YGDRASIL: A Journal of the Poetic Arts

January 2009

VOL XVII, Issue 1, Number 189

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



   Stephanie Kjaerbaek
      Dust settles...


   Alex Galper
      less than a second
      Up to the Heavens
      elementary cell
      memory is a bitch
      the ring snake patriot
   Linda Leedy Schneider
      Wind, Water, Fire, and Stone
      She Had Always Been Able
      Five Minutes Between
         Therapy Clients
      She is a green pepper
      The Rape of the Peony
   Entela Safeti Kasi


   Jerry Vihotti
      Storella: "A Place of Dark and Cold


Stephanie Kjaerbaek


Dust settles on edge of nigh
Through barren lines of silver
Bullets scattered on streets of gold
Carefully-drawn lines by ones who
Do as they're told

Mine is the force that lies within
Yours is the hand upon the womb
That serves time in fertile fields
That lay bare beneath the wind
Carefully stripped this year
Free of harvest on late August nights
A tranquil rest from

Fine Ariel raises his glass of wine
=2 0 And his words resonate within
Old symbols and stories jotted
Across straight, smooth surfaces
Polished instead of rough stone for jagged lines
Like the pattern of desert Bedouin

In my dreams, the landscape burns
As they fight the Hague
The surrendered cry
"Oh, the Lord of Tables is coming for his feast!"
All the barefoot crush grapes for wine
A fine shipment headed for Eastern shores

The pagans shall return to reclaim
All that they've been losing.


One of those strange vegetarian types
Who walks behind his friend without words
And yet is always motioning to speak
He wear glasses as thick as Morrissey
Creepier than most of his fans
He hides behind carefully-crafted normalcy
More than happy to stalk people
And yet offended by their fur and love of meat.
I am not fascinated
By flesh from bone eviscerated
Fancy me a pound of fish
Delicately coated in saucy bliss.


She'd sit around sucking on her sword
Till the edge cut the roof deeper
And blood escaped the wound
Oh, woman o' scorn should know better
Than to bleed for the bed that soaked
Up her dry tears while the ground became
Wetter from the rain how she dreaded.

Alex Galper

less than a second
the car in front 
slammed on the breaks : halt!
i learned to keep a distance 
and stop 
inches away
intuitively glance into the rear view mirror
a jeep is coming 
up on me from behind, fast;
the driver is on the phone
in seconds he'll notice 
that i'm at a standstill
but it'll be too late.
he'll slam into me 
with the full force of
rear collision
i'll be thrown forward, 
driving my front bumper
through the one parked in front;
there ain't nothing to do now
will the bags work...?
i lean back and press my head against the headrest...
less than a second left.

Up to the Heavens ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Outside, on a different planet somewhere Arctic winds chill to the bone and winter bites. But here : in a Palestinian hole on E2nd it is hot: carpets, pillows, hummus, a plate of kebabs. My friend commands respect here for his fluent Arabic. A former Mossad, he pulls on his apple hooka smiles at the waiter and whispers into my ear: "...How many o'our boys they's killed... how many o'theirs I'd packed up into the heavens!"
elementary cell ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ a beauty she strolled into the office demanding the state pay for her sex change operation since her elementary nature her cellular being is trapped like a caged nightingale without a way out of a 100% homosexual male who's already got the world's best boyfriend who is to be her husband the day after she gets that dick sowed on. i listened: as the fan pushed stale warm around the room i quoted Lao Tzu to her: "are you capable of understanding that you know nothing?" she rushed out of the office like a scalded animal, shouting: "i'll file a complaint! how dare you! you've got some crazy assholes working here!"
memory is a bitch ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ To M.R. so it goes: her work phone will be forgotten in a week, her cell in a month. give it a year and i won't remember her name. two more, and i won't recognize her face. is there nothing to be done? memory is a bitch.
the ring snake patriot ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ client Bob a Nam vet a junkie is calling the office begging for a house call: it's a matter of life and death. a broken mirror in the hallway syringes all about burned out floors and ceilings consequences of an imaginary napalm blast the walls bear a knife collection in the yard a patch of dirt, a hole and a shovel. in a cardboard box, on a pillow, draped in an American flag is Tom the ring snake who kicked the bucket. tame, reconciled god's creature... the stereo blasts the Star Spangled Banner Bob is firing off his gun in the air, weeping on my shoulder: "Tommy was a real American! That's why the Russians Killed him With space rays!" translated from Russian by Misha Delibash.
LOVE TERRORIST ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ AT night the phone is ringing at airport security. Woman sobs: --Must report a terrorist on the Moscow-New York flight! --With a bomb? --Enormous one! and tucked away in his boxers. . . driving me crazy day and night! --Contraband icons on him? --He illegally taken most sacred -- my heart! --Narcotics? --You bet! Been tweakin' three days because of him! --Generally, mam, we don't handle cases like this, contact Amur! But still. . . went a ahead and filled out a report, Tip is received, so better follow through The passenger is then thrown off the flight His luggage ransacked All the while He longingly gazes out of a window at his plane . . . gradually dissolving into a large pond of skies. Translated by Benjamin Zeitlin
Linda Leedy Schneider Wind, Water, Fire, and Stone ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It is the stone in her pocket, the rough one, with its vein of quartz, a hidden, forever fire. She can touch that stone, and no one knows. It is the beat of a bass drum that calls her body to consider rhythm, to remember the wash of waves that carried all forward in the march through twilight into night. It is that sunny day in March that stirs her desire for more, yet she feels suspended like a stemmed cherry captured in a cube of ice. Everything circles and dances like tongues of fire on the hearth, like a willow caught in the wind, like the confusion of waves before a storm, like that stone that blazes in her hand. * "Through My Window: Poetry of a Psychotherapist," Pudding House Publications, 2007., Word Riot.
She Had Always Been Able ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ to fall down deep into a flower. The wallpaper of the front hall that held the phone swirled with peonies. She counted leaves and petals as she listened to neighbors talk of gardeners, the new minister, and one fucking husband. Peonies swirled as she heard, "Now it's the teacher, Miss Rose that he is seeing." The first grade classroom with its lighted aquarium, gliding guppies, clean blackboards, stacks of papers ordered by color had been safe. She didn't need to count leaves, petals, or panes of glass to settle her mind until she strayed and listened in on that phone call Mr Clay with Miss Rose, the thought made the green walls pulse in and out. She began to count chalk, papers on the bulletin board. Mr Clay had three children. Mrs Clay, they said, was crying. She counted and recounted her fingers and toes She stepped over every crack on her way home worrying her mother had died or left with the postman. She washed her hands five times in the empty house before going to the swirling peonies to pick up that black phone again... * Rattle Magazine "Through My window: Poetry of a Psychotherapist," Pudding House Publications, 2007.
Five Minutes Between Therapy Clients ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Through my window I see swans floating on a man-made pond with a concrete fountain. Look into an impressionist oil over my desk. Lush peonies and always the one perfect petal-- fallen no insects, no rain, no rot, nothing grating or grotesque. In these minutes I see the painting's imperfect perfection for the first time: after the woman who last week found her husband naked with her sister-in-law, and before the college professor who doesn't know why he cries. * published in "Through My window: Poetry of a Psychotherapist," Pudding House Publications, 2007.; Word Riot
She is a green pepper ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ a globe of goodness. She rests on her haunches wears her favorite hat. She blushes, wishes to be wanted She wants to strip for you run in scalloped circles. Heavy with seed, she just waits for the cut of your knife. * "Through My Window: Poetry of a Psychotherapist," Pudding House Publications,2007
The Rape of the Peony ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I She would not have taken marigolds with their yellow fringed faces. She let them all keep their trumpeting daffodils, zinnias with petals layered like pheasant feathers, snapdragons standing on each other's heads, cosmos bowing before the breeze. She didn't take the green gazing ball or the roses trained to a trellis, but when the peony buds spilled pink petals layer on layer of lace and one sagged to the soil, she twisted -- took a stolen blossom to her bedroom. II Later when she opened her drawer. She found the peony crumpled like a used tissue and a brown stain on her pink nightgown.
Entela Safeti Kasi Tirane, Albania TALKING TO THE FLOWER ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ As you can't keep this forgotten ray This word bounded by flame Cry And the cloud of an empty sky Falls wherever raining And the unspoken sound of silence Plays inside the stone Happily that sadness, madness of verses... So I silently go off as the raven feather Black dress of times And there I am falling now and then And I just spring in a glance inside Insider as I am, and not I. Whispers caring that huge cliff Of the most difficult dearest compassion To find you in the eye's cloud The dust of the darken mist The highest mountain fallen On the bird's wing Over the frozen snow On the lake as the down rises The star of forgotten liturgies The flame Icon on the loneliness wall Ship without an anchored Birds are falling every where Now and then "We the next island" (!) Coming with the wind The whiteness empty page Where the raven stays and writes his "never more" The rings of the ivy window The willow tremendous tear The hoary dreaming of the sinless garden The lost sound of veins Whiteness lilies Brown leafs of falling trees... The deepest coral shines That massive water, scared of every little drop The lack of destiny as an empty glass Poured by tears and prays In the Sunday dinner Or the lost land When you see the next island existing As memories We, the deserted island... I talk to my flower The unsaid words of rain The winter gets the bulbs still unborn Spring less The wet curly shells Hidden in the limits of nonexistence That watering mouth Waves and waves innocently bone and flesh The grown pain, ancient illness Of gloomy steps If I don't step there is a mirror in my wonderland A lost inch of heaven Into yours fallen eyes on every inch of the skin And getting burned of the icy sculpture I freeze outside the day And stay On the same soil And plant another flower of sadness As the wind could come And makes it A poem Or a salvation So I said everything Naked in front of your lilies When you say and accept Love and death the same The beginning of every world and all hidden worlds But, I don't know If the writing does not exist Will I be ever more a woman?! Fearless and happily a woman So I wrote every word Every sound of silence By the solid drop of water And if there is no sea or ocean Could I stay paralyzed in any shape?! Could I not be sad, not mad? The most difficult tag Song and flame So I send you every form of cloud Every color of that rainbow Every weigh of sand, soil and stone Every plant, And all the solitude Of words Remaining Not I!!! A poem
NOT IN EROS NOT IN SOLITUDE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I have betrayed When I was looking for an abut point In 22 Gold Lane PRAGUE, at the Astronomic time Of the haven clock with imbues. Like white horses of solitude In the minute of thousand loves Man less. Because you are The same land pointed Like the walls of the house which keeps us, Because you are a pebble made of the sea Because you are poetry Of the dream mosaic And roots Leaves of the book covering And wooden pages Because you are a part in my bed Where the unsaid word is said In absolute intimacy Fearless Because you are me! Yes, in 22 Gold Lane Prague. In the bed of central woods As an ivy Or like the leaves of the grape Covered Untouched of nothing in common Unreal Like all surrealists Like the snowy nights of KORCA In the chamber of Christmas EVE Looking for declared words, The denial The holy forbidden, the sin When you do not only love But from the dead people you chose And you ignore they who live, Nights of paradise into loneliness Fearless, Ways where you go without people The eyes photography Of cold sculpture - time Like an horizon or parallel Never meridian, Or pole, The meaning of the word "Forgive me" Like a glaze smile, When you forget or implore as usually There is not heart broken, Nor apostasy Because I have wonted the point of abut In 22 Golden lane Prague Not in Eros, not in solitude At postmortems
TALES ~~~~~ Why to worry? The dream flies blazes And it is burned over waters. You go silently in the world ways. In foreign lands, The earth doesn't give you gravity. While birds screamed, I didn't believe to be you! Why this flow of my river Hitches such ardor! I can't hear your voice Through havoc timber of haggard I can't resist the pains. Poles are abutting to one point So, don't step by the lack Of the man to people! Don't worry if birds in the winter Crowds of crowds in the earth hang on! Endlessly Margaritas in the garden Used to be ugly into one night The hoary gets Don't you ignite! Don't you ignite than! The crazy woman and the witch Go on the parallel of moments Of this modern sin The cormorant opened the nails so bad. My son, If yours unreturned solar tours Ignites your revenge, Some where a death waits for me You will follow like the light To my mortal being! Somewhere a sorrow waits for me... The history started From my abdomen To your ax And this unspoken tale I am telling to myself Because the ways crashed themselves And I don't know If I gave the birth to you Or you gave the life to me!
THE WHITE SNOW FLOWER FLIES ON A GEM ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The white snow flower is served Like mushrooms With a few leaves of grasses On a crystal plate with fish scales Like its eyes are the book covers Words are pebbles, plants Like every flower in the garden of the Eden sinless. The time like fins, firsthand Because the night runs gloomily We hedge off stars, havens By direct words Which don't make sense. Because in the same direction is the humanity And we lose, found by eventualities Like red fish. Forget the water and die! From the disorder of the molecule Two hydrogen! One oxygen! The oxygen breath by the water, with your perfect sense! Silently sad, sinking, Because this chaos instinctively For gold and wars, Battles of dirty things, To die it is enough. One oxygen air For the fish, The perfect creation of beauty The white snow flower Swims in the crystalline, Where the red fish relaxes So, the people of the Sunday dinner Are people Nor sea, Nor lakes Or water which flows. They are not bridges! Nylon socks for women Like intrigue Or red gladiolas First class suits unreachable From women heads Harlots of poverty Likely gushy moon... If could come back the grandmother from faraway, Within her head like the winter white snow flower Near the lake shore she would begin the song For the fisherman And she would tell to the goat The man' shorn


Jerry Vihotti

Storella: A Place of Dark and Cold	

When Johnny moved into the new house in a town called Burywater, a hundred 
miles north of his beloved Bronx, since it was periodically buried by waters 
of hate and jealousy and across from the swamps that were adjacent to dead 
cornfields from which grew radio towers with their red blinking lights where 
he would play baseball doing  his thing on one leg since the Burywater doctor 
had taken growth cells from the leg when he was trying to find the little 
stream of water running inside Johnny's knee, where the nurse with her smile 
of death would play jokes on her elderly patients who would die soon and the 
boy called Arnold who was burned in a Burywater woods by so-called friends 
who wanted the little "kike" to suffer like their Christ had done on His 
wooden cross and after a week of he and the boy full of bandages, whose eyes 
were wisps of black smoke, exchanging comic books, long silences and their 
names would die and when he told the nurse he wanted to go to that better 
place the nurse said little Arnold had gone to she told him he had died and 
gone back to Palestine where his chosen people would do unto them what had 
been done to their he had felt coldness and as he became older and his parents 
closer to old age, the darker became darker still for only one light would 
shine to the outside while his mother wore her sweater constantly to ward 
off the dampness of the swamps as he, an eight year old with a leg that 
continued to hurt if coldness or a touch happened on it, sat by the wall near 
the stove where small bits of heat gushed up from beneath the floor from 
smoldering coals that were half buried by ash white waste and in a very big 
way this mother resented his surviving her old body that was not supposed to 
bear anymore fruit according to another high priest doctor who did not want 
to see anymore of these kinds of people coming  into his world so saying her 
miscarriage, four years before Johnny's birth, had forever imposed the verdict 
of "no more babies" and she wondered if she would not have joined the good 
doctor, who often witnessed children dying of hunger confirming the wish to 
suffer the little children, if Johnny were naked and freezing to throw with 
him chunks of spat-on wood to the direction of frostbite and she told Johnny 
to go down into the bowels of the cellar and put more coals into the furnace 
which he would do--yelling up to her it would take a long long time for warmth 
to climb up the steep stairs to enter bones and all the cold cold rooms and 
then be able to replace all the swirls of black smoke spewing forth from 
factory stacks that hovered over the place called Burywater.



All poems copyrighted by their respective authors. Any reproduction of
these poems, without the express written permission of the authors, is

YGDRASIL: A Journal of the Poetic Arts - Copyright (c) 1993 - 2009 by 
Klaus J. Gerken.

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