November 3-November 9, 1999: Joseph Kershbaum and Michael Cruthird

Week of November 3-November 9, 1999

Joseph Kershbaum and Michael Cruthird

Joseph Kerschbaum
jkerschb@indiana.edu

Bio(auto)

Joseph Kerschbaum currently attends Indiana University and is majoring in english and history He has appeared in a number of publications on campus and other places Joseph is working with Tangled Hearts Publishing on a new publication, A Moment In Time Joseph is also the publisher for a literary magazine at IU, Canvas

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

A Funeral of Sorts

An invisible breeze whispers
in my ear just enough so that
I can’t hear the minister Him
reading his standard text
in his standard, overpaid,
monotone voice In the other the semis
and Hondas drive by and block
the rest of the bored, unfeeling
voice talking of an empty god
that the deceased didn’t even
believe in
The grave diggers stand by
in their blue overalls with
grass stains leaning on their
shovels waiting to get to work
on the ground
The arranger of this affair rushes
around in a slow manner trying to hide
his impatientance with the whole
affair I watch him as his
fake words in the ears of
the mother and guests:
“I’m sorry”
“Thank you for coming”
“He was such a nice boy”
How would he know? I wonder
what the salary for
pseudo-felt sympathy is
Afterwards I shake the
fat of the minister,
nod to the men with the shovels,
said that it was lovely
to the busy man,
and joined the semis and Hondas
to get on with what I call a life.


Filthy Snowman

A year ago you came back A year ago, a long December, I found myself again
The cool air on my face, your warm kiss on my lips The snows you brought washed me clean,
and woke me back to life
I looked into your evergreen eyes I felt the softness of your snowflake skin I let you melt into me I watched your snow fall in the black of the night I cried your tears, and I burned your candle
as I danced in the flurries of our winter
But now I sit without myself I stare at a faded grey sky
as snows of dust and dirt fall upon me The snow is cold like a memory forgotten Drunk on the past, weary of the future
I build a filthy snowman.

Michael Cruthird
mbc1954@netdoor.com

Bio(auto)

Michael Cruthird is a Public Health offic0ial living in Wiggins,  Mississippi A retired United States Air Force Medical Service Corps Officer, Michael has seen the darker side of humanity and also the hope of a bright future He writes poetry and prose as a therapuetic device and for the pleasure and enlightment of those who would ponder life and love Currently, Michael works with families of children with disabilities.


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


Vietnam

Images of the past haunt me Violent images confused
with exotic fantasies of youth Life and art parallel dimensions in a tortured soul Visionary release in
spurts of fury .conflicting emotions invoked by history
She was a seductress .but her blood was not virginal she had been raped for centuries and her revenge visited itself
upon freckled-faced farm boys who saw only honor, glory and
exotic fullfillment
She lay open for the invasion, warm and moist inviting deep penetration and cruel violation Allowing herself
to be denuded, scarred and exploited .she waited for her time
to exact her vengance

I stepped out into her world and smelled the mystical, magical
aromas of her inner regions I bathed in her liquid pools of
life Dreamed of browns and greens and fleshy delights, 
my mind decended into a stupor of rationalization I came to save her .to set her free and violence was the order of the day Confronted by the
reality of blood, broken bodies and bent minds .I slowly
began to see her as a whore .reaping profit from misery
I sought escape .and healing .release from the entrapment
she had become

Time heals, life renewed itself away from her seduction hindsight reveals a more simple and honest truth no whore .no seductress .a dynamic culture clashing with
its own identity and a young man facing the reality of WAR
Survival and maturity .a separation of passions .a bittersweet
first love Dreams and nightmares .time heals .time .heals.


Hunting Trip

The cool autumn breeze wisp through your hair, the sunlight flits about
your angelic face in rays of gold, red and blue Your eyes tear at the cold spikes
of Canadian air and teardrops cascade slowly across the rose of your
cheeks .and I realize why I love you BEAUTY

Your breathing halts and your pulse races as the proud, tall buck wades silently
from the pines into the field You smile with glee but don’t utter a sound as you
turn to look straight into my eyes .willing your excitement and pleasure into my
soul .and I realize why I love you INNOCENCE

I feel you tremble with an explosive mixture of fear and excitement as I hand you
the gleaming blue-black steel and polished cherrywood of my rifle You lean back
against me as you raise the barrel towards the deer I smell your scent .the scent
of womanhood, woods, autumn and desire I feel the warmth of your rounded
curves pressing hard against me You shiver as you grip the trigger I
smell your hair, like sour apples and herbs from our garden, stirring me to a state
of arousal and desire .and I realize why I love you PASSION

Your weight shifts against me as you line up your shot .the proud buck munching
on the tall clover, his tail whipping side-to-side I feel your entire body stiffen as
you squeeze the trigger {{click}} .the safety slides on .you turn, putting
the rifle against a tree, pulling me close for a passionate kiss You turn back
towards the field, taking my arms around you, sliding my hands down to your womanhood
– moist with confused desires, as we watch the buck walk quietly back into the
pines .and I realize why I love you COMPASSION

For these reasons and more .I LOVE YOU yesterday, today and tomorrow.


“Tempest Temptress”

Standing on the granite outcrop
high above a world below,
clouds, dark and angry, claw at the mountain’s face,
and creep up to surround in a blanket of chilled, moist air
Below the flashes of lightning skittering from cloud to cloud The darkness grows and insulates
thunder echoing all around,
the air alive with energy
The wind roars up the mountain face, 
lifting slightly as its fury races
through the tree tops all around

A dark, grey cloud like the smoke of an immense industrial fire
rises around and charges the air with negative ions
invigorating every inch of exposed flesh with tiny
electrical sparks that tickle and sting

Alive with sensations senses alert to every change
mind acutely aware of the danger
body filled with adrenalin produced by a heavy dose of fear
fear like a potent drug
short-circuiting reason and logic, allowing emotions to control
‘Oh, dear God, this is wonderful
and your power, your presence your creation’
Mother Nature in all of her glory
seducing with an overload of visual, aural, tactile, and
emotional sensations
warming the inside with fear, excitement and apprehension
chilling the exterior being with sweet smelling rain and clean,  brisk air
Robbing mind of its logic and reason
with sensual caresses and dazzling visions of light and sound
‘A temptress in the form of a tempest’.

December 29, 1997-January 4, 1998: Robert Wynne, Elise Nolan, and Sheila Barrera

week of December 29, 1997-January 4, 1998

Robert Wynne, Elise Nolan, and Sheila Barrera

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Robert Wynne
ROBERT_WYNNE@impulse.com

Bio(auto)

Robert Wynne was born in Seattle and grew up on a farm in northwest Oregon He now lives in the Los Angeles area, where he is a co-director of the Valley Contemporary Poets He won the 1997 Masters Poetry Prize, and is a two-time winner of the Academy of American Poets Award He is the author of two chapbooks: “Driving” (1997, the Inevitable Press) and “Patterns of Breathing” (1997, Mille Grazie Press) Both books are available from him His work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in numerous magazines, including: Solo, Maryland Poetry Review, Trestle Creek Review, The Maverick Press, Blue Satellite and 51% He is currently enrolled in the MFA program at Antioch University.

The following work is Copyright © 1997, and © 1998, and owned by Robert Wynne and may not be distributed or reprinted in any manner whatsover without written permission from the author.

The Time I Turned Down a Part In Castle Blackula
— An Apology —
(originally appeared in Faxploitation magazine)

I’m sorry Sorry I can’t fly Sorry
I didn’t want to play the mailman
whose last sight is his blood on
Publisher’s Clearinghouse letterhead Sorry my neck is intact Sorry in fact
that the film never got made `cause
I was the only one who could bleed
just the way they needed I’m sorry
that Pam Grier’s career took
a vacation, that Jim Brown collects
crayons with his name on them, that
even Isaac Hayes has a greatest hits now-
all single versions Sorry that
Castle Blackula is nothing more
than a fantasy only Mr T and his
resume still believe in I’m sorry Mr T
has a resume Sorry that none of us
will ever see the scene in which
Gabe Kaplan kills a legion of black ninja
warriors with shiriken made of matzoh;
with planned ad copy: “He can kill a man
from 30 feet away and still keep kosher ”
Sorry David Carradine is probably still
walking the earth I’m sorry that
“karate” means “empty hand,”
and not “hand full of cash ” Sorry I saw
Beat Street Sorry some people think
Superfly TNT was a Ted Turner production
Sorry the Master of the Flying Guillotine
could not be here today Sorry about
the name, Shaft I’m sorry there weren’t more
black vampires Sorry the 70’s are over
Sorry that these days no one wears collars
so wide they cover shoulders like wings
in reverse I’m sorry I turned the part down
Sorry people forget bats are black Sorry
I saw “Icarus” tagged on an overpass I’m sorry we don’t all have wings

Amaranth
(originally appeared in the chapbook “Driving”)

Fields surround the 5 Freeway, straight
for miles, flat enough to cut through
tenebrous rock The sun is halfway

to the horizon This is how I make sense
of the asphalt strip: look up Next rest area
57 miles Green rows furrowed with low

vegetation roll by and a tumbleweed bounces
across the road To the left, the ground is
charred, lifelines on the earth’s palm

seared away It’s hot enough to believe
in spontaneous combustion, but I know
better Fingerprints sink into the quiet ash

All I hear is wind buffeting my car
toward the shoulder Tiny black twisters swirl
and on the right each tenuous stalk

tightens, pulls against the sharp wood guying
it to the land Another tumbleweed leaps into the air
from the median, hurling itself toward gullies, 

crossing the borders imposed
by the machinery of seeds and hands I’m keeping my car between

the white lines, not knowing the distance
to the truck on my right, only that it’s
not in my lane And the fields wash into

an emerald sea until the earth gives itself up
at the ends of the rows, soil hidden
in the space between green parallels I drive

past the point of this vision and still
the American tumbleweed, Amaranthus albus, rides
a cushion of air and bound plants east, away

from the stratified slab carrying me north, away
from the scorched soil, from fields of cows so hot
they’re being watered like tomatoes, steam rising

from their hides, away from arrays of empty crates
lined up for harvest, or traps for the plants
that got away I’ve drifted into the right lane, run

onto the grooves cut into the shoulder, the ones
that jar us when we slip away I guide the car
back between the lines; and as I look right again, 

the amaranth is gone, disappeared over the edge
of the flat earth: escaped.


Allow
for Michelle
(originally appeared in chapbook “Driving”)

” .love is how we keep from passing through each other “
-Robert Arroyo, jr
Shoes are too important
to be taken for granted I learned
this from you And tonight
when I saw you
I was wearing my best ones
because I know I won’t see you
again for three days As I sit
staring out on the airport
I smoke, drop stars
that burn out only
when they touch the earth
and think about how easy it is
to say “I love you,” how long
I wanted to say it before I did,
how you said it first
like permission for my lips
to mirror the shape of yours We pull at each other’s mouths
when we are together We kiss
until the only space between us
is shared breath We press
as hard as we can against
the snooze bar glowing green
beside your bed, mine,
as if we could stop time We’ve come
close I rub bare heels
on the stucco wall that holds me
on this hill above the runways
and I wonder at the power
of these three words What keeps us from bottling
that smoke the tires of landing planes
give off? How do your eyes
change colors? How do we allow
love? You are in me
like a cat’s dream scratching
the screen door over and over
every night You are the reason
I hide my feet from the world –
they’re yours And I will allow
anything to keep from passing
through you like memory, like
photographs: flat and glossy
and as unchanging as the eye
that caught them, frozen in time.


Elegy For Forgetting
(originally appeared in Parting Gifts magazine -reprinted in chapbook “Patterns of Breathing”)

I’m in my Oldsmobile, armor,
driving with one window
down so I have someplace
to send my breath And
I’m not thinking of you I’m not
thinking of your lips
pushing against my neck like tulip
petals, your hands so simple
in the small of my back Not
thinking it takes more to hold myself
away from you than deny space
with your body, mine You’re not
mine I can’t listen as you fight
for breath in sleep I can’t give
you air from my body So I won’t
remember the look in your eyes
as you got into your car Won’t remember you
take the same freeways to him
that you could to me I won’t
remember how you said
this is a battle
because I don’t want to become
a soldier, witness
to so much death and unable
to stop the memory except by smearing
it with blood I will
forget your hair, your head
nestled against my collarbone, the ease
with which your voice drops itself
against the timpani
of my ears I will forget
that this drumming is a call
to war, forget that the music
I hear is only the radio
and not your words like arrows
singing toward this space
through which my left arm plays
with the wind I will forget
how your eyes have
their own gravity, how thin
flesh is.


Waiting Room
(originally appeared in Solo magazine-reprinted in chapbook “Patterns of Breathing”)

I never floss,
so my hands must pick through magazines, 
my eyes recognize the pursed
lips and she-loves-me-not single-petal
face wilting next to me No wonder

I can’t hold my fingers still Perfect people don’t have cavities They don’t wait in silence
and fear They pose for paintings,
hang where they can get a good look

at the rest of us
tucking our shirts in, digging
deep in our pockets for something
we’ve never had The world

looks different from
the ground I used to stare
up at the night sky, stare up at
my brother standing above me,
yelling about how he loved
me, fists clenched The grass was cold on the back of my neck
My brother’s shoulders, wide and slumping
already at age 10 I was held by
the plea of his voice, caught
in the shape of
his shadow, dizzy with fear I would long for a glimpse of the moon,
Orion, anything to take me
away from that moment The world looks different

when you’re at it’s mercy No one looks at the walls I toss the magazine
back onto the table The eyes stare down, portraits
and patients, all eyes
save mine, searching the chairs
for a glimmer of recognition: nothing Heads lowered, jaws aching,
each lost in our own field of stars.

Elise Nolan
Ena2@aol.com

Bio(auto)

My name is Elise Nolan I’m a poetically-inclined, starving college student who thought this might just be worth a try


The following work is Copyright © 1997, and © 1998, and owned by Elise Nolan and may not be distributed or reprinted in any manner whatsover without written permission from the author.


the jungle

brave-hearted lioness –
i sit alone
beneath the trees,
grass trembles
at my mighty roar i’m feared ’cause i’m
so wonderful,
adored ’cause i’m
so feared they say i’ve got it all together,
but what is “it”?
to them it’s power
and they don’t understand
just why i’m so
power-less they’re scared and awed,
i’m brave and mighty,
and just plain
lonely lioness.

Sheila Barrera
thebarreras@earthlink.net
http://home.tampabay.rr.com/sheilabarrera/

Bio(auto)

Sheila was born in Schenectady New York in 1954, she now lives in Rahway, New Jersey with her husband, dog and parrot She wrote her first poem, which has been published several times, in 1971 at age 14 or so She has been writing poetry more or less on a daily basis since then, with a few years off here or there for good measure.

The following work is Copyright © 1997, and © 1998, and owned by Sheila Barrera and may not be distributed or reprinted in any manner whatsover without written permission from the author.


The Half Dozen Roses

So soft, almost silken
red for the holidays
green leaves, green sleeves
then like old fashioned
lace collars, baby’s breath
touching gently each
rosey red snow chilled face
There is a freshness
to the holiday air
as the late afternoon sun
brightens the vase through
the window to an almost
shiny peachy rich pink
matching the sunset outside
reflecting in the snow
Next to the flickering candle
like the star up in the sky
six red roses for the holidays
as if to be the three wise men,
the mother, the father
and then the precious son;
the baby’s breath sure makes
a great manger too.


My Pine Tree

I used to hide
In my pine tree
I could feel safe and big
Sitting in my monkey fort
Now I can’t
They say I’m too old
Instead I sit in the cafeteria
Eating my bananas.


Without Matter

Was there ever a time
when there were no words to rhyme
and another’s ideas could be here
without the aid of an ear?

Was there ever a place
where one needed no face
to know another
as you know your mother?

Was there ever a way to do nothing but play with color and light and everything bright?

Some, would say, “This be madder than the mad hatter!” I could argue, consequences were without matter
Others would complain, “There’d have been nothing to do!” At least, my friend, you would always have been you


Rock Hard

Sands give
water moves one
the freshness
of morning
air, cleanses
but the rock
bleeds no more Life grows
light glows.

Week of December 22-28, 1997: Mert Guswiler and Dylan Taylor Singletary

Mert Guswiler  and Dylan Taylor Singletary

Mert Guswiler
Amert@worldnet.att.net

Bio(auto)

Mert (who seldom uses her last name unless she has to do so) is a native Ohioan currently ensconced in the Nevada desert She has lived and worked all over the world, earning her living with words in a career that only can be described as eclectic The proper tags for such eclecticism are print journalist in the US and abroad, instructor/trainer, California lawyer, and contract technical writer/editor/researcher for government and private industry The chain on which all of these “careers” hang is that of creative writer, with initial publication occurring at the age of 14 years Since then, Mert has had a book of poems published as well as short stories and articles/essays, and has garnered awards both in the U.S and abroad in print journalism and a few other categories Samples of her poetry and short stories can be found on various internet sites but to date she has not had time to create her own web page She has completed two books and is working on two others (“I seem to do things in twos”) Publication of the completed books (short synopsis of each follows) is her next step.

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

Love Trilogy

I (To )

SUDDENLY
quickly so
brightly
without
silence within announcing
time
and eternity SHOOK
hands and were
welded all of a piece
labeled NOW
phonetically spelled
U
while the un sat
keeping the world
in piece the power of
balance trembled
slipped and tilted
mathematically mutating
a one-half to one
exploding in an age
producing masses
and translated ‘progress’
or
I love.


II (A Drink of Water)

Striding
radiating
oblivious
unconcern of all and
any
dimly-shadowed
terror-stricken
gray-surrounded also
thirsty
person watching
while you reach for
cup and turning spigot
gushing
innocent the
water while the
thund’ring blood of spirit
moaning
and in guilty
rising dying
pride and fear dishonest
hoping
for a reprieve
that will silence
blazing desert without
water
parched non-living
ever-buried
lost to spring rains never
again
quenching thirsty
questing, needing
more than just a drink of
water.


III (Return)

Ah, is it you, you’ve come back
with eyes snapping and teeth glist’ning; framing words I thought I’d never
hear again and, upon hearing,

fail to understand The waiting,
watching, day by day ’til nightfall —
of these things I cannot yet speak —
try to tell you or the world the

nights unblackened, blindly glaring
(bright outlining dark hair over
white and starch-ed collar needing
cutting) until raw and bleeding

wretched heart that bade you enter
softly whisp’ring, ‘close the door, love, isolate us from the false and
ever treach’rous and insatiate,

dull, insensitive and timeless,
glossy, webby maze of truth’ that
even at that moment then was
pers’nally engraving our own

long un-stayed and ever hopeless
muted farewell — ‘though defiant —
reached the bowels of earth and echoed
’til the soles of your feet patt’ring

down the staircase of my being
through the door I could not enter
(and which closed and banged staccato)
an irrevocable finis
made of gray and nothing-flowing
days that reached out for each other
seeking comfort and time-passing
to erupt into this now-day

and the hour of your coming: it is
you there with your smiling —
tending once again the fire that
even now of old arises,

tingeing all the static white clouds,
streaking o’er the burnt horizon;
once again all else is stifled
(and the oxygen deserts me) —

gasping, struggling, yes I see you
and my wonderment is such that
out of drugged and pain-filled past comes this — a moment joy-filled present

on its way to nameless future —
flying words that have no meaning;
for you’ve come back and there is no
open door here to receive you.

Dylan Taylor Singletary
taylorsingletary@hotmail.com

Bio(auto)

My name is Dylan “Taylor” Singletary, and I am a poet residing in Vista, California — which is, by the way, near San Diego I am nearing the eighteenth year of my life, and am fixated on going to San Francisco State University where I will study the cinema and hopefully someday become a director My main influences for my writing is a mix of Jack Kerouac, William S Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Tom Robbins, Stephen King, Tim Burton, and alot of Danny Elfman


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


Day One to Day Six

Day one to day six destiny calls the shots in the evening drowned by prepubescent earthling snores,
fertilized by dying children drying in the dawning sunlight of yesterday’s dawn,
i sit upon virgin rock sits upon white snow upon earth on day one of attack one where doris eats her oats,
lightning comes first showering the sky against plaid window panes breaking giving blood read pains and screams down lovers lane ending in a tidal wave of showering kisses,
day two of attack one, where the eyes stop inside of communistic totalitarian tongue tingling denial of destiny calling for another shot of tequila,
this one with the worm he says as it grasps for the table in the sunlit foyer of a mansion room designed by two negroes from the south-north side of town,
tv babies call from table right singing songs about winning their war against the boarders who never did care along with politicians soaking their feet in cement paved walk on the sides alone again, the lamp is going out,
becoming day three of attack one,
the amnesia wears off,
first realisation of happening what,
did the earth sit still as it died away and dyed to black against monoleum marble coated deviled eggs back from days one and two, day three already and the people see no colour and realise that there never was the colour that they thought they say, i still don’t see the colour and assuming that i am right, the colour doesn’t see anyway,
day four sneaks right up and destiny calls the shots for attack two, affecting the minds of those left,
rolling skating down the street come legions and legions of lost mimes painted faces black and white no colour no colour drowned in oil smells down what’s left of the subterranean sewers where i lived so long ago and i wonder where did i ever go and why still am i alive to tell the tale of day four or day three or day two or day one for that matter,
this journal of blood and tears that is for my glory and will be my selfish glory should i be ashamed of myself for what i right recording history as i see it while a pitiful man walks across the street in front of me and no tears no tears no tears i cry at the cat who can’t find home perhaps the last cat i’ve ever seen and will ever see,
wonder if store i could milk i buy, destiny buys the rounds for me this time deals to be made people to hang says he’s responsible as, day five comes into play day five like a sty in the eye the one that hurt us so bad that we black and blue soldiers walked the valley of doubt while children on lookers prayed and hoped that we would be destroyed on our faces of fear and hope that when we were over we’d be over like a-1 when steak is done nothing at stake left to save,
“i say my boy let me make you a deal” as he passes the drink too stupid am i to ask what could be in it and then i fall away into attack three the betrayal and it being so dark and lonely in betrayal i stupidly scream out the classic “et tu brute then fall caesar” line as i am washed away before i get this last word out i slime across the paper and no one sees me again day six, today.

 

 

December 14-21, 1997: Lindsey East and Borb Ludner

week of December 14-21, 1997

H Douglas Rhoads and Todd Heldt

H Douglas Rhoads
MrFrost@cryogen.com

Bio(auto)

H.Douglas Rhoads-Active in the 70s and early 80s as a small-press editor, publisher, supporter and contributor Also giving readings at colleges and universities throughout the midwest.International Who’s Who of Writers and Authors, 1976 A scattering of national and international awards through 1981 Invited to give haiku readings in Japan, 1980 Left the poetry arena (burnout) in 1982-but returned to writing via Online services in 1990 Been limping along ever since Started Raven’s Nest Website in 1996-started a website design company, WebSightLtd, two months ago No time for new writings for a very long time now-mainly revisions, etc.

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

Sitting With the Dead

To the unclean river, take me
In the roiling waters, put me down
Into the stink of it;
Wash the innocence from my garments,
And my soul
They speak to me of mysteries
I fear to know,
The dead –
Their anguish gnaws at me like acid
Pitted words offered up for eating
With tears of Babylon, anoint me
In pools of corruption, push me out
Beyond these shallow eyes;
Take the virtues from my knowledge,
And my heart
Without words they speak regrets
That breed in wounds,
Undead –
Their witness serves me bitter dishes
Ripe with the unilluminated me.


Simuality

Have never seen a tree
Nor felt textures
Of its bark –
An my nose never filled
With sweetness
Of its blossoms –
And wind-swept flutters
Of its leaves
I’ve never heard
Only amplitudes
Of frequency
Sliced out from radiation
Links
Of possibilities
Transformed in pulse
Arrested sparks
To faded nodes of braille;
Machines of errant flesh
Wired hot
To images of trees –
Flesh
That thinks to Dream
Yet only thinks of leaves.


Autumn

Autumn is A clumsy little girl
running
with a bowl of rainbows
in her arms.

Todd Heldt
Bitterboy@ttacs1.ttu.edu

Bio(auto)

I am 26 years old and am soon to complete my Master’s in literature at Texas Tech University I have published poetry and short stories in several off-line journals and have presented scholarship at national and international literary conferences.


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


Old Love in July

Close like cracks in the sidewalk,
they tangle in fingers of shade
darker than stains on wedding-day linen
She, a print-dress balloon and he,
a brown-burned lizard Under the front-yard magnolia,
she props her feet in his lap,
listens to the beat of cars passing
hitting the dip at the corner They count years by summers, heat:
she sips lemonade;
he clips her toenails.


Advice to Hitchhikers
(for Jason B who lived in a cave for five months )

One in five will ask for oral sex
or what color underwear you,re wearing Bet on it; but keep your money in your shoe

Don’t be picked up within ten miles
of an adult bookstore And read the bumper stickers
before climbing in; avoid the NRA if you have pink hair

Carry a pocketknife but do not hurt anyone
as long as you can run America will hide you
You know that, which is why you stride highways

The curb is harder than your couch,
and you might miss your kitchen–
clean spoons that curve your face above soup–

but Ramen noodles are seven-for-a-dollar
and filling if eaten uncooked Besides,
pots weigh you down You want to tread light.


Drunk Girl and the Devil’s Tongue
(For the girl whose parents told her I was the antichrist )

You, spinning girl, I am the devil who drives you
drunk, rolls the wind beneath your palms
Listen to this low road at night, feel its breath
through open windows–we tell no lies,
only the truth of how far we can take you,
which is no place you’ve ever seen We speak one language, the road and I,
hum louder than a hot engine or whisper
high and straight against your neck;
the skyscrapers of our voice tickle your ears
And you, dizzier than clouds, hear us speak
and believe The word is all around you; even taillights talk,
weave broken yarns in the dark.


Near Family Waking

I can hear my mother: 6:30 in the morning,
singing church choir around the breakfast table
She has two parakeets
from a ragged family, mother and son
from the other part of town;
she likes the son,
who is disadvantaged with poverty
and not having much a family So poor, he doesn’t know thank you
for an unwanted gift Leaks in the roof have made him too honest,
open windows with no screens–
the only cool he knows Younger I would feel guilty
for having it so good: a soft bed,
an air conditioner I am old enough, though,
not to feel anything
I do not want Mother still sings;
not much has changed Her parakeets are chirping their
off-harmony She’s washing
breakfast dishes, I imagine Each sound carries
a house full of first movement Our language will never capture
the subtlety of waking up This is why we cry when we are happy:
there is no fair outlet of good joy And now the sound of a coffee cup
settling down on the kitchen table Father turns the page of his morning
paper, the rustle of newsprint I can hear him thinking
the song, the birds are absurd this early
I love how mom has no doubts about religion,
and dad won’t admit that he does And I love how they stay together,
trying to love each other,
growing to the contrary How they don’t seem to talk The danger of words like love
is in their misuse, their overuse,
their pitiful abstraction No one ever will understand
how I feel for waking
with arms and legs to stretch,
with hands to open and close Not once could I explain a flower’s blooming,
the necessity of its action The sun is climbing now,
over the hedge in the backyard,
into my window Soon it’s time
to make another morning,
to find the comfort
of whatever conversation
in the kitchen I can find.


Symmetry
(for Tim Hardin, 1958-1989)

I am a crop duster, therefore, a god–
have cheated my days from trees and wires,
eighteen wheelers and ground You might understand my place
if you were all thieves with pockets grand
enough for the whole of this world
I have skimmed grounded clouds
of cotton and grain, dipped low and lower,
swooped under power lines,
spanned cars by stolen breath I weave the threads on your back,
wrap the wheat round your gut
Once I had grace to look in the window
of a Chrysler as I swept the air Hummed
towards them like damnation, the man,
the woman inside Her eyes became saucers,
moons His mouth formed words, swore to me
what must have been a prayer
I saw in the woman’s lap a baby, as it really was,
oblivious to the danger I see everything up here
They were safe I just wanted to show them
the dark side of the globe Listen, I am the bird who feeds you all,
beaks a baby’s food soft enough to digest

I have a family myself: a wife named Julie,
a new son, Timothy, after his father Every day I cheat those things
Every day, I cheat those snares
in this world that might wish me harm
the thin horizon, the depth of the sky.


Pale Arms

A few acres of pine and oak grow
shadows at night Briar and honeysuckle
bury the edge of our neighborhood Thick vines brown with age,
tougher than pocketknives And then the clearing, a perfect circle
we found by accident, hidden:
Grass tickled our stomachs
as we watched clouds
or stars at night, heard
the movement of trees
in the dark,
stretching Years earlier, in those same pines,
a friend and I found
a shadowed man, transient,
dead and shivering
with ants My friend prodded stiff limbs
with a stick he pulled from the brush I could not move
The first time
I saw a dead man,
the first time I made love
would be a hundred yards apart Funnier still, how my hands trembled
both nights, not sure where to put themselves–
the fear of being caught seeing things I wasn’t supposed to see,
the parts of me buried in those woods both times
under whatever light the moon offered.

 

 

December 8-14, 1997: Jenny Sadre and Linda Etheridge

Week of December 8-14, 1997

Jenny Sadre and Linda Etheridge

Jenny Sadre
portia22@hotmail.com

Bio(auto)

Jenny sadre has been writing poetry currently for almost eleven years she has appeared as a regular contributor to local mag-a-papers, received numerous awards and been published in many electronic literary zines (BARKING SPIDER, CIRCUS BEAVIS, TAVERNER’S KOANS, ANARCHIST BARBIE DOLL, etc ) She has collaborated with other local poets to put together pamphlets of poetry and she has appeared on the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s WUTC jazz radio station as the featured poet of the month in 1995.

This young poet continues to send her poetry to publishers daily and hopes in the near future to have a poetry book published.

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

Four

so now you can say
you robbed a hispanic crossed girl

and now all the while she hopes you have the bastard blues
as she in class
in wool sweatered heat
is with shampoo hair
empty
say
that you robbed a hispanic-crossed girl
say
that you took her airplane away
say
that you took the stein pearl from her chest say
you took her rainbow away
say
you robbed me
because
you learned what a woman could say.


Goldmine

studio 54
taught latin boys the dance
of all brown worlds while we learned how gypsys wear their hair in winter
tonight war came on the news
and t.v could have been dead
to us
as long as we had
the blue smoke maracas to live to
as long as
our brothers and fathers and lovers and such came to kiss our lips for all the coulours that played in our hair and the studio boys with brown skin and shoes had sand girls kiss their hips for all the steps that stayed in our heads.


Abnormal

down on riverside
red hair joe johnson loved starr best and as we explained
our soul maps
acid jazz pushed himself into our
chests disregarding some one’s best friend’s
honeysuckled
breasts as her home–
he moved in
and up on chambliss
shadows became our roads
and our roads
went on for miles and miles
and rivers became where joe and starr
found soul
and stole our map for all of that summer beside their river
we moved in
drinking from billie’s breast.


Tire

with seventy kisses stained on my back
a stawberried freckle might be a nice change

below the breathes of you
and above the concrete organed heart
you are too easy
with rings in your mouth
<- .south
of buddha
is where we laugh best ->

with confessed cigarette jewelry rained on my back a ring from your easy mouth might be a nice change


Person

i have not slept in two days
and if you want
if you dive
for the gun
i promise to shoot the sun
to the chocolate ground and like a gypsy i will bring the glitter back to fall
straight to our feet
chasing away the blood of the sun as my apron skirt is breathing in and
out
as my eyes are checking
out
if you want
if you arrive
for the smells of our sex
i promise to shoot love
to the liquored mound.


Marriage

keeping the v in between
legs
silent
even though you’re down the road
summoning
kerouac back
staring at the muddied
gutted
streets
he wrote on
and i tell you
i never read him
never bed him
even if he did like
morenoed eyes
even with word lips
he never spoke
loud
enough for me
to hear

even though you’re down the road
summoning
the in between v legs.

Linda Etheridge
livre@webtv.net

Bio(auto)

I am an ex-sales person who has been writing for many years, Not so long ago, I won second prize for a poem in a local contest, and I have been published numerous times in Local newspapers, Various poetry publications and won creative writing prize in high school


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


Above

The sky was a pinata party
filled with gold and silver
clouds on wing All the afternoon
a crescent moon shimmered
as well Majestic trees on brown island earth
wove a path into the sun Flocks of gulls became lost
in glints of summer’s ocean canopy


Joy-Love

It is the beginning of netted night
drawing us into catacombs
of black fire
after limpid, daytime fatique This chance awakens us again There are windows which
enlighten deep perception,
glowing There are windows
which shield us from exreme
pain in nature Tonight, I hear
your chants of love
through my window You are saying please stay.


A Sea Story

Locked up, glistening bars
a jaunty sea captain
one of nature’s travelers
is without his ship
The tide rolls in
no longer music for him
it becomes instead
a churning, spinning motion
of faded memory
In his dreams
he journeys to the south of France
and comes face to face
with a woman there She’s ruddy, meticulous,
they experience great passion He can feel summer in his
bones again, a rebirth of spirit
He awakens and is still
behind bars, somber, alone Trees bend outside on Terra Firma,
float, cannot escape winds of winter He in an inner turmoil, pounds his
fist into the emptiness
and weeps.


untitled

We played a game
subtle, uneven
in the wild, arousing dusk Your eyes sighted mine
and we perceived blazing images
of past in this present The era of European Renaissance-
more creative than other periods,
Shakespeare, Michelangelo,
an awakening of spirit Then the hour glass
held between us, time spent,
children lost, seemed to shift There were splinters of danger,
a sense of fatique But we continued on
roads paved with granite iciness
to pursue our life-source I walk in the night with you
eyes blurred with tears
to rekindle the flame of passion
we once knew In the lonliness of the twentieth century,
we drift apart
divided by an unknown force,
a grey shadow passes over us.

November 24-December 7, 1997: David Hodsonand Keith Owen

Week of November 24-December 7, 1997

David Hodsonand Keith Owen

David Hodson
dchodson@orion.branch-co.lib.mi.us
http://www.geocities.com/Paris/LeftBank/5603/

Bio(auto)

I enjoy image painting with words and the emotions they can evoke.  I live in typical “small town USA” where the coming and going of people living life offer much to write about.  Since discovering the internet in 1996 I have been featured on many poetry related pages and e-zines.  I also host my own website entitled The Shared Experience.

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

behind slow car

Speeding through life, 
you are my destination
Caught behind slow car, 
I ache to be there now
Tension builds, 
as warning lights flare out at me
I am pushing those, 
who could let me reach you faster, 
if they only would
No clear passing zone, 
in life’s highway
Cursing upward hills, 
that leave me guessing, 
as my hindsight speculates, 
at images in my rearview mirror
Ever edging left towards, 
solid yellow lines of phosphorecence, 
that would stop me
Seeking courage, 
I make mental note, 
of the abilities I am sure of
I hesitate, 
uncomprehending my lack of faith
The odds in the timing for disaster are small, 
Smothering the fear I decide “now”!
My senses stretch for answers, 
as to what is coming towards me.


into the air

Steam rises from my coffee cup, 
as I too have risen for another day
My life will dissolve, 
into the wants, needs and desires of others, 
as the steam is lost to the atmosphere, 
of this early morning restaraunt
People keep arriving, 
in groups or solitary
Eyes fighting sleep, or never sleeping
Exibiting quickly done, 
sidewalk chalk sketches of their lives
I catch myself, 
pausing to view a few, 
my attention captured, 
by  loose spoken words
All too soon the coffee grows cold, 
and other voices call out to me
It seems never enough, 
to live in the present
Halfway between being alone, 
and merged, 
with these stories of life around me.


heartfall

Waiting is meaningless, 
the day is forever, 
and I am not
Knowing I am but an instance, 
a flicker in all of time, 
I seek to make something real, 
even if it is only solid in my few moments
With closed eyes, 
I will slow the days down
Regaining the endless summer, 
children lose themselves in, 
between spring and fall
And there our days will last, 
and love will have time to grow
I do not know much about the past, 
and surely the future will forget me
But, as for now I remember you
I will celebrate what you are today, 
while the wind blows sweet, 
and the sun streams down, 
upon our endless day.

Keith Owen
ozone@texas.net
http://lonestar.texas.net/~ozone

Bio(auto)

Keith owen lives in Austin Texas .the rest of his bio can be found here


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


I Know Why I’m Here, How ‘Bout You?

I’ve got this friend who says she wouldn’t
sit up here with her action verbs all hangin’ out
for the world to see no more than she would
pull her pants down on “60 Minutes “
But that’s what we do here Here I sit — my braincoat spread wide —
and there you sit,
admiring all my private parts “Wow!” you whisper to a friend “Look at
the balls on that metaphor, will you?
“Check out the size of that adjective!”
I engage in linguistic onanism
for your voyeuristic pleasure and
you lean a little closer as
I get into a quick and easy rhythm,
faster,
stronger,
building toward an encyclopedic climax and
now, yes NOW!
Oh, God, it feels so good,
and you and I and
Roget
all lie panting, reeling, our senses drained!
You’ve been Mind Fucked It’s what I do best
what I like best:
to stick my Bic inside some sweet maiden head
and see her tremble,
smile, and gee —
she even thanks me when I’m through! and
“That’s the longest alliteration I’ve ever seen!”
she says in awe “Yeah, baby,” I reply “And I can
keep it up all night, too.l”
Aural sex We all come
to get an earful This pack of peeping poets
sneaking peeks beneath the sheets,
between the lines,
comparing meter length and size —
whipping out our felt tips,
our ball points,
our number 2 hard, hot lead It’s an iambic orgy, egos stroking right and left,
forebrain, hindbrain, midbrain — it doesn’t matter —
swollen synonyms are stuffed in every crack Grunting gerunds, naked nouns with lewd prepositions,
adjectives ejaculated at warp factor eight,
infinitives split wide in all their pink glory!
tumescent type, turgid thought slick with ink,
slides into gaping miinds;
copulative couplets squirm on yellowed tablets,
double dactyl dildos plunge into wild refrains For good measure
we leave sonnets sodomized upon the floor,
bloodied sheets of violated verse weeping in the corner,
limp limericks, screwed stanzas, buggered ballads,
fellated folios scattered on the table tops —
all in search of that one great piece,
that great head job,
that coming together of the minds It’s an orgasmic opus omniumgatherum,
a piece meal,
a conflux of cantolingus,
tongued snatches of heated posey,
a lexeroticon of vibrating verse,
a rodeo of rhyme in rut,
ongoing, never ending phrasal fornication —
and you wonder why I do this?
Like Koop says though, it’s not entirely safe those of you without rubbers pulled down over your ears
might catch some diseased idea
or break out in some rash decision
or wake up to find some strange growth sprouting
just below your hair line Yeah, well, that’s the price you pay
going out to get a little strange, now isn’t it?
And me?
Hell, I’ll just get what I can from you,
roll up my black mesh prose,
pull up my read pentameter,
and slide into the darkness,
waiting for the next sailor
to make it to my pad First, though,
let’s all have a cigarette.

November 17-23, 1997: Daphne Gottlieb and Amy Zug

week of November 17-23, 1997

Daphne Gottlieb and Amy Zug

BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
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Daphne Gottlieb
daphneg@slip.net

Bio(auto)

Daphne Gottlieb is a San Francisco-based performance poet She is currently at work on a chapbook tentatively entitled, “Pelt,” and is the 1996 Queer Poetry Slam champion Her work is anthologized in the forthcoming “1,001 Kisses,” edited by Anna Livia and David Hirsch

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

After Years of Therapy

Across the nation, people are listening to
their inner children and
their inner children are mad Gaylord Cummins had six children
just to prove a point
Wayne Gasser
the Gas Man
Gas Mask
ell `em one he hasn’t heard
Cleopatra Collins has had it
up to here with the comments about
her wicked asp and seeing her delta
Dick Johnson still finds it hard to cope
and drives a very large car
even Amber Love feels unkind some days but worst of all is
poor Johnathan Jewett, raised Catholic
Even after 12 years of
dreaming of changing his name
he can’t After the swastikas painted on his locker
the jokes about his nose
everyone assuming he was rich and
just lying about it
he dreams of changing his name but
can’t stand the thought
of abandoning his people.


Atrophy

In hours of squabbling over
how many angels can dance
on the head of a pin
no one has ever asked
what dances they do Perhaps the cha cha Maybe the merengue They might begin the beguine and
switch to the tango Or they could do something really dirty like
the frug — a saintly choir of 200 billion
pumps away at the air
with the blind dedication of sperm
all on a spot the size of a human egg Astonishing, you say? Breathtaking?
No Just impossible Angels wear
flowing white robes because
they have no feet Angels wear white robes
like frothy waterfalls
like frozen vanilla swirls
like dusty drapes
like cracked greek columns
to cover up
not only do they not have
left toes
right index
left middle
right ring
left pinky
right piggy went to market
never came back
and stole the calf to the knee
if mine thigh offends thee
pluck it out
and angels know
genitals
are so dirty
that they are better left
to the flesh
and so, clean pure and white,
they let the rest of their bodies go to hell
shrink their souls to
the size of pinpricks
and forget how to dance.


self-made

he got where he is today by
building an empire with his
own two hands and his
daddy’s money

stick a hand in a back
pocket and it’s an offer stick
a hand in a front pocket and it’s
sex stick a
hand in another hand and it’s
a deal, baby pleasure
doing business with you.


skin deep

clean laundry, new shoes and shiny hair that’s how
good life is right
now and when i walk down
the street i can see
people add me
up twenty dollar
sweater
thirty dollar
haircut with
ninety-nine cent
barette
one hundred and ten dollar
shoes three
dollar lipstick and a five
dollar word for
bitch.


present for the sweet sixteen

in your 21-year-old wisom
you gave me a pair
of thigh-high fish net
stockings and a paperback copy
of The Fountainhead
a recipe for a pin-up
with velvet panties and an iron
fist

at 29
i must tell you:
it worked too well
it’s ok by me if
Ayn Rand could only get Atlas
to shrug but
right now he’s cleaning my floor
and when he’s done
I’m coming
for you.

Amy Zug
Amzug@aol.com

Bio(auto)

Amy Zug lives in Somerville, MA


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


Crash Test

very frankly she was heard to say in no uncertain terms, 
something next of course there comes the usual matter:
the ninety-nine or more percent disintegrated likelihood
that anything resembling even the most slightly real idea
whatsoever what that being who near you there so strangely is, 
whose facial expressions you cannot seem to prevent
yourself from noting continuously and over and
over to your great and consternationally distracted
stimulatedness is even saying, much less thinking or
for god’s sake meaning will ever be created ah, thankfully, 
thankfully a poem.


Shut Up

you know how even or especially perhaps when a bug
is just about gone it keeps trying to fly somehow
this connects to a waiting lady who apparently
very much needs to speak as outside the market stars
awake to a perfect passing stranger at length regarding
the maniacally inconveniencing nature of cab drivers
and to how discussing haircuts passes away
a slow chunk of day (it’s getting longer I say
displaying the usual wit) flapping and dragging
the half-dead ass across the floor the dissonance
of lift-off impossibility does not deter in puzzling
fact this wingspinning frenzy appears paradoxically
fueled by the deadening life, more uselessly mighty
than ever before.


Moving

ringing telephones crisscross paths
with the limping idea
of the rest of your life what’s leftover
when the attempt at housecleaning fails
fills two hungry trucks, slowly compacts
gathered and stacked by the curb, your childhood
was strikingly finite.


The Humongous Moccachino

there was a man who had a plan to celebrate his birthday
by going to the library and checking out 273 books
this was because his birthday happened to fall on a Tuesday
unfortunately the plan was interrupted by a violent fit of
contemplating the meaning of a particular word of which
he had no knowledge the violent fit was rudely interrupted
by a knocking at the door which continued for 17 years and then
continued by this point the man’s birthday was almost over
and he became clinically depressed over the fruitlessness of
sand and related matters finally he did end up going
to the library but predictably it had been converted into
a humongous moccachino the humongous moccachino
cost $4.78 so he bought it and he drank it and he died
the end.


Unheated Sunday

the drunken stuff sunk enough gah gah gah
it is Ronald McDonald as the Buddha
and the house never empty ever the sound
of a door almost shutting you and your good china
and silver and crystal heaped with ashes and sand
it is when he looks in the distance, the white
hungover sky, the merest of winds oh the flowed sorrow
of the bottomless trees.


Numbers

nothing will be finished other magnetisms discrete and unfathomed how to pull back the shortness of the stay please go away PLEASE GO AWAY! choked franklin delano roosevelt choked old
photo choked candlewax and the compacted quality of cooked
kale this is no poem this is no joke this is a recording
I will force it to spill out the window with the mooning bear below
in the street angry peed-on cops security clearance, fingerpainting
darlings in the tub, power strips camera angles jokers wild lost data is this a recording? is this saying something? is this the best
you can do? I don’t think so so I don’t think
broken crystal eyesockets the man with the crystal skull the man
with the polyester tongue being dead like the crazy lady who sewed that
cat being dead like a fox saran wrap dead beings hammering out tunes
on harpsichords store coupons freshwater fish sharks sleep swimming the inability to stop the inability not to stop the inability not to be
stopped to go on forever to go on forever to go on forever to stop

November 3-9, 1997: Ila Marie Goodey and Jennifer Goldie

Week of November 3-9, 1997

Ila Marie Goodey, PhD and Jennifer Goldie


Ila Marie Goodey, PhD
igoodey@ksar.usu.edu

Bio(auto)

Dr Ila Marie Goodey was born to a young farmgirl and her cowboy husband in Cache Valley at the Northern end of Utah She was their first child and they were filled with the hopes and dreams of parents everywhere
When she was three years old, she contracted Polio and remained physically disabled and in a wheelchair from there on She attended Utah public schools and graduated from the University of Utah with a PhD in Psychology She spent the next eight years as staff psychologist at the University, speechwriter, and consultant Dr Goodey has received many local and national awards, including, Utah Department of Human Services’ creation of an annual “Ila Marie Goodey Award for Meritorious Service”, the creation of an Annual University of Utah Ila Marie Goodey Scholarship in Writing, a Resolution of Commendation from Utah Legislature, J.C Penney’s National “Golden Rule Award” for Volunteerism and Community Service, YWCA Leadership Award in Business and Professions, Biographical Institute Personalities of the Americas, Who’s Who of Writers
and Editors, Who’s Who of American Women
A decline in health has resulted in Dr Goodey’s need for full-time mechanical and other life support In her restricted movement, she returned to her love for writing and began sharing her emotions and insights in poetry.

The following work is Copyright © 1997 and owned by Ila Marie Goodey, PhD and may not be distributed or reprinted in any manner whatsover without written permission from the author.

Ancestor

I took your journal out late yesterday, 
father of my mother’s father, and read
about your life You labored for a way
to provide necessities: the day’s bread
and the night’s shelter for your babies, your wife
and then your livestock Each new day’s quest
was a seed planted in a family’s life
as well as in the dark earth Each night’s rest
a harvest, rich and fully intertwined, 
all with all-root and flower and blood
and dreams I read your hopes in every line:
that war would end, that rain would come, that one by one
each child would thrive There I could see
the promise passed from life to life to me.


Exposure

Putting pen to paper opens old wounds
and tears at memories bound in a heart
that’s weathered past sensation Is there room
in my life for such bloodletting? A part
of me kept silent by determined will
for these many years seems to scream in pain
of too much wordlessness, and so my quill
like some crazed animal runs, not to gain
a destination, but somehow in flight
to escape the inescapable: me
All the self I refuse to claim, I write
into its own embodiment, set free
to suffer on its own this last disdain
Yet in its poemspun shroud I still remain.


unspeak

it was from cummings i received the word
that said it all and more than less;
it’s just semantics after all, absurd, 
bizarre, grotesque realities at best
or worst the truth is what we dare not say, 
or cannot may be more than same, un-
captured, unsyllabled, it nows away
to live undead, unsubject to the pun
of our retelling “how sad we two
cannot untwo, be one, and how unwhole
is us without us” said yet when and through
unsaying we, unknowing we, enfold
more us than vowed a ringed forever
love unspeaks the always of our never.

Blackhole

I feel myself imploding, a blackhole
collapsing on itself The gravity
grows deeper and overwhelms my soul
with nothingness Like Dante’s opening
to hell, I am a gaping wound, a door
that reads “Beware all ye who enter here ”
The life inside my spirit is no more
Its nucleus exploded Nothing here
remains but radiation’s afterglow, 
an image left like matter’s residue;
invisible, says Hocking, when time so
slows it nearly stops He somehow knew
that left alone, the end is entropy, 
this metaphor for chaos that is me.


Tapestry

I love this life Its unexpected shades
of joy and sorrow intertwined around
each other like a multi-colored braid
I love the many precious strands I’ve found
within my path to weave a tapestry
as personal as fingerprints I like
to touch the golden threads of memory
with wistful sentiment as if I might
bring back the cherished moments they depict
for one more sweet enactment Every hue
elicits tears or smiles Each fragment flicked
with color represents the residue
of me, a vital pattern woven rife
with rich intensity I love this life

Jennifer Goldie
goldie@interlog.com

Bio(auto)

J.E Goldie Is from Toronto, Ontario, Canada & unpublished She has been writing thoughts & short stories over the past 45 years of her life Once a so-so Actress she now owns her own Business a an Agent in Toronto After 23 years in The Entertainment Business what else is there? Her poems are “bits of life reflected in her heart & mind” and she only hopes to share them with the world knowing we all come from the same place.


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


Occasionally

I can’t control,
what is to be,
If you read me at all,
you’d know,
you’d see,
That all of us,
All of we,
Fall into each other,
occasionally.


Shining

There is a subtle shining,
a quiet acceptance
It is not loud
rather,
a murmured understanding,
between us.


You Let Me Care

You let me care for you,
I owe you for that You’ve let me touch your spirit,
and that,
leaves me speechless.

October 27-November 2, 1997: Jerry White and Grandaddy Bonegrinder

Week of October 27-November 2, 1997

Jerry White and Grandaddy Bonegrinder

Jerry White
darjohns@suffolk.lib.ny.us

Bio(auto)

Jerry White, 30, now has his own ‘zine of obsession poetry The first issue contains “Tori Spelling Poems” and original artwork Mr White writes literary reviews for Rocket Press and makes his living as a New York Times delivery person He has a B.S in Sociology, 1988, from SUNY-Stony Brook.

All poems by Jerry White, written Super Bowl weekend 1995 and dug up after White saw Tori Spelling on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” on October 16, 1997, and recalled his crush on the TV actress.

Mr White’s zine is $2, available from Rocket Press, PO Box 730, Greenport, NY 11944-0730 Checks must be made out to “Rocket Press ” Submit with an SASE.

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

Tori

I’d read that
new novel with
interest

It was a Tori
Spelling creation
and the characters
were sexy
and lithe

And then I
wrote Tori
a letter and
lathered up
with her
later .


UltraSlim (TM) for Tori

Janice told Tori
that I
had a big
belly

(but I had
been on diet
pills for 6
mos straight)

And Tori told
Janice
(and this is
why I love her)
that “he has
a soul as
big as this
alleged
belly”

Though I was
down to
size
29
pants


Clipped for Tori

Tori slipped into
Rite Aid on our
first date

and I imagined
she were buying
condoms

When she returned
with a brown
bag and
a cherry
coke

I sat her
down on
the near-
est park
bench

“We won’t be
needing those,”
I said

“I’ve been
vasectomized
for you”


Fingers, Diving

Halfway thru
the Ted
Danson movie
I put my
hand on
Tori’s bare
thigh

She said:
“Stop, you’re
giving me
goose-
bumps
your hand
is so
cold”

I moved my
hand up to
her a-
waiting
crotch

“This will
warm it up,”
I snickered


Let Her Tease Me

As the credits
rolled down
the screen
Tori climaxed

She gushed

As my fingers
exited
snapping
her panty
band
shut

—-

It was
made obvious
when she
bit her
lip and
said “Jerry,
I don’t want
to make
a scene

“But I think
I’ll take
that
cab ride
home”


G’nite

I went to
give Tori
a kiss
g’nite
but the
cab’s window was
stuck,
Tori motioned

I said: “Gimme
a call
after
8 a.m “

Then she
left —
just like that

And I rushed
to my
car
to beat
myself
silly


No Voice Mail 🙁

I called Tori
25 times
before lunch
then twenty-
three times
after

I wrote her
name
162 times
on the refriger-
ator — and

Sent 16
e-mails to
her Internet
address

Tho’ she
must’ve had
laryngitis
I still
kept send-
ing

[My last e-mail
read —

“Let’s get a
whole stalk of
Chaquita
bananas
& see which
one fits
you
right”]


Amputee

After I
punched holes
in all the private
parts and
mouths of my
Tori posters
(and had
my way
with them)
I decided
the di-
rect approach
is best

So I paid
her a visit

She was on the
set with
Brandon — taping
the 421st
episode of
“Beverly Hills
90210″

“Call sec-
urity!” she
screamed as
Brandon ran
behind a
prop

“Tori!”
I yelled,
my bloody
penis in my
hand,
“See what
you made
me do?!”


Catheter Was a Bloody Mess

Tori didn’t
visit me in
the hospital
Instead she
had her press
agent/psycho-
analyst come
down and try
to console me

I asked him
bluntly:
“Have you e-
ver severed
your pe-
nis for
love?”

I refused
all meals.


Twins

I read in Teen
Scene maga-
zine that
Tori had a
23 waist

“I can be your
twin,” I
e-mailed
her

I can be your
fucking
twin”

Grandaddy Bonegrinder
mbrown@netsync.net

Bio(auto)

Grandaddy Bonegrinder creates with a touch of midnight and a pinch of Halloween, embracing the realms of darkness He is a “Shadow-Poet” from the Arkwright hills of western NY and is the founder of the web’s
premier site for Shadow-Poets, “
Coffindust“.


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


The Marketplace-2022

fresh hot bagels, get your bagels here
coffee and a bagel just $20

home grown veggies, 
sweet corn, squash .step right up

human livers, removed as you wait
get your livers here
hands and limbs, 
best prices on hands and limbs

fresh fruit, fresh fruit, 
guaranteed no pesticides

GET YOUR FRESH HEARTS HERE!
extracted still beating as you watch!
transplants just around the corner
Mindless clone workers cheap!
free union card with each

pure water, (well as pure as possible)
just $20 a gallon best prices in town

eyes and testicles, eyes and testicles,
get your replacements fresh off the clone

cloneburgers, get your cloneburgers here!
pounders just $16.95

need a laptop, or a lap here,s the place
we sell computers, and 99 shades of skin

mommy#6 I need to go to the bafroom that,s ok, daughter #18
daddy #11 will take you

step right up ladies and gentlemen
the clone shoot is just about to begin

guns, bombs, automatic weapons
mothers day sale 20% off all flame-throwers

need credit-no problem
we swap cash for DNA

there,s nothing like the marketplace
you can get everything and anything you need

hey buddy-where can I buy some medical marijuana?
Shut-up you fool! do you want to get us arrested !


Was Jesus Gay?

fishermen with hard long poles
follow me I’ll save your souls
and show you where the wild goose goes
cum and sleep with Jesus

cast off your nets, and women too
those harlots don’t know how to screw
besides I’ve got some wine for you
cum and sleep with Jesus

first miracle some wine and bread
cure a leper, raise the dead
save some time to give some head
cum and sleep with jesus

kneel for the master, and open wide
he’ll jam his holy tool inside
and fill you up with Christian pride
cum and sleep with Jesus

so the priests adopted Jesus style
back-door buddies all the while
holy rollin, pedophiles
they’d love to sleep with Jesus

October 20-26, 1997: Lenny DellaRocca and Mike ash

Week of October 20-26, 1997

Lenny DellaRocca and Mike ash

Lenny DellaRocca
quackin@cyber1.cynetfl.com

Bio(auto)

Lenny DellaRocca has had work in literary journals since 1980, including Nimrod, Poet Lore, Wisconsin Review, Negative Capability and Apalachee Quarterly He founded South Florida’s premiere poetry reading, The Electric Chair and Random Acts, a nonlinear performance troupe of interdisciplinary artists He writes for a newspaper He is 43, married and lives with his wife, Janet and two cats, Poopsie and Tiger, in Delray Beach, Florida.

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

Notes from My Mother

1.

My mother is younger than I have ever seen her Her hair is the story of women
who have lived their entire lives without ever calling out A girl’s leap into womanhood The day she met my father
she poured peroxide into a basin
to clean a wounded bird.

2.

Her feet are the color of peach roses Talks with neighbors over the fence
while a warm breeze of Oxydol & perfume
stains quantum corners of my life I am digging a hole,
find a cat’s skull, shake black earth from sockets The gaping face floods with sky
This is the way to the other side of the world
the eyes say.

3.

What is the philosophy of woodpeckers?
Morning never ends My mother’s face in blazing white clothes,
her voice an airplane in clouds She tells me something I hear
forty years in the future Takes a stone,
weighs down a scrap of paper
on that long wooden table in the sun The one I stood on to fly.


The People Upstairs

I hear them upstairs laughing
murmuring

They have just made love
or finished breakfast

He strides across the floor
weight & voice

opens four windows which
look out to morning

splashed across the trees
in a jumble of light & shade

She is in the kitchen running water
I can hear the hodgepodge

of bowls & spoons
slipping from her hands


Ensemble in a Train Yard

where there would be jazz in a black sky
something that breathes into a horn
a way to keep color spilling
a cage for the handbell choir
a rough girl with a penchant for film noir
long drink of flesh
that purple bow at the mound
tulips cognac a little Van Gogh at midnight
sex is a country where people hunt their own smell
a man’s price for sympathy
chalk love in a blonde face
a red saxophone rage of wires
too ill-tempered for a girl’s neat room
Thursday’s burst
for a waitress in Deluth
who loves trombones & cunninlingus

Mike Ash
mike77@cyberspy.com

Bio(auto)

I am disabled, and live in the Tampa Bay area of Sunny Florida My poetry is nothing more than an expression of what I see Trying to find a way through words to help others to see it too Nothing deep, just simple everyday life as seen through words, and possibly the emotions that go with it.

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


Solitude

I can “feel” the silence Unbroken but for the whispering swishhh of the gentle waves The thick salty presence of the early morning air is like a healing balm The grey haze slowly thinning as it has done since the dawn of time Quiet purples and blues slowly giving way to pastel oranges and yellows The ruffle of my hair comes with a kiss from the morning breeze upon my face The lingering silence of night slipping away is reflected in the rhythm of my mind The vying of the gulls in the gentle surf breaks the stillness of the moment Dawn is born, 
its red orange face peeking through the fog of a distant ancient horizon The dreamy unsullied stillness with it’s memory laden quiet shifts to capture the present Thin wisps of grey gauze in the heavens catch fire in the birthing of a new day’s sun Glittering golden jewels scatter themselves across the increasing pulse of the sea The whispering waves are speaking louder to me now
The sleepy quiet of the past giving way to the calmly insistent present The day cries forth its birth with light, sound, and a yearning vibrancy to its coming existence And yet my mind is ever drawn to the concealing silence waiting before the dawn.

October 13-19, 1997: Paul Sibley and Suzzanne

Week of October 13-19, 1997

Paul Sibley and Suzzanne

Paul Sibley
SibleyP@convergent.com
http:/www.mindspring.com/~sickpuppypress

Bio(auto)

Paul Sibley is a flash poet and creative collaborator from Atlanta, who supports his writing habit working as a Sys Admin for a fortune 100 company

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

Seven

You were seven years
too late
when you came to me
and told me
you wanted to
remember him
Seven years to late
to rally me around
a sunken grave
and a bug eaten spirit
and your moment of thinking
of our dead friend

Hoping to sway me
with his name
A lazy eyed golem
I ignored you and
went back
to seven years of missing him
And wondered what
power you
thought
you could muster
using his name
so late in the game


Burn

What fury
has lept from your brow
Wet drops of anger
forming a angry puddle
at your feet

Like some boxer
waiting for the count
The referee’s hand
the only thing holding you back

What patience holds
Your resolve
Stopping you from unleashing
The beast
Keeping it at bay a moment more


Untitled

I want to raid your life
Kick in your door
Toss tear gas and stun grenades
into your emote shun
I want a badge
that makes it my job to fuck
with you everyday we’re together

I want to be the law in your life
The justice and tyranny
You’ll be my captive
I want to lock you up for a long time
In my insecurity
I want it to be hell
No chance for parole while
you serve the sin tense of
the one before you

Suzzanne
suzz@mwweb.com
http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Gallery/3301/index.html

Bio(auto)

I live (In the heart of it all) Ohio!– I’m a Hospice RN– My purpose in writing poetry, is to share the experience of being ‘Human’, so that no human being ever feels alone, in what they’re experiencing.I confess, that I do not write poetry; it writes to me That part I have named as: Suzzanne 🙂

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


The Answers

Anytime I question
God’s
Aliveness
His presence
A Maple tree explodes
with fires flamimg
in scarlet and gold Or my eyes behold
the perfect tall standing
of a Beech tree
whose arms reach up to heaven
and whose green boughs
caress the face of the Maker
of ocean waves
and winds
that answer
” I am,
that
I AM,
that
I AM!”


untitled

If someone asked her
about love
she knew It’s not something
you give with one hand
and expect back
with the other If you do, she admonished
you’ll come up empty
with a heart three sizes smaller No, it’s like feeding the birds
who’ll snatche every crumb
then sometimes fly away
forever But, you do it she’d say
anyway, just to feel the dance
of their colors.


Silent Sunday

Waking to another Sunday, 
cat scratching at the window
to be fed The poignant question of an owl’s
sharp who-o-o?–who-o-o? knifes
through my head Not someone’s voice to take away
the murky grayness of the day
with, ” Watcha doin up so early, Hon?
Or, ” Is the coffee brewin?”
Nor, the soft scuffing
of an extra pair of slippers
across the kitchen floor,
that familiar pat on buns Hmmm,
just the silent scratching
of a cat to be fed,
and heavy morning fog
even the sun
can’t seem to penetrate.


Prostitute

She loved them all,
so the story is told Tsk, tsk, wag the tongues
of church ladies that lie
in their mouths, so boldly cold In defense of this girls’
immortal soul, let me state this:
The touch of her kiss
held the warmth
of a thousand suns And the man she was with
was the one she loved
where all others ceased
to exist So by the law of men
her soul is condemned But by the law of heaven,
he soul is–forgiven.

October 6-12, 1997: Jan Sand and KiYehMoon

Week of October 6-12, 1997

Jan Sand and KiYehMoon

Jan Sand
jsand@walrus.megabaud.fi

Bio(auto)

I was born in New York and, through circumstance and a Finnish wife, ended up in Helsinki in 1968 I was trained in industrial design at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, and practiced that profession in New York, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, Berlin, Germany, Paris, France, Tel Aviv, Israel and Helsinki I am now retired and fool around with poetry, painting, and sculpture and whatever interests me .and seems to pay nothing.

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

Fall Helsinki

The first cool hint of winter
Came this Sunday morning
To shine
With lemon light on yellow leaves
And fire up maple reds It jostled stiff brown stems
To rustle in the flower beds So frail and shy a creature
With the slightest touch
Transmutes the summer’s feature
By not much In such a gentle evil way
One does not even quail
To feel the softest brush
Of faint death’s tail.

Has this ghost pupa hatched
Set to sleep through summer

Or merely tipped and spilled

Which wobbles
With the planet’s bobbles
In its sunswept swing?

No matter
Transparently
It glitters in the weakened sun
To stiffen out its membranes
With their needle spines Cooling breezes tease away
The heat of summer
Shed like sunburned skin
To sweep like flying silken scarves
Far down to Africa
It needs three months
To knaw away from green to brown
And brown to black To fill its lungs with poison cold and ice
And crack the shell of life
To spill the snow with frozen birds
And mice
And etch its black-white artistry
On dead grey clouds A moon-white sun
Awaits for when
The Earth slides down its path
To certain rendezvous with life
Begun again

One Second

Take any second, such as makes
The red hand on my kitchen clock
Twitch forward, so the red hand shakes
To mark just one more thinnest skin
To wrap the total cosmos in
An eggshell, large where it is near
But smaller at the other end:
That time, in Time all towards the rear
When all was less and less was more,
Eons before the dinosaur
That shell, so thin, which reaches back,
Encloses all that’s fixed and sure The Past inside a membrane sack
Where choice becomes, no longer, will;
Events and objects fixed and still
And staring blindly, looking out
Like frozen fish in a block of ice,
Deaf to the loudest noise or shout:
All humankind, all history
Embalmed by temporal mystery.


Ordinary

The sun came up again this morning
To cut another notch into the year,
Milling out the days, no warning
Of particular disaster come near
Just an ordinary day, late Spring,
Leaves still tight packaged on the trees,
Clear blue sky with birds, not extra-ordinary The air is quiet, windless without breeze
Strength is gathering for summer,
The world is rolling towards the sun,
Nothing is much smarter nor much dumber We all keep murdering each other Sometimes for profit,
Sometimes just for fun.


Residues

The birds, they come,
One by one
To gawk and peck
At the window feeder Then, with a thrum
As with a finger touch
On a drum,
Their wings thrash
And they disappear
So remain these living crumbs
Of hind-leg dinosaurs,
Warm and soft
With small ferocities The fragments
Of magnificence
That once thundered
On the Earth
What small shards
Of mankind’s terrors
Shall remain?
Perhaps a mouse philosopher
To scamper near huge legs
Of stainless steel
That crack and strain
The dusty plains of Earth.


Fizzical Excercise

The blot of night wipes world from sight
To freckle skies with spots of light
That needle from infinities of space and time The eye collects the ray that intersects
The retina which connects each photon pulse that reflects
Its origin which intellects can trace and mime
The volume of the universe, its pace and its perversity
And quietly converse at the university
The nature and relations of exploding constellations
Mapping all erratic mathematic integrations,
Pumped into computers to confute and suit disputers
On the nature of reality which alters all normality
Into a conformation that relates in confirmation
Of hypotheses and theories which subdue all manic queries
In mesmeric fits of beery theosophic enquiries
Never quite specific but stuffed with esoterics
On the nature of the meshing of the alphanumerics Thereby, filled with mental scars and small inside elation
In the tentative, derivitive, contemplative sensation
Of relaxing satisfaction with the stars.


Infection

This great ball of molten iron
Encased in boiling rock
Has skinned itself in frozen stone
With bits of water here and there
Beneath a few thin wisps of air
Toasting in a distant sun
A hundred million miles away,
The merest veil of a thinnest film
Invests the skin with faint decay A hazy greenish applique
Within this thinnest film resides
A multitude of mobile flecks
That cultivate and modify
The patterns of diversity
In fancy and perversity
Infested speck, iron and rock
Twirls in space, sterile, vast
To signify, not at all The smallest grain in vacuum seas
Bobbing in infinities
Those flecks of thought
In green embedded
Detail themselves: almighty, dreaded
Convinced they are superior
Planetary bacteria.


Hot July

Sailing through summer
On a film of sweat
On a sheet of shaking heat Trees applaud the mildest breeze Small birds drill whistle holes in thick air
Letting lassitude drip out the atmosphere Deep in grass
I watch haytips seek the angry eye of summer
In cybernetic arcs Alto-cumulous steams off the land,
Mutters with small lighting spits
To build into a final hissing piss of rain
And a goodbye garish yellow glare
Before the day destructs into a night
Of galactic blurs and planetary disks.


Laying the Ghost

The pain of someone’s death is real It’s sharp and numbing in proportion
To the closeness that we feel
And felt before that life’s abortion
Only slowly do we know each other Knowledge is a structure in our mind
Built by contact with another We assemble pieces that we find
Thought by thought, love by love, hate by hate,
To place another’s mind inside our own,
The particles must meld and integrate
To make it in the way it can be known
And soon, this mind inside our mind
Can think and feel to match the one outside Constructed well, it is to it designed A congruence, all points justified
Inside our mind this mind performs
To ascertain, make knowable and plain
The mind outside, its outages and norms;
What can give it pleasure, confer pain
This internal mind that we treasure
Is fashioned of ourselves to outer shapes –
This simulacrum tailored to another’s measure
So, its every turn and nuance, apes
When the outer form dissolves in Time,
This inner duplicate persists In our mind it breathes and loves and lives
As if the master template still exists
So, with reason’s eye on sanity,
We must, this inner form make still
Within the universe inside our head,
We must, ourselves, this bit, kill
So, murder is the pain of grief –
The murder of the one inside To expunge a life for hard relief,
We commit a bit of suicide.


In the Suburbs

These streets are well walked I know their concrete patches,
Lightning cracks, tufts of wayward sprouting weeds
Broken trees with jagged boughs, blackboned fingers
Shielding curtained windowed walls,
Corridors of cheesebox houses neatly laid
On squares of grass deployed like plastic rug Nets of sparrows fling across the open spaces A mower chews and spits a useless crop Preferable to inner city honeycomb,
But eaten with the same tesselation How does one escape this labyrinth?
The string is broken, crumbs are all consumed I spiral inward to the beast.


Refuge

There is, in dreams, a magic transformation
So that Fear appear as watching doors,
A clutching claw a hair behind your frantic run Or something simple, like a painted square
Upon the sidewalk of a silent city
In dreams there can be crystal cliffs
That glint within with fields of flowers,
Birds and insects captured in rock glass Time and space are stilled in milky depth Stars no longer compass ’round the north
But strew like sugar on a kitchen table
Dreams I’ve had that swirl and drown in love Some girl I could not see but know
By how I felt She was a vacancy, a blank
Defined by feelings strong outlined
That flowed like buttered honey milk So I spun in weightless space, in love
In sleep the human mind falls into disarray No floors, no ceilings capturing the beast of feeling,
Wild to play strong games of madness We free ourselves to flee through mazes
Sown with pleasure and with pain At night we all go wearily insane.

KiYehMoon
KiYehMoon@aol.com

Bio(auto)

When He Asked About Me I Replied
I am not that great at biographical subject matter pertaining to myself Some have said this is to a fault I should kiss ass .and ask whose later I won’t I can’t I was born on the anniversary of the atomic bomb blast at Los Alamos years later I am fall out Somewhere inbetween the two Temples of Isis I live Facing East I question the dawn I question everything Now you question me We have met Once Inbetween the dirty old man and the checkerboard cat It was a Tuesday .and the moon had just gone home.

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


untitled

I read the words in the Sefer Yetzirah ” And if your heart runs return to the place “
and it did .and I did but then I began to run my feet were flying I was running to feel the wind
I was running to feel
the power of life
in my blood I was running for those who cannot run running for those who cannot return
to the place when their heart
runs The balance is a moving balance Some of us must not grow weary Some of us must run.


My Thoughts After the Screen Went Dark

” They fill the void — so they will know the essence of their being “
He turned to me and said,
as the credits rolled away the life of J M Basquiat I spoke to him for hours then of art-
of all the artists,
and the suffering, 
and loneliness
At times I feel as if I were
a towel drenched with rain
in the process of being
twisted and wrung
to the point
where not another drop
shall fall moist, 
yet to the touch appearing dry
But it swings back around-
the drenching
the twisting
the wringing
the damp And I know the process And I welcome it It keeps my feet moving
one before the other
He knows the program
but it is locked up in his head
he hasn’t found the switch
to bring that which would save him
from the faeries
from his head
into his hands
So I search .and I try
to find the way to show him
the connection
get the circuit open
save him from the
Green Ray
All in vain,
at times I think.


SUNDAY Reply to Someone’s Note

I’m cool breathing connected at the molecular level microcosm thang happenin’
macrocosm thang happenin’
Body surfin’ on the “Tide” that’s changin’
Full blast
Tuned in
Clicked on
A-Ware Doin’ inventory in a few houses
on the wheel Textual is happenin’ now Increasing as she disappears up there Introspection Sublimination As I always say Know Thyself Question Everything As Above So Below I walk a fine line between a woman and a warrior I’m cool Breathing .

September 29-October 5, 1997: Lindsey East and Borb Ludner

week of September 29-October 5, 1997



Lindsey East and Borb Ludner


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Lindsey East
fish@greenheart.com

Bio(auto)

Lindsey East works and lives in a holographic universe, enjoys a good bagel from time to time and struggles with his love for caffeine

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

Love Letter
(to be read aloud in Brooklyn cab driver accent)

My tongue bled
When I stuck it in the food processor
But I’d do it again
For just one kiss from you
My lung dried up awful quick
When I set it on the table
As a sacrifice to you
And my right eyeball
Healed in only fourteen weeks
With partial sight recovered
After I stabbed it with a pencil
In the honor of your name,
My sweet Honeybun
When I took a bath
In 35 gallons of nitric acid
And my skin peeled off,
I thought about how I would do it 100 more times
For only a molecule
Of an old dried up scab
On your floor
I would chop my head off
And feed it to your Doberman Pinchers for food
For an electron

Under a house
In a state near your state.

My sweet Petunia,
How do I love thee?
I could never count the fuckin’ ways
Help me bust out of this piss-hole joint —
This time, I promise we won’t fuck up
Love and shit,
Bert


Tall Boy

I once knew a tall boy He was not very small I used to think, “Dang He’s not tiny, but tall “
He was pretty much the opposite of small As far as small goes Man, he was tall There’s no doubt in my mind that he was tall Because an airplane flew by one day
and chopped his head off And it fell a long, long way That’s how I knew he was tall.


Being Mold

When I talk to people, 
I like to pretend I am mold I’ll often wear green shirts and pants,
And smear guacamole dip all over my face When the other person I’m with says,
“Hey, are you being mold again?”
I sometimes respond
By wrapping myself around a loaf of bread
And make this noise
That I would imagine mold would make:
“Gzzzzhhhhhh Gzzzzzhhhhhh “
After a while, the other person usually goes away I usually pretend I am mold for another hour or so.


Log

One time, in fourth grade, 
I tried to sharpen a seven foot pine log
in the pencil sharpener The teacher gave me a spanking
And I laughed Then he said, “I’ll show you!”
And he pulled out a switchblade
And he cut off my ear Oh, sure, they stitched it back on and all,
But I never tried to sharpen logs
After that day Just pencils.

Borb Ludner

Bio(auto)

Robert D Ludden is a semi-retired pipe organ technician in Illinois, and in the past has worked as a public school teacher, and as an announcer in radio and television He is a graduate of Hamline University in St Paul,
Minnesota Interests in addition to poetry include the fine arts, meditation, spirituality, and peace and justice causes.

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


Hunters and Gatherers

If reason serves
And desperation cancels all,
Then we do vacillate when
Each seductive choice demands
An answer now Though it be wise,
Fulfillment cloys and man would seek an end
in vanity or pain .and to the end of day
Fight off the windmills in his mind
Strike out from home!
Well-armed with hunger, loyalty and zeal;
Sense in the snow of that forboding forest
The beast awaits .a moment’s agony becomes
A postponed memory beyond the feast; see
We are hunters all .will be, by God,
So long as lust for life prevails!
And that poor moment comes at midnight Pleads its cause too late,
One tear alone will fall, and dry
On one distended belly
Another time with baskets on our arms,
Our sickles sharp to clear away unwanted husks,
Impeccant fruit our goal,
And urgency to harvest ere the advancing rot
Corrupt its sweetness It’s righteous labor, so we say,
For we did plant and tend the growth And we did dike the riverbanks,
And times there were when we did die
In the insistent flood
Birthed by art and sustenance,
Our labor takes its toll on reason A choice, no choice at all if by demand And twenty-thousand years of academia
get filed away in untouched envelopes,
and set on fire by such emasculated flame
as our perception of desire
Do not propose an unforgiving conscience To beat our breasts is vain enough
To satisfy the pompous cur .a little while;
In vain enough, to send us screaming
Through the woods in quest of palliative
that one can never find
The shot is heard, and truth forever begs The basket, filled, and hunger rages on An end is not a choice, for all to end
Seduction laughs at time, and births itself And now it is for us upon this tiny stage
To play the role of deity and for the moment
Save ourselves, by choosing to create
the choice alone.


untitled

I bring you fire as offering, my love;
Its fever both a warning and a tribute pure No flame can emulate the heat of my desire For in my touch burns only ecstasy
We share, yet flesh of one is fused from two–
And in the very act, I press it home
And in its roaring blast, a benediction
to our love .no dross remains
To foul its wake,
For what is left is love immaculate,
And ours alone to chill


The Dream Rider

The play is in our heads, and when its nodding audience
lets go, the cast will never sleep, for as the headless horseman
finds his road always to reach beyond the pounding hooves,
this circling serial may yet not die with death It sets its pace to greet the awakening,
or flashes back, or holding up its time
until another dawn, might then slough off
the most intrepid cavalier, or find itself his victim Discontinuity, stuffed into the glass
as though by fate, might then create no time at all .or no criterion
to measure it
We sleep, we wake, and always it is there
and never owned An odyssey of dreaming
bears the scars of self uncovering
and scarcely lets us know but in another dream,
as if a tattered leaf were floating on the stream
and paused against an unseen rock until another force
would send it on with shape askew from battered rest And then in crumbled state, each particle the fragment
of a hologram, it finds its destiny –to change its universe
It’s not for weeping, seeing as we will such microscopic
shards Go trample them without a care They still reflect the light of truth
and bear our substance underneath A misty curtain visions valkyries behind,
who rising now above our heads will scream in triumph
at the slain, or fade as rapture captures loss Still we must ride, though we perceive but that we will We would do well to sweep the plain with eyes alert Our mount will not fatigue .this trail of fantasy may blur
our vision, true, but only for a time, and speeding past another mark,
the path beyond is wide and open, and the posthorn calls us forth
to endless day.

September 22-28, 1997: Erik Jensen and Jonathan Penton

Week of September 22-28, 1997

Erik Jensen and Jonathan Penton

Erik Jensen
wraith@gte.net

Bio(auto)

Erik Jensen edits Black Cross Magazine, a Journal of Heavy Poetry & Art along with that lecherous rebel Jim Guess We’ve just released our third issue entitled “Poetry Sweatshop”-available for only US $2.00! Post-paid! Eat it while it’s hot!

Erik spends most of his spare time churning out beautiful (but useless) websites, teaching young kids how to say naughty words, and hitting himself in the head with his phone He writes poetry, but mostly keeps it to himself He’s a bastard that way He once wrote a song called “I’ve got a kitty with no toes” but it’s much
too silly to mention here You might say Erik is a complete yahoo

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

Lightspeed, baby!

Gritting teeth
I attempt to align firing synapses So many nights have passed
since these eyes have closed shut Those murky amber shadows,
like dithered yellow wraiths,
cast off by roadside
low pressure sodiums,
crawl with a horrifying madness
and I blink
and squint
through the dirty windshield
and things look normal
for now Just a blur now
as I step on it
hard,
kicking dirt and gravel
high into the San Diego night My perspective hops
twenty degrees at a time I can feel the palpitations
coming on strong now,
as I reach for
a half-smoked joint,
just to level me out For days now,
up-down-all-around
every which way but loose Eying the trees buzzing by,
I look for an easy way out Guess it’ll take seeing
my girlfriend, the dealer,
in shiny new cuffs For only a week I hover
on what seems like death’s door,
while she bounces
off rubber walls
until she comes out
more fucked up than ever.


The Psychic?

Her icy blue eyes studied my face,
appraisingly
“I really don’t understand you “

I must have looked astonished Wondering exactly what she couldn’t
understand Always the mind-reader,
I thought,
and smiled secretly
as she filled in the blanks
“I mean, I thought we were friends,
but sometimes you act like we
don’t even know each other “

I glanced blankly at her,
my attention now diverted,
from my not-so-full drink
She had taken our love,
grabbed it by the throat,
spun it around,
and kicked its legs out
from under it Gleefully smashing it into the ground,
until there was nothing left
I shot her a cold stare,
once again angered by the memories It occured to me,
that she was the kind of person
who thought she knew what
people were all about,
but somehow she was always
way off-base This time was no exception I grinned incredulously
“Some friends can’t be trusted “

and for once,
she knew just what I meant.


Morningwood

A tasty dish
laid out at the next table
her pen clenched tightly
between lips that ache to be
sucked or worse Arched ass pronounced,
“This outfit is far too inferior
to contain me “
Her bra struggles to withstand gravity
but fails gloriously Those unnatural angles
that she pulled off so gracefully
offering glimpses only god
or boyfriends
partake in She made me feel
eight feel tall
with zoomlens eyes
and minor palpitations Do you like to take orders
after the lunch rush,
bitch about your tips
(show me your pierced ones)
wish to wash the breakfast residue
clean from your body Sadly, you leave me
only hunger-pangs
and two eggs
sunnyside up,
a side of cantelope,
and a heaping portion of
lust.


Going Nowhere

Our lives circle
with such regularity,
sleeping, waking, eating, working
Round and round
the atoms within our bodies go
Round and round
the blood in our arteries travel
To and fro in little patterns
we live our lives
microscopic versions of
the planets and galaxies
that whirl their circular dance
far above our heads
Our lives circle
looping us back to
where we just started
back to the same job
to the same lover
to the same concrete and asphalt
gridlock we call home
I want to yell at the top of my lungs,
for someone to stop this madness
I want out of this slow death vortex
I want to square the circle
and point my life
on a zigzag course
that leads nowhere
in particular.

Jonathan Penton
jpenton@mindspring.com

Bio(auto)

It really doesn’t matter how I autobiograph myself I’m lying to you, anyway.

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


untitled

I need a mantra
I need a pop rock sex song
The old romantic imagery ain’t doin’ much for me anymore
I need a simple phrase so I can blank it all out
I don’t have to believe it but I need to memorize it let me shout it

I need a new religion
I need a superficial understanding of humanity
I need hard-core pissed-off rock and roll to remind me I’m not real
I could tell you life sucks
But you’re sick of hearing that by now
I could tell you I love you
But you won’t believe me anyway so
Let’s get Fabulous

I could go deeper
But I’m tired and scared and don’t want wisdom anymore
I need a pop culture mantra
Some simple cliche over and over like head over heels and crimson and clover
Ducking the ghoulies ’cause I’m not afraid
So long as I can find this little mantra that proves to me that I’m still sane


I Only Want a Taste

Please don’t make me guess
I don’t want to have to consider
the implications
of your expression Please don’t spell it out for me
I don’t want to have to realize
I don’t want to recognize
this moment: Almost passionate
Bursting toward compassionate
We could be teetering past friendship,
But that is sure to make me fall I only want a taste
like
the scent of cotton candy
without the sticky mess
Please
Whitewash your emotion
Paint your sex in pastel colors
It might be nice
to feel you come
but do not make me cross that bridge myself If I taste you now
will I tap you and wrap you for the rest of my life?
I cannot recover from an addiction of that magnitude And yet
Perhaps
You could finally sate my hunger
But what if you did?
When one ceases to be hungry, what can one do
but sleep?

Actually
I’m afraid of satisfaction
I know that it cannot be obtained
In the end
I’m avoiding completion
I don’t know what to do when the act is done.


untitled

Here are my wrists, please touch them gently
I’m a bit frightened
Here is my throat, please bite it carefully
I’ve never been to good at this
I never could control any of this

I am sensitive, my eyes can’t take the sun
I need you to hold me although my wounds are raw
I need you to love me slowly
But you say you want to watch him blow me
I do not find this uplifting

Here is the next chapter in our little book
And although I still do not understand the plot
I think I have analyzed the characters
You are the heroine in bespeckled green dress
I am the sphinx with the riddle that you found so simple

I am the second string bassist
I am the dolphin in the tuna net
I am the jester, I am the moron
This is my fault

This is not my game, I am not the lead in your life
This presents you no confusion but it seems to bother me
You are secure, I am the kidnap victim,
I am the hallmark of your disrespect
I’m starting to grow angry though you didn’t write the script
I think it must be your fault

I am fed up as your lesser half
I can do anything that you can do
I can be every section of this whole
I have lost patience

I want to tear out your tounge every time you mock me
I know that I could bash your brains in for every time you hurt me
Your spells and incantations have no power over my
I could rip your limbs apart if I needed you for anything
You cannot touch me

September 15-21, 1997: Juliette Torrez and Daniel McGinn

Week of September 15-21, 1997

Juliette Torrez and Daniel McGinn

Juliette Torrez
Sofasurf@aol.com

Bio(auto)

Juliette Torrez roams the dark side of America with a light heart She’s been sighted at Bumbershoot, Lollapalooza and SXSW On the side, she edits the hyper cyberzine Poetry Channel She coordinates the Albuquerque Poetry Festival and lives in San Francisco Her modern nomadic handbook, Sofasurfing, is coming out next spring through Manic D Press

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

Night Stalker Got Married

the nightstalker got married at san quentin
the serial killer took a wife
and called her mrs richard ramirez
it was true love, they said
but they never got to go to bed
that’s not allowed for death row inmates
she was a freelance editor
he was convicted of torture
i guess they had a lot to talk about


The Thief Was Kind

the thief was kind
in his own special way
as if to say
if this had been
someone else honey
all your shit would be gone
coming back from canal street
you could tell someone
fucked with the jeep
he took my clothes and my shoes
but he left my makeup
i guess he couldn’t use it
he took my fix-a-flat
but he left my black fur hat
he took my favorite t shirt
but he left my jacket
which was filthy
kind of grateful
the thief was being so picky
he took my curling iron
but he left my tape
of earth, wind and fire
he took all my books
except for the guide
to free campgrounds
he wanted to stick around the city
i know this because he took
my map of new orleans
he took my wallet some ids some keys
but the motherfucker left the rock
that he used to break in with


TV Child

tv child
what was it like
before direct dial
spinning 45s
on the stereo console
watching cable
kimba the white lion and speed racer
global village vietnam
nightly news saigon
dim sum view of what’s going on
who was the sla anyway
everyone was so uptight
willing to fight
for some real or imagined cause
donald le gre died at the scene
in a shootout with the lapd
sarah jane parker
squeeky la fromme
pulled out their guns
taking pot shots at the president
they got sent through
the california penal system
like charlie and sirhan sirhan
shootout in the courtroom
with angela davis
alcatraz gets taken over
by native americans
harvey milk and george moscone
get shot by a malcontent
and the sentiment sends
police cars on fire
while the zodiac killer runs loose
in blue spruce park
down the street
from my grandmother’s house


Gathering of Mammals

gathering of mammals
dancing in the dust
young beauties
weird nerdies
dressed like peacocks and ravens
cigarette machine
eats a dollar
go the beer garden
and holler to get her money back
hanging out with madcaps
who sing acapella
at the drop of a hat
renditions for an audience of one
still looking for cigarettes
nicotine drug dealer
out right now
check back later
walk a mile for a camel
and a cup of latte
kids playing ball behind the deli
old man looking for cans in the alley
shy smiles of strangers


Albuquerque

as i drive down albuquerque streets
edges of houses pop out of grey sky
undisguised by barren trees
twenty three shades of brown
stucco painted to look like adobe
we’re driving past, past the porches
where strings of red chile
hang there in welcome
how now brown town?
and its good to be here
though when i’m gone
i don’t miss you much
i even dogged you, albuquerque
because you are
a hard hearted town
dressed in fake mud
being something you’re not
personality split by two sides of the city
uptown and downtown, the heights and the valley
split by businessmen
to develop their property
you never had a good image of yourself,
albuquerque
you don’t love yourself the way
san francisco loves itself
the way seattle loves itself
the way santa fe loves itself
and i wonder what crime
stained these hills
that made you such a hard hearted town
dressed in brown
ribboned in interstate asphalt
and a poisoned river
i’m fascinated by your sinister side,
albuquerque
and pray you don’t claim me
as a blood sacrifice
but when i come back
i see the way the sunset hits the sandias
and remember what it was
that i miss about this town
i see the morning light bright blue
the smell of cedar burning in the air
and remember what i miss
about this town
and when i go to the frontier restaurant
and ask for a green chile burger
they know exactly what it is
and they give it to me
and i remember what i miss
about this town
albuquerque
i love you i hate you
i’ll always come back to you
the land of entrapment
a curse or a blessing
i don’t know the answer, albuquerque
i just keep returning


Denver

mountains loom
at the colorado border
clarity of light calling my soul
lightness of being
one with the road
hamlet of skyscrapers
denver’s domain
almost matches
purple mountains majesty
and night meets us
in cheyenne wyoming
for a roadside party
in the land of a million cows
there’s the smell of prosperity
stench stains my clothes
past eden past loveland
past hell’s half acre
end of the world due east
where clouds meet the horizon
dying twin suns
cast a glimmer
in the evening sky
the moon laughs
as she races by
diana on the hunt
hitchhiking ghosts flag me down
vivid hallucinations
mile marker 1300
astral projecting
into other directions
at custer’s last stand
the clutch goes kablooey
and in the hills
i imagine indians laughing
hey honey
maybe you should have
gotten a jeep cherokee


Seeking Space Aliens

man she is a work of art
they said watching her walk down the street
going to meet her latest date
man she is a piece of work
they said watching her negotiate
charming her way out of trouble
doubling back on her trail
making sure she’s not followed
by people thinking she was
a piece of action
in her fantasy life
more arrogant pursuers got
their tongues cut out in an alley
by a knife that she carried in her coat pocket
never made the fantasy real
just felt up the handle once in a while
as she drank from her draft beer
in some smoky tavern
fielded twenty questions
drunken inquisitions
from people too nosy
for their own business
traveling alone, she had to be careful
always grateful to her guardian angels
constant conflict with devils
she fought the internal battle of
good versus evil on a daily basis
seeking spaces alien to her
because home didn’t feel the same anymore
the image was more delicious
than when she was actually there
collecting urban myths
and personal stories
eavesdropping in coffeehouses
to support her research
of the collective unconscious
a litmus test measuring
the local decline of western civilization
accelerated to the speed of light
to images captured on the television
feeding our superstitions
we carry condoms in our wallets
weapons in our pockets
to weave a spell strong enough
that we can protect ourselves
in strange places
seeking spaces alien to us
because home doesn’t feel the same
anymore


Where I Come From

in the back of the seattle city bus
a grandfatherly asian man
is holding one of his granddaughters
by the crotch as she leans against him
perched on his lap
she’s a big girl now, older than diapers
i get suspicious of his hand’s position
and wonder if he’s sexually abusing them
he is their grandfather
and who am i
but a stranger on a bus
i want to say something but if i am mistaken
then i am guilty of making a false accusation
while his granddaughters
are laying sprawled on him like kittens
and i’m thinking if i’m wrong
i could ruin their relationship
but then what is a relationship
built on sexual exploitation?
i don’t say anything
because where i come from
we don’t talk about it
because where i come from
we sweep skeletons in the closet
under the carpet
therapy is not acceptable
it’s like admitting you’re crazy
or that there’s a problem
problem? what problem?
no problem here
because where i come from
it’s better to deny the reality
than accuse pillars of the community
who save secret sins for the confession box
before taking the eurcharist
all is forgiven all is forgiven all is forgiven
social glue for masking monsters
looking at little girls in their sunday dresses
in the back of the city bus
i lock eyes with the grandfather
i see you old man, i know what you’re doing
before i could say something
before i could lose my temper
the bus comes to a halt
and he gathers up his granddaughters
leaves abruptly in a hurry
maybe spooked by my staring
and i said nothing
because where i come from
nobody says a goddamn thing


The Red Dress

for years her neighbors suspected
dark secrets hidden
by false smiles
for years she masked it
and everyone played along
like a sick and twisted joke
smiling supermarket clerk
always explaining her bruises
as due to her clumsiness
always smiling
one day her husband died suddenly
as fast as a car accident or a heart attack
at the funeral
she didn’t wear black
she shed her martyr syndrome
in a moment of bravado
and showed up to the burial
wearing a red sequin party dress
that came down to her ankles
they put the coffin in the grave
she threw in her wedding ring
gave a strange laugh shouting
“i hope you’re happy now, lawrence,
i hope you’re happy now
because i certainly am!”
and all the women silently cheered her on
red dress and all
while all the men wondered
what their funerals would be like

Daniel McGinn
dmcginn@gte.net

Bio(auto)

Daniel McGinn writes poetry These are examples He enjoys the taste of eggplant With garlic sauce On occasion His favorite color is green

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


The Structure of Language
(poem found on page 15 in the introduction)

Consider the following utterances,
all of which are odd
for different reasons:

(1 ) I just swallowed my nose (2 ) I will show you fear in a handful of dust
(3 ) This lovely red rose is a red rose (4 ) Physical objects do not exist (5 ) I have just been decapitated (6 ) Pain is the stimulation of C-fibers

Thus, accused of having used language oddly,
the metaphysician who replies
“So what?” replies correctly.


Television Programs Itself

I miss the static
Between the stations
I could almost disconnect,
Remove the cable

Watch me and my house
Drift away
Behind a shimmering glass curtain

I would love to buy the world a coke, 
I will sing
A song of zero calories,

I could be lost
with my remote
Control, slipping
between the cushions
as me and my house drift off
Into sleep, 

I will dream
A dream of static cling
Following
A rousing rendition of the star spangled banner

See the sparkles in my eye
Watch the bubbles rise and pop
I would love
a diet coke
I will sing of the sting
Of salt in my throat, 
Of the taste of nutra
Sweet in my saliva

I will dream in black and white
I will dream a cartoon profile
I will dream the indian’s head
In the bulls eye
In the test pattern


Theo’s Logic
(without your support this ministry will go off of the air )

this guy on my television has bikini girls his yacht is smiling at the
camera if i send him my money he will make me rich
i too, can be successful
stealing real estate from the poor, the widows and the broken this is how nations are born
and for pennies a day TV ministries are made With a flick of remote control

i turn the channel and watch another program
God wants me rich all God’s children need Rolex, cadillacs, 
water proof mascara, tissues i am so deeply moved i send them my money God will make me rich i shall be free
brothers and sisters
my poems will make you rich send me your money
sent more than you can afford this is the secret power-
the spoken word

go ahead
mark up my poems underline the good parts fold up the poems
like dollar bills stuff them in your wallet talk to my poems believe
in my poems expect a miracle expect your wallet to be filled!

some unbelieving poets have write to me
to tell me that I am full of shit

there is no cash in these letters this is why those poets are poor there is no cash in these letters
this is why those poets are unhappy
brothers and sisters, stop blaming me start blaming yourselves
It is because of your negative confessions
you do not believe you must allow the system to work
do not think negative!
do not speak negative words!
do not doubt and your wallets will be healed
where is your faith?
stop blaming me start blaming yourselves
this is my love gift to you dear friends, my poetry will make you rich send me your money know the truth the truth will set you free
do you understand?

send me your money blame yourselves this is the beginning of wisdom.


A Bottlepicker’s Daydream

You arrive
Home from the market
With a 12 pack of diet coke
In aluminum cans in a box
And a box of kitchen trash
Bags; the ones that nice checker
Put in a plastic bag for you
You remove the cardboard
Box of plastic trash
Bags from the plastic
Shopping bag You pull the
Cardboard strip from the
Cardboard box of bags
You throw the cardboard strip
And the shopping bag into the
Plastic bag you just bought Use it to line the plastic
Trash can This is a lot of energy
Expended, now you are thirsty
Go ahead Open the other box
And consume one of the one
Calorie diet sodas, you
Just bought it, and you
Deserve it Good Now you
Throw the can away.

September 8-14, 1997: Jerry Hicks and Lob 


 

week of September 8-14, 1997



Jerry Hicks and Lob


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Jerry Hicks
beach.poet@worldnet.att.net

Bio(auto)

Los Angeles slam-master, Jerry Hicks–an A.S.U grad–reads his poetry widely and has been featured at major venues His poems most recently appeared in “Spillway,” and his third poetry book, “Advertise and Consent,” is scheduled to be published in 1998

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

Coup d’Asia
Revisionest History

After General MacArthur had that pansy
Harry S Truman assassinated
He blew up all North Korea
and killed seven-zillion Chinamen
(and their goddamn dogs and cats)
to boot Totally polluted the Yalu with Americanium!
You can bet
it gave those candy-ass Rooskies an enema right
in “Das Kapital “

The “ol’ boy network” took care of Mac all
right—-
Hell! the VFW Grand Wiz nominated him for
Yoo Ess President and he was a shoo-in
Turned it down, though Said the job would get in the way of mopping
up them commie gooks Besides, he wanted to be China Generalisimo–
make everything shipshape Organize the Chinks like he had the Nips
I can still remember him: The rock hard jaw, the
corn-cob pipe .the shades—-
Christ, what a dedicated patriot!

They say he slept with a rattlesnake in his bed
every night two years
to make himself so damn fearless.


Gone

The house plants are brown sticks
Daddy-longlegs stake out the doorways
with multiple, invisible strands Dust obscures the coffee table and graces all
but the latest un-opened mail
The phone, disconnected, never rings He doesn’t even know
At noon, shoeless, in soiled shorts, he makes
a gallon of O.J , piles in the sink more dishes
He swigs gin while the T.V flickers–
till all the channels are test patterns
On the way to bed, raking cobwebs from his beard
with long nails,
he sits on the pot, pees, stares
at black hair-strands curled and matted on the floor
He brushes the vomit stained sheet
once and plops on the waterbed
As the room whirls, his last thoughts: What
day is it? Should I have one more cigarette?
What month is it?

He feels around for the soft nylon
panty, finds it, crumples it, clutches it to his face,
begins to wail like a wolf snared by a steel trap

or a man on a mine.


Winging It

I’m in TGIF with my daughter
who’s everything a man could want
in a woman–
young, blond, poised, smart,
& horny enough to start a fire Naturally, she’s gay
Audrey and I are waiting for chicken wings
& sipping beer in this straight bar
watching groups of women prance by
Audrey’s into exactly the same type of
woman I am
& we track each target
with identical radar systems
until she daintily sits down
then our eyes lock and we both nod
We are in this bar sipping Buds
& sucking chicken wing bones
looking around to see
if anyone is glancing back Audrey, who is not only hot,
but beautiful enough to bedazzle
a fire department,
is checking out all the same women I am
& thinking similar thoughts (I guess)
On the way out, Audrey and I,
we hit on the foxy young cashier Charm her–father and daughter She says she gets off at 7:30,
& we say
we’ll be back to getcha!

Later all laughing
we squeeze into my Corvette I can’t believe what we’ve started
Can’t wait to see what will occur
when my daughter–
who’s hot and beautiful and clever–
& me warm up this straight chick
And I haven’t the damnedest idea
what will happen
nor who is going to end up
doing what to whom, and
don’cha wish this poem

had a few more scenes?

Primer on edges
& planes

Those
who
lick
their
knives
too
clean

often
slit
their

tongues.

Lob
instagon@netcom.com

Bio(auto)

Lob is a creative artist from Huntington Beach, CA He is the director of an artists alliance called Thee Instagon Foundation, editor for Thee Neverending Page .a publication of thee creative current .and is the current business operations manager at Next Magazine A major member of the So Cal performance poetry community .Lob likes to read in intimate locations where he can smoke canabis, doesnt like the cold, and would rather eat mayonaise than mustard any day of the week.

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


friendship (a haiku)

temporary state
a feeling that is so high
you would lie for it

-/-


surreal poet’s dream, in Sestina

trip with one and make it two
then find a third that fits you
deny the forth, no reason why
stop to wave as it goes by
words in play, they love to rhyme
here it comes, a twist in time

behind a cloud walks father time
he sings a song of lovers two
he tries but cannot find the rhyme
that calls to him and speaks to you
in a flash he creates, it passes by and the gods all sigh and wonder why

i sleep late, i don’t know why
i wake up un-caring for the time
sometimes morning passes by
i meet the afternoon around two
has that ever happened to you?
awake moving in rhythm to my own inner rhyme

i find the poem, it finds the rhyme
i dunno how it happens, i don’t ask why
i write it down and share it with you
i hope you will listen if you have the time
you say you only have time for two?
“allright”, i sigh, as another flash goes by

each day, like this, sleep awake, passes by
i capture some in free verse, others in rhyme
sometimes i even care for a good one or two words play, words kiss, words take and ask why,
in rapture, caught in the curse called time
like a pair, dreams and poems come to me and you

i dream of gods and words and you and forget some as they go by i awake and ground myself with time
it never ends its it’s own rhyme i live and ask the question why,
and scribble a poem down, or two
was this a dream this time, right here, or just a rhyme?
did it have meaning for you, as it went by as one asks why, the answer becomes two

-/-


buketry

i once heard Charles Bukowski
say how writing a good poem
was like taking a hot beer shit:

” that one just lets go
and it just happens
and when you are done
you look at it, and it’s good
that’s poetry”

so i thought about how
profound of a statement this was

last night i went out,
i ate 4 chili dogs
and drank 11 beers and this morning,
i am a writer
-/-


cyber sestina

i have a six color monitor screen
i have a light touch keyboard
i have a mega mega bite hard drive
my modem sets me up on-line
i search the web and surf the net
i trip in the place called cyber-space

it is not like outer space
you have seen on your TV screen
broadcast by one of the networks
with commercials to keep you from being too bored it is something that sometimes steps out of line
like a drinking friend who wants to drive

but i can take a virtual drive
thru cyber-highways in this wierd space
and then with one good URL line
spill another new dimension from my screen
all from my keyboard
as my fingers surf the internet

sometimes i get stuck downloading from the net
and it ties up my hard drive
so i take my hands off the keyboard
and take this opportunity to adjust head space
have a bonghit, add some music .a good Coltrane line
and blow the smoke at the glowing screen

there is a dead bug smashed on my screen
it gave it’s life to the net
it was my sacrifice to the cyber-god on-line
so blessings may befall my hard drive
and protection from viruses from dark space,
where the hackers type on old Amiga boards

with nerves of rock and Email hard as boards
i fight the flamewars, as they scorch my screen
i love this new place called cyber-space
i feel so alive without a face just a name on the net
just characters or numbers with an “at” symbol in the line
an Email adventurer, just learning to drive

feeling confident in the space, removing the saftey net
fingers fly across keyboard, making changes on the screen
line after line, html and Unix directed direct drive

September 1-7, 1997: Edwin Walls and Marghune’ Khaite

Week of September 1-7, 1997

Edwin Walls and Marghune’ Khaite

Edwin Walls
hopfrog@ix.netcom.com
http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Gallery/3028/

Bio(auto)

Edwin E Walls has has been writing poetry for over 16 years Some of the publications that have included his work are Out of Chaos, Writer’s Exchange, Poet’s Domain, and the Washington Post He is a native of Manassas, Virginia and works as a graphic artist to support his passion He recently participated in an international collaboration of a Poets and Painters from India and the U.S Edwin’s work has been described as fresh in language and crisp in imagery by English professors in the Washington, D.C metro area He likes to think of himself as a dark romantic with a modern voice

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

Sunday afternoons
Sunday afternoons for this crossthetracks kid, are laid down easy
settled back stroking the dogs fur; playing with the floppy ears

rolling thoughts of lovers between my thumb-like some crumb
chewing gum wrapper you don’t know where to put so

you stick it in your pocket and take it home with you
just so much pocket debris
I wish I was a strapping big man
a Duke man, a John Wayne man

on these Sundays when I sink into the sofa lounge tongue almost
just barely, just a little, non-existent
I wish I was a Gary Cooper man, a High Noon Will Kane man On these Sunday afternoons I’m a Magnavox lover asleep by prime time Ready

to be folded and stacked neatly behind the basement door where
the special event furniture is kept For weddings, family gatherings,
facing

Frank Miller and his boys at 12:00 on these crossthetracks laid down
easy Sunday
afternoons.


Still waters

How should we aged children speak?
With a splintered tongue,
dry-rotten and dilapidated?
We are fields of deep shadows, 
with late date glimmers through
our holes and scars
Wheel ruts fading to no destination into
what went to, 
what is no longer
there
Should we speak in old faded yellow whispers, 
through the grass’s heavy and hazy hay?
Combed by the unkind harvest wind
Our voices are there Mandolin strings sing on the blow, 
muffled, yes; but still there Hinges silenced, 
with exception of the push of breeze
and the hoe rusted to it’s broken handle
idle
whistles in air resistance
We are old now We are old Leave us be
We are old now!
We are old Leave us be
Single scattered historical statues
to the world which suffers
the song of the silenced
Acreage long choked in acorns
Vocal chords throttled by the change
of season.


conspiracy of the minute

lonely and powerless
I sat cowering
in the cracks
eating stale sand crackers
with the roaches
plotting anarchy
a million antennae
planning the destruction
of the systematic cruelty
in a spider’s web.


Scarecrows

the ladybugs have all flown flies know the contour of my face
idiot that I am- defunct,
delicate hairy legs tickling my beard
crevassing my lips
dancing on my lids

cold and crisp as an autumn leaf
hollow and barren, my soul cracks
as junebugs grieve

crows haunt my slumber denied dialect
drawn tight into little chapels
where fixed frayed wooden rows
hold a harvest, ripe

there, poised –
a scarecrow
stuffed, for until the earth
will suspend me
eyes crossed in fastened buttons
I am sewn up
puckered lipped
in my favorite suit

are you afraid?
of death
we all are
we all are

Shoo, Shoo!

Morghune’ Khaite
Whtwtch@sprynet.com

Bio(auto)

Morghune’ Khaite is a man ?
He was raised in the coastal locale known as Costa Mesa; living with his mother and various paternal stand-ins until his departure at the age of 15 He then roamed the country side in search of Gawds-Know-What, jumping trains and
squatting abandoned buildings for some time until he found what he was looking for on the steel-toe of a cops’ boot
He then returned home to Costa Mesa to seek “Higher Education”; living with his mother and a tight commune of like-minded freaks Playing musick with his brother and others in such bands as Chula, The Drums of Pangaia, as well as stand-ins with Instagon and others Finally finding the splendours of city living far too taxing and repulsive he escaped to the backwards town of Morgantown in gourgeous West Virginia where he currently resides in relative peace with his computer and a stiff drink Morghune’ is currently playing in Battery Acid 666, spinning obnoxious records at WVU’s radio station U92, taking too many courses, going crazy, writting words and musick, and trying to organize his writtings for publication

He can be reached, insulted, invited, proposed to, bought and sold, at Whtwtch@sprynet.com or 467 1/2 Dallas, morgantown, wv 26505

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


Thee Ill Wind That Blows

There was a promise of truth
when the seed was planted in fertile soil
But truth is subtil as flowers
fragile as glass
and may be shattered
Shattered or overcome by more powerful scents
It is an Ill wind that blows through this world
Blows and carries the smell of decay
to the four corners of the earth
A taint that one, who is not immune to emotion, may
sense
The sickly sweet smell of hopelessness
And to watch humyn beings swirl like leaves
on the rank wind of stagnation
is to lose ones self
Or, less commonly; this is to hate
those people, who
fragile as glass, 
light as leaves in their ignorance
flutter along on the path without care
Crushing others as they go
without stopping
Never stopping to sense the enourmous beauty
of strength in determination
Never stopping to notice the fragile nature of truth
and the beauty of her illusions.


Hemorrhoids

I’m looking into a mirror, 
seeing glazed eyes starring back at me like a stuffed deer Permanent headlight Tharn, 
expression like a gun-shy dog quivering at your feet Then the tears come and Iím running Down the hallway, 
into the yard and screaming;
only to find myself laying on the concrete steps
that are so much a part of my life Nose running like a leaky faucet
and the dried tears caked on my eyelashes
like the mud on my boots
And now I know how a brick must feel,
being tossed through the second storey window
of some patriarch’s house;
Used, to express a futile hatred for the world I can feel my teeth rotting as they chatter
to the rhythm of my pounding heart, 
rocking as I turn my head
Cause I’ve heard my name being called As I wrestle with my demons, 
in my gut I can feel a hunger, 
and I notice nobody is calling, only ghosts inside my head And now as the dust storm settles
And I begin to wonder
how this story is gonna end With more crying, I suppose, 
a happy ending would be out of the question We all must have done something terribly wrong to
deserve this or it doesn’t really matter Well, I guess she never cared.


Saturdae Night Lunacy

Humbly, 
we walk down nighted streets
Smiling at the windows as we walk by
Many students of economics
and suchlike non-sense wander, 
bumping merrily into one another,
choking down poisons, 
refining the portrayal of Televised Masculinity And we pretend that the streets are dead, 
Playing,
with a cleansing breeze
sweeping filth from gutters
into the eyes Each ferocious gust
reminding us;
This night is for naked virginity Standing under the yellowed streetlamp Exposed
For all that we are,
Stumbling
As new deer on wobbling legs towards mother Reaching out to her with slurry words, 
questioning :
A-ma?
A-ma?

What are you hungering for little one?
Reaching out to her with vagaries,
Searching With a child’s brain dictionary Searching Oh the tangents you lead me on could
dumbfound the schizophrenics,
With those word-flurries
like fat snow flakes blinding And the philosophers would scream out;
Frustrated,
at the formless formulae that confound
the ordered wreckage of western dogmas And giggling
Like lunatics,
skipping down the streets, 
past the walking dead,
skipping through nighted alleys
Perhaps the buildings,
these constructs,
will at once
Be disappeared Leaving only the
Formless
And Naked
Virginity
Exposed
to smiling eyes.


Caustick Whirlwind Holocaust in G-flat 7 minor
The Filthy Street Prophet screamed:
“Swallow It All you Sissies!!!”
As the Sub-Beatnik Anti-hero in Black
wonders if he’s talkin’ ’bout the semen or the lies Crossing the street, a womyn who looks
more like a frightened animal
scurries into her conveyance whilst dodging
the sidelong glaring starings of the porn-shop patrons
as they moulder in their own repression Then it’s Mardi Gras with the fuzz
pulling pieces on a New Jersey parking ticket debtor
who shrugs impotently as the pigs throw him into the
cruiser, only to chauffeur Mr Jersey a quarter block across
the street
for his complimentary three days stay in the luxury tank
Big Fuckin’ Trucks totin’ Rebel Flag sportin’ red-necked
car-jackers come for the unfortunate Mr No Fear’s sporty
ride Jacking it up onto the flatbed and away they go
with a noxious cloud of testosterone and peanut shells and here we are now
sitting in this Penny University, drinking too much coffee
and shaking like the barley,
watching pre-pubescent high-school girls flirt with
longhaired Fratboys
on this steamy Fridae morning
Wishing for a tornado to take it all away.


Balls and Fury

Nobody wants to hear about unrequited love and
lonesome They want Balls and Fury!
Songs of Lust and Fuck But I swear on my own grave;
I’ve never wanted to ‘fuck’ anybody I’ve ever seen or
met,
And, I couldn’t say a damned romantic thing if my life
depended on it All I know about is Pain and Fear,
Drowning in Apathy,
Wanting to hide from the world, myself, and everything I guess I have loved a few humyns in my lifetime But when theyíre gone, I rarely think of them Then only late at night, alone, in an empty house;
when I have absolutely nothing better to do I don’t even know why anybody,
in their right mind,
would want a lover anyway You share the good times;
the laughter,
the success But when it really comes down to pain and suffering;
when it really gets down to the meaner aspects of life
(in all its splendour)
You are all by yourself, babe Beating your brow; weeping Drinking yourself into oblivion Picking up shattered glass and torn photographs;
Alone


Logick Reigns

Objective Truth is like a hammer
Bludgeoning mind/body/and soul
into a fine grey powder
which is collected and sold to suckers at bible revivals
and broadcast though the Aether
Directly
Into your home

And Righteous Indignance
(Bottled and marketed by Advertising Giants)
Just happens to be the hottest seller in the market
(to date)

Potent chemical reactions intiate dramatic physiological
Imbalance
Hurling reason beyond Yonder Abysses
Plummeting silently towards a new madness

Heat seeking missiles eek out patent liars, 
and, with ever persuasive arguements
Convince heathen madmen of the validity of
Western/Northern/Eastern/Southern
DOGMAS
And with the rythmic ponderings of the common
Intelligencia’
(in perfect harmony with the semple folk)
Furious Knights Templars rouse from Antient Slumber
Come to bring purification by flame with corpulent hands
And then;
With a blinding flash,
Microcosmic chain reactions touch off
ìa mysterious spiritual revival’
Tempered with a most humble
and colourful capitalism,
Tender Hierarchies,
And Cheerful Cruelty
Delivered by pasty faces in monotone intonations
Then come the last days,
Marked by Fiery Lodestones
streaking through the night sky
And a Symphonic Cacophony of Screams
Issues forth from Unhallowed Congregations of humyn
animals
Heaving and Frothing
Hither and Fro
As foam upon the tide
And Hu’zz’a for the Apocalypse
And the Blessed Silence that may Follow


Autumn

Crimson leaves fall from the sky
(gentle fluttering wind)
Mouldering in piles on the rotten earth
(musty basement smell)
Glittering worms crawl across the parchment
(excrement of trees)
Taking advantage of the waste, the spirits play a game of
scatter on the lawn
(crinkle, scratch, crinkle)
And the days pass by as the leaves seek refuge in safe
places
(’round garbage cans)
Obfuscating the roots of a tired oak
(‘neath abandoned cars)
They collect like so many weary fascinations
(cluttering the lawn)
Rotting away with cobwebby slowness
(with our passions)
Fading gentle like our inclination to fight
(with our memory)
They rot away, becoming one with the collective
unconscious
(feeding tired trees)

August 25-31, 1997: Rosa Clement and Ameedah Pollard

Week of August 25-31, 1997

Rosa Clement and Ameedah Pollard

Rosa Clement
rosa@cr-am.rnp.br

Bio(auto)

I am a Brazilian and I write poems in both Portuguese and English My poems have been published by Poetic Eloquence, The Lyric, Lynx, Green’s Magazine, Mobius, etc Four of my poems were accepted by Guild’s Press for inclusion in their 1997 anthology “Just Remember ” I enjoy watching movies, reading, playing cards, basketball, and of course, writing poems I have two poetry pages at

http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/Rosa Amazonian Mists

http://www.geocities.com/Paris/LeftBank/8632 A Moment for Poetry

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

The Well

Our backyard sprouted a spring, 
uncovered when a tall tree fell,
and from that stream of rivulets
my father built a well

Into it our hands let slip
a bar of soap, a spoon, a dish,
and even things we never see,
a thought, a hope, a wish
There, mothers filled the pots,
and stayed to wash their souls with friends, 
while children sang a fountain song
in circles, holding hands

My mind is like that well,
when time decides to stir and rake
those tales of life that bloom and float
like lilies in a lake.


Seasons

I’m like the seasons,
I also change my nature with time There are days when
I’m a canvas painted with melancholy,
the silence in the room,
the traveler
who only wants to find her home

Others days, 
I’m the rolling skate on the street, 
music tipping my feet,
the shadow falling from the tree,
the deer raising its ears
to sounds of insects’ wings, 
the grass bending for festivities
Other days, I’m the white moon
floating on red horizons, 
the fountain’s water filling my palm,
merry sounds from a fanfare, 
the wood for bonfires, a temple of passion,
and like the seasons’ weather
I also break all forecasts.


A Little Sin

The village chapel shaped my childhood days,
but sometimes I preferred to leave my prayer
to stare at saints and candlelight displays Because that little boy was always there
and liked to glance at me, I loved to wear
my yellow Sunday dress with satin lace, 
to feel his eyes on mine in sacred space
If I should weed my heart of little lies
to taste the Host and show an angel’s face,
my sin was to admire those loving eyes.

A Magic Poem

All of an afternoon
the pen became a spoon,
the paper, a pan,
and the poem sauteed itself
to kill my poet’s hunger
As minutes stirred my thoughts,
the sweet smell
of cinnamon and clove
came from the desk,
gaining body and flavor,
inebriating like
a full chalice of champagne
This magic scent
lured my love to share
this poem with me,
feeding him, letting him
be completely served,
totally satisfied

Ameedah Pollard
warm_one@hotmail.com
or
Ameedah@aol.com
http://www.geocities.com/southbeach/sands/1631

Bio(auto)

Ameedah Pollard is a 29 year old poet from NYC Largely influenced by black experience novels, Shakespeare, Science fiction and Horror fiction she writes a combination of Short stories and poetry She is in the process of writing a poetic biographic novel about herself and her father (who was also a poet) She is inspired by the works of Octavia Butler and Maya Angelou as well as M Warren a little known Canadian writer featured on her webpage She is interested in writing a poetry filled biography/autobiography featuring her father and herself

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


Mom’s Kitchen

Mom’s kitchen is empty
No bacon fryin’
No children cryin’
No sweet smell,
No game of guess and tell,
No laughter within,
And there will never be again Mom’s kitchen is empty.


Raped

One dark corner,
The wrong time of day,
One hundred hands groping my body,
A man,
A thief
Too many strikes, 
Bruises,
Drops of blood,
My thighs no blockade My prize broken And the thief Even if caught Got away with me.


Promise Not

Promises aren’t needed Swear not your love Confessions of the heart are wasted We are the moment For us tomorrows don’t exist.


Urban Rose

A tended rose still has thorns A wild rose still has beauty Should you tend a wild rose?
It will still grow towards it’s will It will still have thorns.


Duet

Love poem to love poem,
My words to yours,
My prose caress and intertwine Your reason wrapped in the whimsy of rhyme,
Our joy expressed a laureates melody,
Your words a retort unto me.


Floating

My sweetest My heart is pounding with wanting you My eyes Aching with the anticipation of you again For when we are together,
I am all beauty And weightless in your arms.


Into

I am into him as he walks across the room I am into him as he tells me of my beauty I am into his dreams, I see them clearly I am into all that he loves all that he enjoys But in all that I am into When do I have time To be Into me?


Is He

The heat of melted wax upon my skin,
Burning then cooling,
Painful then soothing, 
This is your touch
The invigoration of warm water on my breast,
Relaxing then tingling ,
Calming then arousing,
This is the feel of you tongue
The intensity of a dream all too real, 
Frightening then exciting,
twisting then turning this is the motion of you inside me
Moaning then sighing,
screaming then silence,
This is the pleasure you give me.


untitled

Should my beauty fade away year by year,
Falling away like the petals of a spent flower My temperament sharp like thorns My soul green with envy of the other blossoms Who shall tend to me then?


Tennyson’s Face

The sun shines brightly,
Bouncing off his walnut skin Playing in his eyes His lips part to unveil his white teeth,
The sun,
ashamed,
Hides behind the clouds.


Two

One works with his hands
His smooth hands The other works with his mind,
His strong able mind One directs and guides me,
Pushing me towards the stars The other cushions me,
Gently wraps my troubles and kisses them away Both hold my hand and tell me I am beautiful Either of them could own my heart,
Neither of them want me to choose One is married to his wife The other is married to himself I am alone.

August 18-24, 1997: G. Scott Hughes and C.E. Chaffin

Week of August 18-24, 1997

G. Scott Hughes and E. Chaffin

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

August 11-17, 1997: Christina Marie Umscheid and H.A. Maxson

Week oAugust 11-17, 1997

Christina Marie Umscheid and H.A. Maxson

Christina Marie Umscheid
christin@freeway.net

Bio(auto)

Christina-marie (Christina Marie Umscheid), born 1946 in Weiden, West Germany was raised in Saint Louis, Missouri and has lived in Petoskey, Michigan since 1976 Publishings include such magazines as; CHICAGO REVIEW, HIRAM POETRY REVIEW, CALIBAN, ODYSSEY, THE POETRY REVIEW, NEGATIVE CAPABILITY, THE OLD RED KIMONO, GREAT LAKES REVIEW, HURON REVIEW, THE MAC GUFFIN, SOU’WESTER and the GREAT MIDWESTERN QUARTERLY My debut on the Internet e-zine, WORLD POETRY, was December 1996 Since then, I’ve been published in the following e-zines MOONDANCE: CELEBRATING CREATIVE WOMEN, BLUE PENNY QUARTERLY, SWITCHED-ON GUTENBERG, GRUENE STREET, BLACK SWAN REVIEW, and to appear in LEXICON.

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

A Ride Through The Woods

(previously published in IMAGES AND LANGUAGE, chapbook and video, 1987, published by Writers North and funded by the Michigan Council for the Humanities )

Wind remembers winter
even though May holds air
like a child tugging a balloon
Sunlight lays, a shawl
across my shoulders as I
ride my horse through woods
We ride through pines, Cybelle
and I Occasionally she hesitates
watching for deer or imagined predators

There is no sight of anyone else
but I see two lover
invisible to eyes Time is on their side, as armor
enclosing them from the world
Are they real or painted
by some artist?
Leaves change, seasons
mark their position Trilliums come and go
We ride the same paths
watching changes Will the predator Cybelle imagines
stay in her mind?

Ferns have not yet come out They are hidden like lover –
waiting for time’s shield to fall.


Burying The Dead
For Embra who died January 12, 1980

(Previously Published in ODDYSSEY, A Journal of the Humanities 1986 Honors College, Oakland University, 212 Varner Hall, Rochester, MI 48063 )

The ground refuses to open
It will not peel back to reveal
the brown viscera that has hardened
Death has seeped between living
tissues and persuaded them to
grow cold-to freeze beneath a
fleecy blanket that lies like
a sheet over my friend
Her body has turned blue with cold
I hate the white that masks
my clothes-like angels There is
no one near to trumpet her death No one sings a Requiem like I hear
inside me, beating with wings
that thread life from bone to bone
I want to breathe into her mouth
and take the cold away, like fire
burn her back to life
Instead, I grow cold,
sinking into snow
until it takes my breath.


Dream Fire

(Previously published in THE SMALL POND MAGAZINE OF LITERATURE, Winter 1975, Napoleon St Cyr, Editor, 10 Overland Drive, Stratford, Connecticut 06497)

The catapult of dreams
stands at my mouth
dragon
ready to fire me with
somewhere to go at night Enter here
where the skin is bare
and open Burn the blackness
into ashes
that fly before my eyes,
wings
still aflame with memory Locusts, descending from the smoke,
eat my crop of tears,
devour my pain
and leave me Field
chewed down
with nothing left to burn
nothing left to eat.

H.A Maxson
max34@ix.netcom.com

Bio(auto)

H.A Maxson is the author of three collections of poems: Turning the Wood, Walker in the Storm, The Curley Poems, as well as a novel, The Younger–forthcoming in September from Commonwealth Publications, Canada, and a critical study, The Sonnets of Robert Frost–forthcoming in September/October from McFarland & Co Several hundred of his poems have appeared in magazines and anthologies, such as The Nation, Commonweal, Poetry Northwest, Southern Poetry Review

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


Last Days of Najibullah
Esquire photo, April 1997

Their heads loll casually to one side as the heads of hanged men so often do in pictures out of countries wading in blood Here the heads hang eskew from knots cinched deeply into necks Eyes shut Tongues forced to the corners of crimped mouths, they hang, colorless as rags, all of the words wrung out They wear blood like vests or aprons And one man’s arms jut and drape as only disease or death could pose them in the full light of that desert A private brings tea No one sits They pour without ceremony and stare off into some middle distance where a truck, scabbed eith many soldiers, creeps toward them–guns raised in celebration or surrender?–impossible to say at this distance A soldier fills his mouth with thin tea and swishes it like mouthwash He turns and blows a mist toward the two hanging men; someone laughs and hugs him, smiles and raises a gun and fires it into the dead blue air now endless around them.


Great Horned Owl

It appears as you have imagined
angels appear when they do, or if One moment simply there:
the air cracked just once as if some god cleaved it to deposit those wings
You see first the the globe head gliding through the compass points outside a window
candle-flamed with sunset So still Certain He forces a center where his talons
strangle a limb and shapes forever
that space no owl has ever, ever held
You balance minutes, maybe hours,
then tumble into that feathery bowl
of an eye cocked so close toward you, the black bottomless center cold to watch as a well where the stone you dropped never splashed, 

so cold, when it goes, you weep with thirst

August 4-10, 1997: Karen Choy and Casey Butterfield

week of August 4-10, 1997

Karen Choy
and
Casey Butterfield

.BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
click here for submission guidelines

Karen Choy
kchoy@lausd.k12.ca.us

Bio(auto)

Karen is immensely fond of anything obscene, absurd, revolutionary, green, or related to Elvis She happily concocts poetry, short fiction, screenplays, essays, letters, and editorials in her North Hollywood lair, though lately she’s been picking up hot vibes at Carl’s Jr She will soon move to Chicago to shack up with Marx and Shakespeare and, regrettably, a few math books (damn those general ed requirements!) She will miss Los Angeles dearly, especially the Americanas, Redd Kross, and fruit salads from The Farmer’s Market Look for her return winters and summers You will know her when you see her After one torrentially cold winter in Chicago, she will come home as The Girl With No Ass.

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

God Bless the USA

as the cars pass
i notice men turning their heads
and looking at me like i’m a famous landmark
as if i am the disrobed Statue of Liberty
transplanted to the streets of North Hollywood
for the express purpose of promoting
the freedom of all citizens to masturbate
at busy intersections


Absorption

the smell of your hands
after grinding love
perfumes the air
like a sundae’s
strawberry fields

i can still feel the
ache that i thought
was death
but drinking
your presence
eclipses the pain
of innocence
that i feel


Supernaut

the woman next to me
is telling her daughter
how much she would
like to be 6 years old again:
“You can be naughty
and get away with it,” she says

it is then and there
that i realize
naughty
is my very favorite word in
the entire English language
and that i too would love to be
6 years old again


burroughs vista

he bled burroughs
i could tell by the way
he took the beatings
breathing through it all
his smooth porcelain jaw
cut by frank dim hair
contorted into that
sly knowing smirk
lusting after their
erect eyes and flat breasts
in a gesture of
post-pubescent hunger
salvaging everything
under the edge of the blade
he’s a rare edition
bookmarked in the folds
of my gray brain


the joy of public transportation

the woman on the bus
in the aisle across from me
is hunched over her seat
making love to her fried chicken
i can hear her sucking the death out
of those thighs
those dead chicken thighs
and if chickens had nipples
i swear i’d never hear the end of it


octopus ointment

threads of cotton candy
swirl in my twirling brain
round and abound surrounding
my hazy blue mind
black lungs laboring in mine

these fluffy pink clouds
my head swims in their arms
their limber fingers soak my pores
i don’t want to hit bottom anymore

arms winding round and round
five past one to one before four
so slowly melts my confectionery whore
impotence dulls the giddy tryst
bluer and bluer becomes the night

blackest white burns buzzing jangles
driving the purest feeling flat bored
until tomorrow when the moon is born
i can fondle life never more


Pimpin’ It At Carl’s Jr
the waitress just came over
and touched my napkin dispenser
there was a tension in the air
i felt awkward like
i had just taken her bitch
and she was jealous
and that by intimately touching
the dispenser in front of me
she was reaffirming the
sanctity of their erotic connection
and that for all she cared
me and my Coca-Cola
could go straight to hell

Casey Butterfield
ae678@lafn.org

Bio(auto)

Casey Butterfield has been a valley girl for 17.5 years, and will finally shed this label when she moves to Berkeley on August 16th She has been published in AXsS and _two_, both of which she helped to put together Lately she has been most inspired when stuck behind smokers in L.A traffic

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


Quentin

The knife
Would slice cleanly through the skin
Like her body through the water
The thin liquid guilt running radiantly out

But he knew that he could not, 
Could not just slip into the slit of her throat, to fall on top of her hard damp form
In the blackness of an infinite disorder he could not consolidate

Not there
Not death at the salt lick
Verdant and wild like the jungle of his mind
The geometric ordered patterns across the palm

He could not leave it

undone.


the bus

social contract in the war zone that is L.A broken windows and etched initials
on brown backs of full felt seats
and the man in front
with the sleeping bag
and peanuts
and beer
who says he’s going to San Bernardino
and smiles at me
and says goodbye three times
before I walk down the black rubber steps
and the plastic doors squeak closed


Jive

We have trod the same 1% line
Of spelling bees and dictionaries,
Street names and stories shown off to the proud family
I wish I had known you then,
When we devoured the same books
And grew fascinated with the same far-off people I can almost guess at the overlap of dreams
I only knew the path’s divergence
You with your magic mushrooms
And friends who have no hair
Me with my
Curfew.


Shangri L.A
Friday morning and it’s Utah,
Cars disappearing in wetness of heat
Only the craggy mountains visible
Behind a yellow mist
Sun haloing the sky
Clouds like garters and granite birds
Like a Kansas prairie vista
Over Tarzana wilds If I keep driving I’ll get to
Grand Canyon.

July 28-August 3: Richard Fein and Gary Barnes

Week of July 28-August 3

Richard Fein and Gary Barnes

Richard Fein
bardbyte@idt.net

Bio(auto)

I live in planet Brooklyn, in the galaxy of New York I have been published in numerous E-zines and print journals Some of the print journals are: BlueUnicorn, Soundings East, the Macguffin, Z Miscellaneous, Orphic Lute, Oregon East Birmingham Poetry Review, Droplet Journal, Zuzu’s Petals, Touchstone, Windsor Review, Maverick, Sonoma Mandala Literary Review, Hollins Critic, Ellipsis, Roanoke Review Parnassus Literary Review, Half Tones to Jubilee.

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

End of a Summer’s Drive

Even her sweat could seduce;
his hand sweeps across the vinyl seat
and he tastes her salty residue on his fingers Through the windshield, in humid July, he sees
her hair, her blouse, her shorts, recede She turns the corner,
gone He is left only with her impression
on the car seat cover Underneath the foam freed at last from the weight
of her buttocks and bare thighs,
slowly rises till the outline fades, 
and the seat cover returns to the flat and level One last time his fingers caress the seat
searching for a trace of salt to preserve the moment.


Forensic Truth

Factually it’s wrong The error probably arose from a misperception,
a sloppy unscientific observation,
but myths die hard, unlike flesh Perhaps the myth was born from a desperate hope
that within a stilled finger remains a spark
awaiting rekindling by a magical breath
which somehow will again rage as a fire and rouge an ashen face,
or perhaps the myth is simply a failure to let go But no cabal of life rests on the nail bed,
no last holdout of the animate hides within a cuticle,
no spark flares to an eternal flame,
at least no corporeal spark,
not a
growing but a shriveling The nail itself is lifeless and always was The illusion springs from the surrounding flesh,
it simply dehydrates, wrinkles, peels away,
the fold of tissue relaxes its grip The nail remains staid and stoic,
and as unyielding and palpable as rigor mortis The flesh is cold to the touch No skeleton finger points the way up or down Those seeking myths of eternity from the tangible will be disappointed For death will always do what it’s meant to do,
survive the living.


Brighton Beach Back Alley Secret

Painted on the entire back wall, two stories high, eclipsed
by the perpetual shadow of the latter built six story tenements
which now enclose the gray courtyard,
is the call of a forgotten cause,
“WORKERS, READ THE DAILY WORKER “
That building:
once the Communist party headquarters,
then a dance hall for overaged singles,
then a bingo parlor for those who met and married at the hall,
is now a bank
that faces the el where underneath
Russian Jewish emigrants walk
in the dappled light, finally,
without ever having to glance backwards That soot-layered sign,
only bored housewives looking out of dirty kitchen windows,
and an idle poet, who shall remain nameless,
have the time to make out its barely legible words But if the tenements are torn down and the tenants evicted
to make way for luxury co-ops,
then briefly the sign will again be visible
all the way to the ocean,
where bathers float on the tides.


Reflections While on the Madison Avenue Route

She is a trooper in an army of dreamers,
head-turning models armed with portfolios
of glossies of their every pose She is both in the back and front of me The beauty behind me is real—
but the angel I face is virtual,
a creature of bus smoke and mirrors,
a vision in a sooty glass Both are untouchable
In the window her face and mine move to kissing closeness My face is then eclipsed by hers I become gorgeous, a beauty in the beast I could toss my hair and get a million dollars for my smile
as the cameras roll;
then the light shifts,
and suddenly I’m some peddler selling papers on the street Beauty alights from our city chariot,
and passes my window Now we really are face to face But her eyes are fixed
on the Madison Avenue skyscrapers
where high above this lumbering bus
are scores of ad and talent agencies My dream pursues a dream
of cameras tricks and bent light-beams.


Under a Nova Star

There is nothing new under the sun,
but on the last day the sun will go nova In the heavens there will nothing but light,
and where all is light no one stands in anyone’s shadow But what will be the literal truth?
Under the midnight sky there will be no one living
to witness Mars and Jupiter brighten the dark,
as the planet gods bask
in the reflection of that convulsing light Nor will the last of the living look to the east,
to behold a star dawning in an angry red,
No wise men bearing gifts will plod in cool sands No Savior to find Nothing to save
For the searing wind will have stirred to a whirlwind, 
which will be circling the earth
gathering into it all that could move The Judas heaven will give no eternal life,
as a tightening belt of heat
cauterizes the earth of all flesh The dead world will still turn,
and on it each cracked rock will face the burning dawn,
then the dusk, then the dawn, then the dusk,
in a world where dawn and dusk no longer have meaning.

Gary Barnes
sojisan@fls.infi.net
http://www.geocities.com/Paris/LeftBank/1042

http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/1042

Bio(auto)

sojisan, geebee, Randy .those are a few of the names I’m known by around the Net (one of my consuming interests at this point) My other interests include poetry (obviously), spirituality, cartooning, Renaissance Faires and finding the worlds best doughnut Born in 1938, I sometimes feel lost between two generations, maybe three For those interested in that sort of thing, I am an electronics/computer tech The most interesting job I ever had was working on the Glomar Challenger, a deep sea research ship, as the resident computer tech , cartoonist an movie projector operator My biggest pet peeve is people who throw away chewing gum anywhere that others may have to walk

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


old letters
I was going through some old letters
a few days ago
when I came across a picture of you
from all those years ago It was sort of odd too, because
just a couple of days ago
I’d been thinking of you
and how beautiful you were
I smiled when I saw you there,
then I frowned I hadn’t remembered
your nose being quite that large
or the way your right eyelid drooped
a little more than the left
and I wondered if
you always had your hair done that way
It had to have been a bad picture,
so I crumpled it up
and threw it away
and sat there, smiling, remembering
how much in love we were
and how beautiful you were
Some days are
When I was young
(just last Tuesday)
the world was a wondorous place
a grand, great-to-be-alive place
but, full of unanswered riddles
and mysterious things
I could never hope
to understand
But, now it’s Wednesday
and I am older
(I’m always older on Wednesdays)
and the world
is still very much the same
Tomorrow, if it’s Thursday
I may be a drum (I’m not always a drum on Thursday)


I want
I want to love you
to find the key
that unlocks the door
to the soft warm core
inside of you
To soothe for a moment
the fierce fear
that bares its claws
when love comes near
To strip you bare
of every care
and linger in the light
of your loving eyes
To share the secrets
hidden deep
in the darkest corners
of your soul
To make your memories
of loving sweeter
To caress you
gentle you
kiss you
keep you
embrace you
and set you free
I want to love you.


Lemonade afternoons, ice cream Sunday haiku

Lemonade afternoon
slowly front porch swinging
passing neighbor waves.


Walking barefoot
on fresh mown grass
the old one smiles


Lemonade afternoon
fades into twilight
fireflies tango over the lawn


Ice cream Sunday
young girl in pink dress
savors strawberry sundae.

July 28-August 3: Richard Fein and Gary Barnes

Week of July 28-August 3

Richard Fein and Gary Barnes

Richard Fein
bardbyte@idt.net

Bio(auto)

I live in planet Brooklyn, in the galaxy of New York I have been published in numerous E-zines and print journals Some of the print journals are: BlueUnicorn, Soundings East, the Macguffin, Z Miscellaneous, Orphic Lute, Oregon East Birmingham Poetry Review, Droplet Journal, Zuzu’s Petals, Touchstone, Windsor Review, Maverick, Sonoma Mandala Literary Review, Hollins Critic, Ellipsis, Roanoke Review Parnassus Literary Review, Half Tones to Jubilee.

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

End of a Summer’s Drive

Even her sweat could seduce;
his hand sweeps across the vinyl seat
and he tastes her salty residue on his fingers Through the windshield, in humid July, he sees
her hair, her blouse, her shorts, recede She turns the corner,
gone He is left only with her impression
on the car seat cover Underneath the foam freed at last from the weight
of her buttocks and bare thighs,
slowly rises till the outline fades, 
and the seat cover returns to the flat and level One last time his fingers caress the seat
searching for a trace of salt to preserve the moment.


Forensic Truth

Factually it’s wrong The error probably arose from a misperception,
a sloppy unscientific observation,
but myths die hard, unlike flesh Perhaps the myth was born from a desperate hope
that within a stilled finger remains a spark
awaiting rekindling by a magical breath
which somehow will again rage as a fire and rouge an ashen face,
or perhaps the myth is simply a failure to let go But no cabal of life rests on the nail bed,
no last holdout of the animate hides within a cuticle,
no spark flares to an eternal flame,
at least no corporeal spark,
not a
growing but a shriveling The nail itself is lifeless and always was The illusion springs from the surrounding flesh,
it simply dehydrates, wrinkles, peels away,
the fold of tissue relaxes its grip The nail remains staid and stoic,
and as unyielding and palpable as rigor mortis The flesh is cold to the touch No skeleton finger points the way up or down Those seeking myths of eternity from the tangible will be disappointed For death will always do what it’s meant to do,
survive the living.


Brighton Beach Back Alley Secret

Painted on the entire back wall, two stories high, eclipsed
by the perpetual shadow of the latter built six story tenements
which now enclose the gray courtyard,
is the call of a forgotten cause,
“WORKERS, READ THE DAILY WORKER “
That building:
once the Communist party headquarters,
then a dance hall for overaged singles,
then a bingo parlor for those who met and married at the hall,
is now a bank
that faces the el where underneath
Russian Jewish emigrants walk
in the dappled light, finally,
without ever having to glance backwards That soot-layered sign,
only bored housewives looking out of dirty kitchen windows,
and an idle poet, who shall remain nameless,
have the time to make out its barely legible words But if the tenements are torn down and the tenants evicted
to make way for luxury co-ops,
then briefly the sign will again be visible
all the way to the ocean,
where bathers float on the tides.


Reflections While on the Madison Avenue Route

She is a trooper in an army of dreamers,
head-turning models armed with portfolios
of glossies of their every pose She is both in the back and front of me The beauty behind me is real—
but the angel I face is virtual,
a creature of bus smoke and mirrors,
a vision in a sooty glass Both are untouchable
In the window her face and mine move to kissing closeness My face is then eclipsed by hers I become gorgeous, a beauty in the beast I could toss my hair and get a million dollars for my smile
as the cameras roll;
then the light shifts,
and suddenly I’m some peddler selling papers on the street Beauty alights from our city chariot,
and passes my window Now we really are face to face But her eyes are fixed
on the Madison Avenue skyscrapers
where high above this lumbering bus
are scores of ad and talent agencies My dream pursues a dream
of cameras tricks and bent light-beams.


Under a Nova Star

There is nothing new under the sun,
but on the last day the sun will go nova In the heavens there will nothing but light,
and where all is light no one stands in anyone’s shadow But what will be the literal truth?
Under the midnight sky there will be no one living
to witness Mars and Jupiter brighten the dark,
as the planet gods bask
in the reflection of that convulsing light Nor will the last of the living look to the east,
to behold a star dawning in an angry red,
No wise men bearing gifts will plod in cool sands No Savior to find Nothing to save
For the searing wind will have stirred to a whirlwind, 
which will be circling the earth
gathering into it all that could move The Judas heaven will give no eternal life,
as a tightening belt of heat
cauterizes the earth of all flesh The dead world will still turn,
and on it each cracked rock will face the burning dawn,
then the dusk, then the dawn, then the dusk,
in a world where dawn and dusk no longer have meaning.

Gary Barnes
sojisan@fls.infi.net
http://www.geocities.com/Paris/LeftBank/1042

http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/1042

Bio(auto)

sojisan, geebee, Randy .those are a few of the names I’m known by around the Net (one of my consuming interests at this point) My other interests include poetry (obviously), spirituality, cartooning, Renaissance Faires and finding the worlds best doughnut Born in 1938, I sometimes feel lost between two generations, maybe three For those interested in that sort of thing, I am an electronics/computer tech The most interesting job I ever had was working on the Glomar Challenger, a deep sea research ship, as the resident computer tech , cartoonist an movie projector operator My biggest pet peeve is people who throw away chewing gum anywhere that others may have to walk

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


old letters
I was going through some old letters
a few days ago
when I came across a picture of you
from all those years ago It was sort of odd too, because
just a couple of days ago
I’d been thinking of you
and how beautiful you were
I smiled when I saw you there,
then I frowned I hadn’t remembered
your nose being quite that large
or the way your right eyelid drooped
a little more than the left
and I wondered if
you always had your hair done that way
It had to have been a bad picture,
so I crumpled it up
and threw it away
and sat there, smiling, remembering
how much in love we were
and how beautiful you were
Some days are
When I was young
(just last Tuesday)
the world was a wondorous place
a grand, great-to-be-alive place
but, full of unanswered riddles
and mysterious things
I could never hope
to understand
But, now it’s Wednesday
and I am older
(I’m always older on Wednesdays)
and the world
is still very much the same
Tomorrow, if it’s Thursday
I may be a drum (I’m not always a drum on Thursday)


I want
I want to love you
to find the key
that unlocks the door
to the soft warm core
inside of you
To soothe for a moment
the fierce fear
that bares its claws
when love comes near
To strip you bare
of every care
and linger in the light
of your loving eyes
To share the secrets
hidden deep
in the darkest corners
of your soul
To make your memories
of loving sweeter
To caress you
gentle you
kiss you
keep you
embrace you
and set you free
I want to love you.


Lemonade afternoons, ice cream Sunday haiku

Lemonade afternoon
slowly front porch swinging
passing neighbor waves.


Walking barefoot
on fresh mown grass
the old one smiles


Lemonade afternoon
fades into twilight
fireflies tango over the lawn


Ice cream Sunday
young girl in pink dress
savors strawberry sundae.

July 21-July 27: Elizabeth Sim Peña and Larry Winfield

Week of July 21-July 27

Elizabeth Sim Peña and Larry Winfield

Elizabeth Sim Peña
miyu@earthlink.net
http://www.pdsnorth.com/~miyu

Bio(auto)

Elizabeth Sim Peña is 17 years of age (birthday in one week!!!) and has just moved in to Pullman Washington from Seattle She has been writing poetry and song lyrics since her freshman year in high school She has been published in various magazines across the Internet as well as newspapers and school related anthologies She is currently working on a poetry book entitled “Travels of Love and Shelter” She is also a student at Washington State University majoring in Poetry and minring in either Astronomy or something else that just happens to interests her Her work is displayed at her website as well as her online electronic magazine called Little Flames.

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

Ode to a Tree .in 12+1
I Tree:
One trunk, two legs Endless arms extend towards
An army of white clouds
II Winds
And its rhythm in the leaves Leaves: A million fragments of broken glass
Diving into a foamy sea of an endless depth
Hitting the ground to march like soldiers holding prisms
III Swaying back and forth
Creaking to the rhythm of the wind The Forbidden Dance of two lovers
IV Trees with their uneven branches
Sleep through Christmases and El Dia De Los Reyes
V Life born from a single seed
To a strong and sturdy foundation
And each branch a different route
To your destiny
VI Loose and flexible–those branches Perhaps the hair of some young girl dancing
In the mixture of nature’s watercolors
VII The immaculate shelter
To some poor finch
Lost in the rain
Lost in the tree
VIII The subject of countless painters
And countless poems
Such as this one

IX The support force
For endless man made objects and body parts
Such as tents, hammocks
Hands, feet, and backs
X The easy target for bratty children
The rubber stopper for darts,
Bullets, and bird shit
XI Standing tall and proud
One of the oldest damn things
That have the right to say
“I have found the fountain of youth”
XII The outer image
Of a woman’s fantasy:
A strong man who
Always keeps quiet
And never talks back
Finally +1

A tree The center of my soul The bearer of apples, oranges
And other such delicacies The shelter from nature’s falling water
And the killer of people
When Zeus becomes angry.


Hades

The DRY, cracked, and infertile earth Not just the killer of weeds
But of roses, lilacs, and sunflowers too
He is the star with the missing leg,
The broken wheel on the family’s expensive Lexus,
That perfect pearl necklace that would look so beautiful with that dress Maybe even the cheap zircona that should have been the diamond
As a small child of 8 I was
With semi broken arms, bruised dignity,
And black eyes on a porcelain face
The phases of the moon
Were the times I died
And my twitching heart felt
A sudden rough pull by
Dry, Cracked hands
Encapsulated in a fragile-red frame,
Hands enveloped it and pulled it out
This heart of mine
Once red now stricken with the blackest sin
Lay beside the rest of the hearts
He had taken and never given back
Youth lost and dignity crushed Amen.


Inside

What a hot day Its a hot day but its getting so cold inside me So cold that I am getting frost bitten
Inside my veins are weak =20
Inside, they mean nothing I wish I could be a beautiful baby like that girl I wish I could have dreams about Barbie=20
instead of nightmares about Ken
You can’t hear me scream because, inside, I am mute You can’t hear my thoughts because, inside, I am dumb Dumb and self destructive.

Larry Winfield
mediapoet@geocities.com

Bio(auto)

Larry Winfield writes poems, occasional short stories and produces short films He has been active on the Chicago Poetry Scene since 1990 He currently leads a ‘sonic wordjam’ poet’s band called Brass Orchid

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


d’you ever stop to notice a bubble?
the delicious cacophany of melted rainbows
madly encircling its globe recombinant, glistening burning itself into gray skin exploding into evaporated shards scattered breath mating with
the afternoon sun.


“no north”

ancestors came north to play the blues
instead of just livin’ blue
but that’s way back when;
now it’s all day everyday generic motherf blues
and no north to run to,
but i tell myself, don’t sweat it-
go easy, go cool,
slide big shoulder style,
go walkabout through the back alleys downtown
through the steaming entrails of the Loop,
smelling exhaust fumes and executive piss go easy, go cool
past the empty suits
who’ve gained the world and lost their minds
lost their way in a maze of conformity remember the good old days, of
confusion,
paranoia,
easy slogans
cheap dope
and clear enemies?
.i do try to forget the thousand shocks
that flesh is heir to-
neighborhoods in decline
lives in eclipse;
try to forget furtive days spent running in circles yeah, go easy, go cool into the sunset,
go sanguine, go glacial hold tight to daydreams of red-hot summers
boardrooms city halls covered in ash
bathed in crimson,
postpone your personal homeboy armageddon
one more day
and walk that walk-
the cool jazz acid house acid rock stomp;
dance through the pervasive demonizing
coonman bogeyman slop
like Stagger Lee
dancing strutting through blood and bones and broken glass
like a ghost dog in the machine
like a shark trying to breathe
like a fuse .being moistened go easy, go cool on your appointed rounds;
long as you go forward
don’t need to go north anymore go sanguine go glacial .stay sublime .


Anyday in June

the sweetest fruit is your smile in the haze of dawn the sweetest fruit surrounds us,
misted, electric,
sustains us through plodding schedules, timetables,
becomes the line of flesh we create again, at last lazy laughter tumbles from occupied hands, busy mouths,
song of late day’s prayed-for caresses we roll and change positions, each now controlling
each consumed,
pulled by the heat of summer’s music,
melody of skin colliding in rhythm we dance one inside the other,
we walk the line of dusk, the soft crack between worlds,
almost dreaming, fluid,
lost in clenched muffled cryings out-
sweetest fruit plucked from the tree of life
clover tickles your thighs, your neck,
soft breathing returns I lay blades of grass in the shallow valley
between your breasts stars claim the sky,
the backbone of night, adrift.

July 21-July 27: Elizabeth Sim Peña and Larry Winfield

Week of July 21-July 27

Elizabeth Sim Peña and Larry Winfield

Elizabeth Sim Peña
miyu@earthlink.net
http://www.pdsnorth.com/~miyu

Bio(auto)

Elizabeth Sim Peña is 17 years of age (birthday in one week!!!) and has just moved in to Pullman Washington from Seattle She has been writing poetry and song lyrics since her freshman year in high school She has been published in various magazines across the Internet as well as newspapers and school related anthologies She is currently working on a poetry book entitled “Travels of Love and Shelter” She is also a student at Washington State University majoring in Poetry and minring in either Astronomy or something else that just happens to interests her Her work is displayed at her website as well as her online electronic magazine called Little Flames.

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

Ode to a Tree .in 12+1
I Tree:
One trunk, two legs Endless arms extend towards
An army of white clouds
II Winds
And its rhythm in the leaves Leaves: A million fragments of broken glass
Diving into a foamy sea of an endless depth
Hitting the ground to march like soldiers holding prisms
III Swaying back and forth
Creaking to the rhythm of the wind The Forbidden Dance of two lovers
IV Trees with their uneven branches
Sleep through Christmases and El Dia De Los Reyes
V Life born from a single seed
To a strong and sturdy foundation
And each branch a different route
To your destiny
VI Loose and flexible–those branches Perhaps the hair of some young girl dancing
In the mixture of nature’s watercolors
VII The immaculate shelter
To some poor finch
Lost in the rain
Lost in the tree
VIII The subject of countless painters
And countless poems
Such as this one

IX The support force
For endless man made objects and body parts
Such as tents, hammocks
Hands, feet, and backs
X The easy target for bratty children
The rubber stopper for darts,
Bullets, and bird shit
XI Standing tall and proud
One of the oldest damn things
That have the right to say
“I have found the fountain of youth”
XII The outer image
Of a woman’s fantasy:
A strong man who
Always keeps quiet
And never talks back
Finally +1

A tree The center of my soul The bearer of apples, oranges
And other such delicacies The shelter from nature’s falling water
And the killer of people
When Zeus becomes angry.


Hades

The DRY, cracked, and infertile earth Not just the killer of weeds
But of roses, lilacs, and sunflowers too
He is the star with the missing leg,
The broken wheel on the family’s expensive Lexus,
That perfect pearl necklace that would look so beautiful with that dress Maybe even the cheap zircona that should have been the diamond
As a small child of 8 I was
With semi broken arms, bruised dignity,
And black eyes on a porcelain face
The phases of the moon
Were the times I died
And my twitching heart felt
A sudden rough pull by
Dry, Cracked hands
Encapsulated in a fragile-red frame,
Hands enveloped it and pulled it out
This heart of mine
Once red now stricken with the blackest sin
Lay beside the rest of the hearts
He had taken and never given back
Youth lost and dignity crushed Amen.


Inside

What a hot day Its a hot day but its getting so cold inside me So cold that I am getting frost bitten
Inside my veins are weak =20
Inside, they mean nothing I wish I could be a beautiful baby like that girl I wish I could have dreams about Barbie=20
instead of nightmares about Ken
You can’t hear me scream because, inside, I am mute You can’t hear my thoughts because, inside, I am dumb Dumb and self destructive.

Larry Winfield
mediapoet@geocities.com

Bio(auto)

Larry Winfield writes poems, occasional short stories and produces short films He has been active on the Chicago Poetry Scene since 1990 He currently leads a ‘sonic wordjam’ poet’s band called Brass Orchid

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


d’you ever stop to notice a bubble?
the delicious cacophany of melted rainbows
madly encircling its globe recombinant, glistening burning itself into gray skin exploding into evaporated shards scattered breath mating with
the afternoon sun.


“no north”

ancestors came north to play the blues
instead of just livin’ blue
but that’s way back when;
now it’s all day everyday generic motherf blues
and no north to run to,
but i tell myself, don’t sweat it-
go easy, go cool,
slide big shoulder style,
go walkabout through the back alleys downtown
through the steaming entrails of the Loop,
smelling exhaust fumes and executive piss go easy, go cool
past the empty suits
who’ve gained the world and lost their minds
lost their way in a maze of conformity remember the good old days, of
confusion,
paranoia,
easy slogans
cheap dope
and clear enemies?
.i do try to forget the thousand shocks
that flesh is heir to-
neighborhoods in decline
lives in eclipse;
try to forget furtive days spent running in circles yeah, go easy, go cool into the sunset,
go sanguine, go glacial hold tight to daydreams of red-hot summers
boardrooms city halls covered in ash
bathed in crimson,
postpone your personal homeboy armageddon
one more day
and walk that walk-
the cool jazz acid house acid rock stomp;
dance through the pervasive demonizing
coonman bogeyman slop
like Stagger Lee
dancing strutting through blood and bones and broken glass
like a ghost dog in the machine
like a shark trying to breathe
like a fuse .being moistened go easy, go cool on your appointed rounds;
long as you go forward
don’t need to go north anymore go sanguine go glacial .stay sublime .


Anyday in June

the sweetest fruit is your smile in the haze of dawn the sweetest fruit surrounds us,
misted, electric,
sustains us through plodding schedules, timetables,
becomes the line of flesh we create again, at last lazy laughter tumbles from occupied hands, busy mouths,
song of late day’s prayed-for caresses we roll and change positions, each now controlling
each consumed,
pulled by the heat of summer’s music,
melody of skin colliding in rhythm we dance one inside the other,
we walk the line of dusk, the soft crack between worlds,
almost dreaming, fluid,
lost in clenched muffled cryings out-
sweetest fruit plucked from the tree of life
clover tickles your thighs, your neck,
soft breathing returns I lay blades of grass in the shallow valley
between your breasts stars claim the sky,
the backbone of night, adrift.

July 14-20 1997: Robert E Kogan and Merideth Johnston

week of July 14-20 1997

Robert E Kogan and Merideth Johnston

Robert E Kogan
CUAL59A@prodigy.com
http://www.geocities.com/Paris/LeftBank/9483/index.html

Bio(auto)

I retired a year ago last July after working for over 28 years in the field of mental health administration I was born in Wichita Kansas, but moved to Dallas, Texas when I was 9 years old I presently reside in Weatherford, Oklahoma.I obtained my BA in Texas, my MA at Goddard, and a non traditional Ph.D about ten years ago in order to please my mother She always wanted to have a Dr as a son
My hobbies include meeting people, writing poetry and short stories for children, playing bridge (Life Master), and the oriental game of GO

In addition to my home page of poetry I have had many of my my poems published in:

* The American Bard
* The American Poet
* The Golden Quill Anthology
* Prairie Poet
* A.F.P.S Anthology
* The Rambler
* The Blair Press
* Stars and Stripes
* The Doylestown Daily Intelligencer
* Orison

And a privately published collection titled The New Creation and Other Poems

I have also been featured as Poet of the Week at Poetic Express,  The Poetry Exchange, and Poet of the Month at The Poetry Pond.

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

The City

The city is a symbol–
Both good and evil It is blessed and damned by
its living,
And haunted by its dead
It is the City of the Covenant It felt the footsteps of the Master,
and in loneliness, awaits its final
spiritualization
It has given birth to creativity It is an island, waiting for return
of its own Almustafa
Sidewalks offer a unique adventure–
Uncharted discovery of movement and fantasy Sidewalks speak of Summer madness
And forgotten poets menuized Night envelops both sun and sidewalk dreams
The City has produce another play:
tragedy — comedy:
It has survived another day Yellow cabs take actors on their way Some to rooms to recollect the drama,
Some to leave, while others mourn their stay
The City has become the mirror of
our soul:
A reflection of our sophistication:
A reflection of our savagery:
A reflection of our mortality
And a promise of our hope


Reflections

There I was, minding my own business,
When quite unexpectedly,
you entered my life Suddenly you were there,
and I remembered You were always there,
Taunting me, haunting me
Was it a dream or was it real–
Are you the missing that I feel?
Are you waiting, debating wanting me?

But when I tried to grasp or clutch
or see your face or feel your touch
you vanished from my thoughts,
to join my other distant memories
And then you came to me I heard your laugh and felt your smile,
Your words returned to reconcile
A distant promise of the past–
For you are real and came at last
Like gentle rain upon my screen
Your words arrived and could be seen–
Each word became a magic tear
That I had shed year after year
No momentous announcement!
No grand opening sale I’ll continue doing whatever I do,
Minding my own business–
Secure in the knowledge that
Love is not a dream but real–
Sometime lost, seldom found–
But close enough to always be
What might have been.


My Past/My Life

http://www.mypast/mylife

Somewhere out in cyberspace
on some obscure web page
lies the eternal fountain of youth,
just waiting, always waiting
to be discovered Waiting for the right URL to be entered
to relive the dreams that have been saved
of our forgotten past–
to explore the all the todays
that might have been,
and reveal the promises we prayed
awaited us in all of our tomorrows
I wanted to find my past,
rediscover my life;
and edit all that might appear upon my screen Remove the wrinkles of my flesh,
Delete the illness and my pain
Restore the zest and vigor of my passion
And download the knowledge and wisdom
I have gathered through the years
to give to my youth who has need of it
But I cannot find the proper address Each time I enter a message error appears
upon my screen Stating the pages of my life remain unknown,
and cannot be accessed by my server
I must not have read the small print The monthly
fee of $19.95 for unlimited access does not cover
access to the web page of my life, nor will I
always be around to pay my monthly bill.


Starry Night

You are my love, my art My torment straight from hell
Should you but ask,
I would not only live for you,
But die for you as well
I gazed upon a Starry Night
And searched the sky for you my dear,
It hopes to find a gift just right,
But nothing would appear
To be the gift of love and light,
So I severed off my ear
I wrapped it my canvas
Painted yellow, red and gold–
For you to cherish often–
To fondle and to hold
For those were the words you whispered
When I asked how my love must appear,
And you answered with mirth and laughter–
That you wanted a gift of my ear–

The ear that heard your laughter–
The ear that your lips softly kissed–
And two on my face have been painted,
So one will never be missed

For you are my love, my art My torment straight from hell
Should you but ask,
I would not only live for you,
But die for you as well.

Merideth Johnston
merideth@sky.net
http://www.sky.net/~merideth/

Bio(auto)

Merideth Pennington was born July 6, 1950, in Minneapolis, MN The daughter of a preacher, she has moved many times in her life,  including the states of Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, California,  and Missouri She married Robert Johnston in 1982, and they currently live in Kansas City, MO.

She started painting around 1976, and has done many local art shows, including Westport, a Kansas City showcase After a several-year loss of inspiration, she has returned to painting, this time on the computer instead of pastels.

With the advent of the computer in her life, she branched out to writing poetry, inspired by an artist-poet she met on the ‘net Encouraged, she subscribed to the Writer’s and Poet’s discussion list, where she has grown as a poet and a person.

Merideth has been published in _Poetry In Motion_, the quarterly publication of the National Poet’s Association, a small but beautiful magazine, and in _Intimate Thoughts_, a monthly publication out of Chicago

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


The following three poems originally appeared in “Poetry In Motion”,  a quarterly journal.


Footprints

Following the footprints of your mind
movement, rhythm, cadence, and rhyme
teaching me to dance one step at a time
How do you do it without force or coercion
so elegant and gentle, strong yet kind
the beauty, the grace, the power of your mind
You’ve uncurled my legs from the fetal position
first to stand, then to walk, then to dance
forever the freedom to think my own mind.


My Usual Face

I’m walking down the street
and find myself smiling A stranger looks at me in surprise,
“You’re smiling, I love you!” he says Why do you suppose that is?

Has he seen me before?
Does he know I never smile?
The smile was there because
I was thinking of you,
and I forgot my usual face.


The Long Walk

I walk my tongue
across the continents
of your skin

Rest in the valley
of your belly
smooth and hard

Climb the mountain
of your ribs
tall and rugged

Swim the river
of your lips
warm and wet

Search the cavern
of your mouth
and mate
with your tongue.

July 14-20 1997: Robert E Kogan and Merideth Johnston

week of July 14-20 1997

Robert E Kogan and Merideth Johnston

Robert E Kogan
CUAL59A@prodigy.com
http://www.geocities.com/Paris/LeftBank/9483/index.html

Bio(auto)

I retired a year ago last July after working for over 28 years in the field of mental health administration I was born in Wichita Kansas, but moved to Dallas, Texas when I was 9 years old I presently reside in Weatherford, Oklahoma.I obtained my BA in Texas, my MA at Goddard, and a non traditional Ph.D about ten years ago in order to please my mother She always wanted to have a Dr as a son
My hobbies include meeting people, writing poetry and short stories for children, playing bridge (Life Master), and the oriental game of GO

In addition to my home page of poetry I have had many of my my poems published in:

* The American Bard
* The American Poet
* The Golden Quill Anthology
* Prairie Poet
* A.F.P.S Anthology
* The Rambler
* The Blair Press
* Stars and Stripes
* The Doylestown Daily Intelligencer
* Orison

And a privately published collection titled The New Creation and Other Poems

I have also been featured as Poet of the Week at Poetic Express,  The Poetry Exchange, and Poet of the Month at The Poetry Pond.

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

The City

The city is a symbol–
Both good and evil It is blessed and damned by
its living,
And haunted by its dead
It is the City of the Covenant It felt the footsteps of the Master,
and in loneliness, awaits its final
spiritualization
It has given birth to creativity It is an island, waiting for return
of its own Almustafa
Sidewalks offer a unique adventure–
Uncharted discovery of movement and fantasy Sidewalks speak of Summer madness
And forgotten poets menuized Night envelops both sun and sidewalk dreams
The City has produce another play:
tragedy — comedy:
It has survived another day Yellow cabs take actors on their way Some to rooms to recollect the drama,
Some to leave, while others mourn their stay
The City has become the mirror of
our soul:
A reflection of our sophistication:
A reflection of our savagery:
A reflection of our mortality
And a promise of our hope


Reflections

There I was, minding my own business,
When quite unexpectedly,
you entered my life Suddenly you were there,
and I remembered You were always there,
Taunting me, haunting me
Was it a dream or was it real–
Are you the missing that I feel?
Are you waiting, debating wanting me?

But when I tried to grasp or clutch
or see your face or feel your touch
you vanished from my thoughts,
to join my other distant memories
And then you came to me I heard your laugh and felt your smile,
Your words returned to reconcile
A distant promise of the past–
For you are real and came at last
Like gentle rain upon my screen
Your words arrived and could be seen–
Each word became a magic tear
That I had shed year after year
No momentous announcement!
No grand opening sale I’ll continue doing whatever I do,
Minding my own business–
Secure in the knowledge that
Love is not a dream but real–
Sometime lost, seldom found–
But close enough to always be
What might have been.


My Past/My Life

http://www.mypast/mylife

Somewhere out in cyberspace
on some obscure web page
lies the eternal fountain of youth,
just waiting, always waiting
to be discovered Waiting for the right URL to be entered
to relive the dreams that have been saved
of our forgotten past–
to explore the all the todays
that might have been,
and reveal the promises we prayed
awaited us in all of our tomorrows
I wanted to find my past,
rediscover my life;
and edit all that might appear upon my screen Remove the wrinkles of my flesh,
Delete the illness and my pain
Restore the zest and vigor of my passion
And download the knowledge and wisdom
I have gathered through the years
to give to my youth who has need of it
But I cannot find the proper address Each time I enter a message error appears
upon my screen Stating the pages of my life remain unknown,
and cannot be accessed by my server
I must not have read the small print The monthly
fee of $19.95 for unlimited access does not cover
access to the web page of my life, nor will I
always be around to pay my monthly bill.


Starry Night

You are my love, my art My torment straight from hell
Should you but ask,
I would not only live for you,
But die for you as well
I gazed upon a Starry Night
And searched the sky for you my dear,
It hopes to find a gift just right,
But nothing would appear
To be the gift of love and light,
So I severed off my ear
I wrapped it my canvas
Painted yellow, red and gold–
For you to cherish often–
To fondle and to hold
For those were the words you whispered
When I asked how my love must appear,
And you answered with mirth and laughter–
That you wanted a gift of my ear–

The ear that heard your laughter–
The ear that your lips softly kissed–
And two on my face have been painted,
So one will never be missed

For you are my love, my art My torment straight from hell
Should you but ask,
I would not only live for you,
But die for you as well.

Merideth Johnston
merideth@sky.net
http://www.sky.net/~merideth/

Bio(auto)

Merideth Pennington was born July 6, 1950, in Minneapolis, MN The daughter of a preacher, she has moved many times in her life,  including the states of Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, California,  and Missouri She married Robert Johnston in 1982, and they currently live in Kansas City, MO.

She started painting around 1976, and has done many local art shows, including Westport, a Kansas City showcase After a several-year loss of inspiration, she has returned to painting, this time on the computer instead of pastels.

With the advent of the computer in her life, she branched out to writing poetry, inspired by an artist-poet she met on the ‘net Encouraged, she subscribed to the Writer’s and Poet’s discussion list, where she has grown as a poet and a person.

Merideth has been published in _Poetry In Motion_, the quarterly publication of the National Poet’s Association, a small but beautiful magazine, and in _Intimate Thoughts_, a monthly publication out of Chicago

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


The following three poems originally appeared in “Poetry In Motion”,  a quarterly journal.


Footprints

Following the footprints of your mind
movement, rhythm, cadence, and rhyme
teaching me to dance one step at a time
How do you do it without force or coercion
so elegant and gentle, strong yet kind
the beauty, the grace, the power of your mind
You’ve uncurled my legs from the fetal position
first to stand, then to walk, then to dance
forever the freedom to think my own mind.


My Usual Face

I’m walking down the street
and find myself smiling A stranger looks at me in surprise,
“You’re smiling, I love you!” he says Why do you suppose that is?

Has he seen me before?
Does he know I never smile?
The smile was there because
I was thinking of you,
and I forgot my usual face.


The Long Walk

I walk my tongue
across the continents
of your skin

Rest in the valley
of your belly
smooth and hard

Climb the mountain
of your ribs
tall and rugged

Swim the river
of your lips
warm and wet

Search the cavern
of your mouth
and mate
with your tongue.

July 7-July 13, 1997: Scott Dexter and Dusty

Week of July 7-July 13

Scott Dexter and Dusty

Scott Dexter
sgd@fastlane.net

Bio(auto)

Scott Dexter is a computer geek He’s also a sport nut He’s also a bar back/bartender at a dance club No, he doesn’t write drunk Probably should, though Bug him at sgd@fastlane.net

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

spoon me (and dont say a word)

air light white noise
dancing in my eardrums,
pound hounding away in bubblegum bouncing time;
the dogsled races
chasing the cup around my head

–these thoughts thundering down
backwards bought and selling me
vegas wares and share
and share alike
i know how to scuba dive:
reach down shuck in time
just in time,
pearl treasure a sunset
a free frequent flyer mile trip
home
these send me to the moon, alice, to the moon
look at this
electrical surge
bottom bracket low brow budgetting
and tell me you dont like
minnesota snow starry eyed nights
lip dancing ski lodge upbringings
–firelog simple start affairs
flick a switch solve an itch,
and finish.


when mona slept on top of me

there was a fire and in an instant
i was water, but unquenching as i
could not really be putting you out
but more or less on i blew your candle,
an elm like resistance became your
rally crying to race against my turtled
shoein for a tongue
then there was the best sheets to deal
with, not really light as your kitchen,
but unsubstantially bitten and cut along the longest edge was i, there to keep you
from sinking into my abysmal for a taunt
there was argument, sappy and unbewildered
bickering dogs running up and down, up
and down this time leaving the ferry behind dealing with unsubstantiated was just that clueless i maintained, with a telescoping
probing guiding my ignorance and your misguidance dancing on top of me as you burned i dealt to put
you out not more or less on, failure redeeming
as i thought.

Dusty
webmaster@illyria.com
http://www.illyria.com/dustyhp.html

Bio(auto)

Dusty served with the Army Nurse Corps and was stationed at several hospitals and a clearing company during her two tours of duty in Vietnam Her service was from 1966-68

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


12th Evac

(First appeared in “Incoming!”, Vol I, Issue 2, Island Poets 1995
Ed Barbara Menghini Whitmarsh )

The hands remember what the mind evades:
death’s quiet chill creeping from toes toward heart
the crepitation of pneumothorax
skin become pebbly where blasted with shrapnel
the tentative fluttering of terminal shock

The nightmares remember what the hands forget:
blowflies feasting on clotted bandages
the pounding of Hueys counting cadence for pulses
boots sliding and sticking in gore on the floor
the stormy tint of blasted bone
ranks of IV bottles clinking in chorus–
temple bells of mindfulness standing as sentinels
vigilant against the next crimson monsoon

The soul remembers what the heart disavows:
being mortally wounded by each soldier who died.


“Vietnam Canon”

(Originally appeared in Between the Heartbeats, Univ of Iowa Press, 1995 Eds Cortney Davis and Judy Schaeffer )

Counting pulses and marking measures, she notes
clamorous tempos staccato and terrified,
sprightly meters syncopated and shocky,
sinuous adagios and ultimate arpeggios
sliding down codas of boogie-woogie boylives
Amid bebop, bluegrass, hardrock warriors
she feels one small boysoul conducting Mozart
Eine Kleine Nachtmusik on the border of Cambodia
his countenance evocative of El Greco
his age more apropos of Beatles
But men and wars do have a way
of mixing things up.

June 30-July 6: Gregory Stant and Brian Bradley

Week of June 30-July 6

Gregory Stant and Brian Bradley

Gregory Stant
gstant@henge.com

Bio(auto)

SpokenWar

(PSH Editor’s Note: Gregory lives in Denver, has been previously published, and is not a verbose Bio writer )

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

Copper

Waiting for god I stop breath, light a cigarette
Someone pushes me
I fall over A fat Russian wood doll explodes All of the
all-of-me’s spill out
empty
They must be waiting for god, too
Cause when god arrives
god’s less than
god’s been marked up
god’s a rain check
god’s got lactose intolerance
god’s been stepped on
I’ve paid too damn much for god

The hours I’ve invested
praying
without a thought in my head
taste like that time
I got laid
My partners skin
bitter
like sucking on pennies when your really hungry and all you have is this moment
so genuine and tender
but it’s acid pennies stuffed in your mouth god don’t answer when you pray
I thought of that time I got laid
It’s supposed to be so good
Pennies from heaven
trying to put the little wooden figures back together trying to replace intestine
with a finger
and get this taste out of my mouth


Absolved

I’ve suckled decades
tasted still water breast
split lips
bled grimace
Actions predestined
fit a script like a
leg fills a trouser
collecting weight
creating orthroscopy

Inertia swings the G machine
I go
nowhere
round in circles
nowhere
I’ve never moved from here
Open Gabriel palms
with a need to confess
Apparitions haunt
Ghosts taunt
like a chumline sin
Blood in the water
Stigmata on land
When the wine began to flow
I took my place at the house of plenty
helped myself-freely

Bless me father
I don’t know where to begin
There is entropy in absolution-Genocide in grace Freedom leaves
ugly spots on crystal
gather round the table and
remind me to clean my tongue
shave my pallate
and see the shrink
before removal and consumption
Menudo Sabado y Domingo

Bless me father
Help me
absolve me loud
Meet me on the dance floor
twirl ecstasy
watch the lights
and kiss me hard on the lips
Lemmie see a hundred dollars
You can count on me father
To repay a kindness with a kill

To be absolved in something
can’t see; can’t touch
Can’t wrap my hands around it;
put my mouth on it
be absolved in homoerotic fantasy
and never stain the sheets I see the way your lookin, at me and my hard chest
is supposed to weigh like angina
squeezes my butterfly wings
in crucifixion suffocation
The past don’t tumble
with the weight of Sisphisus bible
behind the eight ball
becomes comfortable

Derelict in my duty to remorse
I beseech you
hand on robe
lips to ring

Bless me Father
I don’t know where to begin
Bless me Father
for I have sinned
Bless me Father
I don’t know where to begin
But I believe I know
where to end


Do It

Yeah, 

I wanna do it

and I’ve wanted to do it for a long long time cause I don’t like it here,  and I don’t like life
Life, you fucking prick, nobody ever said you were fair, as if that morsel of homogenized information was gonna make the bend-over-and-spread em,  indignity of this world palatable to my scat stained tongue I have eaten far too much of your shit, and have no patience with those who minimize your autistic cruelty

You are too brutal for my sensitive ass But is sticking my butt cheeks with injections of fear and entropy really in your job description? Don,t you have anything better to do?

I do
You’ll no longer find me out on the streets mixing it up with strangers My psyche’s been withdrawn from the dread depressed chill simple human contact All of you look like images on the TV screen

The skin on your faces is taught and drawn Your lips are rigid and turning blue Your teeth grind in denial of life’s reality You look like you’ve been laid once, a very long time ago

I am shut down like a Pennsylvania steel mill My emotional union has unraveled and become a deadly over stressed cable whose furiously unwinding strands rip and gouge safety from my heart

I will keep life away from me

I don,t have much will to live I do not wish to participate in life If I do, it’s only to relieve the pain The eats at my soul buffet style It grazes on ripe dishes of love and laughter while it attempts to devour my artistic endeavor No, I don,t have much will to live What I do have is an overwhelming desire not to live in pain

When I was young I met Art He was pulling four color silk screen and listening to Frank Zappa Art had this magic , With a story or a song he excused the pain and replaced it with lies that are more long lasting and necessary than masturbation
Art lead me to believe I was actually enjoying myself feeding me narcotic lies wrapped in pseudo intellectual discussions about life The conversations created the illusion that my life mattered

I follow Art to coffee shops where I can fill my quotient of pretentious self indulgent banter intoxicated with caffeine and dreams of getting laid My mind becomes oxygen rich from a speed rap stream of conscious shit talk that breed endorphins that tell me: “Yeah Greg! This art shit some good shit, make no mistake about it, good shit ” My eyes glaze over I BUY THE LIE The life is good lie The you,re gonna be OK lie The I am creating therefore everything gonna be all right lie

I reject and accept a life of honest narcotic lies to protect me from the pain-sincerely drinking your liquor cabinet and injecting the neighborhood pharmacy
I am skin yellow, near death and you have the nerve to put me in treatment You should be putting me out of my misery Give me some smack and a case of Black Jack and I will save us all from a world of shit and heartache
I want to do it, but

I wish to stop all this fruitless breathing but I got a voice inside my head that will not let me The truth of doing myself in tells me that god has a piss poor sense of humor for those of us who wish to destroy his creations-flawed as we may be
I’ve seen my self administered death It is not pretty It’s surrounded by white walls, wears white shoes My botched suicide is helpless and out of control
See

my suicide ends up with bed sores, pissing through tubes, shitting into bags; forced to breath mechanical still life while its’ nurses play rummy Although the monitor reads brain dead-he hears it all

Shoots too much speed and suffers from permanent heart damage You,ve heard it-always out of breath
Paralyzed from the neck down Didn’t drive too well drunk

Gives the 12 gauge a piss poor blow job and ends with ground hamburger for a face
That’s why I’m scared My death always lives The only way out of this life is through the pain and I don,t suffer well at all

I want to do it-but I won’t

I will write this shit till my teeth are ground down to my bloody gums sucking food and cigarettes through a straw I will write this shit because IU have lived the consequences of not

Art’s not pretty, but it’s an ugly little lie I can live with and use to anesthetize my torment It’s a fable of life I don’t have to write in desperation,  paint in fear, or punctuate with terror

So tonight you will find me painting pictures with a brush of tantalizing death Death passes me, wave and smiles like he’s the Grand Marshall in Satan’s Rose parade I stand on lifes’ littered sidewalk biting a mangled lip, awaiting release from the bondage of this earth

And Death waves_ and Death smiles_ but Death doesn’t stop-today

Death, nobody ever said you were fair You are the ultimate prick tease for those of us who desire your shroud
I want to do it-but it is not my job

Brian Bradley
wanton@wanton.com
http://www.wanton.com

Bio(auto)

Brian Bradley is a heavily tattooed forty-two year old recovering addict living and working in the Los Angeles area, whose hobbies and interest include Discovery channel, A&E, poetry, music, sex, motorcycles and writing Brian’s work as writer is greatly influenced by twenty-five years of active drug addiction, sex, petty crime Such experience has given Brian his own unique voice and point of view as a writer Brian has just completed his first novel Highland Avenue, and is hard at work on his next project Brian writes poetry in his spare time

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


Four AM

when I got up this morning
I felt dead and empty inside
I thought about you
it got worse


Missing

you and your wife
appeared out of the
morning

wrapped in the thin pale morning light
that
cast shadow into empty cheeks
kissing hollow eyes
with sleepless
burning hunger

gaunt skeletons
listening
to the wind
murmuring childhood terrors

now I know why you’ve been missing


Reverence

little girls parked in waiting
for love, like fallen rose
petals

abandoned by needs and time
incense to call
the pain of others

laughter
and tears from the
heart

hurt people
who
hurt people
with the intention of
giving and sharing


Steamy

what I need is
slow hot steamy fucking in the
back seat of my car to ease away the
bullshit from work the crap from my ex-wife and the fucking madness of everyday life so I can forget
anything and everything
except these
moments
with you


Early

she pulled herself on to him
in her need
placing him inside of herself
she tried to drive away the pain
tried to erase
her fathers disease
as she rocked herself
to ecstasy

he looked in the mirror
tying to place the memories
after finding no comfort
in her lust

we all watched in silence


Penis

as a young boy I was concerned
about
the size of my penis

I would stand in the corner
of the shower and try to
touch the end of my penis
in the corner

It would never reach

when I got older
I got in to that elusive corner

but by then I had
other problems
touching my belly button
with the end

once I even decided to
blow myself
no luck
I was unable to teach my
penis any new tricks

stupid penis

I’m forty one now
me and my
penis have an uneasy truce

gravity is
working in my favor

Week of June 23-June 29: Amber Cartwright and Steven Kellmeyer

Week of June 23-June 29

Amber Cartwright and Steven Kellmeyer

Amber Cartwright
Amzams@aol.com

Bio(auto)

Amber Cartwright is a Southern Ca native currently planning to move to the more serene surroundings of Sonoma County in Northern Ca She has been writing since age 15, but did not pursue publication till 1995 A former business owner, she is treading through the occupational muck looking for meaningful employment that will also allow her time to persue more writing endeavors (aren’t we all!) Clad in what seems to be a rather cloying conservative persona, bits of various bohemian urges occassionally boil there way to the surface, resulting in the poems she writes -“In my next life, I will come back as Anais Nin or Gertrude Stein “

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

Just Drive He Said

It’s fate,
when a misplaced can of tuna
beats to death the flower bouquet
that I spent twenty minutes choosing
I have the same problem driving with melons escaping their thin recyclable constraints turning the romaine into inevitably impotent Caesar -sans the anchovies

but I can play along
hoping for a red light
when I’ve managed to fish out a pen
and a piece of stray mail
to record thoughts like these on I do this when in a hurry
making lights forever green
the same effect can be achieved
by trying to open a difficult gum wrapper while driving-if you have an appointment that requires fresh breath, you’re guaranteed a timely arrival
but with gum on your thumbs.


Mango

Peel away each segment of skin
Put to your mouth and strip away
its sticky sweetness with your teeth
Following each motion with a firm press of the lips so as to catch any
escaping droplets of flavor

Then slice meaty segments of fruit
off of the oblong pit save these Rape pit with teeth
Sucking away the juicy pulp on all sides pushing through fibrous honey with the tongue

Let juice run down your hands to the heels of your palms and down the side of your mouth
Raise a fork and pierce a segment of saved mango flesh place this in the mouth and crush its essence out all over your tongue
Swallow and sigh.


Holding Up the Bar

The straw that broke
stands upright
about a meter away
from my pack of Camels
and conducts 80 proof peace
past my jaded lips
This sorrow won’t drown
I think it can tread water indefinitely
the alcohol adding buoyancy
to this craft of melancholy
Finite sources
of faded green papyrus
wedged between
I.D ‘s, lipstick and aspirin
dictate how much deeper
this well can get
but it doesn’t define for me
the very limits
of rock bottom But why should I worry,
when all I really need
is another round.


Death and Taxes

I will strip myself naked
to absolve your false doubt
Let you look inside, although
hesitant like an eight year old
that submits to her large uncle
who wields authority too strong
and without necessity for conscience
In the words of social security
it’s as plain as black and white
but it makes me feel less secure
to know that my misfortune
my misguided attempts at the American Dream my subsequent death of pride and honor
are no excuse, no reason to be pardoned
but rather justification to be further financially stripped because no legal ruse
can disarm you, my debtor
you are omnipotent and immortal
and will wait forever
to pick this bone clean.

Steven Kellmeyer
skellmeyer@turner.odos.uiuc.edu

Bio(auto)

I’m an orthodox Catholic who wrote these poems while still an agnostic Looking back on the verses, I see a lot of resonance between Catholic teaching and the ideas I’m trying to express While I am currently living and working as a computer network analyst in Champaign, IL, I am quitting my job the week these poems are published and moving to Steubenville, Ohio, to pursue a theology MA at one of the most orthodox Catholic institutions in the nation, Franciscan University Previous education includes: associate’s in medical lab technology, bachelor’s in computer science, teaching certificate (secondary ed) in mathematics, master’s in modern European history, and a year’s work on a doctorate in the history of science and technology I have worked in every field in which I received a degree I won a 1990 university-wide essay competition at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville,  am the 1991 winner of the Milly Southwood poetry award (also from SIU-E) and was published in their chapbook, “Blue Guitar” Other publications include a personality article on General John Turchin in the October, 1992 issue of Military History, and an article on how to argue the pro-life position coming out in the 1997 June/July issue of Envoy magazine

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


Matchless Beauty

The knurled fingers of his calloused hand
Have raised the leathered cover of the book They follow page by page the storied strand
Of jet-black ink that curls and dots and hooks
Each sun-white page with shadow-threaded words They grasp the square cut thickness of the leaf
And feel the weighty echoes of the wood
Whose shadows limn the wordless soul of grief The poet says each book’s a candle, lit This book is dark, this man illiterate.


Love’s Labor Lost

Our love will not die It has grown slowly between us, rooted
Almost unnoticed
in the union of our lives and ourselves Our love will not die It is grown large Their whispers are useless,
Their knives abandoned,
As I lie, legs wide, languidly watching,
Our love will not die Sow salt in the crystal waters, make the
Primordial, sea-
Yet Achilles emerged from this Lethe Our love will not die Though the hands of masked Aesculapius
Cinch the suture-thin
Noose tight around the tissue’s fetal throat,
Our love will not die.


I have much to do The office memos are waiting, neatly
Ordered, stacked, and grouped
Upon the desk, and my coffee mug steams Eagle flies today The columns of my paycheck, carefully
Aligned, show each small
Deduction and the payment that remains I closed these blinds, though
Light streams through the shutters of our kitchen
Window, where rooms are
Brightly silent, awaiting our return Another memo The ticking hands of the office clock point
Out that my love no
Longer carries part of me within her The coffee is cold.


Starstruck

Think of the long ascension of the light,
The photons formed within the sun’s white core,
Borne through the silent plasm’s glowing roar,
Expelled in streaming plumes into the night;
The nomad journey through the lonely deep,
Through constant, aching darkness, desert-cold;
As miles lengthen, and the years unfold,
Do particles despair? Do photons weep?
But time must wait for those born of the sun;
Eternal present carved, with polished art
The day they seize is chiselled in their heart,
A gift to match the distance they must run Above, the myriad suns-I stand below,
My fingers tingle in the starlights’ glow.


The Narrow Road

A fallen sparrow
Once struggled between my cupped
Hands, trembling with fear
Exhausted, it soon lay still,
Heartbeat its only movement.


The surgeon’s scalpel
Slices cleanly through the man’s
Silent white torso,

The screen’s craggy line now flat,
Its warble, a steady tone
His hand slips between
Bone and spongy lungs to grasp
The chambered muscle,

Fingers of muscle-wrapped bone
Cup silent, muscle-wrapped blood
Now Careful double
Squeeze-atria, ventricles
Firmly delicate,

His own heart beating as though
He were captured in curved hands
Moth white fingers in
The chest’s dark cavern flutter
Around a still flame,

Stubby wings fanning the spark,
Bellows to sputtering life
The red wind rushes
Through the darkness to the coffined
Brain, while far away

A deaf man signs, arm outstretched
Over the most red of seas
With a single hand
Whose fingers hub the tidal
Flow, both flood and neap,

This Canute commands the tide
And weeps at the silent shore.


In A Drugstore

They say this sheath of latex creates safety
I must decide what safety it provides from
the heat of cold anger,
the warmth of a smile,
meeting the parents

They say that salt was sown on ruined Carthage
I must decide what our sterility leaves us,
what is conquered between us,
what we fail to harvest,
what ruins are left behind

They say that walls are founded upon fear I must decide who fears the other more.