INTRODUCTION Jack R. Wesdorp Old Robots CONTENTS Rochelle Hope Mehr Anguish Despicable So Proper A Victimless Crime? Madness Intimate Anonymous Daniel Gallik Being In The Center Of Love's Massive Circle The Countless, Dumb Whites On The West Side Getting Tired On Uni-Girl-Friendship Corey Mesler At Home in Homes Near Other Homes Little Heart Imploration How I Came to the Book and What Happened Laura Stamps RUBY SONG OF THE CLOUD-DWELLER DREAMCATCHER Steve Klepetar To A Friend Who Doesn't Like Poetry Venus Waiting For the Storm Welcome Stranger Wet Streets David Sparenberg MY RITE OF COMMUNION Durlabh Singh SONNET TWO NATURAL TONES SPACES OF HEART Elizabeth Waugh Jellyfish Rising The Winter Wind Your china white lips The sun is setting in Los Angeles The mercury eye of night four part story pieces AND ONWARDS Corrugated dreamworks and fastidious pride Untitled K.S.Subramanian A toehold in valley Cauvery breathes? Cremation Dreams On my father's 81st birthday Bruce Baker PILLARS OF COURAGE RIND SONG HOLOCAUST ON SILENT LIPS THIS OLD CHEVY John Bryan pursuance of bygone doors a slap in the face from a god Union Dentistry the right to bear arms Suzanne Nielsen Mt. Video Communicating With A Larger Body of Water Blood Type Donna Bamford Weep for Paris Of India Lamont Palmer Listening to March Divorce Hooper Island Introduction Game Plan POST SCRIPUM Alisdaire O'Caoimph Utopia
Jack R. Wesdorp Old Robots ~~~~~~~~~~ Off to the recycling ward, we may melt you down for scrap. Maybe the exercise yard, but don't hand us any crap because we know where you're oiled and how much your parts are worth: two grand for gold plated coils, one for copper (and so forth), youíre about ten if you're quick but you gotta play the game, less than seven if you're sick, pretty worthless if you're lame. Limping robots don't sit well with the collective mindset, it's like we're robots in hell alongside your grinding gears and we fear the clanking belt. To the smelters, that's the law; new ranks and files, red and raw.
Rochelle Hope Mehr Anguish ~~~~~~~ When I'm lonely I do much better alone. A shadow's a shadow, a stone is a stone. Collapsible walls are the prison I've known. A torrent of words is the grief of a thief. Show her your anguish, then look beneath And see nothing, nothing to bequeath. Pass by the lake, eye yourself in the eye. The current is chilling, a breath is a sigh. A torrent of words and the night air is nigh.
Despicable ~~~~~~~~~~ I'm forever feeling guilty because I'm here Here is where I want to be Here is where it's good for me But I feel I should be elsewhere Somewhere doing something useful Somewhere doing something kind I traipse outside and think fondue But then scurry back here, rat that I am, with the stolen cheese melting down my whiskers
So Proper ~~~~~~~~~ Doing it for the hell of it. Not for money or fame. It's the one way to spit in everybody's eye. Metaphorically, of course.
A Victimless Crime? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The tenor at the recital Scans the faces in the audience For a glimmer of recognition. The old lady in the fifth row Rolls her eyes in remembrance Of her sixth grade beau. The singer has made contact And bounces his remaining notes Off the carcass of her heart.
Madness ~~~~~~~ Nobody is as silent as me The thunder rumbles -- And I quake Nobody is as violent as me The tumbrel stumbles -- And I break
Intimate ~~~~~~~~ So much to say and the ink runs dry. One day I will compose directly On keyboard and never press flesh Around pen. Never touch paper again. Paper so delicate. It shatters light. Paper the prism That imprisons. Paper the Expatriator. Paper the Great Liberator. It frees all it seizes In its pulpish fist And rests the gaze inward With a twist.
Anonymous ~~~~~~~~~ One day I'll write something I'll put it away Take it out later And throw it away I won't hound editors With words of distress I'll rip up the paper I'll sweep up the mess I'll pack my bags Find a new address And escape into Namelessness
Daniel Gallik Being In The Center Of Love's Massive Circle ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Linn made the mistake of stroking his haunch. Man, the old guy started to quiver within his solitude, like a proemial enclosure was being petrol- lit, like all his way-back-historic rubbish was being burnt to a toast. He said nothing, except showing this nervousness. Linn goes, hey, you feeling your oats or what? I mean, I got the feeling you're seeing eight again; that time you told me about in which that Sunday school teacher examined your tiny pecker through your Sunday's best trousers. Jim said not a word, except he licked his dry lips as he ejaculated like when you shake a Red Pepper bottle and it sprays all over ma's linoleum. Linn laughs, I betcha you're in love with me now more than ever. Except you can't say a word cause you need two days to recover from your a-bombs on Hiroshima & Nagasaki in my inter- vention of sweet hand love and such. Jim was envisioning as he slept tons of wanton thoughts in his thrall, spots on black mini-skirts, echo answers in millions of future gasms, the chiding of Linn's hide within his lips and dursting light in his soul.
The Countless, Dumb Whites On The West Side ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Eighteen brothers in a row with the regularity of mother shaving her legs in the bathroom, Jesse says while walking to work with his girl Jamie as she aims for the Shell Station on the corner of W 114th and Clifton. Jamie opens the door, and before she decides on entering, kisses Jesse goodbye. Says, think I'm ready. Jesse says to himself as he goes on, guess we're in a different caste. Don't like percentages. 4 of my bros. are retards, 4 are in wheelchairs, 8 didn't make it through 9th gr., and the other 2 got no jobs to think of. Jesse was a mile away from his work at Kowalski's Sausage Factory near the old, beat up A's Used Cars. As he stuffed pork into links with fresh garlic, he said to the kielbasi, you and me got lots in common--long and hard, cheap to make, and we keep producing the same poor quality in order to feed the same poor quality of people so they can marry and make lots, I mean, fucking lots, of the same quality of missing links.
Getting Tired On Uni-Girl-Friendship ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Linn goes, there's nothing mysterious about him. Nothing. Hell, he's old. Linda sipped from her mug, ain't no new men in this neighborhood. I do not want to go to bars anymore. But you, you, you deserve a young mature male. Linn, youíre good looking and so mature. And you haven't a pounch yet. You have to find a man with a reputation unmatched in the neighbor- hood pantheon. A man with a repertory. One named Matthew with a passion for fine, fine sex. And no kids. A man with range and invention. A man who plays his instrument like it is well- tempered. You agree? Linn, nope, & I think you have been reading Cleve- land Orchestra reviews. I mean, I do wish for only a warm body. A man who lies next to me in bed, gives me his warmth to calm my cold, cold body as it enters his domicile. I need a mind to listen to. I want a guy with a car that hasn't a speck of rust on it. I want a stud that knows he's a stud. I wish for a beau with a lot of go-go. I want a guy with an 8 hr. job. I wish and pray for one who doesn't have to look in the mirror cause he knows he's hot. I want a wop with hospitalization. I yearn for one with retirement benefits. I gotta find a man who listens to me & who I listen to instead of listening to you.
Corey Mesler At Home in Homes Near Other Homes ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In our neighborhood the one with the flamethrower is Mr. Karkus. The flowers in front of the abandoned house are all poisonous. We pick them and rearrange them into floral clocks and heads of state. Near Mrs. Glockomorra's there's a street sign. We think it points the way to Perdition but so few of us can actually read. I make love once a week with the widow. It's a job though she's as pretty as a Sea Porkypine. She whispers names in my ear as I pound away at her. The names of all my neighbors. It brings us closer. At dusk everyone goes inside to watch the news and see if our neighborhood has made it again. Itís a validation we need. Living in the end days, in this best of all positive worlds.
Little Heart ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Little heart, how came you to be what I rely on, little canker, no bigger than a lie?
Imploration ~~~~~~~~~~~ We waited in the dark like penitents for the light or an approximation of light. We wanted, see, for the road to start, any road that would lead us to you, to love, to transfiguration. We wanted to believe, in the darkness there, in the ugly truth, the little mouse-faced god.
How I Came to the Book and What Happened ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "I am really here and not in a novel." Frank O'Hara I have a book, a solid thing like a hammer. I know I can go there when I am alone, as alone as a digit. The book takes me in, swaddles me, wraps me in its ruthless story. In the end I am released and I come back to you. You act as if you have the way out. The answer to the book, and to my deadly need.
Laura Stamps RUBY ~~~~ Thursday morning on Broad River Road a pair of white sandals basks in the turn lane. Last week, two black boots slumped against the curb, and I wonder what kind of woman sheds her shoes in the middle of the street? Unless, like a lapwing, she drifts toward music in the trees, perched on a limb, listening to the murmuring wind, as it teases the flocked ankles of the clouds. Here, among new leaves dusty with starshine, she might meditate on the simplicity of honey- suckle and snapdragons and sandals placed in the street as if they were crisp white envelopes addressed to me. Or maybe she knows what happened last night-how I slept on the quilt, the dark spool of a kitten wound around my arm, dreaming that a raven dropped a revelation in the palm of my hand like a plump berry, so I might awaken for a moment, fist clenched, as though it held one precious ruby, as though I'd found gold.
SONG OF THE CLOUD-DWELLER ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The last cool breath of spring, and a crow scribbles rough footprints in the sand of this silent morning, as wind bunches up in the trees. What is it about breathing cold air on a sunny day that makes me feel so alive and limitless? A sob of relief shivers my frame. Like lace binding a forest of fabric, I hold the crow's yellow gaze. I lift my white wing, I hug the bright ladder of the sun.
DREAMCATCHER ~~~~~~~~~~~~ My nimble daydreams spin the net I intend to toss, when a speck of light tumbles past me, a moth veined in the image of a dry leaf, its powdered gloves hungry for the rough touch of weathered wall, wings slowing in stillness to a sly wink. Could this be a moth that dreams of leaves, snapping its umber kite across the thin skin of a Monday, pressing wing to wall, becoming before us all a tiny dry leaf? The stray cat, whose shiny coat I feed with egg yolk and ice cream, falls at my feet, rolling his dark ship over socks and shoes, catching me in the net of his eye like a panther lounging on the forest floor among fern and spore. What is important to the waking dreamer? Only to court the pebbles of laughter that spring from the heart, my dreams released like waxwings eager to pleat the sapphire curtains of the sky. Whatever I desire is within my reach.
Steve Klepetar To A Friend Who Doesn't Like Poetry ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ He attends my reading, a little awkward, a bit uncomfortable, even diffident in suit coat among the jeans and tie-dyed shirts. Afterwards, fingering cheap merlot in a plastic cup, he says "that was goo - uh, I enjoy - uh -you did a real good - well it was interesting - I really don't like poetry." I'm nodding, straining to hear him over conversations buzzing through the room, wondering how to answer in just the right tone, neither sarcastic nor obsequious, but I don't need to speak, he has plenty to say. "Frankly, I've never understood the point of poetry, why you can't just say what you have to say, simple and straightforward?" and I think "ok, but how could you say 'Cottleston, cottleston, cottleston pie, a fly can't bird but a bird can fly' without poetry?" and I know before I can bring words to my lips that he would answer "who'd ever want to say that?" "But what about 'Night's candles are burnt out and jocund day stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops?' How could you say that in prose" and he'd respond "All that says is it's morning" and I'd want to say "but that bit about night's candles not only gets at the stars in a way that's both metaphor and image, but also how the lovers' time is measured, because there is only so much candle wax and wick, and while day may be jocund, standing tiptoe, straining over the mountain tops, the lovers are anything but - their night is over, they must part, Romeo in exile to Mantua, but I know that's just talk and if I were any good at that, I sure as hell wouldn't need to write poems.
Venus ~~~~~ "I am tired, I am weary I could sleep a thousand years" The Velvet Underground ("Venus in Furs") Goddess rising from foam from blood and semen and sea, rising, rising with your cold blue eyes and hair the color of sun. Ah Venus, goddess of tumescence and stirring loins, your beauty terrifies me, stuns me into pain. Today I caught a glimpse of you, body squeezed into tight jeans, luscious tops of your round breasts bulging sweetly from a coral blouse. Oh goddess, I sing your praise. With my tongue and throat and voice, I sing. With the muscles of my neck I strain and struggle to sing the words that please you and appease you. Don't strike me down where I stand, don't leave me bloodied and stripped and hollow on the beach where you reign. I offer you a horse, a dove, a bull - but spare me goddess, spare me Oh just this one time!
Waiting For the Storm ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Waiting for the storm, for air heavy with moisture, fingers tingling with low pressure. Waiting as it builds, as blood surges, waiting for advance sorties of wind whipping trees. In the west darkness sags, an old bear, ominous, wet and rough. In this spell, I cast out grief, I cast out emptiness and rage, I cast out silence, that brooding killer of joy. With this voice I banish doubt, I become the song of rain. I believe in dream trees, in squirrels that race along trunks between the worlds. Soon the lights will go out and we can swim in darkness. We have learned to believe what our strong arms can carry home. In webs we have learned to believe. We can climb wild skies, be the ones who watch a world blow through black lips of night.
Welcome Stranger ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Our door stands open, let enter who will. Soft sounds of evening penetrate our hall even in this quiet place. Spring, but too early for crickets' rasp or frogs swelling in moonlight. Maybe a neighbor's dog, or a car scraping past, more likely wind in the still leafless trees kicking up dust. Smoke scents the cool air. Inside, our long table groans with wine and food, we read and sing and talk and feel glad. We have come to expect no one, use our knees to shake the table, spill a few drops as our parents did years ago - "There's Eliyaju, see how he drinks?" Invisible spirit always blessing our gift. On this night anyone is our guest, and we have more than enough to share. Tonight again there is no knock, nobody shuffles in or strides unannounced. It is enough to have friends near at hand, here in the land where no one walks, where locks and strong doors are only common sense.
Wet Streets ~~~~~~~~~~~ And I walk with rain in my face. Street lights reflect diffuse and silvery pools retreating before my splashing steps. Mist and steam everywhere, music of cars pushing through watery sheets. Traffic lights dance red and green in the haze. Soaked in my gray sweatshirt, hood pulled down, cold and rain-blind, I am stunned by the beauty of this, caught off guard by welling joy.
David Sparenberg MY RITE OF COMMUNION ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I participate in the beauty of the earth. And without violation. I partake of the wonderment of this awakening day. I drink in the wine of morning breeze, sweetened by the flowers of May. I break and eat the bread of Spring, seasoned from life's garden. This is my rite of communion. In this way, I say no to war. And to the evil death in the minds of deceptive men, who have turned to a god who is no god: an idol loveless. And exacting judgment. In this way, my heart declares my love of justice. And my soul stands firm in the prophecy of peace. I turn out to the dawn awareness. And to my God who creates out of love.-- And who instills love even in the eyes of those suffering most.-- And who tremble for their children's safety. This is my rite of communion. In this way, I say yes to yes. And no to war. 12 May 2004
Durlabh Singh SONNET TWO ~~~~~~~~~~ Would not I carry my rugged pride When element to element will mingle and reside In perfumed consummation of interstellar space In a new planet cast out of Brahama's rage For ever wishing my nibbled pen could trace A line of haughty verse to silence the deadly state The world's affairs And all its cloud clapped might But ends in poor surrender shorn of man's pride Shorn of all honour when our tattered rags do show The imprints of tempters all their dishonest row Then we hate to touch our mortgaged flesh and bone When souls are slaughtered in church yards of rhone It might have been better to explore salient venues The spirit of dark waters or some sealed avenues.
NATURAL TONES ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I am the Springtime of leaves And song of brunt Meadows brief Where the water arms The earth's ploughed Scars Mingling with Moon's soft crust. Capricious images Of nursling plunders Shrouded to announce To the world at large Its blunders And crystallization Of amorphous mass Of feelings & sensations Into significant forms In a universe of values Echoes of inner stance. I am the Spring sap of the leaves And song of meadows brief Scars of earth Peeled and ploughed With bloods of Moon's dried crust. I am the visibility of the day I am the invisibility of the night I am the spring sap of the leaves And the echoes of winter's last rites.
SPACES OF HEART ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Neither wreck of hope nor promises fulfilled Neither love nor torture nor mutability Nor hooking of oneself ego'd to oneself Or to the world for its swaggering applause. Spaces of heart Abundance of access Numbers & squares Inscrutability & recess Receiving & receding Angels of high repute All rallying around To accommodate in art The spaces of heart An abundance of access Numbers & squares Inscrutability & recess.
Elizabeth Waugh Jellyfish Rising ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I am imbued with wet sticky secrets Jellyfish that cling to feet and legs Plowing me downwards into mud and sand Asbestine creatures which refuse to disperse Intensity never abating These malachite hued secrets leech me To tears, with their ceaseless divulgence of stories Recall the night in the basement, the jellyfish cry The warlord slamming your head on the stairs I am moving onwards, carrying the weight of the sea, of secrets Perhaps an elixir could dissolve the jellyfish away A tonic of liberating open mouthed words and kisses For all I want is to be free I will take them to the shore, the palm-lined coast And after jellyfish secrets merge into the blue I will be bare alone with air and sand In a sunlit smiling daze December 2003
The Winter Wind ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The winter wind bereaves me And black night falls over the city sweeping freeways elongate into channels, meridians of light An expanse void of warmth The tender kind of heat Felt next to smooth skin and lips Under covers, sighing When the fireworks shatter the night Into chaos and noise And the familiar has left you Then your life has just begun When you must depart For something new So vague and indecipherable Then you begin to emerge When you realize that you know not who you are Then you have just begin to see yourself November 2003
Your china white lips ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Ripped paper pieces and old photographs No longer able to envision you outside of dreams Crazy haste that saved me Decisions that draw you away And our time, Our oblivious nights and predawn moments of solitude Our time has become crystallized In my unconscious In the back of my mind Crystallized memories Slow slipping forth in baby sleep dreams Erratic pulsing of innermost parts and your lips painted china white Are we so gone from the world again I thought I could taste your lips beside me Flesh humble solid sweet February 2004
The sun is setting in Los Angeles ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The sun is setting in Los Angeles And I am alone again with thoughts intangible I have an aptitude for prose, I think An aptitude for things beautiful But how can my words express an expanse of feeling such as this One must only live in the present, but even that is too much My mind is unencumbered, stretching past the city limits I cannot stop thinking of you The sun is setting in Los Angeles And I am wondering what words your fingers are spelling out onto a page What fallacies flit through your mind, which ones anchor and take hold And if your thoughts are as broad and all-encompassing as mine I am resurrected I am a poet and words dance ahead for me; jumping spinning leaping out of orbit I am a poet in the real, and the world projects brightness The lines of truth shine out loud December 2003
The mercury eye of night ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The mercury eye of night passes over And we are unknowing To the fortunes which lay hidden To the devastation omnipresent Did I tell you that I loved you As we plummeted towards Earth With wings bound in tight embrace and eyes locked on the other Depart for the unfathomable And leave no regrets behind See how this is ecstatic This is ever changing This is a journey marked by burning skies and absolute truth Truth which, embedded and obscured, Waits to be revealed March 2004
four part story pieces ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PART ONE Can you tell the new from faded the ancient from obsolete Passing of time weathered faces you look so old Where did you lose where did you leave your childhood behind Do you struggle now baby do you struggle along over the cracks fall into the crevices do you lie? Everyone told you baby everyone told you not to leave the truth not to drop it lose it away and forget PART TWO I want to leave the world behind travel slightly softly sweet tell me you love me baby aching breaking baby don't cry tell me you love me tell me a lie PART THREE Catch a laugh catch me falling on summer gray sky Do you know baby do you know how to fall in love
AND ONWARDS ~~~~~~~~~~~ Aqueous gray turbulence cry rising over skyscrapers night breaking crackling alive See the world shift and shutter into new proportions close your eyes don't blink now baby or you won't know where the fuck you are Each day a changing revolution go on towards the flurry go into the night December 2003
Corrugated dreamworks and fastidious pride ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The concrete scape of city alarms me in its permanence The solidity of freeways, of brick, of corrugated steel is in brutal contrast to my own flighty mind Wavering dreams and ancient echoes propulsion forward into the day And whence come these scaffolds, these buildings, these arches what gives them their ability to hold strong What keeps them from dissolving into the past Over the course of a week, the passage of a year My life can break down and restructure In a matter of minutes Perhaps the city holds me Binds me from breaking away January 2004
Untitled ~~~~~~~~ PART I There is a facet of the world which remains hidden The sight of which comes only to a view aligned See a slice of light angled over one north facing concrete wall at noon and the contrast so harsh of skyscraper steel against aqueous blue sky at nightfall The lights of the city loom and shatter into brilliant nothingness For this part of the world is but shadows and aberrations Premature visions that cannot seep through the black fog cannot emerge into existence Shards of escape in the thick evening air trapped in stasis in a hidden facet of the world PART II Attune yourself to perceiving certain facets of the world And they no longer remain hidden As to an onlookers virgin eye See a slice of light at noon angled over a north facing concrete wall or the richness of contrast between an aqueous blue sky and overlaying skyscraper steel at nightfall Yet the search for Elysium prevails Past the exquisite and incomprehensible Yet it is such which reveals that Elysium has not ceased That faint violet lines have always been running Through cityscape and air August 2003
K.S.Subramanian A toehold in valley ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I watch my daughter plodding her way up, a heavy bag of books, slung on her shoulder; Not to reach the stars but to strike a toehold in the teeming valley. In three years, reserve a slot in "computer applications, engineering or medicine"; with a wad of merit- (if fortune favours the brave)- or notes (if you make a fortune). Where does fortune begin- (I donít know) but where does it end (I do). "Your time starts now" the quiz master's voice is worth mimicking, more than the countdown! I brace up for a fresh start, so do many, many. The sweat on your brow settling on a pot of gold; What if the gold rusts before birth? HRD Ministry! Can you answer? Are you suffocated by the stampeding shrieks?
Cauvery breathes? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ No morrow; the seizures of veins vanish in the pale underbelly of sunset; Cauvery glistens in dawn's radiance its springs bristle with saga of hate; On its banks sprang myriad cultures growing from dawn to dark noon; Cultures unable to outlive sutures of evolution, ossified in a cocoon; With springs stained, monsoon astray the bed bares only lines of query; Who's the winner at the end of the day? Are there voices faint in the cemetery? Has the journey ended in no-hope-land, ashes infertile in gnarled sand? * Cauvery, a sacred and ancient river in South India. This is where rites of cremation are performed. The custom dates back to many centuries. The ashes of my father, who passed away recently, were immersed in the river.
Cremation ~~~~~~~~~ Death a doughty customer; love or hate it, is there at the doorstep; For him, after eight decades the knock came; his enduring love for kin died in the dregs of agonised sighs; Memory subsumed in vacuous shades. Spring's dew wets the branches' tip, then frowning Sun drains the greens; The family tree interred in cul-de-sac, yet seeking new blossoms, leaves; How a face, so vivid a while ago, turns a ghostly thistle in the plains? A dark puzzle time cannot crack; His ashes in Cauvery seek no morrow.
Dreams ~~~~~~ Dreams! the primordial instinct in Man that stirred a flame out of stones; It could trap wind's music in a flute, blast a path through the mountains, cull energy from the sea, discern the burr of atoms in sphere's lute. Down the river's interminable journey dreams unmasked the Cosmos bare, threw a cordon around elemental fury, capsuled all in a pint-sized computer, foresaw ominous signs by a mile. Is there the other face to dreams? Dynamite cradling a snarling projectile, ferns cusping the archetypal stream?
On my father's 81st birthday ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ His face had the sinking furrows of scores of memories; like a traveller too tired to look back; the pillow embalmed his wispy back, eye pitched on a paper or magazine; his chores were well-set, like a software package; only a few bugs appeared in between, unshapely arguments with his better-half; And my mother would moan the fatal tie-up thrust on her at 15; a moan aka my father's morn sojourn with the gods. In an instant they patched up, for yet another round of truce; most tired couples of yesteryears do. Born in turbulent times, (Is the world ever free of it?) his youth was cast in khadi; That serene, dreamy walk in spotless white, rivaled the sun's rays in Tirunelveli; his eyes bore the passion of the day, ears brimmed with sublime thoughts, mind resonant with music. Like many, he groped his way thru' pile of govt.records; by dusk, found his peace in the quiescent strains of Gandhi's ashram; the day when Mahatma was felled, is still a graphic picture in him; His legacy caught dust in the attic while he was tethered to a growing family. A doting, not a frowning dad, and yet a fusspot; He was rid of burdens long before some get to shoulder 'em; Had his shocks too, which made furrows on his face earlier than usual; Never looked back; Don't the days seem longer in memory than when lived? Time spends itself; for him now the small screen and elastic serials are part of a sumptuous siesta; Not a care in his head? I wish so. Somewhere in the recesses lies an undetected regret - like dandruff or unerased coat of dirt in the ceiling.
Bruce Baker PILLARS OF COURAGE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Berlin Wall was felled Ending the cancer of Communism Nelson Mandella, a caged bird, was free after 27 years of oppressive rule Dr. Martin Luther King, jr. gave America a new song to sing, Hoping that black and white children can play together, Pray together, eat lunch together Medgar Evers smiled from the grave Ghandiís vision became ageless Womenís suffrage weathered the storm Paul Robeson graced the world with songs of hope Muhammad Ali knocked out the symbolic reigns of Oppression and fear Great Britain lost a Princess but remembered her charity Mother Theresaís benevolence spread across the mighty seas The Dove in Rita and the Angel(o) in Maya spread poetic verse To nations mining for freedom, a voice, and subtle renderings Of meanings, and interpretation The ominous stench of an oppressive regime was toppled Saddam Husseinís dictatorship ends The Afghan Veil was removed A dusty soldier musters up his remaining vigor, the tip Of his rifle, soaking with the remnants of a sun drenched Dust storm. Looking through the eyes of bursting sun, He drapes a hand-woven tattered flag over a crippled Statue, the weight of the lifeless flag tumbling it down to An angry earth soaked in crimsonÖ that had already paid the price
RIND SONG ~~~~~~~~~ I have neglected you for years Never even stopping to experience the delight you have to offer Please forgive me Pardon my hurry to weigh you and the bunch Only to meet a throng of busy patrons waiting in line to pay For their turn to scurry out the door How have I missed your melody for so long? I pay more attention to the sweeping hands on the clock Than I do you Forgive me, but please continue to sing I hear now I understand The music, the melody It has been here even before me I feigned blindness when I tore you away from the prize inside The sweetness and tender taste lay captive inside But the song came from you It became you The bursts of melody with every peel came from you my friend It was you all the time Many moons have become full Many sunsets have appeared over my lifetime Now I am captive to age, which has ravished my once youthful body Yet age has allowed me to hear your song, your melody As I sit on my porch waiting for to come Your song envelops the air around me I peel you away from the prize inside and your song becomes me The songÖ. that beautiful song sounds like symphonies of Chopin and Mozart with each peel I hear you my friend Pardon my peeling You have long deserved to be free and to be heard I hear you my friend I hear you at last Sing Sing on
HOLOCAUST ON SILENT LIPS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Tragedy at Auschwitz Hades' lips must have caused this dreadful silence Eerie silence be no more Clang, clang, clang Noise, please give me noise You are safe now Speak You sir, please You mam, Speak You are safe now This forsaken sound has fallen on trembling lips Still afraid of the Reaper, wielding guns and rage Under the spell of his power Damn you Hades Who gave the order? I must know For the sake of sanity Survivors from incinerated wombs must know The bell tolls Who gave the order? The war is over now Devastation is no more Petunias now blanket the area, once a graveyard to fallen soldiers and spent shells Green grass now inhabits the earth once covered in craters from rockets Come out Speak You sir? You mam? Who gave the order? Why did so many fall at the hands of fire and a veil of demonic gas? Why did the shoes and clothes pile so high? Auschwitz, surely you must know Then there was silence again Far away in the eve of the night, I hear the coyotes cry I hear the approach of These were people too They shared dreams like people do The bell tolls again. Who gave the Order
THIS OLD CHEVY ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The sun is rising What a brilliant shine I can still remember when I first bought my old Chevy Well, it was new then It had a hard body and brilliant shine, just like a placid lake You name it, my Chevy had it It was lean, yet durable enough to withstand the rocky terrain of Unforgiving country roads The headlamps could light the road miles away I could see whole continents from a far with those lights I could part mountains and seas with my Chevy My Chevy had so much vigor, so much life, so much attitude I always kept it clean, not a spot, not a dribble It was a competitive thing with me and the other whippersnappers My old man called us that back in them days We all had a Chevy and we were proud, if nothing else It was just not cool (we youngan said that back in our spring) to be seen by a daisy with an Unkempt Chevy Not my Chevy It didn't take much to start it up in the morning One turn of the key and my Chevy ran all day long, always on a full tank, Even in stormy weather Now, the inside was just as brilliant as the outside One look inside and you would feel a warm and secure rush of excitement My Chevy was equipped with fine parts that kept it going all these years, until now Of course, things do wear down and I replaced a few, sometimes small, sometimes major I'm told my Chevy has depreciated quite a bit and wonít last much longer After a hard battle, I accept what I cannot control The sun is setting now What a wonderful dawn it is I think to myself about me and my ChevyÖ We had a good ride
John Bryan pursuance of bygone doors ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ racing the corridor to the finish - tied; open door the hallway gets left behind. looking back, five fingers on the floor, severed from their ties. stupendously twitching rationing a future beyond this door. closed.
a slap in the face from a god ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ both frightening disheartning rattus rattus Pelusium's islands, or caves, or mountains once lived man now only wild beasts Paris' bloated tongue lickerish Saturn / Mars / Jupiter's conjunction: no one must sleep past dawn baths are dangerous intercourse fatal the United States joins hands & they all fall down a pocketfulloftissue; filth keeps their bodies warm almost a rodent for every man , waiting for the fourth pandemic
Union ~~~~~ Hawaii has eight stripes of white, red and blue for the eight islands Anguilla is blue depicting three orange dolphins in an interlocking circular design on a white background with blue wavy water below Australia has the Commonwealth Star in the lower left side and the Southern Cross constellation in white with one small five pointed star and four larger seven pointed stars in blue, white, and red ensigns Ashmore & Cartier Islands use Australia's Bermuda is red depicting a red lion holding a scrolled shield showing the sinking of the Sea Venture on a white and green shield British Indian Ocean Territory is white with six blue wavy horizontal stripes bearing a palm tree and yellow crown British Virgin Islands is blue depicting a woman flanked on both sides by vertical columns of six oil lamps, above a scroll bearing the word VIGILATE Cayman Islands is blue with a pineapple and turtle above three stars for the islands with the motto HE HATH FOUNDED IT UPON THE SEAS Christmas Islands uses Australia's, as does the Cocos ( Keeling ) Islands, as does the Choral Sea Islands as does Heard & McDonald Islands Cook Islands is blue with a large circle of fifteen white five pointed stars for every island Falkland Island ( Islas Malvinas ) is blue depicting a white ram above the ship DESIRE and the motto DESIRE THE RIGHT Fiji is light blue depicting a yellow lion holding a coconut above the cross of St. George with sugarcane, palm tree, bananas and a white dove Montserrat is blue depicting a woman standing beside a yellow harp with her arm around a black cross New Zealand is blue with four red five pointed stars edged in white Tokelau uses New Zealand's Niue is yellow with five yellow five pointed stars, a large star on a blue disk and four smaller ones Pitcairn Island is blue depicting a shield with the Bounty Bible proper and the anchor of H.M.S. Bounty with the Pitcairn Island Wheelbarrow above Saint Helena is blue with a three masted sailing ship, rocky coastline and bird South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands is blue with shield with golden lion supported by fur seal on left and penguin on the right with reindeer above, on a scroll is the motto LEO TERRAM PROPRIAM PROTEGAT Tuvalu is light blue with nine yellow five pointed stars representing a map of the country Ontario is a defaced red ensign with three maple leaves the union of imagery & flag depicting language that flies in the wind, draped on a tongue, your eyes on masts, maybe lowered, except in battle or on The Moon a flag for this poem
Dentistry ~~~~~~~~~ A calcified school Slaps a sheep's jawbone To the bottom of your mouth
the right to bear arms ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ looking in the Canberra phonebook, i compiled a register regarding the varying species of my family name: Bryan: 26 listings Brian: 16 listings Brien: 8 listings Brion: 0 as well, out of interest, all derivatives and strains: Bryans: 1 listing Bryant: 79 listings Briant: 2 listings Brient: 1 listing O' Brian: 2 listings O' Brien: 234 listings O' Bryan: 3 listings searching for the cure to the influenza of surnames in heraldry, one is usually entitled to crests not of your last name imposters & liars, all, disease on their backs, i have compiled a threatning species list,
Suzanne Nielsen Mt. Video ~~~~~~~~~ She sits across from me resting her arms on the wobbly cafź table lifting limbs at most obscure times causing my decaf to leave trails on the formica top. I follow a stream as it exists to the wooden floor seeps in the grains forming the head of Judith Guest, no, someone who looks like her only without a nose and an Adam's apple could be Uruguay. She tells me she's just returned from there I knew I wasn't that creative to think of that all on my own, transfer image into Uruguay but where did Judith Guest come from? I don't think of myself as extraordinary nor ordinary but that's besides the point. She's sitting across from me, eyes full of monsoons swimming right through me going under.
Communicating With A Larger Body of Water ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I see her move about town same old soul tattoo tear etched under her skin leading to a labyrinth of stories unfolding like curvy cobblestone streets that Charles Dickens wandered. Lagging by a lagoon in lower town she is that creature down under lurching longing forthcoming.
Blood Type ~~~~~~~~~~ Write what matters does it matter that I write what matters to me when the matter is irrelevant to you? Maybe it's the word matter that clogs my blood or the word write when its antonym is wrong that's the job of an editor to wrong the write and call it quantifiably coagulated fiction that bleeds
Donna Bamford Weep for Paris ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I weep for Paris I must tread softly through my Paris memories, Paris is sacred to me through the Jardin de Luxembourg then on a snowy winter=92s day the children riding donkey carts through the patient snow now we are making a snowman in the courtyard below my apartment all velvet and Veuillard with Madame Titine a retired white-haired saint and from my glittering garret in the Latin Quarter I look down on the Jardin des Plantes now sprouting pink flamingos and one startled ibex in the freshly falling snow at midnight I go down the street to see Notre Dame under snow. for it is now that she is her most voluptuous like a white peacock about to take flight for her true celestial home. in the morning to the islands a sweet shop with chocolate filigree biscuits with amethyst pastilles 2 made by amethyst and filigree ladies a church like a wedding cake inside my brasserie where the barman rules like Napoleon the Seine by moonlight moon-dappled 3 cobblestones glistening in the blue nocturnal light and every day she wears a different face Our Lady of the Islands I pass by just to see. now to the Rue Moufftard the Christmas lights still dancing overhead and graciously she offers up her wares her fat pates and smiling fish and all her insolent pastries. a man plays a harp by an incandescent flower stall and joy pirouettes with open heart. or shall we to the Marais Hugo's quarter what happiness to walk the holy streets again they exhale beauty like a fragrance. each day there are new streets new vistas, new feasts for all the senses one snowy day I wander down a street in St. Germain and stumble on a small caf=E9 in chocolate decor luminous with daffodils daffodils and snow a city made for poets Hemingway lived up the street 4 and so they say did Joyce Gertrude Stein just the other side the Luxembourg in the evening I go to St. Gervais where cassocked monks sing offices sung offices are the best don=92t you agree? one day I wander far away and find a mediaeval convent with balustrades and overhanging rooms like a Perrault fable. the view from my window of the roof tops and chimney pots of Paris. I will not always be here the pet shops on the quai with giant hares and baby chicks at Easter on Christmas day I go to mass at Notre Dame the children light the votive candles till someone thinks to stop them. 5 Isle de la Cite in Spring the chestnut trees in bloom and on the quais lovers and painters bloom Montmartre the haunt of all the artists a caf=E9 with red tablecloths a woman singing French ballades while the snow falls softly outside shall we to the Rodin? sensuous, breathing like orchids or shall we to the Jeu de Paume a Cuban exhibition? tea at the Deux Magots? for the fashionable Japanese for Beauboug for apartments like Veuillard I weep I weep for Paris Paris is sacred to me
Of India ~~~~~~~~ Of India I recall pressed pomegranate juice like magenta jewels the red-cheeked bottoms of monkeys that played about the balustrades, tea in ricotta pots that you threw to the ground when finished, to be swept up by ubiquitous sweepers nasty camels seen on the road, unpettable a cart drawn by a water buffalo across a wooden bridge a satellite above, in a sea of stars so close they seem to sing the shocking beauty of the women, the Bihl people nomads, in their gypsy costume bright like child colours laughing beggars and lecherous holy men smiling lepers their stumps held out for alms the colour, oh the colour, and smells of charcoal fires, cow dung, incense, paradox from hideously grotesque to transcendentally sublime
Lamont Palmer Listening to March ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ From the window the wind; loud bloated loquacious one. Tonight his adjectives, overblown. His breath, too airy, cold. His mouth, open, a hurricane erupts. From my window, a world is cast about. Ragdoll world. Dry leaf world, riding the blast of breath out of night sky.
Divorce ~~~~~~~ Something happened. And it happened at night. Day was also night. Black sun. The dustup, the fighting, the claws tearing flesh. It happened. We are the ashamed ones. We cannot stop the chasm from swallowing us.
Hooper Island ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It was a test for your lonely eyes. The gunmetal gray of those hapless clouds, sunk low enough to make their mark. Salt, a delight on the tongue. Terse movements along the choppy bay waters; is needed. Is inhaled. Is acquired. Sitting and watching. What else is there? We hold the Chesapeake in our mortal hands. We are glad.
Introduction ~~~~~~~~~~~~ White David, in his room, introduced Pink Floyd. A barage hit my 16th year ears, no ignoring, no escape, electric, piercing, an acupuncture of startling knife-notes. The Wall brought down the walls, as he stared at me, and at nothing, pleased, analytical. He knew a new world came to me; my hand in his hand; leading, being led.
Game Plan ~~~~~~~~~ I have been here, my life and its wayward, vital song. I open up to the voices in the wind. Departed from another plane, relaxed and calm as still water; the graceful finality continues. Something in the way the trees grow, straight and looking toward a deeper direction, beyond earth. It is the love of your flesh, the love of your will that challenges, mixes with who I am. A lifetime of hope stares out at the tossed, dark sea. We share a vessel. We move onward like great trade winds.
Alisdaire O'Caoimph Utopia ~~~~~~ I saw the world end within those eyes That looked so humbly for just a simple smile, but found only the diluted fragments staring back That had haunted him throughout the years. There was I suppose some turning point when all had reached it's summit and earth quaked existence all to ruin. To fade his dream like some bygone fancy That the world no longer cared nor carried his mark. It's a sad state that so destroys a human being and leaves the world as a harboring menace, Drawing deep the phantom'd nightmares of his being Into the dark recesses of a dominant hell. This abode of the wayward stranger That suffocates to our awkward glance and peers through the rigid manifestations Of societies branded utopia.
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
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. 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 prohibited. 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 COMMENTS * Klaus Gerken, Chief Editor - for general messages and ASCII text submissions. Use Klaus' address for commentary on Ygdrasil and its contents: email@example.com * Pedro Sena, Production Editor - for submissions of anything that's not plain ASCII text (ie. archives, GIFs, wordprocessored files, etc) in any standard DOS, Mac or Unix format, commentary on Ygdrasil's format, distribution, usability and access: firstname.lastname@example.org We'd love to hear from you! Or mailed with a self addressed stamped envelope, to: