INTRODUCTION ELISSA BARMACK The Fire Of Prometheus CONTENTS JANET I. BUCK The Egg Timer Hot Crossed Wires Nice Lavender Nauseated Acrobats The Blood Trail Few Provisions Shrapnel Set in Barbie Dolls MOSHE BENARROCH Noble Prize Prohetic poetic The Vintage Book Of Contemporary American Poetry International Poet Austin/NYC April 1999 DOUG TANOURY Signs In August My Father Dying Cosmic Theory On The Right Side of God The Ascension FARZANA MOON A Puzzle in Time A Sacred Flame From Dawn to Dusk Dreaming Dreams Farewell to Jamna KAREN ALKALAY-GUT Three Poems On Personal Habits Inspiration Landscape In The President's Home Clocks A Love Poem POST SCRIPTUM JEANNE KHAN
ELISSA BARMACK The Fire Of Prometheus ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Prometheus, the potter and clown, playful and proud, ignored the bounds, chosing instead to search uncompassed grounds. And when he saw the human need, he tricked the gods to steal fire for us when we had neither warmth nor art. . Angry, Zeus ordered the Titan bound, his belly exposed each day to a voracious eagle's beak. Yet this strange revenge was not his end, for each day he was restored to be consumed again. Each piercing of the beak, each tearing of flesh consumed the sacrifice and nourished the bond: the returning eagle's beak now an eternal part of him. From thief and benefactor, he had become transgressor and chastiser in one. I often imagine Prometheus, I, a woman, weaver of words and sometime borrower of yarn I, too, steal to make some thing of human worth. No eagle devours my loving body, and yet it is consumed in time and struggle with dreams and memories that do not heed the rule of clans or reason. Ignored by the gods, I hear the mortal judges sighing, "Creating is such a lovely way to pass the time, busy hands and idle minds diverting from life's little trials." This is what the good people know: minding their own, counting their own, never crossing the line. But though I love community, the docile life is not for me. Beginning at the end, I search beyond. Scribe, I note the suspect word, the shifting thought. Fool or child, I long for histories of intense color, and dare to open the forbidden books of the forgetting mind. With words, I am no more than quest in breath, and purposeful as silence. Child to myself, I, too, am self-consuming. Yet from the ashes of such desire another fire is always rising.
JANET I. BUCK The Egg Timer ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Forty years a litany where affidavits of despair were growing like an amaryllis way away from orange light. Approval in the eyes of pride-- a ten day-trip of timing eggs where brittle swishes in its cup. Sand of helpless on its side pouring through the courage spout. A hushed attack of Dolby tears plays silent on the stereo. A stump is left when knives have gone. Weak syringe of body parts where will's determined plunger lives. I download strength and stretch it out like bullets in a time of war. Fate's altercation multiplied by sore deaf ears of tolerance, contractions for the birth of pain. The bird nest patience of your love never grows a spot of mold. Another poem emerges now: it goes from shrapneled Barbie Dolls to pilgrims on a meaty quest. "How do you walk with one clubbed foot, the other missing absolut?..." Testing teeth on dead, cold kernels in a bag. I take a step in self sawed-off, lean on all you are and do. Learning how to trust a crutch as cities do a cable car. Grabbing for the winged dove as fingers find a wedding loop.
JANET I. BUCK Hot Crossed Wires ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ City bodies, jaded eyelids. Prayer for headlights losing juice. Hairpin turns and rumble strips-- the homeless in a breakdown lane like heel sticks and hearing aids of peccadillo porcupines. Busy, busy helium for dream balloons with needles near. Blasting horns of dodging traffic coughing at a silent wind. Fourteen carat posts and more than precious stones in grime, turquoise skies would dodge retrieve like jewelry flushed down bathroom sinks. Money's penicillin flowed; apathy's resistance grew. Junk heap graveyard minus grass. Beaten tires slashed and stacked like wedding rings longing for a finger's flesh. Scent of diesel in the air-- onions on a plate of cheesecake sizing up a spoiled dessert. Full of metal, rusty red shining on the city's curves. Each hood and chassis piled in wormed alfalfa sprouts of sickly, ugly pubic hair. Honeysuckle crawled the fence. Hot crossed wires of Gotham strife searching for the healed canyon Mother Progress claimed she made.
JANET I. BUCK Nice Lavender ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ You graced our lives with velvet poise and silk pajamas of your words. Parted my hair when I dressed for school in ways suns separate a cloud. Taped my high school graduation. Made processions matter more. You straightened up around mistakes. Put iodine on lovers' cuts. Answered divorce with long, long lunches, putting ice in tepid tears, drank them bravely mother style. Money was, you always said, "a temporary fix at best," poinsettias on Christmas Eve with glitter's poison in their veins. Every season linked to Spring in ways your reminiscence worked. Accomplishment without your eyes just feathers minus pillowcase. Poetry seems never done without your ears to coddle it. Belladonna bugle calls from trumpets of a daffodil. Muse sits same as castaways beside a melancholy sea. Complicity embodied here: beauty lives in captured grief. Navy Crosses, Purple Hearts-- proud and stubborn--great and sad. I hated oozing morphine drips that held you as you passed away like apple cores despise a worm. Death, some cruel spraying skunk that squatted on nice lavender.
JANET I. BUCK Nauseated Acrobats ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "Let's get an X-ray of that joint--poor dear. I can hear it pop like hiccups down a quiet hall." The film in black was no surprise-- limp's mangy old ballet is short-- bones are always dodging coffins garnering appeal with pain. Just one candle lit for walking. A leaning tower of pizza crust without thick meat, without much cheese, without nice ripe tomatoes sliced. Squished bug toes-- the only angels I've ever known. Every year the options shrink in dryer spins like threadbare tips of woolen socks. Just one candle lit for walking--dead flies snapped by towel time. Precious days are numbered Wedgewood-- one-time runs of frosted china-- nauseated acrobrats.
JANET I. BUCK The Blood Trail ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I need to believe that after death, we sleep in feather beds of wise advice we demonstrate or briar patch of lies we told. In bits of good and bags of flaws bequeathed by scissored heritage. Shrapnel grief embedded in flesh won't dissipate or sweat away. Those who stay a little longer follow blood trail goodness in our souls. I examine my toes to see how far, how high, how hard I've kicked the lumpy ball of just. Sadly, see my flesh intact. Time's cross between the Nile of nights and Amazons of passing days: room exists for spreading weak but willing wings. Hope's agenda plays the hull.
JANET I. BUCK Few Provisions ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Capricious members of a club, your grandsons hung like pine cones on sick money trees. Acquisition ruled long nights with few provisions for the dark. The almost oldest not the wisest-- wallets for a weird bazaar where masses were connecting points and cookie hours for scoring sales. Worshipping a moving target, nudging children off his lap. Measuring a Christmas card for rows of numbers stashed inside. Money's fugue a chorus line with limbs and parrots in their place. Old blood feud of vanity-- an atheistic tragedy of short erections and haystack lies. Black pancreas of racing greed filtering the peerless shadows. Give's illegal tenderness forever unapproachable. Days were fish tanks brewing scents that booze would have to chlorinate. Every night from 5 p.m. until he pushed the sun away turned the moon to shiny fibs-- he simmered lonely in his study blowing smoke at T.V. sets. It was a ritual choice of enemies that softened inner judgment calls. Bedtime lace of Seconal fanned loose feathers of his ghosts.
JANET I. BUCK Shrapnel Set in Barbie Dolls ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I've hated ugly signatures of just one knee like lynch mobs captured by the dawn. My flesh gives God such bad reviews. My pen, a crutch. My crutch, a pen. Licking floors like conch shells on a stranded beach, the difference curve a hairpin turn. A possum's footprint turns to skunk. Old age spray is in my nostrils waiting for death to blow its nose. I educate your fluid limbs like microphones on podiums. Mouth-to-mouth poetic spurts are sand in pockets hope shakes out. It's not some special brand of angst-- just obvious and undetained. Napalm altercations live in ways I tackle daily chores. The art of limp defies retreat. Bone spurs of my heritage-- shrapnel set in Barbie Dolls.
MOSHE BENARROCH Noble Prize ~~~~~~~~~~~ Ginsberg didn't get it, Buk neither was a bum Borges some said was facist but Garcia Marquez got it Did you know Winston Churchill got the nobel of literature, have you read his prose, Toni Morrison yes but not Amiri Baraka not Kerouak died too young O.K. But why not Henry Miller died too old? Maybe Ferlinghetti still can get it Burroughs? too crazy or too american now we need someone from the east now we need a jew, an african in the mean time my favourites writers all dying not getting nobel prizes, most of the winners just bore me Czymborska O.K. though, then what are my chances, too crazy yes, but also African, born Morocco, jew, live in Israel, write poetry in Hebrew, Spanish some English like this poem, and if I win I promise will read this one when they give it to me.
MOSHE BENARROCH Prohetic Poetic ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Four years after the war is forgotten and the people become part of a history book four young lads in Denver will start a band named The Kossovo Survivors They will be marketed as the Denver scene play alt country-rock and sell 25 million cd's in their 4 years existence, then the lead singer and guitarrist know by the name of John Kossovarvich will hang himself because his girlfriend died in a car crash.
MOSHE BENARROCH The Vintage Book Of Contemporary American Poetry ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ November 1990 First Edition. I bought it at Strand April 20 Broadway Boulevard 1999, for half the retail price of 14.95$, 7.48$. I asked them to mail it to me with ten more books to Jerusalem. In it I found a receipt from Barnes And Noble from 9/20/94 for 7.48$+0.62 tax total 8.10. I don't Know Which Barnes And Noble, in Manhattan the Address is not precised the phone number is 212-633-3500 The buyer paid in cash 20.10$ and got 12$. The receipt says THANK YOU, I found it in page 396, Mark Strand says in that page in a poem called "The Story Of Our Lives": "We are reading the story of our lives which takes place in a room. The room looks out on a street. There is no one there." I look at the woman who bought this book in 1994, it was a lovely autumn day, she was lonely, she was 30 years old back then, she was a poet, she was a writer, That day she woke up very happy, one of her poems was going to be included in a very important anthology, she wanted to celebrate it by buying a book of poetry, and a bottle of wine, she liked Chilean wine, the leaves were falling on her window, she looked out of her window, but just before she was going to leave she noted that she was menstruating, it always happened suddenly to her her periods weren't dramatic like her friend's, she didn't have many friends, she lived not far from Barnes And Noble, she wanted some poetry book but she really couldn't decide so she went for the anthology which had a 50% discount, a bit of Ginsberg, a bit of Berriman Ashbery and a poet she never heard of till then Mark Strand, and many others. She sat in the village the sun was beautiful on her face making it shine for some real goal and she drank some coffee reading the book, she read for hours, until I woke up seven hours later in Paris, It was a beautiful sunny day the leaves were dancing to the wind and I looked out of my window and saw her going back home, she was lovely and she was gone before I could dream of her before we bought the same book before our fingers touched the same paper.
MOSHE BENARROCH International Poet ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I international poet I multilingual poet walk the streets of this world in any language walk paris walk madrid walk malaga walk antalia walk istanbul walk austin walk new york walk lisboa before reading pessoa born tetuan close to tangier a.m. while burroughs ginsberg and corso writing their best work wonderin if there was any cosmic influence but bukowski not in tangier he king of american poets king of wine king of swine king of anarchy poets even five years after his death they academic know what dont know still dont put him in their anthologies great bukowski had them all they not see his poems are even becoming better after his death me international poet i love that i love to be antiestablishment once my wife told me i am the most antiestablishment man she ever knew and she knew men and artists international poet born in small city while forty miles from there some crazy writers were making the greatest literary revolution of 20th century so what is big what is small tangier or new york city or tetuan, and who is big truman or ginsberg or corso or buk and what hour is it now, now if you know you are a saint.
MOSHE BENARROCH AUSTIN NYC April 1999 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1. At Shakespeare and Co. New York city poetry rack poetry month a big sign The Bukowski books are in the Drinking smoking and screwing rack at the front of the store, there also Burroughs did he smoke, I think he didn't drink then Celine did he screw anything else but his own life, then we have old Buk it's like he drank, smoked, screwed and then wrote some poems and the most important things he did are that he drank screwed and smoked and not that he was the best american poet see that's the problem with all dis american cultu' we want to know who did he fuck, how many, how much he drank but much less we want to read what he said 2. Time of suitcases again end of New York city Greenwich village looking desperately for a place to piss half the time getting harder and harder even once almost did it in my pants while walking on these same streets where Ginsberg walked wondering what would he have said about Kossovo when people of truth die we miss them when they are alive we disagree admiring their truthfulness had some good food not lots of music found some good books it's time for suit- cases again fear of flying hate of planes will remember McDougall street and Broadway avenue would rather forget 5th avenue would remember Austin its poets and wonderful music too much too long planes to come back soon then again who knows as my grandmother said trips happen when they happen.
DOUG TANOURY Signs In August ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ As the mornings grow cooler in later August I notice flowers grow more vivid Each blossom wears a brighter shade Each bud promises a more vibrant hue And leaves grow a lusher green In these evenings of late summer The crickets seem to call louder In a meter more pronounced And becomes to me as I listen now The very heartbeat of night And in these signs I see The season's end foreshadowed And I reflect on its last days As rain falls in the afternoon and Ends in white bursts across the pavement Making leave and blossom twitch and tremble As if animated the flowers awaken From dreaming colors of summer mornings And trees listen and sway silently to songs That fill an August night And I too am now awake And wear a new more full awareness Of the signs and signals of a season passing And the significance of small and tiny symbols Like a raindrop glistening On a cricket's charcoal back
DOUG TANOURY My Father Dying ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In the gulls cry I can remember My father's voice and recall his smell In the coolness of air drifting off The lake that lay translucent green Like the jade backs of crayfish Its surface still and the only motion A black-hulled lake freighter that Travels the horizon like a body being Wheeled down a hall on a gurney The glint of sunlight that stretches Across the surface is the silver tails Of minnows swimming in schools And the glassiness of his eyes as he Falls into a stillness where unmoving He becomes without wind or waves The lake where mahogany earthworms And ebony leeches are bait For stained-glass bluegills 6/14/99
DOUG TANOURY Cosmic Theory ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I believe time and place bend and twist And tremble and sometimes spasm and twitch For poetry is silly science a wacky physics Where consistency is pure illusion Boundaries imagined The big bang only the screen door slamming On an August afternoon And the universe at its very core and center Is a corner house in the central city That borders a busy highway With traffic noise that never stops And is ever present like radio static Where randomness is the moving Mysterious sounds from stream radiators And each quasar the creak of wooden steps That lead up and run parallel To a long wooden banister And all light is a prism projected On a worn and faded rug Through the beveled edges of glass In windows that catch afternoon sun And the radio spectrum plays repeatedly A somewhat sad sonata Of Beethoven as background hiss
DOUG TANOURY On The Right Side of God ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ For Mike Timonin At the Second Baptist Church Black angels in stained-glass windows Guard the front entrance And I think that God so loves diversity That Cherubim of color Wearing golden garb Sing Gospel that makes the Saints Slap their sacred knees And I know that Seraphim sing the Blues so plaintive and compelling that Bare feet that bear the wounds of nails Tap the holy floors of heaven In perfect time with the rhythm And every Saint and Martyr sways On the right side of God 9/4/99
DOUG TANOURY The Ascension ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ For Klaus Pumps crushed on the concrete Left near a doorway Side by side and upright Next to steel pipe where Blue mosaic tiles border a crimson pilaster The pavement is wet from rain And its grayness is like the sky And I think God took the owner of these shoes Took her Body and soul He lifted her up Ascension style For anyone with shoes so broken Must be saintly and pure From walking the hard roads Merciful God Take me too just like her Leave my sneakers standing Solitary on the sidewalk Relics for poets 11/28/99
FARZANA MOON A Puzzle in Time ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Pen of Destiny has its own script Erasing what we make And making what we wish to erase The words all writ and scrambled A great puzzle in time Mounted and sculpted by thoughts Dismantled and shattered by actions Yes, the pen of Destiny Rewriting history Concealing the tongues of Truth Inside the mounds of parables Ah, the parables supreme Arrested in my head Dancing before my sight Like the unsuckled babes Shrivelled and wailing Sucking their toes The Greed for Time And Words Have made me The victim of such horrors Visions deformed And reveries beautiful Both feeding my soul While I embrace one portrait Unseen by the gods The god of my dreams Muse Miracle
FARZANA MOON A Sacred Flame ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ One sacred flame in my soul Burning blue And kindling The polished oceans Of its own white purity To the bluest of heavens Blazes forth A velvety ripple All soft and coiling Sniffing out the light Silence and darkness Chasing each other Halting suddenly At one altar Invisible The Eye of Ignorance Shut hermatically Reflects the pool of Illusion Arresting Truth Inside the gates of paradise Splendid lies Glorious wisdom Knowledge glittering Sanctified and forgotten
FARZANA MOON From Dawn to Dusk ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ From the dust of obscurity My thoughts gather treasures A million stars Buried inside the sand-dunes Many a moons Dancing on the face of the earth The ripples of gold in oceans deep And the fire of rubies From dawn to dusk One thought searching always Some lost treasure Inside the the silence of my soul Where sealed and preserved It lies unexplored Once, it was a blazing comet The flame of madness Scalding my heart And carving agonies Now those agonies old Implore audience Yearning for the tongues of pain To break the seal of silence Strange this pain Gnawing always Shrinking and expanding And melting not Hopelessness
FARZANA MOON Dreaming Dreams ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Inside the fortress of my body My soul stays prisoner Longing for liberty For freedom to soar But the doors are locked And windows blackened With the soot of Time All guards blasted by age Yet protecting the weak flesh Many a ghosts of the past Striving to break open Through the tiny slits Of Rest and Darkness Slain All By the feeble guardians Soul sleeping Dreaming dreams Pleading with the Muse To blow asunder The veils of separation How thoughts such With anguished fury Touch the sails of freedom Whipped by the Eden of Desire The tablets of fate Have yet to defend themselves Against this furnace Of my lone contemplation
FARZANA MOON Farewell to Jamna ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Glorious Taj Sad and beautiful Turned pale Through the ravages of time One Marble Dream White and ethereal Still suspended in the air Lacework of Love Sweet and tragic Blooming in jewels And faded glory Reminiscent of the Beloved Floating aloft In heaven abides This paradise on earth Farewell to Jamna
KAREN ALKALAY-GUT Three Poems On Personal Habbits ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1. I read the covers of books the way some men read girlie magazines dreaming of what it is like inside but never hoping to open them to go through slowly from cover to cover 2. I leave a mess behind me often when my entire being focuses on a single task and the rest of the world can go to hell 3. When someone calls me and I'm on a cordless phone I wander into the bathroom and automatically sit down to pee usually because I'm really into the conversation and not thinking of what it means- But it's the same thing when dogs meet they pee as a manner of greeting
KAREN ALKALAY-GUT Inspiration ~~~~~~~~~~~ ("Kubla Khan" was never finished because Coleridge was interrupted in the middle by a visitor) Sometimes that ring at the door is no more than a temporary distraction. Even a person from Porlock can't go on forever. Once in a while it ruins everything, blots the mind dry and you can't remember why you were even disturbed at the intrusion. But there are also those times when what comes in unexpectedly is exactly what was missing from your genius.
KAREN ALKALAY-GUT Landscape ~~~~~~~~~ I am framing my life In an arbitrary oblong Look! There in the distance the obligatory elliptic lake of innocent memories and a past you cannot quite see and the tiny road from here to there unobstructed but gravitationally impassible you have to stand back from the foreground to make it out
KAREN ALKALAY-GUT In The President's Home ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ (on the occasion of the presentation of the President's Awards for Literature, Jerusalem, 1999) They are giving out prizes for literature, reading little gems from the ones who won, and talking about all the writers have accomplished. And I am thinking they should just make this writer president and let him dish out petty little grants to politicians
KAREN ALKALAY-GUT Clocks ~~~~~~ I look for more than time in my digital watch - the connection of the dots, direction of the moments. Remember Mother, who slipped Father's timex on her wrist when his swelled up with final infections, how she wore that watch for two years to the day after he died - and as she was going in for the operation she would not survive, answered the nurse who asked, "Why do you wear two?" with "So one can watch the other."
KAREN ALKALAY-GUT A Love Poem ~~~~~~~~~~~ The fan is clacking like an old lady, its large face shaking disapproval of the heat Sweet lover, asleep and naked on the bed-you only feel the breeze over your dreams while I stay awake in despair to defend you against the fan.
JEANNE KHAN May as Ruth ~~~~~~~~~~~ My pen pal in Cornwall is named Alexander. He does not believe me when I say the government is changing my name today. He says, they can't do that, why would they? He does not see what we see here, glass breaking in the shops, crowds we fear. Alex, as he prefers to be addressed by mail, says Chamberlain is a sensible man, civility will prevail, I exaggerate when I can. My dramatic flair has been stopped by reality. Alex does not know about the stars distributed to all my cousins pulled from cars. Alex thinks I am making all of this up for fun. He insists my Christian name will stay as it is in the new regime, unchanged, as May. I wrote Alex that my doctor father being Jewish dictates what I will be known by. A mother's family name does not erase impurity. Alex writes: ridiculous! you even look so Arayan. Alex fails to see my father's name determining that a Jewishness outshines his fame. I responded to Alex' last letter earlier this morning. I asked the train conducter if he could post my letter for me? He said, of course, he would. As I boarded the train, I saw him discard my letter. Darn! How will Alex ever learn the truth? Will Alex know from my next post his May is a Ruth? As the train doors slam and the engine is started, I begin to compose my letter anew: This may be the wrong time and place to be a Jew... Days later when the train slams still in a sudden stop, I see the dogs and the uniforms outside. A chimney belchs foul smelling smoke I cannot abide. My letter to Alex is quickly forgotten as I am pushed into a line with other girls of fourteen years who will be sent to a hospital despite our many tears. I join twins and others who may be mentally retarded. We are all told to strip naked in the snow. White-coated men poke at our openings and then go. All of our luggage winds up in a huge pile left behind. We enter a building named Surgery in German. Soot from the chimneys is now stopped by an inside fan. This place is so clean and, obviously, so efficiently run. Maybe Alex is right and I have nothing to fear? I will write to him soon and wish him a Happy New Year! 4 January 1998
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
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