YGDRASIL: A Journal of the Poetic Arts

June 1999

Editor: Klaus J. Gerken
Production Editor: Pedro Sena
European Editor: Moshe Benarroch
Contributing Editors: Martin Zurla; Rita Stilli; Milan Georges Djordjevitch; Michael Collings

ISSN 1480-6401


   INTRODUCTION.........................................Klaus J. Gerken 

      VASILIS AFXENTIOU                                                                                  About 2,500  words
         Mallows for Seline
         Good Bye
         After the Bomb
         An Extension
         Simple Things
         The Joshua Tree
         What To Do
         songs and shadows from the past
         interim report
         Tall Trees
         The Marriage of Oedipus and Electra
         Feng Shui
         Whispering  Mother .
         ON THE BRINK

         1. GROWING
         2. NEWBORN
         3. THE CRAFT
         4. LOSS
         5. THIS PAGAN SEA
         6. IKONS




   Sometimes the editor has a pleasant surprise which is not so pleasant:
   the proliferation of good poetry submitted to this magazine is amazing.
   Therefore the problem: too much good poetry, too little space and too
   many commitments, makes the editor shiver with the realization that one
   can never please everyone.  Ygdrasil was founded on the principle of
   the "freedom of the poet"; it was also founded to allow the editors
   great freedom in publishing what and whenever they wanted.  For the
   most part, the editors have followed this belief.  Now that Ygdrasil
   has become one of the (if not "the") premier poetry magazines on the
   Internet, we find ourselves in the position of having to either turn
   down good poetry, or delay its publication many months ahead.  Authors
   do not always understand this.  The lure of "immediate" publication,
   especially on the Internet, is one of the major considerations for
   publishing in this medium.  "Old style" print publications were very
   slow to publish anything, and it might take a year before one's works
   were acknowledged.  But times have changed, and computers have all made 
   us increasingly paranoid of time delays.  What once took days, now
   takes only seconds, and if we have to wait because of a slow CPU we grow
   increasingly impatient, if not indignant of the fact that we cannot have
   something in a second where it might take a minute.  Even our music
   reflects this impatience.  Perhaps someday someone will realize that
   when time intervals shrink, the mind might not have the efficiency
   to properly rationalize ideas, just process facts.  This is not 
   an ideal situation.  We become slaves of our own technology, not our
   technology becoming slaves to us and therefore our ideals, dreams and
   fantasies.  This is in direct contradiction to how good poetry must
   be conceived, born and written.  But that is precisely how most of our
   poetry today IS written: fast, furious and, menacing.  Time for 
   contemplation has now passed.  Immediacy is everything.  From rap 
   to rock, this is our immediate poetry.  It is no longer written on
   a page, but preformed like some circus clown in drag.  Register
   the "performance"; don't think, register, register, register.  
   Life without contemplation is bliss.  Rap your way into an ecstasy;
   catch a harbour-front disease.  And remember how Cleopatra's palace 
   crumbled, and the fast Roman ships burned.  No one knows how amber
   captures what we now must learn.  There cannot be a fossil where there 
   never was a heart.  You see the bright commitment: don't refuse the 
   clever start.  To return to the beginning: a toppled palace proves 
   the most ecstatic interference, from a god who has no goal. Know
   the deep foundation; know your place in hell; know where you might 
   be the devil...(know your doctor well)...

   Once the doors of Janus close, the stars leave us alone...and the stars
   are the poet's inspiration...poets understand, what the others
   cannot understand themselves.  Great poetry never allows the stars
   to falter in their shining.  It cannot.  It must not.  Therefore let 
   the poets wait; let the readers wait; good poetry is always worth 
   waiting for...and believe it or not...is always on time.

   Klaus J. Gerken

   VASILIS AFXENTIOU                                                                                  About 2,500  words
   Mallows for Seline

   Seline woke and said nothing, just lay there in the sheets, watching 
   Dino carefully but not daring to make a sound for fear he would wake 
   up.  I am with you, he seemed to be saying, I will be with you from 
   now on.  I will be with you, Seline, forever.
   Seline turned over and closed her eyes. 
   "You do not know how to give," he had said last night.  "You try, but 
   do not know how.  And you must learn what you want in return."
   What was an artist doing in Athens without a job?  What did she lose 
   that she was searching for in a country only vaguely familiar to her?  
   Memories.  Ah yes.  And endless stories:  Parents who uprooted themselves 
   and her from the island, many years back, to find a sure job and a decent 
   life across the Atlantic.
   She had memories of running and playing by the water, memories of feeding 
   herself and smelling the sea breeze, hearing it rustle through the pink 
   and white flowers of the holyhock and the flat green leaves of the vine 
   on the warm portch, and learning to swim and dress herself, even memories 
   of learning to fish and sail.
   Seline Politou, once stuffer of fish, once assistant to her marine 
   taxidermist father on a coastal village of the island, lowered her 
   thorough-blue eyes, and overcome lifted the covers off herself and sat 
   up on the edge of the bed.
   With effort she got up.
   Back then her father and she would turn dead, empty-eyed fish into 
   handsome, live-looking, trophies that customers hung on their walls, 
   for friends to admire, but eventually neglected.  Seline now mulled 
   over the many things she neglected, had not learned from the aberrant 
   stares of the angled 'prizes'.
   The shower's warm water made her tingle.  She closed her eyes, leaned 
   back and opened her mouth.  She spat out the refreshing stuff several 
   times as the troubled night almost faded in lieu of what the day had 
   to promise.
   But what did it promise?
   She slipped her jeans on, and went to the canvas.  She didn't wake Dino 
   up, but brought with her a mug of Nescafe' and settled in the chair.  The 
   pungency of the black brew briefly dispersed the persistent sleepiness 
   in her head.
   She had seen the place again and again.
   She saw herself give a hefty shove to the deserted, wooden quay and row 
   till she was well away.  Then turn and look back.  She savored the crisp, 
   stretching splendor around their sea side home with the slumped, patched 
   red roof, the airy porch, the flowers, the table.  But for the vision 
   inside her, she would never see the place that had first nurtured her 
   again--a disco/restaurant now took its place.  And she wanted to so much, 
   more than anything else in the world.
   But her fingers today felt thick, clumsy, undisciplined.  The tips were 
   blistered with splotches of colors and the thumb cramped from fatigue.
   "How are your strokes proceeding?" Anastasi had asked her at the studio 
   the other day, giving her a pat as she stretched the knotted muscles of 
   her back.
   "Just fine."
   He had looked at her with those knowing eyes, weighing and regarding, 
   as he stood in front of her, twice attempting to say something that he 
   did not.  
   She enjoyed watching his curiously delicate manner.  He used his large 
   hazel eyes to tell more than his tongue--but that morning she pretended 
   to busy herself preparing, not looking at him for long, for she knew he 
   was probing her.  She had even evaded their usual patter.
   "You're not well?" he had finally said.
   "Not very.  It'll pass."
   He put the stool and foot rest in place, shifted ebulliently with brisk, 
   spirited movement.  And he paused a little.  He did not sit immediately, 
   but delayed this moment of focus.  He relinquished himself to it as 
   thoroughly as to his muse.  He was never hurried at this particular 
   stage; he never rushed at this point.  It was, she thought, a kind of 
   liturgy in him, just as if he was performing, he was undividedly 
   Yet Anastasi could be as utterly grave or severe.  He taught as an 
   evangelist man preached.  It was for this thoroughness, she imagined, 
   that she felt esteem for him.
   Seline now raised the brush...
   ...The pristine break of day was balmy and bright and promised good 
   voyaging. She took a hefty whiff of iodine, and her boyish bust bulged.  
   The sail fluttered a bit and she  pushed the tiler out to trim it.  The 
   bag swelled with salty breeze.  The skiff leaped forward hissing as it 
   skimmed the gentle brew like a gull's wing through air.  The boat 
   cleaved the sleek bay in two, tacking into the draught.  Bit-by-bit 
   the cove receded and soon melded into the checkerboard of gold-brown 
   fields in the backdrop.  Ahead spanned kilometers of sparkling Aegean. 
   The small boat pranced onward banging on the ripening crests, lifting 
   a coruscating spray and dozens of little morning rainbows...
   ...the reverie then scattered into glimmering fragments.  She laid the 
   brush back down on a desk scattered with sketches and empty white sheets 
   of paper, a copy of Chosen Country by J. dos Passos, and Mary Magdalene 
   portrayed weeping. 
   She had heard Dino get up.
   She shut her eyes.  The tiny garret closed in on her.  A sudden vortex 
   made her slump to one side.  She caught herself from falling just in 
   time, and sprung her slight, lean torso up straight on the uncomfortable 
   Two years, Anastasi had said.  Two hard years for the eye to break in.  
   "Don't give up," was his favorite infamous statement, "you come to me 
   with a perfect sense of proportion."
   She whiffed the heavy blue smoke meandering into her cubby-hole study 
   from the Gauloises Dino was smoking in the kitchen.  Her throat tightened 
   and her nostrils pinched.  He was making Greek coffee.  Its rich 
   fragrance mingled, somewhere along the way, with the silty wafts from 
   his cigarette and made her head whirl.  Oblivious to her discomfort she 
   could hear him murmuring/singing, " Take my hand/Take my whole life 
   too..." to himself--the King was The King for Dino.
   She sat there listening to him sing.  His torso yielded slightly, his 
   back bowing a little with the lyric.  Tall and nimble.  Crude and 
   rasping, the timbre seesawed, and she pondered what it ment.  What was 
   going on inside him to make this harmony come out?
   She turned away and listlessly stared at the only two paintings in the 
   apartment, one was an Andrew Wyeth and the other a Norton Simon.  They 
   represented her wealth and were sent by her father, who had bought them 
   in Astoria six months after Seline had departed from her home.
   She had crossed an ocean and a sea and had been living since her arrival 
   in the ancient neighborhood of Plaka in a house of post-classical 
   architecture that vaunted better days right after the war.  The family 
   was moderately wealthy and an old Athenian family, endorsing the old 
   ways, trying hard not to be assimilated by the onrush of world changes 
   fostered by satellite television and her media-nurtured generation.  
   From childhood Seline had known that her future was already planned out.  
   She would be sent to college, earn her degree, and marry a man with a 
   solid profession, perhaps even somebody like her father.  But all that 
   had changed when one morning she left her home with rucksack bearing 
   down on her thin shoulders and trust in a calling.
   And I will love thee still, my dear,
   Till a' the seas gang dry:
   Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
   And the rocks melt wi' the sun;
   came the Burns' hyperbole in the form of a tv commercial for scotch 
   whiskey from the kitchen where Dino sat.
   They had been together for almost a year, then she was twenty-three and 
   he twenty-five.  He was like nobody she had ever met before.  He didn't 
   worry any more about the years ahead than did cattle in green pastures.  
   There was a primal manner in his air and a puerile spontaneity that 
   uninhibited her.  He had a careering way about him, like a twentieth 
   century gladiator, all was intense sport, love-making, drinking, prancing 
   his shiny second-hand Harley as if he were Marlon Brando and she the 
   counter waitress.
   His family had been killed in a train disaster when he was four.  He had 
   been on his own since he was twelve, when he had done away with the 
   source of his obstacles by hurtling over a glass-strewn wall.  The 
   opportunity had come, just before Christmas dawn, another inmate and he 
   had scaled the shard-sowed barrier to freedom, bloodied and frost-bitten.  
   Nightmares of the orphanage shattered his sleep often.  
   A garage owner had offered him a job and Dino had taken his courage in 
   both hands.  Though he was still a boy then, he grew up fast to become 
   a man.  Yet the strong arms transformed to comforting wings at night.  
   She could have let her life surrender into his, and part with all that 
   tortured her, walk away from her own honeyed trial, into the tangy 
   freedom his world promised...
   Meanwhile the canvas stood waiting.  Elegantly and immaculately silent, 
   skillfully tormenting, crafting her pain, like picks etching away in her 
   heart.  It ignored her and the fever in her hands.  Two years had passed 
   four months ago, and still the hues did not fit--clashed like cymbals.  
   The colors dragged slowly, sluggishly, producing a cacophony--rebellion 
   in parody.  There were days when she painted adeptly, but few.  She 
   could not account for it; if she could only do that.
   Dino's deep, black eyes--she could feel it--were upon her from where he 
   sat, this minute.  She could sense their moot, fixed look.  It had been 
   a bad night, last night.  A bad night for love and dreams.  There had 
   been depression in the dark of the room, a tiredness she felt more 
   often than not.  He had finally left her and gone to the other end of 
   the bed, and she had lain alone and silent, and sirocco-warm tears 
   ebbed out of her, scouring the hours by.  
   The night faded once more whence it came.
   She massaged the thumb muscle to lessen the stiffness.  Veins stood out 
   like winding blue worms on her forearm and on the back of her hand.  
   She dipped the brush into the dish of solvent.  
   A straight dark line like clotted blood scarred the once soft tissue 
   behind the finger nails.  Pigment from the repeated scraping at the 
   palette--a vice, an exercise in maintaining the wounds fresh and visible.  
   All credits of the craft.  All the visible signs of hard, diligent work.  
   Texture no.
   Dino brushed by her on his way out.  She smelled the tobacco on his 
   clothes.  He halted and stood by the door not speaking, then closed it 
   behind him.
   "The canvas is like a man," came Anastasi's first words that decisive 
   March noon.  Seline's first lesson about love had begun.  "He will want 
   and want some more.  You will hate and love him.  Give yourself to him 
   and he will give everything to you.   'Love is, above all, the gift of 
   oneself','  someone once said."
   Anastasi had then begun to paint.  Seline's last minute doubts dissolved 
   with certainty.  Each undulating stroke charged a longing that had so 
   long been left yearning for its mate.  The colors mingled and blended, 
   entwined and braided, melded and plexed and fused weaving a dulcet 
   onomatopoeia plenishing her every pore, progressing so ever softly 
   turning, spinning longingly sheer spring air into a depth that had 
   no end.  The dappling of the tints echoed on, ignoring, conquering time.
   "The moan of doves in immemorial elms/And murmuring of innumerable 
   bees--do you see him, do you see Master Tennyson's sigh in the strokes?  
   You are in love, no?" Anastasi had remarked, putting the brush down.
   But the canvas before her today seemed unconcerned, aloof, like Dino.  
   Both promised ecstasy, both wanted her soul.  But she had not the 
   strength to serve two masters.
   When she had awaken that morning it was a comfort to know that the 
   entire day would belong to her to be alone.  But by the time she got 
   through mixing the easels, even the light burden of the brush was too 
   much for her.  She had not slept much during the night, she realized, 
   for her eyelids drooped more often than not.  She had a drifty feeling 
   that made her dreamlike and lose herself.
   "Rest if you must,/but don't you quit." came Cushing's words from the 
   poem Anastasi had drilled into her memory two years before.
   Finally, she put the palette down.  The morning sun rays dabbed the 
   wall next to her with a craggy segment of column from the Parthenon 
   beyond.  She found herself glide into oblivion on the chair.  She dozed.  
   She was overwhelmed by her dreaming of her mother, and felt happiness.
   She was seldom like this, not ever since she had met Dino.  But now, 
   like a torrent, the cumulated snags in their relationship suddenly all 
   deluged upon her, and she was surprised that she did nothing to stop 
   the onset.  She recollected afresh the quarrel the night before, 
   recalled the options remaining--put to her; about the painting, she 
   could not remember what had been said to be wrong with it; possibly 
   it was not the painting; she did not know.  She retained only the 
   oppressive, mostly mute, suffocation of Dino's demands.
   Now, at this recollection she began to tremble for an instant, 
   uncontrollably, and gasp for more air to enter her lungs.  It had been 
   a turbulent episode, the worst; like an Aegean August gale, with only 
   a hint of warning, that drowns one unsuspectingly.  She was sinking, 
   she told herself.  She was feeble against his wants--whatever these were.  
   And perhaps the giving on her part would never quench the needing on 
   The fingers felt better.  She dipped the brush once more and waited.  
   And the vision came again, this time urging and stronger than before.  
   She picked up the palette and gave, yielding herself to the strokes.  
   There was a knock on the door that she did not hear.
   She was solely aware that the mellifluous strokes did not come from the 
   brush but from her.  Like heartbeats, they were as much hers as her 
   heart's.  A presence was there, completing a metamorphosis.  Unlike 
   before, she knew, the threshold now was scaled, the union of her and 
   her dream realized.  She painted, all of her, and did not stop her care 
   because now she could not.  Like the pulsing in her chest, her will no 
   longer participated in its existence.  A being had been freed, and free 
   it reigned over a kingdom of two.  The knocking stopped, the footsteps 
   died softly away behind the closed door, and the room glowed in the 
   autumn morning with Seline and her island  home, her very own place in 
   the spring, to look at and be close to wherever forever.


JANET KUYPERS Good Bye ~~~~~~~~ 1985 A tear rolls down my cheek I read the note once again "Good bye" I was in love Why? why did he leave me? I need him now more than I've ever needed him before "Good bye"
JANET KUYPERS After the Bomb ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1986 after the bomb there's no longer anything to see there's nothing to see but ashes and the charred remains of what used to be planet earth there's no talking for there is no one to hear you there's no longer anything to hear no voices, no music, no laughter just the wind and there's nothing more to smell no roses, no perfumes, no fresh baked bread just the fire for, you see after the bomb there's no longer anything
JANET KUYPERS An Extension ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Winter 1986 A new life, a bundle of joy your flesh, your blood your love, your life this little child, an individual is yet an extension of you A new life, a bundle of joy your hair, your eyes your laugh, your cry this little child, a separate life is yet an extension of you A new life, a bundle of joy mirroring your smile reflecting your love being your life this little child, this life that is new will always be an extension of you
JANET KUYPERS Simple Things ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1986 A patch of daisies waving in the wind on the side of an isolated road A butterfly with vibrant red and yellow wings flying through the branches of a berry bush a kitten cleaning her paw in front of a fireplace lit at night some of the most beautiful things are also the most simple ones
JANET KUYPERS Sometimes ~~~~~~~~~ 1986 Sometimes I look at myself My inner self But I can't see a clear picture Who am I Sometimes I see a business woman Typing on the Computer Thumbing through Large Books Sometimes I see an obnoxious teenager Painting her Toenails During a slumber party Sometimes I see a crying child Just wanting Some Peace Of Mind And sometimes I only see A person Trying to see who she is
JANET KUYPERS The Joshua Tree ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1986 The Joshua tree is a tree with long branches said to point toward the Promised land You remind me of the Joshua tree because you help me and lead me in the right direction
JANET KUYPERS Trapped ~~~~~~~ 1996 I feel like a prisoner locked in a never-ending maze Trapped Confused Is there any way out? Twists and turns, and never a moment without the greatest feeling of severe frustration and absolute hopelessness Trapped Confused Is there any way out?
JANET KUYPERS Untitled ~~~~~~~~ 1986 A song has never made me cry so hard my work has lost its meaning and life has gone too far
JANET KUYPERS What To Do ~~~~~~~~~~ 1986 How many nights have I stayed awake crying until i could no longer the number must be countless those nights are only too familiar to me now what's the sense? the pain I'm feeling never goes away It haunts me like a childhood fear and never releases its hold on me the agony is indescribable and I don't know what to do And whenever there seems to be a time when I haven't a trouble it's there And it always finds its way back to me Your Love, Dear Man, is as Lovely to Me translated by John L. Foster
JANET KUYPERS 1992 Your love, dear man, is as lovely to me As sweet soothing oil to the limbs of the restless, As clean ritual robes to the flesh of Gods, As fragrance of incense to one coming home Hot from the smells of the street. It is like nipple-berries ripe in the hand, Like the tang of grainmeal mingled with beer, Like wine to the palate when taken with white bread. While unhurried days come and go, Let us turn to each other in quiet affection, Walk in peace to the edge of old age. And I shall be with you each unhurried day, A woman given her wish: to see For a lifetime the face of her lord. What's the sense? I don't know what to do
CLINTON V DU PLESSIS: EVANGELIS VAN DIE NIHILISME songs and shadows from the past ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ringing out from our blue heavens solwandle ngudle, suicide by hanging from our deep seas breaking round bellington mampe, cause of death not disclosed over everlasting mountains james tyita, suicide by hanging where the echoing crags resound suliman salojee; jumped from 7th floor window caals the spirit of our country ngeni gaga, natural causes of the land that gave us birth pongoloshe hoye, natural causes in the golden warmth of summer hangula shonyeka, suicide in the chill of winter's air leong pin, suicide by hanging in the surging life of springtime ah yan, suicide by hanging in the autumn of despair alpheus madiba, suicide by hanging we are thine and we shall stand alfred makaleng, cause of death not disclosed at thy will to live or perish o south africa, dear land repeat chorus to fade...
CLINTON V DU PLESSIS: EVANGELIS VAN DIE NIHILISME interim report ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ this country has too many poor people with nothing who couldn't give a fuck too many unfit boisterous pregnant students try to study at too few representative universities with too many conservative lecturers too high is the tuition fees & too short the vacations this country has too many squatters too many directors- general & deputy-directors-general too many people inhabit the prisons too many mercedes benzes are financed by mandrax, there are too many locusts & too few dolphins too few beaches & warm seas with waves nothing distracts the criminal & serial killer blood flows like rain against the windows there are no miracles happening in the townships there are too many holistic approaches too many magazines filled with tits without stars too many radio stations with phone in programmes & heroes like reformed far-right activists & sex therapists too many intolerant democrats & strippers too many attractive jolly escorts too many imported streched sedans too many cellular sluts & and too many traditional leaders with their induna & impi too few jobs & too many consultants & too much money is worth too little there are too few warm swimmingpool weeks the wind dusts relentlessly there is no purposeful interchange of words & ideas no enlightened beacons against narrowmindedness too few meaningful debates too far removed are promises from delivery and between truth & accusations too many shit-stained mirrors there is too much transparency not enough accountability; god! i passionately hate this country.
RON TAVALIN Tall Trees ~~~~~~~~~~ tall trees, trees hang low from the weight of their own late summer leaves, thick with the green-ness and the cool-ness of being tall trees, trees sway lazily as the wind brushes up against them, they smile and stretch lazily, carelessly caught up in the full-ness of being tall trees, trees bend easily and forgivingly with their long simple grace, unashamed in the naked-ness and the whole-ness of being tall trees, the Slender-ness of fingers, of arms, of legs the Slender-ness of branches, wind and neck sing song-speak in whispers and promises the language of your eyes, your face, your finger tips your hair your hands your tapered grip the Slender-ness of your voice falling all around me as stone cold summer rain. . . You are to me all of the Slender-ness of tall trees.
RON TAVALIN wounds ~~~~~~ The soft impressions that your fingers leave in my flesh their nimble weight remains upon me as so much scar tissue from wounds exquisite (that flies swarm around lapping up their sweetness in the delusion that in so doing they will become canonized) wounds in places where Christ bore our sins wounds on my hands, my feet (my hands which cannot feel either ice or flame to which art or friendship or nose-picking is unknown my feet, neither fleet or practical good for propping up and very little else) but these wounds that they bear (where an angel named "providence" has carved her name) the nimble weight of these beloved wounds is the only evidence that I was ever loved by you and I will never let them heal. an angel got caught in my throat. when an angel got caught in my throat the words had nowhere else to go. And so they leaked out helplessly from my eyes I couldn't=B9t catch them all (my hand refused to close) and they fell and broke into a thousand pieces (whose pieces had pieces and dust and atoms and are fine bits of clouds by now) each one a different name they fell scattered across my lap left a fabulous mess upon my legs (the stains will have to wear out) I felt a little foolish (not ashamed), but clearly there was little left to do but laugh.
RON TAVALIN Schoolboys ~~~~~~~~~~ Schoolboys sitting up straight at desks blind and day dreaming schoolboys struggling through tests marooned hours ago and hair trigger horny ruminating about girls, of clumsy stubby fingers inside of wet girls: viscous, slippery and paper-like women filled to running over with "adults only" sexuality who ache to be screwed but are too busy being just so many fine glossy dots beneath their father=B9s beds. Schoolboys distracted, peering through the chipped radiator=B9s liquid heat rocking back and forth on their hands useless feet dangling inches from dull floors. Schoolboys adrift in fractions and Chaucer and the GNP of wartime Germany, Schoolboys enraptured by visions of endless wealth and plenty, mansions filled to running over with enormous bare breasted porsches a world that their father's could only dream of a world that lay waiting just beyond the bell, Schoolboys too busy threshing soft lint from lunch money.
CINDY DUHE The Marriage of Oedipus and Electra ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ (A minister stands, with his back facing the audience, at the diagonal front, left side of the stage. Facing the audience, is Oedipus, who is wrapped in a long, brown toga. Benches are positioned diagonally behind him on the left and right sides, with enough room in between to form an aisle. The left side is reserved for the bride's father, Agamemnon, while the right side is fit to include Oedipus' mother, Jocasta. The wedding march sounds, and down the aisle, Electra walks, from the right side of the stage, with her father by her side. After she has reached Oedipus, her father seats himself on the left bench. Agamemnon and Jocasta glance at each other, then quickly look back at their children. The minister begins the ceremony.) Minister- Dearly beloved, today we gather to unite the souls of Oedipus and Electra, whose love for each other be stronger than eight children of Hercules, fifty Titans, and a whole team of oxen. Now, when I speak of love, I mean it in the most pure of senses. (Electra and Oedipus glance at each other) Love is a sacred bond that cannot be broken by even the most forthcoming temptations. As Oedipus hears the Sirens call, he can only be as strong as to do nothing to further their attempts at his loins. (Oedipus glances back at his mother, briefly) And, as Electra is beckoned by the many, mighty Greek warriors..who pine after her face and her figure whilst away at war,..(Electra glances back at her father, briefly).. little will she do to even pay mind to their petty efforts. They shall not defile love and all of its most sacred meanings. For, it is far stronger than any man or beast shall encounter. (they both look down at the floor) Their love....a love that can only bring a sense of mirth to the barer and joy to the partaker. Oedipus, do you swear, by the holy deities that sit atop Mount Olympus' highest peak, that you shall love, honour, and cherish Electra,...in sickness and in health, in wealth and in poverty, for better or for worse, in good times and in bad, (carrying on incessantly) through thick and thin, whilst waxing and waning, night and day, weekdays and weekends, rhythm days and the rest of the month, Monday through Sunday, noon to midnight.... Oedipus- (angry) Are you just about finished? Minister- (wrapping it up, in a faster pace) And for as long as each of you shall live on in storybook fashion? Oedipus- I do. Minister- And do you, Electra, swear, by the holy deities that sit atop Mount Sinai...Ooop, I suppose that's the wrong time...well, at any rate, will you love, honour, and cherish Oedipus,...in sickness and in health, in wealth and in poverty, for better or for worse, in good times and in bad... Electra- (wishing to leave) How much longer is this going to be? Minister- (wrapping it up, in a faster pace) And all of the other oppositions to common and uncommon sense, for as long as each of you shall live in storybook fashion? Electra- I do. Minister- You may now kiss the bride.....Ooops, wait a minute....Hold!.....I forgot to ask....is there anyone here who opposes this wedding? Let them speak now, or forever hold their peace! (Agamemnon and Jocasta look up, with words biting their tongues, as the curtains fall) (End of Play)
CINDY DUHE Feng Shui ~~~~~~~~~ (An apartment is filled to the brim with props. It is the home of Alexander McHale, a superstitious packrat, as strongly blessed with possessions as his belief in the occult. A barely prominent couch remains in the center of the apartment, not to be confused with the large junk heaps all around the room. On the couch, bits and pieces of boardgames have fallen adrift, along with various pieces of clothing, which should have been laundered some time ago. The piles of clothing separate just enough space on the floor to create a pathway through the filth. On a coffee table, just in front of the couch, plates with old, decaying food sit, staring into the audience's conscience, waiting for the moment that they are to be taken to an even larger dumpster, preferably out of this habitat. The walls feel only complete by suffering the same injustice as the rest of this place. Makeshift cabinets, along with bric-a-brac display cases, show themselves, in their lacking appearance, making clear that clutter can be a multi-directional force. A door, to the right side of the stage, stands with chips on the finish and old, useless tacks firmly affixed to its surface. The sound of the door being unlocked alarms the entrance of Alexander, along with a respected Feng Shui artist, Djung Kai, who was sought out to bring peace and prosperity by the alignment of his home furnishings. As Alex enters, he guides the way for Djung Kai to follow. Djung Kai is a typical mustachioed image of a Chinese man, wearing the clothes expected from such a person. As he walks in, his mouth drops and he begins to look weak.) Djung Kai- (under his breath) I do not know...how one...human...is to live in such a....place. Alex- (enthusiastically) Go ahead and take a look around. You're the master! (Djung Kai is barely able to wade through the massive piles of junk. He shakes his head, alot, while examining the many items in the room.) Alex- (after Djung Kai has examined things for a moment) (eagerly) So, can you help me? (Djung Kai remains focused on looking at the many objects on the floor and around the room. When he is questioned, he looks up at Alex, with mouth agape, looking at him as though he were crazy. Alex's smile never leaves his face. Djung and Alex are Yin and Yang at this moment; very opposite.) (The curtain closes)
CYNDI PHILLIPS Whispering Mother . ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Tell the wind to stop whispering and time will stand still . Because the way of the wind always makes a person feel. Although time seems to go by so fast . Remember the memories you make together will always last. Sometimes people tell you to slow down and enjoy life, but sometimes the wind whispering cuts like a knife. Even though you will always have one another , there's no one like your beloved mother .
RUTH DAIGON NEVERTHELESS ~~~~~~~~~~~~ we are thankful for small miracles, the sky flaunting its dazzle, and days tall as promise. Although we've lost track of the alphabet, someone will read aloud to us or chant a litany of sounds, bluer than air, cleaner than numbers a tongue we've never learned a voice we've never heard but something we have known all our lives. The hours lie stored in linen, and we're pearled for one last migration. Along the way, people die for the smallest reasons. Nevertheless, our world begins inside the green century. We savor the earth and travel the furrowed planet. Like nocturnal animals we are always vanishing, always there. Shadows beckon ahead, we grow large and drink the wind. Neverthelesss, we wait for laughter a sky drunk with sunlight and after the sudden dark, when earth turns to air, we greet the final stun of silence.
RUTH DAIGON UNLIT PLACES ~~~~~~~~~~~~ The dead complain we lack the skill to keep them buried but that's the earth's job. There's no safe burial ground. They'll shine up through the grave spreading their affection. Offered refuge under markings and memorials, they refuse and wait for us in unlit places tapping their white canes-- the terrible patience of those with time. In the slow caress of years our weight is doubled by the burden of others we cultivate and carry and deep in the future children keep us alive.
RUTH DAIGON IN THIS WATCHING PLACE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ there is only this house this room this field and a tree pulling away from its roots a trickle of water like a thin strand of wire drips from the tap a fly perches on the rim of a bowl wings lifting lowering polishing the silence light spreads its slow stain around the empty coffee cup and the quieter it is the slower time passes as i listen to my breath the oldest sound i know
RUTH DAIGON TAKING TIME BY THE HAND ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ While sunlight touches lightly a room almost remembered where the dark lies heavy on her lips she skips through the past and dreams of the future as though it were gone. She sets new traps for ancient dreams, preserving the present although it's a lie--like Monet pinching off green for a winter- veined landscape where everything floats in the lake of his eye. She pours sand into clocks until years turn inward to sunburned summers where childhood frisks. With the long sleep still light years away, she rises to morning's extravagance, air wrapped in silk, abundance of sky, and perched like a cock on a dung hill she's crowing the morning.
RUTH DAIGON ON THE BRINK ~~~~~~~~~~~~ She knows the art of lying still, sleeping with the invisible in the windless dark and bedded warmth of night. She knows the little hauntings, the old scenery waiting in the wings, the moon on a thread, the slow swing of the year. She knows how to wait with the cicadas for seventeen summers and sing without promise until the white weather of dreams. She knows childhood's land of sticks and stones, fluid days, and how to lie in snowy fields leaving behind corpses of angels. She knows how the old spend their days arranging comb, brush and last night's news while moonlight seeps through windows. She knows when the tide comes in, waves lapping at her feet, and she in her woolen bathing suit, on the brink of everything she does not know.
RUTH DAIGON IN THE MEASURING OF BREATH ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Light cartwheels into morning returning to the same spot as if it knew the way, sheets sticky with summer, the scald of August. Air glows, sweat jewels his chest and the future hangs suspended, the past invisible as we burrow into love. Here, I am no one's child and no one's mother following the silken thread through the stillness of the maze. After hours of talk and touch, the moments in-between laced with silence, like Heloise removing her pale garments, I lie in the smooth mouth of sleep until sunlight's chipping at the blinds and the morning paper tossed against the door. In the measuring of breath, in the words between us and the looks, balanced, cantilevered, interlocked, we plot distances and chart the depths. Out of sun and fog, out of clover, mint and pennyroyal, out of fragrances of fresh-cut grass it's the two of us.
MARK SCOTT BAGULA ALL COLORS MINE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I am: joyous in snow-light, crying asphalt tears; flavors of cognac- sweet alcohol burnish-bite; swift, winterburnt and eager- like dimensions that give at edge. I will: this to be daylight-night: waking without the years bringing me back (electric tonight); felling me in blue pure sky; and resting me on the ledge. I go: into mirage-mirror:, step through without tearing; kiss without asking; and faint into knowing resurrection, loss and redemption.
MARK SCOTT BAGULA MR. LAMBADA TONGUE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Latin romance inhabits the curves of the words- breaking them like a stride. Strut of the pelvis enters the room first: with a warning thrust- smooth shift, then burst caramel soft, plush; all four feet still humping along, humming a song: Mr. Lambada tongue.
MARK SCOTT BAGULA LIGHT ~~~~~ Rare morning of angry light- prying and peering through window. Summer covers bunched at feet. Dreams broken at the elbow- bent run back to the night. I hate to face the day already beat. Trudge the drudgery to afternoon- oppressive steel lid over daybreak: like night with gray light on the gloom. Clock arms resist my pulling- make my face red- embarrassed hope for moon to mirror a star that will not bloom.
ROBERT JAMES BERRY 1. GROWING My eyes have opened My heart is thumping music I hear other musics They do not concern me I am unfurling my fingers Stretching them through crustacean-red water My sky has a roof of muscle I can touch the sky With my creased fingertips I shall suspend my pigmented thumb in my new mouth I shall frown and kick myself to sleep I am miraculous I have these dreams This is my time I should like things to stay this way
ROBERT JAMES BERRY 2. NEWBORN Still bloody Purple and crying With pudgy fingers Thinning hair Our son is A creased old man A bawling sage in woollen blankets It is my savage superstition to pray and give thanks Now that they have mopped shined you made of you a serene swaddled infant You are absolutely still A mystic with no name With sleep You shall grow young in this house Strong-lunged Round as the moon
ROBERT JAMES BERRY 3. THE CRAFT A thought is forming It bleeds a pagan syllable one word of ancient blood onto the page At evening a blue haze pencils the horizon Time closes over creation broad burnished hands The thought has grown It is a candle like morning The wick is burning When it is dark When fog settles And the thought is A graven image to kneel at Profuse soundless Then it shall have children They shall haul fishlike onto land I am thinking of them
ROBERT JAMES BERRY 4. LOSS The heart has stopped beating They have shown me It is a silent black Sticky degenerate mass I have carried this Now I must wait Till what was my life looses hold and tissue and blood bleeds out Then again there will be nothing In the next room Another's is being born They are smiling There is shouting Grief is too small a word for this I am mourning my own life This is the end of time
ROBERT JAMES BERRY 5. THIS PAGAN SEA This is a primitive sea The water is like milt Creation quivers in it Soon life wriggles a reptilian tail It grows strong crimson kicks because it will kick The water is full of this As if with meaning Life multiplies There are cell clusters that click like a puzzle solved others swell an abnormal head without reason and die This sea is pagan Graven with one statement That Time shall destroy and the survivors for now shall watch This is the word World without end Nothing else is written.
ROBERT JAMES BERRY 6. IKONS The flame just burns The incense coils only fragrant smoke God is enthroned on a lotus his foot crushing demons I search for pity in the blank human face imagine the image looks back with understanding That his thumb and finger guides That his trident is raised to slay my demons At first I was angry Now I am a sad child Suddenly done with empty pictures Ash falls on the altar cloth The incense is cold now I shall brush it away like forgotten history guide myself to the room within and lock up I am suddenly done with empty struggles.


   as i burrow through these heaps of paper
   i fail to see a meaning
   lazy suspended feeling
   engulfs my tired body
   scribblings on blue sheets control
   my animated motion
   every drop of ink injects
   corrosion in my brain
   craving for abstraction
   in patterned predictable web
   as pungent thoughts pulverize
   the stifled intellect
   imagination's vacuumized systems overdose
   emotions subjugated disgustipated soul
   battered subdued spasticized
   blinded bored and numb
   these empty mugs of coffee stare
   in mute indifferent witness
   another wasted day


A New Age: The Centipede Network Of Artists, Poets, & Writers
An Informational Journey Into A Creative Echonet [9310]
(C) CopyRight "I Write, Therefore, I Develop" By Paul Lauda

       Come one, come all! Welcome to Newsgroup alt.centipede. Established 
       just for writers, poets, artists, and anyone who is creative. A 
       place for anyone to participate in, to share their poems, and 
       learn from all.  A place to share *your* dreams, and philosophies. 
       Even a chance to be published in a magazine.

       The original Centipede Network was created on May 16, 1993. 
       Created because there were no other networks dedicated to such 
       an audience, and with the help of Klaus Gerken, Centipede soon 
       started to grow, and become active on many world-wide Bulletin 
       Board Systems.

       We consider Centipede to be a Public Network; however, its a
       specialized network, dealing with any type of creative thinking.
       Therefore, that makes us something quite exotic, since most nets
       are very general and have various topics, not of interest to a
       writer--which is where Centipede steps in! No more fuss. A writer
       can now access, without phasing out any more conferences, since 
       the whole net pertains to the writer's interests. This means 
       that Centipede has all the active topics that any creative 
       user seeks. And if we don't, then one shall be created.

       Feel free to drop by and take a look at newsgroup alt.centipede

  Ygdrasil is committed to making literature available, and uses the
  Internet as the main distribution channel. On the Net you can find all
  of Ygdrasil including the magazines and collections. You can find
  Ygdrasil on the Internet at: 

    * WEB: http://users.synapse.net/~kgerken/ 

    * FTP: ftp://ftp.synapse.net/~kgerken/

    * USENET: releases announced in rec.arts.poems, alt.zines and

    * EMAIL: send email to kgerken@synapse.net and tell us what version 
         and method you'd like. We have two versions, an uncompressed 
         7-bit universal ASCII and an 8-bit MS-DOS lineart-enchanced 
         version.  These can be sent plaintext, uuencoded, or as a 


  . REMEMBERY: EPYLLION IN ANAMNESIS (1996), poems by Michael R. Collings

  . DYNASTY (1968), Poems by Klaus J. Gerken
  . THE WIZARD EXPLODED SONGBOOK (1969), songs by KJ Gerken
  . STREETS (1971), Poems by Klaus J. Gerken
  . BLOODLETTING (1972) poems by Klaus J. Gerken
  . ACTS (1972) a novel by Klaus J. Gerken
  . RITES (1974), a novel by Klaus J. Gerken
  . FULL BLACK Q (1975), a poem by KJ Gerken
  . ONE NEW FLASH OF LIGHT (1976), a play by KJ Gerken
  . THE BLACKED-OUT MIRROR (1979), a poem by Klaus J. Gerken
  . JOURNEY (1981), a poem by Klaus J. Gerken
  . LADIES (1983), a poem by Klaus J. Gerken
  . FRAGMENTS OF A BRIEF ENCOUNTER (1984), poems by KJ Gerken
  . THE BREAKING OF DESIRE (1986), poems by KJ Gerken
  . FURTHER SONGS (1986), songs by KJ Gerken
  . POEMS OF DESTRUCTION (1988), poems by KJ Gerken
  . THE AFFLICTED (1991), a poem by KJ Gerken
  . DIAMOND DOGS (1992), poems by KJ Gerken
  . KILLING FIELD (1992), a poem by KJ Gerken
  . BARDO (1994-1995), a poem by Klaus J. Gerken
  . FURTHER EVIDENCES (1995-1996) Poems by Klaus J. Gerken
  . CALIBAN'S ESCAPE AND OTHER POEMS (1996), by Klaus J. Gerken 
  . CALIBAN'S DREAM (1996-1997), a poem by Klaus J. Gerken
  . THE LAST OLD MAN (1997), a novel by Klaus J. Gerken
  . WILL I EVER REMEMBER YOU? (1997), poems by Klaus J. Gerken
  . SONGS FOR THE LEGION (1998), song-poems by Klaus J. Gerken
  . REALITY OR DREAM? (1998), poems by Klaus J. Gerken
  . APRIL VIOLATIONS (1998), poems by Klaus J. Gerken
  . THE VOICE OF HUNGER (1998), a poem by Klaus J. Gerken

  . SHACKLED TO THE STONE, by Albrecht Haushofer - translated by JR Wesdorp

  . MZ-DMZ (1988), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . DARK SIDE (1991), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . STEEL REIGNS & STILL RAINS (1993), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . BLATANT VANITY (1993), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . ALIENATION OF AFFECTION (1993), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . LIVING LIFE AT FACE VALUE (1993), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . HATRED BLURRED (1993), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . CHOKING ON THE ASHES OF A RUNAWAY (1993), ramblings by I. Koshevoy
  . BORROWED FEELINGS BUYING TIME (1993), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . HARD ACT TO SWALLOW (1994), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . HALL OF MIRRORS (1994), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy
  . ARTIFICIAL BUOYANCY (1994), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy

  . THE POETRY OF PEDRO SENA, poems by Pedro Sena
  . THE FILM REVIEWS, by Pedro Sena
  . THE SHORT STORIES, by Pedro Sena
  . INCANTATIONS, by Pedro Sena

  . POEMS (1970), poems by Franz Zorn

  All books are on disk and cost $10.00 each. Checks should be made out to
  the respective authors and orders will be forwarded by Ygdrasil Press.
  YGDRASIL MAGAZINE may also be ordered from the same address: $5.00 an
  issue to cover disk and mailing costs, also specify computer type (IBM
  or Mac), as well as disk size and density. Allow 2 weeks for delivery.
  Note that YGDRASIL MAGAZINE is free when downloaded from Ygdrasil's 
  World-Wide Web site at http://users.synapse.net/~kgerken.


  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, 1994, 1995,
  1996, 1997 & 1998 by Klaus J. Gerken.

  The official version of this magazine is available on Ygdrasil's 
  World-Wide Web site http://users.synapse.net/~kgerken.  No other 
  version shall be deemed "authorized" unless downloaded from there. 
  Distribution is allowed and encouraged as long as the issue is unchanged.

  All checks should be made out to: YGDRASIL PRESS


    * Klaus Gerken, Chief Editor - for general messages and ASCII text
    submissions. Use Klaus' address for commentary on Ygdrasil and its
    contents: kgerken@synapse.net

    * Pedro Sena, Production Editor - for submissions of anything
    that's not plain ASCII text (ie. archives, GIFs, wordprocessored
    files, etc) in any standard DOS, Mac or Unix format, commentary on
    Ygdrasil's format, distribution, usability and access:

    We'd love to hear from you!
    Or mailed with a self addressed stamped envelope, to: