YGDRASIL: A Journal of the Poetic Arts

January 2001

Editor: Klaus J. Gerken
Production Editor: Pedro Sena
European Editor: Moshe Benarroch
Contributing Editors: Martin Zurla; Rita Stilli; Michael Collings

ISSN 1480-6401



 	  Doug Tanoury
      Janet I. Buck
         Lonely Memos
         The Woman Who Stuck Around
         Botticelli Angel Dust
         The Sonnet Shakespeare Never Wrote
      Doug Tanoury
         The Jade Vagina
         With Oranges
         The Wedding Poem
         Greek Echo
         Red Beans on Rice
      Gigi Marino
         "The Scullion Gone Wild"
         The Hush of My Bones
         The Meanness of the World
         Hotel Dancer-for Hire
         I Want the Heat
      Maria Jacketti 
         from Gabriela Mistral: A Reader
            The Wild Strawberry
            The Air
         from Ceremonial Songs by Pablo Neruda
            From "Cataclysm"
            From "The Bull"
            From "Ocean Lady"
      Moshe Benarroch
         MY HOMETOWN   
         A peaceful shabbat, rest in peace
         The shore of the other
         (Thoughts) On Being the judge of a poetry prize

      Karen Alkalay-Gut
         The Cloak of Thorns
         Because my body
         Put me
      Klaus J. Gerken
         SHOT OF LOVE
      Karen Ackalay-Gut
         Cuplet commenting on one of Klaus Gerken's Poems


   All the poets in this issue are participants of the Athens Avenue
   poetry discussion group. Doug Tanoury, the founder and moderator
   of this group provides the following introduction:

   "In 1995 I began writing poetry in large listserv e-mail distribution 
   lists. It was very impersonal, many poets used pseudonyms, there was 
   a number of transients and lurkers, the list turnover was rapid, 
   quality of verse, comments and critiques was highly inconsistent.
   I wanted a more meaningful environment, more work, more connection, 
   more quality. I wrote to five poets who wrote with me on one of the 
   poetry list servers. I told them what I didn't like and asked them to 
   come and write with me in a new environment. Athens was formed in 1996.
   In addition to state-side poets, Athens Avenue always had a number of 
   international poets, a result of the unique nature of the Internet.
   It created a supportive and friendly environment without many rules, 
   formalities or administrative overhead.  Poets always worked 
   based not on any formal agreements or contracts, but just on the basis 
   of a handshake. I think I like to work in that fashion; because it is 
   a test of honor and I relish the inherent risk involved. In all honesty 
   there have been times when I have been disappointed, but more often I 
   was not.
   I always invited poets whose worked impressed me. I never cared about 
   their biography, about who they were or what they did. This was a 
   professional association of poets serious about their craft. There 
   isn't much chitchat and most of our interaction and relationship is 
   based on our work. This I think is a characteristic of a professional 
   circle. There also seems to be an high level of respect between all 
   the poets who write together, and this is also a characteristic of 
   professionals working together.
   I am touched by the magic of poetry every day, just as I was the very 
   beginning. Athens Avenue has always been home to exceptional poets 
   and remarkable verse, and most of all I am an awe struck witness to 
   some of the best verse I have ever read."
   Doug Tanoury 

   Janet I. Buck
   Lonely Memos
   Fitness center, nursing home,
   side by side like Siamese twins
   in worry's womb.
   The quiet club of aging's bones.
   I signed my name, turned my head,
   prepared to lift a room of weights,
   swim my laps in the green glass lake
   of an empty pool.
   Solitude, a peaceful hum
   because I had a home
   and husband waiting there.
   Two EMTs pushing a gurney
   out wide and waxen parted lips
   of automatic doors and smiles.
   On it sat a waving man;
   they fanned his moot delirium.
   "There she is!" he squawked
   like roosters near insipid blade:
   "My little girl!  I knew she'd come!"
   This stranger leaning on my flesh
   as heartily as trees drink water
   through their roots.
   I walked beside the rolling bed
   and out into the falling rain.
   Freeze was just a pressure sore
   brewing near an open wound.
   His fingers in my sweaty palm--
   steam from kettles on a stove.
   Knuckles like a wrinkled carrot
   looking for its rabbit's foot.
   My hand was just a memo pad
   for scribbling his loneliness.
   On the edge of the cliff of time
   seemed a good place
   to brew a small pot of lies.

Janet I. Buck Likenesses ~~~~~~~~~~ It is the season of onyx heart and glitter's panther and party fuzz. Alcohol looks prettier this time of year. I space how lethal sauce can be. Leaving flesh like wrinkled fruit surrounded by that nausea in piles of rancid sauerkraut. Once upon a stupid time, it picked at icebergs, loosened grips of sinking ships. Messing up my curly hair enough to fool snakish tresses with its sweat. Perhaps my "bottom" lingering just wasn't far enough to fall. I didn't have to choose between the ethered state and milk or bread, or pillows for a throbbing temple, bursting seams with boiled lies. I watch you roll your worldly goods down sidewalks of these city streets. Everything you own is tied to a dolly with stretching ropes that could have been my broken arms. I look around and see myself, wires poking through a mattress made of flimsy winter clouds. If not for money's cold blank verse, we could have been the same damned poem. Torn diplomas of my vows should tell me just how close I was. But pain in time-- alchemizes, Frenchifizes-- wool to cashmere memory.
Janet I. Buck The Woman Who Stuck Around ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It's Christmas Eve; you are driving the long length of a state pummeled by rain, darkness, and fear. To visit your mother, who's given up her reins on life. When you pass remainders of riven skunks on dangerous curves, your headlights will reflect her waste. Your husband's mom is dying in the hospital. You've bathed and dressed her swelling tumors, combed her hair as wealthy women brush a mink. Bonded in the round dance of shared grief, cradled her bones like piles of nails falling through a wet brown bag. Expecting nothing in return, you will be known as the woman who stuck around. The woman who lived the boil and nursed the burn, who saddled a horse and rode the wind, clich=E9s of angels, proving that undaunted love means walking barefoot through thick mud. Someday in a far off grave, the toe tag on your body's frame will say: "this woman stuck around," shoveled banks of sorrow's snow, even when the tulips left, courting every hairpin turn, gravel in her open eyes.
Janet I. Buck ***For Linda Mc Donough Botticelli Angel Dust ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ We are hundreds of miles apart. Your deafness though so natural at nearly ninety makes a phone call seem a strain that leaves you staring at tiny seeds in dirty metal colanders. I want to drag you north, pamper piles of driftwood bones, their rusty razors looking at an end in sight I feel but cannot talk about. I may not have another chance; apathy is not a dance that time will let us finish up. I wanna be that bucket in a sanguine well, bringing water to the house, drowning you in much more love than postage stamps can buy or send. Your skin, by now, a pile of aging sauerkraut. I wanna be a plate of good, but here I study cracks and chips, poisoning the possible. I see you in the river's mirror, table set for widowhood, dining on old memories. Wonder if you'd hop a plane, spend some final sun with us. A second Christmas spent alone cattle stomps a wounded heart. I don't deserve the name you gave me as a child: your "Botticelli Angel" dust. I wish I could be pushier. As pushy as mortality.
Janet I. Buck The Sonnet Shakespeare Never Wrote ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ There is a point where push and shove brings lions out. Depression's velvet motorcade left oil leaks I licked as if their puddles came from inside me. Threats of sorrow, suicide like candy canes you'd hang from every living tree. I wear no guilt for leaping into laps of cherish, letting flowers go to seed, come back in bursts beyond blank verse and sectioned suns. Loving you was typing drunk, opening a can of tuna with a toothpick. The only key my fingers trusted was escape. I know this now because I sleep in the mingled hum of a sonnet Shakespeare might have sold in courts of royals, traded for large pots of gold and jewels beyond fathoming. My husband tucks me in at night as if he's tissuing a gift.
Doug Tanoury The Jade Vagina ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I watched the sunrise today Reflected in the many panes of glass skyscrapers That rise majestic and monolithic like tree covered mountains That mark the far side of the harbor and form The crowded skyline that is Hong Kong And in the mirrored mosaic of articulated glass White clouds slowly drift across blue sky And dirty white high-rises stand shoulder to shoulder Back to back and side to side their images mingled distorted and smudged like an impressionist landscape In the background the green waters of the harbor open Like a jade vagina before the phallic shapes of glass Stone and steel that rise wide and erect to penetrate The morning and hide the green hills and the squalor Of the run down apartment buildings in mirrored gray
Doug Tanoury With Oranges ~~~~~~~~~~~~ I thought today of her awakening Her movements a shadow In the predawn darkness A phantom floating No more than a chimera of shape A nude that Picasso might sketch No more than a few sloping lines that curve Toward soft inclines and rise gently Toward feathered intersections And fall toward full divergence Backlit in silhouette from the bedroom window Her breasts and buttocks The simple elegance of lines in Erotic waves and fluid motion And as she moves near I smell the citrus of orange slices That is the fragrance and scent That forms a perfumed wake as she passes And the "sh" and "ch" sounds of her dressing Are a bird's wings flapping A slight rustling of fabric A finch in the shrub I am the slave of her motion The serf of her smells The prisoner of her naked beauty Who wakes each morning in bondage To the changing shape of curves To the texture of delicate sound And a still life with oranges
Doug Tanoury The Wedding Poem ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ (For Terra) Time upon a once I do now recall In memory rich with childhood wonder The fairy tales read at bedtime And prayers said at her bedside Now I lay me down to rest I hope your dreams are just the best Heaven and hell are chambers of the heart For when I am dead I will spend eternity Strolling through summer afternoons A little hand in mine as we walk And talk quite casually of birds and trees And bumblebees burrowing deep in blossoms Awakening to absence that is her finding The fullness of a wonderful womanhood That is her finding now the meaning of mature love And living her days in a happy place of her own making That is crafted by her own choices and Sustained by her own hands I sing now no more in half whispers My tenor rising just above the organ notes The Kyrie and Agnus Dei The Sanctus and Benedictus My prayers of happiness are sung For Latin is the language of heartfelt love Walk once more with me down the nave Toward the altar of this country church Awash in the color of stained-glass light My chest that rises and falls with each breath Is a warehouse of fervent worship As I walk with her toward her life
Doug Tanoury Greek Echo ~~~~~~~~~~ (A Hollywood Park Poem) I see her naked With my eyes closed Each breast a half peach And the cheeks of her ass Symmetrical hemispheres A sliced melon I can touch her Deeply in my dreams Her flesh feels firm Yet soft like ripe mango And the taste of kiwi Lingers on my tongue I can see the smell Of her moving like A shadow around me A flicker of motion A flash of movement That is Venus waking
Doug Tanoury Red Beans on Rice ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Freckles sprinkled lightly Over the whiteness Of pale and perfect skin Like spice spilled Across a tablecloth I imagine them seasoning And added flavor To the milk and cream Of arm and leg Hair like new copper Wavy and full that falls across The virginity of bare shoulders And the snow covered hills That is her naked ass A Pre-Raphaelite vision A shivering Ophelia Whose color calls to mind Red beans on rice
Gigi Marino "The Scullion Gone Wild" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ --William Butler Yeats I bring to this kitchen good knives, sharpened by whet and stone tools of old, toothless men in a barrow true things, guaranteed to slice marrow and bone. I was born to cut, not to breed, and the master knows me as his own, a rebellious wench fueled with fire and a naughty riot beneath my skirt, like kindling left in the rain, slow to start but never again, true fire, blue flame, knives I call my own that return my name.
Gigi Marino The Hush of My Bones ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I have been here before on the back deck in spring, watched the same bulbs make good on their promise, seen the Daylight-Saving sun slice perfect shadows in the wood, listened to the neighborhood chimes compete with one another. But something has changed this year: the hush of my bones grown louder, the body’s mad insistence on careful tending of muscle and ligaments, as if it were a rude challenger to its own precarious desires, as if the body were the only reminder of my days of quiet anger, of all that is not resolved, the soft embrace of damage, here, in the body.
Gigi Marino The Meanness of the World ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ My grandmother ached for the meanness of the world, she’d tell me again and again the story of a girl kidnapped and ransomed. Her heartbroken father paid the price asked, but nothing, really, could save his daughter from coming home in pieces in a blood-soaked sack. "All chopped up," she'd say, a bony finger pointed, admonishing me of the dangers of dark nights and kidnappers with evil intent and sharp knives. I thought of this girl so often I imagined her alive, blond and laughing in a sailor suit the day she died and her grief-filled father fretting near the phone, a policeman or two in the room, maybe a priest, and somewhere in the background, her mother, but in Grandma's stories, the mother stood silent, and so, I never thought about her suffering, but always the worst pain a father could feel. This knowledge became my secret sorrow, and all my life, I tried to protect my own father whose loves were greedy like that of a young boy and not at all like a grown man—least of all, father. Now, so many years later, I have to wonder, what had my grandmother known about her son, could she have ever admitted the things he'd done, the certain sins of a man's hands and a stunted heart? I’d like to believe she was innocent of knowing the real dangers in my own house, the sad evil that whimpered something like love and made me love it back.
Gigi Marino Hotel Dancer-for Hire ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Billy Wilder, named by a mother in love with the Wild West, but who died in Auschwitz, was weaned by a father who had nothing to lose in gaming rooms, learned young to smell the succinct meanness of money, sex, and skin: “many things about human nature, but none of them favorable....- soon went on to work as a dancer-for-hire for older women in Viennese hotels under crystal lights and perfume dark as the Austrian nights, where he buried his head into powdered chests of women with nothing to lose, a post-War wanton passion fueled by the nameless desire of a man-boy with slim hips and everything to say but who stayed silent on the dance floor, thinking, double indemnity will save me as he buried his head into chests of women who never once thought of the Wild West.
Gigi Marino I Want the Heat ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I want the heat, the way it seeps under mosquito netting when the night is alive with geckos and disease. I want the threat of malaria, delirium, nights of sweat so rich that it erases all desire. I want no man to fear my small words. I want the night burning bright, no tiger, but a cigarette. I want my skin soft as dew, soft as sin-- again, again.... I want to clothe my breasts for modesty. I want seduction unseen, in my India, in the villages where I am less than nothing but more than everything where desire diminishes into the color of my skin. I want the heat, I want to forget all that is me. I want the night, I want to sweat, I want to forget.
Maria Jacketti from Gabriela Mistral: A Reader The Wild Strawberry ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The wild strawberry, set apart in a leafy tent, gives off fragrance before she is picked. Before she is seen, she blushes... Untouched by birds, it is heaven's dew that moistens the wild strawberry. Do not bruise the earth; do not squeeze the sweet one. For her love, lower yourself, inhale her, give her your mouth. The Air ~~~~~~~ The thing that passes and remains, it is the air -- the air. And without a mouth that you can see, it takes you and kisses you, Father Lover. Oh! We break it apart without breaking it; wounded, it flies off without complaint. And it seems that the Air transports all and leaves all behind, willingly.
Maria Jacketti from Ceremonial Songs by Pablo Neruda From "Cataclysm" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ My love, my love, close my eyes, protect them not only from the volcanic brilliance, not only from the darkness of terror, I don't want to have eyes. I don't want that knowledge yet -- to experience, to exist. Close my eyes, protect them from all the tears, protect them from my weeping and yours, from the perpetual river of laments, caressing and piercing, between night and lava -- like sulphur's kiss -- the last vestment from a poor homeland, resting on stone, facing the sea's insistent invitation, beneath the cordillera's unmerciful bearing. From "The Bull" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ III They dressed a pale worker in blue fire, in amber ashes, in silvery tongues, in clouds and vermillion, in emerald eyes, in sapphire tails, and the pale man advanced against the fury, the poor man, so richly dressed, advanced for the killing. He came adorned in lightning -- to die. From "Ocean Lady" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ IX Such feathers! Bring with you the bird joining the secret depths and heaven, come wrapped in your newborn nakedness of hummingbirds, until feather by feather, emeralds fly. All poems translated by Maria Jacketti
Moshe Benarroch Here ~~~~ in these streets the angel who walked before me helped me walk prevented me from falling saved me when I had a car accident in the head near the synagogue in the head of the year here in these streets so empty from me I cried for the first time I smiled for the first time and from here I traveled everywhere now I came back seeking understanding from the houses, the streets, the sidewalks, the people.
Moshe Benarroch MY HOMETOWN ~~~~~~~~~~~ There are days I only think of it. As if there was nothing in the world but longing. Other days life and its banalities cover everything and I walk feeling that no one will ever understand my language. Some days I don't understand my language. As if I was walking without legs and the distance between me and the earth just grows and grows still I don't fly it is an imagined walking an imagined world instead of a solid land.
Moshe Benarroch A peaceful shabbat, rest in peace ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ First there was the neighbor who didn't stop looking at my wife's breasts then it was my mother who decided I should do a Ph.D. in maths because she saw this poet who was also a mathematician she wants a son with a Ph.D. she would trade me for the diploma then my wife's nephew wanted me to burn for him a cd while his wife started speaking about religious people and how she couldn't stand the fact that women have no place in synagogues so I just asked her if she would go the synagogue if there was more room she said no then my sister told everybody how she convinced one ultra orthodox woman to stop having children after she had ten and the doctors asked her to stop, even the rabbi, and yes I forgot my son also said that he hated me "I hate this person!" his words no wonder I went to sleep at ten o'clock and woke up with an angina at 2 A.M. and what did I do? The shabbatt dishes were there waiting for me. Sunday came I went to the post office and there was a check waiting for me, I will make it to the next shabbatt, there will be more food.
Moshe Benarroch The shore of the other ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ By the border of the sea between water and sand my life is born between salt and water my eyes turn blue between shore and sand my skin glitters I am the one coming from the other side of the sea the other shore the one which people say it doesn't exist at the end of the sea I am the sun that awakens the sun that sets I am the other.
Moshe Benarroch (Thoughts) On Being the judge of a poetry prize ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1. I am the bad guy this time, the one who won't give the prize to the real poet, I will skip it, not see his talent or be blinded by it, then most prize winners never become great poets, neither those who don't win but this time someone will say, he is not even a good poet, how can he see my talent, just as I did, just as I did. 2. Twenty two manuscripts in front of me, and my goodness, they all write better than I do, at least in Spanish, how am I going to make it, they have a better language, a better knowledge of the syntax, the literary traditions, but, the hell, where is life, where love in the lines, where anger, where light, where life. It's like every poem is written these days at night with a candle where no light comes in, every poem written in deep obscurirty of the soul. 3. Man, why are you doing this, the trip to Spain? respect? isn't it dangerous, didn't you say so, and why you who never won a poetry prize ever, why will you judge, now, you can see why you never won, you never did the tricks of writing well, presentable, catering for judges, trying to convince them, you spit on the prizes and contests, and expected to win. But, didn't you say a thousand times that a poet shouldn't deal with literary establishments, work in publishing houses, better a slaughterhouse, better sell bullets than this, and here you are reading poetry for a living, and not even such a good one, go sell your cd's instead of that, man. 4. Why do we come to this life, to change it or to accept it?
Karen Alkalay-Gut IN THE COUNTRY ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ We don't know where the hell we are when we get in the cab at the restaurant to return to the empty dorms at this rural school. Everything is dark, smelling richly of country and there are 4 of us, Shamra from Canada, and Alex from Wales and Luis from Teneriff. They sit in the back together and I get in the front with the old driver and his girlfriend, who looks young, my age, maybe fifty, except for the teeth. It's hard to tell. We know the ride is pretty straight, nothing too curvy so it can't matter much that we can't see where the hell we’re going and the happy couple are content to tell us tales of the Maine woods. Hell, I picked up a fare yesterday in the middle of nowhere--he waren't from around here, all dressed up in a suit and tie, like you people. And I took him to town, told him not to get too drunk since he seemed so tired, and then in the morning the police call me and they say he’d killed his girlfriend then himself last night and I was the last man to see him alive. That'll be four dollars even, please. Anywhere else I'd suspect he was conning me but for Maine it seemed like a fair price.
Karen Alkalay-Gut The Cloak of Thorns ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ for Martha I will keep you clear of me I will keep you clear with all the prickles and thorns I have picked up on the road of my life the long hard way I learned to drive off Mother and soul far from my heart I just have to break it in
Karen Alkalay-Gut SABRINA ~~~~~~~ Once or twice she has appeared in some dream but last night she seems to have had more of the starring role in some drama that takes place somewhere in some mythic sophisticated Arab city. She appears slim and olive-skinned, her heavy hair tamed into a bun on her nape, her long gold lame just short enough to skim the dirt on the street, and full enough to allow her complete freedom of movement. She is a spy but I do not care for whom she works, and sometimes she consents to play a whore for money - easily sucking secrets from him for the price of a trick on the street, while earning great sums with the information she lazily turns in to the anonymous authorities. She is a source of great admiration for me in this dream, the way she envelops her man with gold lame and nothing underneath, while retaining that look of aristocratic dignity and selected indifference. I tell my friends I think of her as a colleague, a role Model.
Karen Alkalay-Gut Because my body ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Because my body always changes like a jellyfish or the mind of a dangerous psychopath I weigh the range of the items in my closet then determine what shape today it wants me to take
Karen Alkalay-Gut Put me To music Tease out My strange Rhythm The mood Within Put me To music
Karen Alkalay-Gut PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ leaning on her hand wistfully as if her hand is her only source of strength and her head too massive to stand alone. Six out of ten of the winning poets this year support their heads. None appear as in the past with an animal to show how close they are to ferral truth. Most appear to have had their portraits done professionally to convey their awareness of presentation. Only one seems to have been snapped by an awkward friend in a moment of revelation.
Klaus J. Gerken FROLICKING IN MUD ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ My ribs ache From lungs conjested with a laugher That is neither human Nor ideal (God would never be in this predicament-- That is-- Would our god be real) It is not from any choosing Nor from any accident It is just that I'm consumed in laughter Beneith the great blackness beyond The little universe we know It's mud I say This precise knowledge we call science All mud Slippin' and a slidin' Mud we are so serious about Take a lesson from the kids You slide in mud No matter how filthy You slide in mud Until you come to rest And eveyone laughs with you At you And just when you thought It was safe to get up Someone slides on top of you And both make this great big splash A revelation A glint in someone's eye That's not our own... 19 Aug 2000
Klaus J. Gerken RAPE ~~~~ She placed her diamond ring on the counter I don't need it anymore she said The pawnbroker handed her the money Dismayed she put it in her purse A minor disagrement--New York's just a shovel And she lit a cigarette between her teeth But the east Bronx crows deserted The hollow logs they kept as pets I am lately a dead drunk and a pound 'Felicity' She said dancing wild and naked and somehow not beneith her dignity--and she cried because the moon Was out of kilter and reflected wild beneith her skin But several moments later a white ambulance schreeked in And the warm soft memory became a frightened miscreant.... 31 Oct 2000
Klaus J. Gerken SHOT OF LOVE ~~~~~~~~~~~~ It's a beautiful day A woman fell in the street Passers-by did not see Too busy to care Not my problem I gotta get home Someone else will call the cops Found three days later Frozen to death The media screamed How could this be possible In clear view of all No one saw her fall No one heard her screams A busy bus stop Christmas rush Brother love thy neighbour It's a beautiful day Kids trash a church And make off with Christmas presents For the poor A man is found drowned In a shopping mall pool No one saw him drown Some just called him fool And a girl shoots up in my apartment And tried to kill me with a knife I am unwounded The cop says "You'll survive" Towmorrow is Christmas eve Brother love thy neighbour And help me with the ride It's a beautful day Minus 21 Celcius A girl in a mini-skirt shivers at the bus stop Curses me when I walk by The night is crisp and clean and lonely You can hear it in the stars I want someone to hold me I need the strength of crucial arms And the slow decay of humans Is a stink within the air I am no pessimist but must admit Hope is peeling thin And the skink of rotting onions Makes everyone cry a little sin Oh brother love thy neighbour Just don't knock on any door It's a beautiful day I was a promise that was wasted I was a clock of no appeal I was a rock within the mountain Crushed by waves and waves of sway And you were not there with me When I needed you the most I was angry I was human You were not the holy ghost And yet you were my saviour Mary Magdalaine I loved you for your honesty Hated the needles and the blood And I said I loved you Yet I let you go You ashed are you lonely Yes I cringed I won't come here again you said I kissed you with a passion And from the street your misdemeanour Made me shiver as I drowned Love thy neighbour the good god says Yet the poison steals the moment And the moment steals the rent And no one prays at Christmas Just wakes up wanting one more dime To buy a shot of love. 23 - 26 Dec 00


   Karen Ackalay-Gut

   Cuplet commenting on one of Klaus Gerken's Poems

   Klaus - this is good -- the obsessive quality is very compelling -- 
   I made a few comments in brackets and ignored the spelling.


A New Age: The Centipede Network Of Artists, Poets, & Writers
An Informational Journey Into A Creative Echonet [9310]
(C) CopyRight "I Write, Therefore, I Develop" By Paul Lauda

       Welcome to Newsgroup alt.centipede. Established 
       just for writers, poets, artists, and anyone who is creative. A 
       place for anyone to participate in, to share their poems, and 
       learn from all.  A place to share *your* dreams, and philosophies. 
       Even a chance to be published in a magazine.

       The original Centipede Network was created on May 16, 1993. 
       Created because there were no other networks dedicated to such 
       an audience, and with the help of Klaus Gerken, Centipede soon 
       started to grow, and become active on many world-wide Bulletin 
       Board Systems.

       We consider Centipede to be a Public Network; however, its a
       specialized network, dealing with any type of creative thinking.
       Therefore, that makes us something quite exotic, since most nets
       are very general and have various topics, not of interest to a
       writer--which is where Centipede steps in! No more fuss. A writer
       can now access, without phasing out any more conferences, since 
       the whole net pertains to the writer's interests. This means 
       that Centipede has all the active topics that any creative 
       user seeks. And if we don't, then one shall be created.

       Feel free to drop by and take a look at newsgroup alt.centipede

  Ygdrasil is committed to making literature available, and uses the
  Internet as the main distribution channel. On the Net you can find all
  of Ygdrasil including the magazines and collections. You can find
  Ygdrasil on the Internet at: 

    * WEB: http://users.synapse.net/~kgerken/ 

    * FTP: ftp://ftp.synapse.net/~kgerken/

    * USENET: releases announced in rec.arts.poems, alt.zines and

    * EMAIL: send email to kgerken@synapse.net and tell us what version 
         and method you'd like. We have two versions, an uncompressed 
         7-bit universal ASCII and an 8-bit MS-DOS lineart-enchanced 
         version.  These can be sent plaintext, uuencoded, or as a 


  . REMEMBERY: EPYLLION IN ANAMNESIS (1996), poems by Michael R. Collings

  . DYNASTY (1968), Poems by Klaus J. Gerken
  . THE WIZARD EXPLODED SONGBOOK (1969), songs by KJ Gerken
  . STREETS (1971), Poems by Klaus J. Gerken
  . BLOODLETTING (1972) poems by Klaus J. Gerken
  . ACTS (1972) a novel by Klaus J. Gerken
  . RITES (1974), a novel by Klaus J. Gerken
  . FULL BLACK Q (1975), a poem by KJ Gerken
  . ONE NEW FLASH OF LIGHT (1976), a play by KJ Gerken
  . THE BLACKED-OUT MIRROR (1979), a poem by Klaus J. Gerken
  . JOURNEY (1981), a poem by Klaus J. Gerken
  . LADIES (1983), a poem by Klaus J. Gerken
  . FRAGMENTS OF A BRIEF ENCOUNTER (1984), poems by KJ Gerken
  . THE BREAKING OF DESIRE (1986), poems by KJ Gerken
  . FURTHER SONGS (1986), songs by KJ Gerken
  . POEMS OF DESTRUCTION (1988), poems by KJ Gerken
  . THE AFFLICTED (1991), a poem by KJ Gerken
  . DIAMOND DOGS (1992), poems by KJ Gerken
  . KILLING FIELD (1992), a poem by KJ Gerken
  . BARDO (1994-1995), a poem by Klaus J. Gerken
  . FURTHER EVIDENCES (1995-1996) Poems by Klaus J. Gerken
  . CALIBAN'S ESCAPE AND OTHER POEMS (1996), by Klaus J. Gerken 
  . CALIBAN'S DREAM (1996-1997), a poem by Klaus J. Gerken
  . THE LAST OLD MAN (1997), a novel by Klaus J. Gerken
  . WILL I EVER REMEMBER YOU? (1997), poems by Klaus J. Gerken
  . SONGS FOR THE LEGION (1998), song-poems by Klaus J. Gerken
  . REALITY OR DREAM? (1998), poems by Klaus J. Gerken
  . APRIL VIOLATIONS (1998), poems by Klaus J. Gerken
  . THE VOICE OF HUNGER (1998), a poem by Klaus J. Gerken

  . SHACKLED TO THE STONE, by Albrecht Haushofer - translated by JR Wesdorp

  . MZ-DMZ (1988), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . DARK SIDE (1991), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . STEEL REIGNS & STILL RAINS (1993), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . BLATANT VANITY (1993), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . ALIENATION OF AFFECTION (1993), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . LIVING LIFE AT FACE VALUE (1993), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . HATRED BLURRED (1993), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . CHOKING ON THE ASHES OF A RUNAWAY (1993), ramblings by I. Koshevoy
  . BORROWED FEELINGS BUYING TIME (1993), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . HARD ACT TO SWALLOW (1994), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . HALL OF MIRRORS (1994), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . ARTIFICIAL BUOYANCY (1994), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy

  . THE POETRY OF PEDRO SENA, poems by Pedro Sena
  . THE FILM REVIEWS, by Pedro Sena
  . THE SHORT STORIES, by Pedro Sena
  . INCANTATIONS, by Pedro Sena

  . POEMS (1970), poems by Franz Zorn

  All books are on disk and cost $10.00 each. Checks should be made out to
  the respective authors and orders will be forwarded by Ygdrasil Press.
  YGDRASIL MAGAZINE may also be ordered from the same address: $5.00 an
  issue to cover disk and mailing costs, also specify computer type (IBM
  or Mac), as well as disk size and density. Allow 2 weeks for delivery.
  Note that YGDRASIL MAGAZINE is free when downloaded from Ygdrasil's 
  World-Wide Web site at http://users.synapse.net/~kgerken.


  All poems copyrighted by their respective authors. Any reproduction of
  these poems, without the express written permission of the authors, is

  YGDRASIL: A Journal of the Poetic Arts - Copyright (c) 1993 - 2001 by 
  Klaus J. Gerken.

  The official version of this magazine is available on Ygdrasil's 
  World-Wide Web site http://users.synapse.net/~kgerken.  No other 
  version shall be deemed "authorized" unless downloaded from there. 
  Distribution is allowed and encouraged as long as the issue is unchanged.

  All checks should be made out to: YGDRASIL PRESS


    * Klaus Gerken, Chief Editor - for general messages and ASCII text
    submissions. Use Klaus' address for commentary on Ygdrasil and its
    contents: kgerken@synapse.net

    * Pedro Sena, Production Editor - for submissions of anything
    that's not plain ASCII text (ie. archives, GIFs, wordprocessored
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    We'd love to hear from you!
    Or mailed with a self addressed stamped envelope, to: