YGDRASIL: A Journal of the Poetic Arts

March 2001

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

ISSN 1480-6401



         Strip poetry
         THE MOON
         the poem is only a means of killing time
         driving nails through the heart of hope
         in the frozen ground
         if the door is love
         rumors of forgiveness
      WARD KELLEY                
         The Struggle to Relax
         A Pulse
         Silent Guards



   Strip poetry

   Pour it down words like tears words like waves
   pour it down until it bleeds people love the blood
   not the words not the world behind them
   pour it down till there is no more coagulated blood in your veins, poor
   it down until there is no more sounds, no more throat, poor it down like
   an orange juice, like lemons from caves, like olives without oil, poor
   it down until you have no more words, poor it down, pour it until you
      have nothing left,
   they want you naked, naked not only from your clothes
   naked from your skin, naked from your bones, naked from your hormones,
   they want you transparent, bleeding and invisible,
   dead and non-existent, they want you all and nothing
   you are never good enough for the fearful frustrated
   you have never gone far enough while they have never left their room
   and you have traveled the moon, but no it's not enough
   castrate yourself, but it's not enough cut your finger your hand until
      you can't write
   but you've not gone far enough amputate your legs until you can't walk
   but it's not far enough
   this is the new circus of poetry we want you famous and unknown, we want
   you killed by a fascist, dying of cancer, dying in car accidents, we
   will interview you again and again
   but we won't read your poems until you are dead, we want to interview 
   about your divorces, your terminal illness, your mother and how she used
      to beat you
   about your father who raped you, poets do it, it's the striptease of
   poetry of the striptease, you want publicity don't you, you have to do
   and people will read you, get drunk, get beaten, get busted, beat
      someone, get some news,
   be a whore, be a pimp, fuck your own mother, we love you but we won't
      read your poems,
   be a killer, we will interview you, we will praise you, be unknown and
      be famous,
   you are selling out man, you are selling out way before you can sell a
   you are selling out and selling in, sailing out and sailing away from

   Saw him when I was ten,
   a geezer, curmudgeon, suzerain over the usual junkyard dog.
   Torn undershirt, gray hairs on chest, big muscular arms
   can of beer, many cans.
   Wasn't really a junkyard, the old man dealt in used auto parts;
   salvaged what he could from broken wrecks,
   those driven down to scrap or crushed by oncoming traffic.
   I snuck through a hole in the fence.
   My sneakers were blackened with engine oil.
   I navigated through rusty hulks, tetanus perched on every sharp edge,
   came out of the maze and was face to face
   with the geezer and his dog.
   Froze rigor mortis stiff.
   The dog reared up and growled.
   The junkyard king sat tall on his porch, rocking chair throne.
   I awaited, "sic him."
   But like a magnanimous Caesar he dismissed his fanged henchman
   with a flick of his wrist.
   He rose and went through the torn screen door, and out again,
   with a bike, a ten-speeder, for me, for keeps.
   He said come again but through the front entrance.
   I rode away, never having spoken a word.
   Found out later from the neighborhood,
   that Moe once had a ten-year-old son
   who never rode it, rheumatic fever.
   Moe had bought the bike and put it by his bed,
   to lure him up, to lure him up.
   I never returned. And as I rode away I realized,
   he was not like a Caesar, his eyes were too sunken and red,
   and his voice was too low for such a big man.
   Never went through the front gate but often rode by
   as the lot filled with beer cans, and beer cans,
   till it was all swept away for a shopping mall.
   Then I'd dodge cars in the mall parking lot.
   I knew then as I swerved my speeding bike left and right,
   I never could have been his fantasy son.
   Had to, had to
   never again go through that gate.
   Never thanked him, never can now.

RICHARD FEIN THE BEAUTY OF BLOODY MOTION ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Saw the birds against the July sun through squinting eyes shielded by my hands. The hawk descended and I heard the last shrill cooing, the triumphant cawing. The pigeon ceased flying its own course, as the hawk flew a perfect downward parabola with the tip of the trajectory touching the prey. A seamless conic section, for the rising curve was also smooth. The talons held the dead bird tightly, and the hawk never wavered in its ascent. The raptor flew, flew until only sky and clouds remained to be seen. Eons of evolution perfected this geometry of motion, this perfect kill. I confess an attraction for such skill. Even a chicken slaughterer holds me wide-eyed if the blade is deftly flicked. A sleek fighter jet firing a silvery missile to a fiery explosion makes me forget that someone may be the burning target. A well-done public execution would draw a sell-out audience, and with my collar pulled over my face, I'd follow the mob. Museums display art. But art is not only the static and tangible, but also the dynamic and ephemeral. And movement can be toward awesome horror. A boxer's well-landed punch is as controlled as a ballerina's dance. The beauty of bloody motion is an artistry of thrill and trepidation, an ethical teaser creating an inability to hide the eyes, even if they must stare directly at the July sun.
RICHARD FEIN THE RHINOCEROS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ At first the mother rhinoceros tolerates the calf butting her belly. To the calf, her thick underside is shelter and from her teats always comes milk. But as days pass no longer will she allow the impatient gnawing. Now they must walk side by side, a distance is between them. But should a hyena or lion tease, taunt the babe away, then the earth shakes, a dust cloud is raised; the impaled foe is tossed away by a backward thrust of her horny head. The calf creeps under her bloody snout. Months pass and another calf drops to the ground from her womb. Should the older brother approach his mother, she will charge at him. He, wounded, head bowed, grunting, wanders away. Never do they travel far, and finally years later he will pass by her (her hide peeling off her bones) and shove the debris aside to eat the grass.
RICHARD FEIN SQUINTING TOWARD THE LIGHT ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "Race faster daddy so we can meet the sun." I speed along the highway, the sun visor down. "Faster daddy, faster. Beat the sun. Ahead there must be a place to meet, where we can stop and watch the sun come down from heaven and wave goodbye to it. And we can wait all night for it to come up again, then we can yell and clap when we see it in the morning and maybe shake hands with it." This is logic of my five-year-old. "Faster daddy," but I'm at my limit now. "Faster daddy." I reply, "No one can beat the sun." "Not even a racing car, daddy?" "No." "A fire engine?" "No." "A plane?" "No." "A super big plane?" "Nothing on earth can go fast enough to meet the sun, nothing. The faster you come close, the faster it races away If you keep trying, you'll run in a big circle, ending exactly where you began. And the sun won't be any closer, though after trying so hard you'll probably make believe it's nearer." He answers with only, "But daddy, can't we just try?"
RICHARD FEIN FAME ELUSIVE ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Everyone has their fifteen minutes, according to Warhol. I haven't. No paparazzo has ever flashed me on the street. In my high school orchestra, I was told to play only the triangle. I went naked once, years ago, but it was at a hippie happening so everyone was. I can sit in a restaurant every day and draw in no ogling customers. I often sign my name, but payees simply cash my checks. No one would forgo payment just for my autograph. I can date whomever I want and set no tongues waging. Even my dates keep forgetting my name. I tried putting up my picture on a post office wall, but I was covered over by a poster for an Elvis commemorative stamp. Every passing year will make it harder to fit my measly minutes into the remainder of my life. My quarter-of-an-hour entitlement, if it comes, will last a lifetime. The funeral will be next day. The cleric hired to recite my eulogy will endure tongue-tied forgetfulness; after all, an entire twenty-four hours will have passed. Thereafter I will go where my two ex-wives told me to go. But if one peruses the Bible, one finds no humans named as being there. Sure Dysmas is up above, but the roster for below seems blank-- not Hitler, not even my ex-wives. Down there I'd be famous only to you-know-who, but he'd be red faced after forgetting my name. Without a crowd to blend into, I'd suffer perpetual stage fright. My personal, perfect hell-- itching for the spotlight and sweating away to nothing if in it. Unfortunately for me, unique sin is as elusive as singular virtue, so I will not rule in hades or be its only citizen to be ruled. If I qualify for upstairs, then given my middling voice, I'll be stuck in the back of the choir. One must create one's own solace. I'll write my own three-line obituary and mail it in advance to the South Flatbush Advertiser. There, on the same page as Jack's used car deals and Sister Tanya's love potions, will be my name, date of birth, cemetery location, and the proud declaration that I was neither famous nor infamous.
RICHARD FEIN CROSSCURRENTS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I curse, cradle him. How dare he wither to such a state that the bathroom recedes to light year distances? That fecal smell, he averts his dimming eyes. I give him a rare kiss. "A man's a man," he always said, but now pain parts the curtains of our proprieties. "A man's a man," once with one arm he picked up a seven year old who had scraped his knee, "A man's a man," he said and no tears dared come from me. But now the crumpled bed sheet pinching his back brings groans. On the back of his hand, five freckled spots have measured his age with an ever darkening hue. I link hands and see my inheritance; his fingers part around the same design that now faintly dawns in my skin. I jerk my hand away. Now mother comes, I yield my place. Ever tidy, even now, I see her silhouette against the sterile hospital lamp. Napkins here, water glass there, "Damn it woman for thirty years you've never stopped." Then he winks at me and touches her. Their arms link to form an L which half frames the lamp that now glares much too brightly.
JOHN HORVATH JR. THE MOON ~~~~~~~~ It was as far as anyone could go, where we went further than we could dream. No one knew this Barstow or if he was a man. The company bought slag from the steel mills and crushed the slag into cinders. In Whiting, Indiana, there is a place where tons of slag and cinders wait some unknown purpose, and we there called that mounded place "the moon" and I was the first man on the moon-- or so I believed as each before me himself had believed. Along 129th, a chuckholed street that stretched the nerves of pockmarked boys first time outing with someone-else's silly little sister, across from widescreen doublefeatured Outdoor 41 theater with its bias against NashRambler wagons whose backseats folded into beds, at Barstow's she and I mouthed the hollywood dialog we believed in on a moonscape of slaghilled majesty under a red moon with a first bud I kept between my thighs the terror of childhood touching the man in me swollen beyond the banks of my flesh. And she asked whether I loved her, could love her after, did now love and would forever-- her! like in the movie whose hands and lips had led here, like James Dean loved speed or Autry loved his horse-- until the credits rolled I would say a sly "of course." In that place of Yes who hadn't loved that role of "yes, I love you" in the part of earth I called home and added "like a neighbor"; so very little could then satisfy and make my eyes widen like at Christmas a gift receiver says I will cherish the moment but the gift will forget or a child who rips into the gaudy package forgets so soon the bright gift but always having received remembers the package and the joy of destruction Yes, I do. For the reception of joy and the guilt thereafter. When a same moon hangs above rotgut bars I'll swagger into and I say to the sissified bartender "gimme the same" it's not a drink that I'll be after. It's memory of your quick gift and your sigh that go down real smooth-- not hot burning whiskey, not the ones who came after, nor the ripened stem caressed, nor the red wine of youth but I myself so vulnerable sure I could again and again as if the celluloid film never fades: "Gimme another!" To a similar woman I might now ask whether there's love for the first time loss, and is it that which feeds the snake to involuntary majesty, or whether the nub rub stub has a kind of selflove all its own and wants to be petted as it had been down the street from the moon on the front porch of another I sometimes forget who drank with me grandfather's brew and I am convinced again it is a potion, a magic in the juices of a pink place between thighs more potent the younger that gives us all our parts, like a glue in the bloodstream you never wash off, the jumping soundtrack on the edge of the film, the sprockets and sprocket holes that must meet. Life since is encountering moments of terror, the women who stood in Chicago against streetposts or the slippery redlights of Calumet encounters precursor to evenings in taverns foreign and sleazy for boys in the manhood of armor on short leave with a wallet of money and government issue protection against being captured, for propriety or some far-away thought kingdom where god keeps a clipboard full of the notches we carve wedlocked or out. And it is always someone-else's silly little sister scratching her ass on the cinders Will I tell it among the tongues of boys gathered at drive-ins their engines revving loud boasts of conquests to come, craving for numbers that all such share, shall I say that I had known joy as much as terror of parents who terrified others repentant for crimes against someone-else's little sisters=20 whose white panties serve memory as spirits of dim times-- Yes, every city, every farm has its place is all I say and time where and when the inches of boyhood are stretched either by hand or by lip into manhood full of consent and regret. And I as much regret sisters I hadn't as had and I regret the moment's hesitation, seeming rejection, the sleep incurred and lost through love and the moon round as a youngbud cheek unhinged in the sky. I must regret the changing of reels and the burning of film. Oh Yes, I regret that red drops from the moon replenish the earth and the slag stained with the time of change along 129th Street at midnight now smothers the crabgrass alongside some highschool track and I regret that there could have been Black girls from Gary, Harbor girl latinas to share such a night with me or another some time ago at Barstow but our moments are cinders spread on some highway long ago to break up wintry ice, spread on some track to build up the traction, or over a sidewalk to keep old legs from going out and I cannot remember the color of her face or her name or the time speeding from boy into man. If ever while passing I look at my feet and there are the red stains well then it's only a notch nothing more, like the moment in Denton on leave from the business of war with the stranger against a fence, or it's the passing through Denver after the war with someone-else's still very young sister one or the other, a notch then another Daughters, come away from the slaghills, a bed is awaiting, the children must hurry from stems to their nesting.
JOHN HORVATH JR. MOSES ~~~~~ Moses with a monkey-wrench who brought us here with overtime who died of overworked loneliness before we placed one foot upon his promised land--we who proved ourselves untainted with disease, non-Bolsheviki, and still quite sane-- we honor you so we remain to die in this land of milk and careless wealth. Ah Moses, if you knew them as we know, would you return to take us home, There is no going home for us (the axis of the planet tilts just so the sunset is--forever--in the west).
JOHN HORVATH JR. RAINS ~~~~~ Window Cicadas in the trees Stars patterning behind clouds A full moon open Flooded river Cicadas in the trees Stars behind clouds Water sparkle You there, Where might you be going On a night like this I want to have loved You before we drown I'll call once more From this window Smoke a cigarette Watch clouds roil and think of the rain that swells the river
JOHN HORVATH JR. BOY DISCOVERS LUST, ITS PURPOSE, AFTER THE FUNERAL OF HIS MOTHER ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ At the Sea of Angels 'mid the wing'd singing harp trees that ring that sea Near Jesustown and Christianville whose folk despise their place of birth Here was I remade and born a man upon the moment of my mother's death Where vessels cast upon the waves as seraphs sang and hers burnt bright On ebbing tide toward sunset beneath a heavensky a sliver yet still green There held my father's giant fist in mine, my fingers narrow as a dream. The land we learn is never what we seem to think: it has a life; it grows; It ages though we seem to age upon its ageless face. The sea, it knows. It knows that all starts here, or ends; It is the same. For each of us the same on sameless seamless shore Whose motley and each grain of sand unique is not. In vagabondage, thralls to travel, as hobo baggage, hence we came-- Farmers off their stillborn fields, sailors from their saltless seas, Harlequins and harlots, each and all entranced upon a second chance Thought this new place (a newness centuries retained in every name) Would be again their home but not their homes--unique but not. Descendants of those dreamers, these Who with me stand and watch the sunset flames meet my mother's pyreskiff, Cargo too, expected somewhere; and them, expecting to know, a cargo cult Of sea and waves and trees, the land that 'round us each and all does dance A dervish faster and faster yet until the very rocks our whence forget (Forget that once we stood and once we watched and once we plotted journeys to the stars). The sun had set; the stars shone bright within their stark and empty space. O what are heaven's stars but specks of dream, lights that once begun to move Now random move without purpose through emptiness like adolescent love Which moves from one unto a next and soon forgets the first; it is a thirst To leave behind, a hunger not to be consumed, a selfless overfull with self Like waves upon the sea a moment meet the land, return, then call again upon the rock. We leave behind; but, for us now, being left behind remains a mortal shock. Until unless we realize: It all starts here, or ends; It is the same. Along the Sea of Angels, all around, our anchored flags we strewn to wave; And, waving, those banners beckon each of us take up that breath and move Again, to find some still yet newer place that we shall never leave. A vagabond, an emigre, a gypsy, tramp or trek: each some freedom has we like to calculate and so convince ourselves against a truth: we fear to live In one place long--the earth will rise, the land must fade, the very sea does shift. Which way the breeze? What weather comes? How will the harvest be? With whom has wed? Who's given birth? Those gathered with me ask, numb To the sanctity of death, the questions prime it bids us ask; They query 'round me mundane acts of life Which give no pleasure but in the habit of them suggest the second chance: We shall return if not with her then as with her return--to flaming dust-- Like cosmic lights that shine without a source, those fires like our Edens spent and long ago died out. It all starts here, or ends. It is the same. This NOW extends. This moment ramifies, Suggests a start or end. It surely signifies. Another gathering for asking without answer, another line comely wrought though forced and lacking serious intent, Another hormone-burdened boy, idolator of Me, I take in mine the hand of some simple woman's child, A daughter of a baker or a chef, and say (as if to make her mine), "come lay awhile; console Me in my grief--we are so nearly one in grief--upon this stretch of sand Where stars, my mother on the sea, the sea, the waves, the trees, the land And dreams have met and for a moment mine eternally unchanged be mine." Soul into soul a first time looks, into the cataclysmic moment of design, Before first place where firsts together took first liberties to entwine (As lovers always look, we looked). She took my hand, caressed my cheek, Kissed me gently with her expertise; weakly, I returned an awkward kiss. It all starts here, or ends. It is the same. It is a moment not to miss. Farmboys fertile as their fields, as fruitful as the pitching seas young tars With portgals go about, and harlequins with harlots take the chance--once No, once Not this time, Not in this place, This love-- it smells of permanence. Cargo's how we all begin; as cargo on an unknown sea is how we all began. There is no manifest; the craft has unknown name when as cargo we began. And many, like the light of stars whose flames have died, too late we do arrive to find That no one waits. Expect nothing here nor there: No one and nothing-- it all--several and each--it has been left behind. Neither hope, desire none, nor love. I've learned-- just leave behind all that's been left.
JOHN HORVATH JR. RAVENS IN THE FIELD ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Little flurries of the field, wehrmacht in the corn Deep gouges in the road rise toward cloudlessness from the field past the burnt barn No cirrus reflected in the deep blue wells of her eyes, Where we had met smile like a red ribbon little milk maid startled by raven eyes The rye around us hidden in the wave of summer The jet black of her hair fallen with a lost kite string whipping back as she ran toward the red evening When my father first brought me to these fields he said, "here The fields alive with flames is your life; your life's work" ravens too fat to chase the little mice running Mama let me taste bread dough from her fingertip-- And the huge noise of canon egg, flour, vinegar. thump thump like mother kneading.
JOHN SWEET the poem is only a means of killing time ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ driving slowly across the moonscape this town becomes in january driving blind into this afternoon glare filtered through a skin's thickness of grime and road salt and is there anything here that really needs to be said? has this life been nothing but one unending afternoon filled with the missing fathers i called my friends? and maybe the sons of these men will grow up happy or maybe they'll just grow up to express their anger with the same tightly balled fists that marked their mothers maybe the daughters will disappear will repeat the mistakes of their pasts and there is nothing profound in revealing the obvious the poem is only a means of killing time until the light turns green the things that truly matter were never meant to be defined by words
JOHN SWEET driving nails through the heart of hope ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ these things i do that make my wife cry these days i waste trying to capture ideas too fragile to pin down there is no particular moment where habit becomes addiction but the streets are full of junkies the children have no food and their fathers have lost the war and the eye of god is a sun gone cold all of this despite the paved driveways and vinyl siding and so innocent men are nailed to flat expanses of midwest landscape are left to contemplate the choices they've made but end up dying unwilling martyrs to worthless causes and i will not take the blame for all of this pain i will not speak out to save anyone found driving nails through the heart of hope there needs to be a point where beauty becomes the only thing that matters
JOHN SWEET in the frozen ground ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ dog on a short leash in an empty back yard the first snow of the season wars are fought for less every day hands cut off and planted in the frozen ground and a man i know says my words cut too deep prescribes christ like an addict and the dog has no food no water and the house is covered with dust maps are consulted and bombs are dropped cages are built for the pregnant women we've moved beyond the need for reasons
JOHN SWEET if the door is love ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ if the door is love then the hand is what? and who was it that built this house and why? these are the questions born from fear from sitting alone in cold motel rooms while the sun fails to escape the clouds while the child murders the parents and east is one solution and west another the highway and all the lives destroyed to reach this simple place in time but first the door first the hand cold and moving blindly through empty space until it finds something solid maybe a way out
JOHN SWEET rumors of forgiveness ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ trains where there should only be flatness men caught beneath them violence then rust then rumors of forgiveness buildings planted fertilized and grown tall and always the steady scream of machinery the lakes poisoned the babies deformed no one willing to hold them to sing the song of america and what else to do but laugh when \the planes crash into the ocean? and god how we dance
WARD KELLEY The Struggle to Relax ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Somewhere at the core of the matter, zeroed down into an essence of carnality, there, there, at the heart of our breathing souls, we will find, I believe, I am sure, I know, a truth. Why we cannot see it without dying, I do not know; it certainly does not seem just or fair that we should die, but it is in the nature of this world that no poem can ever reveal to all of us what lies beyond the rim of death as succinctly as science or religion reveal most of their truths, yet it is the poem in which I have placed my faith, the faith of one who would secretly hope there is some good reason for us all to struggle on and on, in our simple endeavors, in our anxiety of breathing in and out, hardly ever stopping to seek a poem that reveals the heart of the soul, the little beast who forever throbs and beats away at the discords and fears that swirl around it, beating, beating, in the whiffy aftermath of all this flesh: the beast hints this is all to some great purpose, so relax until you die.
WARD KELLEY A Pulse ~~~~~~~ The sane are always only a few pulses from the crazed, for it is a hard path to view the world as benign, and not an instrument for eventual deterioration. Can we really find fault with all our idiosyncrasies, all the odd diversities us human beings have found to deter the final realization that we are mortal. We fight against it every day, for some intuition says once we admit it we begin to die more swiftly, so it is better to try to ignore all the signs that we are not meant to be, for long, not meant to inhabit these poor bodies who foliate slowing into wind. So is it sane, or is it not, to ponder this task of living, ponder it by poem, the eye of intuition, who tells me in the recesses of the soul, the lid to the eye, which opens from time to time to see this body is just a shell, a home? And when the hermit crab has grown beyond the capacity of his body, he must then discard it, allow it to go vacant and unused, drop it to the bottom of the sea, a grave, while he searches out the next pulse.
WARD KELLEY Silent Guards ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The rebels separated the men from women, placing them in different, roughly-made barracks while they awaited disposition . . . most of us feared our execution. Exercise yards were defined by barbed wire which looped from the barrack, enclosing a muddy, grassless ground where we captives trudged and smoked. It happened in the corral -- as the guards called the female exercise yard -- where the youngest, most comely, women, maybe seven or eight of them, held hands, joined in a ring, ring-around-the-rosey, then slowly rotated their circle of humans in the sun; some of us men drew near our wire as we tried to peer into their purpose . . . on the third rotation, without a signal, they removed their shirts then rejoined hands. We shouted, and abruptly all men pressed into the wire, our arms reaching toward the unattainable; the guards ignored us, mesmerized by these girls who now removed their bras. We shouted again and again, but the women kept their eyes fastened on each other as pairs of breasts, untanned, revolved around and around, just beyond the silent guards, far beyond our hands, around and around, an act of graceful beauty and great bravery in this sad place where we might very well meet our deaths today . . . these women have found the courage to defy the fates who predict our lives go straight, from beginning to end.


   This universe is colored writer's block white,
   not bridal, virginal white, but filler white,
   an annoying glare that just takes up space.
   Genesis has it framed like a photo negative.
   This universe was not born from darkness.
   That first decree was,
   "Let there be dark, and let the inky blackness dot the white."
   For the Supreme Author,
   the would be writer of the first sentence,
   had thought of nothing original after an eternity of pondering.
   All was blank, an absolute blank.
   What made matters worse was the realization
   that if He had come up with anything at all
   it would have been, by definition, original.
   Panic gripped Him,
   for if nothing came out, could there be nothing inside?
   He needed something, anything, on paper.
   Thus He decreed a cosmic dappling
   of dark characters on the blinding white void.
   Now look around you, characters of his creation,
   does His plot make any sense?
   No, we're all the fruit of a grand doodle
   across an infinite celestial page.
   This universe is His first effort, a promising but still sophomoric try.
   Our common prayer should be
   an end to artistic inspiration,
   a writer's block of infinite duration,
   for if inspired our Author
   would crumple up this embarrassing doggerel and pitch it.
   Then he'd put a new sheet
   in His metaphorical typewriter which
   would pound out a much better script,
   preferably on paper colored an eye-soothing light blue.


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
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