YGDRASIL: A Journal of the Poetic Arts

March 2012

VOL XX, Issue 3, Number 227

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



   Kim Wilson
      head job


   Niloofar Sadeghi
      Gravity and I
      A long day

   BZ Niditch

   Dave Shortt
      The Key
      Jeanne d'Arc in the Hundred Years War 

   Felino A. Soriano 
      Desolation this sound of silence
         Recalling the priorly
         Within the context of now’s reinventions
         Furthered fruitions
   Christopher Barnes
         The Individual Christopher Barnes 22-24
         The Individual Christopher Barnes 25-27
         The Individual Christopher Barnes 28-30

   Walter RUHLMANN
      Night Observatories # 7
      Night Observatories # 8
      Night Observatories # 9
      Night Observatories # 10

   John Richmond


   Marie Cliche-Royer


Kim Wilson head job a mental picture unscrambles in my head i’m trying to figure what’s real and what’s reality i look and see passed what i’m expected to see so the things i believe i have a right to believe i get a glimpse of something unrelenting it looks like a goal a goal that’s still pending stop feeding me a stomach full of ache it’s too much to take i see a stigma of invisible made clear so i clinch my teeth seeing my fear bring about a single flowing tear i smell the funky foul air the disgusted staleness of it sleeps in the thickness of my sight focus i’m not a rebel just one with a cause i’m not an activist just one refusing to pause

Niloofar Sadeghi Gravity and I You sit there in your old wooden chair Surrounded by enormous white flowers Up on the pink wall of your little room Giving gravity a hard time struggling to pull you down I smile at your smile every morning Trying to detect a small change in the form of your lips A tiny spark in your dreamy eyes A slight movement in your posed hands An unnoticeable bend in your stiff back We will wait, gravity and I, for you to decide to come down I will be breathing, laughing, crying, and talking to trees for both of us You must not miss a minute of my life.
Lost Metro train four station away People wandering about helplessly I look into the pile of abandoned dreams A little dream of mine lost the other day not in sight Will it find the way home on its own?
A long day Empty street. Wringing hands of mourning trees. Painful, overwhelming sense of anticipation. The invisible executer. Random fall outs. Overflowing garden. Merry dancing of joyous flowers. High spirited welcoming rituals. The invisible beloved. Exuberant embraces. The magnificent requiem of the dead leaves. The inviting fragrant bed of the scattered petals. The invisible visitor leaves for the next town , not casting a glance back.
liberation The sun gets in. Sitting by the window in her irresistible embrace, I try to unweave your eyes from my worn out rug of dreams, pulling as hard as I can at each memory string, freeing them out one by one…. You have almost disappeared, but for a few strings, when the sun pulls away her arms to run for her wistful beloveds at the far end of the road. The moon gets in. Not trusting her alluring smile, I raise my arms to ward off the storm of silver strings it has brought. But with the immense pile already gathered at my feet, I am compelled to weave the strings back into the worn out rug, and there appear your eyes, shining mightier than ever. Moon, relishing her victory, goes to bask in the keen salutes of rising stars, and I wonder, will the sun be on time? *** Niloofar Sadeghi is a poet from Tehran, Iran.
BZ Niditch BUKOWSKI Crazed wild wordsmith in an inch of space from the straight jacket the groupie stole for you at the Salvation Army store in your stupor horror of this locust L.A. day in the mirror's swig of a binge's wellspring after a moonstruck trek along peppered rail yards in phosphorescent darkness tearing up your daylight flesh pretenting a Hamlet's death of words,words,words when all the time language poems whisper to you after your tar bar fight half crippled from panic you make it in a fiery cold stovepipe flat cherry picking your lovers in a narcissistic bathtub full of vodka someone pretty and good from the badlands is always there to patch up your bloody bandages left in the hallway panting from your exhausted pain in fatigues old as poetry.
GALLEY POET (For Les Murray) In the audience erasing silence of an edited tongue words slip like a blood orange at nasal intonations we are skinned alive in the brush of musical wings A cool adolescent smarting from pain having back packed on moonstruck miles for the urban read listens slowly to the unsettled lines on face and expression that hovers over you Nothing seems to move neither solitary time nor muffled shadows foundered aboard the galley poet's mouth Only your leafy eyes stay open eager for language from a traveller of mythic dreams asking us to awake to fragments of history and parables that make us alive.
NIGHTFALL Fearsome response in red green orange light switching silence along the salt lick highway stopping in shadows a cipher from bloodshot red eyes sleepless in the strata, blood and stone of your nature by the wave of your hand and ocean through revisions of winding tunnels of near and far sightedness in blue random hours of your narrative half-speech passing asylums prisons platoons the lost are never found seeking cognition and every idol and star goes for a swim
OBSCURITY Poor Penrose, bereaved by only surrealist birds of all colors or painted birds drawn with savage beauty in other ages by understudies oppressed by higher powers in unexplored places, othes in lofts with smashed canvas and bloody arms in unknown times at great risk, or like Boyce having to please the King composed grand notes for a few mostly unknown souls, or Jewbirds with twelve million wings and eyes fallen out of public favor in cages, snows, villages you cannot pronounce reading into the sky among a paradise of birds.
Dave Shortt The Key forgotten in the door to a room whose security was given away to a space mission & its dogmas: freedom, privacy, new planets of trust furniture of a 'familiar face' beckoning sit, lie, down in a structure with curtained exits where dreams are stored behind masterly & damaged passwords exile in an empty pocket forced by the same face, the hands' courtesy stays hinged when they close, not dislocating, the hearing comes unshackled during contact with sounds of wood in the wind, a pupil's constriction is hotwired by a skeleton lightbeam steel lock body, values stashed in its apertures, products of self-regard, conditioned deadbolt mechanisms picked by a newly grown thumb & forefinger permitting reunion with a garden of weeds, gateless own room & ventricle locked up with a small surplus of food, pigeon-destined breadcrusts & shame at the bad weather ignition, into a life intimate with a road of magnetic strips & duty-free borders between robber & robbed the ring weighed down like an army belies an uneventful vigil in which gifts finally stream in with no place to put them a duplicate cut for the innocent tonight will find its way into the hands of a future generation who survived a re-distribution of missing things give & take of responsibility is deterred from ever arriving at the worth of a utopian valuable, agri-hunger jangles below the belt, one sterile seed fits each landless mouth this moment isolates its prisons into a precision-machined, conjugal act committed to the release of inventories doing time, tantalizing with reward (tarnished oversights pass from one guard to another & another, til a smirking hacksaw is taken to shabby & obsolete victories) a habit of free access develops, somnambular, or surrender to a supernatural PIN, identical for all, by which the longest sunset is purchased & marriage is taken off the market one shared bodyguard of the species is entrusted with an alarm being alternately dismantled & re-activated throughout each person's probationary lives tried the birth canal, gave way to more pregnant trial & error without a crowbar kept turning, just one more turn & escape through jammed conspiracies of the starscape
Jeanne d'Arc in the Hundred Years War schizo when psyche when regard angel danger in the father's garden, fear of foreign voices, what was mine, this buzzard, jonquil, did eros help build this cistern? look he wants to make war, 'make me make war,' deadly change genders for love of cow eye milk subsides unsated milk subsidies unstated, our Hathor never left home, the father's dictum: paradise at a price, all your life listen all your lives so help her breaks the secret patience, acts avenging broken lily house-bond, long dormancy of corm & noix, noise of recruitment floods the river blood can't stop breeding, spoils a new haircut franj would beg one clove butt barely-in-earshot angel's half- apologied bargain quote where it leads is where you lead, poor troops of earth losing heaven every time loving the insanity of it territory reaching down into fair & fight, god whose strange teen? deficient in trace minerals, precious the nightingale's coinage, heavy-taxed cloth works layoffs imposed from above wormy carrots mar portages of revelations over palate-floored visions fanned by pepper tongue indo-euro through snow who's there? fine wool finest linen ripped burlap of pigsty chores conscripted eye-gouge skill blazons of illiteracy supersede first rouge-gorge quickly spitted in spare moment 'ca-thar ca-thar' warbles a counterculture from a blind of skin & bone ashes ashes campesina where are your friends? feudal nightsoil policing a system of rivers empire will always be ergot of peacefreak renunciation versus sword old Tristan sleeps by? play of sticks & stones during this winter's seige, hurried grafts left to fend, budding military family didn't take from its (royal jelly) rootstock 'the use of violence is learned' seal of St. Krsna, recondite shepherd malgre whom ahimsa weaves troubadour hums potlatch anarchies amorous matriarchies 'came thrice today,' each time an induction, take one step forward cherish honor obey sympathique re-visionists say? your own Mephisto? Michel's outspread bridegroom arms
Felino A. Soriano

Desolation this sound of silence

Recalling the priorly Blue the inward cultivation a saddened arithmetic organized agglutination [anthropomorphized] circuitry of fathoms articulating rotational moments these documents of shadows ending amid light and laughter’s insipid momentum toward suspended corporeal contact.
Within the context of now’s reinventions Rumored recollection renovated rehabilitated the body pertainym warmth these halos circle holdings of desired intuition. Among the intellect’s unknown conditions akin to the purchased objects dissolving unused this moment of realization removed from moments’ portending acquisition.
Furthered fruitions The broken temperature of touch’s mistaken remorse the curtain on dusk then grayer composition an avalanche of apparent construed misinterpretations combined ache of tonal differences appearing woven though within the magnifier of critical thought, decomposed experiences of experiential grief.
Christopher Barnes ALL OF THESE PEOPLE CALLED CHRISTOPHER BARNES ACTUALLY EXIST The Individual Christopher Barnes 22-24 22. Edging forward, Chicago was ripping For stand-up wisecracker Christopher Barnes. Bandwidth histrionics with the B52s, Single-handed pencraft at MTV, Productions for Rolling Stone, then Catch A Rising Star Club. Readiness, walk-ons, a picture-drome gig in ‘Treble Crass’, And chucklers have a crying need for more. “ I'll be your mirror Reflect what you are, in case you don’t know.” - Lou Reed 23. Tripping the light fantastic with Christopher Barnes, She testified he tread in her steps to a comfort station, Horseplayed then raped her. A merrymaker Disconcerted the rumpus. The anonymous Miss Thingamajig bolted. The suit foozled, Forensics expunged a driblet blotch A stand-in for DNA was redundant A photo pack of makeshift suspects. “Dissociative identity disorder is a mental illness that involves the sufferer Experiencing at least two clear identities or personality states, each of which Has a fairly consistent way of viewing and relating to the world.” - MedicineNet.com 24. A long shot – Christopher Barnes, Chin-stubbled, ho-hoing, 10 gallon hat, veritable cud-chewers. All irreconcilable with the bio chem block At Imperial College . Tentative set up science For Wellcome Trust Sanger, sketching Statistical genetics, copy number novelties, Verdicts in data tryouts - A thorough-paced quiddity In riposte to a scholarly inquiry.
The Individual Christopher Barnes 25-27 25. Christopher Barnes is worth a nimble pulse, A glance for pixels, internet jobbing, Web development, Twitter deck depictments. He’s an inventor-engineer. Inversing that pinked face, under a grizzled hairline His head-work deviates to Star Trek, Wheel-to-wheel electrophysical car racing. Somewhat dissolving in yellow light He sniffles the draft of Hampshire. “Where the needs of society and individual preferences intersect, the question often Arises as to what a society ought to be and how it should be organised in order to Safeguard human rights and the welfare of its citizens as well as possible.” - Norwegian Directorate For Education And Training 26. An expert, Roseworthy College , vin marketing. On to Tyrell’s, Hunter Valley ; Christopher Barnes stirred to Melbourne , A slip for Domaine Chanoon 1990. The Yara Valley show is a suited mouthpiece Of vignerons. Been tapped, nose tickling Bubbly delectation. He remarks Winebibbery is not work done Until it’s partook. “The Multiple Births Foundation welcomes the HFEA call for a professionally-led, Coordinated national strategy to reduce the number of multiple births following Fertility treatment.” - multiplebirths.org.uk 27. Chipping in at the Frisco Fringe festival Is stage-player Christopher Barnes. ‘The Trial Of Tuna Christ.’ Whiffles frisk his throat, Cloud-headed, surrealistic, Whetting the banjolin. Duds. Glaring topaz pyjama legs, plum-red smoking robe, No thunderbolts for the outlandish anymore.
The Individual Christopher Barnes 28-30 28. This bugle and stripes progeny Smiles upon off-road motors, Christopher Barnes has viability in Debrett’s. Competitive, he’s honoured. Basks in hayseed living, France. Starting–point bias Our gist of his selfness. Looking back a fonctionaire, Undersecretary to Arable Crops, Horticulture, Bacchus. Say’s ‘no’ to a dictum, He’s indivisibly a lever. Sideling his wheels, fluffy greyness, Insignificance underfoot. “OMNASTICS is the study of proper names, the Greek word ONAMA, ‘name’. proper names are a very important part of our lives. We all have personal proper names and we live in streets and town with their own proper names, our pets may have proper names, as may any spiritual beings we believe in.” - Richard Coates, Icos 29. A Facebook Scaramouch is Christopher Barnes In Mrs. Agers’ English class. Goffs text-books punctually animated A godsend for Prime Ministership. His manifesto embraces : - 96 hour weekends, a matter of course : - snuffle sherbet prescribed : - making a night of it referred to as handiwork : - assembly ministered by drum & bass : - the giggle-word ‘uterus’ sauced on common room walls Phew! He appeals ‘don’t rampage’ should his cap feather, All hands lauding must be in sufferance. “David Blunkett was once the Godfather of ID cards – in the light of his good sense conversion let’s all hope that this grand folly finally sleeps with the fishes.” - Liberty 30. Christopher Barnes, smouldered-chicken haggler, A stringy allness, stove-black skin Blood red merino, midnight blue Wranglers, Was shot to last agonies, throat-cracked. The thugee so-and-so Narrow squeaked his mudguard Accelerating grit, off-scouring track. Forensics are laden With a thorough-going grade Ontogeny, proficiency For this gone-on Jamaican, Flummoxed kin. Clucks of ‘murder’ Run after by ire.
Walter RUHLMANN Night Observatories # 7 You are the perfect man but you do not exist desires fade the melancholies which get out even tougher with the blows in the face passions inflict on us and from these memories that crash on our beds the cerebral tiredness spring out our venoms mix with each other and our poisoned tongues hang on the blood-stained carpet.
Night Observatories # 8 The white doors are closed again and in the internal rooms, the infinite shelters of the universal stoutness grow and sing the spellbinding choruses of the lost fruit the clandestine flee towards the red planets risking to lose themselves in the prints of the night and in the sky the insane and variegated stars recognize each other while we fall asleep in the lanes of life.
Night Observatories # 9 The deep songs illuminate the foreign nights in which the dreams walk in the dark corridors of life so melt, melt, melt little secrete desires so darken, darken, darken, the endless nights' treasures, three little rounds and they flood and in the felt of the night observatories, the sacred stained glass break in our eyes.
Night Observatories # 10 All the princes running from the leather-striped manors break on our plots and their flamboyant destinies scoop out our brainless skulls all the lords spit in our faces the purple ladies make up courtiers and dream of roses and mandrakes.
Dimitri Bravos are blows and the black sounds invite Dimitri - gaseous, green fly - to absorb the wine that makes him drunk. God rots in the cellar of indifference and my songs say him tu Will he understand them? Dimitri gives himself to the fuchsia incests. Dimitriev can feel the claws impaling him and lays himself on the bed waiting for his fate.
John Richmond THE OLD SCHOOLHOUSE He had been away for fifty years, and when he did return, neither the village nor the old school looked the same. Oh, the population had essentially remained constant- somewhere around four hundred people- and the school building still stood, yet, both time and progress had taken their tolls. When he was last there, the village was a small fishing community that sat at the tip of a peninsula that jutted out from the north shore of Lake Erie. In addition to fishing, the coal docks at the edge of the lake served as an unloading depot that resulted in the railroad tracks that ran down the middle of town- past the old school- up the peninsula and on to the cities to the east and west. As he drove into the village, he found that the tracks had been replaced by a grassy mall - with trees and benches - and the playground that once stood in front of the school was now a parking lot. Gone, in one instance, were the chunks of coal that littered the rail bed, and in a second instance, equally gone, were the swing set and slide. He wanted to keep driving to see the place where he had lived, but the pull of the school was far greater. So, he found himself, turning into the parking lot, exiting the car and then simply standing there looking around. There were memories - lots of them - all competing for preeminence in his mind. Remarkably, the building itself had survived with very few exterior changes. The only really noticeable alterations were that the wooden front stairs were now concrete and there was an handicap ramp. He assumed that with the playground gone, the building had ceased to be a school, and, so, he wondered what role it now had. The answer, he knew, was at the top of the stairs and on the other side of the doors. Slowly, he mounted the stairs, trying to remember arriving for his first day at school, yet, there was no memory. He stopped halfway up and thought harder, laboring to retrieve- and still there was nothing. What he did remember, though, was a clear image of him sitting there- on that first day- in the second grade, looking around. In his row were six or seven second grade students. To his right were a similar number of first grade students. Immediately to his left was the third grade row and, then, beyond that was the fourth grade row. In retrospect, what he - as a second-grader - was doing was sitting in one room of what amounted to a two room school house; two rooms, two teachers and eight grades - eight rows - of students. “Amazing,” he whispered, smiled and then continued up the stairs to the door, opened it and walked into his past. “Wow!” he exclaimed, just inside the now closing door. “Talk about things changing.” What was before him had the definite look of seriously subdivided interior space. There were closed doors; short, tight hallways - even some fire fighting equipment stacked in a far corner. Gone, was the wide and expansive hallway and the two large, window-less, doors that led to each classroom. Yet, still, despite his surprise and even disappointment he was relieved that the building still stood and was being utilized for something. But what? He looked left and then right, trying to decide which hallway to follow. “I’ll go left,” he told himself and slowly made his way around the first corner. As he walked, he looked down at the wood floors and remembered how cold they were in the winter. Turning a second corner, he began to hear voices coming from a room ahead and off to the right. Upon reaching the threshold of the room, he was able to take in a comprehensive overview of what was going on. It had the appearance of some sort of arts and crafts activity center, and judging by the ages of the participants, he quickly concluded that it was a senior citizen function. He stood there a moment and realized that the room was part of his old classroom. “Good afternoon,” a voice called out to him. “Can I help you?” “Apparently,” he apprised himself, “she’s probably some sort of group leader.” Slowly - almost reverently - he walked a little further into the room. “No, “ he began, “probably not, it’s just that I went to school here a long time ago, and I just wanted to see what it now looked like on the inside.” The woman approached him with her hand extended. “Hello, I’m Victoria Barlow, and yes, things have changed.” He nodded, shook her hand, and looked around trying to remember where his row would have been. “I take it that it’s no longer a school?” he asked with a degree of obvious certainty in his voice. Victoria Barlow smiled and shook her head. “No, it hasn’t been a school for about thirty - maybe thirty-five - years. They finally decided to put the kids on a bus and take them into Blenheim. It’s been a community center for, oh, probably fifteen years. Before that, it was an O.P.P. sub-station.” “I see,” he managed, sensing that their conversation was bordering on having exhausted itself and that it would soon be time for him to move on so that they could get back to their arts and crafts. Yet, as he thanked her for her time and was turning to go, she had a memory triggering - jarring, if you will - question for him. Your teacher?” she asked. “Do you remember her name?” He stopped and turned. “Yes, yes, I do,” he replied. Her name was Mrs. Cleveland - and I even know where she used to live. She boarded in the old Cadillac Hotel in Blenheim.” “My,” Victoria Barlow exclaimed, “that’s quite remarkable.” “Well,” he said wistfully, “she was a remarkable woman. “I was eight years old and she was the first person who ever reasoned with me. I never forgot that.” They stood there silently for a few moments, before Victoria Barlow began closing the conversation with a calculated, “Well...” that trailed off. He knew that it was time to leave, but he had one more question. “Did you know her, do you know whatever became of her?” he asked, managing to slip two questions in under the cover of one. “No, I’m afraid that she was gone before I moved to the village, but if you’re sure that she lived at the Cadillac, maybe someone in town could help you. Though,” she continued and then paused for a second or two, “she’s in all likelihood passed away by now.” He thought about the inescapable finality of what he had just heard. Quickly, now, in a tumble of memories he juxtaposed what he remember of the school with what it had become. “Thank-you, again, for your time,” he finally said, then took one last look at the room and left. He went back to his car and drove further into the village; past the place where he lived; past the stores where he bought candy; out to the now empty piers; and finally back through town, past the old school, where he slowed, nodded and waved to it before he accelerated and drove on. It was almost as if it were an old friend, who was still there, still replete with wonderful memories of a time - and a place - both forever gone and forever remembered. END


Marie Cliche-Royer Caroline I can't sleep... my nerves are on edge.... I was in bed and got up... went to Caroline's room.... sat on the bed.... I can hear the tic tic tic of the clock... this brings me back 33 years ago in 1979 when I was about to give birth to Caroline.... I was in this room looking at the empty crib... listening to the tic tic tic of the clock..... at this precise moment time seemed to have stopped... this was a special moment before the birth of my youngest daughter.... a solemn moment.... Caroline was coming soon into this world.... tic tic tic Now I'm still sitting in the same room and it's 2012 and the clock is still ticking... I'm looking at the street light coming into the room... I love street lights they keep me company... I have many memories in this little room... tic tic tic says the clock and it also says Marie go to bed! 111am 21 Feb 2012

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