed

the world was flat.

Most listened to science

and agreed it was round.

Some still believe it’s flat,

a testament to the narrow minded.

Many do not believe

in climate change,

denying the wildfires,

hurricanes, tornados,

other natural disasters,

have nothing to do

with global warming,

ignoring the scientists.

These same deniers

accept daily weather changes,

one day warm, next cold,

as condition normal,

unable to connect

local to global.



a black line



Snow Storm


The snow keeps falling

faster and faster.

I can no longer see the building

just across the street.

I sit in internet cave

coddled with electric comforts.

The weather man keeps telling us

it’s a big blizzard.

We need no PhD

to tell us that.

The whiteout is complete.

I sit in internet cave

in total isolation,

insulated from reality

by the white blanket

covering the outer world.

For a few moments I wonder

 has everything disappeared?

Am I left alone

in the indifferent universe?

Then the smug voice

of the overpaid newscaster

reminds me life goes on…

Unless she’s a recording,

a sleekly designed android

meant to convince us

existence continues,

while I succumbing to illusion

as alienation subtracts me

from the community of Man.




a black line





The radical extremist

who bombs a mosque,



bombs all of us,

but some of us

don’t know it.




a black line





Theatre professionals once knew

that every theatre has a ghost,

that’s why we have a ghost light,

so the ghost can find his way

through a darkened theatre.

All my theatres had a ghost,

always benevolent,

never intrusive,

a positive presence.    


My theatres were constructed

in non-theater environments,

adapted to odd spaces.

The oddest and best

was on Broadway and 42nd Street,

the Old Knickerbocker hotel

that was one of the poshest

in the early 1900’s,

until it closed in 1921.


We had 10,000 square feet

on the 12th floor.

It was my first theatre,

not someone else’s venue

and after the first night’s rehearsal

I sat alone, enjoying the place,

when soft, beautiful singing filled the room.

I recognized an aria

that I heard before

and assumed it came from another floor.


I was curious the next day,

learned no one was above or below.

I heard a different aria that night

and tried to trace the source,

but couldn’t find it.


The next night I had company,

my stage manager,

and production manager,

who also heard the wondrous song.

We did some research and learned

Enrico Caruso had his suite

in the space we occupied

and sang the national anthem

from his window at the end

of World War I.


My first theatre. My first ghost.

And what a ghost!

He sang to us many times

and we never told others,

for who believes in ghosts anymore?




a black line





My next store neighbor

died this morning.

They carried her out

on a white metal stretcher.

She wasn’t old,

forty or fifty,

I’m a poor judge of age.

She didn’t have children

or a boyfriend,

so she’ll go to the cold earth  

without mourners.

I feel bad

she’ll be buried

without ceremony,

but won’t risk my life

traveling plague streets

for anyone but my loved ones.



a black line


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