INTRODUCTION DAWN AMATO FIRE-ROSES CONTENTS ERROL J. KIDD HAD OUR LOVINGS PROSPERED WELL WORKPLACE HAZARD MUSIC JEFFREY ALFIER A FRAGMENT FOR OVID THE FOOTPATH NAUTICAL TWILIGHT TO A MINOR POET VESPERS CRITICAL ALTITUDE MICHELE F. COOPER A SIMPLE DEATH THE LONGEVITY OF CONVERGENCE PREDISPOSED TO THIRST LAND'S END HOLYHEAD CRACKING CODE JANET I. BUCK THE MASTECTOMY MOSHE BENARROCH BREASTS KAREN GUT WHAT MY OLD BREASTS TOLD ME MY YOUNG TITS MARIA JACKETTI THE BREAST CANCER GENE, A FAMILY SAGA POST SCRIPTUM MICHELE F. COOPER WAR ZONE
DAWN AMATO FIRE-ROSES ~~~~~~~~~~ Fire-roses clutter my dream They are the roses of war and are born upon blood red stems that drip thorns Who is the gatherer of this unholy bouquet? There are caskets being carried. There are funerals today in New York City. There were funerals yesterday. There will be funerals tomorrow. And the threat of more bloodshed spins with military might around this hegemonic planet I, like everyone else, watch and wait and pray that someone, somewhere, somehow can stop the insanity And in my dream a human-form in a white, clay laughing-mask tries to hand mea fire-rose but I shake my head,..No and turn and walk away Yet with each step I leave blood-framed footprints across a hate-blinded earth. 10-3-2001
ERROL J. KIDD HAD OUR LOVINGS PROSPERED WELL ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In the zoo there are blue-behinded apes and sun-blinded bats and whistling wives. Tunelessly, in and out of the dark, soundlessly, they whistle. Whistle only to give their lips a presence, now that they have moved out from the kissings which were their wont in erstwhile wedded days. Go back, you blue-behinded apes, you bats, come back, you one wife who drifts in and out of the shadow. Had it been but different, ah! Had I but known that the last lines stretching away consisted of such old aching words, as 'Had our lovings, had our lovings, had our lovings, prospered well.'
ERROL J. KIDD WORKPLACE HAZARD ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ She's 14 stone, if she's an ounce, Clematis, and she serves in the bar where I work. She's no damn good but you can't tell her. She does a good job but she's too damn hard to get by. She knows you're there. She pins you against the taps. Her buttocks are like barrels. Her bosoms are like kegs. But soft, but soft. There are girls, slim like models, who perch on stools at the end of the bar, sylph-like. Contextually, I'd say they are cosmopolitans or cherry maraschinos or very dry martinis. One of them I know to be a green devil. But she, she's a malt whisky. She's a sack of malt, she's pungent. When she reaches up to the top shelf I see that she has umber hair in her alcoves. She yodels when she's happy across three octaves. If she bends what happens is when I inadvertently see down her cleavage my legs wobble and I get giddy from the height. I'm not scared of her. Well, I am scared of her. But I'm not scared of being scared of her, if you know what I mean. I don't imbibe. If she pulls me into her, I won't inhale. She's like a mother to me. Then again, she's not a bit like a mother to me, Clematis.
ERROL J. KIDD MUSIC ~~~~~ With Mozart playing, the grey day running Lips set yet it is spring. Clipped words, glances like love's heat gone. With Mozart playing, the grey day running Beneath the bird sound, the clipped words, The glance like love's heat has flown away. Passed, now clipped in the Vivaldied soar, Wails of sloped soleness, from her to me, Knifed in the night of nuance.
JEFFREY ALFIER A FRAGMENT FOR OVID ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Staring into the past, as if your dreams were suckled by wolves, you, faithful exile, make Time an orphan.
JEFFREY ALFIER THE FOOTPATH ~~~~~~~~~~~~ No man's soldier thought he heard a wolf high in the forest. To seal his recantation The Eastern king fed him gold. He slips through pungent shadows of terrible empty light. Watches Spartans slide to dust.
JEFFREY ALFIER NAUTICAL TWILIGHT ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ For Captain Ron Arad, MIA (1986) Insolent fate explodes beneath your wing, and the F-4 buckles under the weight of a stumbling howl of valediction. In mindless seconds the seat separates - you fall to litanies of survival. A sextant broken in the sand, starlight slips you between the mirror and the drum. Like Palinurus, you tire of myths of favorable winds, but keep the helm though thieves may drag you to coasts of shadows.
JEFFREY ALFIER TO A MINOR POET ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Harbored in some undiminished shadow, that would belie a countless unnaming, few will give you credit, though you penned the high diction of the storm, and could spin man's straw into undissipating gold. As time disavows your voice, like Gaudi in the crypt of a wanting cathedral, still - at one time - you touched the nightingale.
JEFFREY ALFIER VESPERS ~~~~~~~ Voice is a sculpture of whispers seeking peaceable clarity, spelling prayers to the silence where the heart casts shadows wide as the vineyards of La Mancha. The refuge that hangs in the dark becomes laced to the wing of doubt. Dawn is something hard to conceive.
JEFFREY ALFIER CRITICAL ALTITUDE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Israel - a country where we must dress our flowers up in salt while above, our grieving echoes circle the frozen cirrus clouds and go on perplexing themselves within navigable airspace... like beggars playing violins just outside the cathedral walls.
MICHELE F. COOPER A SIMPLE DEATH ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ She is paralyzed, will not absorb the shock on day one body stymied by the drop from a low green sky. The abruptness stupefies her. She imagines it is a mistake since buds go to flower and bread comes from dough. She wants to cry out but the wail won't come and the day goes down in a ball of orange light. On day two she is a soldier standing at attention upright like a tulip in the spongy earth. She imagines a battle with flags brass and boots shining at sunup. She can get through this. She has to. On the third afternoon she starts weeping. The lacy fact of her end sits by her on the dusty hill offering company she respects. Trees stand beyond her reach water half a mile at best. She is a pebble on a pristine beach one lone reed along the river. Who can say what the end will be, a simple death in the dry dust? a majesterial hawk returning to claim its prize? or great rains washing the hills clean.
MICHELE F. COOPER THE LONGEVITY OF CONVERGENCE PREDISPOSED TO THIRST ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Birds circle clockwise where she paces the rocks of Sachuest Beach vultures and ibis in the empty air one expeditious swan in purple robes fixing her platinum lock in place and swallowing the golden key.
MICHELE F. COOPER LAND'S END HOLYHEAD ~~~~~~~~ She is hooked to the land's end leather weeds hugging the rocks as she stands back to the wind hugging the solitary fir lone trunk curling around his trunk on the meager earth wind arraigning the porous bark in ice-yellow light. She wants to take root in that rocky brown soil sea and sky painting space around and above her hut circles dotting a snaky path hardly shy of human scents. It has the effect of a haunting holy days of cures and tanning in the headstone circles foundations easily missed in the scrub, fool's cover. Where the cliff drops a she-gull rides a current of air in the glass sun screaming bloody murder when the competition moves in on her kill.
MICHELE F. COOPER CRACKING CODE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ She sits translating poetry into prose tiny needles of pine scratching the parchment as she tries keeping her fingers on the keys. Pears and trumpets hit the walls of her arrhythmic heart, fly off the page in the name of the sun and the holy mother. She is a warrior from asphalt playgrounds baseball cap and street smarts clogging the glands in her arms and throat. She cannot stand this sacrilege - like being righteous about love, don't you know, and who would stand for that?
JANET I. BUCK THE MASTECTOMY ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "Katie, it's malignant." Six syllables--their broadside slap on pale cheeks forgetting they've ever been graced with kiss. Cruel hurricanes of horror build, sweeping a burning hut to sea. Moon falls from onyx sky. Left breast full. Right one, flat. Like picked petunias taking summer from August arms. Courage seems just painted toes in army boots. Mortal is a see-through blouse. What husband would want to touch that hole? Lace of all that's feminine becomes a giant spider web in attics hands will not go near. Brownie points of uttered prayer set on fire by baking dread. Nausea confirming nature's cruel joke. Which is worse between the C's? Chemo, Cancer, nurses putting Callous up like fences girding their privyness to flocks of ill. Panic, a pickled jail cell where every sunrise stays on hold. Your body becomes a piece of plastic furniture turned upside down on windy decks so seats will not succumb to gust. Locks fall out like avalanches in a comb. Today you just won't brush your hair.
MOSHE BENARROCH BREASTS ~~~~~~~ Women breasts get cancer from a lack of caresses or from being caressed too much by wrong hands, passing [sex] tourists unable to understand their needs, or from not [giving] enough, long enough and the milk turns sour, the memories of unborn children is stored in muddled kidneys.
KAREN GUT WHAT MY OLD BREASTS TOLD ME ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ To protect what is valuable And vulnerable to the world To soften to need, to harden Against pain To know milk flows at the cry of a child Whether it will or not To move to different modes When the child cries for other reasons To blossom to touch To remain strong Without To give and give and never give up
KAREN GUT MY YOUNG TITS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ (on reconstructive mammoplasty) I did not choose them -- it was the doctors who said something must be done-- But I didn't resist all that much either. Like the old ladies in fairy tales who desire one thing alone, I asked only To remain whole. And now in my declining years, a petitioner whose foolish wish came true, I have a pair of young breasts that give me no rest In the evening, when I am ready to sleep they wake up and demand to be taken dancing. "Listen," I tell them, "You're not the only members in this body. Some of us have worked hard all day and need regeneration." This makes no impression on them. They have a will of their own as firm as their shape and there is nothing flabby about their desires. "Just a little shopping then," they whine, "get a bustier, wear it around the house and we'll call it even."
MARIA JACKETTI THE BREAST CANCER GENE, A FAMILY SAGA ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ They cut off mommy's breast The one she never gave me because She was too tired. That was a couple of Decades after They cut of her mother's breast, Teresina, From Florence, that was her mammary, she was the conduit, The one she gave her seven girls the breast Until she couldn't give another drop. In between, They cut off Cousin Del's breast, Her husband left her, her son ended up In jail; They cut off Aunt Jenny's breast Long before Teresina died, her oldest Daughter metastasized the future, while Jenny left an orphan Who became the family's entrepreneur, Whose wife, no relation, eventually Also ended up With the same cancer. Now we will not count the biopsies, The cysts, the near misses, and those Who still survive. All this happened before they found The gene, just like the one that gave Them green or turquoise eyes And skin like roses on alabaster. They found the gene, those sly young docs, That I know is there Waiting to be turned on, With the wrong whatever it is Just like toxic wives' tales, or A bad fairy romance About a sacred cow That just won't die at all. July 23, 2001
MICHELE F. COOPER WAR ZONE ~~~~~~~~ He hears shots volley on the nearby mountain a ragged platoon snaking a column on the west face convoys clogging the olive highways radios crackling with fires and body-counts. Siren's started three times this morning not a goddamn minute for your goddamn teeth. He's disgusted with the grime in his thick skin misses home, whatever that is. And he is limping, arm askew in a wet sling He wipes his face with a bloody sleeve leaves a swath of brown powder along his cheek as he traipses to the mess. The chill in his gut is not what he expected when he signed out on innocence inhaling the dark smell of a man's dare holding the acrid lungful till he owned it like an eager yearling drinking deep lapping fullness for his unfilled belly muscle and solidarity from heated milk and sleeping like a log in gentle nights. Pumped 25 miles a clip in those days felt like nothing, no sweating even up the hills Get me out of here, I'll cop a silver racer, dress that road doing 60, I swear it. Ach, there's no playing possum in this hell-hole. The arm is bent and cracked in two places nose twisted from the smell of death leg turning green above the ankle. Forget this, he spits into the weeds Who's kidding who here?
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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