YGDRASIL: A Journal of the Poetic Arts

July 2006

VOL XIV, Issue 7, Number 159


Editor: Klaus J. Gerken

Production Editor: Heather Ferguson

European Editor: Moshe Benarroch

Contributing Editors: Michael Collings; Jack R. Wesdorp; Oswald Le Winter

Previous Associate Editors: Igal Koshevoy; Pedro Sena

ISSN 1480-6401


TABLE OF CONTENTS


INTRODUCTION

   Maria Jacketti
      The Right School with the Right Name

CONTENTS

   Janice Thurston
      Amnesia
      Guilt
      A Prayer for Integrity
      Paradise Lost
      Seduced to full attention
      Show and Tell

   Wojtek Copija
      The  Encyclopedist
      A Nerudian Sonata
      Our noses are perfect
      Inferiority complex
      Woman and bread and the grasses
      Another Rose, Another Seraph
      Yesterday and Today
      Andalusian Dreams

   Shanthi Minor
      That's It
      Cowboy Hate
      All the great love poetry has been written
      God
      Papa
      Binary Fission
      Reading
      Buddhism for English Majors
      Words
      Word Sonnet
      City Living
      Time
      "I wish I had the tiniest bit of paper-"
      Aiti
      Championship Game

   Isabella Drzemczewska Hodson	
      The Unfought Battle
      Plucked
      To Sleep
      Cruel Fate
      One
      Pieces
      Villaluna's Passage
      Thumbelina for the Masses
      La chasse aux pigeons

   Joe Hickey
      Galway Artist*
      March 18 Order
      Father
      Mom
      fire-dancing
      The Best Sleep There Is

   Marley Davidson
      happy - hour
      wrinkled negligee
      not so little
      browsing at the local future shop

POST SCRIPTUM

   Maria Jacketti
      New Party: Americans for Lao-Tzu


INTRODUCTION


Maria Jacketti, Phd


The Right School with the Right Name
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I once went to the right school with the right name
and sat in a very prestigious classroom with the right award winning
teachers, when I saw that my nearly Ivy League classmates in writing
workshop were all
carnivorous, dribbling blood that looked my type,
and I, the subtle vegetarian,
was to be their feast, a deer half devoured,
at the end of every class in critical condition,
I hobbled home, my guts a-tumble,
repaired myself,
got sparkling mostly meaningless A's.
learned nothing much.
Graduated

with my handsome degree, I got a job
at a college where mostly meaningless highly
accredited education was happening,
desks clanging off the walls, tradition gangbanged
into the dark ages, me among the other survivors,
and while I tried to
change the insolent parade of tax dollars obscenely
feeding a dumbed down self-perpetuating beast,
I got sent home because I was no good at faking anything,
and wept while watching the functional illiterates
line up for their luxuriously charlatan degrees
again at graduation.

And so I moved on to the rebels,
the insurgents in education, where real education
must still happen as a matter of survival,
quietly, glitz-less,
but now those I left behind attack us because of the lack of
conformity I celebrate,
the difference that is my oxygen.




Janice Thurston


Amnesia
~~~~~~~

I am a broken film.
A series of laughs,
                 tears,
                     smiles,
CUT.

My footage is anti-synecdoche;
No crafted hand can splice
To make me whole.

Trying to frame myself
I rush on to the finale:
Flashing numbers,
              slashes of colour,
Scrambling past;
Forsaking me in the dark.


Guilt ~~~~~ Affixing a contact with a small rip Onto the eye. Keeping it there Until the tears roll it out.
A Prayer for Integrity ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A worm suckles The surface of my heart. Challenged, it slowly presses Its way into the fleshy muscle Anchoring my limbs. God help me I have no means, No way, No thing But this worm Burrowing a Fissure Into my heart. Give me the Chance to Repel Repair Oh God, I promise not to be That worm.
Paradise Lost ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If Adam Had Just Put His Snake Away There Would Have Been No Problem.
Seduced to full attention ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Teasing an apple while Sizing over the acts of night- Satin red robe being slowly Removed between his front teeth. Seduced to full attention By their unmistakable musk He believes he hears them Demand gentle pruning and wetness. He refuses to give in- To him knowing when Is better than knowing how. Jostling around the small bed He feels through the bush Stroking at the petals Until sweat drizzles down his back. Unable to bare the heat momentís heat He leaves the house for a cigarette. Reclining against some boards He puffs upon another dayís Satisfactions- There's no better life Than that of a Greenhouse worker.
Show and Tell ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ There are two types of men and women in this world: Show and Tell.
Wojtek Copija The Encyclopedist ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ one here one there another just over there another and another stars and stars and stars and stars god himself doesn't quite remember how many he's made anymore and poor little you in your snug little bed trying to count them all on your fingers and toes
A Nerudian Sonata ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1. (desnuda eres delgada como el trigo desnudo) I wish I had written this line, you two are like sisters swaying in the morning wind - if it were mine, I would accede Neruda to whisper it to Matilde as I whisper it to you naga jestes szczupla jak pszenica naked you are slender as the wheat naked you are slender as the wheat 2. (Morning, XXVII)* Naked you are humble as your hand, familiar, earthen, minimal, diaphanous, round, yours are the moon lines, apple paths, naked you are slender as the wheat. Naked you are blue as night in Cuba, you have stars and tendrils in your hair, naked you are yellow and prodigious as summer in a church of gold. Naked you are small as your fingernail, curved, subtle, pink as the birth of day, and you disclose the subterraneum as in a long tunnel of belabored costumes: your transparency fades, unravels its ornament, and again becomes a naked hand. (Pablo Neruda) 3. Orchidaceae cymbidium; phalaenopsis; vanda; lycaste; coelogyne; vuylstekeara; miltonia; paphiopedilum naked you are a flower in my mouth 4. Naked you are a virgin pebble, a lamb grazes on your eyelash, naked you are my libidinal child, you have the taste of salt and fire on your skin, naked you are a nymphal seraph, you have the colour of a grain of sand, and children breathe their secrets in your ear, naked you are Mary suckling baby Jesus. * translated from Pablo Neruda's Spanish original
Our noses are perfect ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Our noses are perfect- they don't have any bumps they're straight and have class in fact, everyone wishes that they had our noses they might be a little bit long, but if they weren't, we'd be too perfect our noses are aerodynamic- God gave us these aerodynamic noses because he knew we'd be driving Porsches one day
Inferiority complex ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In a frustrated attempt at writing a sonnet, all I could muster was this.
Woman and bread and the grasses ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I eat bread and the sun comes up and the grasses grow and I eat bread and then the sun goes down I eat bread and the sun comes up and the grasses blow and I eat bread and then the sun goes down I eat an orange and the sun comes up and the grasses blow and I eat bread and then the sun goes down And the sun comes up and the grasses moan and then the sun goes down and the sun comes up and then the sun goes down and then the sun comes up and then the sun goes down and then the sun comes up and then down and then up and then down and then up and then down and then up and then down and then I don't know
Another Rose, Another Seraph ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It is not easy to write a love song, never mind one of virginal conception - I find myself lost and consumed, akin to a poor poet beggar, sifting through anthological scraps for a nominal token, a mere image, a metaphor other than a rose, or a seraph, or a summer day Ovid, Dante, and Shakespeare ravished the language, and there remains little for me but the piecing together of fragments, tattered and worn as they are I am ill at these numbers but as a rose consumes a seraph in the stillness of disquiet I will sing my analectic love song to you on the morning of my death, my love
Yesterday and Today ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A butterfly of the most exquisite hues, fluttered its wings amidst the breath of afternoon. The grasslings paused their toil to watch the butterfly pass by and the pebbles underneath admired its graceful dance. Even the sun took notice of its poetic soul and thus shone even more intensely as to enlighten further those exquisite hues. And the butterfly rejoiced in humble thanks as it made love to Eunomia oppositifolia and then disappeared in the gleam, as all butterflies do.
Andalusian Dreams ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ O Platero, My gentle, yellow-toothed companion, to trot with you amongst Andalusian grasses, hear the neighboring stream as it trespasses, and taste those pomegranates once again to wake to the smell of oven-fresh bread, breathe in the colours of your idle afternoons, to write verse under your stars and the moon - sleep Platero, amidst those yellow lilies rest your head, dream, my tired little friend.
Shanthi Minor That's It ~~~~~~~~~ I want to SLAM My poetry into you, All dirty and dripping From days of sleeping Curled up under trees While guitar collaborations Make love to our bones. Dirt caked on our intertwined legs from Trekking out to the lake; Dirt washed off and reapplied. Reapplied.
Cowboy Hate ~~~~~~~~~~~ I hate that stupid cowboy hat: it doesn't make you look hot. Stetson first wore it as a joke, now it's the 10-gallon symptom of Alberta-tourists. There is nothing rugged, wild or sexy about a man with a head full of tightly woven, carefully moulded straw. I bet it cost you a full day's work. You'd shoot a man for sitting on it. You're so collected, keeping your stance, hands on your holsters. I hiss and spit, my hair swirling in the dust and wind, Medusa's snakes. You laugh and swagger over, patting down my hair, your fingers absently untangling the stubborn knots as you drop kisses along my scowling face, murmuring: "ma femme sauvage". I want to turn you to stone so you can't ride off into the sunset: You're not a cowboy, we're not in a Harlequin Romance, and I won't swoon in your arms. But here we are. Your Cavalier is running and you're leaving me standing southbound on Highway 169, the victim of a bad clich=E9. I want throw myself on you, knock off your stupid cowboy hat, stomp on it, mash the straw into a tangled mess and make you a ragged scarecrow. Instead of a rugged, twinkling, sexy, tanned and rippled cardboard cut-out, leaving his love-sick mistress for another wild adventure.
All the great love poetry has been written ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ All the great love poetry has been written, and so has all this love poetry that starts off complaining: All the great love poetry has been written, so I'm throwing away this pen and making wordless love to you.
Coming from my ribs and opening like a flower through my chest- spasmed breaths- and everywhere your eyes. * I love your eyes like the open sky on a prairie morning- sunrise on every horizon. You are naked as the wheat, your eyes are the cloudless sky. Naked, you are an acorn tree stretching up to the sky. Naked, you are the ocean I swam in as a child=96 you sweep me along in your tide. Naked, you are the late afternoon sunlight that filters through my window Naked, you are the shadow on the floor. Naked, you are the sunwarmed sheets I wrap myself around all night. Naked, you are strong. Naked, I am weak. Naked, you are smooth as the sand that washes over our feet. Naked, I love every hair and scar, every broken bone, reset; your broken heart, set and set again. Naked, I love you like a midnight storm, a blazing forest fire that sets the moon flaming red.
God ~~~ A woman once told me: "What is the price of believing in God? It is FREE!" We're such deadly sinners: God knows we can't turn down a bargain.
Papa ~~~~ He's planned an escape for half his life, he works twelve timezones past home: 6 weeks in paradise (Buddhist blessings for fuel tank openings) 6 weeks in an icicle hell (barred from salvation) I think he's stopped believing in Jesus. He stares out the window through morning prayers.
Binary Fission ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ you are the kind of boy who thinks a relationship climaxes on the first night .genetic success. you are as methodical as a biologist. .you wash away your dna. no: a software engineer it fascinates you: the world can be explained in numbers; everything breathes and grows in digits .telling me: better put your panties on; there's code on the sheets. 01100110011101010110001101101011 011110010110111101110101 .no redundant twos or threes. you analyse my anger and promise to reprogram: encode my reaction; recode your response .trial error trickles between my legs.
Reading ~~~~~~~ The text has a magical virtue of its own for people who cannot read.
Buddhism for English Majors ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ So you are one with what you perceive (i before e except after c)
Words ~~~~~ Every word we speak is muffled by kisses- silenced by the end of poetry.
Word Sonnet ~~~~~~~~~~~ This sonnet is life as it should be: slow, separate strokes; a fleeting melody.
City Living ~~~~~~~~~~~ In pulp towns it's called the Smell of Money; here we breathe it free.
Time ~~~~ The first offbeat of our yearlong discord was that watch ticking on your wrist.
I wish I had the tiniest bit of paper- newsprint, a dirty napkin, anything- to scribble out exactly how much I hate you. Once I find a scrap of something I'll spew black ink all over it; I'll squeeze my pen till nails dig into skin and I'll imagine it's your sandpaper face -burning up my chin, my cheeks, bruising my lips- I'll write - there, a receipt- some dinner I bought for you, you bratty momma's boy, all prim and proper like a tea cosy; you vile, detestable, huge-assed, penny-loafer-wearing, star-trek-watching, snobby scrabble-playing bastard- I write until my anger dissolves to sweaty, liquid scrawl. I pause and my nails retract, leaving half-moon imprints like smiles on my palm and I'm laughing at this puddling blackness on white; These duelling shades of nothingness. My words begin to curve, reach and embrace, melt, to loving you again.
Aiti ~~~~ There are no pots and pans clinkingclanking in my mother's kitchen: only the jinglejangle of bellydancing bells Dancing- oh, dancing! arms up, whirling, twisting the air like a veil through her hair! She has a bit too much belly, not enough boobs- her hips swish as she moves: they shake like a storm down the stairs past my bedroom.
Championship Game ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It's the city championships: Vikings versus Trojans, And Aaron's mother huddles under blankets up high on cold, metal bleachers. Aaron's mother, a born-again believer, prays for her son's honour through Trojan victory. But alas, Mount Olympus Is far from Montreal, And the gods don't care About football.
Isabella Drzemczewska Hodson The Unfought Battle ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ listen to their pitter patter upon the tombs of grass they scurry to the battlefield grasp their fallen weapons to take their lost turn that sweet smell lingers on their smeared faces and chilly jaws eyes widen hands swipe damp cheeks when they see that no blood slips from new wounds there is nothing to mourn the battle was too quick useless, they return to the shadows on the field but there is no going back lonely, shivering, the night is cold but there are many nights ahead before the white underworld will show its blemished face to the moon
Plucked ~~~~~~~ I taste the fruit and clutch it to my bosom in ecstasy as I feel its flavour burst on my tongue and slip down my pulsing throat I can't help myself. I am selfish I want to keep it to myself but, obedient to my Lord, I share it. the sweet rhythm its sugar coursing through my veins I want more I am greedy. in red pithy passion I hold and hold and savour until I can feel I gulp and swallow ungently, and I live. but the sweetness becomes bitter and Knowledge grabs and ravishes me. sweet Adam, selfish Adam, he hates me now and no one has ever forgiven me.
To Sleep ~~~~~~~~ I drink a drought of mildew and worm's blood clear in a crystal vial with blossoms of roses and amber scented like heaven it works its way into my veins soothes them to sleep suffuses muscles and flesh comes to rest in my bones arms crossed over my chest breathing stilled death comes softly but only my body is taken I am asleep for my handsome prince but the forest does not grow for a hundred years around me and there is no cut glass coffin instead the boonful drink festers my skin alive in spirit, I decay in body beauty escapes me Romeo will not come the witch tricked me there is no happy ending
Cruel Fate ~~~~~~~~~~ the faeries dance their ethereal dance of beauty and passion, slowing to a crawl and slither of wings as a passerby watches what he sees in the instant from blur to standstill is the poised body grey corpse with outstretched limbs and hollow, sunken eyes utterly vacant he is scared for these faeries are not real nor are they friendly with their pointed teeth and withering stare so he runs and they, mad, pursue until he is caught in a whirl of oblivion a sprinkling of dust and the jab of insistent teeth
One ~~~ sitting on the edge of Time waiting for the Unknown the plains are cold and empty and extend forever backward into vastness, the Known there is no cliff nothing to hint at what comes no sound, no sky only the plains, brown and bare rabbits should live here they'd do well their footsteps would be hidden by the grass a voice! a voice, far away I can hear it it is coming from There but I, alone, am Here will it come? will the visitor arrive to guide me to his Space, his place of Nothing that exists? sitting on the edge of Time waiting for the Unknown
Pieces ~~~~~~ I like the way you see inside and let me in through the door that opens just when I want it to I like the way your pieces are scattered folded in my sheets how I touch them, fondle them one by one, reach over and hold them to my face I like the way your hair folds over your legs and your limbs, with flesh so supple, dance in the grave hidden from prying eyes that do not deserve to see your grace I like the way your bones murmur as if through water calling me forward beckoning their love in nubile light and, dear, I love the way you stay quiet let us keep our little secrets let me kiss you goodnight.
Villaluna's Passage ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~` Across the lonely moors of wild land, Where green moss, grassy knolls, and bare trees stand, The hound awaits his witch-girl rider fair Whose supple limbs will grasp his deep red hair. She rides through mist and snow and bursts of rain, Through the glades, over the hills, but in vain. Her bow and spear sing in the haunting sky, But the birds she hunts left without a cry. The deer, the moose, the serpents, all are gone, Something hushed in mystery has gone wrong. Fleeing the fires of the treacherous peat, Over the still moors they bound, run, and leap. The flames are gone, the bog-drenched rain is here, But utter desolation greets the seer.
Thumbelina for the Masses ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ She sprung up from a marble ashtray stained with oil, purely formed and white. Amidst the ashes and the butts she quivered into being. Her lusty skin glowed with life but was dirtied by the tar in the narcotics she breathed. A helping hand rescued her, transporting her safely to a purse, where she lay with lipstick and a mirror. The people loved her, gave her thimbles of beer, made her dance jigs on barstools. CNN covered her story. She became world-famous as easily as she emerged from the ashtray. Cecil fell for her; she wore her wedding band around her waist. For a woman the size of a thumb, she was plump. And yet she was suffused with anorexic vitality. The beer had done her good, made her forget her cigarette existence and the charms of Cecil's probing finger. They called her Thumbelina after the innocent child of Anderson. But she was nowhere near as happy as the smiling, desirable girl who entranced frogs and fishes. Thumbelina, drunk with agony, having had too much of Cecil and danced one jig too many, fell off her barstool and was stepped on by a drunken lout. And that was the end of her.
La chasse aux pigeons ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Said the Pigeon to the Fly, "I want to savour you before I die." "Savour my wiles, my wit, or my charm?" Answered the Fly, seeking to disarm. "Oh, all three," said Pigeon sly, "I'd like to give every one a try." "Well," buzzed the Fly, "I'm all yours. No one will come to my succours." Speaking thus, the Fly flew off, Leaving greedy Pigeon to strut and scoff. "He'll never make it past my beak, Not when his flying skills are so weak." Jumping off the window ledge he soared, Approaching the fly he so abhorred. Flying swift and low, flap and go, He came upon his little foe. "Here I am, you lumpy fool. You'll do the backstroke in my drool!" So the merry chase was on, Pigeon swooping over river, tree, and lawn. Fly was fast, but far too slow To outrace a pigeon or a crow. Yet everything was not lost - With a mighty leap he crossed The sky, sailing clear away, And alighted on a window over the bay. Angry Pigeon bore downward in a rush; "Stupid bug - I'll make you mush!" Hurtling down at laughing Fly, He realized with a tardy cry That there was a window in his way. He squawked hurriedly in dismay, But his futile cries came way too late - He smashed into the thick glass plate. Happy Fly laughed at his clever ways - What a super end to Pigeon's days! Then he jumped and twirled in the air, But alas, tumbled into Spider's lair.
Joe Hickey Galway Artist* ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Drawing the dole in a sketchy pub: portrait of the artist as an Irishman. * "artist" is Irish slang for a person getting social security
March 18 Order ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Waiter, I'll have a pint of water, to chase my double shot of Aspirin.
Father ~~~~~~ Something about his words started a ringing around the surface of my skin, a tremor. The speech was never new, repeated to the point of exhaustion. But shivers whispered slowly down my arms, and breath came in short bursts until I finally fell, sobbing, onto the spire of his voice. When age flattened the peaks of those sharp sounds and my body outgrew the limitations of fear, how I wished for just one keen word, one last small shiver.
Mom ~~~ when I was young you lead me away from our busy street's clanging concrete; you showed me the silent world caught between the covers of a book. We'd go without sound into lost lakes, forests, jewelled caverns, unaware of hours slipping by with the turning of pages, roaming on into sleep where your face becomes the infinite sky warming the fields with sunlight, as I run and run in the sparkling grass.
fire-dancing ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ your hands on my shoulders and our feet brush the ground strands of fire fall over your eyes. your wild sparks curl in arcs and I'm ice in the fire - I melt as you move and ignite the winter air with a whip of your red hair.
The Best Sleep There Is ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I was rolling those rocks all day. Don't ask how many, the main thing is my arms are stuffed with embers and my eyelashes have become little lead sinkers. Under the blanket, each square centimetre of skin begins to float away - "due next Friday" "work this weekend" dissolve into darkness as sleep scatters my mind. Rolling rocks rise on the black screen before my eyes and "huffs" and "puffs" provide the perfect lullaby.
Marley Davidson happy - hour ~~~~~~~~~~~~ pour me something dark that thickens the blood keeps the toes warm top me up another round donít be a stranger tell me, oh bourbon bottle about yourself the wife and kids sooner or later I will drown in you spreading my secrets like a chemical fire
wrinkled negligee ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ slug tired. ears ring, no telephone motion. where are you? the one who twisted my sheets, unraveled the secrets between my breasts. prick.
not so little ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ breath spawns frost veins on the windshield, keys flaccid in the ignition. I await her, coming soon be careful driver, carrying her down the thin highway; silhouetting angels from oncoming lights. my fingers twitch to hold you. my first born, you are faultless but lost. a photograph reminds me you have grown since last year, holiday cheer planted. christmas you came home with dreads, tongue pierced, drunk. stoned and ridiculous said you loved women it's funny now. we spoke the other day, you told me the weather was crippling, you had to finish shopping. you plummet onto the platform, door hasn't even opened. eyes half shut, you smile falling into my arms. you're home and it's late.
browsing at the local future shop ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ a new model of a former self improved gimmicks with removable disk drive and cd burner LCD colour co-ordinated eyes, featuring the latest voice-over-equipment now available: top of the line software reformatting customize your lover

POST SCRIPTUM


Maria Jacketti
			  

New Party:  Americans for Lao-Tzu
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I want to live a Yankee Doodle Tao-te-Ching
doing nothing, but having it all - in moderation of course --
working and not working, my donkey
in love with the great elephant of nature, diverse
zoo animals too let in and in held sacred bondage in the name of evolution,
skewed by the persistent individual and his or her destiny, so as to
not look nouveau pinko or Zen-bot.

Tomorrow I will pledge allegiance to a flower,
and hope that Social Security may still save me
when I achieve the silvery wise age of Lao-Tzu
and am no longer pretty enough to be loved.


COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

  All poems copyrighted by their respective authors. Any reproduction of
  these poems, without the express written permission of the authors, is
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  YGDRASIL: A Journal of the Poetic Arts - Copyright (c) 1993 - 2006 by 
  Klaus J. Gerken.

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