YGDRASIL: A Journal of the Poetic Arts

October 2008

VOL XVI, Issue 10, Number 186

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



   Kristina Marie Darling
      Les Fenetres
      The Homecoming
      The Patron
      The Orchestra
      The Death Watch Beetle

   John McKernan

   Toby E. Baldwin
      First Movement
   Peycho Kanev 
      spiritual kill
      some non-important thoughts
      Seasons in the abyss
      Puppet on the string
      save me the world

   Rose Grimaldi
      Underground Cultivator
         Thirty Years Old 
      Time Is Ben
         Thirty Two Years Old
         Thirty-four Years Old
         Thirty-six Years Old


   A Clayton Eshleman Reader


Kristina Marie Darling

Les Fenetres

We drive to a window factory and traverse its rooms, the summer night pale as 
the steeple of a church. Behind each door, you dust locks, turn hinges, 
dragging your signal flares and your phosphorus glow.  A yellow light catches 
spots in each pane as we count the saints on dim clerestories.  Soon I ask, 
one word at a time, mouthing into the watery dusk: Est-que je ne suis pas une 
fenetre?  You turn from the work, appalled, our reflections like sand burning 
into glass. A porous moon stares through the doorframe. The locks say nothing.  
The Homecoming

Once he returned from a long trip and found dozens of dead canaries.  They 
littered the terrace, his doorstep, every dirty windowsill, casting strange 
yellow light and tiny shadows.  That night he tried to clear the cobblestones 
of their otherworldly debris, humming Dvorak and muttering to himself.  A 
coffee pot rattled in the kitchen. Then he stopped, leaving feathers to drift 
in each corner, the old grey house still an homage to some other life. 

The Patron

Come in, the cellist said, showing her up a flight of dusty stairs. She 
recalled the thin wooden railings from her last visit, when they found 
canaries nesting in a cor ridor. Tonight, their song waxes with her 
restlessness, ticking like a metronome into the dark blue night. At this the 
musician begins to stare. He brushes their pale feathers from his tuxedo, 
buttoning his long silk gloves.  The woman rifles through her pocketbook. 
The Orchestra

My instrument is a splintered viola that no longer sounds.  And its strings 
snapped one by one, curling like vines into the greenish night. When the 
connoisseur left, with his gold pocket watch and unsightly bifocals, every 
concerto grew oddly dissonant.  The conductor wanted nothing but to count 
aloud. The halls still ring with the sound of his tally, a rapt audience 
humming along. 
The Death Watch Beetle

She can hear the ticking of the death watch beetle, boring through her 
trellis like a miniature auger. On evenings like this, the woman keeps time 
by the sound of snakflies grumbling across a colorless sky. And when their 
buzzing swells in her tired ears, she fastens the latch on every window, 
recoiling. Her house still hums with shrill opera. As she sleeps, the song 
grows louder and more dissonant. 

John McKernan

Can pick
Any lock

The muscle
From any bone

At noon before siesta
My shadow hides
Inside a tiny scar on my lip  
Seeps into dust as I snore

With the dream
Of sleep
In full daylight   Where
Each eye is packed with imitation midnight
Wrapped tight in skin

THE COCKROACH ON THE CEILING ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Is modeling Lenin's Underwear No That is a forelock of Robespierre's wig You silly screw Can't you tell Mao's right testicle From his left ear? If some of us pray now It's a prayer For the laser knife To slice certain ideas From our skulls
SPIRITUAL COMPASS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Nothing appears at the edge Of the plate It's been there All day beside a dead ant The nun wants to pray It away but she is lonely Perhaps a door slams loud or A tone in the intersection Of shadow interests her Having learned how many Colors of green & blue there Are to love in this world "Perhaps I could become A dictionary" she says "I know the meaning Of some words so thoroughly No one need turn a page" At that moment she opens Her hands her eyes her lips When a bell clangs overhead "I thought I did but no I do not want the stigmata" She tells her confessor At lunch "I want music And a small garden to hoe"
WHERE DO YOU CARRY YOUR PAIN? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Do you stash it In a safe deposit box Lug it beneath a bruise The color of an eggplant In an ear or a hip or inside an ankle Is there any room Any empty space Inside your body That could be loaded With more memory of additional pain? Look over there That starving old man With the large bloody spoon in his paw Bending to a bowl of alphabet soup He will only pick out and eat the O's He says he can hear them scream in Braille
Toby E. Baldwin First Movement ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When, In Autumn, The Trees Are Bending And I Am Sleeping In Bed With You And You Are Sleeping In Bed With Me, All Our Windows Are Full Of Light And I Am Pretending To Dream, Then It Is Spring In Our Arms And We Are About Ourselves Suddenly Thrown, And The Whole World Is Again And Again Moving. When The Wood Around The Fire Is Gathered And We Are Lit By The Light Of Laughter, And The Trees Are Bending Down To Me And I Am Bending Down To You, Then We Are Again And Again Suddenly Sleeping.
Insecting ~~~~~~~~~ Its hinged body bent a wing of blue light, then dangled in the air like a bell before it fell and was swallowed by the room.
Specimens ~~~~~~~~~ I. Autumn's falling leaves Wind Through Slow fog sighing in trees' reaching Limbs, That whisperingly leaning in: Shhh. II. The tree roots, Leaves, Breeze, And branches move. III. When moving trees Leaflessly bend, Flowers Folding in wind fall. IV. In sadness flowers bloom, From dirt roots move Through, Leaning to grow.
Undulanthades ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In waking hours of lost attention to pillows of fro st and moon. Light windows through to sheets smooth and up set. A dream frog slapping its wet belly against the sudden sid ewalk, and then the forest wakes in shimmering long oaks b ending in moving wind and I don't want to walk away from thi s dream and wake up falling asleep in your car trying to find it again.
Peycho Kanev spiritual kill ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ hatred in the air my love must crawl wherever it can crawl eyes deep into mine heavy breaths screaming my love crawl please, let me be me let you be you let them have you let me be.
some non-important thoughts ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ yes, I drink a lot but I am not a drunkard I am drinker and my liver don't like it and my kidneys too but my soul love it I consider my self some sort of a poet and maybe that's why I need the stuff so much but there are so many of them poets, poets, poets and almost everybody write even their girlfriends yes, and I love to sit here with my legs stretched on the couch to listen to this sad sad songs and to pour down in my belly these bottles of wine and I also love to eat olives and avocado to wear black not to watch TV but most of all I love to sleep on my left side I don't care for the elections and for the miss America I just swim with the sharks here in this game but there are so many of them poets, poets, poets and they write non-stopping even their girlfriends but I could drunk them down, baby oh yes, and they girlfriends too they give me sicknesses and toothache they make me dizzy and confused they make me disgusted and angry and now I can't even sleep on my left side.
Seasons in the abyss ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ the moon is high again and full like a Turkish lira our silence fall harder on the rocks in our hearts fulfilled by the dark your hand in mine we walk our pace our heart beat and soon enough our sweat but right now we reach the empty harbor then we see the fire camp light and like lost mosquitoes we go towards it there are 3 old fishermen they all nod at us with a smile do you remember? and we sit by the fire and one of them reaches in his torn back pack and bring out big demijohn full of blood red wine and you took just a tiny sip and I took big gulps oh these 3 old fishermen with their beautiful wrinkled old faces with their toothless smiles they told us stories about the sea they told us parables about horror and death and we listen in stupor I put my hands against your face and when I divide them your face is two perfect moons. do you remember? I try to do the same now alone in my dilapidated room reaching with my hands for the moon but when I bring them together nothing is changed here just this unbearable harsh darkness and I _
Puppet on the string ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I remember the time I don't remember anything there was year after year and many moons after the suns many kisses roses fights churches museums funerals weddings birthdays wars bombs and bombs again I remember everything and I don't remember you can you tell one fly from one angry panther? one white cloud one heart in barb wire one dried lips one dried sheet one_ kill them softly and pet them on their beautiful tails and then jump from the bridge this poem becomes silent for ever.
save me the world ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ drinking pints and pints of cheap Italian wine drinking with my friends under this naked light bulb in that small room only one table ramshackle walls and the roaches crawl on our bare feet we talk about the next rent the next job the lost loves the loneliness the happiness the moon the death drunk I think is this world failed us all or just some lives are made to be wasted?
confession ~~~~~~~~~~ behind the shades hiding from the sun I think of agony when there's nothing better to do with empty bottle of wine and out of cigarettes I think of pain when the love is gone away and while other man go to work in searching of their hairy fat dreams and some perfect girls make love at 8 am I look at the carpet redder from my blood and I put a smile on my face like a relentless tarantula I look at the crack on the wall and I say: Hey, where the life goes when it stops?
Rose Grimaldi Underground Cultivator Thirty Years Old ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ He is plump - full and fat - with a long, smooth and reddish- brown body that slithers like a snake and gurgles like a worm. Underground so deep in the fertile earth - in his own tunnel winds through other dark tunnels, which he makes around -straight ahead - while he airs the earth for many miles more. Ingenious is this little worm who -burrows many channels in the earthy dirt - by mixing old sun dried leaves, rich soil, and his own mucus for the new earth. Small in size - the earthworm is large for earth's ecology
Time Is Ben Thirty Two Years Old ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Many white opal pieces that look like colored stained glass in church encompass the faces of Ben, with bordered gilded gold surrounds the faces that shine as the sun strikes the edifice so grand. Ben protrudes to greet the open sky and Ben spans spaciously wide like an oversized couch. The sun's intensity subsides during the sunset; a diminutive amber hue reflects on Big Ben's tannish-brown stone brick facing - up to the clock in a funnel shaped charcoal iron frame to summit stick atop. Masses who are so inspired by the master grandfather clock engulf its antiquity in Gothic d‚cor with all the royalty, priority, and formality that Ben's momentous appearance bestows to the observers. Obedient Londoners serve their Queen and bow to her command - Big Ben serves her majesty as he permanently stands patient awaiting her pronouncement. Big Ben - a rusty copper bell persists, for the sound it resonates on the hour; melodic chimes on the quarter. Londoners on a misty night sometimes expect mystery and intrigue. Mystery of a perilous nature continues always, for Scotland Yard still solves murders today, as Sherlock Holmes solved cases in the past eras. Even now present day, in the distant obscured dark evening, - a towering, tall figure appears motionlessly still, but only the eerie clock eyes illuminate in a bright, beguiling yellow glow - which peer down on a shadow passing by like a startling Halloween night. Fear! - Fear not, - it is only Big Ben overseeing people from afar and ready to ring the eleven o'clock hour. Time is timeless -it just lingers around us - lurking behind us. It reappears when punctuality is summoned by the two hammers of Ben ringing - since time is yesterday, today and tomorrow. Time is always.
Mother Thirty-four Years Old ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The sun is shocked like the walls that are canary yellow in early morning and breakfast. In soft conversation we continue; she encourages me. Coffee sweetened with sugar we share - one cup, maybe two. Caruso`s voice is honeyed golden. Words I learn - that we may sing along. arms open. She touches my face, eyes so bright and blue that broaden. As the small lady crouches down to pull the covers. Lowered down close to me, Is that smile, the thank you my mother seeks?
Illuminate Thirty-six Years Old ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Gray darkness creeps to night as the orange sky slips. Vibrant moonlight appeals as glow worms appear. Around in circles glow worms do hover while they too catch mates or morsels. They hide in the gray ledge crevices in green wet marshes, for glow worms do blink their blue tails.




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these poems, without the express written permission of the authors, is

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