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G. Scott Hughes
HUGHESHM@worldnet.att.net

Bio(auto)

G. Scott Hughes plays well with others. His work has appeared in: Spillway, Blackcross Magazine, Wings & Medicinal Purposes. He loves his wife Evelyn very much. He likes: Animals, Bodyboarding, Mountian Biking, Pantera, Matthew Sweet, Illegal Fireworks & has been known to frequent dive bars in his locale, not to drink, but to soak up the atmosphere.

The following work is Copyright © 1997 and owned by G. Scott Hughes and may not be distributed or reprinted in any manner whatsover without written permission from the author.


One Night Only

Vinyl motorcycle jacket,
bright red pumps
& a vibrator.
Gifts from a friend
tossed in a corner.
Naked in the bathroom,
plucking stray eyebrows.
Her trusty beeper
awakens suddenly.
She spins, startled.
Almost blinds herself.
Cussing, she glides
back to the bedroom.
She calls:
"Hello, it's me.
What?
No, send Gina.
Jocks love tits
like hers,
I should know.
Tell Andre I'm taking
the night off.
Bye-bye."
She melts
into her new outfit.
Puts an old favorite
on the stereo.
Led Zeppelin-
"You Shook Me".
She takes the mirror
from the bathroom to bed,
finds the right angle.
A smile.
Showtime.


Last Call

Neil spills his soul
on the bar:
"Greg, Chipper was
a good dog.
Except he ran away.
Later, I found him mangled
on the 91 freeway
past the Bellflower Blvd. offramp.
I gave him a Viking funeral
& buried his remains
in my backyard that night."
Look at the clock-
1:25 a.m.
Douse the jukebox:
"Neil, it's time to go."
The door slams open,
a rough voice bellows:
"Alllright you carpetmunchers!
Brenda's gonna drink
you under the table
& fuck you to death!"
She stomps to the bar-
hair out of place,
black dress in shreds,
sits next to Neil:
"Batrender! A triple Cuervo Gold!"
Smile at her:
"I'm colsing ma'am.
Please try again tommorow night."
Neil gives her
a fisheyed once-over.
Brenda grunts,
grabs Neil's beer bottle
& tries to nail me.
Neil clamps her arm
to the bar:
"Be nice sweets.
I've got a liter
of Jose at home."
She releases,
bottle spins on the Formica.
Brenda swivels to Neil:
"You're on, Cowboy!"
Neil gets a weird spark
in his eyes:
"Wait for me outside, sweets."
Brenda staggers out.
Neil finishes his brew:
"Chipper will have company
in his backyard tonight."


The Compliment


My wife stretches her legs
across my knees;
stares & frowns:
"I hate my feet, Greg."
Caress a bunion
on her second toe:
"They're not bad, Hanna."
She gives them
crunchy daggers, exhales:
"If my feet were
a poet, who would
they be?"
Study close for a minute:
"Your feet are
vulgar & eloquent.
Therefore, your feet would
be Charles Bukowski."
She stares blankly,
covers them with a towel:
"That ugly old man
whose poem you read
me all the time?"
Nod my head
& lift the towel
to appreciate them;
like the stark, beautiful
lines he wrote.

C.E. Chaffin
stratos2@juno.com

Bio(auto)

C.E. Chaffin uses initials because he doesn't like his first name. Also (probably unconciously) because he is a great fan of T.S. Eliot and C.S. Lewis.

He is by profession a family doctor and has been publishing poetry sporadically since the seventies. Born in Ventura in 1954, he is a second generation native Californian who lives with his wife and daughters in a condo high above the beach in Long Beach.

A volume of his poems entitled "Elementary" will soon be published by Melllen Press at PO Box 450, Lewiston NY, 14092-0450. You can write them for more details or e-mail C.E. Chaffin at stratos2@juno.com. if you are interested. Cost per book is $12.95.

The following work is Copyright © 1997 and owned by C.E. Chaffin and may not be distributed or reprinted in any manner whatsover without written permission from the author.


Falling

Where I live it is easy to die.
The railing around my balcony
is twenty stories high
but from this side
only reaches my navel.
I could lean over and fall
at any time, like a toddler
too tall for his crib.

Without my consent
these bars couldn't hold me,
any more than they contain
my fear of falling, falling
like a lumpy laundry bag
to thump the pavement, bounce,
then darkness, the unheard sirens,
a stain the hose can't get out.
I see this in my mind
over and over
like a ribbon uncoiling
from a gift I never open.

It's not that I want to jump,
it's that I can.
Isn't this too much freedom?.
Sometimes jumping
seems easier than staying
Get it over with, already!
But is death any easier?
Life gets harder as you go on;
why should death be different?
I peer down at the unforgiving cement
and spit, and watch the foam drop.


Tolerance

To stand for something,
to protest abortion or the destruction of wetlands,
to support the preservation of historic buildings
or the return of condors to the wild
fulfills our passion for goodness
more than tolerance,
an mere exercise in manners,
not even a virtue, more like ignoring
someone's body odor in an elevator.

Who can say with a straight face,
"I understand and accept what you are doing
even though I find it detestable?"

Moral passion is not an oxymoron.


Ghost in the Machine

I cornered divine imminence with a shotgun,
but it slipped away, almost present.
Its silence fooled me because it wasn't silence
but the frozen stutter of a blank expectancy
guarding some deeper sentience.
So I designed an experiment
to see if the world had grown conscious
of its unconsciousness.

I tore up a Bible and fed its leaves to the wind.
They scattered without purpose.
I tracked them for months
until just one sheet was missing.
When I found it I laughed;
it contained nothing but genealogies.