YGDRASIL: A Journal of the Poetic Arts

May 2007

VOL XV, Issue 5, Number 169


Editor: Klaus J. Gerken

Production Editor: Heather Ferguson

European Editor: Mois Benarroch

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

Previous Associate Editors: Igal Koshevoy; Evan Light; Pedro Sena

ISSN 1480-6401


TABLE OF CONTENTS


INTRODUCTION

   3 Poets

CONTENTS

   Ivan Blatny 
      Roman Catholic
      Another honor for my saint
      La verre
      Both
      High Class
      Ba, Ba, Black Sheep
      Priroda
   
   Jessica Tong
      Fifty-nine
      Observations of my Doctor at nineteen
      Blue cheese
      The amputation
      Transformations
      The love bird
      Making a cake
      War child
      Constellations
      The music of your leaving
      My little doll
      The medicine rounds
      Last dance 
      The bedroom
      Motherless scars
      Silver parchment Act two
      Without the city
   
   Rodney Nelson  
      AUBADE
      MY PLACE
      RIVER LOOK
      PATH
      WHITE EASTER
   
POST SCRIPTUM

   Biographical & bibliographical information


INTRODUCTION


This issue brings together the unpublished English poems of Ivan Blatny 
(1919/1990), and recent new works by Jessica Tong and Rodney Nelson. 



Editor's Note: The Blatny poems are published as a historical document to 
augment the Blatny collection, The Drug of Art, forthcoming July 1, 2007 
from Ugly Duckling Presse (Eastern European Poets Series #15). See the Post 
Scriptum for more information.

I have left the spelling as the author intended, having only cleaned up a few 
foraign characters that would not display properly at the suggestion of the 
publisher. KJG


UNPUBLISHED & UNCOLLECTED POEMS

by Ivan Blatny 

(written in English, as printed here)


Roman Catholic
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

     To pope John Paul the Second

Why shouldn't I be a Roman Catholic?
It is so nice to believe in angels
it is so nice to have a pope above
pontifex maximus
Salvator Dali had an audience with him.

Least said, soon mended.


Another honor for my saint ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Francis of Assisy has been declared the patron saint of earth oekology the cage without frontiers the sweet community of plants, animals and people yes, he was preaching to birds What about rivers? They are living men old father Thames is rolling along.
La verre ~~~~~~~~ The pink cover-spring of my first book Pani jitrenka wasn't what I expected I wanted to be published exactly like Baudelaire like Svata Kadlec Baudelaire Teiner be Svata Kadlec, the lunatic Translate me into english I want to be read by Valentine Penrose In the book it is Petorose and spoils the rhythm Brousku, budte priste opatrnejsi.
Both ~~~~ If it were morning in the Pines I could take gun-powder it is afternoon on Bixley or at Bixley the praepositions in english are a trouble God never made a serious error or blunder "on" or "at" I think both are right. Ni×ina The mountains are questioned by the mountain-climbers but there is no answer there are no disciples but St. Bernard's dogs will reach you and tell you at once to return to the valley and never more to climb.
High Class ~~~~~~~~~~ Prince Philip is a great gastronome he instructs a brigade of cooks The archipelago of Palau has the richest marine life in all the Pacific I remember only molluscs feeding on algae vzpomin˙m si jenom na ml×e maji filtr Prince Philip wouldn't like to live in underseas chambers he prefers Buckingham Palace and the Queen. She has got one.
Ba, Ba, Black Sheep ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The mountain black sheep descended to the valley but Rosa Bonheur can't paint them black is the colour of death and there is no death in the universe luckily enough, because I enjoy life pendling between the table and the television Be quiet sister a monad can die Iíll stay a bit selfishly thinking only of the coloured cover of my book on the table in my workshop.
Priroda ~~~~~~~ The number of ringlets on the wasp means the number of its marriages they don't have a queen they mate freely Eckelhaft sagte die Arbeiterin Biene and threw out the drone But he, finding his greatest pleasure in dying said thank you darling it was worth it. Come on you lazy censors confiscate my poem put a dark oblong in its place I wanted to say black black jako na ˙mrtnim ozn˙meni
Jessica Tong Fifty-nine ~~~~~~~~~~ Fifty-nine headstones And sand rash and White electrical snow Falls, falls And covering the dead face Of thirty years. Fifty-nine graves. The screaming Japanese crane Dances on the rocks. She turns her back to us and we move Like solid rips wanting to touch, To cage the warm salt and Rotten eggs. Fifty-nine land sharks We grin, grin like floral broaches As she digs a grave and we gather In our rooks, feathers fluffed Like pillows. The nearest light wanes like a great candle, Such a mournful moon.
Observations of my Doctor at nineteen ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It is not a Sistine chapel. The room is very small Like a match box. Here I am Beast of fire, fleshy revolver. Here I am stripped like a ripe fruit Dripping, dripping my blood and brains Onto your dry cleaned coat. I am twenty soon. The screaming child will Not wait. Do you see her? Like a tree, the other self? I am left to baby-sit her throat like a cheap Wine brought back from your cellar In a serious box. I can not let her words escape me and Into the sea with its suicidal mermaids And queer guards. Oh, what a queen I am. What a tart. He gives me a pill, white as salt. An attendant jerks her shoulders like a pair of electrical wings As I swallow one whole, the other is dissolved Like snow in a glass. His corridor is a mile long with curtains tacked to birds They squeal when I step on their tails. I laugh. He pushes me along into an open room that smells of Medicine, it leaches into my cheeks, congeals to a mole. They are stained yellow but no one here seems to mind With their eyes dusted in dreams, dreams. I soon learn that it is a favourite past-time of the Grey lidded guests exhibited in their stiff pens. My Doc, my Doc and the machine that makes His bread are us. Mad, mad Put her in a cage with out any air and see if She lives. I come up shrieking, The witch is I. Cart her off with the rest, those women with the bobs. Now listen up if you touch me again with That cattle prod I'll pour cyanide down your throats, Watch you buck like a Spanish bull in the heat of those crowds. You like us.
Blue cheese ~~~~~~~~~~~ This week oranges are in season But ours are dusted with a blue drug That makes my heart swell like a sponge Under a tap. Is it not sweet? But how blistered in your fist I huddle like a quiet mouse. We have a routine, an almost ritual Of you and I in our white robes Reading the paper. A tragedy on the front page Blinks like a red light. A woman died. The words are right. A woman drowned over our pot of tea and Cold toast. You turn the page. What a sound Slicing the air like a knife and falling into Its spine. See, even that page has a place and that Woman, a place. But my fingers, the flows of the dead seem to sit And shift around the plate Dancing into your light as yellow beans. I have many things to do today but I am not sorry To tell you that I would prefer to lie in bed, Neglect all of my chores And eat blue cheese.
The amputation ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ An explosion and then the pearl white cuff That nurses her wrist is peeled back Like a lid. The tresses of blue veins rise In perfect order, greeting the warm stars. Lying stiff as a seed the trees shake their gloom From beneath bored fruits. They are black, the insides White hot and blank as carbon. It tastes like nothing. If you try to match it With food its blotched limbs will shriek and Swing on a hinge, a hinge of knuckle bones On hands that set down children. The evidence is under the light, it is in my Missing breast with its smile and angry red face. It is here to trick you. So young, younger then the ring on my Left hand spinning its little cleaver.
Transformations ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Can you believe that she is dead? That I will not be giving birth to her, Or hanging her from my breast like a picture. I can not argue with the child. She is like A dried fig in a shoe box. Pouring water onto her Will not puff her up or out. Let me ask you this Can you hold a funeral for a cell? I will not open my mouth, some door that revolves. Is this why I am so full of words? Words that glitter on young leaves. I woke in the hospital. White is a terrible feeling The way it swells and is worn by women who Fill me with spiders. I used to be fat as a globe and inside of me a person Opened their round hands like a cornflower. But now I am her coffin. Drumming up woods, so dark and thorned. I am afraid that the vines may take me, Curl their limbs into my hair and my sockets Like trawling nets. This is akin to grief? Does it have a mouth? I do not think it has But I idle in its rain like an engine. I am sent flowers and terribly silly cards that Bleed words like an acrid perfume. It is always cold here. I am the mother of a corpse and These are my fingers sewing new eggs and blue Linen death rags. Sadly, I am a blank person, similar to paper. The longer I lay here being kept from my home the more My bones become breadsticks for the birds to pick at angrily. I miss my garden, the silent arch that holds the night in a raw carpet. Perhaps if I were allowed to go home this death will divorce me. If I were to go home, to sleep in my own bed maybe these drugs will Unloosen me from their seams And I will fly out from under them like a moth One whose wings glitter as if being dipped into gold.
The love bird ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Morning sizzles, an egg in a thick black pan. A one woman figure steps out of the shower, That woman, love is I. Skin haunted by disease, dresses cast to their stone beds. I keep a single photograph of Paris, in it A face is lowered to mine like a collection plate And a woman is dripping with scarfs. She is a candle stick agonizingly melting But leaning as if woken from a beautiful sleep. And then there is us. We are identical, Porous stars eaten wholly by the harsh sun Clearly these thighs need to be introduced And lived all their life between yours! I am at the cauldron end with night. You have been gone for two days And all the feathers have left me, The last century has become a blackened bird Flickering in the branches like small eyes. My bones love, are arranged neatly And in order like dewed treats. Drag me to the tune, though my legs are useless. Dress me when you come home and in the eaves Leaves expose their doped nerves to water And I win a writers prize but it means nothing without fingerprints. Clearly I am afflicted. Haunted like a grave and drawing you up Through these dead bones.
Making a cake ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I have no other name. My kitchen lives around The three married daughters, their fine funeral heads Roll as though they are on stems tuned towards the long inescapable winter. Trees lean on their elbows, suck in the warm flame of the stove fire. The windows seem bleak, from here the night is black and Reveals itself childless. It is always orbiting, and the local women Wrap their bones with wool and take to the lighthouse, take to the Rocking sea and her doomed grey ends. In the morning they wash up On shore like black coral. They have escaped the cake fair and Like a fool I am waiting for the flour to make a sound. Nothing follows the broken Eggs. The sugar, the metric cups. I had an aunt who went mad while making Exactly the same cake. Cinnamon rolls danced, danced, danced! She took a knife and opened her arm like a tree pod. She found herself to be Very black inside and the pulse bored and too tired to think. People try very hard to die. They cut key holes In themselves. They make themselves like smoke and fly through the Trees in bird costumes. They ruin cakes. This gothic moon remembers us and the tools she used and the eye you Saw from. In its pearl socket you are a boat with paper oars, you are being Dragged by the tide towards those same floured rocks.
War child ~~~~~~~~~ Some men Called me a witch. I should Have been burnt at the stake Beside Joan. But I am still alive And boy folk proudly show off their Cocks like ornaments while trying to kill me. A war is never enough for a man It is early ejaculation Being unshaven with a girl's waist. These men, these men With guns and armies And boots taken from off dead feet. The camps where you tried to kill me Were stuffed of bones and hearts that Failed in the heat. I wore a dead Russians Clothes and cut my hair. Every one has left here. They are flat lining the building where we were held And my dead mother rises in the ashes. She has a number. Get in line. You promised me Christ but gave me a man With woman's hair wearing a woman's dress. He bears guns. He speaks war. You fear me like the red of communism. You left me alive and hungry, this was your mistake! I bear guns. I speak war.
Constellations ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ .1. The children all run around me. Their bald feet Drift and skirt on the lithe foot hills. The smallest boy is you lowering a terrified kitten into a Bucket of water. Face garlanded and insane. I react, quick as a bullet casting him with wax! He runs terrified into your body. Between us he is a dozing scream and You are the rival. The burning cigarette put out On my calf. How is it that the sun extends her ladder And only you can climb and I must sit here Babysitting the tree house, air shy? .2. Out on the strip young people pull down the churches. Glossy foreheads alert the moon of smiles and hips dressed with Dark lace. Where did the house come from? Most nights I wake up in tears And the moon gleams in silk, runs to my feet like water. The trees, I know are only temporary and you are a father To the girl up the road. Your little boy sleeps in a coffin And visiting him sucks the air from my body Leaves me to the mercy of fire. I crackle like a dry cob And he holds a torch in his sister's blind eye. You say nothing. .3. This child does not want me as his mother And the bleak heart is gasping under his bony fist, Flipping about on his hook. I can simply not see a land. The entire world is being dissolved, Soon I will be on the edge, apart from love. Some women Are just not mothers, it is not in me to perform. The constellations have drifted into a birthmark that scatters When I wash. Our sex has grown boring and without a ringleader I am best left under your daughter's bed to rot. All ready it is a frightful smell, heavy at our necks. .4. My mother did the same to me, so why can I not do it to you And the death in the ground? I can not face the cloth of your sperm annihilating his name, And my womb, it is as good as dead. Completely uneventful. Figs fall from me. A small bell tolls, in another city I am creeping from the remains of his bed. The stars look on, They do not judge or fold me back into the garden. A small job waits. There is a frill in the deep. An open window that hooks the sun And returns it to my body, frozen over. I never meant to become so stiff, To plough your son into the earth while I escaped.
The music of your leaving ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Simply these duel mothers will Have to pinch us both Between their thighs Like shop tapestries. We will have to share them. Imply ease. Pretend to uproot Arms and ribs from these twitching nerves. I am sick in this heat. My veins rupture And spill into the moons shadow, It is dragged by a white horse. It is taken to the orchard next door and hung Against the figs and grapes. Let yourself in. Walk down the hall Monitoring the guests. Slip into my Room, and into my bed like a silver thief. I have loved you since the womb. My heart knocked in its chest, my bones, Became petrified, likened to a barbarous skull.
My little doll ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ (Inspired by Baba Yaga) I woke in time to see the third knight riding past On some crested white beast, my daughter carried on his back Like a sack of wheat. Ten years old and she is off to marry her father, To anoint his chapped hands with her smiling hips. Her and that knight dragged the day with them like a Woman who bedded a Nazi on parade. I witnessed the trees, once completely alive savaged in veils. One by one, rolling moist eyes from their pits. Snuffing out the sun like a match. I was left with my young face, an apple peeler. First I took off my breasts, my thighs, lastly my heart. I ground them like cloves with my pestle and sent them off Towards the palace gates in a tea where my daughter Shall be turning sixteen. Her sweet skin blushing like a lantern. Rushed to her bedside, removable as Gods eye My daughter will gobble it down, her father adoring such a Doll sized waist. My little doll eat and drink your mother, wear me in your stomach Like an earring. I will swim, malignantly as cancer And eat out your womb that is knitting its first child. You see, my mother died as well and I summoned The dragonflies to us and they gave me you, New and wet, and smelling like clover. My little doll, I fed you so you would speak. I nailed rattling bones to the gate to let death know That he already lived here. I impaled chicken feet to the house So you would not have to walk. I even gave you my bed and took to the stove. I brushed the snow from the earth to give you summer. I allowed the knights to decide each season and hid you In a box so you would not blacken. Oh! How ungrateful you both are binding my hips with wax, sealing my Fruited gender in studded pins. I will fly through the purple hazed sky and find you locked elsewhere To the body of your father. Limbs knotted, you both oozing with sex. I will tear you back into me like a hair my kitten, Grating your ovaries into apple peel. I will commit murder. You both have to die. There is no other way for me to live. Now that my face is known to the blue glazed crooks I have sold many mirrors; I have melted down a million spoons For fear that I one day will be fingered like a key hole. The milk, little doll that you left in my breast has crinkled me Worn me into a weathered house emptied of nests. No man will summon me. No child will come but only the moon In her full enormity will guide me like a silver map. You see little doll, how you strangled my beauty With a phone line, so now I have to eat children. I have to lure them into my garden like a dying bird. It is the only way I can posses anything young. When their mothers turn up at my door Crystallized tears in eyes opened by groaning nails I invite them in and feed them their own child. Poor, dead little doll I live for this banquet. Screwing you and the father both. I will suckle their hides like a wild honey. I will feed delightfully from their bones Making ashtrays from their hands. Every child little doll is you And I will exact my revenge, targeting you in my scope. I will use tooth picks from your bones!
The medicine rounds ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I have become my own nurse. I am writing my own Prescriptions With the degree of Herr Docktor. I Can Visit Any man In a White coat. He will Stuff me With a years supply Of drugs. The pharmacist Will not think twice Of my hands That flutter Like dewy winged monarchs. Herr Docktor I am down to my final Glass of water, My final pill. Ten mgs is all it takes, Then the electric shock Of white powder. It is my husband that suffers. The sticky tar In my heart that muddies your stethoscope. This is madness Dressing wounds With your magic tricks. Sawing me in half But still I step out whole Without a stitch.
Last dance ~~~~~~~~~~ Death is an infection that grows in the mind Like an undiagnosed tumour. It buds on the cross, opens its soft legs Curiously. Gripping his hand, kissing his mouth Death took me to Belsen, to the rind of the end. We made love in the racks, against trees that cast no fruits. I felt a chill right through and my heart, that fluttering pulse Let the birds out in me and he tried to cage everyone. To put moss in my heart! To stuff me so full of old bones That car engines wait as executioners and ovens leave Their mouths open, like the moons humility Rancid and empty, inviting me in.
The bedroom ~~~~~~~~~~~ Part one: a saint in the house of woman I cut of all of my hair. Cut of my arms, My legs, lastly my heart. They no longer assume that terrible shadow Of fat bulbs or planets that grieve For their names to be scientific. I am a bleeding stump. I age like every other woman. Like a web, knotted in polluted dust and dead insects. Do you not walk on me? Your feet quietly involved with my hair. Do you not miss the weight of my arms? And my legs, that would twine about your neck Like twin vipers. The olive leafs are plump, they shine in the night Like eyes. You were my father long ago. You came and bundled me up in soft cotton and took me Back to Paris where your mother lay as a crippled ladder In a box. Her bald white skin came from a country that the Germans hated. She didn't speak. The ground held her tongue in a clip. Part two: at the cinema The women in the stage house rocked as bald sea lights Gathering a shinning coin from each of us. We walked, bent legged to our seat, Filed in as centipedes. My dress strap was torn in the front row. A boy held onto me. He thought I was a gay boy. So he was rough with me. Bruised my lips with stones and your face, father I know could have been his. Part three: a man in the boat of woman I am eating plate fulls of orange quarters. I am visiting your girlhood. I see you, father Sneaking behind the chairs like a threatened Cockroach. I feel sorry for you so I let you walk me home. The grasses screamed. My stomach swelled as you Drove a piston through me. I remember the pollen scattering lightly as Flour onto our dark heads. You said I had a halo. You lied! You lied!
Motherless scars ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Return me to the ground Because love has campaigned The edge of the river. Because the trees no longer find themselves Outdoors but in rootless museums. When I was eight a man Took me to the waters edge and held me under with his fist. I did not grow gills so The water filled my lungs like a basin, The water filled me like a vase. When I was ten the man told me How he wanted to fuck. I tied a ribbon around my waist And prayed to god Oh please don't let me be pregnant.
Silver parchment Act two ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1. Your wife beats on a drum, she makes smoke signals. I am her but thinner She is a born talker swallowed by her latest pregnancy. Flowering cotton pinned over a fat thigh. We do not know one another but share you Like a soap. Soon she will seed. She will become a tree And I will collect my lemons and walk cautiously Around her flaking trunk with an axe. For I am the other woman and she is red faced And clutching a gun. She is full of anaemic threats. 2. My love. Your wife is on to us. She has gathered her army of children And will soon be here To unpin your flapping body from mine. I will wear floral. I will give birth under a tree Howling as if pain had a face to break. I will blaze like an oil burner when she takes you Back to her country. I will hold my children like flags. I will take milk and grow hips I will fill a scrap book with loves evidence. 3. You have chucked me like an old shoe. I am pregnant. You must give every woman this disease. You placed a branch in each pot. The bees came. They planted a speck of pollen in us both. You took me down, old love into the death hour Covering the faces of your family from me against Our dead one. I let you pay for the operation. Turning my head into yours. Netting you once more like a fish. I rocked against your wife like a light house, Good as dead.
Without the city ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The grasses are tickled with silver. The thick dew Freezes over night forming A crystal blanket. In the morning I walk among them. Sneaking through a vest of nettle, A pouncing fist of jasmine, tugging fox paw from my jacket. Blue fields yawn and the house which stays empty between them Loses chairs and whispers. The windows seem to be searching. The lace of an iris pulls me down And out of the sea-green eye where my body sinks into blackness. I am home. *
Rodney Nelson AUBADE ~~~~~~ I got up in the morning did not have to but did but could imagine having to get down in it on a desert getting down to fend what might wait at the roadside which might not do it anyway but I got up on a prairie in the morning to meet the warm and color of how many a spring had there been did not have but wanted to but could imagine wanting to get up from the tatter of me on a desert road in the March morning wanting and not having to
MY PLACE ~~~~~~~~ Our purpose is to govern ourselves with one eye dreaming and one on the difficult balance at hand. George Evans We would be cold into bed a thick foam pad on the rug narrow but good you would watch me ease up out of it and hear my knee crack when I stretched in a room an apartment with no tele- vision only the memory of a reader's pipe smoke would you look with sorrow at the predawn luminescence in my window or would you vault to the day your body's glad prime too much for any second thinking no matter that the man of your moment might not last it I would be making antioxidant green tea not a meal would take my antihyperten- sive medication later once we had done our rollick out in some light field of green or snow having had not much choice but to live in and for the now once I had returned on my own to the neighborhood of the old quotation from "The Lightning Field" by George Evans, in The New World, Curbstone Press, 2002
RIVER LOOK ~~~~~~~~~~ Fat smooth river the Red in June heat we moved to its bank when I was four and I looked on the wealth of green that drooped into such muddy al- most nonmovement did so the other day and knew that my first look had not had to do with anything but the river and me not a walk in the oxbow almost wildwood or a crow or snapping turtle I had taken or met soon enough nor what I had gone through there as the kid in a young pied family no it had happened between me and the river a meeting that con- tained no memory and that I would be able to relive at any time not of time I ranged into the whiff the look of its al- most attractive yearning presence
PATH ~~~~ Thick dark June leaves crowding in on the river bypath where it has a turn are lovely and I know of words that would make the noon of them twitter and be unending for you but I do not have any that would tell how much I miss your unafraid look or how absent you are on the path
WHITE EASTER ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Flood margins in the park acreage had gone to ice and only the main of the river moved where we saw until we heard the gray honkers that flew down in it might have been delight but in the oppressing north wind no resurrected sun or god thereof could make a new time happen what were they doing here oh it did have heat enough to cut into piled snow at a brick south wall where a fraught robin was taking old seed head that trees had dropped in another time and what were we who needed none of this doing here the wind butted the current and it did all seem that we were doing *

POST SCRIPTUM


Biographical & bibliographical information


Ivan Blatny (1919-1990) is one of the most significant Czech poets of the 
twentieth century. Having achieved acclaim at a young age, Blatny defected 
shortly after the 1948 Communist coup. He was declared dead on Czechoslovak 
radio and his poetry was officially banned. Blatny went on to spend the rest 
of his life in obscurity in England, continuing to write with little prospect 
for publication. In the 1970s and 1980s some of his later poems made it into 
print thanks to the efforts of samizdat and exile publishers, but only after 
1989 was his work made publicly available again in his native country. 

The Drug of Art, forthcoming July 1, 2007 from Ugly Duckling Presse (Eastern 
European Poets Series #15) is the first major collection of Ivan Blatny's 
poetry to appear in English. It presents an overview of the poets' work, 
including early lyrics, later multilingual poems, a long poem in prose, and a 
selection of poems written mostly or entirely in English. 

The Drug of Art is translated by Matthew Sweney, Justin Quinn, Alex Zucker, 
Anna Moschovakis & Veronika Tuckerova and includes an introduction by Veronika 
Tuckerova, a foreword by Jesef Skvorecky, and an afterword by Antonin Petruzelka.

The Drug of Art: Selected Poems of Ivan Blatny can be ordered through the web 
(at http://www.uglyducklingpresse.org/page-blatny.html) or by check for $15 
(made out to Ugly Duckling Presse) mailed to the following address: 

Ugly Duckling Presse
at The Old American Can Factory
232 Third Street, #E002
Brooklyn, NY 11215

*

Jessika Tong

My name is Jessika-Pearl Tong` and my origins lie in Paris and Kent but 
I was born in New Zealand beside the first fake snow machine of the 
North Island. I grew up among a Pine forest, thus my company for trees. 
When I was ten my family relocated to Australia where I now still live in 
Brisbane with my cat and lover studying a Bachelor of fine arts. 
I am twenty-three and won my first poetry prize when I was eleven, it 
was a sad little purple bike which was later donated to fire.
I have been published in the Westerly, Polestar, The New England 
Review, Arrow Publishing, The Taj Mahal Review and the Speed poet's zine.
One editor commented "she has the gift of seeing beyond the banal and 
weaving ideas, people and images in a haunting, evocative manner."
I write what I feel, what I am. A recovered anorexic, a case file in 
hospital records "border-line personality disorder, tut-tut", an ex self 
harmer, a survivor of sexual abuse, a book worm, still thin but 
healthier writer, sometimes human being, completely moody, messy female. 
Writing is the most natural form of a self, it glues a society 
together, it elaborates. Bodily, it is a cage to hang ones self in.

*

Rodney Nelson

Rodney's Nelson's work got into print in 1970 (Georgia Review, Nimrod), 
and chapbooks followed; then he turned to fiction and plays, not writing a 
poem between 1982 and 2004. A lifelong nonacademic, he has worked as licensed
psychiatric technician and freelance copy editor in California and Arizona. 
Now he has returned to his native Great Plains. All of the poems are new that 
have been appearing in such zines as Cipher Journal, Big Bridge, and 
Archipelago. It	was as editor and novelist that Nelson was invited into the 
2000 edition of Who's Who in America.


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