YGDRASIL: A Journal of the Poetic Arts

June 2012

VOL XX, Issue 6, Number 230

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



   Michael Annis

   Michael Mc Aloran...

   R. M. Francis 
      The Screen
      Branta Leucopsis
      The Steel Nest

   A.J. Huffman
      A Two-Count Hold On Time
      Lost in the Rain
      The Heart of a Flame

   Nessa O'Mahoney
      Her father’s daughter
      Her father’s daughter(2)
      Sibyl at the Rockefeller 
      Natural Selection

   Jovan Vuksanovich
      deviant melody
      brand opia
      dharma drums
      the new normal
      trailing scent of a hidden prey
      sweet death

   Steve Klepetar
      Your Mouth 
      Nothing Happened

   Barbara Phillips
      Remember Rain
      The Room
      What Happened At The Boutique Hotel


   Michael Ceraolo
      from Euclid Creek, Book Two 


Michael Annis

WOLVES AT THE MALLWith the wolves of the marketplace, I refuse to howl.” -Marina Tsvetayeva grinning reminiscing down marbled corridors, between stores, at how absolutely dreadful they once were without muzzles or eye liner, now in the heat of spontaneous coitus, male and female, mannequin and chimera, exhilarating each naked frame, shop display, ever marveling at how simply feral is The Gap grinning knowing they’ve left the North Woods far behind smugly grinning at the heightened absence of Aurora Borealis, having learned to walk in Nikes on their hind legs that their place in the hallowed halls of cartoondom is immortal tutored at the finest Outbacks and wildlife habitats in socially acceptable forms of dominance suicide aggression that a wolf’s howls are for women, and women are rarely broiled meat that simply leap onto the plate at the first whiff of money, alcohol, drugs, power, fame preferring to stick a tooth in them bloody and still squealing as they are eaten tutored that shoes, belts and purses are prohibited from being rendered of Wolfskin and only ears are hacked off and tails disembodied to dangle from keychains and rear-view mirrors whose paws escape the crossbeams whose ears are no longer nailed as tribute to Luther to the parsonage door whose grinning visages bleed tears draw long lines of the acquiescent faithful for the Sunday morning matinee grinning those Hollywood grins, the emancipated being affixed delightful from ear to ear, pulsating wet noses flirting with the scent of suffering the fragrance of fear, the odor of terror, the stench of death tails erect, greedily sniffing the perfume laced air, snorting the white dust of faux diamonds cut Waterford crystal concentration camps, imprisoned souls, church cell groups, tear drop madhouses, secret flophouses, backyard barbecues into flared nostrils stoning righteously the heady cries of children abandoned for a Gucci bag orphaned in a lone droplet of Eternity for whom prisons serve 3-squares a day: 9 Lives sentences of kibbles ‘n bits, conning, punking, storming the cathouse, carving soap and shoepolish handguns finding redemption and rehabilitation in turning out license plates beginning with the numerals Wolf-1, driven by the fierce lashing of rabies into the foaming jaws of roar, neutered by moralities jaded, toward identity no longer necessary to rip open the ripe guts of rabbit, marmot, beaver, badger, otter, fawn, lapping up through bendy straws the sweet green ferment. Wolves at the Mall may have their grins coached, their teeth cleaned, their tongues brushed and pinked, all while waiting to have their nails clipped and painted; where fur at the nape of the neck is layered, teased, snipped fluffed, permed dyed green reinvented to camouflage them from the gumshoe woodlands Wolves at the Mall scalped and skinned grinning lustily, full of themselves, egos emptied with bleached white snapping teeth rapacious lips curling back at the Food Court, devouring Runzios’ grilled muskrat, slurping Taco Bell’s dead skunk, drooling McDonald’s fried ferret kiping a coupla Eminem CDs, a Snoop Dog, Nine Inch Nails, ’sup yo? a National Geographic Explorer DVD on Threatened Arctic Wolves at the Mall swiping knick knacks of seal, moose, and elk purchasing their 10th copy of the good book at the Bible Superstore, this one with paw plate, ex libris, tanned and bound in tasty 100% lamb’s fleece, with gold lamé’ed coon tail bookmark Wolves at the Mall whose credit is now restored, paying for everything with plastic, culturally adept, socially savvy, whose agents and lawyers speak for them recognize how it is so utterly passé, un-American, to be Marxists, poets, or revolutionaries, to kill for ideas rather than sport to play possum with the facts: how much nicer it is now in the triumph of capitalism for enterprising young boys to follow upon their heels for young girls with long slim legs & nearly hairless, glibly scooping up steaming, blood-soaked wolfshit dehydrated, cleansed, and repackaged as sheep dung with nowhere else to meander, to loiter entertain the notion with a single sighing wistful grin dreaming Lac La Croix one day become a mall on pontoons, surrounded by a moat, where consumers are ferried by canoe through flocks of cormorant among subdivisions surrounding errant geese, water and woods where heavily armed mall cops shall serve and protect shoppers from black bear, cougar, grizzly, and the intruding poor Wolves at the Mall with quivering black lips and fang exploding grins bearing greater legacy in their extinction than in their resurrection watch Fox News, cheer the strafing fighter jets screaming in 3D overhead, rubbing elbows with humans who’ve their lives sought to possess the wolf’s howl, the predator’s shriek are too preoccupied, aloof, self-absorbed, jaded, to vote for President, knowing their man has fixed the election anyway, this same man who fixed them, brought them to these malls sterile, howlless, soft to the touch of children who name them Cuddles, the whole world to stroke and poke without fear, the same man who bulldozed all needless trees, hunted down and brought to justice Mother Nature and Her Band of Renegades, building malls in their stead in which wolves could finally act civilized, no longer being a threat to society or themselves, in which they may incessantly chatter over coffee and sweets, trying one more time to quit the habit, as smoke rings p o o o o r out through murderous yellow eyes, and born again full-faced grins, pontificating about the problems of the tundra how it must soon be leveled, contained, sanitized, and rather than feed and respect insurgent wolves whose destiny is still holed up in the wilderness how they should one day, perhaps between husbands, write a book about it, or, at the very least a poem. -for the humans, on their re-introduction into the wilderness

Michael Mc Aloran

#1- ...dead stop I, or I or not of, anchoring, the final blood’s vein unmasked in the breath of the flesh redeemed, sunk to nothing... ...asked of, as if it were, deaf to blind to naught and then of, else, rancour, not I, blood to let from broken glass, dusted with the char of ashen pulse, emptily, fragrant as a carcass... ...no hand to offer, no, blind of eye and gouge of mouth, building from spinal lights, in spit of desolate, adrift of no wind, sea scar and apathy of the castrated tongue...nothing, nothing...bleeding out...sea swell of oscillation, a-grip, of ennui, sudden as if to freeze, echoing out of purpose, bind... (...said without...) ...nothing’s blood upon stripped cadaver shores, headless all, burn aloud burn no nothing of it, stagnant ...recede, step, no, non-step, back again, follow onward from out of the pale dark, lights in the throat of it...no no heart, breath escaping in a room of waste, dead alone, jolt, spasm, shot/ shot again, absent again... ...reconciled, phlegm, shit, pissing in the face of it, and drag, the drag of absentee breathing once again ...absence of laughter, absence, trace of cold memory, jolt, spasm, skinning pit of the heart’s divulge...leaving the sun behind from which you were born... (...traces, the fucking avarice of teeth...) ...wrestling yet dead, stone, casket of rat’s skulls, and the pelt of, nectar of drenched, spliced through, given…vast, infinite loss of eye, dark all but for the echoes, from where, nothing no tracing one’s footsteps through... (...I’ll go...) ...dead none, elixir of dread, and the quickened speech, the fragments scattered from the mind’s tract, flame or none of I, I none of nothing’s claim, as if it never had been before -lying through the teeth of it... ...false abandon...a... ...dead, stop, or I, no not turning aside, not ever of the once, so I believe, never, not a tooth of nail or grip of lax beheadedness...in a rip of eye, in a razor sadness, what else?...(I lie...) ...nothing claimed... ...nothing claimed... ...nothing claimed... ...nothing...
#2- ...head till none, of the resend, from crux of fever wind in rupture of breath held, (absence, absent...), rib crack of the absent body, the cull of shadowing, spit lest there be, redeem the emptily, skinned/ bled in succour of night, stillness, none else/ alack... ...dead till once, of all memory, the burst stitches of silences, dreaming but once, head shock, no, back to the commence, try but once, never, and... ...all spun, aside, whisperings, nothing... ...till unsaid and then of vast, as if it could, kiss of an open wound, a dead hand’s flourishing into bloom of kaleidoscope...grandeur, no, head till vast as sky breathing into bankrupt air, stun sharp and stammering, heart womb, emptiness, of silently, silent(less), broke, no... ...I said yet I didn’t, mocking the…astringent…it can never yet, unspoken, drag, waste and wanton, exigency of despair... ...ah clear the room I’ll never leave it, there never be, I’ll... (...and the walls came tumbling down...) ...he said or she I-delivered, skinned once more, not no nor ever not of it...ask...asking as if, sudden paralysis, long gone now, the worms eating their way through the flesh of it, a lie, no... ...deep dread yet no fear of alone I get what for of it...spun/ lapse, die a little else, a little more, shattering the bruised mirrors and skin-clad walls of nothing...I’ll commence, yet from what, how, as if, no, shit everywhere... ...no no dreaming, bled as the night’s arteries, to the wick, spit slack and buttress eye...(nausea)...vice, stain, my blood, no, vice, stain, my blood, everything...asked as if, dread but once, as once, I cannot recall ...breath aloud, as if to... (...I peel away the membrane of the tumour eye, I see nothing, no I am not blind, the skin away, it falls away, watching the children playing from my room...I extinguish a cigarette...) (...as if to caress could…I think of you, the sky opens up like wound(age), I think of you, not a murmur, yes...) ...as if to, breath aloud, head still vast in the absent of light’s ocular…nothing of it, till unsaid and then of vast, yet I, no not I, nor I no I have not ceased nor said of it, till once, and then I’ll be, (laughter), spoken for, erased, I’ll go... (as of yet... as of yet...)
#3- ...nor dead, or I, cessation of, nor I nor of the behold, spun, said without will, a throat clogged with dry leaves, a bankrupt light... ...so and as of then, or then again, I might, distances to trace, no, yes or no, abrupt halt, skinned once more... ...dreaming of the I or not, of you, perhaps emptily, so it goes, of a fashion, my mind ablaze in the night’s meld of colourings... ...glistening just so, the spark of the blade catches the eye, exit signs all around and about, traceless, violent traces, a beginning... ...a tap drips in time with the pulse of the skull, endless to keel from the edge of, the banquet of it, my hollow sky... ...nor dead…nor I...you or I... ...slash one but for the two, the whole, a carcass to become, said again, erase the step, the mindless folding of light in the heart is the eye’s breath, sudden now, as if to fall, ingeniously... ...yet it might…or over with... ...the hours are vacant, I’ll go, I’ll resend, I’ll cross myself out, to crack the knuckle eye of it, spurious heart, clasp-knife of despair, all the while no not of the while, dressage of speech, till claimed of, spun, no nothing of it, reduced to this aching, no none else of it, it’s settled... (I speak of the lie of it, I am the refuse of the earth... I speak of the lie, I am the refuse of the blood’s chambers...) ...doused, I grit my teeth, sudden in outcry, resolve no never resolved, flaming walls of drought... ...(echo)... ...and the claiming of it... ...emasculation of burgeoning teeth and the settled scar, wrestling like a maggot’s tooth for the splendour, of the meat of I, not withheld, premeditated, castrated, none... ...nothing else: the night erased, sun erased, an immensity of carrion laughter... (...subtle unto winds outspoken, in drag of teeth, of claw, and the warped limb pageantry, headless, spoken of...)

R. M. Francis

The Screen I’ll go out and take the May branches to build a woven basket for my brood. I’ll take the curve of the spectrum and seal it to your figures. Then I’ll watch it bloom from the screen. “Let’s borrow a little bit more, there’s still enough in the pot.” “We’ll creak along the boards to steal it.” A coop-caw comes – echoing, A murder of crows await on the mass to harass. To sniff out our carrion. They’re sentinels at their post canvassing for marauders, holding for the fade. And when the May branch stiffens, when wings wilt and the staff snaps and is brittle I’ll choose another twig for kindling and throw away my nest, and sit back again, and the burning will still be on the screens.
Branta Leucopsis From the air to the earth the trees dropped. From the ground they clinker keel, stem, strakes and hull. From the trenches mosses are pulled to drag the dragon from the port – into the sea. Invaders in Drekars crash into the breakers on the teeth of Spurn Point. And as they suck themselves along the mud slacks of The Humber the driftwood is drawing back. The undertow, the salty mire pulling back the wood and wire, The bubble, the germ, the moisture, the freeze; Barnacles begin to breed. Branta Leucopsis bubbles from the wood, Bold black gems fester in the flotsam. Wet, cold, darkened skin – Goose-pimples muster. They crackle and crisp then break. Haunting and hunting the city for thermals and feed and pockets of earth and weather windows to get back to the Longship lands where the men had made them from splinters.
The Steel Nest (after reading Angela Carter) How the pulley and cog, how they churn into this constant revolve. Foundation, you faintly sway, or sink, built from only straw on a heap of fossils, where the birds steal. There is no shade in these verses, no release in reading, There the magpie picks a part of you. Only now you become chains in this nest, (step into rounds to become chains in this nest) Then you could frame the painting with either becoming at dawn rise blinding the glass or becoming at dusk tide with a shading handshake; Carter keeps her wild dogs in a manor house.

A.J. Huffman

A Two-Count Hold On Time How boring your little mind must be. All tucked and dusted, each thought rusted in its place. I would like to visit (bring my crowbar and sledge out to play) in these pillars of obsoletrics and watch the foreign fault of shatter rip it wide. Open like a volcano (and half as welcoming). Then we could meet on a field of matched emotions to barter more than our usual skins. What a way to arrange a fantasy (final or otherwise). But this world is work. And worth- less as it sounds, it still beats solitary by fifty-two miles of stars.
Lost in the Rain Dreams in white dresses like snowflakes cover my eyes. Fogging my mind with the breath of their vision. Frozen. But fragile. Their beauty is uncarved. Dirtying at the slightest touch. Until, truly contaminated, they are discarded. Thrown to the flame of forgetfulness. Where they pool beneath a different wind. Colder. And bitter. They become another layer of solid. To protect me sane.
The Heart of a Flame I put the color back inside the rainbow of your skin. Now my fingers are lost in the fray ed film of tomorrow. You left it. Empty. But it grows. Like a memory. Of depths we never had. Broken. It waves in the wind. Mocking my ignorance and my impotence. I can do nothing to detain such a stain. It is a force I do not desire to share. With your mind or mine. Still I follow it. Like some hypnotic dream. I am controlled by its state. Is it anxiety? Or just pain? My bones cannot remember. They are only slivers. And far too weak to cheat the folds of forever. But maybe this time you are the shadow that can take our past.

Nessa O'Mahoney

Her father’s daughter ‘It would take plenty of that to fill a pint,’ said the man who had never stood at a bar his entire life though he would raise a glass by the fireside. Now when asked to praise, or reappraise an offering, I’ll reach for the same phrase, ignore ensuing confusion, refuse enthusiasm until what’s given is meted out in the precise measurement, the long division result that makes one more wit out of half.
Her father’s daughter(2) The first time I know: standing hip-high as she lifts the receiver of the old black phone in the dining room. She must have cried before but I’ve never seen it, never made the link between garden falls and these grown-up trails of moisture on her cheeks. On mine, the rough feel of tweed, the pressure of knees I cling to as her hand goes to lips, hides a silent ‘oh’ like air escaping. She’ll make that sound 40 years later, in the corridor of a hospital ward when she hears that her man died without her. Right now we’re innocent of patterns; she’s left the confines of a suburban dining room, is hearing the tale of how her dad threw his head back, laughed his last and I’m clinging on tighter. Perhaps she releases me, perhaps someone else takes my hand and guides me to where I wait out this mystery, still catching echoes of the not yet heard.
Sibyl at the Rockefeller A strange choice for guide, this four foot, seventy-plus dryad of skyscrapers. Powder applied chaotically, feather boa, red shoes, more suited to the Rainbow Room 65 floors up than this rain-dashed street. Like her sister in the Harbour, she grasps her book of truth but relies on memory it seems, the small child gazing up as men ate sandwiches mid-air, resting on tight-roped steel. The Irish (and the Indians) had the best heads for height. She leads us onwards, voice magnified through earphones thoughtfully supplied at the desk. Her constant injunction is not not to look back but to look up at machine-cut design, the glories of chrome escalators, art deco elevators, the tiger’s eye in black marble. And all the while she intones her litany: the ambition of Junior, of Hood, the vision of Lee Lawrie and Frank Brangwyn, we tut at the crimes of Diego Rivera. Come to a halt behind Atlas; we look through his legs at the Gothic dropped-out of the sky squat of St Pats, attempt to spot the familiar in the bent frame, arms transfixed. Others have guessed wrong (Batman, the Terminator); she smiles as you conjure Christ from those tortured limbs. We paid for an hour; she gives us 90 minutes before a startled glance, a shy exchange of tips – my five dollar bill outdone by her ‘Go to the river, the only way to see the place is from the water’ – and she’s gone, her minute form drowned by crowds streaming beneath the city.
Natural Selection After scanning “The Movements and Habits of Climbing Plants” by Charles Darwin, MRA, FRS, John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1875 April blusters into May, plays a glassy tune on the wind chimes guarding the crab-apple from the rapine of bull-finch. At my desk on the first floor, I hear but can’t see most of the garden-action, though the upward climb of pink and white on the silver birch still arrests me. Each year a yard more up the green cascade; the tree’s delicate limbs can’t withstand the steady upward creep of clematis Montana, the sinuous grip of passion-flower. The white twines higher than its pink-tipped mate, blossoms lighter, lured on by cloud, evolved enough to ignore the pull of gravity. The manuals frown on this symbiosis; I applaud the subtle strength of tendril, the ruthlessness of vine.

Jovan Vuksanovich

deviant melody I am a silver tongued devil laughing shaman thief of fire provocateur oracle of the absent present conscience of the exception wildflower seed deviant melody original voice deep within this sacred body hidden song ecstatic irrational erotic whispering incantations seductions into every sleepy ear pied piper of the delta tribes uplifter of nightmare scenarios nomadic madmen defiant minstrel marauders of the unsaid forever questing vigilant vagabond serenading desert solitary wandering exile in a garden of mortal flowers agile dancer leaping precipices of abysmal absurdity primordial pain pleasure principle ancient lover of the infinite intimate embracing prisoners fleeing the wilderness of echoes
delirium night flows through day like blood in my veins I dream while awake talk as I sleep drunken prostitute lipstick smeared across hysterical mouth limps past on broken stiletto heel angry pimp screaming death threats slapping her face jerking her arm ripping her sleeve dream while awake talk as I sleep below a merciless sun I wander weary alone so alone yearning for relief escape anxious faces of passing strangers downcast desperate eyes defined in hideous detail by relentless light too familiar too close too close dream while awake talk as I sleep far above beyond solar rage icy stars mysterious cold black space borderless soundlessness faceless intimacy dream while awake talk as I sleep down here claustrophobic now too hot too hot feverish mind burning burning I press on press on dream while awake talk as I sleep sizzling asphalt blisters my feet vision strains I stumble almost falling dream while awake talk as I sleep in the relentless heat blue pony prancing lightly confidently towards my outstretched scorched hands nuzzling my bewilderment with otherworldly coolness dream while awake talk as I sleep warm tears seeping from my eyes I exhale glide dream while asleep talk as I wake
brand opia bmw range rover mercedes benz rendezvous to boast who possess the most tame bodies tame brains so tame tame tame bodies tame brains so vain vain I mercedes lust of ladies especially THAT one boutique lovechild shopping for coco chanel botox forehead platinum highlights nose job bleached teeth collagen lips silicon tits tummy tuck liposuctioned ass rolex wrist obsessed by my logo since preteen drive her and her girlfriend everywhere silent witness to their after hours sex in MY backseat what gorgeous unsuspecting blonde accessories complementing my champagne beige exterior sleek lines unrivaled power elite class bmw chimes I'm no nickels and dimes check out my stud striking a pose at the bar corvoissier in hand cartier cuff links armani suit boss shirt versace tie gucci shoes cavalli cologne cancun tanned face oh my grinning urban narcissus flashing my fog lights revving my pistons ramming my stick shift burning rubber all the way down rodeo drive so totally under MY spell always takes me and trophy girl to the best restaurants jockeys me right up front on the curb fuck the parking tickets blatantly flaunts my downtown sexy cool bogus logos look at me range rover suv you can't compare THEM to MY love slave femme look at her ms. high maintenance prada eyewear lululemon form fitting yoga slims pilates lean body silver bellyring golden retriever corporate hubby private school brats I LOVE her endless surface nouveau riche bravado nowhere does she motor without ME regaling her pedigree Yo! what's this? class warfare? I'm made in the shade cadillac escalade white as blow idling in front of a beverly hills starbucks spinner hubcaps whirling like sparking diamond fans check out MY hip hop antihero projects diablo wit da bling bling strutting inside for his L.A. latte scarface digs my dolby surround sound smell of luxurious leather narcotic for his ghetto pain I just ride him everywhere dominate his ass mr. product placement himself worships the asphalt I roll on I'm pope of pimps heaven on wheels ssshhhhhhhhhhhh they're coming back act like objects tame bodies tame brains so tame tame tame bodies tame brains so vain vain
mindring m i n d r i n n n n n n n n n n g thought stop b l o o d r u s h brainword b r e a k b r e a k dream wake dream sleep snakejaw s o r a w moon silver sky black sky d e e p d e e p b l a c k b l a c k s o u n d s e e green eye brain snake tongue slither w e t w e t cry out LOUD soft s o f t s o f t clear hear eyes shut eyes open space you me wide open w i d e r w i d e gone image you gone image me gone sink f a l l i n g f a l l i n g sink sink f a l l i n g gone gone d i s a p p e a r skin sex soft taste new wet thrust trust s l i d e i n s i d e wake dream hot wake m o a n m o a n love pleasure again m o r e m o r e I you look you see s m i l e I you look you see l a u g h suck wet feel love wet wet soul suck tongue d e e p d e e p s o u n d h o l l o w blood blind suck breath life death cradle birth daily day blood lip most ghost lonely open l o n e l y l o n e l y o p e n o p e n hawk's beak mind speak ice child lost p a s t p a s t p a s t follow lead lead follow mother tongue old young ash mind corpse think back dance sexhead rain blood d o w n r a i n d o w n d o w n r e d r a i n feel with deep feel joy happy s l i d e i n s i d e wet warm wet love I you play w o r d I you deep l o o k I you deep b r e a t h e easy e a s e s o e a s y e a s e many too many mouth words many too many low high low many too many night sleep many too many dream day time tick time tick time time many too many time tick time spinning round round spirit me body me come g o g o many too many days dead many too many laugh cry face again again many too many never again see many too many live die die live love no love yes again spinning again m o r e m o r e many too many break heart pain flesh flesh m a n y t o o m a n y
dharma drums anorexic idealists anemic moralists mummified dadaists sterile surrealists post modern hypochondriacs mourning the death of an imaginary god mama's got dementia rage in absentia papa's dead dead in his grave cheap thrill hedonists spotlight hooligans mainstream hoopla literary lickspittles midair cliche collisions parallel uni verses carnage on the rampage page whirling carousel of the damned mama's got dementia rage in absentia papa's dead dead in his grave gold diggers fast cars venus mars bourgeois barbies hollywood harpies airbrushed mongrels frozen souls in starched armani low-rise high rollers pussy-whipped sons of nuns happy-go-lucky crucifix airheads cult of celebrity spit lists retro roulette age of pimps whores sycophants bores drunken sailors on a ship of fools mama's got dementia rage in absentia papa's dead dead in his grave facelift jehova botox redeemer saintly psychosis pious neurosis priestly lust ashes dust pope opium with an epistle in his pants ride ride cardinal jekyll bishop hyde parsifal awaits you sporting anna sui eyeliner christian dior rouges brilliant lipstick sipping dom perignon at the grail castle after hours bar mama's got dementia rage in absentia papa's dead dead in his grave hell is for liars no vacancy today blink of an eye madness reigns supreme but look! look who's dancing in the inferno! holy rimbaud! saddle the sabbath gallop across satori savannahs forget yesterday remember tomorrow french kiss buddha in his canary yellow perched on eggshell blue celebrate celebrate celebrate fate you irreverent few forever creating the always new mama's got dementia rage in absentia papa's dead dead in his grave
the new normal never met a woman looks like you eyes dark as night mind body soul so right in love so in love with you girlfriends boyfriends husbands wives stop smitten transfixed mesmerized by the sudden shock of you conventional morality sexual orientation fall away like broken chains men women equally aroused in your presence heart pounding erotic freedom raucous rebellion against the status quo even God the Devil flee angels demons virtue vice all heaven hell mad mad fools at the sight of you delirious devotees chasing after you never met a woman thinks like you innovative creative rapier wit mocking vain intellectuals zero tolerance for arrogant dogma thugs yet listening deeply to genuine seekers of truth supportive of their search island of solace against alienation chilling loneliness inflicted on courageous exiles who dare eat forbidden fruit champion of free thinkers everywhere in awe of you respect you totally in love with you never met a woman smiles like you laughs like you moves like you so alluring enchanting seductive wicked fun! I dance spin spin with you entranced by you out of control drunk on you inspired by you in love so in love with you so wildly insanely ecstatically in love with you
trailing scent of a hidden prey whirlpool of deepening shadows audacious call of the wild masked mystery cloaked in randomly directed unspoken methodologies spacious subterranean silence amid the constant clutter clatter of everyday life absence present deadpan peepshow rebellious clairvoyance eyeing the forest for the trees tumultuous evocative whole minus the bleating parts we without mine or yours renegade thoughts rushing upward like mad niagaras ancient cock eyed sun rising backwards in a bipolar west setting defeated in a catatonic east counterclockwise return to nowhere androgynous sundial of blazing paradoxes one pointed irrational arrows speeding towards the ailing heart of staggering status quo echoing dark side bowstring humming humming quieter quieter reverberating endlessly look see smell slippery underbelly of humanity's slithering past vanishing footprints of legless warriors trailing scent of a hidden prey seductive mirage of forgotten accusers enemies of a recurring leap of faith first hopeful cries of the last humans painful memories of myopic sycophants fading fading sinking sinking oblivious below waves of soothing amnesia retreating murmurs of these blind deaf deniers delirious with modernity's malaria feverish to the decaying marrow of disappearing yesterdays ominous like morbid laughter of hysterical circus clowns innocent like sudden death or miraculous birth bewildering like barking cats or grinning mules shocking like hard cold steel piercing pompous pride beware the leopard skinned techno vampires wandering lost the back roads of silicon valley möbius strip teasers all giddy giggling soul sucker brains cliche graveyard gender blurred zombies their awaiting tombstones begging fascist chisels craving permanent goosestepping identities roadside idiot savants swearing their pledge of allegiance to nobel prizefighters warring in revolving octagons of irreversible fate across the spinning globe beyond forgotten hinterlands light years below icy blinking stars still further towards an ancient meadow beyond the cyprus trees twanging irreverent gypsy banjos mocking bedouin moonlit crimes of fashion lost senile arthritic cows stumbling on the rocky hillside of sinai
beloved mountains high coastline low all rivers to the ocean flow sooner or later I too must go no matter love no matter hate no matter friend no matter foe all rivers to the ocean flow sooner or later I too must go hidden moon setting sun all rivers to the ocean run no matter angels no matter devils no matter life no matter death I too will take my final breath my final breath beloved remember me as spirit free rushing headlong to the sea no matter young no matter old no matter peace no matter rage no matter words across this page rushing headlong to the sea spirit free spirit free I will return another now another life another name to love you only again and again so do not weep my beloved let go mourning sorrow despair we are eternal lovers endlessly seeking finding one another transcending every earthly abyss supernatural passion bliss
sweet death at dawn you flee from the nightlong riot of my restless dreams into the secrecy of light like the moon at noon you try to hide in the glare of day but I see you at the intersection seeming to wait for traffic to pass that long black cloak dark glasses ever-present smoldering cigarette slipping past a crowd of pragmatic strangers waiting at the streetcar stop do you really think you are invisible to me go unnoticed in the daily humdrum? or do you deliberately make yourself seen to further your whims? I am losing my way because of you obsessed by your clandestine movements every minute of waking and sleeping why do you visit me in the darkest hours when I'm most open vulnerable seduce my soul to follow you down forbidden paths of breathtaking intimacy further and further from the safety security of the known? I fear for my sanity but I can't resist your irreverent laugh frightened because I can't control you anticipate what comes next are you friend? enemy? no certainty no guarantees all I know is that I'm hopelessly addicted you're more dangerous than heroin yet I can't leave go back yesterdays no longer live even in memory can't remember life before you sink deeper and deeper into euphoric amnesia each moment I'm near you is sweet death you murder familiarity kill the common in me lure me into your bed of licentious freedom until I'm drunk on wanton irrationality I sometimes rebel against how effortlessly you seduce me but in truth I never want it to end I've become paradox with you all my contradictions collide into one avalanche of ecstasy boundaries rules of conduct decorum collapse involuntarily in your presence I'm shaken to my core by your primal gaze mesmerized by your hypnotic voice your touch is fire I am fever throughout burning madman delirious lover godless beauty terror pain pleasure fragility courage my heart breaks with joy because of you gratitude overflows like a mountain stream in springtime my shadow disappears into a torrent of illumination I'm catapulted downstream head over heels drown naked in the blissful ocean of eternity

Steve Klepetar

Your Mouth It’s wide as a church door, that orifice opening like music to dawn, trumpet part deep in every glowing moment when red bleeds across April sky. Such a broken confusion of cold and tentative light, such a sound drenching oaks, and woodpeckers thrumming at the side of your house. Your mouth becomes a lake silvered with mist, where herons sweep past cattail beds and night rolls back, her surrender as ever filled with defiance and truculent rage. Your mouth is a page from a magic book written in the language of soaring notes. Your mouth is a boat and a cocoon, a way of bearing all this bursting green. Your mouth has been violins held at lamp height, chaining the jealous stars to hope. Your red tongue is a vehicle for joy, a taste of drums and the oboe’s hot tears, a way to honor the flutes and their pinpricks of gold. I have sweated here in this morning display, unused to the miracles your breathe, your oracle’s mouth, that limestone cave without envy or mercy or fear.
Nothing Happened If nothing happened, how could the mountain learn to lie flat against a pillow of sea? And tending where? Down the hallway of what remains, along carpet and stairs, my motion nothing but slow seeping through crusts of rock while you sped along an arrow’s golden route too light to turn aside. Who fell asleep? We did, and slept all night in a diamond bed, drugged by the voice of plums.
Rags All day snow burned through gray March sky driving the terrified year before its acid onslaught. Who would have predicted these icy tongues lapping madly at such stringy afternoon light? Where have the wild dogs gone who haunted our little park all winter? Have you seen them breeding in shadows of freezing rain or heard their barks beating against willows, yellow now and struggling to leaf in this lingering cold? Such terrible weather for drinking of spring beer, such a curse loose in this angry wind. Someone has sewn fluttering rags above every grave, and pulled down the flag of our mangled love.

Barbara Phillips

Asters beauty burdened ecstasy of glories womb explosions feasts of gratitude for searing sun's passion jewels in ragged gowns birthing envy in rainbows banished now that fall lies plundered asters in buxom bounty flirt dance beneath unborn tempests midwife frosts rustle riots in one more heat of chance asters stir stars in spheres tear time last drop of vintage wine as it all starts it all bends begging a beginning begging an ending a waxing a waning just let it be
Remember Rain I remember rain curtains in skies taste of grapes green as new grass scatter of damp arms of trees supplicants dancing for relief overburdened beauty veiled mute songs caught in throats of birds rain slick on your hair hands in jeans pockets shoulders hunched endless monologues you turn water screen blurs your escape snags puddles consuming clouds
The Room last week we travelled to a place called Andrews in West Texas which essentially is the same as being on Mars where 90% of the Oil from Texas comes from ... there’s NOTHING out there but red fields of dust & oil pumping stations & oh yah with the current out-of-sight price of oil ... everybody including their uncle is out there ---- drilling at the flea trap we stayed at the hotel carpet was so disgusting – the dog refused to lie on it -- he jumped up on our bed & laid down the minute we walked into the room… ... I had a really hot hot hot shower next morning – when the outside temperature was freezing ... ... needless to say … I caught a chill & that’s how I wound up in the mess I’m in today ... one of the dolts we went out with went out for all of one day & then spent the remainder of the week in his flea palace ... “sick” ... if that would have been me ... I would have found a way to get out of that room
Hepatica white waxy face stares up at me gold centre holds me light in these dark woods early spring is still cool there is no promise of warmth in the wind that frets among leaves long fallen like the leaves around the hepatica I brought home from school a kindness from a teacher with a gardener's soul planted in my father's flower bed it bloomed bravely for one whole day it's end was announced the next day as it lay mutilated on the compost pile, denounced as a weed
What Happened At The Boutique Hotel what happened at the boutique hotel when you did not come as promised was what did not happen as it would have had you come as you had said you would at the door, I did not take your leonine head between my hands to touch your lips with mine, look into your eyes to see how the world was treating you that day your hand was not in mine when I drank the Hemingway mojito listening to Debussy as the sun set not as brilliantly as it used to on the mile high bed with silken sheets I lay sending you goodnight embraces in the morning the empty chair at the breakfast table welcomed a passing sparrow


Michael Ceraolo

from Euclid Creek, Book Two August 14, 2011 The sun was already fully up early on a Sunday morning as I rode the bus down Euclid Avenue to one of the Transit Centers, this one named after a retired local politician (someone who actually merited having something named after him), where I would have a few-minute wait to catch the connecting bus that would take me to work (others would have varying waits to catch one of the other buses or the train) While I was waiting along with dozens of others, one man was working the crowd, generally unsuccessful because his story had as little entertainment value as it had truth When he got to me and asked for a few bucks, allegedly for breakfast (I couldn't quite understand his mumbled mumbo-jumbo about why he had no money), I was reaching into my wallet when he was suddenly seized by the spirit, the spirit that animates many, here and everywhere, and he changed his request, without changing his story, to ten dollars for a rib dinner Unfortunately, I did not have that much money, and also, that last increase pushed his request into the very large area between the small amounts that would always be given and the very large amounts that would also always be given (those very large amounts that would allow people to be described as civic leaders) I put my wallet away and got on the bus, and he begged his way on after me and all the other paying fares, and had a short ride to wherever it was he was going to finish or continue his night------- A man I admire hosts a local radio show, a sports show on a college radio station no less: two-and-a-half hours, less the occasional break for public-service announcements, of his speaking of sports, mostly; sometimes he jump-cuts to other subjects, but, no matter the topic he is almost always interesting, and his program is further unencumbered by ridiculous callers or idiot-in-the-street interviews I don't agree with him on everything, of course (I don't agree with anyone, even myself, on everything), but there is one non-sports point in particular I would like to disagree on with him here He lives in the city proper, and often refers to those outside the city proper as living in the Outer Rim (Why do I sometimes hear that phrase as The Outer Limits?) I would like to give him food for thought: first, the reliance on man-made, rather than natural, boundaries: whether he or many of the 'Outer Rimmers' realize it, they have more in common by the fact of living in the same watershed (the Cuyahoga River watershed in his case) than they have differences by living in different political subdivisions; and second, that man-made boundaries aren't fixed for all time: where he lives didn't become part of the city proper until 1854, and where he works didn't become part of the city proper until 1910, in large part because of the school fire of 1908 And with a change in thinking, either, or both, of these could change again, and change for the better-------

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