INTRODUCTION KLAUS J. GERKEN WHORE CONTENTS JANET I. BUCK Explaining the Gap Slow Dance on the Kitchen Tile Prairie Fires Jaws & Jowls Old Hurts The Drawbridge Gary Webster Freydis Richard Soref The Varieties of Silence Black Collar Game Eternal Essence At the Space Museum Malled notes from today's session DUANE LOCKE A WARM DAY NO LITERARY ELEGANCE OR FLAMBOYANT IMAGERY ON THIS NIGHT A NIGHT OF MUSIC A CHINESE POET AT TWO O'CLOCK A CHINESE POET IN A RUINED GARDEN POST SCRIPTUM KLAUS J. GERKEN AUTUMN MISCREANTS
KLAUS J. GERKEN WHORE ~~~~~~ She came on like a mother All false heart-ache and gain She forced me like no other I survived to feel the pain She was like a broken diamond Violets who drank Too much living tissue I held within my hand She was ressurection to me I would never have believed She drank and masturbated And conquered god's disease So what's the matter lady Have I broken all the rules You seem to disapprove of me Haven't you ever met a fool Well sometimes I deliver The tower down the street I'll sell you still salt water I'll even you paint your feet But no I am not Jesus I cannot be a god I believe in you as woman If I failed that is my lot But what the hell did you want from me My passion or my curse You seemed forever nervous You seemed so ill rehearsed And how we came together Let no one set the pace The boxer is the virgin And the virgin is the ace And I have no more numbers To suck upon the dice One more revolution And the mud'll be in our eyes So where have you been lately I stayed within my skin If you where somewhere better Why couldn't you have let me in "I was folly you were perfect" She shouted with a knife I was just about to please her But the apple was too ripe So listen to my story It makes a lot of sense For those who cannot see me For those who call me friend And what about the woman And what about the man Hell I am not Bob Dylan Get someone else to write the end. 19 Sep 00
JANET I. BUCK Explaining the Gap ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I watch from outside your beating heart. We take a felt tip pen, draw a route upon the map through gutted forest memory. It is only earth we'll cross with corsets of old fears in place. There will be dust in open eyes. 3 short steps down 10 long years. Your parents have been wondering if you're alive, settled in a decent job, but talking seemed in ancient days like toothpicks bending prison bars. A bible's text was slices of a Sunday pie in flavors foreign to your tongue. Time has ways of changing palettes, tossing out the drying crust. God is everywhere you look-- spirits grow into their socks, wear down flaws like burning heels. I am right behind you now, lifting all those chafing sheets off bedsores of the lashing belts, eyes that judged your every move like owls stand above a mouse. Your parents send a batch of photos better than all cookie dough. I can taste the chocolate chips; their cones admitted semi-sweet. I seize the crumbs, play the mop of happiness, conjecturing a rising sun, hop the diesel bus of hope despite the gummy oil leaks and sweating pores of possibles. We could be ladders set in sand that salt and sea will brush and ravage, leaning on a savage dream. You aren't alone in picking at these worry warts. We'll stick a wad of bubble gum upon the thorns of yesteryear and run our hands across the rose. From caterpillar sacs of tears I see some hint of butterflies.
Janet I. Buck Slow Dance on the Kitchen Tile ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The last time we talked was in the center of death's wadded fist. Its nails were digging into our hands. Pain drifted words off cliffs-- alyssum seeds in wide-mouthed canyons living off that cruel wind. Shrunken mangers of a moment lit by flames and up in smoke. Neither of us recalls the meat, just omnipresent sense of blood-- his pale, waxen face in the open casket our tears tried hard to close and lower into memory. In the context of a widowed flower, I hesitate to share sweet news of slippery palms on passion's doorknob turning at the speed of light-- when yours is grains in tilted urn, instant coffee set beside my deep, brown, whole beans, wafting through the heating ducts. But you ask, so I spill. Hoping the liquid won't leave a crust you'll have to scrub when I start my car and you sit silent on the couch, on cactus thorns of longing rites. "Is he a hugger and a holder?" you pry. My luck, my blessings glisten on a wetted tongue. "He is and more. Our nights and days, together's press, are love letters from a cat to a can of tuna fish." All dead end streets forgotten for oasis second in blowing sand. For you are the prism of cherishing and I am willing prisoner. We'll slow dance on the kitchen tile even in the shadow of the valley of death.
Janet I. Buck Prairie Fires ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Revisiting unmended walls, guessing if the font of hugs will scale itself to stewing tears, is quite the red-faced risk. As tender as petunia buds hibernating from the frost, but living in the sense of it. Pain has been your puppeteer and I have let you lay down strings, dodge the bee-stings of the past as if we had a row of summers lingering to sort out all old prairie fires. But it is time to hop all fences, lunge the leap, involve yourself in mopping even floors of mud. Give your father pats on backs that help him move the furniture, find the legs of memories an angle on the dusty carpet running out its hour glass. I know you've yearned to make this move, patch the jeans he burned with belts, throw the buckles in a river stronger than hate's undertow. Hardened arteries of love will not be blood moats in the end. This quilt of dread stitched with anger's coffee stains-- it can be fluffed and laid to rest. Truth, in all its knots and wads, is always full of ampersands. Whatever way the nickel turns, I will be your tracks and lights. You will board the train for home, walk across the wobbled threshold into arms of undeserted apertures.
Janet I. Buck Jaws & Jowls ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Tough shroud of rain this winter day. Air--waxed leather graced with dust. Fossil drops from heaving cloud like needles of a noble pine whose scent has personality. As if God's jaw just dropped in scorn, his jowls the wrinkled earth below. Easy sense of sunlight he once promised us mugged and flung like rickshaws in a hurricane.
Janet I. Buck Old Hurts ~~~~~~~~~ This odyssey of ancient fallen Jerichos. Your walls like a row of Dominos. If I tap one and force this drive into abyss, will it infect all thorns you've pacified, bring black lava up again? Twist a jagged blade in thighs. I imagine a trip through fields of corn, cities swelling in their soot. To meet scorched dream half-way. Giving acid, rancid tears a better, proper burial. Games are smarter than our souls. Ending them is easier than writing all the rules again. Cards and pawns, shining their swords on bishops of death. Sitting as all children do on pinched raw nerve, assuming age has better hands to strut in rained parades of time. Ishmael returning now to face and bind these ring-less folders of mistakes; old hurts like whores to pay and jump. Our pounding tires, paddles at a mortal auction, raising hands in gesturing: "I lived a gutsy horoscope. There are no other ways to sing." Agony's portfolio was rubber-banded all these years. I worry that its leather cover, all its cracks, will start to bleed. But you have holey jeans to patch, burning belts to put away. Miles will be a bar of soap; love will grow another inch. I will help you wash your back, whipped by couldn't(s) of this world. A cleaner moon will guide us home.
Janet I. Buck The Drawbridge ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Rivers rise and carry things. Sawing latches off old tears. I listen from the other room. Jumping canyons of your pain like rockets go from earth to moon. The drawbridge has its warning lights, but traffic of a growing soul cannot just sit there idling and families are our batteries: + and -, storm and all. Sacks of sadness drying up like paint drops slandering a floor that wasn't perfect anyway, but they are yours and you are theirs; maps in Braille of human touch bear their scars and lines are seldom straight and thin. We will be a stronger bag as leather worn assumes its cracks, starts to fit a crippled foot on sojourns of this pilgrimage. Your father's laughter making past the sand for clay-- butterfly emerging from a gritty cyst. It is time to close these graves before we fall in apertures. This is lightness I admire. A sonnet writes its music now faster than a minute's waltz. I am crying as I type. The pulse of love is in your voice. Take a chisel to the schism. Let this treasuring begin. The sea is bringing in its shells; something there is still alive.
Gary Webster Freydis ~~~~~~~ * Around the year A.D. 1010 Freydis, illegitimate daughter of Eirik the Red, wife to Thorvald of Gardar (Greenland) joined Karsefni's Viking expedition to Vinland. --Eirik's Saga * Somewhere between Maine and Massachusetts from quiet, a whining sound on near still morning air, the estuary mouth is where to look; you take the headland. And from these high bleachers down across slopes loosely housed you see a horde of skin boats spill from the stadium-tunnel river mouth as thick as strewn charcoal: wretches they call them, so Skraelings, the local natives who come in waves spinning bullroarers alterclockwise (for war) and shouting. And at midfield, Karlsefni's men outnumbered advance with red shields (also for war). Today blade and club will meet more grimly than on white shield-clockwise days of cloth for skins. Blue missiles the size of sheep stomachs fall from all directions, and fill the air like cartoon hail that hit the ground with ugly dins. The Vikings flee, retreat up river. And backed against some cliffs they take a stand. And then, you catch the sight of her -- Freydis. She wades among the sea of men; she moves surely but slowly; she is pregnant. She sees the retreat and shouts, "Why do you brave Viking men run from such pitiful wretches as these? You should slaughter them like cattle!" But they pay no attention; they do not answer. Around her the Skraelings close in. Now, don't brake the impulse to be up close, on the sidelines, freeze your intake breath; become momentarily neuter; video-camera head and eyes let the next few seconds flick exposures on the brain pan -- Holy Mary Mother of God!!! you know before knowing - this is forever. Playback slow mo, six-o'clock-news stills and reverses, all REV and CUE. Then, log the first bomb runs of logic, and verse the cortical etchings, so: Freydis Sees them see her as their prey, Feels the confusion spot at neck's nape rise, Where fright binds desire to set feet motionless, And the heart counts throat-clock beats Awaiting sweet horrors of a lovers' attack. Unsorted promises rush over - at least In a woman so wired as she. But Knowing a thing or two about men, Her childing womanhood takes a sword And tearing a swelling breast from bodice lace, Slaps the beaming mound with hardened blade Causing the terrified wretches to flee, As they always do; as she knew they would, Her forwardness. Later, imagine, even try, to see her again back stage for a while, after the game; you're mentioning Joan Jett and don't believe yourself, you fumble for the mic (halt, halt)... “What did you do there? How did you know?” Then cut to your 13th year when it happened first with Virginia who took the ball in the middle of the game, who took it right away from you boys and ran at you and shouted "You can't catch me!" and then away. Her behind was so different. And you thought, each of you thought later how you wanted to, how you wished you had tackled her right there and laid all over her, for the closeness and the smell. But the other guys, you couldn't, it was all too new: new games, new rules, maybe no rules at all; so you ran away and left the ball, and Ginny laughing; and she knew you would; she saw you were old enough to be unsettled by her differences and she knew that you knew that she knew, and that made it all unbearably worse, and red blushed, and awful; and you sensed it was your future. But she never did it one-on-one, never even looked when she passed you by. You all dreamed what you'd do if she did. Then think: Do you all know this ? about guys ? how to put the fright in them ? Jesus - you throw your otherness down like a challenge, your raw female firstness, your woman- on-the-looseness, your what-to-do-with- herness, passed through a million of Darwin's sieves - all fright and taste. Your keenness sets us going both directions at once; you reel us in all goggle-eyed sweaty-fish every time. You know, for us it's all the same as chaos, or all new ground like this.You breaks up our game; you're out of order; you're not signed up; you play against the rules. You unbound everything. You erase our lines; you take the ball. You always do; you always will. The different games you always start, you started here; you'll never stop. But then she's gone, on page 100. And her story, and her timeless act with breast and sword, you can never more than ponder, and miss, and want, and REPLAY over and over. And the scholars who hardly mention her at all; who imply that such a remarkable event may not be true, you know are clearly full-of-it, because this sort of thing happens all the time.
Richard Soref The Varieties of Silence ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ an interval between notes the banishment of dogs and phones the pregnant silence the angry silence the absence of human voices a solitary cell, a padded cell a space for contemplation the soothing zone of relief a time for fright the anguished emptiness the unbearable absence the deepest silence (death)
Richard Soref Black Collar Game ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A priest, Father Morgan, played doubles with spirit; his group on the court next to mine. Red was his shirt, quite garish in nature, a way to gain "bonding" I thought. He hit with aggression (allowed in this hall), and each shot gave a hearty report. I paused, I confess, to hear expletive bursts but was thwarted by sanitized oaths, by constraints he had built to remodel himself, to be calm in the face of the years. A flurry of small talk, strained so it seemed, brought the once-heated game to a close, and the cloth-wearing man was the first to walk off to approach his night shower alone.
Richard Soref Eternal Essence ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "Karma flight eleven, taking off for afterlife number seven." Does my mother know more about the universe than I do? It is possible. She's readying herself for the transformational trip (mundanely known as death) to the stars where etherial Olympians redirect the souls of spent bodies into earthly newborns whose prospects may be brighter or bleaker than her tenure. So it is that Florence Nightingale begat a criminal, begat a soldier. So it is that a second network of life-to-life links lies behind all the ordinary genealogical trees. One Grand Plan glows within the other. Contemplating all this, does my mother feel comforted, excited, or terrified? Comforted, strangely, because immortality is woven into the pattern. She sees her essence informing an eternal parade of beings-- a thought that makes her children shudder.
Richard Soref At the Space Museum ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Immense phallic rockets, Russian and American, stand in silent contest as their creators Korolyev and von Braun watch the skyward striving from nearby portraits. The plaque beneath each portrait proffers dates of birth and early death. Two lives, it seems, were burned to fuel this rocket race. The Motherland, the Mission, stoked the glow of each man's ambition from red to white heat. Dedication became a fiery drive that cast its plume against the earth until that flame winked out.
Richard Soref Malled ~~~~~~ Having speedwalked through my Mall errands, I sat winded on the white wooden bench beneath the high arcade, a roof not high enough to lift my spirits, as a blur of humanity wheeled around my hub. Sitting there, looking scruffy like the next man, I focused more intently on the blur and saw the motley American anywhere mix of kids-pulling-moms, ethnic colorations, babes, obesity on parade, acned teens, wrinkled decrepitude and emergent criminals, clad mostly in the anytime garb of faded jeans, sneakers, and too-cold-for-T-shirts shirts. The couples in this crowd, the live-ins, the daters, proved once again that no man, whether pot-bellied or pugnacious, will go womanless, and that no femme is too distasteful for a certain fun-seeking guy. This mall-clogging crew, looking left--walking right, clogs the highways too to-and-from this scene, cuts you off in SUVs, rages heedlessly, or creeps cluelessly at your front. This is your world; welcome, and enjoy.
Richard Soref notes from today's session ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ solipsistic, masochistic, pessimistic, narcissistic, realistic, he's a real prick, I'm autistic, go ballistic; mommy, daddy, uncle george and cousin grace, bulimia! lust and rape and incest wild and stories of extremia; libidinous, lascivious, invidious comparison, and treacherous and lecherous and hideous barbarian; unconscious drive, he did not thrive, a victim of aggression; fraternity, paternity, and riddled with obsession: perseverate and fulminate, oh please, when do I terminate?
DUANE LOCKE A WARM DAY ~~~~~~~~~~ On this warm day After a fierce winter in tropical Florida, I'm outdoors among wild cabbage palms, Far-away from the human torturer, the telephone, Far-away from human voices, Thus far-away from those who speak lies and illusions And believe they are speaking truths and realities. I see a small warbler wagging his tail on a frond, Some yellow on his gray head. It must be a palm warbler. In this exalted place with its prickly pears And a rain puddle shining silver in black mud, I listen to the voices of my bones. I hear a calliope play in a place Where people stand on their heads, Beg tall men to shine with black shoe polish Their bare feet. It is a place of wax roses, plastic ladybugs, And gigantic, cement doves Holding green-painted twigs in their cement bills. It is a market, an agora, where people Buy ribbons, diamonds and kisses, And then immediately bury them In a fashionable cemetery, Fall on their knees to embrace the tombstones. There are many alcoholic astrologers, Blindfolded Tarot readers, Clairvoyants Discussing taxes and military expenditures with angels. This place is overpopulated with bodies Made out of second-hand lumber, Tacked together with nails of ice, And painted with discount paint flesh-colored. My bones cease talk. I look through the arms of the palms To see the slaughter house of a millionaire By a black pond with an old leafless oak On its branches are perched a flock of divine black buzzards.
DUANE LOCKE NO LITERARY ELEGANCE OR FLMABOYANT IMAGERY ON THIS NIGHT ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Truth is rarely heard If one spends his time With priests, professors, and the people. But the truth exists, although truth Is rarely known by anyone. Oaks can speak truth. Castoff objects like broken beer bottles; Frogs, sparrows, stones can speak truth, Most people are deaf when truth is spoken. The hearing of people improves, They hear acutely what is said When lies and illusions are spoken. People clap their hands When they look in mirrors, see mirages.
DUANE LOCKE A NIGHT OF MUSIC ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A Chinese poet awakens After falling asleep in a worn, wicker chair. His flapping, long white-silk sleeves, Wine-stained. In the stains he sees cherry trees, Coral caves, pomegranates, opened lips. He throws away his bedding.
DUANE LOCKE A CHINESE POET AT TWO O'CLOCK ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Wild garden, Its former owner left to live in a palace. Blue birds' and blue frogs' songs, Flying bees glitter as if sunlit, rapidly flowing rivers. Thick foliage, entangled shadows, No one else is here. It is sad to be alone without her In this sacred and unsought place.
DUANE LOCKE A CHINESE POET IN A RUINED GARDEN ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Alone on blue gravel, A pathway carefully constructed To twist and wind, To keep the future Hid behind foliage Suddenly, reeds, green, Brown, lilt in a pond, A Teal, its bizarre blue, Comes into view, Bobs his its head. Path twists, duck disappears Behind two varieties of bamboo. Sparkling from slender bamboo arms, Rain drops, like diamonds
KLAUS J. GERKEN AUTUMN MISCREANTS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The morning star sits purple on my window The miscreant moon descends--a bloated plastic bag . No one remembers the fireside dragon of the Neolithic Nothing is wanted that remembers true ancestriality The blood red snow of sex observes a folic scrutiny I don't touch you but you touch me and I am still a virgin But virgins are like hogs upon the mud in harvest barnyards Who seek the pleasure without justice or responsibility And everyone wishes ressurrection but no one wants the cross No thorns no nails no lance: no ressurrection--just the possibility Of something greater something spiritual something shocking They munch on lettice where a drought descends like clouds of locust They scrape the dust and revel in the motion of a madness Who are they? Why, the "found" of course, shitting pretty in a prayer. 19 Oct 2000
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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