YGDRASIL: A Journal of the Poetic Arts

November 2011

VOL XIX, Issue 11, Number 223

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



   Jacques Royer

      “Melons in the garden, peanuts, roasting-eared corn, September peas”              
      “The soul takes bullets, hits-bombs-songs sun in the morning”
      Slush is the word, starting with freezing precip”

   Sarah Gamutan
      A Meek Love
   RC Miller
      SEX QUIZ

   Slobodan Sucur 
      Her Name's Angelica B.

   John Grey     

   Lark Beltran
      Free Fall
      In Ancient Company

   Jayne Lyn Stahl
      Once a storm, always a storm


Jacques Royer

L'automne et son air triste
Mélancolie naissante
A l'aube de jours sans joie.
La nuit s'endort plus longue
Sur la ville qui s'allume.
... C'est le temps des veillés
Et la saison des pommes.
C'est la rentrée des classes
Avec ses cris d'enfants.
C'est la valse du temps
Qui passe et qui repasse.

Autumn The sad autumn atmosphere Rises with melancholy In the day's joyless dawn. The night sleeps longer When the city lights up. ... The time for evening gatherings And the season of apples. It is the start of classes And the clamour of children. It is the waltz of time That passes to return again. (Trns. Klaus J. Gerken / Marie Cliche-Royer)



“Melons in the garden, peanuts, roasting-eared corn, September peas”              


Melons in the garden, peanuts, roasting-eared corn, September peas, butterbeans, turnips, 
Collards, cabbage, cukes, Irish potatoes, yams!
Sisters and Brothers shuffle their feet in the sand,
Smoke wafting into the oaks where the wire-fence picnic table sags those layered cakes 
The South is famous for-and the moist coconut ones-my father’s favorite-and mine too!

Be still, Son: 
I’d hold my breath and know the Pumpkinseed would spin on my line any minute,
The white grub I’d dug under the two holes at the backhouse perfect bait.
The watersnakes nudge the bank at our feet,
The needle-nosed gar, pristine, iridescent, exotic, specific.
Paul’s Hill, Maytle’s world:  farming, fishing, hunting, playing ball. 

Earl, spell-bound, charmed!
Songster of the schoolground Give me a nickel and I’ll sing for you-
His family’s plight-the “not quite right children”:  could they be healed?
The father, a whistler:  he would get up before sunup to get the work done up.
Over the handlebars of his bicycle Earl would fly like the mule that folded
Up over Rose’s and Holly’s Hudson Hornet, Earl saying, “I be dog,”
Not stuttering at all, though he did usually, telling his twin brother, 
Gerald -“You too g-g-god-damn all mouth.”
He’d sing two songs for one Buffalo nickel.

After the teacher scolded him he stopped riding the bus to school.
The big girls made a fool out of him, he said.
His spells got worse, took to wearing a football helmet for the falls.
It was a treat to see how he’d dote on anyone,
Flailing his arms, singing.

“The soul takes bullets, hits-bombs-songs sun in the morning” The soul takes bullets, hits-bombs-songs sung in the morning, The roads gravelly with bridges made for hooves. Tomorrow we’ll stand up and love one another. The women and men who fought “for their countries” Shall come around corners, after cooking and eating on the ground. Let the bottom doorstep creak. Walk softly on the graves in the field. See the crosses. Hug Martha, Baldy, Little Martha, Huel, Mary, Lieugenia, William. The farm’s high in wheat and fodder, one huge harvest. Remember how you live and die, How love comes over and over. Stars fall between Manly’s grave and me when the bluebird stops by. The slaves in the back part of the cemetery gather me in, The fields scored ten-thousand ways. In the backyard of the Old Place the Sweet Betsy bush blushes; the black earth’s rich. Lonesomeness drives my tongue.
Slush is the word, starting with freezing precip” Slush is the word, starting with freezing precip. I venture out to see if the tires will roll. Snowfall the wipers wipe and the heater heats. I’m in my waders, playing the minnow for the running blues. My father’s grave at Rehobeth’s prickly with sawbriars. Lords of Cultures and Visions, can’t you hear me calling for streams running branches? I hold your murmurs close to my lips. You are shaving in the old looking-glass in the pantry of the plankhouse. I smell the lather in the bowl and hear the swish of your brush. Memory’s a curl in your eyes, blue as Grandmuh Nancy’s. Could she be everybody’s grandmother? She’s in her rolling-chair. Walking beside me, you wave under sycamores. How speech comes to ones who wait! My namesake, the Kentuckian, General Isaac Shelby, Secures his battle-pieces at King’s Mountain. Because of him-and another Shelby from K-Y, Shelby Jean Davis-my hill-jazz-songbird-I am Shelby Dean (Dizzy).
Sarah Gamutan A Meek Love It's crude- his smile. The abundance of his youth elates me. And the foundation of his tempest; I told him to leave and escape With me! Yes with me! But he won't. He chooses a vixen, A pensive writer on prompts And poetry. Well I can be like that. She always is a nominee- Fame, Beauty and Intellect. Yet, she is a vixen. Why not me? Then I see this picture of a heart. I bet it's implication – the transcription. It's like her semantics on numerous Poems she writes. I write this poem To subdue her. His love will Still flow in his youth on me. This love, you do everything. You write everything for all sorts Of imagination, from the tip of your Tongue. We love and strive. You read this my love with conviction. That scribbles of passion will pass on. I was fighting my own self. She always is a nominee- Fame, Beauty and Intellect Yet, she is a vixen- I see in the mirror. His love has Caused me perennial transition; I now find myself on this poem A vixen no more. Your love, it Makes me live.
RC Miller JIHAD A basement watches boxes of diapers bob. It means old-fashioned rebates and me. Down the road at night is fact. Salmon meteors extend the Many ways potato chips were. I've gained God loving pod songs. High definition edible frogs of the snow Search rains for a trace of brain. Happiness seems very near. I split into four lights. And in some passages dripping.
SEX QUIZ Fangs that creep before they've eyes You they drink. You do double before I eye Things I stink. Lord Flee out of me Between potions from baptized pinks, and Hobble As ash covered definer.
OUT OF BUSINESS From the cook of the clouds Racists do Swallow water at the public pool. A bunch of soda smells dead people. All I have to say is racist. Dead people get that There's a bad problem with zoos inspiring. There's a dead body with a day old boarding pass. I'll live its synonymous life for a while and pave Olmec down syndrome.
THIS ROOM I'M IN IS Minding eyes with its glass girlfriend That changes me into her police body and Forces both my chopped torsos to Herd around like mounted faces Where one is What I'd name Two people going from bruises to doors Going shut in some shared head likely causing blunt authority Over a few chimes of money and then onward there's spout and that's all Demon penis, Dostoevsky.
NEW COMEDY Gravestones, hairdryer buyers Nowhere. Styes on a lawnmower shower Chips and salsa come ashore.
MASK WITH SAUSAGE Doorway of flesh-hooks Projects Hell without a mouth. It has The horror-thickened consciousness of rocks and trees. Under my head I tout a tail. Inside that plaster there is a worm. All of it bites evil ideas in Serpent-headed feathered fudge. My thirst is a mailing Mask with sausage.
MATING SONG OF A DRIVEWAY LOG The horse fucks a seahorse Over objects of sunset. I unlike rock. Human hands in jars Bake a silhouette of a submarine's vulva. Just to splatter its jpeg, I put out Through a bush a pile of necks Which stiffen flylaps on the grass between summers. I'm blessed to think I was born at all. The looniest of all religions.
FLABBY MASS UP FOR ABS Tonsil avenue goat carcass tricky stick from the logo tonsil carcasses mole shelters sperm trick solstice audio silhouettes digesting elbow hair new moles goat-bird cushion carcass juiced tire euthanized orange bun.
Slobodan Sucur Her Name's Angelica B. Death's a lone romantic sitting out on the breeze with top hat, listening to sounds of mice scattering; catch him if you can though he's faster than a one-armed man. Gender bending epigone is he to she and blacker than the night; often comes waltzing in as femme fatale with hair like raven's feathers and eyes scandalously green. She's a bona roba whispering love in tallied words, those saintly hands holding my mind as it grows numb with devotion; her name's Angelica B. and when I'm stiff she spreads perfumed air around me. As muscular seller of lemonade on street corner, death spits in mixture when nobody's looking and grins, drinking to your health from other glass, striking you with thunderbolt. It's the old woman with one buttock at both sieges of Azov and purveyor of ointments to Candide, adventurer and lover of Cunégonde, ruined subconsciously by reminder of what's beyond the Rococo garden. Sad to say, can go no further than autumnal game between leaves and shadows too tired to await flutter of next year's wings.
John Grey SATURDAY NIGHT MICHELLE Pour yourself into the neon streets of the night, to flatter the welcoming stars, sprinkled with snow, confident that you are the sun, to form a sort of alliance with the dark and the music and more, your hands reaching out, your hair sweeping the cold from your back, eyes lit, mouth pursed, body slim, breasts pert, slim waist, long legs in black boots, one glance and everyone believes in you, for a goddess is all this world’s been missing, and here you are, rising in that void.
GREAT LOVER I am not the great lover. Not based on what I see in the movies or read in books. Scarlet and Ashley, forget it. And I’m not romantic enough to even iron the tights of Romeo. I’m just a little tender, here and there, like occasional glances at the moon, or the scattered tunes I whistle. I keep returning to the great ones: kick and Ilsa at the Casablanca airport, Cathy and Heathcliff heaving heavenly on the moor. I feel the tremors. I match wits with the doting eyes. I understand what is required. I know where I fall short. But I must be with you plain and ordinary, grocery shopping, watching television, at the breakfast table, two heads given up to different sections of the newspaper. Ivanhoe doesn’t have to listen to Lady Rowena’s coughing fits. Clark and Claudette share a room but neither snores. I can’t be the great lover, not with current circumstances: 21st century, bills to pay, family to get off my back, sickness, weather, job... the list is longer than a Dylan song. But there’s moments when I feel as if the starry-eyed spirits are in me. It’s that blood and body of Christ phenomenon. Only not in church but in the kitchen, or a field or a deep, dark wood. I’m amorous at surprising moments. I’m passionate when I’ve no right to be. And I am with you, lover, and no one else is. You curl up in my arms. I whisper in your ear. Great lovers must make other arrangements.\
THAT WINTER BEFORE DIVORCE All winter long, her breath was blue, and the clock’s fogged up face ticked off time enough to make it slower. Her body lumped up in the sheets but vapor cradled barely moving lips, rocked them like the child we never had. January, February, harsh as whips on skin, mallards skidded on the ice, geese never took the trouble, made a circling mess of going south. And the weather paid no mind to walls or windows. A room, a forest... ice snapped the will of trees and people likewise. She didn’t speak. Mist clouded her silence. I prayed for Spring like praying for strength. But snow became whiteout, became drifts big as God’s fists. Could barely see out. Could barely see in. No path was clear and easy. I never went outside without a shovel. She stayed indoors. Shovel or not, there was no path to her.
Lark Beltran Free Fall Tossed by our genes and our whims and our dreams, we accomplish or not, soar to bloom, fall to rot. Souls in exuberant fling by The Mover take time to decide where their smooth currents ride - tossed like confetti to glide before settling, free-fall fast or slow, final drift not to know.
In Ancient Company My necklace flaunts a Babylonian seal. A Roman emerald decks this transient hand; a scarab bracelet, steatite and gold, adorns a wrist that gravitates to bone. As mannequin for history, I long to look through eyes which saw these treasures then. The bracelet, un-eroded by the years, would mock my sojourn of enfeebling flesh. I fade; this errant emerald ring will shine, to clasp new fingers, ghostly, down the line.
Maintenance That perfect lawn - focus of envying passer-by glances - reflects a gardener´s sweat, while the embedded Architectural Digest home gives the maid a backache. Dust and weeds and grease like a sticky pall of pessimism intrude everywhere except the Mansions of Heaven. One covets a cleanliness 24-carat incorruptible; instead, possessions, like bodies and souls, continually backslide from optimal. Oh, the scurrying to keep them all in form, a rebuttal to erosion of a cliff. The challenge is lifelong and a bore. "Let´s pare it down to simplicity!" we cry. But even ensconced in a serene matchbox with loaf and jug and - sometimes - thou, our hands must rise and fall in regular obeisance to monotony, while that perfect lawn is almost always another´s.


Jayne Lyn Stahl

Once a storm, always a storm

Your eyelashes stick
together in 
the rain like 
a couple of
old whores  
your feet 
wet as concrete
you are a continent.
I count the languages
you speak as
you gnash your 
teeth like
tiny stones
that collect in
you mount the
decades as if
they are yours to
your numbers 
words with
that taste good in
your absence  still
you embrace the tiny
child you left behind.
We are seldom without
scars  yet
we are healing.  

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

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