December 27, 1999-January 16, 2000: Marcielle Brandler, Michael David Coffey, Mark Marston and Christina Kiplinger-Johns

week of December 27, 1999-January 16, 2000

Marcielle Brandler, Michael David Coffey
Mark Marston and Christina Kiplinger-Johns

Marcielle Brandler
marcielleb@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

Marcielle Brandler’s poetry has been published in journals such as Southern California Anthology, Africa World Press, New Alliance Records, Nueva Generacion Literaturas, and many others.

The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by Marcielle Brandler and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


When I Used to Drive the Fast Lane

I thought it would be easiest,
would get me there fastest,
but I kept getting lost The oncoming lights blinded me
The debris from other failures
always slowed me up So many
times, I took the wrong road
and found I couldn’t get off
So many faces behind speeding
walls and windows I thought
I could see So many eyes in
my rear-view mirror; someone

I could have loved, someone
who thought wrongly of me,
someone I thought I wanted,
someone who broke me

down and left me stranded I wanted to make these happy
times with a song that would
blast to the others But they

were bouncing to their own
tunes or chatting on their
phones, barely aware of
the road There I was, more

alone by searching than if
I’d never gone out The road
cannot love me as separate,
since I am the road.


Decomposing Mystery
(To the Immortal Dancer, Pavlova)

My bare arms
reveal no joy
as joy would

have you
believe it
to be smiling
The beams
which ride on
my shoulders

are inside If ballet
is inherent

in the forest,
one becomes
a forest

only to
intellectualize
trees.


How I Want the Poem to Be

Closer and closer, I draw
it to me, focusing
the unleashed images,
the depth of uncharted
territories, chiseling
the mine of my mind
Where is the poem? How
will I know when I see it?
Will it be a person? Will
it be a voice in my head?
Will it have an odor?
Will I be enlightened
or simply amused?

Must I hold a standard,
or can I simply speak and
write the all-powerful
word? Am I vehicle, or
must I find vehicles?
As I give it birth, it
gives birth to me.


Michael David Coffey
m_d_coffey@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Michael David Coffey , Moscow, Russia and Riverside, California

Poet , Photographer and Plant Pathologist

I am a scientist, a biologist, a citizen of the world In my professional life I have sought to fight the diseases that attack our food crops I am also fascinated by the microbial life some of which plagues our world causing misery and disease As long as I can remember I have also been interested in history, politics and the arts My own artistic outlets were, and are, in photography but about 2 years ago I began writing poetry It was on the way back from a trip to Russia Somewhere in that journey I became intensely interested in some Russian poets, Anna Akhmatova, Marina Tsvetayeva and Yevgeny Yevtushenko And began reading Nikki Giovanni,  Pablo Neruda, and others In two years I have written about a thousand poems My style is my own and I am not unduly influenced by schools or rules Many of my works are posted on my website DeepWaters and selected poems have appeared in various online publications such as Eclectica Magazine, Journal of the Tigerlily, Poetry Downunder,  Poetry4Peace, Seeker Magazine, etc My first published poem And the Children Cried appeared recently in the Artist’s Proof issue of an anthology of poems Will Work for Peace edited by Brett Axel

The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by Michael David Coffey and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Rio


Mountains craving
attention in the
surging foam
of a summer storm
Rio came amid
the brown bodies
Sensuous lips and
curves of hillsides
Enclosing the skyscraper
cathedrals and
tree lined streets
of Leblon

It was a dream
among the chitter
chatter of
Rio’s chic elite
And the disco mania
rocking electric
metallic clatter
of the night club’s
Beatlemania
In Copacabana’s
fertile fields
of tighthipped
swaying princesses
and macho princes

It’s Rio’s prayer
among the surly
surf kisses on
long languid sandy
stretches
And early morning
joggers and
those brown bodies
in micro magnificence
In switch swaying
attention grabbing
provocation
On hot sands and
tie dyed cotton
swathes
And the foamy
surf surging
on sandy souls

It’s dark
and enchanting magic
lights of
Copacabana
And samba soothing
rhythms
So we dance and
flirt to the
play of the jazz
band and
the soft sounds
of the singer
Sensuously
Surging feelings
and swaying
dancing to
the long night

It’s hot and humid
and the high hotel
Room in magical
dusky sultry
breathing
And those soft
brown eyes
And glittering
display of
seductive cloth
Slowly removed
and the
rhythmic magic
of the Southern
night of
whispering
Over and over
again
Climactic
climbing
And Rio was
love
I remember


loosestrife

Tangled barbwire thistles, broken bricks
Glass green emerald shards
Hillocks and mounds
A bombscape field of adventure
Black broken down bicycle
Chariot of fire, armored car
Hurtling through the air
Mud, blue sky, sweat and adventure
At 12 it seemed like paradise
As I patrolled my city block
Bombed flat ten years before

Strange how a war torn field
In a city of destruction
Became my escape to nature
But the thistles, the nettles,
Purple loosestrife in profusion
Were my glory
My whirlwind adventure
And my black rusty steed
It was my freedom from repression
And sometimes, rarely
I went with Margaret there

She was my soulmate
In the forests of a chapel
We built a wooden house there
Like Robin Crusoe in a city block
But this place was behind tall walls
Of decaying brick, crumbling
And within behind the white and black
Chapel
A forest, wild in the city confusion
Dense thickets of young sycamores
That we cut and hewed
And created our seclusion there
A secret place in a secret world
Of youthful joys, native creation


Urban Fusions

Skyline conglomerate, aggregated alps
Confusion, in the traffics belching anger
Sounds reverberating in the glassy canyons
Clanking, groaning, the cable cars
Crunch, fume, steel cables winding
Shouts, slinky tight skirts, lean long
Legs scurrying, hurrying to the lean
Tall pyramidal cathedrals of commerce
Shadows of the urban forest, shrouding
The day’s promise, in sleek limousines
Oriental princesses and bankers
In conurbation fast time, collision
The forest, dark, dense, enclosing
The mad bustle, hustle, commerce chasm
Bookstores, exotic foodstores, fuckstores
Italy in cappuccino, beat generation relics
Church on the green, clank, clank
City of hills, mind emanations, poetry
Irish, Italians, Catholics, gays, lesbians
Fascinating fringe revolution, culture
Asia in Ireland, Guinness and Italian pasta

Mark Marston
marstoncommunications@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

I am a poet based out of Mahtomedi, MN Skirting the twin cities My work has appeared in many journals including SKINNER’S IRREGULAR HORSE, OFFERINGS MAGAZINE, AND RE/AL I will have two poems posted in January on Ralph Haselmann’s Lucidmoon poetry website

The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by Mark Marston and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Sitting .Thinking


I am sitting on a toilet seat
warmed by another man’s buttocks
I wonder how many germs can be spread
through the buttocks
All of the thoughts that go through
your head on the toilet
Like, who was here before me?
He’s got a story all his own
And just how clean is this water
that splashes on my ass?

And why can’t they fill the Sahara
with cactus crossbred with corn?


The Cold War Kid

My era in history has no equivalent As a child of the cold war, I thought the world
could end tomorrow, and probably would So polarized So powerful People brought together people dragged apart My vision of tomorrow was warped and skewed Looking back on it, all comes down to money There was no threat because of the threat
of the second strike The what if scenario was always there Long range planning was short sighted A situation no one would confront
finally crumbled (literally) on it’s own Eastern Europe saw Solidarity Too bad
it didn’t spread across the ocean
to this side Because that’s what we all need after all.


Gannon, part II

I am watching my daughter at play She is the beautiful wife,
neighbor boy the husband They have beautiful children
I know the day will come
when I will have to let her go As of now, I can’t see myself
doing it, I’ll never be ready
She is the reason I’m still here Everywhere I go is because of her I work to keep her clothed,
warmed, fed, healthy, loved
She is my life
and she doesn’t even know it She is my first thought of the day My life is good.


Blow Up

I wish I could just blow myself up
shards of me floating
soaring everywhere across
the night sky
in brilliance, I am brilliant
touching all
leaving my mark
spreading the sickness
spreading the laughter
spreading the heart
spreading the love
I wish I could just blow myself up


Christine Kiplinger-Johns
CGSweetie@aol.com

Bio (auto)

Christina Kiplinger-Johns is a Canton, Ohio poet who has spent most of her life in Ohio Cleveland, Cincinnati and Cambridge are only a few of the Ohio cities in which she has lived With over 500 pieces of her work published, the poems below are part of a collection,Sunnyside At Midnight, which is looking for a home

The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by Christina Kiplinger-Johns and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Journey To Sunnyside


People have queried
Since I am an outsider
How I came to Sunnyside
And why I stay I smile and tell them
That I had been
Passing through
And the town
Was so nice I stayed I don’t mention
The monsters hot on my trail
Or the shackles
The police have attached
To my bed .


Clown

Fudd the clown
Can be found
At funerals
Passing out his flyers The response is quite good
To Fudds’s mildewed, bloodstained garb,
Of which he has six exact replicas
In his closet at home Once the jeers of the crowds
Have subsided,
When Fudd returns to his damp
Basement apartment-
The clown sits in front
Of a brightly lit looking glass
And heavily applies his
“Clown Face Erase,”
Smiling, Fudd is done and he
Grins at an empty, reflectionless mirror .


Ob-gyn

Doctor Cracker is the baby-deliverer
Of the town In his black bag, he carries
A stethoscope and a variety of
“female instruments”
he rarely uses In his lint-filled coat pocket,
He totes his most-used tool
A small, feather-filled pillow,
With which he hushes
All wails
At birth.


Time

Sunnyside has no time-
Only the change of seasons Winter, spring, summer, fall,
How long have I been here?
I don’t know Seasons
I have observed deaths
I have observed births It’s only strange that Sunnyside’s population
Is affected by neither .

December 20-26, 1999: Roy Frisvold and Hannah J. Sassaman

week of december 20-26 1999

Roy Frisvold and Hannah J Sassaman

Roy Frisvold
royfris@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Roy Frisvold was born in Berkeley, California, and lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico His poetry chap-books are “Squirms in Radiance” and “Wyvern.


The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by Roy Frisvold and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Touring the Cave of Premonition

A string quartet rides
the waters of a cave Soft rowing, bringing
torchlit music, cools this
cheesy subterranean moment Bleachers,
erected in a breach
in stalagmites,
bulb with outlawed flashes Photos catch silence
not here among ooos and ahhs
in absurd sharp The–spelunkisphere?–warps
even Rossini:
a fitting tuneup for my own ride
in my own skeletal punt
across whatever last
floats me.


Detumescence

What light was not siphoned
for riotous dangling
by nasturtiums came in,
splashed in the bathroom sink Her neck, splashed with semen,
sank sleepily Barking
woke the wind Windchimes clanked Sensation imagined
used bars of soap: opaque,
elliptic–
flint, detumesced Crept back
to a new temple-ache;
silk scarf to each bedpost;
Muse; light snore.


WCA19US8
Audio recording
WCA19US8W4 4 anon
may be Hurly or Tock;
the quality is that
of a flu patient’s
shouting at the wind:

“The process delegates
the practical to each
organism
busy
at its musical shell “

I doubt this rises to prose
Hurly was infamously fond
of martinis drunk from a rubber
glass of Tock’s design Tock would mimic
Hurly’s reading Tock (Perhaps
the quantity of mercy
was strained from rubber shakers )
Both men died, in the nineteen-
seventies, of swine flu or
shooting up the wind.


Hannah J Sassaman
hannahjs@sas.upenn.edu

http://www.sas.upenn.edu/~hannahjs

Bio

Hannah Sassaman is a junior at the University of Pennsylvania,  studying Theatre Arts She works at the Kelly Writers House and is a poetry editor at CrossConnect She will be studying next semester at the London Academy of Theatre Hannah will be spending the millenium in New York City with a boy

The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by Hannah J Sassaman and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


My Heart Rests on the Muscles of His Tongue


He laughed, and peeled the sides of his Pop-Tart
into brown seams Currency filled the room:
toilet paper, orange juice Plastic crates
filled with next week’s copies of magazines In the morning we boarded the windows,
smeared the doorposts, anticipated scourge He still wondered if I could be trusted,
eyed my calves for contractions For moments,
throughout the night, I wanted to run away,
to place my lips on the Liberty Bell
with the rest of the throng, accept the year,
the turning, the swallow of cold breath: but,
his head over-anointed with two thousand,
perhaps: my messiah might be greasy.

December 13-19, 1999: Michelle Felix and Joan Pond

week of december 13-19 1999

Michelle Felix and Joan Pond

Michelle Felix
onphyre@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

I’m 21, a student, I’ve been in California all my life, I adore my dog, I love food, and I’m looking forward to being 21 for the next few months Hobbies include poetry, photography, movies,  books, concerts, my friends, cold weather, PBS, NPR, TDK, REM,  UNO, ETC I miss San Diego and San Francisco.


The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by Michelle Felix and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Some Time

i’ll become so desperate
that i’ll start filling out
Starbuck’s applications
because i miss the sex
between my pen (The Whore)
and any old piece of scrap
suitable for the projection of
red lights, laziness, abhorrant
mindsets and downright
nasty paper cuts and she rides up and down
a cursive L
doing the backstroke
drinking bad champagne from
her lover’s heels
listing ways she hasn’t done it yet
biting her tongue with advice from another who
brushes her teeth with laundry detergent
until it’s the end of the line–
period.


For Grandpa

Old men fascinate me They won’t make eye contact
or they love to chat,
make cute observations and
sustain them with a joke
about coffee I listen until they start
pronouncing it *Warshington*
and their eyes are the
things that help them
hold on to their granddaughters
who are all 5 and 18 They are the shopping carts
bleeding at the sides from trying
to carry
everything And everything is gold.


Joan Pond
Boodles1@aol.com

Bio

Joan Pond lives in New Milford, Connecticut

The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by Joan Pond and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Ode To Elvis


As Paul held me near,
a tree limb poked me in the back Jesus, 
I’d be impaled by a pagan symbol
on December Tenth I wondered
if I looked as uncomfortable
as I felt My skirt was riding up my legs,
stockings were bunched at my knees;
my blouse was wrinkled
and the limb from the artificial tree
could puncture a lung I glanced at our reflection in the window
Two middle-aged frumps, 
clinging to each other And as the tree lights flickered,
I knew this would be
another blue,
blue, Christmas.


Have a Blue Christmas

On Greenwich Avenue,
Fred festooned a fir with lights “Jesus,” he said “It just ain’t right I bought this string at CVS
and it’s already broke This Christmas stuff’s for the birds,
man, it’s a joke I got no wife and my whole life’s changed “
But when I shook his hand, 
the blue lights lit “Holy shit!” he said “It’s a miracle “
And we stood, 
bathed
in cerulean light.

December 6-12 1999: Adam Clay and Evan Anderson

week of december 6-12 1999

Adam Clay and Evan Anderson

Adam Clay
aclay@netdoor.com

Bio (auto)

I’m from Hattiesburg,  Mississippi, currently studying at the University of Southern Mississippi, and hope to one day put my kids through school.


The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by Adam Clay and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Cat

Yesterday I drove
my car into a cat Speed
limit thirty five
It just crept from the
side like unexpected sex
and in confusion

gas and brake pedal
were one I could see its paws
waving at me Just

wanting one more mouse
to chew on, one more dog to
run from But turning

on twenty-third it
hit me like I hit that cat:
those bastards have nine

lives, and suddenly
my conscience was satisfied Yellow, red, then stop.


My Aim Is True

On the tenth of October I was almost abducted
by a UFO It was circling slowly over Petal,

Mississippi, and I was driving only because it was
a nice day The sun reflected off the flying object
It was nice to look at I pulled off the highway,
looked up, waiting for my orders In a

British accent, I was asked to come forward I never saw them face to face, but they must have

decided I wasn’t an accurate human specimen The light
was still nice to look at Maybe they wanted a woman?


Texas

I saw all of Texas in two days,
and I’m a fast driver “Rest Area
Blues,” I call it Pissing Lone Star among
strangers in six different places,

designed just for pissing
Even with maps, I never know
where I am Milemarkers speak
Texan, and we ignore them

Do hitchhikers hitch more than they
hike? I see them lining the highways,
fewer than milemarkers, but more than
I care to count

Every town has a DJ who says
its so hot you can fry
an egg on concrete If I hear
one more say it, I just might

The deeper I go, the radio becomes
Mexican I hear it hours from the border:

“Esta tan caliente, puedes freir un huevo en el concreto “


Evan Anderson
scottevan@netstep.net

Bio (auto)

Evan Anderson lives in Woodstock, New York, where he has read poetry and novel excerpts with his writing group, the Glaring Omissions He has recently written for Communities magazine and has had poems published in Chronogram He studied Wild Mind writing with Natalie Goldberg, screenplays with Wells Root, and was a member of Actors Repertory Theater in Hollywood

The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by Evan Anderson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Millennial Squeeze


black limousine, engine racing
leaves a plastic bag
and a cloud of ten-dollar bills

across the parking lot
seagull pecks at chicken burger
burrito ends, sticky cola
and best of all, french fries
small thin salty sea creature
plucked by a yellow beak
from the deep fried tide
traffic flows into dark foothills
sedan drives under electric door
homeowner gets out
grey suit still pressed
today’s late edition rolled beneath his arm
walks up carpeted stairs
to a cloud of steam and thawing vegetables

no stopping tonight
no motels, no A & P
it’s one marathon drive
radio headlines, weather, traffic bulletins
interstate to netherworld
big city to wheat field
in the space of one day
we can go anywhere
all we need is more time

bumper-to-bumper
to the last exit on the millennial highway
in a ditch beside the road
are the arms and torso of a styrofoam dummy
helpless, a policeman watches
as headlights flicker by
a milk white nebula
swirls in the coffee cup
a river courses through the gutter
spirals down the manhole
pulling light, resources
shopping bags, gum wrappers, stalks of roses
the attention span
down to the center of gravity
some rush to work,  some run from it
some drive fast, hearts pounding
to feel how sharp, how solid the edge really is
before the lights go out
the curtain comes down
with the birthday candles
the hand on the shoulder
the absolute melting of worlds
and what didn’t squeeze through
can be found in the memories
of crows.

November 29-December 5, 1999: Duane Locke and Clay Burt

week of november 29-december 5 1999

Duane Locke and Clay Burt

Duane Locke
duanelocke@netzero.net

Bio (auto)

Duane Locke (from Tampa, Florida), Doctor of Philosophy in Renaissance Literature, Professor Emeritus of the Humanities, Poet in Residence at University of Tampa for over twenty years, publisher of over 2,000 poems in over 500 print magazines such as American Poetry Review, Nation, Literary Quarterly, Black Moon, and Bitter Oleander,  author of 14 books of poems, his latest being WATCHING WISTERIA (to order see www.vidapublishing.com or call Small Press Distribution-1-800-869-7553), cyber-poet,  since Sept 1, 1999 has had 383 acceptances by online zines, photographer,  listed in PSA’s WHO’S WHO as one of the top twenty nature photographers,  painter, currently having a one-man show of over 30 painting at the Pyramid gallery in Tampa, winner for poetry of the Edna St Vincent Millay, Charles Agnoff, and Walt Whitman awards, now lives alone and isolated in the sunny Tampa slums He lives estranged and as an alien, not understanding the customs, the costumes,  the language, some form of postmodern English, of his surroundings The egregious ugliness of his neighborhood has been mitigated by the esthetic efforts of the police who put up bright orange and yellow posters on each post to advertise the location in a shopping mall for drugs His recreational activities are drinking wine, listening to old operas, and reading postmodern philosophy.


The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by Duane Locke and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Rapallo

Lemon tree street, a short street,
Starts at sailboat bay, ends with a mountain Twilight, thunder, lightning
Taps its fingers on the contours
Of metal-segmented plate glass Flashes illuminate across the street
The interior of a white sofa-ed, circular room She, Italian, slender, in flowing white nightgown,
Combs her long dark hair On white circular table,
One glass of white wine With each
Lightning flash the glass becomes a garden
Of passionate diamonds I look
At the mountain, it has large white rocks
Scattered over its declivity She has pearls
Rippling between her breasts With my
One glass of wine, I sit on a wrought iron balcony,
Watch I can feel the warmth
Of her pearls between my fingers.


Sunlight

On other side of the plum branch,
A glass topped table with a plum
And red wine The sun with its spade of twilight
Was digging a grave The moon whispered
She would at midnight step across space,
Cover the grave with her breasts I decided to stay up all night At midnight the moon came,
Undressed in the wine glass At sunrise, I fell asleep The sun redug my grave.


Broken Streetlight

Yellow streaks on black butterflies’ wings
Flared out of the cedar tree’s shadows The red wine was radiant in dim light After the third glass, her clustered, bound hair unloosened,
Spread its white gold over white plum blossoms Her lips opened like the door of a coral cave,
Tongue flickered like fire and fireflies Repairmen arrived, fixed streetlight Light flooded the yard, I saw I was alone
With an empty wine glass, an empty bottle, an empty life.


Underwater at Midnight

Spasms
In coral cave’s dark hollows
Spear the side
Of the old poet
The old poet was walking underwater,
Carrying a fin from a lost mermaid
The fin’s rainbows colored the lonely hairs on his wet arms He saw the lips of past hours open
He will as always open his mouth to sing;
But this time,
The salt flowers of the water
Will rush into his body,
Flood and suffocate.


Aubade

At street corners,  blue bedsheets
Leaned against grimy shop windows,
Held out a bent tin cup to beg-
This morning when sweat was snow,
When the sidewalks were crowded with crutches When Death disguised as a Gypsy
Sat on one of my ribs and with Tarot cards
Told my fortune, something about unrealized zeroes
Being erased from unbuilt blackboards All the cars speeding by looked like coffins,

The world looked like a hallucination,
I grabbed
My one-legged lover, the wine glass,
Held her close against my cheek.


Covered With Ashes

She put a sign on her breasts, closed;
She closed the path to her wilderness Now the trees will not become dark birds,
Fly through my dark brain and dark blood I will amuse my emptiness with souvenirs I hold a slab of agate up to the sun,
Gaze at its clouds becoming breasts of light,
Quickly changing back to clouds,
Dark clouds like smoke
From a burning home or a wasted life I find my wine, put my lips to its body.


Bio (auto)

I’ve been writing poetry for over twenty years Recently I’ve been poking around on the web and finding a new audience My poems have appeared in Riverrun Magazine, Beloit Review, Evolution,  among others Back in my college days I had the pleasure of meeting Mark Olsen, a lead performer in the Swiss mime troupe, Mummenschanz He performed my poem, The Art of Pouring Soda, for national audiences Sometime in December my poetry will be featured in Editor’s Picks @ Web Del Sol I live in a farm house on Eastern Long Island with a good view of some very good wine grapes

The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by Clay Burt and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Father Proteus


Dark brother
when will Father haunt again?
We are homunculi
drowned in the dark matrix of his name Swelling in the black liquors of secrets
Let us contemplate his skin:
miles of taut canvas
on which we paint ourselves His leather skin wraps us in the clothes of caution,
dresses us in violent sleep
God has dried you, Arizona man
and filled your living bones with light Mister Cactus tree, what once were leaves
evolved into perfect fangs
Dark brother
come quickly he is changing:
shape shifter, pumpkin head,
swamp walker, gun smuggler,
who competes with heaven,
who loathes his very breath
Now there is the silence in him Careful husbandry of his breathing He has dreamed of predation:
meadow mouse, you are meat for the Corn Snake,
for the winged gypsy, owl, that roars through night air
on his way to the killing ground There is a great restlessness of wings
Lately,
when evenings romance us to windows
his signature everywhere, enveloping everything,
everything covering itself until his red engine torques down
it is you and I Messengers plunge and sing
around our shining faces
When he is stilled, (if that can ever be),
then we will know with sobriety that he is Father,
Father, he need be nothing more.

November 22-28, 1999: Christine Crockett and James Lineberger

Week of November 22-28, 1999

Christine Crockett and James Lineberger

Christine Crockett
Hicrockett@aol.com

Bio (auto)

I have been writing poetry for over 20 years now, some periods more productive than others For me, poetry (both reading and writing of it) is an intimacy with the world”at large” and a way of wringing sense from the chaos I suppose the only true sense is the connection it makes with others Christine is from San Mateo, California.


The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by Christine Crockett and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


The Desertion

i

This is where he lets me off, 
The miles of field
stretching out like sand
into four invisible oceans
And the wind, blue
and free of dust, 
spiraling through the wheat
And the only road
is the one he drives away on

My belly shifts
with a new weight, which twists
on its side, like a sneer
And we are all he has left
alive, and my shoes
are the end of his story

ii

I squat low into the weight
of myself and rock you, 
unborn child I tell you
how little there is
to fear, that the dark
will be gentler
than a womb And a moon
will float out of the wheat
like a god, so that when
we are born into separate lives
we won’t be afraid
of the light

iii

This morning the sky
was an echo
I’ve walked away from it
into more wind, 
into this landscape filled
with nothing, not even
silence And as the blank
face of the sun begins
to flatten over this field, 
I am still walking
away form it, still moving out
of the world

iv

This is what we are whispering
to ourselves: Moon Wheat Wind
And my feet are the hollows
I’ve left in this field
And you, child, are the skin
of a man I loved
And my face is a glass
in which you would know yourself
even if you were broken
And this wind is a memory which
never comes back
And my eyes are the close
of our story.


From The Porch

Evening settles with such stillness
that we miss the first small stars Luminous night moths, flickering
around their temple of light,
throw fistfuls of shadow
across our faces Alone
on this porch, we watch the horses
move through thier blackening field But we place no bets tonight Growing into our weaknesses,
supple as skin, we invent
no last chances at glory Tired now, we can give away
these questions we toss like
pebbles to the stars They are too
honest, too rough in our fists,
to have any answers waiting.


James Lineberger
jdline@vnet.net

Bio (auto)

I live in Concord, North Carolina I am a professional playwright and screenwriter My poems have appeared previously in the following: Afternoon; Berkeley Poetry Review; The Centennial Review; Coal City Review; Djinni; Exquisite Corpse; Hanging Loose; Hayden’s Ferry Review; Mediphors; New York Quarterly; Ontario Review; Oxford Magazine; Pembroke Magazine; Poetrynow; Prairie Schooner; Rag Mag; Snake Nation Review; Sonora Review; Unlikely Stories; and Verse

The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by James Lineberger and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


A Brief History of the Old South


The class behind us
the one whose English teacher married
our English teacher that
bunch always thought they were better than us some-
how like they every one
of them had been born in the National
Honor
Society and the Key Club and could read Chaucer without a pony
younger than us just
like their teacher was younger than ours never
realizing then that he got his power
from them that they owned him balls to soul a man who
could never get out
of their clutches once he was in but spent his whole career imagining he was
the one in charge thinking first he
would steal our teacher away then cause her to get pregnant then
tired then restless then
bored then finally coerced into retire-
ment locked
up in the house with their only child Steven that
would later become a concert pianist and travel all over the world playing
to beat the band
and whenever one of us tried
to go visit the boy’s mama they would spirit her off
to do rubbings from the head-
stones at Salem or make her tag along to the apartment of one
of her husband’s former students the one at MIT or in the Peace Corps or USC take
your pick a woman that used to could
scream Out, damned spot! and make the hairs stand up
like static on your arms
but now when you saw her at Food Town or JC Penny’s you would hardly think it
was the same person this little hunched over
lady in black shades and flip flops hair in scraggles wearing a print
dress that all
she had to do was pull it over her head like a sack staring
at her list and mumbling to herself and if one of us dared to speak she
would duck
away to another aisle or just abandon her buggy groceries and what all
and head for the exit
where one of the ones from the class behind us would be waiting behind
the wheel of the Hudson Hornet she paid for with surplus retirement checks
and traded in every other
year for a new model that pretty much resembled the one before but so
what her husband explained in a voice as dead as the dead
fountains of Versailles if I hadn’t stolen you away you’d still be riding
around in Chevrolets
and then as if we had never
seen her she was gone altogether murdered we surmised
covered up with lime in the basement of that house he bought out past Watts
Cross Roads leaving behind an un-
contested estate of nothing but a closetful of those sack dresses and three
uncashed checks
smelling like the sachet in her underwear drawer
and when we asked one of the ones that came after us what had happened he
just gave
this tiny smile like he was in
on it from the beginning rubbing his hands together like
he couldn’t get the blood off them and all
we could do was wait until they came for us in Jeeps and locked us
up in the armory for a whole
weekend with MP’s with loaded M1′s until they could get the paperwork done
and every man jack in the Old Hickory Division processed and shot
for typhus and tetanus
and pack us off to the Chosin Reservoir to see the elephant until we were
bleeding Technicolor red on the tread-
marked snow until we couldn’t even remember our teacher’s
name or call her up in our dying prayers people screaming everywhere Out Jesus
Mary Motherfucker get me
outa here clawing and scrubbing their hands every which way dead ones and
live ones piled
together like Romeos and Juliets until faraway in the distance
like a chorus
of muted trumpets we could hear the faint
cries of the ones that came after us moving among the trees the stunted
black trees in Birnham Wood
cursing cajoling slapping at them with their swords telling them to get up and walk
like men


Graverobber

I could stand it too couldn’t you if
all I had to do was wait
three days till I was back upstairs again
with him dabbing
a wet washcloth to my forehead and whispering
there now didn’t I tell you
it’d be all right which sure why wouldn’t it
be but you have to wonder
what kind of daddy
would ever try a damn fool
stunt like that even
if he thought he knew exactly how it would
turn out I mean
what is the use for somebody to cause
his only begotten son
to get crucified and die and be buried under
a pile of bricks in somebody’s
garden just so
he can sneak in like Karloff and carry the body off
claiming whosoever believeth
in him can disappear the very same
way sort of


My exact relationship to Harvard

is I came close to
seeing it
one time on the choir
tour when we got as far as MIT and stopped
off at that chapel
where the light bubbles down like water
only by then
everybody was starved so we went to this restaurant off the Common
which somebody highly recommended to
our director who has been to Harvard Square and everywhere else up there more times
than you can imagine and who
suggested I might better play it safe with some less adventurous fare
but not me I went for the lobster
because lobster is what you always hear about the native people eating in places
like Harvard or Maine
except all that butter didn’t mix too good with the tequila
and beer chasers not to mention looking my lobster
in the eye before they boiled him Jesus it wasn’t just that I got sick and threw
up in their park it was the terrible
recurring dream after we got back home this family
of lobsters sitting
in a booth overlooking the beach at the old Riverbend Pavilion
holding claws and singing Blessed
Assurance as the preacher takes my hand and pulls me out into the steaming waters
to meet my Savior


Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Them Goodbye

All right then
What say we do away
With all that
Stuff about losing it or killing it
Or calling it romance
And no more
Caterwauling about God or the ?
Icosahedron where we drank and danced
In Muskegon,

No more songs to our old saddle pals
The women we loved or didn’t love
Enough
The children we gave up to the knife
The cats and dogs and Vietnamese Pot-
Bellied
Pigs we’ve carried over the Great Divide
The barracks
And howling orphans at Midnapore, or anything
That has funny words in it
Like Rutabaga Philip
Morris Garde
Du Corps
No more harrangues against marriage,
Against divorce,
About greed or acid rain or getting
Fucked or forgot, you know
What I mean
All that preaching about this and that
giving tit for tat
Telling us where it’s not
Or where it’s at,

No more
Essays concerning hands or feet or bums getting
Holy in the streets,
Christ, no, let’s just shuck it all, make it
Against the law
Turn the damn things into kindling or little what-
Nots with bubbles of shellac, and when
The Peacemakers and the Pure In Heart and all
The rest of them ask us what
We will leave behind, what then?
We will break open our rucksacks and bring out the goods,
Only bread, brother
Only salt
Only the charred bouquet of our
red red wine

November 15-21, 1999: Tyurina Elizabeth Fate and Stephen Sleboda

Week of November 15-21, 1999

Tyurina Elizabeth Fate and Stephen Sleboda

Tyurina Elizabeth Fate
pepperchick@excite.com

Bio (auto)

I am a 17 year old poet from Park River, ND and would like to be included into your ezine I am copyrighted and have been published in anthologies I have been given awards and attended International Music Camp for creative writing summer of 99.


The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by Tyurina Elizabeth Fate and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Stillborn: A Mother’s Narrative

Tuesday 3:20 AM The baby It was born blue She was mine and my fever was her only fame I do believe it was what kept her alive
It is the dead bell to the centuries My other me talked of it long ago,
But now she is dead and forgotten Her only heritage will be our one emerald baby
She is the legacy of the 2000 millennium They shall someday talk of her on TV and radio But I was the one who borne her,
Out of the foreign, origami rains They will always forget that
It is the attention headliner of the 1990′s The one with the fat, gold smile,
The one with the rich, bald head I guess not even I was as smart as they were
To put a quarter where the young ones tongue was The doctors’ smile claims it was what could have kept her alive The heart beating and the lungs of helium breathing I admit it was I which rattled the chain to the cage
The cage of foreign heads and bald doctors’ prescription bottles But it is locked now I cannot even open it up,
To save the life of my true, bald child My mind is too mixed up and my organic yellows are frigid
It is the liquid cauldron to morning The call to war and her baby blue eyes My mind is again frozen The child’s saltwater; the child’s saltwater I cannot even begin to think!


Neo Nazi

It is a godsend, they say Peachy pink upon gray It laughs; it laughs like vowels!

It is the cold eve of November Where the mothers grab their afternoon knitting
And hide, hide their children’s greens
It is the pale onslaught of the furnishing trees The night moves the 1870′s living room My God they would laugh at me if I were to say:

“Everything blue is poetry,
And my mother made me her plastic bedroom doll “
It is as if father was never good anyway!

Yet he wasn’t He was the Foreign Scowl The paper feelings, the midnight scare-dreams Oh how I still remember waking up screaming
Screaming to hear if the war was over The AM radios on too loud, mothers’ nut-bread too hard It about chipped my teeth at two!

It is the 1980′s Berlin wall falling when I was 10 I was too young, I don’t remember much of back then But my mother has the pictures in negatives to prove:

It is the black-eyed cauldron,
It is the black-eyed cauldron Not for twenty years have our heads been this dead!


Laughing

They talk of me as if I was Egypt,
The mounted city of baby gold Its country is rotten, but delicious
Not even the computer could spill vowels like that!
They are selfless The 1980′s car jacking Not even I could destroy an antique like that
It smiles at me if I were its property The blue penguin with the bronze head I laugh My poetry has never been so pure!

It dances, dances to the vowels humming beat I watch it with my knees to the sky,
Fingers outstretched I see it as a Romantic Delicacy
My husband could not even do it upon two legs I laughed at him I called him my igneous love The one with the dental fillings and the O shaped mouth
I told him, It is the eyes that are too dim Plato could never understand it He studied it everyday It is this timeless History I love to breathe in
[And I laugh at it ]


Stephen Sleboda
STSAMV@aol.com

http://hometown.aol.com/stsamv/myhomepage/index.html

Bio (auto)

Stephen Sleboda lives in a small three and half room house he and his wife rent from family Since the tragic loss of their daughter to Group B-Strep in June of 1999, these are the only poems to see the light of day

The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by Steven Sleboda and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Turn Toward Darkness

.for Mary Eileen

At the turn
toward
darkness
an available
horizon
stood
with attention
to
honor
the memory
of
a
whisper
from
honey
in
the
heart
of
a
diamond


I See

I have completed
a successful
operation Both eyes have
been removed
from my head When I am
asleep
and
dream,
everyone I see
is
blind

November 8-14, 1999: Jim Lamoreux and Brad Apple

Week of November 8-14, 1999

Jim Lamoreux and Brad Apple

Jim Lamoreux
jml@lamoreux.reno.nv.us

Bio (auto)

My name is Jim Lamoreux and today, I live in Reno Nevada I will turn fifty this December I live downtown and drive to Carson City every day to work at a government job The rest of the time I work on my web page trying to shift my concerns to content now that I have the mechanics working somewhat reliably I am a veteran of the Vietnam War and was there during the Tet of 1968 Every time I type that I feel like I’ve just risen out of a Hemingway novel waving a flag and firing a machine gun I am an artist and also delve into consciousness expansion things involving sound and indirect hypnosis What draws me to this is the fact that change can occur using “poetic” metaphor in powerfully hypnotic ways Scripts that I’ve studied by leading hypnotherapists in the Eriksonian tradition are so deeply imbued with poetic meaning they are breathtaking sometimes.


The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by Jim Lamoreux and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Wind

It gathers somewhere
high above
in places we couldn’t breathe
collecting in arid silence
or in a roar
like beasts
caught in a pit of atmosphere
howling to be released
into the mindless tree tops
or to pull and haul at eves
on windows
warmly oblivious
to its rage
provoking now and then
a “Listen to that” or
“This is going to be a bad one”
from behind a newspaper
or over the sounds from the T.V ,
or the slight crackle
of eggs frying in a pan
It is far above
invisible and terrible
tearing at the fabric of clouds
like a dog tears at Kleenex
scattering the tissues of the sky
across the wild blue carpet
high above us
And then
on some signal we don’t hear
perhaps a shriek
or like dogs will tell one another
now is the time for the kill
it comes down, each facet knowing
how to trap and bluster and mangle,
the world scattering before it
like rabbits in a field
fleeing before the hawk
First the wind chime
marks the gathering morning
innocent, like a child’s toy
not betraying
the anger that comes behind it
like a bear, prying at the slats of a smoke house
and then
the howling, the assault, and trees
nodding away from the power
and the earth bundled and crumpled
and strewn
like angry love letters
trapped in barbed wire
waving frantically at a lake
pocked with white caps
From high above the mountain ranges
it howls and rages
stirring the pine needles
in the tops of giant trees
like breath
through the tines of a comb

and like some monster
invisible to us,
leaps the tops of mountains in Washoe Valley
and makes the barbed wire dance, and the cattle
lumber together
in tight
bewildered knots
of hide and flesh.


Brad Apple
bradapple@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

I am Brad
I live in Toronto, Canada
23 years old I just wanted to write something down for me to remember

The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by Brad Apple and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Innovation


I was alone, except for the cockroaches pounding across my kitchen table
like a heard
of elephants It must be the way I smell Nothing has been eaten on this table since I moved in I light a cigarette and stare out my window Directly at the wall of my neighbor 2 feet of space is it day or
night?
And blow my smoke through the screen I may not be the cause But I contribute I take another drag and pause Inventing a better place for me.

November 1-7, 1999: Roy Samana and Taylor Graham

Week of November 1-7, 1999

Roy Samana and Taylor Graham

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Roy Samana
roys1@netvision.net.il

Bio (auto)

My name is Roy Samana, I’m 20 from Bat-Yam, Israel I write mostly short stories and when I’m in the mood some poetry too I write my works in Hebrew and translate them myself to English My works have not been published anywhere yet [Editor's Note: we're proud to be the first ]


The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by Roy Samana and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Pigs

I remember us rolling in the mud like two capitalist pigs
In black Neo-Nazi boots
The earth was shaking underneath our long leather coats
But we just kept rolling, holding each other tight
While the rain was dripping between the wrinkles of our faces
Burning the silence that just seemed to wait for this moment
For the first drops that would remind us how much we used to love each other
Filthy, our tongues wrapped together, we both knew the bitter truth
By the time the sun comes out again this sweet piece of communism
would be all digested
And all that will be left are two small imperialists
and one disputed area


Distant and Small

The dawn came slowly but steadily
Taking away the stars that had twinkled for us the night before
Revealing the gray morning sky that was full
Of clouds
In all the colors of the bow
That has sent an arrow from hell in order to extinct our fragile time
In these metallic clouds no pets can be seen
Nor fairies or puffy pillows
As we stare up above all we can see are dragons
And monsters and sinking lifeboats
In calm seas

I suddenly recall that one night
When the light was still afar
I told her: ‘the moon is full’
And she said: ‘but look, he’s sick’
Yes, I too noticed his dirty yellow color
“It looks so small from here, and so far” she whispered
At that moment I realized that my pain appears exactly the same to her
Distant and small


Taylor Graham
piper@innercite.com

Bio (auto)

I’m a volunteer search-and-rescue dog handler in the Sierra Nevada (Somerset, CA to be exact) My poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Chattahoochee Review, Folio, The Iowa Review, New York Quarterly, Poetry International, Yankee and elsewhere “A New Regime” is from my latest collection, NEXT EXIT, just out from Cedar Hill Publications


The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by Taylor Graham and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


A New Regime


They’re playing in the rubble of the Wall,
which at last fell down No, it was yanked
down stone by stone because the people
hated it Now kids are playing
where used to be Wall, tearing the stones
in pieces Now that it’s snowing
they’re throwing snowballs No,
they’re throwing stones that used to be
Wall They’re burying each other
under stones, just so they can play
“Rescue from the Wall “

And after each child is buried
and again dug out,
they throw more stones as white
as snowballs They make heroes
of each other throwing stones,
turning each other pale as bruises,
blue as cold, as numb
as saints They keep on playing
until it’s dark, they all go home And then the Wall
heaps back up for morning,
to be unbuilt again.


Aperture

“Never enough light,” you said,
but you burned film like breath,
recording everything in intensities
of black, gray and white
I saw you squint at your last
son’s birth, clicking the important
event to life, cursing his squirms
as he bawled at the light
“Never enough light “
But your cameras played the eye
in all its depths and distances,
all its distortions, its lights
Ten shots for a true exposure Your lens tried to read in the dark
a drunk’s old eyes where he hunched
at his impenetrable glass
“Never enough light,” you said,
and worried through your nights
by the stop-gap glare
of strobes and streetlights
Afterwards we divided what you left,
a few good prints and untold
negatives, images of black sky
and luminous earth.


Arts on the Square

A monk is juggling in the atrium
while a gypsy ups his tempo and the temperature
with her skirts and tambourine Already
sidewalks in a sweat, the street-crowds shuffling
and who cares who spread post-modern graffiti
all across the walls? A look-alike’s reciting Shakespeare
two doors down, a black-tail troupe does takes
on the Marquis de Sade
The sun has slipped away to privates, shadows
steal whatever strobe and streetlights cannot
bare
A monk these days is not above suspicion,
nor a gypsy girl below But here
on Main a swing band’s got the microphone
and spot-lights, everybody’s
dancing in the square.


Soul Food

At the front plate window two guys
are stiffing checkers Wild gray hair
(the one), you’d think he’s Einstein,
the other balding, both slumped
with their noses at the pieces
almost dead from thinking Except
they’re dummies, haven’t made a move
in weeks They draw in commerce, says
the girl behind the counter And
just then in walk two One orders
an espresso, the other mocha, “soul
food,” she whispers in his ear
In the back we go on trading poems,
politics and jokes More poems,
plain old coffee (black) With luck
a dozen images beyond description A half-rhyme sonnet stuffs my mouth
and leaves me famished for a week
to come.


His Lame Rhymes

The song’s
buttoned into his overcoat He sighs
into his hands as if to warm them,
leans against a light post
under her window He might
be waiting for a cab But the old songs unravel,
he braids them back, wishing
them right this time, not crippled For words, the names of roses
twisted in the skein,
every petal reminding him
of thorns
Too cold to hear the song
he keeps re-threading Under threadbare trousers,
what keeps his one knee locked
against a chill as iron-clad
as braces? For himself,
he keeps re-rhyming, wishing
he’d be someday right
to sing that lady on her balcony
for a smile she hadn’t meant
to touch him So lovely
on her two good legs.


Sacramento Slough

A baglady only begs
off working hours,
lives her life in the bushes
where the shopping carts sprawl
and the hand-me-down man
sniffs from handout to hand,
sniffing for the knife that would kill
for a bag-full of cans
And each in his push-about life
knows, even penniless he casts
a shadow six feet deep.

October 25-31, 1999: Tim Leonard and Adam Kaiserman

Week of October 25-31, 1999

Tim Leonard and Adam Kaiserman

Tim Leonard
tmleonard@earthlink.net

Bio (auto)

tim leonard; vietnam veteran, writer, photographer, visionary addict.


The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by Tim Leonard and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Watch Your Step

I said stumbling
over my words
walking softly in fear’s regret,  hidden sequence
inside long memories packed in a simple
pouch slung over slender shoulder
dressed in tears by misunderstood
pregnant authorities

You see he angrily interjected
a spiteful therapeutic
heavily medicated sort of self
studying human skulls carved from
Tibetan yak animal bone
strung out on threads of mercy.


For Marianne

They drained a poor old death tooth
Relieving pain, searing eyeball socket
Your voice received a photo?
Train engines hum and whistle down fault lines

I sit by the shore, all the shores
Listening to the waves sing all the waves
Washing all the moss, all the sharp eyed seagulls
Expanding their wings

As you attempt sleep in a Chicago room
With the fan on, doors bolted against crime
Dancing in your underwear dreams

We sleep in separate beds in distant cities Christ hospital offers you a job Too much cell work
As heart machines groan and moan
And trestles expand and contract
Sharp pinpoint strands of light invade
Your letting go; smearing tomatoes on toast
Reading, seeing Spirit and Unfinished Women
Casting their net into undiscovered dreams,

Across deep water in medium security prison
Someone is having their sentence commuted
To life Give me a cardboard box and let me outa here.


Adam Kaiserman
soberboy@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

Adam Kaiserman a recent transplant to Santa Barbara is living in what the state of California is providing him with, a bad hotel where one must share a room with a stranger and take their shits in public places He also is free on Saturday, so if you’d like to you can contact him at soberboy@hotmail.com

The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by Adam Kaiserman and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Amish God


I see thunder and lightning clouds
on my showercurtain They zap each other with lightning
as if to say, “hello “

One of them zaps a cloud that looks like the face of God
If God were a slacked jaw
Amish Man
Boy does he looked pissed Good thing I’m an Atheist I don’t believe in the Amish.


Compliments

She has an old soul
And she has a pair of firm breasts I can dig, it man.


Modern Day Jacosta

My mother fakes
orgasmic wails at the dinner table a la When Harry Met Sally She then procedes
to tell me about porno movies
she saw in the 70′s on dates,
Deep throught comes to mind,
and about big black two-headed dildos I think she is trying to give me an Oedipus complex I can only hope she wants me to kill my father.


Su culo

Your asshole
is the wierdest thing
you will ever see Do not trust your ass hole It is out to get you While you sleep,
it will shit out long arms and legs First it will strangle you,
then it will run away Your ass will leave you Beware!
The ass hole strikes at midnight.

October 18-24, 1999: James Lee Jobe and Mary Jo Carr

Week of October 18-24, 1999

James Lee Jobe and Mary Jo Carr

James Lee Jobe
JLeejobe@aol.com

Bio

[From Davis, California] Recent or upcoming poems in TULE REVIEW,  PEARL, POETRY NOW, MOCKINGBIRD, ZAM BOMBA!, BLUE MOON REVIEW,  and other fine publications Most recent chapbook is 7 DAYS IN YOLO, 1999, ONE(DOG)PRESS.


The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by James Lee Jobe and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Nixon’s Body, Dug Up By Wolves

He had finally stopped sweating For once
Nixon didn’t look like he was trying to sell
us a ’65 Ford Galaxy with an off-color
hood His body jerked and flipped as
wolves, in winter, tore long, dry strips of
flesh from Nixon’s carcass, chewing on
sinew under the moonless sky Nixon’s
internal organs were already gone and
his bones hung like sugar skeletons inside
his skin When the grizzly meal was finished
the wolves trotted off, their almost silent
footsteps fading into the trees.


What The Hog Said

They give me food, so I stay How wonderful to have nothing more
expected from you then pleasant obesity I eat, therefore I am! It is

so beautiful the way the corn goes down, the joy of the swallowing;
the humans miss all that! They worry about numbers, bolts of cloth, 

what color the shed is, and why the chickens aren’t laying! Fools!
The food is why I am here! I eat now, so they can eat later; it is a

simple plan If not for the glorious food I’d push on, move west I’d stand on my hind legs and just walk away from it all.


Van Gogh, Reborn as a Jobe, 
is Attracted to a Paint Display
at the General Store



He is drawn to the paint, feels pulled in by the colors, 
he wants swirling blues, golds
that flow like wind blowing across fields of wheat, 
he needs to create something that is greater than himself
The answer, he knows, is in the paint, so mysterious, so new
He purchases the paint, a determination
to capture the image in his mind fills him However, in this life, he is hampered with his own Jobeness, 
so he paints his chicken coop in the starry, starry night,
his wife on the back porch calling out, “J.L , honey, 
ain’t you coming in to supper?”


Mary Jo Carr
mjcarr@pcola.gulf.net

Bio

My name is Mary Jo Carr I live in Pensacola, Florida I’m Executive Director of United Ministries; a Christian ministry dedicated to the prevention of homelessness Some of my poetry and a few essays have been published, but mostly I write for self-expression when ‘the world is too much with me ‘


The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by Mary Jo Carr and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Image of Caroline


The wedding March fades
And she stands facing the altar
With tiny orchids pinned in her hair
The Operating Room is full of people
And I am strapped on the table,
Belly bulging upward like a huge beach ball Green drapes are placed, but I can see myself
In the mirrors above the table Tension mounts, the incision is made,
My heart pounds and I begin to be nauseated,
And then I hear, ‘It’s a girl, and she beautiful!’
She cries, a loud, protesting wail Everybody cheers and they bring her to me,
Wrapped in a well-washed blanket,
With a trickle of blood on her forehead
And masses of dark curls My arms are strapped down and I can’t touch her
But my soul sends a kiss to hers as I whisper,
‘Welcome, my little daughter ‘
They take her away to the nursery,
And the next time I see her
She has tiny orchids
Pinned in her hair
(May, 1994)


Missing You

The fading sunshine shimmers
Through the handsewn sheer curtains
Hanging over the glass doors
Leading to the backyard and the pool
The empty rooms are dimly lit
And ghosts are dancing in the kitchen
And up and down the stairs,
A lonely dance of a past remembered
Painter’s tools are strewn about,
The only sign of habitation
In the still life of the vacant house Which still holds your heartbeat
(June, 1996)


Reflections on a Common Lesson

The tide comes in
And goes out
Forever and ever Amen
At the center
Is an unshakable source
Of infinite energy
Whose rhythm does not change
That rhythm, that energy
Are accessible to me
If I can quiet myself
To receive them
I can become
Part of the flow
If I can accept
The ebb
(1985)

October 11-17, 1999: Bridget Gage-Dixon and Scott Ferry

Week of October 11-17, 1999

Bridget Gage-Dixon and Scott Ferry

Bridget Gage-Dixon
CRASH3391@aol.com

Bio

I live in Jackson, NJ and have been writing for as long as I can remember I spend my days raising my three small children and my nights working slowly toward a degree I have published twice before in the e-zines Poetry Tonight and Avalon.


The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by Bridget Gage-Dixon and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


The Apology

He is careful now
not to meet my stare
body leaning up against the counter
fading sunray breaking through the blinds
cuts a mask of light across
across his dark face
and the raindrop that has woven its’ way
through the roof, 
down past the rotting insulation
breaks the silence as
it drops into the old
copper pot on the floor
sending waves across the sitting water
that crest against the metal sides
and are pushed back toward the center
as he walks toward me
I smell the mix of diesel and sweat
that has formed beads across his forehead
sweeping one arm across his brow
and the other around my waist
he presses into me
and despite myself
I’m smiling
as the rain beats against the roof
and another drop
plunges toward the copper pot.


April

Beneath the wooden bench
the limp, torn petals
of a pink flower
bear the imprint of a small sneaker Cigarette butt stained with red lipstick
lies beside a plastic soda bottle
crushed and cracked
and only feet from the container
marked in big white letters “Please Recycle”
I dig my toes down beneath hot sand
to the dark, cool dirt below Laughing children run past
giving flight to dormant sand
as mothers rocking strollers
chant reprimands and directives Creeping clouds obscure the sun
stealing the shadow from a little boy
who flails his arms frantically at the loss
Geese keep pleasant distance
from the children throwing week old bread
salvaged from dark cupboard
in their direction They swim hastily to it
stretch regal necks to seize it
then retreat Turning from them
I reach my hand beneath the bench
recover the trampled blossom
brush tiny grains of sand from the marred petals
and tuck it into my hair.


Scott Ferry
FottScary@aol.com

Bio

First of all I won’t blow up a Levitz near you I’m sure of it now My name is Scott Ferry and I grew up in Huntington Beach,  CA I swam quite a bit as a young lad, memorized the black line on the bottom of the pool, burned out Went to college in Santa Barbara, memories of which come back to me more and more every day Then I became a high school English teacher, probably more for my parents than anything else A bad idea I moved to Seattle,  met a freak such as myself and we will soon be married I study Chinese Medicine now A good idea Oh yeah, I write poetry and got published and stuff (Blue Satellite, Spillway, Seattle Review,  Crab Creek Review) I write to keep the furniture nightmares away Hey, maybe I will stick a needle in you at one time or another (your back hurt?)

The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by Scott Ferry and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


The Horny Superhero Who Really Is A Villain


After watching the woman I want
slip outside the bar with another man, 
I grip my beer with superhuman force
and try to look mild-mannered
I ask my friend Diane about the guy,
“Do you think he is kind of slimy?”
She says, “Yes, he sneaks around
lookin’ for it all the time He tried to hit on me, even though
I think it’s pretty obvious I’m a lesbian “
So then I realize why I don’t like him,
why he pretends he listens
instead of listening, 
why his words are webs I see him as a tattered Spiderman
sticking unsuspecting damsels to his groin
with unclean strands of talk Inside an alcohol comic strip
I see myself as another superhero:
“Anti-Horn-Dog Man”
or “I’ll-Save-You-From-Sleazy-Sex Man ”
I wear green and blue nylon
and have wings on my head like Apollo I walk into my intended’s bedroom gleaming, 
a comic strip light shooting from behind me
into the darkened room I sense the evil one on the ceiling, 
webs woven to all four corners He is eyeing her in her bed, his lips slick
He snaps his head towards me, shaking She is asleep so I call out her name, 
arms poised on my Anti-Hormone Belt She opens her eyes and looks up at the ceiling She shrieks silent film screams
until she looks at me in the doorway
her eyes puddling with gratitude and lust And just before I manhandle Spiderman
and pull his mask off
and all the cop helicopters land on the roof,
I hear a voice from beside me
“I don’t think she’s who you are looking for
anyhow, Scott ” My friend is right So I take another gulp of beer
and slam the drawing board shut, 
smashing a spider and its prey.


television

when my Grandmother Downes
was dying, she drifted in
and out of consciousness
her daughters
stood by her bed, sat
down, 
stood up again
looking into their mother’s face
which turned from side to side
shaking no to a transparent emissary
on the other end of her eyes
grandmother ordered
her daughters to pack her suitcase
she asked the nurse how the bed
would fit through the door
when it was time for her to go
then she grew lucid, smiling
as if her husband
had just asked her to marry
and she had answered yes
which seemed impossible
because he had died 15 years before
my mother asked her
“is Papa here?”
grandmother nodded her head yes
yes and the television snapped on
by itself, filling the room
with urgent noise
and color
“no logical explanation
for it,” the nurse said
as she whisked out noiselessly
my grandmother
allowed her eyes to close
repeating resplendent
vows to the young groom
in the doorway


After Seeing the Art of Julie Paschkis

In the paintings
.basins and rivers steep
.under
.the curves of canvas
and ghosts with boar’s faces
.and long harpy hair
sling ringing the water’s lost glare
.under the skin Children hang upside down from
.supermarket guiderails and peel
grapes on the banks
.of bamboo rivers .And always under the water
are the sleeping people: a lady with roll-
.down eyes swinging us
.in her roots, a nude swimmer
wearing our limbs, 
.an acolyte with ether
fingers and an egret’s neck;
.such nimble bodies .We create
immeasurable distances
.between what we say
and how we dream

Above ground we begin to forget
.the talk-along whispers
.under our beds, 
.we forget that the Prince of
Arabia’s hip-bones are buried under the
.rubber tree
.in our backyard

.It is only when we are asleep
that we remember that our insides
.are filled with caves, 
vermilion
.pushcarts full of sasquatch
hair
.Our eyes roll as they rub
.against the words we are frightened of, 
.our deafness, and the blue-mouthed
.people we will hear
.as our hearts beat down to zero.

October 4-10, 1999: Delree Rose and Bill Trudo

Week of October 4-10, 1999

Delree Rose and Bill Trudo

Delree Rose
RoseVirgin@aol.com

http://members.aol.com/faeriesong

Bio

I’m Delree Rose, a poet currently finding shelter in Providence,  Rhode Island I’m an editor of Stirring, an online poetry collection, and a preformed and published poet and playwright.


The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by Delree Rose and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


How I Got To April

January

I fell asleep last year with letters
printed on wooden tiles, hands,
like lycra across my thigh, a poem
about Carolina limbs in winter,
but woke to a man with eyes
like songs I decided then to smile,
decided to pull him through
Charleston, Columbia, the Appalachians,
to the tethered state beyond
The waking was short I crammed
our worlds into the backseat of a car
and drifted like foam, away from moon,
toward noon at its climax I forced him
behind the wheel and slept

I still don’t remember which exit
I’m at Which county I belong to The northern world is an anomaly,
and I am Jonah, swallowed
When he kept driving the baskets
beneath my eyes carried lifetimes I bled
his voice when it clicked The stars hated
us in the end, colliding and rupturing
on the blackboard of night
February

The month was wet No rain,
just the subtle hands of time
becoming brave I laughed
at the moon, wrote her, spoke of her
solitary suicide, how she slips, 
like injured animals, from the eye,
and rots beyond the endless stretch
of horizon I couldn’t take my stars
from him, left them in the abyss
of snow He would call and his laughter
would be a sky so shot full of holes
that I would rain on my own

But I became a cupid, telling him
stories about people who pretended
otherwise Who lapped up listless
wisp of cloud, and held it under tongue I wasn?t one of them I just spit
out seeds, and burned SaintValentine myself

March

He gave a space between body
and wall for me to live I pushed the South
from my eyes and spoke as if I’d never
tasted gravy over bread Dressed like
an Eskimo, knowing all the thousand words
for snow Furious Forgotten Phlegmatic I wrote about tires and their trudge
through the lanes of unfamiliar license plates
and men with beards as I’ve never seen
The snow was not packed It melted
across my birthday, singing a death march I didn’t know I could inspire,
until Persephone rose, to take my tongue
on hers My sin for a thousand wakeless morns
Returning I didn’t know winter anymore
It was a story told to children so as it quell
their eyes, feed them sleep I became a tsunami I destroyed time and its shards of silence

By now Carolina was distant The northern
terrace, a cradle of memory I breast-fed wait
April

He rang it in with a bell so large it could have been
me I still shudder from the backlash

The circuitous fashion of dream amuses,
traveling as a monarch in March, north, north, 
north, until home became who it was

I wish I could too travel with wings like castles,
stretched across the fabric of sky Instead,
I wait for the flowers of May, and all
the rain which shall gorge them.


Bill Trudo
btrudo@megsinet.com

Bio

I currently live in the Chicagoland area

The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by Bill Trudo and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Midwest


The corn repeats rows, waist-high young,
and the soybeans gather at the ankles,
but you have never tended these green fields,
just drive by with the mission of city
strung to the next through worn-out, two-bar towns Catch a drink in dark solemn rooms; wonder
why the harshness here like giggly girl flesh
pinned-up and lipsticked-over to impress
the older, strong hands who find the slow way
every night home, climb in bed with their wives,
and forget love Patience lies with virtue,
acceptance that the ground will try to take
all the sky has to offer, wind and rain,
until the cracks have blown and the rivers
swollen in disregard of the bank’s slope
Climax is passion and brief The dust trails
sent cloudward by the pickup wheels spinning
linger and wash the fields and smooth the edge
with another inch on every tombstone,
the reflective mileage This is what drives
the green shoots, some fancying of blueness
and bright lights that dress yellow from one day
to the next, and you pass through these old towns,
catch a drink at one of the two bars left,
and you understand the bleak hope elsewhere
streamed by your ribbons of destination.


Singles

The women are black dresses,
.spaghetti straps, and curves The men are casual slacks,
.tucked polo shirts, and shoulders
They roam the room like billiard balls Conversation rises and falls

like the tide,
perhaps the engine revving
.then the lull,
the eerie absence and the sputter,
faces looking towards anyone
.for another roaring crest
The keg is full,
the night air on the balcony, crisp Inside drips Words slip

playfully spying,
.gauging like calipers
Her breasts are pert, his buttocks, firm,
and they laugh

in constellations
connecting dots
.of two
or three,
sometimes four
Six have gathered at the couch Stock has split and doubled,
and his eyes green the greenest green
.All her friends giggle–
twenty-five turned back to ten
.and T’s
.and slumber parties
He would have thought of pony tails
and toad kisses then–
.icky cootie kisses–
but now,
.if she can warm his bed
Two guys chug a beer
and pour another from the tap Two gals check their makeup and their lips
in the bathroom mirror
He comments about the hanging art,
.wonders if it’s Japanese or Korean It’s Chinese and she wonders about his heart,
.how warmly would it glow in the sky
Neither will lie,
caught in the parade passing by,
.the top button left unbuttoned,
.the strap that teases with its slide
There are whispers
and there are smiles
and they find themselves together
against the tile of the kitchen walls
The lonely watch their loneliness
and the angry hurl their spit
while the content hope with hope
.just once

for a lifetime to survive.


Confirmation

When I was thirteen,
I said anything
but my doubts
This was the expectation
passed from father and mother
to child
I can still smell
the orderly lines of pews,
the thick incense
Sir More confirmed his faith
by losing his head,
but I didn’t
I dressed in a blue suit,
took his name,
and learned silence.

September 27-October 3, 1999: Barbara Bales and Kay Day


 

week of September 27-October 3, 1999

Barbara Bales and Kay Day

.

BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
click here for submission guidelines

Barbara Bales
barbara@bales.com

Bio

I live in Hawthorne, California 44 years old, mother of 4, grandmother of 2, divorced and just emerging from a few extraordinary years of poverty and hardship .but I am emerging I have been writing poems for thirty years and have pursued publication with some success in the past few years mostly online.


The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by Barbara Bales and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Listen to What the Whore Says

Listen to what the whore says:
“I am the ancient barfly,
“Playing pool with corpses,
“Here’s a dead man in your eye “


Frank and Marie, 60′s

a peek into the rumpus room:
the martini shaker
stuck to the table
meant it was a fine old night

if daddy wasn’t home,
the fight did not end his ship had hit the harbor
when those boots

pounded the porch,
when that bear
of a man burst
through the door
a welcome storm

in a drought
with cash & kisses
& sighs
that dropped on us kids,

til we thought
innocently
of manna,

Innocently, of course,
never having been
to church
or synagogue

or shrine
but that shrine
of Sunday
mornings after Martini nights

when we got
to fetch cup on cup
of black coffee
and cigarettes

from the drawer
(right of the kitchen sink)
& were allowed
to be part

of the cacophony
of ashes, spent love,
the Sunday paper
on the bed.


The Tears Were a Relief

The tears were a relief
A strong breath of air
That came in gasping,
Ran out a scream,
And burst wide open, 
Wet and salty
On the cheeks
Of Alive.


The Exhausted Triangle

After he left I dreamt him
Passing out his business cards
Brazenly in a bar: Speed for Sale
His virtue impounded in dreams
Disguised disgust, my avenue
running bloody rivers
through gutters where lifetimes
were spent
getting exhausted
At the mouth of it an ocean
of wonder remained -
He hated to get his toes wet
Those crinkly toes Fast enough that in retrospect you feel like one gone man,
You stepped up and volunteered
To lighten my nightmare
I awoke to behold your eyes, “honestly”
tired of the lying
You smiled best in sleep
Smiled where the dimples glowed
Smiled like you were alive
Apparently appreciative, even
Grateful perhaps open to
the ocean

Though soaked red by your life
In dreams you believed
in transcendence I swear it
In dreams we could once own the world

Still tired as you were
So devoted to your devices
You perceive survival to be
More vital than life You illustrate an allegory
I grappled with in school,
And crouch and pounce and remain though ever moving
Somewhere that is nowhere
Which is more esteemed than anywhere
If you can make nobody who matters
Believe it is your choice

Picked an old card out of the drawer yesterday
Still spun by my solitude
Lies to go Speed for sale
If I happen to be in Jail,
Call this number instead to find you

I have exhausted both of you
Did my best, my very best My ocean of wonder was a wading pool
To eyes that did not believe what they professed
In lies that were never confessed, not even when pressed,
And geometries that defy and belie
All the goodness we could muster
If we even lived our dreams
Or slept off the rest of our lives.


Product of Conception

.If a woman wants to be a writer,
.she should not write odes to her abortions
.Erica Jong

Not someone who had blue eyes;
Someone who might have This dull green, of walls and gowns,
Is antithesis
Of verdant Not someone you loved, who died;
Someone you made, denied
Blood comes later-a period,
Not someone Not green, not pale, not
Heaving in recovery
Not aching like it tore its own way through
Not, essentially, you;
Essentially a product, a smear -
A smudge on a slide
Don’t pretend to miss it, miss it Don’t let the doctor miss it!
Dismiss it It’s an it that was
And never will be.


Despair

Despair is a bleak thing,
an ogre whose address is absence.


Kay Day
KDay547860@aol.com

Bio

A freelance writer in Columbia, South Carolina for about seventeen years, Kay Day often tells audiences, “I have done the impossible I have made a living as a writer in the state of South Carolina ” Why and how? “Because the south loves nothing more than a writer,  and the country loves nothing more than a southern writer “

Day attended the University of South Carolina and majored in English After college, she joined the staff of South Carolina Wildlife Magazine where she worked in promotions and also contributed articles She then joined the South Carolina Forestry Association as Communications Director, a post she left to become a freelance writer
For eleven years, Day edited the state pharmacy journal as well as a criminal justice newsletter She served as special publications writer for the endangered species section at the state’s Department of Natural Resources So that her mother could see her name in print in a publication her mother could appreciate, Day freelanced for Columbia’s largest major daily newspaper for about twelve years
Day has published poetry in national magazines such as: “Lollipops” and “Purpose,” and in regional publications such as “Pegasus ” Some nationals that have published Day’s articles include: “NABA Review, On Campus, Forest Farmer, Southern Lumberman and Byline ” The state of Ohio uses Day’s poetry in its test preparation curriculum for high school students Day has been widely published in a variety of state and regional journals and newspapers
Day has won awards for poetry (state and national levels), medical journalism (national level) and natural history writing (state level, on behalf of the Peregrine Falcon protection program )Her poem, “Top Story,” was selected as a finalist in the 1999 Porter Fleming competition She is the recipient of the 1998 Carrie Allen McCray Literary Award for Poetry Her poem, “The Gift,” won the 1998 Byline National Literary Award for poetry Her web site,  Wordbeat, offers articles on a variety of subjects and writing advice
The poetry anthology, Links, published by PoetWorks Press, features a selection of Day’s poems In February, the literary zine, Perihelion,  part of the Webdelsol literary ring, included three of Day’s poems in a special issue devoted to women writers The March issue of Pif featured Day’s poem, “Point of Reference,” a work about her hometown in Newberry, South Carolina Women and Creativity Editor(suite101.com) Anne Johnson, featured Day’s poem, “Dear Mother-in-Law,” on her popular site, Womenfolk.com Day has also published in the literary publication, Conspire The magazine, The Writer, recently featured an excerpt from a response to a column in a prior issue of The Writer about the negative impact of computers on writing (imagine!) Her poetry is forthcoming in the literary zine The New Cuisenart and her poem, “Rehab,” is included in the state of Ohio’s 12th Grade language arts program
In addition to writing, Day supplements her unpredictable income by addressing trade groups on the subjects of writing and marketing Day serves as state representative/South Carolina for the national writers’ magazine, Byline Day is a member of the SC Writers Workshop She is a member of the online poetry group, Athens Avenue
Writing has been a passion since Day published her first essay at the age of six She got to read it for a local radio station and enjoyed the aftermath of pre-pubescent celebrity During her years at the University of South Carolina, Day spearheaded a campaign to save the literary magazine from budget cuts Kay Day has never been anything but a writer At the moment, she is investigating MFA programs in hopes of entering one this coming year

The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by Kay Day and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Top Story


Two helicopters pause low above the river Tree branches flap in artificial wind
Light crawls the surface, men and dogs
scour rocks and shallows
Pinned to the horizon a woman shades her eyes,
clutches a baseball cap Floral print billows
Natural– a young boy’s decision to swim
in mid-July, the wet leap, kick of limbs

as arms part the water rolling over and under
in mockery of heat
Unfathomable, that water turns on play,
churns twigs and silt, dismisses air

and the river enters this boy, then surges
through the woman in a great gush

so that she barely breathes Her lips form questions

that will return every day
like meddlesome kin.


Rounding Grendel

Grendel inspired fear, but his own slaughter
spawned immortality and the wrath of his mother
who stormed from the lair,
her gut bloated with a fine Dane
Revenge flattened, 
this death comforted, no loss
in a long line renewing since Cain One always makes another of its kind

as she must have, spreading her epic
pheromones, retracting claws,
spewing fumes through a ruined wood,
then a colossal slam

of bodies to make an oval
within the water hag in a hole
disturbing the lake bottom
The newborn pierces the water

enters the sludge to brood,
to listen with skin.


Natural History

The key to saving wood ducks
besides women giving up hat feathers
depends on keeping snakes from nests A snake can belly up a pole,
sneak inside the box,
render manmade habitat impotent
Once a biologist pulled out a .38,
hit a snake dead on Baby ducks intact,
I requested the corpse of the moccasin He was a perfect specimen
for hands-on science with the kids For forty miles, all six feet of him rested
in a burlap bag next to my feet
In the yard by the zinnias and petunias,
the bag turned upside down,
the cotton mouth plopped to the ground,
then quite naturally slithered away
With superiority found only in places
where briars and ticks latch onto your legs,
his white mouth would have grinned
if it could, full of mettle.


Elementary Logic

With a wall of calla lilies for cover, I crouch
on forbidden ground Their door is always open Skinny as a stick man grabs her, 
fills her head with knuckles and words
The whole street knows he stays at Red’s Highway 12
bar just long enough to spike his temper She’s his match, though, a slight blond shrieker
who calls her man every dirty word in the book

while the neighbor women roll biscuits
and cook string beans to soft dark and sweet
just before the whistle blows down at the shirt plant I stay in their yard, know exactly how long

before Mama sticks her head out our back door to summon
me I’ll watch until both of them start to cry
whetting the long slow burn of my curiosity,
then the careful slide backwards

I want my supper and home where fists
might beat a wall or two and anguish
can fill the night like random tracers
while I finger the fine close stitches
on the quilt Grandmother made for my bed.

September 20-26, 1999: Caron Andregg, Timothy Russell and Linda Etheridge

Week of September 20-September 26, 1999

This week presenting the winners of the
1999 (second annual) Poetry Super Highway Poetry Contest:


Caron AndreggTimothy Russell,
and Linda Etheridge

Caron Andregg
caron@poetrycalendar.com

Bio

Caron Andregg placed second in last years poetry contest; second only to this years Judge Robert Wynne She recently received her MFA in writing and is launching a new annually released anthology,  Cider Press Review Her poem Cloud Chamber received a perfect score of 15 from this years judges earning her the first place position in this year’s contest She lives in San Diego, California She was a featured poet of the week on the Poetry Super Highway in March of 1997, and February of 1998.


The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by Caron Andregg and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Cloud Chamber

I
A neutrino reveals itself
in the infinitesimal
oxygen-bubble path
through an astronomer’s
cloud chamber
high on Mt Rainier;
like so many things, invisible
yet always with us
In the trail it burns
through everything it burns,
is an asteroid’s suicidal dive
striping the atmosphere,

a rain-streak weeping
down a solitary window
in Aberdeen — its single
yellow square framed
by rainswept night
There are so many ways
to be alone


II
The insomniac in Boca
watches his lover’s ribs
heave and sigh in sleep
He is thinking of neutrinos
and the theory they, 
of all things, can travel
back through time

He would return
to that moment
between her knowing
he pressed damply to her back, 
her rump, her thighs, 
and her not knowing;

return as she slipped under
on the dark tide
of her breathing;

return to her, 
poised and fluttering,
just before the fall

III

The penitent in Scranton
enters a house of glass
He is thinking of stars
in their slow march, 

and of the moment
their light no longer
traced the shape of God, 

when they became
the sprockets and cogs
of constellations
indifferent to atmosphere

The house stands
empty as his throat
fills with draft His soul
is a box of fog

IV
The exile in Aberdeen
watches as endless rain
streaks the night into bars
against his solitary window
He is writing a letter
to his lover in Indiana
and thinking of the time
she’ll split the seam
he licks to seal

and how his lips
in leaving pressed, 
one by one, the pink
cabochons of her fingertips
pale as moonstones

In streaks of ink he traces
the shape of her thigh, 
ciphers the subtraction of one
On this sail of pale paper
he returns to her hand.


Timothy Russell
timothyr@clover.net

Bio

Timothy Russell’s poem ‘In Excelsis’ received 12.9 points in this years contest earning him the second place spot He lives in Toronto,  Ohio


The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by Timothy Russell and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


In Excelsis

“Fortunately there is history -if you can find it “
-Jacques

Barzun

At the very peak, Sammy loved Trish
and sprayed this truth on a bridge abutment
with stolen fluorescent pink paint
Small pleasure craft gathered at dark
just downstream from the marina
at the half moon bend in the river,

their red and green lights bobbing
on the glassy black water,
somebody’s CD player blaring “Bolero,”

and the full, apricot moon suspended,
eerily silent, above it all, in the eastern sky,
almost edible, a gigantic vanilla wafer
Aerial displays blossomed from the brow of the hill,
opening like sea anemones,
but the brief wave of euphoria,

or whatever it was,
washed away westward,
and we began this melancholy decline.

Linda Etheridge
livre@webtv.net

Bio

Linda Etheridges poem ‘Block Island Memory’ received 12.7 points in this years contest earning her the third place spot She lives in New Milford, Connecticut She was a featured poet of the week on the Poetry Super Highway in November of 1998

The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by Linda Etheridge and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Block Island Memory


It was a lime sherbert day
with silhouette portrait
of two sailors (true friends)
under sea-sky Sailboats send patterns
over wake as dolphins bob
in ocean iris- there is
chasm between
life and death in the navy spray Wind pierces this portrait,
pulls it eastward
there is sense of great white In an eternal gesture
the sailors come about
then capsize, it is their death A small cape cod house
on hilly bluffs
surrounded by wild roses
holds an oil painting
where a schooner roams free,
searching.

September 13-19, 1999: Joel Spencer and David Barnes

Week of September 13-September 19, 1999

Joel Spencer  and David Barnes

Joel Spencer
dfmar@webtv.net

Bio(auto)

My name is Joel Spencer, I live in Melbourne, Australia I have published one novel in Australia I have had many jobs I am 25 years old.


The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by
Joel Spencer and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Seeing you among uni students
They were
rushing toward their accidents
open-mouthed, limbs
giggling with the energy
of unlearning
Unlocking all the traps
that had so slowly wound about them
over the years
The future a catastrophe of moonlight
You were
leaning over the bannister,
you were
a wind without flags,
a rumour of body parts
flung together
in a perfect accident.


Moving House (again)

The winter we left
was a mess of elbows and papers We were ‘shipping out’, seeking port
blindly in seething cloud

of couches and the strange
smell of sharehouses
Other people took us in
because you knew them and they took pity
on you for me
Shining from behind
the persian curtain
of yr eyelids.


David Barnes
db@aceonline.com.au

Bio(auto)

I am very much Australian, I moved from Paddington, my birthplace- New South Wales, on to Victoria, where after graduation as a ward of the state of Victoria I started work at 13 as a carpentry tradesmen in Melbourne, leaving for the bush to build indiginious- Aboriginal Settlements in the early 60′s, and had a wonderful time- living, working out bush, a great people who showed me their love of the land-

After 11 years at that, I took what I could (driller, trench digger,  stockman, petrol pumper, cook, whatever) for a living & experience I traveled then took up picking Folk Guitar, singing at the main Folk singing centers & festivals throughout Australia Travel,  included turns about Australia, Tasmania, England, & France I also spent time in the USA in 1994- (mostly New England, Boston,  & Rhode Island, with a turn inland to Michigan)
In Perth I worked in Real Estate for 24 years until my wife died of lymphomia cancer- in October 1996 We met in Alice Springs- 1971 The, Northern Territory- “top end” as it was called back then- I have lived in Perth since 1972– I Married here– I fell in love with Perth-on my first round- Australia trip– and concluded,  that if I “ever” married-At 29 years of age- I did– that I would Settled here in Perth, a wonderful state
I traveled from the age of 17- until I was 29–

My writing began when I first took up playing Folk Guitar– at 18yrs of age- and has continued all my life- I really started writing poetry- later in life, and became a full time writer/poet in 1997

I built Poetry Downunder May 1998– firstly for my own poetry, and somehow it just grew into what it is today–

I have a young son — Daniel- whom I am very proud of, he is now - 12 years old-a great lad and good fun to be with- and I love being a “mum & Dad”
I currently work in Perth, hard at the operation of this website,  I have been published in England America and around Australia online- and in odd Anthologies somehow- I came 3rd in Auzlit au online Victorian poetry competition in 1998

I am currently revising 100 poems for publication, and completion of my book Sacred Dances

The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by David Barnes and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Kangaroo


i am Australia
land of bloodred sands
mountain’s- wide open plains

living my structured life-

i blend unseen
forage for food
down nature’s dream-

i have lived your brutality
i neither fear- nor hate
accuse or forgive

more wounded than ire-

your fumes rise
choking you continually

when you destroy yourself-

who shall work?
in your glazed towers-

live in your emptiness.


Sanitarium Society

You meet them,
Incumbents for the public –
Men suited in blue, black, gray, over the years
Faces that smile benevolently,
Soulless beneath veneered facades,
Eyes smiling, ice-cold, calculating,
On whose tongues silken words emanate,
Mesmerizing tones to ones ears Seeking to feed you sanctimonious morality Men who bury veracity in obscurity,
Baubles that, if unclothed in light of day
Burn with the heat of disclosure You heed
How they preached an art
Practiced in the corridors of power,
Justification of their unholy alliance,
Suppression of fact
For it is not in the public interest
This can of worms wriggles,
Threatening to open before them –
And you listen and watch,
Absorbed by the jaws of schematization,
Inlaid with ambiguity over time Tormented in spirit,
Licking wounds, beliefs-dismembered in surgical precision,
Weary and opposed, you publish truth beliefs –
And still the Jackals nip your heals in deceit,
Disguised to cleanse the brotherhoods And you You find you are expendable,
Classified a war-causality waged in deceit and deception These religious men of repute,
Captive of thirty piece of silver –
In their hands you place mistaken trust,
The doctor, the surgeon, the lawyer, the politicians accountants;
Nonetheless
You dance with the devils in the sanitarium society And when one in status falls
Another rises takes their place
You wonder,
In whose hands can you place credence?
Surely not in men
Arrayed in blue black and gray.

September 6-12, 1999: Dominic Martia and Nancy Etchemendy

Week of September 6-September 12, 1999

Dominic Martia and Nancy Etchemendy

Dominic Martia
dfmar@webtv.net

Bio(auto)

Dominic Martia is a retired professor who began writing poetry a few years ago and realizes he needs more time He lives in Chicago.


The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by
Dominic Martia and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Right?

Right, he had the moves
our friend
Played with the pros
at one time How long ago?

Two plastic hips
Right?
Moved, right?
Vegas, right?

I was there last year Won two hundred I can hang around
casinos all night
no clocks
no moon Watch them
play the slots
waiting
for the prize
that never comes Zombies
Right?

So, do you ever
hear from our friend?


Chet Baker’s Paris, 1955

The Seine flows
beneath vibrating
bridges
Gargoyles stare
down in serene
agony
Girls line
their eyes to look
stunned
The west wind
is large
and dry and warm.


Paying Respects

November sorrows
are all the same
I put connection aside Even paying respects
is by formula
Still, I visit Without visits, I think
the very seeds might petrify
Returning to the car
I feel clods of earth
under foot
hard, separate It’s November.


Nancy Etchemendy
nancy@csli.stanford.edu

http://www.sff.net/people/etchemendy/

Bio(auto)

I was born in Reno and grew up messing around in Nevada, where there is a lot of weird and fascinating stuff once you get off I-80 I live in the San Francisco Bay Area now (Menlo Park), but Nevada seems to be in my bones, and I’ve kind of stopped expecting to feel really at home anyplace else I’ve had some poetry published,  though only piecemeal, and only in places most people have never heard of I’ve never done a reading Well .I do read for my dog sometimes.


The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by Nancy Etchemendy and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Life Passes on I-5


Right now I hunker down
in the middle of time,
just my age, I guess,
standing in the dirty
brush beside I-5
watching 18-wheelers wail by I might see first
their points of origin:
some Peterbilt perfected
by a floodlamp in Salinas
where mestizos laughed
and loaded it to groaning
with tomato culls;
or a flashy custom Mack
hauling beeves from
the Great Basin,
my own point of origin;
I’ve come that far Or I might think
where they are headed:
some cannery, a slaughterhouse,
a place I know from postcards,
Portland, or Seattle, say;
maybe a freighter with
a weird flag waits
to carry steaks or ketchup
to some land of skies
busy with bright birds
and crazy stars It’s all dependent on the day,
and how I’m doing at the moment Baby, it’s all new to you The only words you know
are someday and tomorrow,
how you’ll ditch this town,
head for Paris, Katmandu,
or Bakersfield You don’t believe me,
but I feel a time
come roaring down this road
like a trucker with no load
except the past,
when we won’t see any way
but back, to how
we used to leap,
we used to love,
we used to plan.


Sometimes

Sometimes
toward morning the noise stops–
not of a sudden, but softly,
just the way night ends Most of the cabbies
have rolled home to bed,
or they doze, smoke, read westerns,
parked in the neon lights,
waiting for tired fares Even the high rollers have to sleep
sometimes That’s what I whisper, alone,
alone in my room, alone in my life,
everyone has to sleep
sometimes Sixteen trains
pass through this town
every night of the year,
some short, most long I have counted the cars
sometimes,
that’s how desperate I get Fifty, sixty, eighty-two once,
seven engines down by the tracks,
a lucky number I felt them rumble through me
like a herd of mustangs
following some stallion
none of them knew Sometimes
toward morning I hear them
pounding down from the mountains
to the wide brush, the dry land
where I think he rides Sometimes
I hear their wailing far off,
deep, like his sadness or my own,
the sound of our wild longing
to find the way home.


Mustang Woman

I came here to be free It was hard ditching what came easy,
hard even to feel the rope on my neck
it had been there so long Everything I’d been told I should need
or else be half a woman, I had acquired:
a strong man, a roof, a yard,
a stove, a couple kids and more,
just how my mama did it,
so it made my pa say, “Princess,
this is the life “
That’s the part you remember: Princess,
alone in the dark, bruises gathering
on your cheeks, branded like a pony,
downpour rattling on the tin,
and the kids trying to cry quiet Princess The way your heart flies
when he’s pleased It’s good you give me this ride,
but judge me not I may look the same to you,
hardlife woman in a trailer,
who cleans a stranger’s messes
to feed kids she oughtn’t have But I ain’t You don’t see what I’m free from now.


Working Toward Shore

This is the dream of swimming,
the air not really adrift,
like curtains from the sun’s high furnace,
only seeming The world is heat,
the water so salty I won’t sink,
even if I lie motionless upon it How dare I try to cross an inland sea
this way, without a boat,
who couldn’t save herself in a backyard pool?
Some man swims up to whisper it’s impossible,
I’ll never get what I’m after,
he hates me for trying But I take another stroke and another Slowly the red cliffs glide past,
And miles away the shore
seems closer.

August 30-September 5, 1999: Dave Waddell and Alana Mae Alcott

Week of August 30-September 5, 1999

Dave Waddell  and Alana Mae Alcott

Dave Waddell
dwaddell@greynet.net

Bio(auto)

I’m an old guy, poor health has run me out to pasture I’m tired of retirement I have a truly lovely wife, three children and one grandson Have I told you I’m retired? I guess I did Have I told you the old memory chips are slow RAM? Just think what you have to look forward to I live up in Canada, in Ontario,  in Bruce County, not in town, in the country The nearest big city is Kitchener Waterloo Have I told you I’m retired? I’ve been published in some local papers, circulation about 40,000 Have I told you I’m retired?


The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by
Dave Waddell and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Deeply, I Feel

I have spent twenty years overcoming my fear of high places
Now I routinely tie my shoe laces with the flourish of long practice
Most of the time I check my skin like a potato
Half the time I find my eyes have not grown
The rest of the time, I spend dreaming
Most of the time, I spend at summer resorts
I can not tolerate some things while others I may, it depends.


Horses, Action

If I draw a picture of a horse, like a child would with a flatness on a page and some hills on a page, would the horses glide over the hills like a page sliding off a table?


Daphne


Daphne wrote a story about a bird
Oh, he wondered, am I in a poem?


It’s Hard to Describe Summer

The ice cream smelled like a flower and the children looked like butterflies.


What’s on Channel 4

On their way up they are hungry and on their way down they are desperate
When they first start they are trying to carve out a place for themselves
They are good and bad, they will do what they need to
The love to be creative and successful and everybody knows it and knows them
Then they hit a block, Arnold Palmer loses his swing or Babe Ruth his or Rembrandt loses his
stroke and they have to face twenty or thirty years of trying and they know how great and
good it was and they want it back and it refuses and they talk to it but they can?t touch it ever again, like a divorced couple from a failed marriage that once worked and then doesn’t and they can’t
walk away and leave it;
Listen, you think these guys have fun and they had such great freedom but it was only there at the start and then the gears get at them, put to them, they come out hamburger
So they try to live fast, live hard, get it up, use it up before it’s gone You want to see what happens when Arnold Palmer loses his swing or Mickey Mantle loses his
swing or Mohammed Ali forgets something or Bob Dylan remembers over and over on stage
When you go on TV and say, “Hi, I’m Arnold Palmer ” I want to say, “I understand and I love you “
But living life uses it up, then makes the cut The only thing it seems I can say is, “Here is a paint brush and here is a can of paint, paint yourself out of a corner if you can; we love you but we also have our disappointments “
“Hey, what’s on Channel 4?”


The Postman Rings

I went to the store and purchased a new hard boiled egg, then I cancelled my insurance, then wrote a note to the postman asking her to forgive me for all the yogurt I rubbed on her body the last time
we had dinner
I knew that you like ice cream and balloons but I thought we could lick stamps together In future I shall never fish from your balcony, it is too easy to drop a line like this;
I cannot resist you, I shall send you a postcard, airmail from home;
I know a girl who broke two toes because one was not enough.


Is It The Season?

So the guns go off when it is just light enough to see
Imagine you are a lovely creature invented in the heart and mind of God
And set upon the earth to get your life, to produce and reproduce
And one day just when everything is before you and behind you
And everything has an easy understandable shape
And when your connection to everything outside of yourself is nearly perfect
Three shots punch out dimly in the early dawn and it is all over
Now imagine it is real
Now you don’t have to imagine it because it is real.


For What It’s Worth

You can’t catch a fish with a frying pan
Who said that?
I think it was Brautigan.


Bio(auto)

Alana is not very published, or known (in general, and is having a hard time trying to write things about her self, which makes her scared) She is interested in everything, and tends to carry a (35 mm) camera along with her to steal memories and such She enjoys lounging around with her pet tortoise, reading and smiling,  as well as the Pacific Ocean She wants to make art for a living.


The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by Alana Mae Alcott and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


For the boy on Garnet in P.B

there is something
in your eyes that
shakes me to the
bone when you
ask me for change
-”for food”-
you have deep dark cheek bones
starving arms long sad blue
eyes, and a desperately addicted body
i offer you my apple it’s delicious, so good
i am almost begging you
to take it
it scares me
seeing you like this
for the first time willing to ask me a complete
stranger to aide you
in your journey
“Take this,” i say Holding out my hand
i refuse to believe
that you have no hope
even after you deny
my offer
and walk on.


I want to tie you up
i could analyze this
phrase,
these words

put
together
which is

my sentence:

to be tied up restricted owned and controlled.


“I’d Say “

I’d say we could
dance in the moonlight
right on this very pier

And you could stop
the dancing just to
look at me.


Today Is Mothers Birthday
i talked to her 2 years ago
on her birthday, that was the
last time i heard her voice she sounded so beautiful
and worn, tired and southern
her accent is comforting

sometimes people say i sound
southern i don’t know why

she sings like an angel she’s old though, tough
+ recovering
from her addiction i hope

she’s missing teeth,
brain cells and her 3 children

she smokes Camels and drinks
iced tea without sugar
she lives in a house
with no running water,
no electricity
she is brave she is a survivor
She is losing her eye sight
in her left eye she would paint
unicorns on envelopes
and hibiscus on watercolor paper
but she stopped.


perspective

she gave me a tattoo
with a needle + india ink
on my right hip on the floor
in her bedroom that is
how much a trusted her
trusted her enough to
lose all my inspriation
for the sake of her happiness

she never lied to me

impregnated
and i didn’t hear a word
about it she never lied to me
she just didn’t tell me
there was distance and miscarages
loss of the one inside
she herself
[to painful to say why]

meth amphetamines
says the D and then
the denial
when confronted figures she would lie to me
eventually distance is
perpetual even if it’s only
10 miles
we sit cross-legged
feets close
almost touching
mine seemingly moving
further away
spelling words and comple
ting eachothers
sentences
confident in their
endings.

August 23-29, 1999: Don Bellinger and John Schallenkamp

Week of August 23-August 29, 1999

Don Bellinger and John Schallenkamp

Don Bellinger
dcbell@innw.net

Bio(auto)

My name is Don Bellinger and I live in a small trailer in the one tavern town of Prescott, Washington, which is situated right in the middle of the wheat hill country of southeastern part of the state I have no publishing history except a modest and uncluttered personal web site called Don’s Poetry Page Some of my poems are currently showcased there
I have earned two Associate degrees in Computer Technology, and am currently working on a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Technology from Eastern Washington University I am middle-aged (the middle of what I don’t know, we’ll see), unmarried and seldom frequent the town’s one tavern, The Tux But if the right tall, long-legged red head were to drift in, and offer to instruct me in the finer points of 9-Ball, well, I could learn to drink a beer or two.


The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by
Don Bellinger and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


The Closing of the Day

With the closing of the day she dreamed of forgetting
the moments that had outlived their usefulness
and the men who had grown too young for their girlfriends
girlfriends who married and called only on holidays

with the closing of the day she imagined kisses
that were so sweet they were beyond intoxication
tears she would gather up in a wine glass, offering up
a toast, they were hers and honestly earned

with the closing of the day she danced in the living room,
the lights low, the music cool and smooth and caressing bare
feet carrying her through long ago patterns of love-making
where hours of flesh soothed the soul and agitated the spirit

with the closing of the day she sojourned with the universe, the distant galaxies
distant lovers, distant heartbreaks, the distance that was like making the bed
in the morning, smoothing the comforter, realizing she had progressed to the center
hers alone, and not such a bad place to be, for such a far traveler.


Love in the Astrophysics Department

She pegs her future on his shy glances
Unaware that he slow dances with mathematical equations

If only she would divulge her asymmetric inequalities
And show him where to puncture the calculus of a kiss

But the gates of the cosmos do not recognize their retinal scans
Certain galactic entities chastise our couple from the cheap seats

She wipes away potato chip particles
Pretending to probe the mating rituals of anti-protons

He triple checks all of the relevant equations
Believing the delicate fuzz on her arms will align themselves into plus signs

Her soft brown eyes must be shielded from solar indiscretions
Indiscretions which leave her reeling, and enveloped within the confines of the flesh

He turns down an invitation to the astrophysics lecture and dinner dance
Mistakenly thinking he has disproved the theory of her long legs

She has no place to become excitable and spend the night
And the laws of physics are busy elsewhere

So he rummages through an old pile of Astronomy
And manages to spread out a particularly enticing centerfold

Mars and its red sands leave her theoretically sullied and potentially unfulfilled
She decides to show a certain interest in American Literature


Riding a Heat Wave

Not a cloud in sight
so hot, oxygen has a hard time
crossing the street
God, for some rain
wash away all the tears
the cleansing power

of water, she talks within herself, sitting
at the kitchen table, late in the afternoon,
drenched, “God for a gully washer!”
and someone to fix the air-conditioner,

and what if
some stranger were to pull off the highway
into this one tavern town, drive down her
street, park next to her trailer, peer into her
kitchen window, some strange women,
an identical twin perhaps, driving a brand new
Cadillac, blinking away hot tears,
in air-conditioned comfort

does water wash all the scars clean?

the twin never pulls off, drivers straight on through

a nice cold shower will have to be good enough, she
strips her drenched T-shirt, and heads down the narrow hall,
and is goosed by something just below
the surface of the shimmering sheen of heatmare Jeez, this is no good, her nipples have a mind
of their own, it’s too damned hot, a dam breaking
flood, a release, a drowning, this is no, she
can’t seem to get enough
oxygen
a hard rain has got to come
pounding and cleansing and ooh so cold!


John Schallenkamp
ssw4658201@aol.com

Bio(auto)

My name is John Schallenkamp I am 21 years old I started writing when I was sixteen I have only been published a couple of times,  mainly in small anthologies and zines None of them bear mentioning here.


The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by John Schallenkamp and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


untitled


No warmth to be had
all slate gray snow city streets
old men make angels


Schitzo

I was of two
minds,
and in each one’s
eye
several thousand people
lay dying
Only the hand
of the murderer
was different
Purely academic.


Silence, Gray Lady Down

Shades of gray crowd
these eternally November
days
But we go on
in earnest,

onward,

forward,

past the carwrecks
of our loves fortunate enough
to escape
On the way home,
home to Jesus
or Allah
or Elvis
or whomever
We,
all of us suits
move on through
in Leave It To Beaver
black and white

till only the gray lady
is left there,

Crying,
to feed the pigeons
Together with the
war memorial
giving permanence to
the park.


Poughkeepsie Fragment

Maybe it just
looks sadder than
it really is,

tree city, u.s.a
{yuk,yuk }
and I am officially
sick to my stomach
Sanman never showed
I’ll wait here awhile
When the shots
ring out
welfare ladies smile
Stick around
Anybody whose nobody
dies on South Cherry.


Bad Juju


The old woman
with the sourmash whisky face
chants the sun into being
“There is sunshine now”,
she whispers,
feighning no sense of accomplishment
“Be thankfull”
She laughs
And along with
my new buddy
the salamander
I feel the heat on my
back—

and shudder

August 9-15, 1999: Leslie Cohen and Michael Mack

Week of August 9-August 15, 1999

Leslie Cohen and Michael Mack

Leslie Cohen
leslie_c@ein-hashofet.co.il

Bio(auto)

I am a freelance writer and a member of Kibbutz Ein Hashofet (Israel) I have published over fifty book reviews in recent years I have also published dozens of poems and about a dozen interviews with writers Finally, I have published a number of articles in educational journals for English teachers.


The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by
Leslie Cohen and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Birdsong

Every hour has its own rhythms

The morning fugue, an exercise in pre-dawn hysteria, 
calms into alegretto twittering as the sun rises

At dawn, staccato
Beak to beak
they toss instructions
to build the day

After-dawn allegro fades into afternoon andante
as the slow-moving hours weave morning into noon

Early evening adagio, a symphony for scattered soloists, 
subsides into moonlight pianissimo-our midnight lullaby

Birdsong: the balm that heals the daylit soul
as dreams do in our sleep.


Beit Guvrin *

Hillsides of vibrant red poppies
waving in the slow breeze of late winter
droplets of blood on a vast healing lawn
cover a city whose skeletons testify
to the force that never dies, but dreams
beneath the red-on-green
of a previous winter

I step cautiously
into the dark chamber
where a staircase spirals
like the shell of a snail
deep into the columbarium
Doves still nestle there

Fingering the blind stone surfaces
I re-enter a piece of sculpture
chiseled by my own hands

The mighty sigh of a choir
rises through the great dome
as multitudes of former dwellers
join us in the cavern
to enfold us in their echo

Beit Guvrin
a womb
where the unborn and the dead
dream of us.

* Beit Guvrin-an ancient underground city in Israel, resembling the catacombs of Rome


recycled

God is an ancient grandmother
Crocheting the fabric of our lives
She slowly hooks the threads of human care
God is an ancient grandmother
Hunched above the tangle of her task
Fingers swollen, sight almost gone
God is an ancient grandmother
unravelling the loops of our frayed days.


Rain

my whole life spent learning to fall
the moment of descent approaches
still I shudder

others say it’s beautiful
exciting
on the way down
but to touch the earth means to shatter
and I am afraid

I am pushed
wind gusts at my tiny jelly self
shakes my dream of gray
I notice colors
never there before

free-fall is gentle and slow
below the wind stream
ruddy browns poke skyward to greet me
green and yellow-green await me on the ground
blotches of vibrant color swim
with energy far beyond gray
their breeze combs the grass

I land in a color-cup
with other pellets of water
and I do not shatter or splatter:
I am re-embraced
into the common pool
whose memory was almost washed away
in the rain


Trying to Catch

I’m trying to catch a deer with a fish hook I snag his fur and he bolts, annoyed I’m dying to catch your attention, please look
I’m trying to catch a butterfly in a pickle
barrel, but it flutters away after sweeter scents It’s like trying to catch a deer with a fish hook
I’m trying to catch an angel’s ear
with a bee-bop tune, but I’m singing off-key I’m dying to catch your attention, please look
I’m trying to catch your meaning
but you’re speaking backwards, in Chinese It’s like trying to catch a deer with a fish hook
I’m flashing my flamboyance in your face
I’m screaming, singing, dancing all at once I’m dying to catch your attention, please look
I’m trying to catch a kind nod
from the Master ofthe Universe, but
it’s like trying to catch a deer with a fish hook I’m dying to catch your attention, please look.


luminous

welded to the swivel stool
glasses on my bridge
I pick up the spool
of metal conductive wire
core of a fluorescent light

we are to be a lamp unto the nations

I wrap the wire, pull it
through the plastic loop
component parts in line
tidy row of ballasts
core of a fluorescent lamp

my people a light unto the nations

repetitive work
morning takes a week to pass
dull moments welded into history
fabric of my earthly shroud
I fashion the core of illumination

a lamp will shine

the comet hovers overhead
a tail of light against forever
lonely torch in the evening
orbiting in relentless pattern
core of a celestial flame

a light unto the heavens

I ask God to reveal something,
anything Do you wonder, too?
Or, are you welded into the sky
like I in my chair?

a torch unto whom?


Michael Mack
bigroach@gate.net

Bio(auto)

I live in Ft Lauderdale, Florida and have been writing since age five (many, many moons ago) I have been published in a variety of magazines and am a member of the Assoication of Florida Poets,  the Florida State Poetry Association, and the Hannah Kahn Poetry Society By nature, I am a balladeer .


The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by Michael Mack and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


The Dummy


In that forgotten part of town
Where wasted hopes and dreams abound,
A wrinkled man with life near end,
With hopes to have at least one friend,
Fashioned bits of wood and things
And made a dummy run by strings
He sat alone for hours on end
Conversing with his only friend
And found delight within the fact
That he controlled its every act He told it how he’d never had
A chance since all his luck was bad
Although he tried so to succeed -
The dummy nodded and agreed
And how his journeys in romance
Had never given him a chance
And wasn’t it a crying shame
That he was always held to blame
When everyone knew- oh, so well,
That Life was but a living hell,
Controlled by lust and power and greed -
The dummy nodded and agreed
With patience that would rival saints
That dummy sat through all complaints
And, with each little expert tug,
He’d droop his head or bow or shrug
And give some comfort to the man
Who held his lifelines in his hands,
Thus, helped to fill a lonely need
When he just nodded and agreed
Senility increased with time
As did the old man’s pantomime
While feverish fingers pulled with glee
The dummy’s dance of misery They never left each other’s side
Until the day both stopped and died We found them lying, hand in hand,
The dummy-and his wooden friend.

August 2-8, 1999: Audubon Dougherty and Doug Tanoury

Week of August 2-August 8, 1999

Audubon Dougherty and Doug Tanoury

Audubon Dougherty
hellobon@yahoo.com

www.homestead.com/audubon/home.html

Bio(auto)

Audubon Dougherty loves to write and has been doing it from a fetal stage Her work has been published in three different literary magazines from Emerson College, several internet magazines, and is posted on her own homepage She has been active in several writer’s groups and is currently a member Herword Writers, a women’s writer’s group based out of Boston She’s spending the summer writing poetry, satire and other creative content for mybytes.com, a website scheduled for launch in August.


The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by
Audubon Dougherty and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Public Displays of Affection

Little miss watch-I-liked licked
the tips of a redhead’s lips, I think
they were engaged But all along the red line
it went on:
smack kissing and hissing
laughter, standing
in the same spot They made the train so hot
This is why I don’t like PDA–
all the fun flushes away
when people touch and tug
all tongue and teeth and hormone
for an audience of strangers It’s
dangerous, because if I
were an inhibited
big strong guy I’d stomp my
muscled, loveless way
to him, and her, thin-skinned
and say (quite loudly, in a whispered boom):
“Jesus Christ, just get a room!”

A woman wormed
across from me, while three
lesbians ignored One jumped
when the train pumped, and bumped
the kissing couple Said,
scuse me, mind if we
get by?
But through three stops
nothing stopped til tender
tips of fingers folded tight
and led each partner out I just don’t get what love is all about.


Staying Over

You are pregnant
under my blanket
of off-whites and old sex You grow new youís
with arms and legs
and attitudes You grow
from the inside out
as I grow out of you In the morning, the sickness
begins: first and last
with the realization
that this is not routine,
that our nine months
ended in ten and by eight thirty
youíll be out the door,
just another friendly sleepover Can you hear my inside screams
screaming, hey you,
what are you
doing in my bed?
What am I doing with you?
We had a child once called
Confusion who grew up too fast
and ran away with Resentment How dare you now
sit fatally fertile
under my cold comforter I’d rather glimpse your face
sideways from the window
of an airplane to Mozambique
or lost like thick dust
in an urban crowd we both try
to fight through but can’t Turn around, you’ve got places to go
and so do I.


Doug Tanoury
dtanoury@ix.netcom.com

Bio(auto)

Doug Tanoury grew up in Detroit and still lives in the area with his wife and three children
Doug has been published by The Pittsburgh Quarterly, Eclectica,  Poetry Magazine, Agnieszka’s Dowry, Savoy Magazine, Zuzu’s Petals,  Pif, The Blockhead Journal, Swagazine, Kimera and others
Doug is exclusively an Internet poet with the majority of his work never leaving electronic form However, his work is featured in a new book by Funky Dog Publishing: “Athens Avenue-A Collection Of Poetry”
The greatest influence on Doug’s work was the 7th grade poetry anthology used in Sister Debra’s English class: Reflections On A Gift Of Watermelon Pickle And Other Modern Verse, Stephen Dunning,  Edward Lueders and Hugh Smith, (c)1966 by Scott Foresman & Company.


The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by Doug Tanoury and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Salome Dancing For Herod


If I was in the great hall
Of the palace
Watching Salome dancing
For Herod
I too would marvel
At movements
So erotic and executed
With animal precision

Her heaving breasts
Swaying pelvis
The white waves of her skin
Moving in soft undulations
Across her abdomen
And I smile knowing
That the king and I
Are both drunk with dance

And the beat of the music
The rhythmic flashing
Of bare thighs
Naked belly
Awaken the pagan in me
Who knows that lust is to love
What poetry is to prose
A sensual awakening of sight and smell
And sound and taste

And I would swear too
At that moment that the bounce
In each breast
Was worth the heads
Of a hundred prophets
And is more moving to me
Than the words
Of all the holy men in Judea


And I Am

And I told her
Matter of factly
That indeed I am
A poet of naked breasts
And that umber nipples
Centered in amber aureoles
To me are pupils
And Irises that serve
As windows to the soul

And I went on to say
Confident and self-assured
That I am too the bard
Of the bare thigh
That to me is nature revealed
Tan like the underside
Of sycamore leaves in fall
Softly wild and untouchable
As a sleeping doe

And I concluded by saying
That I am a lyric that can versify
The plump lushness of
A pale ass
In still-life form
Like so much fruit
As if it were a honey dew melon
Sliced in two and resting
On the kitchen table


At The Waldorf

At the Waldorf
Where desserts are done in art deco
And abstractions in chocolate
Twist in many shapes
Everything is golden

The lobby a cathedral
Large and brightly lit
At a table draped in white linen
Like an altar prepared
For solemn High Mass

I study the ceiling
Done in Greek revival
Where reliefs of nudes
In white plaster
Resemble marble

At the Waldorf
Where words are whispered
Like prayers of the devout
At an altar
Draped in white vestments

And in gilded murals
On Peacock Alley
Where I see a sugar-coated sunrise
Over the rundown landscape
Of the far eastside


August Rain

I remember an August once
When I could talk to him
But didn’t and each word unspoken
Rested like a brick on the silence
That lay thick as a layer of mortar
And grew into hardness between us

These day’s I think of him
Mostly when rain falls in gray sheets
With a soft hiss as droplets
Paint the pavement with color
Of an overcast sky and collects
On the road in pools in brought to full boil

In summer storms with the
Sound of thunder on my skin
I recall in the air’s smell and
The wind cool in my hair
An August once when rain fell
In mortar gray hardness on our silence


Habeas Corpus

Years from now when I am gone
And you sit at the kitchen table
With people who never knew me
Show them this so they will know

That I was touched and slightly
Giddy with the silly art of poetry
That to me was harmony and
Melody floating everywhere

They should know too that with
Eyes and nose and mouth and ears
And every organ that ties us to the world
That I love you and it grew and multiplied

Like fission in the nuclei of cells and
Was carried in corpuscles speeding
Through capillaries toward lips and
Fingertips and other body parts

That celebrate a passing touch

July 26-August 1, 1999: Libby Hart, Elisha Porat and Mudcrow

Week of July 26-August 1, 1999

Libby Hart, Elisha Porat and Mudcrow

Libby Hart
lhart@swin.edu.au

Bio(auto)

I have been orbiting the Sun since 1971 and live in Melbourne,  Australia Since 1995 my work has appeared in a variety of Australian literary magazines, including “Mattoid,” “ars poetica,” “Centoria,” “Australian Multicultural Review,” “New England Review,” “Small Packages” and “Tamba “

I have also been published in several electronic magazines such as “Word Salad” (USA), “Cyber Oasis” (USA), “BeeHive” (USA), “Niederngasse” (Switzerland) and “Road of Shadows” (USA).


The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by
Libby Hart and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Rebecca’s Hands, 1923
(a photograph by the American photographer, Paul Strand)

Carved deep in my flesh landscape
time passes slowly,
the turning over of hands,
movement in slow motion
inside a quiet womb of darkness
My pale skin is luminous,
8 fingers and 2 thumbs
boxed within an aged photograph,
amputated from the body
I can read these lines as if they
were pages from a book:
a statement of life, love and finally death An epic tale within a map of skin,
an expressway for fate;
my lifelines, bloodlines, carved in flesh
Memories of
a mother’s nurturing hand,
a lover’s tender touch
and indiscretions A blindman’s Braille,
a worker’s busy fingers
and the touch of a pen,
these are the minefields of palmistry
sewn into a pair of hands
(Previously published in “Australian Multicultural Book Review”)


Sanski Most

Under a legacy of mud
the buried are cradled by a vocabulary of lies,
between clay and busy worms the dead
speak an alien tongue, the language of genocide Their assassins walk free, without conscience or shadow,
yet the evidence is there -
capped teeth,
shattered skulls,
clumps of hair,
and bullet shells
Their families wait for information, each day
you will find their mothers in the street,
searching when a bus arrives;
wives asking questions with anxious faces Cherished photographs of sons and lovers
are plucked from bosoms-Have you seen this man?

Waiting for news each day,
they carry the burden of hope
(*** Sanski Most is located just outside of Sarajevo This piece was written just after the war and was previously published in “Spindrift Magazine”)


Argument

Each heated word
is pushed screaming
from angry mouths
bruising words
the movement of lip reading
black mouth
I am here
between two people who walk their lines
ready to fire
I am here
walking their room of words
(Previously published in “Obscure Realms”)


The Japanese Wrap Things So Well

Hidden
is my heart
in seven layers
like the skin
of my body
wrapped tightly
in indigo paper
fibre of linen
gentle silk
and tied with vine
(Previously published in “New England Review”)


Sadovy-Kudrinsky Street, Moscow
(for Anton Chekhov)

The Russian alphabet is perfect for these hands
which hold this felt hat
fingers curling around it, casually
you possess the hands of a doctor
the heart of a writer
each has the bitter softness of knowledge
I imagine the air
was fragrant with spring
when this photograph was taken The Chekhov family
out in the yard with friends Brothers dressed in pinstripe
sweet Miss Lesov in childish grin,
all knowing and unknowing Your father, looming large
in the background
What strikes me most
is your hair,
dark as coffee
brushed lightly
away from a face
which holds a private smile
for the photographer
who gives directions.


Elisha Porat
porat_el@einhahoresh.org.il

http://www.flash.net/~unlikely/porat.html

http://www.geocities.com/Athens/6915/Elishacover.htm

http://www.fictionnetwork.net/fiction/israel/list.html

For Hebrew readers, fiction and poetry:

http://www.literatura.co.il/porat.html

http://www.aa-design.com/idesign/outsiter/songs/elisha/elisha.html

Bio(auto)

Elisha Porat, a 1996 winner of Israel’s Prime Minister’s Prize for Literature, has published more than a dozen volumes of fiction and poetry, in Hebrew, since 1973 His works have appeared in translation in Israel, the United States, Canada and England Mr Porat was born in 1938 to a “pioneer” family in Petah Tikva,  Israel In the early 1930′s his parents were among the founders of Kibbutz Ein Hahoresh, where Mr porat was raised and still makes his home Mr Porat was drafted into Israeli Army in 1956,  served in a frontline reconnaissance unit and fought the Six Day war in 1967, and the Yom Kippur War in 1973 A short story by him — On the Road to Beirut is also posted at Ariga As a lifelong member of his Kibbutz,  Mr Porat has worked as a farmer as well as a writer Mr Porat currently performs editorial duties for several literary journals.


The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by
Elisha Porat and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


A Haunted Poet

(to the memory of Abba Kovner
translated from the Hebrew by Tsipi Keler)

Years he smoked, burned, inhaled
filthy butts that wrecked his lungs
with tuberculosis:
muscus, cough and pain He didn’t cry he didn’t shout,
he only groaned in private,
and in whispers dictated notes
to those bending over his bed The sound of chimes and bells
interrupted the silence of his last nights
always alerting his heart’s flight:
He didn’t save from the fires
a loving mother chasing
after him, clinging as he walks,
as if he were a baby again,
holding her ashes
on his last day.


The Lost Son
(translated from Hebrew by Asher Harris)

He came back, but he came like a stranger He came back, looked about and did not
Recall, for to him, all appeared estranged:
The house, the yard, the narrow lane Their memory sliced through his heart,
Cut, and he who survived and was favoured
Came back; and he who had sworn back there
That nothing would be forget, estranged though it be:
A dirt path, and the barren field and the ditch
At the edge, and the lemon tree with its bitter fruit He felt that his absence was almost ordained:
To come back at last, to come like a stranger
With a shadowy memory that was not estranged,
And an unravelled thread of burning desire
That will never more be made whole.


Strange Snow
(translated from the Hebrew by Riva Rubin)

Strange soft snow descends
on the slopes of Jebel-El-Kebir,
chill and silent it falls
on dogouts and vehicles
armored on the screens of memory Astray in me in the damp haze
forgotten comrades call
whose lives once touched my life
now grown distant beyond the roads
the roadblocks the rolling hardare Once, among them, I saw
such a pure white suddenly crushed;
minced and ploughed under and rearing up
and then subsiding silently absorbing
rent veins an reddening stain.


Three Colors
(translated from the Hebrew by Seymour Mayne)

On Memorial Day I make my way up
to the small military cemetery In the northwestern corner
we’ve placed a grey basalt rock
and facing the southern corner –
a blanching chunk of chalk And between under the loose sand
our red loam
spreads itself all around
And when the loudspeaker booms out
the memorial prayer
I close my eyes
and see those three colors
descend before me and disappear
into the encroaching shadow of the stones.

Mudcrow
mudcrow@connect4free.net

Bio(auto)

The mudcrow is an English poet living in Thetford, Norfolk, England He is unpublished, has posted poetry on various web-sites, and is possibly mad.


The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by
Mudcrow and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Not Bloody Daffodils


Not more bloody daffodils The thought of them now makes me ill Yellow roses are mightily fine Winter pansy’s and dandelion wine Asters flowering under a Summer sun Peony’s in pinkness can also be fun The glory of Spring and a little snowdrop A sea of sunflowers is never a flop Tulips in bloom in a wooden clog Even ivy snaking over a rotten log Rose petals scattered over satin sheets Is an image I find that cannot be beat But “budding” Wordsworths’ please take note Not bloody daffodils or flowery quotes!

July 19-25, 1999: Greg Stant and Chocolate Waters

Week of July 19-25, 1999

Greg Stant and Chocolate Waters

Greg Stant
stant@spokenwar.com

http://www.spokenwar.com

Bio(auto)

Greg Stant is in transition He lives in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania.


The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by
Greg Stant and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Scales

I wrap the green fish around me Wear it like a glove I shake one more time, howl My back breaks The temple children run You can’t remember the last time you took a bath This is the grace of devils and white line Mile markers got eyes I groan one last millionth time and grab the wheel Kansas is long and uneventful I remember nothing Kansas is like that
Missouri hotel room I know this I have a receipt It must have been uncomfortable The walls must have been to close or maybe I didn’t like the paintings I got back in the fish I swim over the guardrail Catatonia and oily scales on the steering wheel,  bumps of excitement on the back of my hand State Representative gives me a ride to the hospital where nobody knows your name I wait in line for meds I wear knit shoes We stand in circles and reach for air We beg for cigarettes We are charted, folded,  spindled
60 miles to the center of Missouri, the fish is being mended The sound of my feet coming from the Salvation Army I beg a room and sprinkle thanks on the Christian lady I walk for miles to the shoe box Waiting for the fish to be fixed Keep the angels out I sit in the shoe box on the other end of the line Corkscrew worms dance in my guts
The past comes rushing out The aftermath of a bad meal I hear whispers I hear you Black and white sounds I stretch on the bed I try to find a place for my head It takes up too much space It’s too heavy It’s too large My head is a mushroom cloud I’m drawing shallow I make phone calls Plead for money Plead for love I got to get the scales back on the fish and the fish back in the water God of white line madness, have mercy on my soul God of cracked concrete and redneck mechanics, seal the breech and embalm the gears I didn’t mean it, and if I could take it back, I would Fuse the crack on the concrete highway I know they would swallow me whole Send money Send metal filings and epoxy Wrap them around my heart, wrap the fish around my body and let there be high test for all my days to come I didn’t mean it, and if I could take it back, I would Amen
A storm rolls in from the south and the world is ozone I walk out into the parking lot I wonder if the lightening would choose me
No such luck
(Previously published in Aether )


SexDream

I am an equal opportunity sex dreamer When I have a dream about fuck, everybody gets laid-even me
My fuck dreams do not discriminate by race, social standing, prison record, political record, or physical appearance (thank god) Even butt ugly people are getting fuck in my dream-although not necessarily with human beings, people of the opposite sex,  or even people with their extremities intact Sometimes they are relegated to finding carnal pleasure with obscene objects of art,  rubbing themselves raw with multimedia events, slapped together wall paneling presents a Brillo Pad extravaganza, sort of a Jackson Pollock rip-off acid trip splattered mess of nails and oil based acrylics mounted on three burnt logs from South Central L.A ,  shrink wrapped in demented splendor by a Venice Beach artist who found God and PCP on the same weekend does the rough and dirty deed with my pasty faced, antediluvian second grade teacher, Mrs Britton; seemingly too old to fuck, but look at her now Thanks to the auspices of an equal opportunity sex dream she’s loving every minute of it like the man screwing the living room couch,  with each thrust buries himself deeper, then deeper into the crack between the back and the cushion, while the appropriately named love seat squeaks, moans and flaps in glad participation, excited to feel the front of a human being-for a change-fuck your shag rug Have you ever seen the joy with which an ‘all-the-time-walked-on’ never-caressed, shag rug fucks? Happy to have some love and contact,  shag rug will roll your ass up, fuck you like; well, like a rug; take your ass to ecstasy, make you jaculate, and spit you out the other side with a smile and a lit cigarette
My equal opportunity sex dream will let you have the persona you’ve always wanted It will keep your teeth white, breath fresh, and eliminate that bad speech impediment in a burning hot flash of fuck You will actually feel, your cunt tighten, cock lengthen,  breasts harden, while firming up those flabby butt cheeks
My sex dream doesn’t cost any money, need to go to dinner, or wanna be your significant mother; doesn’t want to meet your parents,  marry you, or need a diamond ring It doesn’t want a prenuptial agreement it doesn’t care that your condo is paid off-in full,  or give one-half of one-tenth of-a-fuck that you drive a Jag,  or own a gold Cartier wristwatch-it is not impressed
My sex dream lives just for fuck It will do anybody, anywhere,  anytime; fucked the guy everybody can’t stand, likes it from behind in the quarter movie room, did the boss’s daughter on his desk; fucked in the confessional screamin! like, “Jesus-ah ah ahJESUS!”; fucked the family jar of mayonnaise for a ten good years, and never told a soul
My sex dream’s pussy is sapping wet-and-it-is-ready to do you,  right-here, right fucking-now It’s tit’s are rock-hard and fueled with pain It’s cock is death-stiff, turning blue and breathing heavy Sex dream likes the bed crowded, ain’t afraid of handcuffs,  and sticks a mean nipple down your throat, while fucking you at ninety miles per hour-without insurance; does not need be held or kissed after it comes, and does not run for the towel after the dirty deed is done Prefers to, kinda, swim in it for-awhile
Sex dream is in love with another woman, is in love with another man; wants to fuck your girlfriend, already has, it was good,  real good, is gonna show you the pictures to shut you up the next time your drunk and obnoxious; masturbates, thinks about you masturbating,  and wonders what your face looks like when you come; Sex Dream is intent on staying home alone tonight and rubbinit-’till it’s raw
It’s one hundred ten miles per hour screaming down the highway ready to blindly die for another piece of fuck It’s looking in your bathroom window, jacking off like crazy, staying up late at night writing obscene stories for titty magazines
My sex dream is an artist, a waiter, a truck driver with BO, and it does not think you need a douche with a pretty picture on the box so your pussy wussy can have that “April fresh scent”

Sex Dream’s a gallon and a half of Wesson Oil, looking for a party on a steamy Friday night Sex Dream’s a sick champagne bottle up your Fatty Arbuckle ass
Sex Dream’s a demented clap with no sound, that will go anywhere,  or do anything to get what it wants And what it wants is more fuck And, until it gets some-more-fuck, it’s filled with angst wondering if it’s going to lose it’s fucking mind
In my equal opportunity sex dream every motherfucking thing object animal person molecule atom and quark, pops it’s rocks
When I have a dream about fuck, everything gets laid

.even me .



Chocolate Waters
choczilla@isfree.com

http://www.poetrycafe.com/anthology/waters/

Bio(auto)

Chocolate Waters’ latest collection, Illusion Junkie Downtown,  will be released by Cedar Hill Publishing sometime next year The author of three previous collections, she is also the recipient of a 1995 New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship in Poetry and a 1990 fellowship from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund Her work, which has been nominated for several Puschcart prizes, is widely published and currently appears in the Coffeehouse Poetry Anthology, Howling Dog, Libido and the new anthology AndWhat Rough Beast Current work can also be browsed on the Web at the Poetry Café, Zero City, Perihelion, and the Astrophysicist’s Tango Partner Speaks Other work is upcoming in Disquieting Muses and Conspire
Waters’ three books: To the Man Reporter From the Denver PostTake Me Like A Photograph and Charting New Waters are available at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com A pioneer in women’s publishing and in the art of performance poetry, she has toured throughout the United States, but makes her home in Manhattan Hailed as the “Poet Laureate of Hell’s Kitchen,” Waters teaches poetry workshops, tutors individual clients and is a frequent participant in the New York poetry circuit.


The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Chocolate Waters and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


What’s a Bi-Cuspal Woman To Do?

(the dilemma of an Aquarian on the cusp of Capricorn)

My Aquarius says,
I love everybody in the world My Capricorn warns,
Don’t be a fool; they’ll mug you My Aquarius says,
Roam around the country
writing poetry and making love My Capricorn retorts,
Stay home and get a real job Aquarius says,
Wow, you look more like Ava Gardner every day Capricorn guffaws,
And you know how long she’s been dead Aquarius says,
I can change the world Capricorn snickers,
You can’t even change a dollar bill Why don’t you just kill yourself and get it over with?
My Aquarius sighs,
because I?ll probably have to come back -
as a Capricorn.


Take Me Like a Photohraph

I’ve never had a lover like you I feel like I’m in a windstorm
raining Breathing love songs Taking pictures of myself
to hang along the trees You have loved me for myself,
not a picture of me
someone else has taken,
while I fade out reach out
hang myself I want to give you
rainstorms,
quiet gentle windstorms,
trees,
whisper to you songs
of windstorms Take me like
a photograph Hold me
like a tree I will love you
stronger than
a windstorm.


The Eggnog Lady

I wear my fear
like a wedding ring I do not want
to be married
to Manhattan
I want a job
I go to the New York Public Library at 42nd Street
to apply for one
Come back in ten years but do
take a look at our new
96-frame photographic exhibition on landscapes
I’m scared I say to the first print
I have no work I say to the 15th print
No place to live I say to the 34th print
I don’t have any friends I say to the 51st print
All I have is my fear
and I’m very protective of it
New York, NY If I can make it there
I sing
to the rest of the 45 prints
in the 96-frame photographic exhibition
on landscapes
I laugh
as if something is amusing
Outside a woman begging on the street
asks me if it’s OK to mix rum with eggnog
I tell her to drink the eggnog
and forget the rum
Her eyes roll down my face
I have 54 cents
I give her all of it
She thanks me through the holes in her teeth
Tells me she will forget the eggnog
I see her face in 96 delicatessen windows
ask her if she’ll be
my maid of honor


First Woman

First woman
Your name was not Eve
You did not offer me
apples
You touched me
I quivered
Then suffered
Then regretfully
threw up
I denied you
more than
three times
You confessed
to your priest
who laughed
You confessed
Your love
to me
I did not
laugh
when you threw me
out of
your life
like an apple
I wrote you
a love song
with a man’s name
instead of yours
First woman
Your name
was Sharon
I sprang
half-grown
from the
touch
of your
first woman’s
hands

July 12-18, 1999: Leslie Maryann Neal and Kirsten Ogden

Week of July 12-18, 1999

Leslie Maryann Neal and Kirsten Ogden

Leslie Maryann Neal
grrllovespoetry@hotmail.com

Bio(auto)

My name is Leslie Maryann Neal I’m originally from Long Beach,  CA, but have been stuck in Clearwater, FL, of late I’m 23 and single I have mostly brown hair A couple of the poems appear in my chapbook on The Inevitable Press, called “I Want to Be a Bad Girl “


The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by
Leslie Maryann Neil and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Books

I never carried
my books
like the other girls,
in the crook of my arm,
clutched to my breast
like a baby I ran with a fast crowd,
went through boys
fast I was the kind of girl
that would fuck
you and never know
your last name I did it
behind the bleachers
once with a black boy
two years older
and twice my size I moaned and smiled
as my nails dug
into the gravel When he was done,
I fixed my skirt
and picked up my books I grasped them
at my side, my hand
around them tight
like my fingers
denting the filter
of my cigarette,
tight like every boy
said I was.


Floating

I’m driving the 133
through Laguna Canyon,
my life stashed
in corners of three
ex-boyfriends’ houses,
curled in paper boxes
marked with red pen,
“Shoes,” “Sweaters “
I’m driving to the guest
bedroom that is home
for now
I am floating I am held down
by my freedom
I’m driving up the 55
with a dream of a hot
shower pulsing at my back I want to be painfully
clean; I want
my skin to squeak
at each stroke I want to curl
up in the bathtub
like a child,
make islands of my knees
in the clear water,
hold the bar of soap
down with wrinkled fingers,
then let go
and watch it float.


Letter to Lyn Lifshin
(for Donna Hilbert)

Do you curl
up in the circle
of light thrown
by your reading
lamp, the tips
of your fingers
white as you clutch
at fame, gripping
an old copy
of your Bible,
the Poet’s Market?

Do you have a dead
grandmother,
a rich husband,
a MacArthur grant?
Do you get the bulk
mail rate
from the post office?
Are your SASE’s
marked Business
Reply Mail?

Do you throw
huge lawn parties,
the envy
of Gatsby himself,
the glimmer
of lights and faces
yellow-white
in the dusk?
Do you only
invite editors?


Sleepless
(for Jaimes)

The walls are white,
the contours
of his face
in every shadow I get out of bed,
pad to the kitchen
to get a 7-Up I sip it in half-
darkness, the light
from naked porch bulbs
through Venetian blinds
laying stripes on the floor The photographs taped
to the refrigerator
are dark rectangles The faces float
in darkness, white,
ghostlike, eerie The 7-Up titters
to itself
like sharp static,
like falling pins on metal I pour it down the sink It goes hissing, sweet I crawl into bed,
pull on the flannel sheet I hold the blanket close,
like a lover, like
this man I do not know,
my face buried in cotton,
trying to find the smell
of his hair.


Walking to the Car

A cloud, a blue-white
scoop like ice cream
noticing the cold,
hovers between buildings
like a Magritte dream Shadows move from window
to tinted window,
a Rohrshach test of sliding ink I believe I am going insane The inkblot shadow looks
one moment like a giraffe
holding a hand grenade,
the next like a bowl of granola
Loneliness presses bruises
into my skin with its weight,
carves every letter
of its name with surgical
precision into my eyes I get into the car
On the 405,
I pass one of those lit signs
that forecast traffic It says,
THIS IS A TEST
THIS IS A TEST
THIS IS A TEST.


Poem from a Line by Jeffery McDaniel

When I haven’t been kissed
in a long time,
my throat hurts,
my sciatica acts up again,
I think I have mono I hold a thermometer
up to a white-hot
hundred-watt bulb,
then wave it around
my empty room, saying,
“Look, I have a fever I can’t go to school today “

When I haven’t been kissed
in a long time,
loneliness sucks at my skin
like leeches The blood fills my eyes
When I haven’t been kissed
in a long time,
I get the hiccups
When I haven’t been kissed
in a long time,
I’m cold like glass,
like my cheek against
the airplane window I’m cold like a Scientologist
When I haven’t been kissed
in a long time,
I take up humming
just to feel my lips again,
I suck on lollipops
just to feel something
in my mouth again
When I haven’t been kissed
in a long time,
my eyes become dry as fur,
my pupils are bees
shaking in the daylight
Kiss me.


Kirsten Ogden
MONICA8812@aol.com

Bio(auto)

Kirsten Ogden graduated with her MFA degreefrom the University of Alaska Fairbanks She currently works with California Poets in the Schools and teaches poetry and playwriting at Learning Tree University She has presented scholarly papers at the Florida State University Film Festival and has been published in several literary journals She hosts a bi-weekly poetry series at the Borders Bookstore in Canoga Park, California.


The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Kirsten Ogden and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


My Sister and I Drive Like Lovers


My arm around your shoulder, your
hand on my thigh we are comfortable You flip the radio from static to static until
we hear a song, sing loud and off-key with it
We talk sex when music
bores us You consider yourself
a good lay and tell me to seek
a good lover when I settle for
my man You make me laugh I will seek a comedian
who makes love well
because my sister told me to
Wind comes through car windows,
cola spouts from shook can I catch sight of your daughter in
my rearview mirror, caught in
a sunbeam, her eyes closed,
her mouth wide open She eats sunlight
What makes me want to take this moment, lock it in
a safety deposit box?
You next to me, outdated
sunglasses frame your lips You’ve been talking a while, but
I only understand the
music in your voice,
lips parted wide
You reach to change the station, find
nothing and make up your own song I sing with you, instinctively know your
lyrics Your daughter, stomach full of
sunlight, sleeps.


Man’s Body In Bloom

He cups the rhythm of my breath in his moist palm tomorrow I will slide between the open spaces
in his fingers and run away,
follow the trail from his mud-scented lip that
lingers above the crown of my mouth
A leg, not like a greedy weed or a tangled ivy, wraps
itself around me, holds my body where it needs to be Eyelids open and close, chew my kisses like
a Venus flytrap savors a newly born butterfly
Tumbleweed drags itself
across a field of blooming cactus,
grows in size as it rolls over seeds and dust,
ignores my thirsty cries lost to wind
He is the watering hole near my toes
drying beneath the desert sun He could never be compared
to a gardenia or an orchid sweating in a hot house He is a thick, fleshy root from deep sand He is the humidity on a night when no one
could smell the rain charge through the quilt of
stars behind blackened clouds
The heat of it all falls acros our thighs We breathe in one heavy,
honey-thick huff of moving lungs and
long hair stuck to eachother’s tongue My reflection
glows against his mapped remains.


The Fisherman
.For Pablo Neruda

The fisherman casts his sad nets toward a red
.sea; they return filled with fresh Ruff and

A garnet heart My own holy hands drop my net
.quietly The water barely moves
I pray for Roosterfish, good wind, a lover to be my
.warrior, blaze his shield to snowy stars,

Slice the marsh where I suffocate, emphytotic, like
.roots of reeds forgotten in a paper cup
I watch him recast
.his sad nets I feel words run over my

Breasts like hands, feel their echo in my own ruddy
.palms, feel macrorrhiza sprout from my toes and

Fingers I hear his melodies sung to the women from
.his poems I reach out to touch those saddest lines

that move with the weight of
.water.

July 5-11, 1999: Jerry Reynolds and Sarah Kobrinsky

Week of July 5-11, 1999

Jerry Reynolds and Sarah Kobrinsky

Jerry Reynolds
jerry.reynolds@worldnet.att.net

Bio(auto)

I spent the first half of my life growing up in the South, but now I’m a middle-age guy happily living with my family in Spokane,  Washington I started submitting my writing about five years ago and published a few pieces, mostly in ezines My records indicate that as of this date, I’ve made ten bucks Still, I consider myself a writer, though I never mention it on loan applications.


The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by
Jerry Reynolds and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


From Texas

where Long Horns slobber milky green,
staring at fences for horizons
and rattlesnakes shed diamond back boots
for two stepping on Saturday night,

Hurricanes spawn mad sisters
to spin across the cotton fields
between black derricks, mocking religion,
bowing rank heads for crude blessings:

brown children, laughing in Spanish,
playing as still in Mexico,
slowly withdraw from a double-wide,
Texas displayed point of view.


Shrew

Too old to play Kate,
though understanding
passion better now
than any woman
betrayed by a boy,
or portrayed by girls
standing in the wings,
memorizing cues
to be swept away
as curtains fall.


Shore Leave

blasted amid parking meters
lighthouse warning flags expired
stormy sea-legs buckle
on the heavy swelling sidewalks
dead-man floating the rummy gutter
from the curb crew-mates call,
“MAN OVERBOARD!”


The Lesson

The shovel sliced the easy dirt
and cut the worm in half
I stood beside the shallow hole
and thought about the worm
I knew I’d been forgiven by
the meanest thing on earth
I thanked the worm and William Blake
and turned the earth again


Nuts to Fruit

Coconuts are creepy,
like huge-hard-hairy spiders
without legs
But bananas are cool They look squeaky but they’re not,
unlike grapes
And raspberries are sly,
good for leaving fingerprints
on shirt tails
A pomegranate sucks
like a big ball of fisheyes
or frog eggs
Figs are just too yucky,
looking like droppings laying
in a pile
Some apples are all right
but you’ve got to check inside
for brown spots
Oranges are too messy,
just like a pesky grapefruit,
spitting stuff
Cantaloupes are stinky,
with insides like a pumpkin,
only worse
Watermelons are weird Eating one is like eating
hot pink soup
Tangerines are tricky cause no one knows what they are –
or should be.


Sarah Kobrinsky
funktrousers@hotmail.com

Bio(auto)

Sarah Kobrinsky is currently living out of her car No one knows where to find her She was last seen in Los Angeles with her sock monkey, Silver Johnnie Normally this Canadian resides in Fargo,  North Dakota Eventually she will have a degree in Anthropology She is a Sagitarius with a flare for fighting bulls.


The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Sarah Kobrinsky and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Poem for a Pink Flamingo

(for Dan and Silver Johnnie)

This morning I saw a pink flamingo
bathing at the base of an American flag I saw it fall from its only standing leg
and drown in a pool of neon and wet cement My darling, my dearest sock monkey,
tonight I feel like a giant centipede I could stand on top of anything Like these Hollywood hills, I could look down
and brush off every asshole who ignored
my North Dakota plates and gave me
the finger on the freeway today I could even walk on water I think I’d start at Venice Beach
and launch myself into the Pacific Ocean With all these legs, you’d figure some of them
would have to stay on land anyway,
to hold me up Yeah, I can do anything I’m not sorry, I have had my heart
in its armoured car since I left home
who knows how many days ago now This morning, after I packed up my sunburn
and my cervix, I told you I was leaving I was so certain I was leaving But when I got in my car I heard the beach calling me,
I heard the girls calling me:

Come, watch us burn,
watch how we’ve learned to keep ourselves
from going completely
short of breast and bottom heavy Sweetheart, it’s easy, it’s easy

I love those sixteen year old girls I love their perfect skin, their endless ambition And their legs, so many long slippery wet legs I could walk with them forever Forever But I can’t They always start singing me
that god awful song, selling me each note
as if it was a greeting card or an accessory It makes me want to paint myself pink It makes me want to kick off my shoes,
stand on one leg,
and dive like a disease into the ocean
My darling, my dearest sock monkey,
this morning I wanted nothing more than home.


Dave and Alissa at The Blood Bank
(A Love Story)

Alissa Cutter gave blood
every two months
for three years
to newborn babies
with terminal diseases
She quit smoking at 21
and took up knitting
for no reason other than
she was bored
and restless in her addiction
One day at the blood bank,
Alissa met a man named Dave
who gave blood
for no reason other than
to receive a free HIV test
and a Band-Aid in bold print
At 21, Dave went to jail
for writing bad checks
at every grocery store in town
to feed himself He was broke and bored in his life
At the blood bank,
Alissa and Dave discovered
they were both O negative,
the universal donor,
and decided they must
go out for dinner
Alissa wore her favorite
sweater, the one
she made out of scraps
from the blankie
her grandma gave her
when she was born
Dave wore a T-shirt
with short sleeves
to show off his Band-Aid
and his devotion
to the maintenance
of the human race
At the end of their date,
Dave walked Alissa to her front door He leaned in
to sneak a Good Night kiss
but stopped suddenly
“I would kiss you,” he said,
“But I have a mouth sore “
He turned his face away from hers
and looked up to the moon
“That’s all right,” she said
as she took his hand in her own,
“I have a mouth sore too “

The moment was bright,
the moon was all wrong,
and with their kiss,
their boredom was lifted.


This Hollywood Siren
(Another Love Story)

This Hollywood Siren
gave her breasts
to a museum
She would have given
her golden locks
but she sold them
to a company that made
paintbrushes and wigs
for cancer patients
She would have given
her gold teeth
but she traded them in
for cash at the end
of her career when
she couldn’t even get herself
into a lousy commercial
The curator mounted her
breasts on the wall next to
a plaque with her name
and a brief history
of her life in the movies But is she really dead?

Did she donate her breasts
from her death bed
or was it from
her kitchen table
over coffee and cookies?

And what was that first thing
that launched her
like a bomb
into absolute stardom?

June 28-July 4, 1999: Donald Ryburn and Dakota Russell


 

week of June 28-July 4, 1999

Donald Ryburn and Dakota Russell

BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
click here for submission guidelines


Donald Ryburn
Stompdncr@aol.com

Bio(auto)

Donald Ryburn is the editor of 4*9*1—-Imagination (www.fournineone.com) He is a neo-native visionary artist/photographer He is co-author (with Aubrey) of the book Poetry Pathology His poetry and photography have appeared in hundreds of print journals, anthologies, and on-line zines, including Black Moon, 4*9*1, Poetry Motel, Pacific Coast Journal, Bitter Oleander, Onionhead,  Art/Mag, and M?bius (print) and Poetry Superhighway, Poetry Tonight, Room Without Walls, India Journal,  Indie Journal, Archeflamboeth , Entropic,  Grassroots Poetry, Electric Acorn, Wired Art For Wired Hearts,  Bluff Magazine, /noserialmice, Some Words, Crystal Middlemas,  Poetry Down-Under, The Poetry Kit, Poetry Life & Times (interview),  Creative Voice, Vistula, The Miserere Review, Unlikely Stories,  Lynx Poetry -Bath, England,  Marmsweb, Poetry! Yes! Now!, 7th-Circle,  (on-line) He is a member of the Tvlvhvse Wokvkiye Ceremonial Grounds of the Mvskoke Nation.


The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by
Donald Ryburn and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Cecilia

Light from dead stars
Fell on phantoms of stones,
Stirred absent dust We crossed an ancient river
That was no river You in your darkness,
Shone as no alien sun could,
We crossed into unknowns,
Guided by the ghosts of children
Who sold trinkets by the shore Necklaces that shimmered strangely
Akin to the light of the dead stars
That fell across the stones
As we crossed.


Almaisa

Modigliani painted Beatrice
Nude, bedraggled, weary
Her mystery distinct
Luxurious, reddish tones
Soft, peach-colored flesh
Pink shadows
She dreamed of permanence
Of giving herself
Upon the embroidered pillows
In a gesture of deep attention
Crimson braids caressed her face
Became twisted roads, tumbled skies
Houses and trees
She, untouchable, dominated
An anguished uncertainty
Hashish her only lover


Alberto

Alberto became a patriot
To escape the antimony Refused to die a death of internal fires
Somewhere north of Estramadura,
Late winter’s breach,
A countryside of immense sadness
Dressed in clay, brambles, burnt grass
And the blood of feudalism,
Defection solidified
Alberto desired to become a peasant,
Forget the crimson halo of death He forced me to become a child
At the Festival of S Calegero,
Longing for far away games
In the night’s red glow.


Semele

She was such a one She walked mellifluous,
Unknown butterflies
Demanded their own music
In a far-off cemetery of snow A nebulous note settled on itself forever
In a whiteness, persistent, oblivious The night now peopled with two lovers Her gentleness returned to fire
And the deaths of wildflowers The walls cried absence A river of ashes flowed empty In the shadows a dancer
Of turtles and cranes
Dreamed of disappearance,
Wounded with pure tears.


Dakota Russell
thebitterness@hotmail.com

Bio(auto)

Dakota Russell is a resident of Warrensburg, Missouri, where,  jobwise, he’s about to enter the exciting world of styrofoam cup production Dakota has dabbled in most all forms, and hopes eventually to specialize in playwriting But until he finishes college, he will probably specialize in little more than having a very artistic-sounding e-mail address Feel free to say it aloud a few times Even click it if you like.


The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Dakota Russell and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Karin in the Park


Everything was green of grass
And red of brakelights
Highway wet
Trees dripping
Parkbench slightly damp So I perched on it
Like a big pink pigeon
Feet on white boards
Elbows on knees
A big, gangly pink pigeon

She approached quiet
Stepped into the spotlight
That suddenly appeared upon my parkbench,
A glaring, luminous gift
hanging from the great catwalk of the Universe And she stood in the corner of the circular light
This sprite of The City Park
This nymph of pavement and jungle gym
And she said:
“Dakota”
My big pink pigeon beak shot upward
Alarmed by the recognition of a name
“Dakota”
She said to me again
“Dakota, I’ve seen the swingset,
Chains wrapped around the top bar
Under and over
Till the swings were hundreds of feet high
And only the giants could swing Only the freakish children with legs like stilts
Only the lonely ones can reach the swings “

“And Dakota, I hear the squirrels at night They say to me
Your Biological Clock
Is ticking It’s time for you to send out your mating call,
Rub two quarters together
And wait “

“Dakota, I am the ectoplasmic
Phantom spirit of The Park I am the one you left behind Got in your big car with the internal combustion
And were pulled backwards
Out of the parking lot
By that ever-poetic Grand Cosmic Hand But I know The Park, Dakota
Now I know The Park
And this
This is my last night here “

And I almost said something
Congratulations, I think Good for you But she only waited one moment
Smiled a smile so I knew she had beaten me
And stepped out of the light
Which went out
And as I stood up on the bench
Breathed the park air
I forgot for a moment
That Penguins and Ostriches
And big pink pigeons
Can’t fly.


And Texas

Slap down
Ride the Vroom machine
Ride to where it’s dry
Ride to where it’s dangerous
Ride the Vroom machine
Ride that fairytale pumpkin
Postapocalyptic peoplemover
Sands of the desert in the eyes of the Vroom machine
Belly tickled with glass sugar
Coughing up passengers:

Bam, hit the pavement Bam, the accountant next to me Bam, the German-speaking taxidermist of Minnesota
Hit heavy
Heavy with in-flight peanuts
Allergy people retching on hands and knees
Staining hands and knees
Black tar-hot on the pavement
And I flick a cigarette

They pause to marvel my arc, my grace, my form
And I say to my companions
“Are you ready, O Children of the American Amusement Park?”
“Are you ready, O Bean Counter and Animal Stuffer?”
“Nein” is the returned syllable, hitting the back of my head and dropping hard
Like bird meets vehicle grill

I turn to my accountant-friend
The mathematician with the shingles and the mumbles
Through his unparted lips:
“Ten”
A nervous, half-hearted smile at his own joke

Me, facing dead forward, mock Southern accent
“Boys, let’s meet us some women “


To Alison, In All Fairness

She was didactic
Like a Victorian poem
Full of “O!”s and “Alas!”es
And things no one really had to say
She once forgave me
For not being synchronicitous
With what, I don’t know
Her, I guess I remember giggling “What?” she said “Syn-chro-nicitous,” I said She just glared at me
But she was forgiving
I admit that There was the time she caught me
With a bucket of vanilla ice cream
And the melon baller,
Standing on a chair
Dropping tiny scoops
Of Vanilla From Above I tried to play it off,
Pretended it was scientific So she asked me
“Why are you saying ‘plunk’?”

Looking back, I think my words offended her To her they were
Common
She cared about elegance
She cared about me, too
But it’s hard to really love a girl
When you?re playing “nougat” to her “portabella”

June 21-June 27, 1999: Robert Wynne, Janet Buck and David Hunter Sutherland

Week of June 21-June 27, 1999

Robert WynneJanet Buckand David Hunter Sutherland

This week we’re featuring the three Judges of the 1999 PSH Poetry Contest.

Robert Wynne
Robert_Wynne@antiochla.edu

Bio(auto)

Robert Wynne was raised on a farm in Northwest Oregon He’s been living in Southern California since 1982 Since 1996, he has been a Co-Director of the Valley Contemporary Poets, a non-profit organization which supports poetry in the San Fernando Valley He won the Academy of American Poets Award at Cal State Northridge in 1991 and 1994,  received the 1997 Masters Poetry Prize and won the 1998 Poetry Super Highway Poetry Contest In addition to serving as one of 2 judges for the 1998 Academy of American Poets Award at CSUN,  he judged the 1998 Rachel Sherwood Poetry Prize He has edited,  or co-edited, and published 5 anthologies of poetry He is the author of 2 chapbooks: “Driving” (1997, The Inevitable Press) and “Patterns of Breathing” (1997, Mille Grazie Press) His work has appeared in magazines throughout the United States, including Solo, Poetry International, Two Rivers Review, Trestle Creek Review,  Spillway, Rattle, Fox Cry, Paper Radio, Blue Satellite, 51% and Zambomba He has read his poetry at The Austin International Poetry Festival, The San Luis Obispo Poetry Festival, The Ojai Arts Festival,  The Arcade Poetry Series, Chapman College, Mt St Mary’s College and many other Southern California venues He holds a B.A and an M.A in Creative Writing from Cal State Northridge, and he will complete his M.F.A in Creative Writing at Antioch University in June of 1999.


The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by
Robert Wynne and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


In The Square

It’s corn they’re after, pigeons enshrouding
my friend Genaro in a grey cloud, claws
pulling at his sleeves, blur of wings brushing
the length of his body Yellow stones raw
in his upturned palms, birds swarming and he
gives them life, casts them off so they can find
another here who’s spent a dollar fifty
to become a god Manna is cheap, the kind
they hock in Venice But these birds don’t mind They never look at the architecture,
the sky; they never look above the hands
that tender the next moment, so sure
the grey sea will buoy them, their beaks will catch
the offering Genaro stands, arms outstretched.


Still Life With Skyscrapers

The high rises rainbow
in the midday glare I’m downtown spending
another hour alone
in a crowd of people
searching for food My nails dig semicircles

inside balled fists I stare at these towers
framing each other
like apples and cheese
in a 17th century painting It’s lunch hour Everyone’s moving but me
I’m thinking about the way
sorrow orders my world,
how the Arco building
is a hunk of smoked gouda First Interstate a stalk of celery
waiting for a bloody Mary I have never loved anyone

who could soothe this ache
in my neck I look up anyway
like I could reorganize these buildings
into a meal, something big enough
to satisfy me, something
I could reach out and snatch
from the sky.


(state your name) in america

1
this office is a 30-story smoked glass
aquarium filled with ink
papers float across each desk
toward 5 o’clock
thick waves roll over
the sleeping creatures
that live here
in 8-hour increments
and when the day’s work is shredded
when the tanks on our backs
are almost empty
we decompress in the breakroom
drink coffee and swim home

2
at night
i dream of colors
painting my eyes
brown i am the soil
purple i am an orchid
green i am a redwood
grey i am a tornado
yellow i am icarus
orange i am a number-two pencil
white another day

3
at the bus stop yesterday
a guy came up and asked me
for a quarter
i asked him
what he wanted it for
he said he was going
to spin it on the sidewalk
then stand by and see
how long it took
for someone to pick it up
he said the last one
stayed there for about
fifteen minutes

(originally appeared in The Northridge Review-Spring 1992)


Sweet Renaissance

Red m&m’s fall naked from the sky into my
Upside down umbrella, fat peanut
Butter filled candies
Things have been weird lately, cows
Hatching eggs, entire cultures
Incinerating spontaneously,
Stained sheets of

Paper coming clean despite
Oscillations of lust by lawyers
Emerging from harvard and the
Mcminnville institute of theology
Ornithology is a dying field Nothing can fly in this emulsified air
Young politicians in training are
Only able to think simply: cover
Up your vulnerable areas,
Repress your desires,

Green treats hail down,
Enshrouding all in a confectionery cloud No one goes to work,
Instead they stay home, rediscover
Their lost sensuality, themselves A sexual renaissance spreads,
Leaving the politicians alone, finally proven useless Someone laughs as I refill my umbrella
(originally appeared in The Northridge Review-Fall 1991)


Blind Spot

One a.m alone in bed and I’m done
with another day, done with
the quiet pry of God’s hands
working my flesh over and over
with gravity I am sagging into sleep
I’m done with beauty
auctioning every mirror God and I are going to have to live
with this body He gave me
I comb my hair He blows it into my eyes I slip into a silk shirt He soaks me to the skin Wind and rain are the lips of this world,

and every day I cock my head
sideways, turn an ear up
and listen like an expectant lover Tell me what I want I want God

to give my reflection back I want to recognize myself,
want beauty’s blind spot
to be just big enough for everyone I want to look over my shoulder
and see the woman I love

laughing at how silly we’ve been Want to sink so far into the covers
all I see is her next to me,
lids closed over eyes
rushing back and forth
between worlds.


Pantoum For Brenda

Our bed is a tongue made of fire
The object is never to sleep
Our clock speaks of time like a liar
What fits in our fingers we keep

The object is never to sleep
We tear feather pillows and scream
What fits in our fingers we keep
We fly awake into a dream

We tear feather pillows and scream
From inside the lungs of a bird
We fly awake into a dream
If only our cries could be heard

From inside the lungs of a bird
We sing of the flight that we crave
If only our cries could be heard
We’d still never want to be saved

We sing of the flight that we crave
Our bed is a short-sheeted cloud
We’d still never want to be saved
We’re over the heads of the crowd

Our bed is a short-sheeted cloud
We’ve cornered the market on high
We’re over the heads of the crowd
We even look down on the sky

We’ve cornered the market on high
The sun is so close it’s inside us
We even look down on the sky
Day and night lie down beside us

The sun is so close it’s inside us
Our clock speaks of time like a liar
Day and night lie down beside us
Our bed is a tongue made of fire


Janet I Buck
JBuck22874@aol.com

Bio

Janet Buck teaches writing and literature at the college level Her poetry, humor, and essays have appeared in The Pittsburgh Quarterly, The Melic Review, Sapphire Magazine, The Recursive Angel, Southern Ocean Review, Lynx: Poetry from Bath, Apples & Oranges, Oranges & Apples, The Rose & Thorn, San Francisco Salvo,  Poetry Super Highway, Poetik License, Mind Fire, Astrophysicist?s Tango Partner Speaks, Perihelion, Oracle, Poetry Motel, Feminista!,  Calliope, The Beaded Strand, New Thought Journal, Medicinal Purposes,  2River View, Kimera, Free Cuisinart, In Motion, Athens City Times,  Conspire, Idling, remark, BeeHive, Gravity, AfterNoon, A Writer’s Choice, Niederngasse, Shades of December, Maelstrom, The Oracular Tree, Red Booth Review, Poetry Heaven, Tintern Abbey, Arkham,  hoursbecomedays, The Artful Mind, Oatmeal & Poetry, Black Rose Blooming, Apollo Online, Masquerade, Pigs ‘n Poets, Savoy, The Poet’s Edge, Allegory, GreenCross, Online Writer, Poetry Cafe,  Oblique, Locust Magazine, The Poetry Kit, Pyrowords, Vortex, Ceteris Paribus, The Suisun Valley Review, Illya’s Honey, Fires of Autumn,  Orbital Revolution, A Little Poetry, Dead Letters, King Log, Peshekee Review, The Green Tricycle, Pogonip, Chimeric, Poetry Repair Shop,  3:00 AM Magazine, Wired Art from Wired Hearts, and hundreds of journals world-wide.


The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Janet I Buck and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


In Search of Grace


The movie* played liked battered tapes;
I was filling in its wings Starring rugged Robert Redford,
pieces of a little girl Her name was “Grace” (ironically)
in search of all her grace removed The horse (called Pilgrim)
once a stallion fixed for hope Camera jolts from hooves to feet–
the nervous twitch of realize
cutting through a Hallmark card

Post-accident in waiting rooms:
emotion, stretching trampolines
on bongo drums without a score Post-amputation’s horror flick
in solopsistic monologues I saw my own life screaming there:
wondered how my parents coped
with walls like wax on balance beams I watched her touch her brace with eyes–
practice climbing normal stairs
Lament epiphanies of shame
that halter motion’s syllables
Panting breaths of confidence
work their way through
softened scars, but never
do explain their points–
arrows on a weather vane
with targets of imbedded skies Ipso facto accident that almost
put a horse to sleep
Together in a stinking stable
scratching suffer’s fingernails
against the promise of the light
*The Horse Whisperer, starring Robert Redford and Kristin Scott Thomas, 1998.


Emmanuel with an Edge

How do you tell a six-year-old girl
she is about to lose a leg?
Without ungluing staid repose
near tigers snatching motion’s child You don’t You didn’t Razor rape too deep to share I remember the ethered rag–
nauseated rage in place
of summer’s blushing lemonade Flesh beneath a body cast
to quell the fire of wanton youth Rigor mortis isn’t Latin;
no, it’s simply platitudes Strung like lights on Christmas trees One goes pop–the others simply follow suit
A hospital named “Emmanuel”
with hollow halls in brittle white
smelled of clear ammonia ice Well, Christmas carols left a hole;
prayer did not alter loss Like feeding Milk Duds to a dog,
fate’s caramel was melted down;
no one brushed honesty’s clamoring teeth Shriners brought in big balloons,
teddy bears to decorate sheer oven angst
I wanted kites of legs instead
and no one could accommodate
The atrophy of bleeding souls
would someday turn to fountain pens It’s little wonder why I sing
with vocal chords that gasp for air
as if the tune is near collapse Off-key odd (just born that way
does and doesn’t lighten loads) I remember silence most of all
Its presence was a satin Satan
ironed like a pillow case.


Popped Umbrellas

Since my first marriage
had the flavor of old bubble gum Since my second was musical
chairs of a prison camp
The only treeline being that
of need and deep sea dire
depressing tides where smiles
broke rules and were not tolerated,
where temples of tempers
stole cushions from hearts
and sex went solo, sadly enough
I had a number of serious
sentence fragments
when it came to willing Of course, when love drifts by,
you jump on without much choice,
like a moving sidewalk
that jets toward joy
you just can?t stop Dread’s designated driver
gets drunk and you don?t mind much Old brown boxes of sour fairy tales
are overdue library books
in the back seat of an old sedan,
so you return them shyly
and proceed as hummingbirds
that respect the flutter
of passion’s heated wings
Love?s hieroglyphics
are kin to honeydew:
you just sense when
the season is right and slit it
when the moment strikes And we did Touchdowns came so naturally Umbrellas popping to meet clean rain.


A Klee in Coal

***Everything vanishes around me, and works are born as if out of the void
Ripe,
graphic fruits fall off My hand has become the obedient instrument of a
remote will ***

.Paul Klee (1879-1940)

Art is a protest rally dressed up right
in stanzas of silk negligees Emotion’s fleas resist the lift Serrated razors on the edge
like rust in silencers of guns My absent leg, a broken crayon
under feet of pick-up trucks Disabled’s coal–my private Klee:
sand between my missing toes
and Stonehenge scabs of surgery I have no palettes of color,
no genius but blood–
well-earned–still blood,
no better, no worse than runs
through veins of wounded deer I crave, at times, Fushia artsy
in corners of a coffeehouse
or roses with their perfect stems
in fridges of a flower shop
No Flaubert, No Oscar Wilde,
my Ravens have no regal grace Faith and candor work together–
slaughter meat of luckless fate
and package it for grocery stores I cannot write in bright Picassos
nor pretend my bitter pen is
bon vivants that pick sweet petals
from harmonies of motion?s waltz Jolly Green Giants of giggling beans
remain in cans of cupboards shut Humor has an acid edge–
pivots me away from dark:
a fleeting rainbow centered in a hail storm,
I pencil gray the salty sweat
and stretch bequeathed by difference fire.


Insurance Cards

At 80+ their charts
were filled
with big black bats
and suffer’s dust A stopping traffic
kind of scene where
waiting rooms
were factories
with bright red lights
announcing mortal’s
train was close His right arm
was aching
for its missing bones;
her left was gone;
they were joined
like two thin wings
of monarchs on
chrysanthemums
Theirs–a secret, 
vivid light–all but
blinded poverty, left
thick lessons in our palms Puzzle pieces of a loss
became sweet fruit
for cherish pie Holding hands
with half an arm–
exploring threads
of passion’s quilt with
very unexpected squares Rubbing stumps
like kindling for
compassion’s fire–
two twins attached
by tragedy with
nothing more than
twinkling eyes for updates
on insurance cards.

David Hunter Sutherland
dsutherland@calldei.com

Bio(auto)

David Sutherland received his BS in Electrical Engineering from Boston University His books of poetry include full-length collections “Between Absolutes”, and “Steel Umbrellas”-scheduled to be released this summer by Archer Books/Cadmus Editions and several chapbooks His poems have appeared in The Reader (Oxford University Press),  The American Literary Review, The Hollins Critic, The Midwest Quarterly, The Northern Micihgan Journal, and other journals,  he has received The Rhysling Award, The Small Press Writer’s Award,  The Hudson Valley Poetry Award and several Pushcart Nominations in Poetry Presently he is Managing Editor for the Internet based publication “Recursive Angel”.


The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
David Hunter Sutherland and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Tierce la Umbra

(For Aries)

Mother Nature is up from the crotch
Vengeful, even toothed, drip drip drip And the vernal has furnished a season
With elm and redwood and spruce But you are content among thorns,
Weeds in your tool-belt, bramble for hair Enough winter, soften your bark
Let the backwash of salts from pavement
Turn sand to soil, soil to earth Move, trust mistakes
A handful of twigs, an outcrop of stubble,
A weed or stump of desire
Are a season’s debris Now spring clouds
Burst their canopy of waters
Into this tableland of dreams, dreams
That portend the power of gods or demons For in a field at dusk the chirp of a thousand
Leapers in a phase entanglement
Kneel to pray-talk-pray, their percussion
A river’s metronome times tide and wave
As minnows dance in shallow pools, 
And bees hum in a algorithm whose mesh
On mesh takes orbit and leaves
In a penultimate coda set free
So should you wake at some distant point
All probabilities spent to a wisp of life Blow past this garden where a child
Bawls for its mother, fancy that.


Gate of Heavenly Peace

Zedong declares a republic; red guards,
riots, protests of a motif
ordered in crayon and bloodied soil
And bodies are falling everywhere,
Tiang, closest to Liu, like a Daedalus
flies across a stretch of wall, 

others like the over-extended leaves
of the Red Spider tree, fold
in this early spring
In Xi’an as in Beijing ghosts take sides;
the premier, arrogant, haunting, grim,
the other, the official version

Tonight the body count begins:
Qiao Shi, Hu Yung, Deng Mao
children of a blaze burn like

echoes of the Nazi Reichstag “We are leaving the dead behind, 
the pitiless, the damned, the forgotten ”

But somehow you will always be with me Somewhere where the extent of casualties
newsreels into empty space,

where our bed of rice still steams
and our land of seasons change
and this cup of jasmine simmers.


Attilas of 7th Avenue

Poverty and youth as fodder for the masses
Is a mouth of missing teeth, its seems destitute

To gum what stands little chance of being swallowed
Frail at birth the runt as vestigial is cast

Out of brood, out of pocket, as if survival was a spring
Song released from a winter’s frozen trance and born

To stagger out into its sunlight then melt (Life makes haste, love lays waste)

One can decide against all limits
Transcend belief, judgement or morale, but must swear

With certainty that it was us or them I have always felt it a choice, always known the better

Part of valor concedes to reason As did the ancient
Tibetans ravaged by neighbor countries, watch its kingdom
.fall From Nepal a heart-shaped head, strewn beads and bitter spices
.Now similarly these youth
.before me, 
.a pack of 7th Avenue vandals, could so quickly
.Extort
.one to forget a peace that
.brushes past like a breeze, then degenerates into a
.subway’s squeal
.of brake and rattle
One surrenders in thinking, 
Becomes khan to an infanta whose hopes grow
.like
.petals
on pavement, 
Lips on rail, 
Remains sullied at a turnstile’s lopping refrain,
“Hark the herald angels sing “


Flesh

The touch stone
of our hunger:
clenched teeth, lips,
rhythm of senses

and its taste, salty
roe-like from the curing –
a battle field or butcher’s block
as livid as the rib’s

elan vital or nape’s
passion crust Put it away, put it away –
and we devour it

the shin, the flank, 
the cut boiled from center
sizzling on steel
On a bone china plate
the grist of its hardened core,
hands over its fire

eyes over its soul
a smattering of ash
along the stomach’s pit
In the rarer moments,
reflection, empathy’s
raison d’etre, o madness
leave the bone

of youth for incision
pare your muscle grain
from tallow thick mumblings,
hard and fast

down the throat, consume
each fold in mana,
(full on the lips)
live as promiscuous

June 14-20, 1999: Michael McNeilley and D.W. Bohn

Week of June 14-20, 1999


Michael McNeilley and D.W Bohn

Michael McNeilley
mcn@techline.com

http://gate.cruzio.com/~zerocity/mcn/sitreal.html

Bio(auto)

Michael McNeilley (Aberdeen, Washington) was one of the three judges of last years Poetry Super Highway Poetry Contest His poems and stories have appeared in hundreds of print and electronic publications His new book, Situational Reality, is available from Dream Horse Press, San Jose, CA.


The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by
Michael McNeilley and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Except for the Sound of Snow

you are drawn by what appears to be
a yellow circle in the haze of distance,
but as you move past blackened winter trees
the spot takes form, at last resolves into
a golden square of light, seen through
falling snow the light is from a window, lit
by what could be bright candlelight,
a flickering illumination that attempts
to cast itself into the dark, as if driven
by some pressing need you see a shadow
in the window, and though it is difficult
to focus through the snow you recognize
a woman sitting there, backlit by burning
amber light, and as she moves you notice
a small gray cat jump up onto her lap the cat, the woman seem to stare
together into the quiet fall of snow and as you watch, a small blue bird
flies past between you and the light,
unnoticed by the woman, whose gaze
into the distance does not shift, but
traced in every detail of its flight,
the pull of wings, the glide between
strokes against frozen air, by the cat the blue bird seems to slide through
flakes of snow untouched its feathers
the blue of distance against the light
and its reflection on the snow,
a curtain frozen now in space and you are certain you can hold
this moment still by thought, captured
in the golden cage of what is known,
keep it ever there before you, as you do
your history, your present, your future
in the same small frame the woman
does not see you the cat sees nothing
but the bird the bird sees not the snow,
but the path of air it follows to its nest and all around you bare black limbs
of winter trees reach out to you,
would hold you close, strain to
brush against your skin


It Scars Them for a Long Time

The mother tree burned more than two hundred
years ago; the second generation stands
in a ring around the spot, where she
left them in a circle round her skirt,
and they’re at least that old, born after
the lightning fire that brought her down
And there’ve been many fires since, always
there will be fires And the mother’s tall
children have their scars from these, twenty,
thirty, forty feet up their sides, slender
beautiful scars that taken of themselves

appear as works of art Most of these scars
face the spot where the mother tree stood,
though they are from more recent fires,
from perhaps about the time of my birth,
or my father’s, or his father’s birth
Now in a ring some eighty feet across,
they form a cathedral two hundred feet tall,
though from here it can be difficult
to gauge their height, you think
you’re looking at the top of them, but

you are not And from our low perspective
which is not their view of things,
a perspective they long since rose above,
from here it seems they lean in together,

as if sharing secrets, or listening to
the wisdom of the mother’s ghost, whom
if we could hear from our spot on our
own small and distant ring might speak

to us as well of where it is we go,
where we go from here.


What the Card Said

“hard as all this
is right now
not having known her
would have been so
much worse”

and I sent
plants instead
of the usual cut
flowers the spray
the arrangement
the wreath
though the plants
have flowers
now

but those too
will fall
as this is the way
of flowers
but still there
will be
green leaves
growing

and you can water
them give them
enough sun
and look at
them later
keep them for
a while

a little
plant food and
they’ll reward you
more flowers
will come
if you remember
to look at them
now and then
as they need this

if you talk to them
place them by
the window looking
out mist them
like light rain
if you want them to
you can make them
flourish
if you take good
care they will
just live


In This Room It Is Always Summer

as she dances across the bed
to her music of spheres
and planetary rings

she flips her long hair down
straight and fine then up again
a web to catch the moth I am

a little face peers out at me
from the dark forest of her hair
monkey in a palm tree

and she is as quickly gone and I
write this down but now she walks
toward me in white lace

pink shadows through the net
she turns and I am black bear
watching from dark cave

I am silent as she moves
toward me a jungle cat
dressed in the smooth weave

of her skin four silvery
rings and all her hair is soft
and baby fine and there

is nothing in nature to
compare this to no perhaps
high clouds at dawn and I

am wolf I am lion hungry
I take a small pink bud between
my teeth in silken darkness

but she dances off again
a colt on slender legs her
laughter orbits my dark star

stands in silhouette on window
light then is as quickly gone
sudden as bursting clouds

and like summer weather she is
changed again but dancing now
a sweater like soft fur

flips her hair then up again
and this time brown wings flash
hawk rises settles watches

then back into her dance
unconscious grace rhythmic as
the room moves with her

dances as a doe across a meadow
laughing back at the wolf
who lags behind

the cold outside cannot come in
and I would hibernate in darkness
but so much is to be done

snow out summer in as past
the window the sky drops the tiny
diamonds she will walk upon


She Says They Prefer Rainwater

I come here to look at the orchids I cannot buy one, I could never properly
care for it — it would only die And
where you are I cannot give you even
a corsage, though I know you would
keep it in the refrigerator, not wear it,
make it last So I watch the orchids, if
simply for myself The owner of this
flower shop no longer seems to mind
this — she loves them too, knows in
some small way they live for this
appreciation This tiny pink one
in particular — the petals, the throat –
I should not think of this, but I must She says they prefer rainwater,
that the heat and humidity must be
just right I want to touch them, but
I cannot I want to crawl inside, or
only to think of this This is what
remains of you for me, less than
I ever imagined, more than I can bear
to forget They thrive on a light mist,
a measured quantity of light, but
in truth they belong far from here,
yet here they are, blooming away
their lives — a simulation of what
their lives should be, but their
petals no less beautiful here than
there, as best we can know This
is the space we have come to, this
is their cage of glass, and mine.


Your Hair Brushing My Shoulders

I woke suddenly last night, I must
have just fallen asleep you were bending
over me, your thin arms on either side

of my head like a barred window I could
feel your warmth, smell you as you leaned
down to kiss me, the color of you in candle

light outlining the cage of your hair, the box
I would have you keep me in and at the touch
of your lips I was wide awake, startled up

from sleep as only I would be, my always
too-rational mind unaccepting, some foolish
question on my lips instead of your breath.

D.W Bohn
dave_bohn@usa.net

Bio(auto)

D.W Bohn is a lifelong poet who only occasionally summons up the courage to submit his work for publication In spite of his reticence, his poems have appeared in such journals as Poems Niederngasse,  the Dynamic Patterns webzine, and the Realm of Philosophy’s Haiku Gallery He lives with his wife and two sons in the San Francisco Bay Area.


The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by Dave Bohn and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


New Worms

slithering through loam
still unaware that such things
as birds may exist


The Horse Tamer

in dreams she tames wild horses
the ordinary ones are immediately compliant
after she mounts them
even the fiercest bear her willingly
and soon become docile beneath her

leaning forward
she cleaves to their strong necks
as she rides
whispering comfort into their ears

they bond until it seems
as if the horse’s head and neck
and flowing mane
have merged with hers


Different Water

we take great pains
to ford the river
at the exact same place
every time

but every time
the water is different

June 7-13, 1999: Juan-Beauregaard-Montez and Robert J Savino

Week of June 7-13, 1999


Juan-Beauregaard-Montez and Robert J Savino

Juan Beauregaard-Montez
Stompdncr@aol.com

Bio(auto)

Juan Beauregaard-Montez is a Chiapas Indian guerrilla living in exile in
Europe He submits his work through his agent Lind Call of the Tampa Group
founded by Duane Locke.


The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by
Juan Beauregaard-Montez and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Marjuna

Marjuna was a woman of realities She would hold my hand
As she invented subterranean gardens,
Immense flocks of white birds The moon rested in her breasts,
As a memory settled upon itself for eternity She danced with the nude persistence of absence Silence escaped my lips,
Become a comet that knew no grave She, a llama ewe on the edge of Salang Pass,
Paused with the whiteness upon all white Time spiraled into itself, begged for the cold, 
Clear water of the Amu-Darya Tiny pieces of sunset fell from her eyes,
Two hands reached into mist Returned with a small, white mountain rose, 
Thorns wet with fresh blood.


Petrolina, Fifteen Minutes Till Midnight

I had grown accustomed
To drinking Portuguese Port wine alone
At a small table outside the Café Purlita
Where I could gaze across the blackness
Of the Sáo Fransisco River
At the auric lights of Jaziero de Bahia,
The place of cranberries and Chilian red wine I can no longer recall
When I last crossed the Sáo Fransisco river
Can not recall the unknown desires
That led me to the midnight ferry Those desires, neither sinister nor benevolent,
Led me away from the beautiful city, Jaziero de Bahia My mind was possessed with an incredible strangeness This strangeness demanded that I cross the river at night I joined the Brundello Sosá Compania de Comedios Musicalé
As the front man who arranged all the shows
Ahead of the travelling troupe In all the thirty years that I worked for the Brundello Sosá Compania
I never saw a single show,
Never laughed at single, staged joke Ferry lights cross the table,
Caress a locket that holds strands of curled, cranberry hair I order another bottle of Portuguese Port wine, some bread and butter.

Robert J Savino
Dynsus@aol.com

Bio(auto)

Robert J Savino resides in West Islip-Long Island, New York He is a Bank Officer by day and a Poet, otherwise His work has been published in a number of periodicals from the Babylon Review to the Haight Ashbury Literary Journal.


The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by Robert J Savino and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Night Visitor

White sheets
lie waiting,
naked for love
I feel tense There are others
more eloquent
Freshness freefalls,
spreads awkward,
shadows scramble
I style re-style
her silk ink hair
across the white sheets
Gypsy words
spill from my lips,
as I peak
She responds It feels good,
a figure formed
A trampoline quarter
on tight sheets, finished,
cold coffee waiting.


Aerial Bombs and Bananas

I remember a child’s morning,
slices of banana dropping
one after another
from the knife in mother’s hand,
snow covered flakes displaced
I remember mornings of ‘ 68,
green bananas falling
through silence, crispy rice
fields saturated in yellowing
milk of unmeasured thought
Today is different
but still the same No more banana wars,
just the empty bowl.


Treasure of Age

The old man enjoys reading Blake,
believing the road to excess lies
in wetting his windpipe with wine
in the urn-tipped style of Dionysus
and spewing a wordspray of wisdom
in quatrains,
fumbling the final four lines
So many nights he falls asleep
in the chair,
wallowing in those same guttural groans,
echoes of voices
bouncing from closed doors in his mind
Halfway to dawn
struggling from chair to toilet,
wobbly on his Achilles heel
he spouts the blood of his sins
Memories erased,
scattering to dust in morning moans.

May 31-June 6, 1999: Pasquale Capocasa and Amanda Marie Musto

Week of May 31-June 6, 1999


Pasquale Capocasa and Amanda Marie Musto

Pasquale Capocasa
pcapocasa@blackpoint.ch

http://niederngasse.dragonfire.net/

Bio(auto)

Pasquale Capocasa is a former, fairly unsuccessful American potter now living and writing in Switzerland He is the editor of a small print poetry journal as well as its counterpart online His work has appeared in various literary magazines including,  The Poet’s Page, Poetry Motel, Breakfast All Day, Studio Potter,  and California Quarterly.


The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by
Pasquale Capocasa and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


The Original Variety Show

Double trouble it is;
us and them, me and you,
always two, babbling
like fission-cloned copies
of bickering circus clowns
There is no two as we both claim There is no perpetually singing duo
There is only what we are?
layers of grit, stone, and stars,
one on one, on one, on one.


Double Exposure

She rose from the bench
and half turned toward the man
in the bright blue track suit She had seen him before “Who are you?” she asked The man did not answer
With a flutter, he tucked
himself neatly between
her and the bench,
grabbed the shoulders
of her summer dress,
and pulled sharply downward
Out she came, her gasp
kick-starting her essence
and she glowed quietly
for a moment,
the twilight recoiling
in astonishment
“He has exposed me,”
was her only thought,
which seemed excessive
in the diminishing light;
unseen, a hint of blue softly
folded into the rustling leaves.


I am Not To Blame

believe me?
my aggressive, 
hostile behavior
is directly linked
to the excessive
consumption of junk food, 

and to the watching
of tv violence for
unreasonable
lengths of time

Yes, I know?
you say
it could be my fault, 
but ask
my social worker
She’ll tell you
This simply isn’t
the real me

My environment is
convoluted; its own
byzantine behavior molding
Machiavellian doubles

So you see, 
I am not to blame.


I’ve Had My Fill, Thanks!

All my life I’ve drank my fill,
my greed grinning behind my back
Just once I want to say:
enough pleasure, 
enough pain, 
enough greed, 
enough shame

I want to say just once:
no more orgasms, please;
enough smoke, thank you
Just once I want to shout:
Hey man, thanks, but I’m full
.and see who’s behind this mask.

Amanda Marie Musto
AMusto1172@aol.com

Bio(auto)

Amanda Marie Musto lives in Winter Springs Florida She is eleven years old Possibly twelve.


The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by Amanda Marie Musto and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Rich

I am not rich with gold, silver, or bronze,
I do not live in an ancient castle,
I am not royalty I am not rich with money,
Coins or cash,
I do not own a mansion or a mall, 
Though that would be nice But money does not matter to me,
I am still rich, rich with love My heart bank is full,
But I will withdrawal from it,
and give out my love to the ones who need it
The most.