YGDRASIL: A Journal of the Poetic Arts

June 2010

VOL XVIII, Issue 06, Number 206

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



   Arkava Das
      seek him
      processing notes


   Daniel Gallik
      Houses Burn Better At Noon In Poor Neighborhoods
      Love In High School
      The Simple Life

   Ben Nardolilli
      At Rest and Full of Labor
      Under the Red, White, and Blue
      Problems of Present Day Adventists
      Separated in Adolescence
      Father Time

   Felino A. Soriano
      Approbations 196
      Approbations 197
      Approbations 355
      Approbations 356
      Approbations 357

   Stuart Quartermaine
      Temptress Tomorrow

   R. N. Taber


   Arkava Das
      Process Notes


Arkava Das

seek him

whylom// hush he// legended necropolises crafted// masse shots// at some paranymphal// scuttle// butt ends polychrestic 
stains// polymath tell offs// unfurled cots under// the fury of the old stars//, mull, yawn, zettahertz unk-je abhorrer// 
send unfavorable hoggy lad//, life on demand//overfeasted, burlapped, buried, outstripped// semaphores in series//Onappo 
onboard alert// cymbals mutual deadlocks//good shake unsonable unfond//  kitabi gigs// axes swing the ramp mythifying night 
lamp land// minerals chatty sidesteps clodpolls//grump NOWTHE Chaucer profess// professionalizing// reinvestigates worried 
gimps//lite rehabilitation// donative devyses// lye from last night// satipatthana// undiscipled// counterpoise rusticwork// 
loth attacks// meninx flay ownership// expose fearlessly// rot ways//. t(r)acking em// retrievable cubs// pluperfect gaps// 
marketing apperception// nips//slips//spedde him

Process Notes

These poems form part of a series-a treatment of socioeconomic rituals- losing the signifying chain for a heart-stopping 
instant before picking up the thread and forging a more subjective intension -a (terra)forming/mapping thru wordplay and 
fracturing/subduing defensive structures. The series draws on postcolonial forms/diction liberally, acting/breathing in the 
liminal third space of cultural enunciation as conceptualized by Homi K. Bhaba. The disjunctive units form a continuous 
gradient by their use of shibboleths/ disciplinary vocabularies and environments.

Daniel Gallik


She happened to be memorabilia.
All her life she squirreled away
bits of knowledge like her mother
hid love of her ancient father. 

She kissed men on the cheek.
The woman was nervous, 
every second she straightened
her blouse below her old belt.

Had never had intercourse
with her husband. He died,
and left her his glass eye. He
also left her a lot of his finances.

His child he only left his car.
It was an old, rusted Ford Falcon.
She hated her step-daughter,
hated the way she would cry.

Houses Burn Better At Noon In Poor Neighborhoods ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I told my mom I don’t want Jimmy to get the ball. Yeah, she knew what I was talking about. She smiled. She fixed me some bacon and eggs, two slices of her wheat bread with her blueberry jam. At the same time my girl was calling me. She said, you ain’t talking. I know that’s bad. I said, talk to you later. Jimmy was sleeping in at his house. I found out the parents were in Gainesville. I noticed the temp there was near 90. I thought their house ought to be a few degrees more. Went to Lana’s house that night to watch the news. She told me she was fibbing about Jimmy asking her out. We watched the news. She said she was sad that local guy died in his house as it burned to a crisp. There was no name given. Lana was nice that way. My mom had a bourbon waiting when I got in at midnight. Said she thought I could be a boss over at Lancer Industries. I hugged my pillow that night. I felt deep down that I like, really like to see things get done.
Delusion ~~~~~~~~ I feel exonerated, stated the lady by her sink. Still, she was consumed by the association she possessed. She owned a surprising anger. Nelly was used to burying secrets. These she thought about a lot. Her eyes shifted into a neutral. Why can’t I feel innocent anymore? Just then her husband walked in. He kissed his wife at the sink. Said, are you feeling a bit better? Did not listen, went to take a nap. Later, she was still at the sink. The phone rang. No one answered. It was then she knew she was guilty.
Love In High School ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Guys don’t gossip. This was spoken in a high school. The teacher gave a detention to Mark Havensmith for talking in class. Mark never told his mom. In fact, no one, even at the school, heard about this. Mark’s girl was a sophomore named Mary. She asked him what the problem was. Mark said, how did you hear about it? Mary whispered, I love you. I love you. I love whatever you say. Mark started to cry. Mary started to cry. The kids at h.s. heard they were getting married. They told the counselor. He called the parents. Both parents sat down with Mary and Mark, and planned for the truth.
The Simple Life ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Dinner. He said, what does that have do with love? She was showing some darting eyes. He commented, well? She was still silent. He walked into the kitchen. He boiled some eggs. Un-canned some tuna fish. 7Up. Tore open some chips. She was waiting. Then she got up, came into the kitchen. She said one word. Maggio’s. He turned off the tea kettle. He went to their bedroom. She stayed in the kitchen because it had a door that led to the car. He laid on their bed. The next day came. He was still in bed. The car was gone. Maggio’s had one more diner. A man asked her what she was doing. She said, Maggio’s.
Ben Nardolilli At Rest and Full of Labor ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The master of his art and smithing, He took out the arrow and broke it in two, Said there was a direction, A place to go out and explore, But there was a gap, a division, And it was up to me to bring the beginning Enough order to reach out forever.
Under the Red, White, and Blue ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The two-car garages close their mouths, And the semi-detached mansions Lower their lids whenever I pass, The children remain playing, But the students hide if they have books, And the commuters switch to other benches. Even those who have come here recently, Have picked up that I'm bad luck, A reminder that it may not always work out, Or that if it has, There's no reason to suppose the dream Has anything left to tell them. I found the symbols it gave A tiring procession, cars, vacations, ties, shoes, and grass, Grass, always grass above everything else, Grass everywhere, but under us, Grass in each of these dreams and always to be trimmed, Like my beard and hair. The popular interpretations Make no sense to me, like dreaming of tragedies, Enacted long ago by ersatz Thebans, I have a dream of my own, And celebrate the house empty except for people And the grass allowed to freely grow over me.
Problems of Present Day Adventists ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Mathematical structures of marshmallow cubes, Their applicability to certain red hands, Describe the certain way a woman's nose feels. It would in fact make fools of clouds, The special formulas give us bread to eat And the properties of argon are hard to read. But we cannot predict when the ground will move, Even if we accept the secular world, The idea that man is just a light bulb thinker.
Separated in Adolescence ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Every man looks better than me, They can buy favors with their masks, I must carry change, even my signature Is too ugly for anyone's faith. Every man looks so comfortable, As if they are sitting in their body Like an armchair, unable To get up, but never wanting to. Even the ugly ones, are perfectly ugly, And in the dark their faces Are beautiful to those who enjoy Feeling the fruits and vegetables In the farmer's market, They're a hit with the organic crowd. And every woman I think Is stronger than me, They always carry those bags, So much of their life, and debris With them, always prepared. And their heels look so thick, Like the coils of a suspension bridge, With the benefit of only one pillar, Carrying them well over the sidewalk With those little vessels raised off the ground. The thin ones who manage to feel the cold In any room, or at any latitude, They shiver but shiver so strongly, Lifting the whole weight of their body, All I can do is shave involuntarily And then I know it's time for orange juice and bed.
Father Time ~~~~~~~~~~~ stand outside the diner, Long hair, long robes, The whole white works, And hold my pocket watch, Sans chain, in front of them, And when they realize I'm looking at them they wonder Who has a pocket watch, Who has such a long beard, And how did I find them? I never change direction, I stay in place and the hands Keep making their Magellanic rounds, As they continue to sit, munch, And marinate, wondering What sort of commotion I want to bring for them.
Felino A. Soriano Approbations 196 —after Archie Shepp’s Cousin Mary Left the family value based-concept-opening landed sans vernacular wings of the flutter stuttering avalanche more so maritime existence her fancy, faceless and overage of bodily surplus, cousin found new familial fortune outside the desert dry language pushing her elsewhere, yes yes she’s renewed under sedentary spell of motivating otherness.
Approbations 197 —after John Zorn Chronology Birth deity struggle first exhale womb-insulation freedom faculty ironic spasm among opening dilated entrance, sporadic on count of each and specified fearful moments. Cry ! waken-walk soon toward the death of mention the name of you etched on stone-face stone housing erected semblance of living spectrum.
Approbations 355 —after Charles Gayle’s Thy Peace Contaminated memories softened by hands of thrust, rearranging warmth and callused adjectives; therefore shaper of silent adoration, a sleeping child burgeoned green of a stem’s leaning scent. Found amid skeletal happiness the peace of moving abdication away from the now-theory hiding virtue and various synonyms forming atop the movement of dedicated ataraxis.
Approbations 356 —after Steve Lacy’s Day Dream Mirage, her, smiling. Distant, reclusive experiment, my walking altered by impulsive stares, encircling her. She watching acrobatic stained glass of a monarch butterfly’s curious ascent. My watching becomes habit, conceptual elation.
Approbations 357 —after Evan Parker’s Out of the Pocket Rises a summer breath hot melted handles unable to hide with steam of dragging tail similar to the surname interfering with adequate contemplation.
Stuart Quartermaine Temptress Tomorrow ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Today was once tomorrow, Offered hope but proffered sorrow. The caverned past in ancient days Pre-saged new dawns with splendid rays. The golden end that spurs our lust We gladly will consign to dust. Future feigns to fight our causes, Soothing comforts clothing clauses; It nourishes and milks our dreams Then snaps to snare us in its schemes; Inspired voyages perilous Then wrecks and loots us off the coast. Reveries, narcotic vices, All extracting greater prices, Are sirens sounding overseas, Seducing us to spread disease. Yet still we rise and raise a crew To savour disappointments new.
Hubris ~~~~~~ Where is my tenacity? I need it now the most. Where's the innervating jolt That made me bounce and boast? Did it leech my energy And leave me as a ghost? Toxic fluids flowing, Neutering my will to strive ... Jammed excretions make me Wish I'd never been alive. Specs of strength in context: Feeble dupes to be despised. Exogenous pretensions Crush all cores dishevelled. Conceited kings, and clowns, by Common fate are levelled. They both embrace extinction, Shun ambition's devils. Oblivion, not strife: I seek the path most placid. My innards cease their war, Release their toxic acids. My body's brought to rest By nerves peacefully flaccid. Come the crack of dawn, Tenacity's reborn, Plays chicken with Anubis. Smug and insolent All weakness it repents And seeks new heights of hubris.
R. N. Taber BEST SEATS AT THE OPERA ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Spring in the air, songs of life we only ever hear if we listen out for birds and bees and others such as these that form a golden chorus in settings of silver, blue, green, red and yellow Though humankind try to copy, modify or destroy, it can but fail to silence songs Earth Mother teaches her children from seedlings to a passing through rehearsals for the Opera of Life Lights down and only Pan’s pipes heard, keeping us quiet until the next act begins and puts us through changes - to a curtain call that, brief as it may be, brings history in line with humanity’s performance poetry Though we be deaf, blind or dumb the Poetry of Spring can be seen heard and passed on by everyone, though the moon by night or the sun by day - lifting songs from footprints left in dead clay by poets of the day
HARVESTING IMAGINATION ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Wheels of the mind winding down; though time play fast and loose with us, we’ll reap a harvest of imagination A smile but lost its way in a frown seeks sanctuary in Cinderella memories, wheels of the mind winding down Though dignity wear a faded gown as it stumbles through a Hall of Mirrors, we’ll reap a harvest of imagination A heart that wears love’s crown, soars with grace on the wings of silence, wheels of the mind winding down Love’s spirit unbowed, unbeaten, turning the pages of life’s kinder stories, we’ll reap a harvest of imagination Among spoils of battles lost and won, pathways to peace for all benign ghosts; wheels of the mind winding down, we’ll reap a harvest of imagination [Note: Inspired by a television interview given by the author Sir Terry Pratchett in the early stages of Alzheimer’s...]
SHADES OF COMIC GENIUS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ We stripped naked under a leafy sky, saw our bodies turn to gold, for a while forgot about growing old Rediscovering youth’s feisty passion, we surfed its glorious tide, put aches, pains and home truths aside A balmy breeze gave us its blessing and songbirds sang an amen while halcyon days revisited us again Though years pass and take their toll, the spirit of adventure remains to seize the day, throw off its chains If love is the greatest adventure of all, sex is but half the story, a shared empathy its power and glory We dressed quickly, nature applauding bodies frayed at the seams acknowledging its comedy of dreams
GAY IN IRAQ ~~~~~~~~~~~ I saw your name among the obituaries and it leapt out at me; I closed my eyes and could see you as if it were but yesterday telling me you’re gay and I confiding the same, in tears… and we kissed, let love embrace us in its eternal flame, swore we’d stop this world, mad as it is, parting us for who we are… for even now, gay lovers are made to ride a roller coaster of prejudices, especially those among its armed forces… although it’s supposed to be so much easier now, gay people accepted for running the same risks as colleagues in wars where weapons are fired and suicide bombers about… although still a war of words to fight for the few brave enough to come out and be seen walking tall though made to feel small time and time again among the ranks of those same men and women who carried you with a show of pride for one whose flagged coffin might so easily have been their own, any among them who had died All’s fair, they say, in love, war, glory, but your letters tell a different story
ON THE BATTLEFIELDS OF LOVE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ There is a gene amongst others that scares fathers, concerns mothers, while (still) gay people everywhere crying out for them to care No matter colour, sex or creed, it is on love that families should feed; (where faith a mask for hypocrisy, religions often found guilty) Gay people have a right to be free of cultural prejudices and bigotry making us feel we must defend our sexuality to the end… It’s good to be open, honest, true, but what are gay people supposed to do when love for family put on the line, urging us our selves to redefine? If a faith in God fills heart and soul, how can gay people expect to reconcile teachings of universal love and peace with examples holy leaders set us? We can but follow love’s golden rules, (if made to carry its burdens like mules) in a common humanity put our trust, shake off its exceptions, like dust Some will always find excuses for war, gay and straight folks wage another?
HIGH SEAS RESCUE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Once I didn’t give a damn about where I was or who I am, even less what I was doing or where I was going, the kind of life I was generally leading… no time for forward planning or positive thinking, content just to get high on drugs, and binge drinking, no matter the cruise liner I am on is sinking; then hear a cry, ‘Abandon ship!’ dived into the dark high seas of hell and woke up in hospital Among the survivors, only I lived to tell the sorry tale of a life that had no meaning, everyone in it long past caring about what I was doing or where I was going, the kind of life I was generally leading… no time for forward planning or positive thinking, content just to get high on drugs and binge drinking, no matter I’m close to hitting self-destruct and time running out Those wasted years made me the kind of person I try to be now, telling everyone I meet how life only has purpose and meaning when you’re kind and caring, make time for forward planning and positive thinking… say ‘no’ to getting high on drugs and binge drinking, offer a helping hand to others as you would have them do, if only to be saved from drowning in those killer seas too
LOGGING ON TO LIFE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ We look, yes, but how to make sense of a world turning, no matter what or who and how to make a difference? We hear, yes, but how to make sense of gobbledegook, no matter what or who and how to make a difference? We smell, yes, but how to make sense of much-doctored scents turning the air blue and how to make a difference? We taste, yes, but how to make sense of the additives and preservatives hullabaloo and how to make a difference? We touch, yes, but how to make sense of sticky stuff on a knife bent on killing you and how to make a difference? We can but do our best to make sense of a world turning, no matter what or who and try to make a difference [Poems from: On The Battlefields Of Life by , Assembly Books, 2010]


Arkava Das


vallum succeeds everyhow// then hushed this code aspiring// wag bicep duffer // dyslogia clampdawn// spent scurrying from 
pea sized bed// allied to milky fragments spray guns driving before the streets// fractured meso podiums abecedarian topo 
eyebrows Echinite// jut more and more secedes poker skull//stomata// overbrake pores the west wind at 14 kmph //aaj ka taaza
khabar//Mumbaikar alert //stay away from suspicion in the train, bhaiyas and locals jostle to take up equal bodies. Oh rough
edged photo cult, aged pacifist married off to a bull. Scaffoldings hot, enwombing true-hacker //waits daily at Nariman 
Point, lips pursed //all-shine// 

Process Notes

These poems form part of a series-a treatment of socioeconomic rituals- losing the signifying chain for a heart-stopping 
instant before picking up the thread and forging a more subjective intension -a (terra)forming/mapping thru wordplay and 
fracturing/subduing defensive structures. The series draws on postcolonial forms/diction liberally, acting/breathing in the 
liminal third space of cultural enunciation as conceptualized by Homi K. Bhaba. The disjunctive units form a continuous 
gradient by their use of shibboleths/ disciplinary vocabularies and environments.


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 - 2010 by 
Klaus J. Gerken.

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