December 28, 1998-January 3, 1999: Elaine Thomas and Jerry Reynolds

Week of December 28, 1998-January 3, 1999

Elaine Thomas and Jerry Reynolds

Elaine Thomas


Elaine Thomas currently lives in Indianapolis, Indiana, with 2 Siamese cats and a computer Her poems have appeared haphazardly in such places as the Paper Salad Poetry Journal, In Your Face,  pLopLop, Paramour, and various online zines including Thunder Sandwich and idiolect.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Elaine Thomas and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


no passage surrounds
that which is said we are sitting at a
dinner party, your
tawny hair has grown
long upon your neck
and the next thing you
say makes no sense:

nothing your lips
move to accept the
rim of the glass, I
try the spinach salad
drizzled with sweet
and sour sauce
– delicious-and since
this is not the place

to weave sense into
meaning, we leave
well enough alone, 
timing arrivals and
noting departures, the
interruptions without
which we couldn’t
begin to say.

age matters a little

not so much
the 19 yrs
as the fall
I took in
broad ripple
my ankles
wobbly in
high heels
and how you
knelt beside
me asking
“are you
all right?”

later you
told me you
were afraid
inside one
of the trendy
would think
you pushed
me down

but I was
afraid to get
up because
when I was
15 I sprained
my ankle and
it felt a lot
like what had
just happened

as it turned
out I was okay
more shook up
than anything

but it was when
I put my arm
through yours
that I felt
like your

effect, later

it creeps along the walls, this softness which is not light
but which is, illuminating your face in profile, its
imagined lines, drawing you in no great detail, just a

simple sketch of you, penciled on the paper of my mind a rush of openings, all the doors and windows hurrying
to unlock themselves, but why? for what purpose?

endings turn into beginnings, and nothing matters but that
you touched me or will touch me or are at this very moment
touching me, in this softness which is not light but which is,

a habitual light, organized around you, poet at a distance,
dust motes circling your long hair, between your teeth a
rose, or the imagination of a rose, the last one, falling

at my feet to fall again, over and over the same rose falling,
a repetitive dream sequence, while this softness creeps
along the walls, illuminating your face in profile

Jerry Reynolds


I’m a guy living in Spokane, Washington I’ve had a few things published,  but I’m reluctant to say where because most of those magazine are now out of business and you may be superstitious “Rainbow Man” is still in the archives of Word Salad and you can checkout some of my stuff at the storyteller at: http://www.willmaster.com/thestoryteller/

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by Jerry Reynolds and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

Thinking of Humanity

I sat me down to expound
within the realms of poetry I played the sage and stained the page
with these observations of my kind:
.bent in the middle
.and fuzzy on top —

Excuse Me

I opened the lid to an underground pump
.and in the hole was a spider and a frog I knew I was intruding, but I couldn’t
.help myself The tension was exquisite.

Serves Me Right

I thought it was an old, shriveled up heart I picked it up for a closer look
.and the demon jumped down my throat Serves me right What did I need with an old, shriveled up heart?

Rainbow Man

like the rainbow
trout on a bank,
colors fading
after gasping,
the breathless stare
says it all

Waving At Strangers

Driving by a graveyard,
a stranger waves
from deep within Now I wonder who
that could be? Someone
like me, years from now,
waving at strangers?

She Flies Away

She flies away because I let her
circle and sing and disappear I share her cage of open sky
so every morning she returns
I’d clip her wings but I know better,
she can’t love me without flying.

Solitary Girl

Solitary girl,
swimming out of season
beyond The Devil’s Churn,
where are your companions?
on this cold August day
between Alaska and Mexico


sonnets of blind privilege
offer insights in counted syllables
from wasted days without measure
leisure inspired similes
like painted roses
fall from borrowed volumes
read in the shade
as the gardener works
spreading manure for bouquets

Seedy Side

I’ll take my seedy
side with poetry
and Long Island Iced Tea
.just sit it on the table
.by the pool, Charles
.and bring me my

What Lies Below

Floating in my face,
right between my eyes,
on top of my cresting nose,
an iceberg pimple warns the world:
beware what lies below
.but it’s just a little zit,
.no deeper than a threat,
.with only a pinch of danger
I can hear them gossip now,
those unblemished friends of mine, 
conferring on my behalf,
speculating over chicken bones
and the rims of tall Lattes
.I squeeze that canker on my nose,
.feel it throbbing in my toes
.and consider going back to bed
But if I hide this thing inside —
undercover with curtains drawn,
brooding on this perfect day,
it will grow enraged and gather head
for making war on my vanity
.No! I’ll air this ruby sin,
.let the world turn and grin —
.and beware!

December 21-27, 1998: Peter Ball and Bess Kemp

Week of December 21, 1998-December 27, 1998

Peter Ball and Bess Kemp

Peter Ball


Peter Ball Student Poet and writer of plays Lives on the Gold Coast, Australia Travels around Australia to perform in various fringe festivals with the Post-Hoc performing word company.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Peter Ball and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

Crazy Crabs

I went to the pet store
They had a sign,
it said:

“Crazy Crabs Here!”

While everyone else looked at the puppies and kittens,
I went inside
and looked into the crab tank
Inside was a lone hermit crab Sitting limply on a patch of sand
It didn’t look particularly crazy
Maybe it was manic depressive.


Come on in,
look around
I’ll apologize now for the mess,
haven’t had time to clean things up for a while,
and you might want to avoid the dark corners,
where still not sure what might be lurking there
I suppose you want the grand tour,
although that doesn’t amount to much
The snarling things,
the ones hiding away out of sight,
are my neuroses,
they only come out in the dark
And the big rusting engine,
the one that’s coated in dust,
is what remains of the old sex drive I think it might be broken,
but I keep it around
I might need it one day,
after I clear away all the hang ups
The little bruised and battered thing is the ego I don’t use it much these days
but it still grows uncontrollably
if its massaged the right way
Not that I recommend trying it,
it can be a little pretentious when it’s aroused
The giant gold statue,
that’s my own little monument to self pity It doesn’t really do much,
but looking at it makes me feel better sometimes
other times it just weighs me down
The big pile of dirt,
that’s hiding most of my buried feelings I keep trying to dig them back up,
but I think I hid them all a little to far down
It’s amazing how hard it is to recover things,
when you aren’t really sure where you put them
So that’s it My own private little headspace Look around at your leisure,
and let me know if you trip over my lost innocence.


The colour of sunset,
in winter
when the oranges and reds make you think of fire and blood
Interesting clouds,
the kind that don’t look like anything except clouds,
floating alone in the sky
The tears of someone you love,
whatever your definition of the term,
falling into a glass of red wine
The look in someone’s eyes,
as the drift off,
and start to think obscure thoughts
The colour of the sky
and the clouds,
just before it begins to rain
The moment when you’re angry,
just about to loose control,
and you pull yourself back from the edge
The smile of someone,
that you think you care for,
even if you aren’t really sure yet
The feeling of waking up,
after fourteen hours
of really deep sleep
The tingling and sweat on your palms,
just after you’re afraid,
but just before you realise you’re safe
The smoke of a cigarette,
caught in the wind,
and sailing off into the clouds
The first time you meet someone,
and you forget yourself,
and think that just this once you might be in love
Standing outside,
with the rain on your face,
and puddles at your feet
Red hair,
and belly buttons
The moment of guilt,
when you get pleasure from something,
and you know you shouldn’t
Finding something or someone,
who fits a cliche so well,
it’s almost scary
The first sting of winter,
and the thought of the cold,
and the warm jackets that you get to wear
The start of summer,
when you sit on the balcony,
and get drunk on wine and heat
The first time you get to sit down,
on the other side of the country,
and watch the sun set into the ocean
The first time you stay up all night,
go down to the beach,
and watch the sun rise over the ocean
And the feeling just before dawn,
when you want to hold onto the night,
but realise all the people on the other side of the world,
are waiting for their own sunrise.

Bess Kemp


Bess lives with her family in the San Francisco Bay area Her poems appear in a variety of places at this time including All Mixed up, Amrita, Athens city Times, and the up-coming issues of Perimeter, Ygdrasil, and the Part-time Postmodernist among others She finds inspiration in the most ordinary things in life.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by Bess Kemp and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


he sat
blameless and wistful
sifting through
the old days
like photos, one at a time
feeling at once
a longing for them
a need to leave them
in storage
with his baseball cards
and comic books


he liked to use words
like “mellifluous”
and “plethora”
here and there
and if
he was feeling
particularly clever
he would throw in
an occasional
as well

The Quirks of Aging

they ventured out together
that day, like most others
running errands
buying cat food
stocking up on peanut butter
and crackers
making sure
it was all taken care of
they wouldn’t have to
leave the house again
for a long while
as long as things held up okay
they could but try
to hold the world
and its’ doings
at bay
for a bit longer

December 14-20, 1998: Kathleen Hietala

Week of December 14, 1998-December 20, 1998

Kathleen Hietala

Kathleen HietalaKathleen Hietala
June 20, 1948-December 6, 1998
in memorium


This past week the Los Angeles poetry community lost one of its most cherished members when Kathleen Hietala lost the battle to Liver Cancer.

Kathleen lived and wrote for many years in Los Angeles where she attended Hollywood High School and then Los Angeles City College She authored two books: Hangnail In Utopia and The Manufacturer’s Parts as well as co-writing Mr President, Mr President, the memoirs of noted journalist Sara McClendon She also edited the magazines On Target and Sabado Gigante Her work has appeared in several magazines and literary journals including Blue Satellite, Caffeine, Saturday Afternoon Journal and others.

Kathleen also hosted the infamous Sunday night open reading at the now de-funct (and soon to be re-funct) Iguana Cafe in North Hollywood where it was discovered that her ass resembled Richard Nixon One can only hope that Richard Nixon is now staring up to Heaven at Kathleens ass from wherever she may be Kathleen was our friend She is missed.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Kathleen Hietala and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author (Which at this point is not easy to obtain without a Ouija Board).

Walking Against The Wind

Speech can use topography
some coloration besides
schizophrenia of theme
.and No-Doz rhythm,
balls of brass,
a little DNA
– or –
maybe you should try Starbucks,
They sponsor Kenny G.


Aaron’s grandpa
.is a famous astronomer
.so they make excuses
.for his Slowness,
.recounting the difficulty
.of his birth as if he’d
.been lost among the stars,
.silently hoping
.he will soon discover
.the proper trajectory like the genus
.they pretend
.he is
He’s made his mother’s impediment
.his own, amplifying it
.the way angry crows do caws
.as brittle shoots fall
.to ground
.from still-warm nests
.she collects
The father tries not to grit
.or grumble
.but is as far off
.in these aftempts
.as misfired footballs
.on the lawn or space debris
.he tracks,
.jettisoned for want of what to do
.with distant dots
.abandoned during first flight


I’m in the mood for a moon,
a three-day moon
like Sagan never saw,
fat and sassy as Aunt Fanny’s
alive and round as Bardot’s
high as Bunyan’s hatband,
glowing like Chernobyl
in the blacklight sky

I’m in the mood for a moon,
as steady in its place as
your arms tight around me,
close as two-lane blacktop,
all full-tilt boogie 50’s
hugs and kisses

Especially the kisses:
stronger than Grandma’s
upright Hoover, longer than a Coupe de
softer than angora,
tender as a tear in Bambi’s
urgent as a smoke alarm,
inescapable as night

I’m in the mood for a moon,
not some slivered almond
not a cuspy pointed chin,
not half like tits in demi-
nor three-quarters like the
sleeves of Mrs Nixon’s plain
cloth coat
not almost round but full your mouth; my heart; our
grasp of what we’re doing full carafe-and-a-half
full, size 10 feet in size 8
shoes full

Yes, you are my sunshine
and I’m in the mood for a

Curriculum for Life Studies

Straight line home from school
point A to B
broken by a visit to mother’s place Sometimes a sense of duty
Sometimes a hug over cups of tea
Always checking for bruises, blood, morphine in the fridge

Home ec, ethics

Bombed out in soc
hiding unattractive, changing body
from snide, rude kids
on their way to games and successes

Phys ed requirements met
hauling a frequently inert 100-pound
woman delicately from room to room

No time for El Camino Real
talked dry as dust from repetition
since third grade
with mother wrapped in Welfare wear
new hair a steel-wool calico
staggering like a drunk
drawing stares
rough laughter
added to her pain

Too busy being Mendel’s pea to study
for biology, physiology
metacarpal bracing mandible
on desktop like good clean popular
pretty perfect girls
who can slice and dice a frog
and look forward to it

Learning all about transfusions,
giving shots, genetic rarities
at home, thanks
Failed math worrying about actuarials
the price of small sunburned plots
and funerals

Boning up on law, theology
for the mother of invention,
displacement by rehearsing death
each day,
not “Little Mary Sunshine” for
one fabulous weekend performance

Saw white-cell battles,
small strong Scots losing incrementally, dying in the fray

A little music, please
A little fantasy
A dimestore painting
on the kitchen wall of a cottage
by the stream,
where we’ll live when she gets well

Art appreciation?
The one and only big A+

Fail, fail, fail
No school spirit or participation
No extracurricular activities
Not living up to potential
Poor personal habits
Inattentive to what’s important
Hates Father Serra and his ass

The shortest distance from point A
to point B is a straight line
uninterrupted by education

December 7-13, 1998: Walt Phillips and Dylan Russell

Week of December 7, 1998-December 13, 1998

Walt Phillips and Dylan Russell

Walt Phillips


Walt Phillips, just nominated for a pushcart prize by Chiron Review,  has published poems and drawings throughout the small press world since l959 His work has appeared in such places as Wormwood Review,  Lost & Found Times, Yellow Brick Road, Prairie Schooner, The Massachusetts Review, Impetus, Pearl and Lynx Eye Online, he is currently at Gravity, Zero City, Afternoon, Arcanum Aafe and many others his line art has been praised by such as Todd Moore, Gerald Locklin and the legendary Judson Crews Walt, retired from careers as a newspapers journalist and amusement park factotum, lives in American Canyon, California, with his wife of 42 years, Bonnie He is a Massachusetts native.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Walt Phillips and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

He Said He’d Been Dreaming

about mud-wrestling
the waitress at randy’s
hell you can barely walk let
alone wrestle
I told him
everything went to hell
he said after
I gave up drinking
which was when? I said
next week sure he

They Were Playing Cards

in the maintenance room
and chester got pissed
and broke a bottle of
dog and cat repellant you’re
a hell of a sport you are
hollered shaky andy I ain’t
paid to be a sport in
this fucking place
hollered chester it went
quiet then he
I don’t get paid much
for anything else either
and they all departed to
avoid the afternoon as

Primary Means Fundamental

I climbed in with the
and went back to the
old gardens of eden which
of course were no such
every time is peopled with the
befuddled and difficult and
flat out nuts
and the loveliest gardens of
any era host
encyclopedic in range and


breaks your heart
breaks your heart
breaks your heart

he kept saying it
again and again
breaks your heart

his heart was penned
in a dry field

and the only rescue
o so final

The Superintendent

of the nuthouse said he could
empty the place if it weren’t
for guilt
the reporter took his picture
standing with one of
the patients
and the big interview afternoon
was over
then the superintendent went
home and
washed his hands 13 times
before dinner
and 21 afterward

He Said

thinking he
of places where
is slow and

Dylan Russell


Dylan is a student living in Southern California He’s a vagabond who’s annual re-location has placed him in various cities throughout So Cal , including, in the immortal words of Snoop Doggy Dog,  ” .the hills next to Chino ,” where he currently stays He’s even spent time recently living in self-exile in the desert of Las Vegas He justifies all of his moving as a search for the Southwestern sense of place He avoids using the cliched term Zeitgeist, but a sense of time and place are something that he’s obsessed about He edits a literary magazine at Cal State Fullerton,  which has been organized to with the intent to bring about some sort of artistic community at a school overrun with a feeling of transientness, caused by its large population of commuter students

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by Dylan Russel and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

Zombie Lovesong

in the windburnt, halflight of october
my hand grows scales and the skin
stretches thin over a row of bones I think of the spine of a triceritops
our backs to the santa anas,
I notice the halfworn cherry polish
on her thumbnail as she picks at it I don’t even hear what she says
about the film:
something about davy crockett
wrestling a bear and I turn to look at her
straight into her autumnal eyes;
each eye haloed like the eyes
of a zombie
I see a baby deer,
hopping after its mother,
look up at me
as she passes through the clear,
back into the thick trees
we are zombies, 
living on vitamins and amphetamines,
reading a thousand pages a day, 
and we’ve stopped here to admit it,
to admit we have grown thin we’ve drug ourselves here
to talk shop,
to struggle out q & a
that is as careful, as deliberate,
as a cardhouse and as thin as we are, 
as scaled as we are,
we see through gaps we can read the language at the back of
“what other classes are you taking,”
which is a metaphor for
“I am lonely,
rest with me “

her lotioned hand takes hold of mine she has more initiative, i think she motions toward the drinking fountain
and we take turns.

Tattooed to Me

I can still see you sprawled out
making snow angels in our dim-lit
upstairs brick apartment,
just east of Lake-
not the side strewn with Church’s
& Pioneer Chickens & Korean markets,
but the side with the most clear view
of Lowe Mountain,
where all the mulberry trees grow
There you are,
wrapped in a paisley silk scarf,
wearing your pink nightgown,
listening to Hall and Oates’ “Maneater”
in your headphones A dusty lightbulb & a flickering candle
paint your legs olive,
hide three days stubble,
and just hint @ the curves of a woman
who was only caught half dozen times or so
this millennium
when she came down to play
in the late night studios
w/ her other muse friends
I’d imagine you’re thinking
about something obscure_
what you’d do to get your
silver-nail-teeth into a fat,
juicy burger w/ cheese
& fresh lettuce, ripe tomato
& sharp onions,
the grease running down your chin Just a late night snack
This is how you live up to your name-
you are the diamond mines in Africa,
you are the sweet piece of coal
kissed by soft, dark mud & clay
a thousand times, ëtil you shine
brighter than any steel star
that ever got stuck in the black sky
I can still see you
from way out here in space;
the hum of metal stars, mars I am studying you,
looking for a pattern,
scanning for a language I’ll read you in rows,
scatter plots,
cross-hatch you on newsprint,
burn a beeswax candle
behind onion-skin,
turn a vacuum on
& suck you onto the page Sound strange?
All I really wanna do is borrow your soul
for a story, lady Can’t you help me, 
save me,

I keep drawing circles around
the thing I mean to make Here and there my pen crosses over,
I slip and put my foot in the river Like when I say you are electric When I see you, I see a barn,
a burning, blazing barn & a dam
A pent up flood A barn and a dam And there you are,
all shiny,
soft light,
sparks between your chattering teeth,
& that fuzz just above your skin Electric
Then, every aspect of you,
from the split ends of your hair
to the callouses on your feet
swirl like a blackhole
@ the edge of our galaxy Things are askew,
you are something I never knew I was daydreaming
& you were caught in my blink.


We are the thin crowd-
thinned out by sweaty, almost-summer days,
lounging under shady Jacarandas,
eating sticky oranges while we bob our head
like cool black kids, 
beat boxin’, rappin’ the chorus
to “We Be Clubbin’ “
We’re so cool we miss the moon;
even on a day like today:
a break in the weather, 
the shiny white sun, in fat rays,
like long arms
extending through still gray clouds;
ya, it brushes our pale skin pink
& squints through the dark
circles of our eyes
We are the weary kids-
splintered apart as we burn through space Tonight, when we’re down w/ the moon again,
when we’re cool with the mooon again,
we’ll only be a dim glow,
a faint buzz,
like a stone worn by
every layer of the earth since the core,
held down under a petrographic microscope
ëtill we squeal our name
We are the burros-
dumb as the Jerry Springer Show,
living on amphetamines & vitamins,
living Online,
always Online We have a Zeitgeist i.v
Even with a blue screen
we’re assessing our portfolios, 
hearing music from God’s mouth,
cleaning our cars,
shopping 4 clothes the designers
haven’t even thought to wear Cash has become air We are wearing our fingertips printless,
confusing downtime w/ worktime It’s always worktime
But look @ our bee-pollen faces,
hear our tickled nose sneezes We’ve lived through April before We know about hot sun and wet rain We know about empty calories
and the Bionic Man We’ve driven out here from Reseda
and Glendora and Tustin and Fontana We’ve come here for the show
So here is your flea dip Here is your debut strip We’ve been waiting for you We’ve been praying for you Lay down on this soft grassy hill,
breath the thin blue air,
smell the teeming wildflowers,
watch the first fireflies
of the burning dusk, 
and hum along
to the cool kids’ song.

November 30-December 6, 1998: L.S. Shevshenko and M.I. Blue

Week of November 30, 1998-December 6, 1998

L.S. Shevshenko and M.I. Blue

L.S Shevshenko


L.S Shevshenko was born in Tomaston Georgia and grew up on Macon Georgia’s infamous south side His father is Native American Indian and Irish and his mother is Russian At the tender age of twelve he witnessed his uncles’ murder and started writing and at twenty-two watched his brother die from a gunshot outside a nightclub where he worked He’s ridden motorcycles and fought for biker’s rights for most of his life and has been published by Easyriders Magazine,  Nebo, Nightshade,Deathrealm Magazine, Dream International Quarterly and appeared in many other journals, small presses and even appeared on television Shevshenko has won two awards from the Georgia College Press Association and has two chap-books ICE HOUSE and RoB Amsterdam He is currently working on a third and writing a novel His web site is: http://members.tripod.com/~shevshenko

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
L.S Shevshenko and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

as doe ran wild in the woods

everything was folded
put neatly into
small bags and
set inside the truck
cranking up
driving a short distance from
the house
I then pulled into
the roofing company drive
while getting out
I extracted the articles
then went inside and
stoically asked for my ex’
the secretary, smiled
went into the back
my girlfriends boyfriend
(the owner) emerged
” I see you have something for US”
he said, “her clothes “

smiling back I told him
since you can sneak her off
take care of her and
her hotel room in Conyers
I felt you should take care of these too “
Handing them to him
I then turned, walked away
and quietly wished them
all the luck in the world.

shooting the curls

you sit across the room
in subtle reckless behavior
basking naked to a window’s sun
as these finger tips
softly spank your mind
you told me
it aroused you
that you were
a voyeur
blushing at times
watching me make love
to the millions in the net
half my age
older women, often stare
they’re caught-up in
their controlled conditioning
those antiquated ways
their looks
cause you laughter
as you gently rub these arms
there is no color, or time
in your eyes I peer
deep into your mind
you stoke the fires
allow those thighs to part
inside the wave
I ride
shooting the curls:
the internet
can wait

Wish- (for her)

Often, I ponder
where she is
without a call
some news
I am, forlorn
has she gone
in some wreck
been taken
by the darkness
or some keen blade
-been sprayed from a corner
to an early grave
the smoke rises
this cat purrs
as our clock ticks
amongst the blues at the window
clouds dance
beneath the stars
one falls and
all I can do
is wish.

the Stuck Mojo Show at Liz Reeds Music Hall

some one
had me guarding steps
leading to the stage
(for no money mind you)
and in front of the band
were animals
tossing others into
the air
and the floor was shaking
and the crowd was swaying
and bouncers were like midgets
compared to most
and it was hot
and the smell of sweat was
and there were women there
with protrusions ashardasminds
someÖ you could’ve hung keys from
they were pushed together, like poems
and over music
a three hundred pounder hollered
So I let him
and as he filled the air
everybody parted
from the insanity that fell
as the band played on.

M.I Blue


m.i.blue recently self-published a short informational pamphlet called HOW TO BLOW UP A CHURCH and has written for magazines with names like Future Sex, Damage, Ball, Bakunin, and that caffein-spastic coffee journal Cups His most recent credit is an erotic piece published in the Rhinoceros Press anthology: NOIROTICA2: PULP FRICTION.

blue has been performing in and producing spoken word shows in San Francisco for 10 years and worked with writers like Exene Cervenka, Carol Queen, vampire Danielle Willis, Don Bajema, and recent-tour-mate Deke Weaver His latest effort has been a two-year ongoing spokenword/ performance/cabaret Sunday-After-Church series known as Wordfuck that one critic called “a cross between NPR and Cybergasm” and which has been kicked out of one S.F venue,  gone on the road to Long Beach, Vancouver (by virtual telecommunication hookup), San Diego, Seattle, and the Albuquerque Poetry Festival,  and been produced (by blue) as a local S.F cable-access tv show.

This year he co-produced, with Hank Hyena, a tape featuring the best writers working in the S.F spokenword scene: MOUTH, featuring Beth Lissick, Juliet Torrez, Justin Chin, and a host of others .You can call him “Uncle Blue”.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
M.I Blue and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

The Hidden Aspect of Clouds

come on!” billy exhorts his sister “i just wanna see ” creaking open the door and slipping into his dads’ and moms’ darkening bedroom like an awestruck worshipper sneaking into the house of god.

it all seems so immense, so well-appointed, so adult the enormous bed a barge, the closet door like pandora’s box, the matching nightstand altars his sister is sucking her thumb in wonder and holding on to the edge of his t-shirt with one wet hand “look!” on the waxed surface of the pine bureau, reflected in the vast mirror that hangs over it, beside the hyper-hued photograph of dad and mom beaming in their wedding best: a jewel box filled with mom’s pearls and brooches, earrings and zircons .a pewter dish full of dad’s coins and tieclips and keys “w-ow!” patty reaches out to touch the cool pearls as though to pet a scared stray kitten the picture of his happy father makes billy smile, too he reaches into the coins and pulls out a penknife,  unclasps it, closes it, then puts it back in the dish, reverently.

billy!” his sister urges they listen, breath held, as their mother’s dopplering singing voice, downstairs, moves from one room to another past the stairs, then silence again.

excited, opening slowly the drawers one by one to look inside,  to feel inside the clean handkerchiefs and laced underthings,  the socks crisp shirts, soft pants .at the bottom of his fathers’ sweater drawer another box.

don’t, billy !” patty says, but he’s already pulled the heavy cigarbox out: ROI-TAN .he’s already lifted it’s faded lid inside: khaki memories black and white photographs of dirty smiling men in uniforms “that’s dad!” the son says in wonderment the weight is under the photos the checked handle of the massive gun feels like grapnels on the palm of his hand pulling the weapon clear of the cigarbox, it’s heavier than it could possibly be “l-o-o-k!” he points the piece toward his anxious sister, whose eyes grow large and pale as though projected by the big gun onto her face “put it back, billy ” she whispers, but the gun wavers in her face for a moment, his mind is already somewhere else, he isn’t paying any attention to it anymore when suddenly he lets the .45 drop heavily to the rug, puts it down to pick up something else from the box dried fruit, it looks like, strung on a loop of tarnished copper wire billy can see it in one of the photos, around his father’s neck,  and puts it on, beaming proudly.

look, patty!
it’s a necklace of ears.

November 23-29, 1998: Clint Margrave and Jennifer Havener

Week of November 23, 1998-November 29, 1998

Clint Margrave and Jennifer Havener

Clint Margrave


I am 24 years old, I live in Anaheim,CA I have two chapbooks one called The Devil Made Me Do It and one called Salute the Wreckage I have been published a few times in the Chiron Review and another mag called Haggard and Halloo and have really just recently have begun to really start sending submissions.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Clint Margrave and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

The Lonely Hunter

this small cricket
I have listened to for months
must have worked its way
out of a drainage pipe,
lost its head in the
garbage disposal,
broke a leg or been
challenged to a duel
somewhere, because now
this house is quiet And though there were times
when I wished to smash
the little bastard into a
thousand cricket pieces,
or moments spent
hunting him down with a
fist and a paper towel,
I cannot help but notice
the absence of him now;
like hiccups that have suddenly
disappeared, or a neighborhood
dog that has been silenced,
or the way I felt this morning
when I threw on an old sweatshirt
and pulled from its tight sleeve
a broken strand of your hair.

identity crisis

If you must get me
at home, it’s 714-434-0674
or if you’d prefer to
reach me at work then
it’s 562-799-0486,
officially they’ll know
me better as 227
but don’t try sending
any mail because that
only goes to 261 in
the city of 92836
And if you’re from the
government, well then
you might know me better
as 558-75-1156, or the
Department of Motor Vehicles?
then I’ve slipped in as A6567983
But the bank still knows
me best as 0856211738
and the credit union even
better as 6420907429, but
I wouldn’t bother checking
either of these places
because most of the time
all you’re going to find
is a balance of 0
Anyway—hope to hear
from you soon, in the
meantime I’ll be heading
down the 405 in my white
5g26189 trying to make
some sense out of this mess
that started on 7-1-74.


peel the skin
from these bones
clench a fist
around this vestibule
caress these tired muscles
tie these veins
into little knots
place your lips
along this jaded spine
for I have seen flowers
die with more dignity;
I have watched bullets
rush through armies
more gently;
I have seen acid
dissolve flesh
in a more delicate manner
and as we lay down
amongst these filthy sheets
let me kiss
your sour lips,
let these fingers
brush over
your pale white skin,
let this sun
forever set
across your naked back
for I have known
no escape,
no great white horse
to ride on,
no roof to keep
us covered,
no stones to throw
or pills to swallow.

Jennifer Havener


Jennifer Havener; drowning in nothingness, waiting to start college in ’99 From Vernon Center, NY.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Jennifer Havener and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

Dust And Demons

Dust covers the shelf,
my hands
and my heart The letter you wrote me
to tell me to leave
this apartment,
sits alone,
right where I left it I couldn’t bear to take it with me,
you couldn’t bear
to throw it out
I touch it,
gently, angrily New tears mingle
with old stains You called last night,
beckoned me to come And I, still your slave,
abided You said
“Just because I’m never alone
doesn’t mean I’m not lonely “

Your ghost haunted me since the day
I walked out I came to exorcise you
The crinkle of the paper
echoes in this silent hell I read, again, the words you wrote
to make me hate you I memorized them They have been repeating in my head
for 2 years
“I want you gone
when I get back “

Now you call me back here You pray to God,
and then to me
to ease your conscience, your loneliness He won’t,
and I can’t –
I have my own demons to drown
The rooms of our life together
have become black
with dust, and pain It is empty here And you are dead without me I know this by the way
you reach out for me now,
in regret, and desperation It is enough And I take your cigarette
from your shaking hands,
and touch it lightly
to that note, glaring white
in the blackness,
and walk out,
never looking back.

Ariel’s Birthday Letters

Kneeling on the grass
with our legs barely touching,
shockwaves zapping even so books in hands,
voices rising Sylvia for me,
Ted for you
Poems of tragic love,
old ghosts and
suicide She died for him And maybe he died with her,
but he stayed
to raise the products
of her womb
The rain starts,
still we stay Wet pages,
matted hair
With every word from every poem,
we get a little more wet,
and a little more in love
We worry not about
ruined books,
or ruined lives the poems reveal We worry only about
how close our hands
and heart are coming
Books closed,
hands entwined We walk back to your apartment You put the books on the heater to dry,
and wrap yourself around me,
my own personal blanket,
and whisper
that you love me.


Watching the time pass by the seconds 1:30 a.m ,
and i can’t do this anymore Waiting for you to come home,
drunk, most likely,
and enter into me,
my protest on my lips
demolished by your kiss
Jason said that you don’t deserve me When I asked him who did
he looked at me like you used to He said nothing,
and I said nothing
You walked in a moment later,
and he retreated to his
apartment across the hall,
which might as well have been across the world
You took one look at the painting of him
(because I sometimes pretend to be a painter),
and shredded it, against my sobbed objections,
with the pocket knife
that I bought for you last year
I could almost feel Jason
pressed up against his door,
listening for signs that
I am not okay But I always am.

November 16-22, 1998: Hannah Sassaman and Joan Pond

Week of November 16, 1998-November 22, 1998

Hannah Sassaman and Joan Pond

Hannah Sassaman

Bio(auto) Color

Hannah Sassaman is a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA She is majoring in Theatre Arts and is an editor at CrossConnect.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Hannah Sassaman and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Remember your response to breakfast,
bedded in the morning frost — the windows
turned to blue and white abstractions
I traced the eggs with olive oil, and dilled
the toast The milk was squeezed through
holes in rubber gloves (attempting to
approximate a cow), the butter scraped
from corners of the softened stick — the
creamiest, you said, the easiest to
spread on scones, delivered from the store
Of course, you had a headache, an aversion
to the dairy in the milk, the yellow in the egg I enjoyed the richness of my labor on a
wooden table, sated and surprised by my
success in food experiment You slept an hour
longer, lingering in dirty sheets, surrounded by
the body smells of man and woman mingled.


He didn’t blink when suddenly
I became a cup of tea
Yes, I said, you’re seeing right,
as my steam whorled around
the bland prongs of the ceiling fan
He blotted the corner of his flowered
paper napkin in my porcelain cup
The edges of my me-elixir
spilled over the sides.

Small Talk With Tony Lopez

I falter I talk of small things He listens with one ear pressed to the page
The canal drips with ink
It is all I can do — to hear him listen,
To feel the distance of the gurgle in his throat
I think of Williams and the stories he tells —
In school he met Ezra Pound They tangled over
Hilda Doolittle and made a poet of her
He is writing me now — girl, young, American The words form at the back of his neck Uncertain Rough Thinks someday she will be a poet too.


Yah yauh yaugh yaw The difference
An opening, a lift at the back

Of the throat Large enough
To melt a sugar cube, she says
So the back of a spoon could sit
On your tongue and still rim

Your bottom teeth, the voice teacher
Says Or two fingers, she says
So your jaw falls almost slack Yah Yauh Yaugh.

Joan Pond


Computer nerd by vocation and poet by avocation.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Joan Pond and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

It’s Bargain Sale Days at K-Mart
as I stand outside
and use the phone When Paul answers
I picture him in the kitchen
Light from the window above the sink
burnishes Formica, 
as a fizgig of Roentgen-rays
illumine zinc white hair
His green eyes
are pellucid in semi-light ŒHello?, he says ŒHello? And I hang the phone,
not wanting to loose
this parhelion
of sun.

he tossed my clothes
into Long Island Sound Mendicant,
he wandering round
with the light of Diogenes,
seeking an honest woman Finding none,
he asked me
to return Realizing,
I was merely mortal;
and so easily
by the
he carried.

He greets me with
a misproportioned smile His yard is unnavigable for
barberry, golden-rod,
and trees touching
powerlines that speak
as cicadas I lived here, once Now
it seems surreal,
as a cat peers
from an abandoned Toyota
with eyes brighter than
the head-light
it replaces.

Pam and I sat in front, clutching cups of coffee Steam fogged the glass
as I followed Bryant’s Pass
and we crossed the double kerthump of track,
headed toward Bridgeport We stopped at Dunkin? Donuts
and saw the dude in the cowboy hat and string tie The restaurant, with its lights and white walls
was sterile as a Hopper And the man in the hat sat facing the street,
balancing his face in his hands;
staring into the night I turned at the light and followed the signs Two blocks to Stillman Medical
One Block to Stillman Take a right at Stillman Strange, 
for a clinic to advertise
as an amusement park It’s as though we were driving,
to South of the Border.

Impatiens of cinnabar
wax bronze,
as Autumn sun
and wind from the lake
variegate and shake cherry tomatoes,
ochreous and wanting It’s an end of the season sale
far better than K-Mart As Fall prepares its winter line,
cloven leaves slip from trees
to the ground Nearing solstice, 
a fawn lifts its vernal head
with the gloss
of novelty.

I bought you a Tibetan prayer wheel,
knowing you don?t pray As if to say I could do something to help
ameliorate your pain,
or make you want to live again
with me
and the dog Tango woofs in her sleep,
as I dream of a time
when you won’t
be near enough
to hear.

The good old days expired
when I sat on the bed
and he said he didnít love me
as much as I loved him Irrecoverable
I was past perfect;
incomplete without him
Once upon a time
I’d found my prince
but he turned me into something
less Weighed
and found wanting
I packed beggardly boxes
and left,
not wanting to lose more
than I could

Icy water beside the tracks,
has spidery cracks as pudding
left too long in the frig A broken shovel and aerosol cans,
litter a landscape
of sumac and thistle A train goes by
disturbing the man
in his cardboard home He shakes his fist and swears No one cares if he can’t sleep
by the light of day The men on the train
laugh, saying,
“Get a life, buddy “

I never liked the statue of Queen Victoria It was cracked and green with moss,
as something from ‘Alice in Wonderland’ But Matthew said
it was from Buckingham Palace
and he wouldn’t part with it So, when I was in the garden,
I kicked the Queen,
and off came her head It rolled down the hill
and rested in the rosebed I waited for Matt to ask And then I’d say,
Oh yes,
I always did like
Marie Antionette
in the garden.

had been obtuse
and thick-skinned You
brought nitrous oxide
to this rhinoceros Revealing a side
I hadn’t shown I was anaesthetized
and dumb,
but you cultivated
what was numb
and had lain
so long.

November 9-15, 1998: Julia Stein and Gregory Hischak

Week of November 9, 1998-November 15, 1998

Julia Stein and Gregory Hischak

Julia Stein

Bio(auto) Color

Julia Stein has published two books of poetry: Under the Ladder to Heaven and Desert Soldiers She has written a series of poems about Biblican women Her work is published in the anthologies Beyond Larment: World Poets Repsond to the Holocuast (Northwestern Press) and Which Lilith? Feminist Writers Re-Create the World’s First Woman (Jason Aronson: New Jersey and London).She has written a novel The Magic Circle about the 1960s, and an excerpt was published in the Flashback issue of the magazine Saturday Afternoon Phillip Levine has said about her poetry that it’s hard to get this much passion and rage in poetry She is a founder of the Los Angeles local/National Writers Union.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Julia Stein and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

Bath she-ba

On all my sad nights I lay crying
over my life–how I was a girl sold away
in marriage to an ugly old man I hated and
how I wanted to kill myself when
your harp music drifted from the palace;
I let the notes flow over my body,
dam my tears Now I heard your harp again
as my hands tested the bath water
My hand made slow waves with the water I stood up, your music rose with me,
my back to the window, I could have
turned, closed the curtain, instead
I let the music lift up my arms,
unhooking my robe I felt the notes
caress my neck, heard your harp stop
for a second when I dropped my robe,

stood naked, when I stepped into
the bath, sank into the soft water
your music splashed, spiraled swiftly
down my breasts, then slid softly
over my belly, the notes danced up
my thighs; when I stepped out of the bath
to reach for the towel, your music poured
over me in a fountain of joy.

Evil Queen Vashti of Persia

Adults warned us against imitating Queen Vashti She refused to appear naked before her drunken king husband and
all his drunken guests at the banquet Her husband had her killed See what happened to Vashti for her disobedience!
It could happen to any girl
They told us to imitate Esther
who won the beauty contest for all the Persian virgins
to be crowned the new queen She only disobeyed her husband once–
when he was ready to kill all the Jewish people Her husband never let Esther write She was a mute queen Now Vashti had the courage to be a writer Only she wound up dead A great future was ahead of me
They got the story wrong Vashti escaped from jail, caught a caravan out of Persia,
sneaked across the border into Palestine When she heard about Esther’s bravery she wrote
The Book of Esther in admiration Her name got written out of history Again It’s an old story.

Gregory Hischak


Gregory Hischak is a writer in Seattle and publisher of Farm Pulp Magazine ($3.00 from PO Box 2151 Seattle, WA 98111-2151 ) He spends a lot of time around staplers.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Gregory Hischak and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

Save me as Text

Save me as text That box of snapshots thrown out
when the closet grows too full When your life becomes cluttered
grows too heavy with pictures
then save me as text
Throw out those Block Island polaroids
forget the scent of bodies contained
in an overpriced Motel 6
filling the biege room
like an orange striped of its peel
Forget me as Clark
Straddling the Idaho divide
pissing into the Gulf of Mexico
and the Pacific
to make his Sacajawea laugh
But save me as text Insert me as 12 point type
wherever you like
and when it is convenient Italicize me with eyebrows
parenthesize me a half nod of unmet eyes
Inject me anecdotally
an interesting footnote
background information
into some new conversation
spilled over bread and oil in some
new favorite restaurant
But remember that you saw Clark
Straddling the divide with his fly open
and break off into remembered laughter
ignoring the quizzical look from blank new scrapbook
across from you
letting it go with a shrug of shoulder defined by candle Save me as text.

1″ = 1″

In this map, 1″ = 1 ” Pulled from glove compartment and unfolded across the warm hood of a reliable car Panels spreading across shoulder, field and valley Unfolding westerly, the pale blue of continental shelf revealing the new green Piedmont, the emerald green Appalachian watershed, beige plains, ocher and mahogany play of basin and range until the last panel reveals itself; falling off into the warm slope of cerulean Pacific water From the darkening brine of sheet’s edge I look up when I hear my name
1″ = 1″

I watch you crossing the street toward me Such beautiful, complicated machinery in motion Stepping off a curb and traversing twenty feet of perilous asphalt Twenty feet equaling twenty feet, crossing in a controlled fall forward­full of grace and poise­you come to rest, nose to nose against me and we inquire as to each other’s day
Together having driven, walked, crawled on fours, conjectured,  sweated, cursed, counted and negotiated these distances; discovering the crash of surf indistinguishable from the roar of interstate; the roar of interstates indistinguishable from the rustle of autumn treetops traversed like squirrels; traveling from the Atlantic to the Mississippi­never touching ground, never waving back Crossing these folds and frayed creases; mandalas of county grid and secondary road, climbing ridge over pass on the crest and trough shadow of powerlines following buffalo trails following rivers following the shifting course of restless terrain and there at curb’s edge,  nose to nose, we can inquire as to each other’s day

It is here, I say, pointing down 1″ = 1 ” Together we look down at our feet, our heads colliding with a knock indistinguishable from the slamming of a car door Finding the revolution of earth indistinguishable from the revelation of heart Until these folds rise and set us rolling again, we are at rest Where we are, at this moment, you and I, let us call this place home
We have this map beneath us, and it’s scale is 1″ to 1″ so as the joy of its unfolding may equal the joy of its discovery.

ovember 2-8, 1998: Phil Taggart and Linda Etheridge

Week of November 2, 1998-November 8, 1998

Phil Taggart and Linda Etheridge

Phil Taggart


Phil Taggart lives in Ventura, California has 2 kids and 5 cats He started/ran poetry readings at various coffee houses in Camarillo, Santa Barbara and Ventura most notably: Cafe Voltaire-Ventura,  Green Dragon-Santa Barbara, The Insomniac-Ventura, The Daily Grind-Ventura member, California Poets in the Schools Phil wrote for NEXT Magazine He is the poetry editor for Art/Life Limited Editions and co-director of the Ventura Poetry Festival He also is the producer and co-host for “Open Mic” a poetry/spoken word video program Phil recently finished a libretto for an opera that is to be released in April ’99 and has a chapbook out on Mille Grazie Press, “Opium Wars”

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Phil Taggart and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Totem kitty pink
handbags rejoice
banality caressed
black vinyl
well healed
so fist
around the middle
eyes animal
glaze in waiting
for the dish
to be

Sugar & Flour

stare fat
morsel fried sweet
child with child
and child hungry
for dreams to
rise above vision
cracked torn
survival numbed
to die


Smell warm
from kisses flush
in face your
breasts damp in
passion tongue
teeth on flesh swell
belly navel lick
ginger hair coy(s)
ah, fingers tongue
tickles know


Culture liit
lest rot
stuns deaf
punctures eye
torn in tongue
monkey lab worn
how rats
see penitent blade

Linda Etheridge


I am a published poet Currently on the web, I have a poem on the Pittsburg Quarterly, Mocha Memories, The Poetry Exchange and others I have been published in 3 Connecticut Newspapers (poems), and two essays also in Ct Newspapers Also, recently accepted for Anthology I recently won an honorable mention in a local contest I reside in a the quiet New England town of New Milford, with a silly putty grey cat and my boyfriend, an artist.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Linda Etheridge and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Within the split personality
seconds of our companionship,
here amidst barren, mid-February
small town Americana early 1990’s,
you are as close to me
as I am to myself In and out of hazd oblivion
detours from level, fireside calm,
you are near to my essence
soothing that ancient,
maddening sorrow of lonliness
and destructive grief This is superior to the confines
of marriage that has grown
over the years You, and your gifted ways
provide tender wisdom
a spirit of rejuvenation
from that which has ripped us
both apart- death of long term love In this winter’s dead heat space
we grow inside,
there is grace and tolerance Te adoro, mi amigo.

Compo Beach

Deep night
bitter chilled The moon in the distance
spreads cold fire
lighting the sky Down below
cold matted ground
no heat from the glowing orange
only a shaft of brightness
hard and long A few people
lie below this moon
as time focuses colors
for dawn.


The bed held us both
on your side
you read your sly-spy story
moved your toes
to stretch a sigh
as the moon outside
crept slow in autumn freeze On my side
I was away in sleep thought
(did you touch me quiet
by your mouth
on my back, my elbow?)
As I slept
I was moved by the mind,
finding myself at an edge
meant to topple and die It was in a room
in a chalet
all in black and white
like your tweed coat From top to bottom
there was great distance
I almost lost
but you saved me
with your glance I awoke in one piece.

October 26-November 1, 1998: William Houze and H.A Maxson


Week of October 26, 1998-November 1, 1998 
William Houze and H.A Maxson 



William Houze


I live in Greenwood Lake, NY (temporary abode is cottage I rent on the lake), and have family ties in Syracuse, NY Born 1942 in San Antonio, attended public schools in Cincinnati, then grad school U of Washington and Syracuse University, PhD, cabinet maker, furniture maker, consultant, poet, writer, veteran of USMC and VietNam Father of 3 children, and I will be moving to Portland, ME in the spring of 99 with Pat Taub, who is my lover and companion.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Bill Houze and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

Yet Still and Cold 

There are old ways
To be or not
Shaving off his beard
He thought
Of love madness death
Standing at the edge
Of the narrow lake
Looking at Diana’s
Blue-white image
Bouncing at dawn
Before his tired eyes
Her form dancing
In the wind blowing
Across the water and
Through the torn lawn chair
In which he sat naked all night
Writing poems in the dark
On the golden wet leaves
Which he tossed over his head
Bent forward as if to see
The dirty plank flooring
In the cabin in the woods
Bordered by fields
Yet still and cold
Beyond his eyes blind
To the snowís melting
And his ears deaf
To songs being sung
By birds tired of Dixie.

Each Day Now I Am

This space and place
One lit and comfortable
Where I sit and sit
This place and space

The moments
The sounds
The aimless disguised
The purpose unknown
No blessing discerned

Only this place
Where I sit and sit

Each day now it is
The sun, moon, stars are
Each day now I am
The same as the other
The not all of a piece
As I sit and sit
Or walk or rest

It is of a piece
Yes and yes.

“Upon Diving Into Greenwood Lake,  New York”

There is nothingness under Greenwood Lake
Here in downstate New York

And I look at it beneath the heaving
Green swell bearing the flotsam
One expects to see when the boats are out
The bits of torn weed from the lake’s bottom
The feathers from gulls, ducks, and geese

Signs sent all the way from the Nile
Of what was once held and then let go
By Cleopatra’s confident fingers
In moments of languor and delight
In the speech and gestures of Anthony
Standing in the center of their small craft
Poling them forward
Over what lies beneath the surface
A man capable of making her love
And live and be in delight in all things:

His smallest gestures
His laugh and outward measuring glance
His head turning on his sweet neck
His hair showing the light brought
Down to her by the sun god himself

Whose light I too see dancing
Amidst the weeds and feathers
Heaving on the wake crashing
Behind my back along the rock
Where the dock is grounded
In Orange County, New York

where I now am in time and place
A small man in my little blue trunks
Standing with my toes curled over the
Hard edge of the dirty aluminum dock
On which I have my foolish idea of
Drinking all the water from the Nile
And the Amazon and Congo too

Just to see if I can taste
The nothingness there too

The salt of her fingers dissolved
The aftermath of cannibalism diluted
The priests’ urine run clear
The hippo’s flesh rotting in the ooze
The baboons shitting after their bloody prowl

As I look about and decide it is time
To dive into the churning lake
And in doing so

To make no sign or gesture
No statement about anything at all
As far as I can tell
At all

For No Reason I Know

I am awake now and
lying in the dark light
listening to the chorus of crickets
and to the heavy first drops of rain
hitting the dry leaves on the ground
and the hood of my car
parked just outside
my bedroom window

but in my dream
I was standing beneath a large dark tree
possibly an old apple tree
that was also a woman I
seemed to know

looking up into its dark branches
answering her questions about
what had become of this man or that
but never any about what had become
of me

while I stood there pulling free
the dead branches caught in her
from where a high wind had put them
and for which she thanked me

and then for no reason I know
I tried to break off a living branch
but it was too springy and would not break

and then I was pulling free
a dried helical vine and was
thinking how painting it
silver and gold would
turn it into a staircase
and me into an artist

but I cannot remember now
if I removed the vine or not
or even what happened next
or when I think about it now
if I ever knew her at all
indoors or out






H.A Maxson


H A Maxson is the author of three collections of poems, a critical work, On the Sonnets of Robert Frost, McFarland, 1997, and a forthcoming novel, The Younger His poems have appeared widely in print magazines, such as Southern Poetry Review, Poetry Northwest, Commonweal and The Nation A native New Jerseyan, he currently lives in Wendell, NC.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
H.A Maxson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


My daughter lifts the dog bowl up
and looks from it to me and back,
and her face asks what wrote its history
here in this shining concavity, in luminous
loops and crosshatchings that shimmer
when she tilts it to catch the last of sun.

I see it then, a slug
no bigger than a sliver, a nick
in the reflected light End of the trail, wanderings of a night
and day, a confusion of dead ends
from lip down slick aluminum walls
to the center of this cup collecting light.

Minutes more and it might have burned alive So I point him out, gray back and fish-white
belly clinging its ooze to the shine My daughter unwrinkles her nose
and stares down like a god and tilts the bowl
until it fills with her shadow
and she carries it down her own map
from this moment she’s already forgetting.

~ Clay pit Creek, ca 1962
album photo

The skinny kid in loud jamms, joker
behind a straight face, heaves into a dive
midway along a storm-downed tree His buddies tread sepia water off the creek’s bank They cat-call and whistle down his slight
form until he doesn’t surface Then slowly–as if waking– they begin
to kick and punch the water to a boil,
as if marking the way back to air They stop, then laugh as if taken, taken again And years from now they will remember the first
red staining the cedar-brown creek.





October 19-25, 1998: Richard Beban and Sarah Picklesimer Wilson

Week of October 19, 1998-October 25, 1998

Richard Beban and Sarah Picklesimer Wilson

Richard Beban


Richard Beban, a Venice resident, has been an editor and journalist for over thirty-five years; a writer of screenplays and teleplays for the last twenty years, and of poetry since late 1993.

His poetry or essays have appeared since 1994 in the periodicals 51%; Athena; Blue Satellite; Caffeine; Coastal; 1995 Coos Bay Anthology; Fish Dance; Foreshock; FTS; the Los Angeles Times; Neon Quarterly; two editions of On Target; Rattle, Snakeskin; two editions of Spillway; two editions of Vol No ; and The Writing Self Two of his poems placed, second and honorable mention, respectively, in the 1997 Poetry Contest of the Morris Center for Healing, while his poem “To My Best Friend, Who Has Seen Miracles,” won a 1996 Soul-Making Literary Prize.

He has recent essays in the anthologies UFO Secrets Explained (Harper Collins, 1996) and in Soul Moments (Conari Press, 1997), both edited by Phil Cousineau His poem “Silence,” is anthologized in Bedside Prayers, (Harper SanFrancisco), while another poem, “On Guardian Angels,” will appear in the October, 1998 anthology Prayers of the Universe (Kodansha America), and a third, “Another L.A Story,” is in the new anthology Scream When You Burn His poem “My Grandmother Told Us Jokes” will appear in the forthcoming anthology What Have You Lost, edited by Naomi Shihab Nye.

His chapbook, Fried Eggs With Lace: A Family Poem, was published in 1996 by Venice’s Canned Spaghetti Press.

Beban helps organize and run the free Wednesday night poetry reading series at Venice’s Rose Cafe, along with poets Jeanette Clough, Kaaren Kitchell, Jim Natal, and Jan Wesley under the nom de poetique Hyperpoets The Hyperpoets also organized a series of eight readings at two Westside Barnes & Noble stores for National Poetry Month last April, and have continued the Barnes & Noble series monthly With Clough, Beban was a director of the Midnight Special Bookstore Poetry Center from 1994-96, and the two were editors of the sold-out 1996 anthology, Foreshock: Poems from the Midnight Special Bookstore.

Beban has been a featured reader at Beyond Baroque; Deanna Miller Art Gallery; Dr Insomnia’s in Novato; Hyperdisc; Hothouse; Biscotti and Books; Library Cafe; L.A the Bookstore; Borders and Barnes & Noble in Santa Monica; Rose Cafe, Sierra Madre Public Library; Venice Public Library; UCLA; the 1996, 1997 & 1998 Writers Harvest readings; Midnight Special; Copperfield’s Cafe in Petaluma; Keane’s 3300 Club in San Francisco; Oliver’s Books in San Anselmo; Cody’s Books in Berkeley; the 1998 Petaluma Poetry Walk in Sonoma County, and Shakespeare & Company, Paris.

He and the novelist Kaaren Kitchell are collaborating on a non-fiction book and a workshop series about incorporating myth into your everyday life, Invoking the Gods: Living Mythically They will teach the material at Esalen Institute in Big Sur the last week of 1998.

Many of his poems and his reading schedule can be read on-line at http://www.psenterprises.com/rbpoems.htm.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Richard Beban and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

Summer Rain Song
For the Average Housefly

epigraph: (“The Housefly– musca domestica –can complete its entire life cycle in as little as seven to ten days “–NEWSPAPER FILLER ITEM)

When it rains, thick gobbets that plunk
on the sill with the cadence of childhood
jump rope rhymes, even flies stay home And where is that, exactly? Small turd castles?
A welcoming calf’s carcass, smooth ribs brown
& regular as a bone marimba,
enough leather clinging to struts
for a makeshift umbrella? No Let’s say
home is the heaped white sweetness
of a giant sugar bowl, each crystal a cubist
delight a thousand times sweeter
in compound eyes–each short Musca domestica life,
though confined a day by rainfall, not brutish
at all, but tasty & worth a poem of its own.

Customer Satisfaction

At Lucky one noon I found
the smoothest-riding
grocery cart I’ve ever been dealt,
plucked from the long, hangdog line
of rusted chrome servants
that queue by the door The carts are like small cages
in which we temporarily store our wants,
as if our wants can be contained
for any time at all–or sated
by what the supermarket holds We call it Lucky,
in the hope that they can be.

This cart, at my slightest touch,
broke easily from the herd,
a good omen Sometimes a recalcitrant cart
will choose to thwart your desire
by tangling with a mate
or two, or three,
a talent learned from
wire coat hangers Perhaps metal has genetic memories
of how to perform that trick–that’s why
it lasts so long, unlike delicate
human flesh.

This cart pulled free with such grace
that my gentlest tug sailed it
into a light pirouette I spun to catch this rubber-wheeled
Dame Margot, surprised my stocky form
could move like Nureyev I was suddenly reborn–
a master shopper finally matched
with the partner
I had long desired.

How we pas-de-deuxed
through the crowded aisles,
neatly dodging a display of Keebler’s cookies
constricting that essential artery–
breads & cookies, aisle three We zigged & we zagged
down aisles four, five & six–
gliding past gimcracks & geegaws laid to block
our path & pump up our impulses.

We made an impeccable U-turn in aisle eight–
Oh God, what a turning radius!–
around the elderly ladies who cluster
in front of paper products comparing coupons
& the deaths of friends.

And all the way I loaded this cart
with my own obsessions–
the childish satisfaction of morning oatmeal,
the sticky pleasure of peanut butter,
the guilty rush of jam For my health,
fat-free turkey, easy to slice & gobble
on the run For show, the veggies
that rot in the fridge
in their out-of-sight compartment
because I am too lazy to make the salads
I know are best for me I could tell this cart anything,
without embarrassment Load all of my weaknesses into it
& have them carried, without a bump,
a catch, or a splayed-out shimmy wheel It didn’t pull to either side; it pranced straight
like a model on a runway, with purpose,
a beautiful thing.

I don’t remember how many hours I spent
in that fluorescent fantasia,
wheeling the aisles, filling the cart I suppose the credit card bill
will also bring regret All I remember next is
the parking lot, the soft light of sunset,
that fleeting instant of golden dusk
filmmakers call “magic hour ” I unloaded
the final, crinkly, plastic sack, closed the van’s
bulging back end, & we stood together, the empty cart
& I I thought for a moment of twisting
yarn around the handle,
so I could pick it out again,
but I could sense the truth,
this was all there was between us,
this cart wanted its freedom–
the right, the obligation, to serve others,
like a courtesan, born to please, never to settle.

I reached out a trembling finger to say goodbye,
to stroke one last time its wide, plastic grip,
& that force alone propelled it back,
past the rumps of Jeeps & Range Rovers,
past the fins of Fifties classics,
down that wide, white-striped parking lot
toward the never-closed doors
of that 24-hour casino of commerce–
that place where once I was Lucky,
& set it free.

Sarah Picklesimer Wilson


Sarah Picklesimer Wilson writes under the pen name PRINCESS White Haired Child She has been featured in e-zines across the web and particpates in several poetry forums on the internet Her hometown is Highlands, North Carolina, later moving to Franklin, North Carolina, in the Southern Appalachian Mountains When meeting the man of her dreams, she relocated to Norwood, North Carolina Sarah is a published writer with a new book becoming available May of 1998 Many of her works are listed with Amazon.com Live with passion .

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Sarah Picklesimer Wilson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

Spirits of Incest

Even before I was a teenager,
I was a solitary girl In school
I would sharpen my wit, then
balance it on the edge of Lyle Knob
seesawing with a friend called insanity.

On windy nights
the snow ball bush blossom
drifted like snow At first light
I walked out and stood in it
barefoot The cold feet of a dead mind I hugged my razor
in my nightie,s pocket.

Insanity whispered the sky cracked
eggs sunny-side up swimming
cast iron in a sea, an end to begin,
going all the way son, you were
unborn from wrath teetering
delivery of one swing A soft breeze carries a peaceful day
going all the way.

Father copped his last feel
as breakfast proved healthy for me Rich, poor, drunk or sober, we have
lost touch son I remember trying to
kill your dad with a frying pan,
then, later, praying for death I was keen with love and hate,
dark days by the stoned brook,
sunlight the cutting edge of my eyes.

Now your days have begun, 21,
the child who danced
on the mountain cliffs
to some music no one else could hear
had glassy-eyes, no
perception razor sharp and no fear.

Something worse,
a simple desire to please
your mother who stayed distant
to watch people shuffle back and forth,
your mind wrapped in the grey area
of another ordinary day.

I’m serious There’s no sense in
killing yourself, son I am
all the more bitter for saying this
before the fact Family life is a joke, I know –
I lived with dad as my childhood sweetheart
all my young days so who’s laughing.


Majolica earths hold burnt crimson lakes of mums,
and shriveled heads drop Indian red barn colors
as my son leaves in the wrong direction and still comes
across a knot held deep within my trunk, cold muller.

Clumsy my world recovers a sense of balance that spoors hums
frostbiten by risen smoke tree,s glow in early morn left dimmer,
and madder orange whisps rise up against people duller Even as lost smells eat faded blooms, and songs long past shimmer
sanguine cheeks that smile to dance with everyone, fall now multicolor.

My son needles with frozen lawns left blunt to dance alone,
and memories saw-toothed dismiss his ice-age ways that caw
as cold bands pigeon track footprints across feelings unknown
growing into a nimbus that protects its own; the silent unwritten law.

Yes, swan-necked eyes dance with everyone that beats their drums,
and my snowbird son walks the plank of loneliness only to follow me Melting steps nod as my son leaves in the right direction and comes
when icy clouds thaw and pigeons caw and he dances under a smoke

Cacaphony spreads harmony against madder orange skies
quieting this moment as roses silently climb rare shadows of dawn,
and new songs falter across a knot held deep within my trunk and sighs My snowbird son now unfrozen is blooming, and I whisper, “Carry on “

Birthed From

Women who never walk their soles flat,
high flying women who dance on stars,
leaving high hopes lit up across the sky
pot belly breast women with bold strides,
pelvic thrust talking women,
fleshy hips, noisy grinning women
that let their hair down at dusk
who sow gifts that will always be reaped
women, yes those strong armed women,
men would rather lapse into death than lose,
women who never cry.

Women who never walk their soles flat,
hand clapping old crow’s feet women,
women with toothless smiles
eyeing potatoes peeling to sound
holy roller music bean snapping,
collard green cooking women
who wave wands over magic gravy,
flowing from the springs of rocky hills
flowered women who hold
men’s hearts wrapped around a pinky
women who never walk their soles flat,
mountain legends, women who never cry.

Amazing Woman

When she was born she walked like a piece
computer integrated by bird songs
video turned on
one you could stare at for more than a minute
an hour later you are still left wondering
five kids later her life,s intercourse
revealed three divorce decrees
papering the bottom side of birdie,s cage
deserted by three smucks who worked her
through depression years to support their habit
killing them to reveal her purpose
a balance of jilted life glowed from this lady
reflected by images of her home, children, flower beds,
(oh what flower beds she had)
seeping out walls she painted for herself
spread out still life pictures, lessons, grief, growing pains,
finally joy, courage, discovery,
that she was the better half
a legacy for the genealogy books
encouraged by lifelong looks.

Cosmic Space

Golden fires moan out tonight
while lonely fireflies flit
in fearful spheres
and pint-size lights
seem to pierce and prick
feelings alive.

Waxing in irritation
left me tipsy to an earth
two-stepping age-old silence
which binded me into fandango-flings
underneath a chinaberry tree.

Queen of the meadow
lay in gentle mysticism
sculpted by a mackerel sky
as cyanine blue eyes crooned
the tainted lullaby
and sleep won over
and settled in a way
the precarious music stabbed
a secpar of my glassy sea.

October 12-18, 1998: Cecilia Woloch and Robert Arroyo, Jr.

Week of October 12, 1998-October 18, 1998

Cecilia Woloch and Robert Arroyo, Jr.

Cecilia Woloch


Cecilia Woloch is a poet and teacher of creative writing who lives in Los Angeles but makes frequent trips to Shepherdsville, Kentucky, and Paris, France Her first collection of poems, Sacrifice, was published by Cahuenga Press in 1997.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Cecelia Woloch and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

Burning the Doll

I am the girl who burned her doll,
who gave her father the doll to burn “
the bride doll I had been given
at six, as a Christmas gift, 
by the same great uncle who once introduced me
at my blind second cousin’s wedding
to a man who winced, A future Miss
America, I’m sure ” while I stood there, sweating
in a prickly flowered dress, 
ugly, wanting to cry.

I loved the uncle but I wanted that doll to burn
because I loved my father best
and the doll was a lie I hated her white gown stitched with pearls,
her blinking, mocking blue glass eyes
that closed and opened, opened and closed
when I stood her up,
when I laid her down Her stiff, hinged body was not like mine,
which was wild and brown,
and there was no groom “

stupid doll, 
who smiled and smiled, 
even when I flung her to the ground, 
even when I struck her, naked, against
the pink walls of my room I was not sorry, then,
I would never be sorry “

not even when I was a bride, myself,
and swung down the aisle on my father’s arm
toward a marriage that wouldn’t last
in a heavy dress that was cut to fit,
a satin dress I didn’t want,
but that my mother insisted upon “
Who gives this woman? ” wondering, Who takes
the witchy child?

And that day, my father was cleaning the basement;
he’d built a fire in the black can
in the back of our backyard,
and I was seven, I wanted to help,
so I offered him the doll I remember he looked at me, once, hard,
asked, Are you sure?
I nodded my head.

Father, this was our deepest confession of love I didn’t watch the plastic body melt
to soft flesh in the flames “
I watched you move from the house to the fire I would have given you anything.


I snagged against my love and then I married him for the ragged tin of his
arms For his bulletproof heart For his shocking hair Every night of our
marriage we dreamt and woke with the taste of the sea in our mouths The sea
which is grey in this part of the world, when it isn’t green A handsome man
with a spine I could kiss like I once kissed the beads of the rosary or the
links in a chain link fence Because I believed what I read with my lips:
that between what we love, we are loved And the sparks of silver we see from
the corners of our eyes when there’s nobody there are not hallucinations,  at
all, but trails of light from one world to the next That’s what I mean when
I say: I have given him up That he got away.

The Pick

I watched him swinging the pick in the sun,
breaking the concrete steps into chunks of rock,
and the rocks into dust,
and the dust into earth again I must have sat for a very long time on the split rail fence,
just watching him My father’s body glistened with sweat,
his arms flew like dark wings over his head He was turning the backyard into terraces,
breaking the hill into two flat plains I took for granted the power of him,
though it frightened me, too I watched as he swung the pick into the air
and brought it down hard
and changed the shape of the world,
and changed the shape of the world again.

Robert Arroyo, Jr rharroyo@pacbell.net


Robert Arroyo, Jr is a co-director of the Valley Contemporary Poets Reading Series.  He is a winner of the Academy of American Poets Award and the Associated Writing Programs INTRO Award, and the author of one previous chapbook, Amidst Hissing Machinery (Inevitable Press).  A second chapbook, Truant Light will be published later this year by Mille Grazie Press He has had work published in Cimarron Review, Georgetown Review, Puerto del Sol, Poetry International, rivertalk, Blue Satellite, as well as other journals He recently received a M.F.A degree from Vermont College, and presently lives in Culver City, CA with his wife, Heather, and their cats, BC and Shale.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Robert Arroyo, Jr and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Quarters to eighths, francs to dollars
were the problems we worked out in math
Mr Silvern, whose youth had deserted him
so long ago, age droop
over his Marine belt buckle, sat on a table

in front of class like Buddha
Slowly his deep voice emerged, as if
drawn from the exact center
of his belly Words like numerator, 
denominator, reciprocal

filled the room like a way of life
Mona sat to my right, effortlessly
converting the fractions and monetary standards
Rex told me that since she was
Chinese, she’d never grow breasts.

Back then we called them tits and snickered
in the stairwell whenever we glimpsed some girl’s
underwear Whenever Mona spoke, 
I forgot how
much I wasn’t suppose to like

her, how she curled her arm
around the edge of her test paper
when I looked her way
and frowned
when she knew I didn,t know

the answers At home, I sat in my room
checking the odd numbered problems
in the back of the book and worried
how the French were going to cheat me, 
wondering if it really mattered In class,

I knew Mona would never love me
if I couldn’t figure the common denominator
for one fifth, one seventh and one thirteenth

Because His Wife Has Gone (to Michigan)

Just last night
her hair lay
to one side of the pillow
as if it were windy
in her dreams
He watched light
fill the hollows of her
nostrils as the room moved
under the moon

toward this day
where the sun is
a bright hole
that dares to be
stared at All day long

he counts his fingers
sure that one is
or that he forgot
to tie a string
to remember

something Night
already begins
to pepper the sky
and he begins
mumbling, searching
for the word
to stop it.

Song For Terisa

When I think of your fifteen year-old body
as the surgeon opened you to see the damage
six hollow points did; when I think of the one
bullet that ricocheted off your scapula, passed through
a lung, a kidney, then bit a hole in your torso
just to be free of you, I wonder how
can I make you love this world

enough to change how you talk, how you wear
your make-up, clothes? From the seventh floor
of Cedars-Sinai, I stare into the dark
at the end of the light Streetlamps brighten quickly
That’s also how memory works
It was like being forgiven
when my sister brought you home She held you
to her breast and each word spoken
over your bald head recanted
every glass pipe she warmed her reflection in, 
every rival she cut her knuckles on
and left sprawled on a dance floor, every morning
she woke wrapped in unfamiliar blankets, 
every night collaged into the woman she was
on her wedding bed clutching her husband,

being afraid to let go Terisa, here among banks
of telephones, who is there to call?
When you were four, you’d speak into the phone
all the nonsense that made sense
to you, and to me sounded like hope
After all this nonsense

all I want is to hear you
say you were doing nothing
when the four boys approached
the fence When the one, bandana-capped
like a pirate, asked “Where you from?
you said nothing I want you to tell me that
when you looked into the barrel,s black eye
you saw the future rushing at you
in one quick second and it looked
empty as your mother’s arms
when you laid in your crib and she whispered
all the things you were going to do.

(Previously published in Glue L.A )

       In memory of Lynda Hull

If we could speak, bridge two lives
and believe somehow
our shoulders touch, our bodies
trade electrons, spill into each other,

I could know you Remember
the keen pierce of the needle, 
feeling it slide into a vein
like love? And then colors
blossoming through the walls, floors, 
through life itself, like leprosy, 
but you call it holy Remember touching
a friend’s body  thinner than faith, deep
in the perusal of a life shorn of antibodies?
And though in close conversation with death, 
you keep hope on a partyline

ready to cut in
This morning, more than words
drive me to the page, but a need
to be in your body, maybe any woman’s body, 
to feel hunger

twisting below the navel
during menstruation, the tenderness of breasts, 
and know in the open universe
of the uterus time is ending, beginning
pausing in ovulation Here
there are no commandments, but instinct, 
a sign language the body translates
daily and communicates in words

I have no talent to hear
My time is measured in seconds, days, years, 
filaments of existence whittled down, 
made managable, easily catalogued
I want to feel a planet turn in me, 
feel its core burn with knowledge
of dreams passing into something unknown, 
something always spinning away.

October 5-11, 1998: Jason Cox and Chuck Henson

Week of October 5, 1998-October 11, 1998

Jason Cox and Chuck Henson






Jason Cox


I was born in Indiana, but last year I moved to California I grew up wanting to be a fighter pilot, a filthy rich businessman, or a super- genious scientist, but I’ve fallen into the body of a musician, a poet, an actor, and an artist I write poetry for many reasons, but chiefly among them is the need for self-expression.

For the last two and a half years, I’ve been publishing a (print) magazine called “VOiCE”, featuring all kinds of art, poetry, and writing from people all across the planet (If you’re interested in submitting something for publication, please contact me ) I also try to attend local poetry readings and open mic nights as much as possible, as I enjoy “performing” poetry as much as I do writing it I also started the Poetry Chat Room, with the idea of having one room shared by many poetry-centered web pages (Please come by on Saturday nights it’s guaranteed to be interesting!)

Some of my poetry is strong or aggressive, and by some, might even be considered “offensive” But I speak from the heart, I choose my words with purpose, and I stand behind every line I’ve ever written.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Jason Cox and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


it is what i want
it is what i have chosen
if i can only achieve half of happiness
then give me misery
misery always is better than knowing
the finiteness of peace
if beauty is the curse bestowed
or a curse withheld
than give me ugliness
give me the scar
if trust is pain
than give me treason and lies
if honesty is vulnerability
and pride is nudity
then beat me
break me
bury me under folds of cloth
layers of false color and character
bare ruin rot rest within
i confess and i acquiesce my humanity
i give in to the storm
my skin will tear at the rain
and mother earth will break open and take me in
i am made imperfect
and suffer for my lack of humilty
i break shatter and disperse
under the voice of the mass
i fold dilute and integrate
with the collective universe
right and wrong does not exist
they are my imagination
which is trivially controlled
my hands no longer reach for the throat
reality opens once again
revealing a new face
a new dimention
i am the orifice
it shall enter
i will accept it
and be destroyed.

litter in the garden of eden

assorted cross colors of
standing sitting sleeping
eyes with lashes longer
than american eagle wingspans
stretching further posing harder
and her ovaries shrivel
because mommy called her “chubby”
she leans into her ivory well
offeratory to magazine goddesses
she can never find behind the looking glasses
pushing the little girl under the bright lights
camera eyes staring
wearing makeup before she learned to multiply
she only smiles in the corner
by herself
she sneaks and steals and lies
and feels guilty later
if she’s caught

wrapped in dark blankets
inhaling my dark cigarette
smiling at me as if i were another camera
my words staring
but never heard


twisting to the broken surrender
erotic and wet
licking into your circles of power
ripped and torn
spreading your flesh before me
shouting and screaming
my burning eyes moving back and forth
delirious and violent
raping your neck with pain and blood
throwing you away
hitting myself and hating myself
performance of the mating dance
lost alone on the black sea
water urinating in my face
my hands come down on you
hurting as i gorge on your light
snaking underneath and inside
like a worm
with my nine hearts
going down on you
left nothing left
clearly transparent
green and obscene
pulling spittle from my eye and tasting your care
blinded in your brilliant emptiness
fucked cold
temporarily forgotten conveniently
simply casually pushed aside
smoke still escaping the barrel
not looking back at the stains
erasing my fingerprints
forgetting to say good-bye
left you used and wasted
ripped and torn
just like you always wanted

Chuck Henson


I live in Cartersville, GA (a short distance from Atlanta) I’m in my mid-twenties, and have been told I write much older whatever the heck that’s good for Between working at a local textile mill and keeping up with the rest of my life I enjoy reading, hiking, photography, and (obviously ;-)) computing My latest Web creation, The North Georgia Poetry Page, at http://members.tripod.com/~eorlingas/ keeps me busy most of my free time right now And I’m always adding new poems to my personal poetry page, Insights&Altruisms, at http://members.tripod.com/~eorlingas/mypoetry.htm

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Chuck Henson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

Kissing Poet Knowing

He came upon a morning frigid
Six-foot-five and walking rigid
Upon a shrouded mystery

Past Westminster Church in its warmth
Black clad stranger striding forth
48 years to the day

Torch-bearing ritual to perform
Upon the monument where others mourn
At the birth of day

Three red roses and cognac drowned
The poet, wife, and mother found
Strangers line the way

Standing in a longened toast to gone
Kissing poet upon the stone
In icy darkened day

For 48 years of watch I ponder
In icy darkness that I may wander
As strangers glide away

Mother’s Tears

Early April springtime rolling ‘cross the hills
A slight refreshment from within the mornings chills
Early morning raindrops touching window panes
Misty visions flowering along rain-soaked lanes
Joy in a breath of air born of fresh-cut grass
Passing of the Heavens, twilight skies brazen brass
Sudden streaks of merriment crashing through the clouds
Gentle sounding dreams abound, breaking up the crowds
Peace found in an awkward place so lost to time
With sorrow washed out by tears of Mother in Her prime

September 28-October 4, 1998: Richard W. Davis and Sandra L. Harvey

Week of September 28, 1998-October 4, 1998

Richard W Davis and Sandra L Harvey

Richard W Davis


I am Richard W Davis I am a teacher at a small private school These were written over the last year or so At forty-seven years of age, and having tried many times, I have never got a poem just right But sometimes I get close.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Richard W Davis and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

The Shortest Distance Between Two Curves

I remember my bb rifle It cocked like the Winchester on the Rifle Man with Chuck Connors
And the boy who was my age then I always wished it would make that great sound when it fired, like a real
gun Instead it sort of wheezed and spat the small copper shot
So slow you could see it curve
Through the air until it disappeared in the not too far distance
Like a major league curve ball maybe That curve was magical;
A long, slow curve like a highway through America A curve like a woman’s hip,
Or the path of a drunk’s stagger,
Or the trail of a puff of smoke in the dark when you’re alone and you

For Posterity

I used to do this alone
Now I write for others;
Unmet friends and foes and brothers People who never heard a poem that rhymes and sings They’re used to stuff that pours in strings
Of sound and colored torn patchwork scraps
While they doze with soft hands in their laps And blow dead smoke through their raw noseholes,
And wonder why they have no souls Sorry Sorry
And blow dead smoke through their raw nostrils
Waiting for the next jolt to come to them, from they care not where.

Fighting for Your Right to Burn Flags

Michael New like the green He was a lean mean U.S.A fighting machine Who took an oath And gave his solemn vow; his word, and his pledge of allegiance
.To the flag
.Of the United States of America;
.One nation,  under God, indivisible
And he said that he would defend with his life, and honorably so, the
Of these United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic,
And brother Michael wasn’t telling a lie,
Or stuttering,
Or speaking French neither
He liked the green clothes, and he wouldn’t wear the blue Those nations aren’t that united after all, and probably shouldn’t be
Jefferson, and Washington, and Henry, and that Franklin fellow,
And a few hundred thousand more alive and dead salute you Michael New
You looked good in that green son You could see the red white and blue in
it And the patriotic fire in your cool, young eyes I am one of the great unwashed;
The teaming hordes,
The masses I am a common man I am a normal person I am an average guy I am a good old boy I’m Ok I’m good people
I loved my mom, and she loved me
I wanted to grow up to be like my daddy, and I did, sort of
I’ve played football,
And baseball,
And tennis,
And golf,
And marbles,
And dodge ball,
And king of the hill,
And poker,
And blackjack,
And craps,
And mumblypeg,
And leapfrog
And hide and go seek,
And doctor I’ve won and lost at each them, and others too numerous to mention
I’ve flown a kite,
And caught a fish,
And I know how to use a stick, a stone, a sling-shot, a BB gun,
A Colt .45, and an M-16
I am a fair shade tree mechanic,
A pretty good plumber, and carpenter, and roofer,
I can bend a piece of sheet metal,
Trouble shoot a refrigerator,

Repair a vacuum cleaner
Replace a broken window Why, I can even unstick a garbage disposal all by myself sometimes
I’ve been engaged three times,
Married once, and been divorced
At one time or another,
I’ve been flattered, tickled, cherished, held, dropped, jilted, despised,
and loved I’ve been lied to, spat at, embarrassed, bit, scratched, hit, kicked,
slapped, knocked down,
Helped up, ran from, and asked for mercy
I’ve stood on a high place alone at 2:00 A.M and, while looking at the
stars, felt at one with all creation
I have sat at the kitchen table, with my family around me, and felt alone
I have been called a stupid idiot, and a fucking genius And I am both, and neither
I have been chasing the American Dream all my life, and trying to live it
I know there’s room at the top That I’ve only scratched the surface,
And seen the tip of the iceberg
I know that there’s more than meets the eye,
All things aren’t what they seem,
And the truth will set us free
I guess that’s why we’ve never been told
Well I’ll tell a little here
“To love and lose hurts like hell
Money can buy a lot of happiness Some isn’t for sale That’s true,
But you can still buy a lot
You can win them all,
But no one ever has Fifteen billion years or so ago,
God stood alone in the darkness, and let a long sigh escape his lips into
the surrounding void
His warm breath was incased in an membrane envelope of time,
And as it left him, in perfect circular symmetry;
As the first stone cast into a quiet pool, forms concentric ripples,
In all directions, at the speed of light,
On the edge of that all encompassing breath, is the time barrier between all
that exists and
All that never shall
Albert taught us that speed slows time, and
When you bury the speedometer at 186,000 miles per second, time stops So while we tool around the Milky Way
Convinced that we can someday understand it all;
Measuring our lives in barrel roll revolutions of our small blue ship,
We should remember that
On that great clock,
Forever escaping us, suspended in the gleaming distance,
The hands do not move It is still dawn And God still sighs.

Sandra L Harvey


I am from Ashland, Oregon My two main passions are writing and a really good piece of banana cream pie, (the kind with the marshmallow and coconut topping!) I have only just recently decided to try and publish some of my work.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Sandra L Harvey and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

Rosemary for Ophelia

The book drops Hamlet comes with his peacock feathers down;
He rages at her;
What accusatiomns;
What madness;
“Go to, Go to, bare none of mankind!”
He leaves taking all but change
Silence How insistently weeping; insainly laughting;
It crys;
It kills The pages, tatered, ravished by hands betrayed,
are scattered about the floor
Voluptuous dreams They touch nothing as it grips the soul;
Hear him, child?
His vague pungent voice?
It burns cold as he places his head in your lap;
Ophelia, he mocks you!

Love lost Her friend, father and keeper;
She wears now her garlands;
Crowflowers, nettles, daisies;
Rosemary for rememberance;
Pansies for thoughts
No tears She sings by the weeping brook;
She dreams as the waters embrace her;
An ardent lover;
Down they bring her in bliss.

September 21-27, 1998: Robert Wynne, Caron Andregg and Robert O’Sullivan Schleith

Week of September 21, 1998-September 27, 1998

This week presenting the winners of the 1998 (first annual) Poetry Super Highway Poetry Contest:

Robert WynneCaron Andregg,
and Robert O’Sullivan Schleith

Robert Wynne


Robert Wynne (Sherman Oaks, California) is a co-director of the Valley Contemporary Poets reading series is pursuing his MFA at Antioch University He is a former Poetry Super Highway Featured Poet and author of the collections “Driving” (Inevitable Press) and “Patterns of Breathing” (Mille Grazie Press) Robert took first place in this years contest with the following poem:

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Robert Wynne and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

Budagher’s Ark

Halfway to Santa Fe, history rewrites itself Three letters
have fallen off the sign for a market, and what’s left proclaims:
“BUDAGHER’S ARK ” Suddenly Noah wasn’t alone We rush
past the remnant of a lost prophet, thrust into the world
by the weight of language And I wonder, did God speak
to Budagher? Did Budagher know about the weakness
of flesh, about the way water levels mountains?

.A cubit
is the length of the forearm, any forearm, elbow to middle finger Did he know how we deny standards of measurement,
living in different worlds: the breadth of flesh
that contains us, arms measuring distances between us How big was his ark? I could reach out

.and touch
my friend Bob, press my pale flesh to his and remind him
that he is not alone He has drifted off I am focusing on the road Wind has replaced rain The Lord would sweep us
from the surface of the earth without leaving any fingerprints,
but I wield the steering wheel against this judgment, nudge the car
back and forth in the narrow lane The white Civic in front of us
is fighting it too There is a burden to this skin we’re in, a cost
for feeling a mountain under you as you climb, for knowing
fragility, for understanding one another, ourselves Blood quickens and I am so aware of my body
as we come within two feet of a cliff, gusts inviting us
to the valley below The rental car slides sideways
like a Hot Wheel pushed too hard, and I guide it back
with my hands, like I used to on that bright
orange track
.We are driving toward Ararat We won’t get there
in this small vehicle, but we have to keep moving
or be blown off the page, out of this chapter like Budagher was This is the newest Testament We are all prophets There is a rainbow
in the distance, God’s covenant with man always out of reach,
shimmering at arm’s length, any arms-the one distance
we each measure the same.

Caron Andregg


Caron Andregg (La Jolla, California) runs her own research business and raises vegetables on her balcony She has published three chapbooks and is also the publisher and editor of the annual California Poetry Calendar Her poems have been widely published in print and on the internet She is a two time former Poet of the Week on the PSH and took second place in the contest with the following poem:

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Caron Andregg and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


When Persephone ate six seeds
from the pomegranate
she forfeited six months in hell
and the world knew winter I’ve lost count of the thousands
of pomegranate seeds
that stained my lips and hands
and winter without you is immeasurable
Events, having happened, continue
time’s indelible wake
go on with us, or without us We are as tall as our history
as deep as the mould of image upon image
a forest of limbs and faces
the past overlaying the present
and the future a mobius twist
a train of fate on a closed track
which never derails, leads all things
inevitably back to their beginnings
I have hundreds of gems in a velvet bag
we bought from children
off the ferry in Wrangel
with its cantilevered candy-pastel houses
perched on stilts over the sea They handed up muffin tins
luscious with garnets
handsful, bucketsful, 
cascading through my hands
like a shower of crimson rain
obscene as a pomegranate
split and exposed
Maturity lies less in the measure of time
than in the persistence of memory,
which is to say, I have grown old with you;
the sound of your name in my ears unspoken
your form beneath a sheet
behind my eyes, between the lines
my hands upon your chest
my face pressed, wet
against your pomegranate shirt In my dreams, I can smell you
The articulations of memory
bud, bloom, fruit, burst out
between my pomegranate lips
like garnets from a velvet bag
ripe, ripe, ripe.

Robert O‘Sullivan Schleith


Robert O’Sullivan Schleith (San Diego, California) is an active member of the San Diego poetry community and a former Poetry Super Highway Featured Poet Known in San Diego as host of the popular poets/performance at Java Joe’s in Ocean Beach, California, and is editor of Joe’s Journal: Best of the Beach Anthology He took third place in this years contest with the following poem:

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Robert O’Sullivan Schleith and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

Poem For Leo

And now it is mid-August, the faires
& festivals of fertile summer have all
paraded by, seducing this humidity
from tropical skies, inducing humility
of labor; this poem came into being
accompanied by diamonds & rust
on the car radio, moon in watery
Cancer, a flamenco-like rhythm on
the landscape, storm of cumulus aloft
Born under a restless tawny lion, it is
a child of California, smells faintly of
Tulare apricots, sugar-pine woodsmoke, 
salt on heavy air, & Amador’s sweetest
black Muscat
Science teaches that the act of breathing
is involuntary, but I swear this poem
learned to breathe with the ebb & flow
of the bay tides, the rise & fall of Joan’s
guitar strings; its own voice not unlike
the sorghum-soprano descant that helped
birth it- it takes strange delight in the
you burst on the scene already a legend
verse, remembering the song for David, 
Hwy 101 revisited in e-minor chorus, 
lost & alone in a coast redwood forest, 
listening to this midwife from Woodside, 
San Mateo County

On a day too sultry to wear sleeves, 
much less underwear, this poem covers
its nakedness in summer gold, a fold of
foothills yarrow and swallowtail yellow, 
tree-tobacco’s citron-flute & muted-blue
of roadside chicory to remind itself of
the sky before the monsoons came-

It allows nature to dictate its movements, 
left part of itself behind in the razor-
snapp’d beak of corre-camino: Mexican
roadrunner now choking down dusty
scales & whipsnaking tail; sage-&-rust-
banded lizard escapes & extends its
lifespan one more miraculous day
in the seeding chaparral

This poem insists on remembering
the word sacred precedes datura, 
asks that it be taken at summer’s end
up into the Siskiyou’s and laid down
in scarlet larkspur at Maahcooatche, 
to await autumn’s diamond-bright frost
where the deer come down to drink.

September 14-20, 1998: Jonathan Penton and Liz Casey

Week of September 14, 1998-September 20, 1998

Jonathan Penton and Liz Casey

Jonathan Penton


Jonathan Penton (Atlanta, GA) took the last train for the coast the day the music died.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Jonathan Penton and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

saying Yes is the greatest of privileges:

to experience dalliences-in-waiting
who attentively
wait for your permission;
hoping that you deem them worthy of your affection,
your response the word upon which they stand or fall
when lovers are absent and loves are disinterested,
I have been known to scream Yes to the emptiness,
affirming my willingness
to infinity,
and all the uninterested ether.


When I am frightened
My flesh drops away and
I become a quicksilver bundle of nerves I am a paranoid mindreader, then;
I detect every thought through
an eardrum of self-defense,
Perfectly aware of the threat you pose to me
I am fat and fleshy now,
But I have been frightened, sometimes, for years.


Sometimes, people
burn with unquenchable misery
And live wrapped in straight-jackets
that were sewn to custom fit
by unseen, sexless hands
Other times, other people
(or occasionally those same people)
burn with a beautiful passion;
with the weightless wonder of a God or a Goddess,
with every plant that breathes,
and every creature that sings ecstatically of its own existence
Either burning can become a subject for literature Inexplicably, those writers that write of love and beauty
are often ignored;
considered frivolous or superficial by
those who read and write of hatred and pain This sometimes causes the beautiful writers consternation

But the issue, for me, is this:
The burning misery
always happens to me
And the burning happiness
is always happening to someone else.


Everyone gets what they want He wants you to be one thing, and now you won’t dispute it I want you to be something else, now you can be Your children well, it will be a little while
before you can fulfill their desires, but perhaps you can fulfill their
fantasies more easily now
In the end, everyone always gets what they want Good people go to heaven and
suicides go to hell
and everyone’s happy, or why be good?
Why commit suicide?
Poets die young and actors live forever
People under the dirt
slowly dissolve into their heroes
which are never caught by scandal
never lose a battle
and never miss a show
Rumplestiltskin gets the maiden’s first born;
George Washington gets his slave girls;
Romeo has Juliet and Tybalt
Maub has Shakespeare and Merlin Below us, no desire goes unsated,
everyone gets what they want
Lovely, hopeless woman;
Maiden, mother, corpse:
Why did you seek fame?
If no one loved you, you would have died in peace, but as it stands
Parts of you live on in a million lovely, hopeless women I thought you wanted to die, but you now conform to the desires
of everyone you know and so many that you don’t How can you die before you are forgotten?
Do you think we will forget more quickly now?

Liz Casey


Liz Casey thinks 34 year old women from New Haven, Connecticut should only have bios written posthumously.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Liz Casey and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


he, the treble clef
this formication, circling the note of g
spots, strings and other miscellany
carefully orchestrated
between an arpeggio apology
and a staccato fuck you
we wax the scales of injustices
a rhythmic do (re) me
he’ll rhapsodize, i’ll compromise
by humming mellifluous harmony
for a taste of common time

in clips and stills

“time was; the time has been, 
the time hath been; you can’t go home again”

i’m wearing your sweat
slung sideways from my shoulder
to my hip, remnants of extremities
twisted, wrapped around me like the aura
emanating from your being
five in the morning prone, night-lit
photographic memory
in clips and stills
i’m placing the shots
in no chronological order, for reason of
a seemless replay, i’ve forgotten my name

i remember it, falling off your lips
liquid and lyric, decrescendo to a sigh
would that i could have sung along
instead i danced, kama sutra once again
the reciprocal, a silent taste
of your name on mine

hours short of conscience burdens
i don’t want to sleep
i can’t remember my name
there’s no moon and i can’t see the watch
time would never stand as still as you lie right now
and the urge to wake you diminishes
lightly i trace the lines of your exhausted body
the bottom of pandoras box found in
an unconscious quiver and smile
the sheets we tore, now taut across your skin
are caught up in my legs and the folds of my memory

wake up call
the tile floor, liquid nitrogen
in contrast to your sleeping embrace
still proved a tepid confirmation
of time and all it’s related adages
while the rush of reality poured against my flesh
woke me from the dream i chose not to sleep through
your sweat stolen and carried away
i fixated on the irony of time
standing still in a counter clockwise rotation
i began to remember my name
the reflection in the mirror, soft
focus in steam evaporated
this, an invitation to a reverie

and i am wearing your sweat .


i can hear
with as much
as i can muster
the clock
in your absence
i can see
with salacious
two hands
a futile attempt
at fighting
the biting irony
of time


the lines
i’ve drawn fade
before i get the chance
to color outside them
perhaps that’s why
everything’s blurred

or maybe, just maybe
it was the euphoria
of snorting them
there’s the deviation!
no, the reasons for division
caused by crossing them
two too many times
fall short of twenty seven

there’s the blur!
your feet as i dragged you
across them with me

another line
nice shoes, knew i wore them well
better than the ones showing my age
cfm’s through crows feet
maybe it’s a metaphor

i don’t want to be bisected
or dissected or rejected
i need a fucking parallel
a line i can’t
or trip over

September 7-13, 1998: Joel Chace and Nancy Closson

Week of September 7-13, 1998

Joel Chace and Nancy Closson

click here for submission guidelines

Joel Chace


My poems have appeared or are forthcoming in print journals and magazines such as the following: The Seneca Review, The Connecticut Poetry Review, Spinning Jenny, Poetry Motel, No Exit, Pembroke Magazine, Crazy Horse, Kudos (England), and Porto-Franco (Romania) I have also published work in Electronic Magazines such as the following: Ninth St Labs, Recursive Angel, Highbeams, Switched-on-Gutenberg,  Kudzu, Pif, The Morpo Review, Snakeskin, and Slumgullion.

Northwoods Press, in 1984, published my collection of poems entitled The Harp Beyond the Wall Persephone Press, in 1992, published my second book, Red Ghost, which won the first Persephone Press Book Award and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in that same year Big Easy Press, in 1995, brought out a collection entitled Court of Ass-Sizes In June, 1997, came a full-length collection,  Twentieth Century Deaths, from Singular Speech Press The Melancholy of Yorick and maggnummappuss (nominated for a 1998 Pushcart Prize) have appeared in the past few months, and a bi-lingual edition of my poems is being prepared in Romania.

I am presently serving as a poetry editor for the Antietam Review (Hagerstown, Maryland).

In addition, I have just accepted the Poetry Editorship of the web zine 5 TROPE.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Joel Chace and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Terrible labor .Such a birth
.Why musta been that ole
.hex chromosome

It lay as deep as the sea can be
.bubbles .little ecstasies
.curling around its face
But a voice floated down to say
.You must not be here anymore

It loves the shade .It loves the dank
.Watch out! .It could grow so immense
.so strong .it wouldn’t be long
till it shatters a world like a fence
.made of lath .like a little glass tank

Make mine layered
.make mine pied

Is this a well-made thing?
.Christ! .I’d better
.take another look

It needed its water .What else could it breathe?
.The voice said .Your sea will always be near
.crawling up to touch your feet
and an ocean will forever
be suspended above your head

Make mine layered .Make mine pied
.But please to turn it on its side

Gotta be the hex chromosome
.vision birth .maggnummappuss conception
.the knotty naughty DNA

It loves the shade .It loves the dank
.Its tentacles weave desire
.enlarging a skein
delicate but indestructible
.Gossamer jettings

What about its mother though?
.What about its father?
.Your parents said the voice will be
the firm but delicate membrane
.forever holding back that hanging sea

Please to turn it on its side

The court also sent Mrs Hutchinson,
.and charged her with divers matters .And after many speeches to and fro, at last
she was so full as she could not contain,
.but vented her revelations .

Thank God! .It’s not a well-made thing!

For we must consider
.that we shall be
.as a city upon a hill The eyes of all people are upon us,
.so that if we shall deal falsely .

Its lungs then burned and burned with awful air
.But in its panic it could feel water tickle its toes
.it could see the boundless ocean domed above
.pushing against
.a firm but delicate membrane

The bastard’s growin’ tentacles!
.The bastard’s growin’ horns!

This love is the fruit of the new birth,
.and none can have it
.but the new creature Now when this quality is thus formed .it works like the spirit upon the dry bones .

Know what ya get
.when ya cross
.a Maggnummappuss?
A horn in your hard heart
.That’s a delicate lesson!

Vision birth .naughty
.knotty DNA

.she had it revealed to her that she should here
.be persecuted, and that God would ruin us
.and our posterity, and the whole state,
for the same So the court proceeded,
.and banished her .

Someone’s monstered a creator!

And its heart filled .its voice bloomed .it thought
.it wanted to cry out for the sea
.to take it .submerge it again
But when its sound burst loose it begged Please! Please!
.Don’t bring that water down upon my head!

Make it layered .Make it pied
.Give it tentacles .Give it pterodactyl wings
.Give it friggin’ grapplin’ hooks!

.so that if we shall deal falsely .in this work .we shall be made a story
.and a by-word through the world till we be consumed out of the good land
.whither we are going .

Whaddaya get
.when ya connect the knots?

The gossamer jettings branch and thread
.spread an airy net .a crazy instrument
.an aperture in the center
in the dark
.in the dank

.so pleasant a sweet air as did much refresh us,
.and there came a smell off the shore
.like the smell of a garden .

What’ll I do
with this hell-wrought urn?

A horn in your hard heart
.is a delicate lesson

It’s made of dustmotes .paper scraps
.Often glimpsed
.in bars of shade
or between the bars of light
.behind venetian blinds

Whaddaya get
.when ya connect the nots?

Someone’s monstered
.a creator

A city
.that is set on a hill
cannot be hid .

I hear it’s moving to the suburbs
.I hear it swallows
.its victims whole

An aperture in the center
.A gunsight that will zero in on prey
.A crazy instrument .its gossamer cords
always trembling
.always taut
.always ready to be thrummed

One good urn
.deserves another

Mrs Hutchinson, being removed
.to the Isle of Aquiday .was delivered of a monstrous birth declared by Mr Cotton
.to be .

It’s loose in the streets!
.Sleeps in doorways!
.Feeds on trash!

.seeing the perfect
.idea of a thing .

Spider spider learning right
.Weaving darkness
.weaving light

What happens when we cross
.a Maggnummappuss?
.He Razz’m Us!

.apes in scarlet .asses in lions’ skins .

I tell ya
.it’s a Locked Mess!

I’d like to see
.that perfect
turned over
.on its side

.a monstrous birth .declared by Mr Cotton to be
.twenty-seven several lumps
of man’s seed, without any alteration
.or mixture of anything from the woman .

.fusion birth

To be jeopardized
.to be damned
.by grammatical mistakes!

.bone came to bone .

I hear it swallows
.its victims’

Step into my parlor

We sure as hell
.don’t need
.another well-wrought urn!

That’s one
.locked nest!

At Watertown there was
(in view of divers witnesses)
.a great combat between a mouse and a snake .and the mouse prevailed
.and killed the snake .

I may be savage
.but I’m awfully
.goddamn noble!

The scum
.of all virtues

What happens when
.ya cross a Maggnummappuss?
.It whacks ya with its irony board!

It gathers together the scattered bones
.of perfect old man Adam,
.and knits them into one body whereby a man is become again
.a living soul .

Hey! Your Maggnummappuss
.is so fat
.it lives on both sides of the tracks!

Step into my laughter
.said the spider
.to the lie

What a fine Stability
.was dreamed

.the snake was the devil;
.the mouse was a poor contemptible people,
.which God had brought hither,
which should overcome Satan here,
.and dispossess him of his kingdom .

He Razz’m Us!

.thou shalt be like a watered garden,
and they shalt be of thee
.that shall build the old waste places .

I hear it lives in alleys
.still’s hungry all the time
.so hungry
it’s even gatherin’ up
.dried ole bones

Step into my laughter

Hey! Whaddaya get
.when ya cross
.a Maggnummappuss?
Sin Tax
.Sin Tax!

And he looked up, and said,
.I see men as trees,
.walking .

He Razz’m Us!

.the Lord will surely
.break out in wrath against us;
.be revenged of such a perjured people
and make us know
.the price of the breach .

.into my laughter

That ole boy jumped
.like he’d just sat down
.on some Sin-Tacks
when he heard
.the Maggnummappuss was comin’ to town!

It loves the dark .It loves the dank
.It shatters a world like a little glass tank
.It’s layered .pied .It’s growin’ horns!
I wish to Christ it’d never been born!
.Its DNA is naughty It’s not

a well-made thing .It thrums
.a crazy instrument .connects the rots
.licks the puss of festering dreams .comes
at night
.comes where it will
.It’s comin’ to the City on the Hill!

Nancy Closson


I’ve been writing poetry since I was six and old enough to print It’s changed a lot through the years but has always been a way to express deep emotions that I sometimes didn’t know I was incubating I have six cats and fortunately live on just under an acre of land so they don’t lack for space I have a fifeteen year old boy I’ve been published in a weekly newspaper with humour pieces but I’ve never published a poem Here goes.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Nancy Closson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


On earth the sleeping princess lies in the guest room
The prince wanders out on the blunt, open prairie He kills a deer with a bow and arrow and comes in the house
To show her but the princess has awakened and come down
To the kitchen for a bowl of oatmeal and is gone On Mercury the rocks nuzzle into the desert
Life! Life! Life! Give us life But there is no life Only heat The prince comes with the slain deer over his shoulder
With a knife he cuts into the belly of the deer
And the blood seeps into the dry rocks The princess touches him with her hand
And beckons him to come, he leaves the deer and follows Venus boils with heat and density, the rocks have all vaporized The prince materializes suddenly, his hair lifts in the sodden,  blatant
heat The princess moves towards him; she stumbles in the crushing kiln Then on Mars they stroll leisurely between the red rocks He is dressed as a financier in a suit and she is in heels They analyze the rocks and attempt to sell them
But it’s late and their skin begins to wrinkle Their hair thins and their shoulders droop The asteroids fall in dark space and Saturn’s rings catch in their hair
Jupiter’s moons line up like bingo markers
Uranus and Neptune are blue in the distance Finally on Pluto they waft downwards in crystals
Of absolute zero, lips congealed they attempt an embrace Locked in this silence they endure the pity of eternity On earth spring has come and new birth
There are buds on the trees and flowers blooming
On earth a new prince and princess are born.


I flung myself about in time and space,
My hands web shrouded
My brain crusted with habit There I found the bright, white center and navel of the world Beginning and end folding in upon itself,
Wet with tears I fell into the yielding silence The poles were white with wanting
The equator yellow, green bright with knowledge
And heavy in the background yet a blood red moan
And on this fractal breaking tide
I rode the navel home.

August 30-September 6, 1998: John Horváth Jr. and Catherine Daly

Week of August 30, 1998-September 6, 1998

John Horváth Jr  and Catherine Daly

John Horváth Jr


It is too often necessary to note that I write poetry, not autobiography.

Editor of PoetryRepairShop, Chicago-born Mississippian, John Horvath, Jr writes from “inside the sinner ” He’s taught college English and American literatures, criticism, and theory But, his first love is writing poems focused on the strange and stranger among us He has been published in British, Canadian, and US magazines since the 1970s (his links to online publications can be found at EXCITE and a short in-print list is at Poets & Writers’ “Directory”)

(Also, please visit OnlineOriginals (copy and use code 00753JH ) to order original books published online (Poet trying to make a buck here ))

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
John Horváth Jr and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


These days are dead shells
jamming the chamber,
rounds that will never discharge.


we prefer our warriors
and our wars
much prettier

on a she-gook We were all men
Never mention
finding that friend
in a pool of blood–
pants around ankles
Wonder what question
was on his face A bite or cut?


no bamboo cage
can strip away
the prairie
inside me

I build my future
stick by stick

into days
into years

we are enemies
to innocent

Catherine Daly


I am currently working as a computer consultant supporting the space shuttle orbiter and teaching my class My poetry is upcoming online at Crania and Conspire, and is at Agnieska’s Dowry, Pif, Eclectica and my own site

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Catherine Daly and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

The Straight Story

My grandfather was kicked out of Ireland for fighting in the IRA Actually, my grandfather snuck out of Ireland
when they started tying Tom Dalys
to trees with sticks of dynamite He came to Chicago and worked on the railroad
until he was cut in half
by a train
when my dad was six months old and my aunt was eight Later, dad bashed his teeth in
playing football on scholarship
and his sister scarred her face squeezing zits Her teeth rotted out when she was 25,
but by then she had kids She eventually had five kids, and a husband,
until he had triple bypass surgery and a mistress After plastic surgery and a divorce,
my aunt became a terminal cancer nurse Dad lost our house and moved
to Florida to work on a riverboat My sister and I and all our cousins still have teeth,
but Colleen doesn’t have a pancreas;
John had a Jeep accident in the Philippines — he’s quadriplegic;
Kevin dropped out to become an advance scout, then went to Hollywood;
Mike and Tom are professional comedians Colleen and Tom were in the house,
which has a plastic covered couch and smells like sweat socks,
when the police woke them They were sleeping when
my aunt’s thirty-year-old boyfriend Larry Hoots
(my aunt liked country and western bars)
stabbed her to death He was meek, but possessive He ran to the police station with bloody hands.

A Small Saga of a Paddle Wheeler

“Go ahead and sell your own home,
you riverboat gambler, you “
Advertisement, National Association of Realtors

In the days before the boat sank,
what a party! If only we’d thrown it
The Empress of Palm Beach was a three-story wedding cake built on a barge, 
plying the Intracoastal, delivering tours of millionaires’ homes,
before we sank her
We sent her up the coast to tie her to a pier
The tide ebbed If only we’d sold her before sending her to the Delaware River
Canted at a forty degree angle, the boat didn’t cut loose If someone had seen her! The bars slid seaward If only we’d thrown them What did we have to lose?

Sure, the tours were corny — not Mark Twain —
EsteÈ Lauder’s cabana area, Ray Kroc’s secretary’s dock The insurance company saw red It was a gamble

we lost We lost our jobs
and sold our house Before the boat sank,
we played roulette.

Fish Stories

I don’t know how anyone ate at the banquet
afterwards, although other families in the restaurant
the same way I drank wine
until I got the whole casket story
and saw fish

pictures from the Muskie
Festival The Muskie banquet
is the Governor of Wisconsin came to the restaurant
and had a glass of wine
with the family Anyway, we were mourning

Grandma, and mourning
Granddad, because he had to be exhumed after 50 years Fish
aren’t treated that way I drank more wine
at my cousin’s banquet It was nicer than the restaurant’s So the casket story

is related to another story:
we were still mourning
Aunt Joan She was murdered by a guy she met in a restaurant Gutted like a fish Her kids didn’t drink at the banquets They’re alcoholic
I drank more wine The burial plot
was dug deeper and the caskets rearranged The banquet
was low budget Exhumation is expensive We mourned We held pictures of Gram, Granddad, Joan,
and Muskie, sitting in different restaurants
We put the stories to rest,
as well as the dead We all, except my cousins, drank toasts Like good Catholics on Friday, we didn’t eat fish We told fish stories, including family stories
about who lays on whom and the way things should be, until dawn Bottles littered the top of the banquette
The cemetery plot
meant for two did for three dead Mourning
comes for the living and eating.

August 17-29, 1998: Erica Erdman, Jon Williams and Brook Noel

Week of August 17, 1998-August 29, 1998

Erica ErdmanJon Williams and Brook Noel

Jon Williams


Jon Williams is a founder, SLAMmer, and sometime host of the Raleigh Poetry Slam (http://www.schizoid.com) Jon is the author of Back Talk, a collection of poetry guaranteed to be tax deductible in 1999 (He is currently seeking a sugar daddy/momma to help fund future additions to his poetry resume )

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Jon WIlliams and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.



Are our own worst habit
keep trying to kick ourselves,
keep finding ourselves
marooned with moronic questions,
asked to plan the
circumstances surrounding
a stranded-on-a-desert-island-bring-one-whatever-with-you
daydream Deserve better than this we keep saying,
our name on a marquee in medium type,
someone to stir our martinis,
give our pinkies a little credit for knowing where the tab key is We haven’t forgotten how to reciprocate We might be castaways,
but we got our morals in zeroed-in,
we know just what we’d do if we could
hone our cross-hairs on Hitler Just give us a chance instead of
the party-favor chatter A hair-trigger query into our preference of
inconvenient handicaps We got 20/20 pessimism
and contacts,
a stylish drug problem and health food,
jock itch and the nasty attitude to prove it We got passionless scorn balancing
doggie-treat on the tip
of our academic noses,
our pretense pulled tight
our eyes wide and
our zippers
loose but, this is not the death we choose If you really must inquire,
we divide our disdain evenly between
‘in my sleep’ and the guys who want to die
by orgasm-heart-attack “Why such mediocre dreams,” we scream “Have ye no vision?!”

We want to die by
lightning bolt!
We want death to race
down a
bright-yellow cartoon staircase We’re gonna fry We want to die extra-crispy We want to show our bones
in filament afterglow to hear our own viscera sizzle
to smell the cremation of every memory exploding at once The watches we keep in
proof of time well spent
living with weirdos and their odd socks Our alliances based on similar selection
of independent
bumper stickers We’re ready for every twitchable, switchable, signal-sendable cell
from our toes to tongue to tits & testicles to
flex as it has never flexed before An orgasm-heart-attack stronger than
any man or woman could dream to deliver Sure,
there’s dirt in our other pair of jeans
we don’t talk about,
sometimes intense cookie crumbs in the pockets We don’t have time for
this season’s fashionless fashion:
Guys in big black shoes,
girls in small black underwear
We’re gonna be frayed and snagged,
feel the surge run up our backs,
have our souls snatched away so fast
our bodies sonic-boom as they slam back together a fate untouchable
by murder or suicide We’ll stand taller than anything for miles The trees will thank the heavens for the lightning-rod
of our sacrifice We will call down fire and watch the sky obey and one day
the prophets will say that their gods could not suffer us to live
for even another


Brook Noel


Brook Noel began writing poetry as a young girl Feeling her poetry was private,it wasn’t until early adolescence that she first read her poems to others Friends and family related to her magical use of language and encouraged her to pursue her work At sixteen, Brook sought publication for her poetry Her pieces have been published throughout the United States, Canada and Europe Brook is the author of two chapbooks of poetry: Inside My Attic and After Midnight Shadows of a Vagabond is her first full length collection

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Brook Noel and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

I Gave It Away

I take these words you gave me
bulging with hidden meaning and
too many vowels
and syllable by syllable
I give them to this man lying next to me He asked for them, and you weren’t here I needed no other reason to lead him
head to toe, through your language

Words like summer’s breath, violets,
or comets, leaving a trail on my flesh It was the only way to betray you
and it felt like heaven And I’m still not sorry for it

I thought of you though,
staring at the phone,
encased in some black night You could have been here You chose not And I made my own choice, finally

But I have never been a good liar This man next to me, his hands drifting,
I, feeling like a Chinese finger trap,
and I sigh, pretending I like it,
because I want to

Shortly, he will turn to me
and say it was the best ever And I will nod, noncommittally He will sigh, the pant of a husky dog
that has run too far for his master

And I know it’s quite past two
but that’s okay Tonight, I gave the words away Tomorrow, will never come.

Cartwheels On The Moon

I look up
to see you dancing
cartwheels on the moon

eyes howling

and this is not how I thought it would be

as the sun rises and sets
god manipulating puppet strings
up and down
down and up

you do cartwheels on the moon

unsure of gravity or law
or the past that says
we are not who we claim to be

but I join you anyway
doing cartwheels on the moon


for my brother, Caleb
July 29, 1970 to October 4, 1997

I stand within this room
blanked and stripped of your essence, 
wishing you might turn around
call my name
say it’s a joke
praying for something
to take it all back
to rewind to yesterday
when you were still here
You walked on water,
we dreamt inside stars
trading childhood dreams
and day into night”
you held my hand
and now I hold yours Searching for a way
to erase what I witness
to erase what I see
And inside October’s fall light
you let go
while all of us
try so desperately
to hang on
Brushing your pictures with
hands that once held yours Rock-paper-scissors –
learning to snap
those days we were too young
to realize how we had so little
while having it all

There are no words
to frame your soul
to capture this gold
as we helplessly watch
these days slip away
searching for your face, a sign
a world still with you
I want to revisit the past Take you back, take me back,
replay the scene a bit differently
We look for reasons in forests
where none exist
We look for answers
while eagles drift by
Only questions rest on wings
And though I can’t understand
what has happened here”
I tuck our pictures
between your palms
You have always held me
and I want you to still my brother, my father, my friend
I know you will

I know you will.

Erica Erdman


Edrman is a Los Angeles native who has published poems in Dance of the Iguana, Starquest Magazine, Blue Satellite, Sabado Gigante, SIC: Vice and Verse, 51%, Chiron Review, FTS, On Target Newsletter, and Saturday Afternoon She has been featured in 27 venues from Los Angeles to San Francisco She is also a graphic artist who designed the Sacred Beverage Press logo, illustrations for Ellyn Maybe’s Coloring Book, the logo and design for Nightgaunt Press, graphics for California Artists Radio Theater, graphics for Smoking Horse Productions, Inc , and numerous poetry books for area poets.

Erdman’s personal odyssey has led her through various careers, from actress and musician, to government intelligence work, to medical administrative work, to advertising research at the giant Foote Cone & Belding agency, and, today, to aerospace work, in the air operations division at Federal Express at LAX “There’s a dark glamour to aerospace,” Erdman said, “it kind of straddles the scientific and the military It constitutes its own world I like walking to work in the morning under the bellies of DC-10s and MD-11s and A-300s “

“Dark glamour” also describes Erdman’s poetry In his essay introducing the 1985 anthology of Los Angeles poets, Poetry Loves Poetry, editor Bill Mohr wrote: “If I had to describe the poetics of a large number of poets in Los Angeles in two words, I would use ‘Existential Romanticism ‘” Erdman’s powerful work carries on in the best of this tradition.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Erica Erdman and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


You come, wearing history
in lines and corrugations,
a face I want to readæ
oh, the elegance
with which you wear your skin!

But it is mute;
and you are the outspoken stone
that bruises my mouth
(that old wound)
though I feel nothing
I think myself fortunate,
until you stand before me,
remind me what hunger is
and what I will become

I turn to find you, become invisible,
a bubble in the glass, a word,
gasped in water and swallowedæ
a transmutation:

Membrane, rendered vapor

This I am accustomed to I know well the side effects
of discourse with the dead.

for Allen Jay Freedman

Catfish knows
all the good stories;
no gentleman,
he got the goods He got a line on a story
not two hours old,
now rotting
twenty yards downstream
Catfish knows He reads ambient levels in his whiskers,
keeps his nose to the bottom,
scours the scene He is hip to silt and sentiment,
he is at ease with skeletal ambition
Catfish digs
the zen of the one hand
and the voiceless oh,
disposes with colloquial grace,
doesn’t give a fuck about tissue integrity
or the tensile strength of faith,
doesn’t distress himself with
wherewithal and hereafter,
keeps his circumstances circumstantial Catfish holds the truth in his teeth,
strains his saliva
for trace elements and adrenaline
he’s got everything he needs
Catfish goes down,
goes hot-diggity-down
to root and rind
and the bottom line
He is the preacherman;
he observes first principles
and last rites,
keeps his observances
to himself Catfish tells his story
in first person singular,
delivers his point
without a word spoken He tells me happy endings
are for the weak of heart

and he should know.

The Hit

A cortege of black-winged birds,
inspectors of cruelty,
bob and sway on powerlines
that overlook the seaward road
by LAX, their voices harsh
It’s six o’clock
In the ditch some small thing
lies, empty-socketed
A pair of black Nikes,
flung tongue-tied and eyeless
on the wires,
twitch and shudder
He who owns them,
miles away,
as yet oblivious
No one will hear the shot
The wind will stop,
the shoes hang still,

the crows spill off into the dark,
leaving the sky vacant
as a dead man’s stare,
as absent, and as chill.

August 10-16, 1998: Josh Adams and Wayland Matthew Fox

Week of August 10, 1998-August 16, 1998

Josh Adams and Wayland Matthew Fox

Josh Adams


I’m Josh Adams, 19 years old, junior English/Theology major at Georgetown University in Washington, DC Trying to justify my existence, found poetry, said, “Why not ” Love: Coleridge, Keats, Eliot, Ginsberg, Oppen, Berrigan, and Radiohead Hate: Most of the poems I write Off to do the Childe Harold thing in August, will be studying in Florence, traveling around Europe, and enjoying last jaunts of now jaded youth Thank you for reading.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Josh Adams and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

October 14th, 1995

Buried underneath the shadows of
Dreams I find his smooth, opal face

Eyes are staring out of it at
Eyelids, closed, staring out at me

Thoughts hang suspended in
The arc of a coffin, while

A woman with a handkerchief is
Thanking the company for

Coming to express their guilt and
Cameos in the death of a great man

Accomplices, actors all, she is keeping
Them here to see what they

Did But the death, played
Out in sparse scene with few

Props is over now The television
In the hospital room is silent

And the mouth on the face is
Silent And the tumors in the lungs

Are silent And shouts of incoherence
Are silent too He will take his secret

Of standing impossible in our midst and
Raping our souls to the grave
There will be no one to mourn him
There The antiques in the house

Will move slowly to oblivion
In his wake, and the friends who

Cursed him alive will see him
Dead and breathe a sigh of relief.

To Gabriel

The only thing I am holding
In these hands are my poems

They are laughing and the mouths are
Bleeding with angry tears

With strength surprising
They yank head back by hair

And the scent of dead trees is
Filling nostrils with stark memories

And the grip of hand on paper
Is white on white knuckles

The only calm, small, stillness is voice
Singing inevitable, these were inevitable.


A blockage of time and
Touch spread across raindrops
And a sigh spent in minutes
Before midnight strikes
Ending a day, forging, 
Forcing new perspective
On abandoned thoughts
On a crackle through wires
Wishes that it would be easier
To say what comes, but losing
Words is a habit,
It comes naturally.

Wayland Matthew Fox


I am Wayland Matthew Fox, residing in Houston, Texas with my wife who is my best friend and sometimes muse, three challenging children, two cats, two dogs, and a parakeet I like to argue, start revolutions, end revolutions, argue, make love, do sweat lodges, garden and write poems (not necessarily in that order) My poems have appeared in local publications, most recently in The Austin Writer, a newsletter for the Austin Writers League I look forward to growing old and one day leaving the planet.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Wayland Matthew Fox and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

Darkness Lost

The sun went down but darkness never came All night stores, midnight bankers, and the new street lamps outside my
All in the name of safety and convenience, have driven the night sounds
and Shadows deep into some hidden forest that I find only briefly
In the still somewhat private closet of my own fitful sleep
My ears are filled with clicks and beeps –
And my body is bombarded by the constant onslaught of radiowaves
And microwaves and technological tidal waves And the howl of the coyote is only a memory
My desire is controlled by the Whore of More-
And I have forgotten what it is that I really want –
And the dreams and nightmares that once instructed me
Now envelop the world and they are broadcast day in and day out
On some twenty four hour news channel in a language that I do not
understand And I am lost in some new age digital wishing well-Its three a.m And the face on the screen is giving me an 800 number
The woman I love sits on the side of our neatly made bed-
And she is on some distant shore across a great body of water
That is alive with devouring mothers and absent fathers
Or dead with poison gases —
It is there I will take my chances
I will swim to her and be eaten alive or lose my breath but
I swear I will not perish The bone of me will find her again and
We will hold each other above or below the world-the madness My voice will keep her sane and her song will sing sweet in my ears —
And the dragon will rise up between us in spirit and in flesh–In
passions embrace
And with all of our love and all of our sorrow,
We will seek out that hidden forest
Where the night sounds and shadows have gone We will revel in that darkness in ritual and in song-
And we will dance ourselves to sleep and fly to worlds unknown
And then returning to the morning where our children wait,
We will fill their eyes with what we have seen and what we know,
And their ears with new stories to unfold To their hearts we will give our attention and our time And we will all bow down and kiss the earth.

The Ancient Order

At seventeen, the son wears the mask of the stranger
One decorated with instructions from an ancient order Some of my friends say: “Put big chains on him like you would a baby
Some others say: “Let him go free or he will destroy your house
At forty-six, the father, eyes and heart open, bends again toward earth

To plant seeds of spring, with instructions from an ancient order,
The stranger has left the house and travels to a land of shadow
Seeking his own calling in the time between day and night The ancient order kept, the son wanders, the father grieves, the spring
Seeds have been planted before, given by the father’s own hand Some under fair March skies when the son was born
And the promise of new life was in both hearts –
Some in the barefoot days of summer
When the promise of abundance was in both hearts
Some with the falling of leaves to blanket the earth
And the promise of daydreams was in both hearts
Some with Decembers darkness when earth turns within
And the promise of slumber was in both hearts
The grandfather knows the son, the stranger, and the father
In his bending, he has touched the earth enough to remember who he is At seventy-five, he gives the blessing and the warning to the stranger
and the father In the middle place where I stand, the heart breaks open like the
cracking of an egg,
The stranger, now with wings from the ancient order, seeks the stars
from which he came One day he will return to plant seed and cultivate his own bend.

August 3-9, 1998: Stazja McFadyen and Robert O’Sullivan-Schleith

Week of August 3, 1998-August 9, 1998

Stazja McFadyen and Robert O’Sullivan-Schleith

Stazja McFadyen


Stazja McFadyen, poet and chocolate lover, is publisher/editor of the Austin Poets at Large weekly e-newsletter, board member of the Austin International Poetry Festival and Austin Poetry Society, and founder of Austin’s East End Black and White monthly venue She has banked 5 cash prize awards this year, including first place in the Christina Seregyevna Poetry Contest

In his Next Magazine feature review of the 1998 Austin International Poetry Festival, Mike Cluff wrote: “My best memory of the festival will be the read Stazja McFadyen had at the DiverseArts Little Gallery at the Heritage House,,,A fine poet herself who read with us, Stazja McFadyen deserves the high praises I heard about her all weekend ” Stazja did not pay Mike for the kind words

Stazja McFadyen Poetry Page, with excerpts from “If You Can’t Eat ’em, Join ’em” Chapbook and links to other poetry-related websites, is located at http://members.aol.com/Stazja/stazja-poetrypage-index.html

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Stazja McFadyen and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

The Gate

Although there was no gate to pass through,
those who knew the place would always say “The Gate”
when mentioning the entrance to
my beach of childhood summers,
safe and winsome on the Chesapeake
Worlds away from Washington,
western shores of Maryland,
hour’s drive by country miles
Motorists must pass between a pair of pillars
flanking narrow gravel road to summer havens;
Met by warning sign, 
could have read “beware of narrow minds” Long before I learned to read or know the meanings,
I knew dewy summer morning glory
city-anchored children never dreamed of,
knowingness of being loved
Family cottage, mother’s side Old Glory flagpoled in a yard of arbored roses,
dogwood trees and powder puff mimosas Inside, the summer house alive
with laughter and canasta games,
baseball afternoons with Pop Pop, 
rooting for the Senators
slugging out the innings
against the likes of Pee Wee Reese and Campanella Learned my Pop Pop’s red-faced navy jargon
spiced with foreign phrases;
would have made those “Boys of Summer”
blush if they spoke Polish
Summer mornings I’d awake to chase the dawn
and later join my friend, the bay Gritty sands of August always found their way
inside my bathing suit and rode me home
splashed with salty bay cologne
of decomposing crab and mollusk shells along the beach Summer smells still cling to blistered shoulder memories
caked in cool noxzema
Winter of my chicken pox and measles,
between the bouts of childhood illness,
bundled up in winter woolens,
off to visit father’s parents, Max and Goldye, 
(never seemed to see them in the summer)
Something always older world about them
Something happened always holier
than synagogues or tabernacles —
knowingness of being loved Why else was I allowed to clear
the leaded crystal candy dish
of sugar sprinkled lemon slices?
Long before I knew my history
I learned a universal language
spoken in their smiling eyes
Once, accepting Pop Pop’s invitation, 
Max and Goldye came
the country miles to summer cottage,
turned away within a stone’s throw, 
driven off by words of hatred —
“Gentiles Only” posted at “The Gate”
fewer words than those it takes to say “I love you”
drove away a pair of gentle souls
Children by their nature ask the questions:
Where does sky begin?
Why does Uncle Irvin smell of alcohol?
What does “Gentiles Only” mean?

There was a rumor later, never proven;
I believe with knowingness
of being loved the accusation
Pop Pop stole the sign
that barred my Max and Goldye at “The Gate”.

flirting with crawfish

you crazy crawdaddy
crawlin’ around drizzly sunday afternoon
clippin’ and clappin’ your claws like castanets
drippin’ with eau de muddy creek
what you tryin’ to do
catch you a crawlady?
no one want to be your sugar baby
with a such face only
a blind crawmama could love
crusty old crustacean
i seen better personalities
on rattlesnakes
but honey you sure got
one fine lookin’ tail!

Robert O’Sullivan-Schleith


Robt O’Sullivan-Schleith, known in San Diego as host of the popular Sundays@ Java Joe’s readings, has been publishing with the Conservatory of American Letters for 10 years, and recently won top honor in the San Diego City College poetry contest (for “waters-edge”); He is finishing up his first volume of poetry “The Smell of the Greasewood, the Roar of the Cloud” and plans to be shopping around for a publisher by October He is also editing the first annual “JOE’S JOURNAL: Best of the Beach” anthology, featuring the talented poets & wordsmiths of Java Joe’s open readings- deadline is not til end of Sept, so anyone out there in southern Calif interested- come to Java Joe’s in Ocean Beach the 2nd or 4th Sunday of every month- 4-6 pm: submit 1-3 poems in person- that’s all there is to qualifying for the anthology & subsequent P.R readings that will follow-

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Robert O’Sullivan-Schleith and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


You & I walking in the cool
.my evening reverie
green, shaded at waters-edge
.folds into itself
in the lateness of summer;
.like this sherbet sky
August has colored the landscape
.of sticky, melted colors-
the yellow of sweet decay
.summer after high school, 
& over-ripeness:

.the first time ever sycamore leaves big as plates,
.my first car, 1962
mottled like bruised
.red Rambler Classic-
& discarded fruit;
.Hunters’ Mill to Yate’s Ford,
there are blackbirds
.we parked at waters-edge:
clinging to the willows
.clinging to your crumpled blouse,
filling up with breeze
& feeling the blackberry wine
now that the sun has slipped
.you finally let silk slip
below the waters-edge
.to the floor mat below
Just then,
.Just then-
in the onrushing silver & rose,
.faces flush,
the day’s last wasp brushes up against
.wet flesh, 
the swaying castorbean-
.a frantic gathering of clothing the windswept water echoes
.dampness in both
a million frogs under a million stars,
.trouser & skirt;
and two cinnamon ducks fly into
.two virgins still, we
a wafer-thin, crescent moon
.thought we’d seen Jesus standing there
at waters-edge
.at waters-edge.

Valla Escondida

When I first came to this hidden place,
there were still citrus groves along Via Rancho;
lemon-scent’d air hung over blue lilac hills,
and those who grew up here talk of orchards
where now freeway & shopping mall
continue to encroach upon elfin forest I could not
have endured the devastating sight of flowering oranges
bulldozed under for days on end in preparation for the parking pavilions
.We don’t fight, we don’t scream-
.we rarely look up from our magazines The so-called end of the dry cycle this past year
has further eroded the land’s reprieve from development;
prickly pear & coyote gourd have overrun the disturbed soil
of the drought-abandoned country club/ golf course
(a resort in harmony with nature, the marketing ploy insists )
& it has resurrected my buried soul to see this cactus fence
restore the scraped & raw land with waxy yellowrose blossoms this past
.We don’t scream, we don’t fight-
.just fevered reading half the night Before the mall, before the orchards,
.Many native plants here produce seeds, 
.I read in sweating bedsheets,
.that will only sprout when exposed to the high temperatures
.created by extreme summer heat in combination with
.uncontained,  cyclical open-range conflagration before the rails, before the tools even, were the fires;
it was brown skin that lived in the valle these past hundreds of years-
Kumeyaay & descendants of ancient ones far south of here,
and it will be brown-skin spirit that survives here long after the fiercest
Ana’s have relentlessly burned these guarded acres of Yanqui commerce &
investment, and arbutifolia once again covers this wounded land
from La Jolla to the San Gabriels’, and to the high desert beyond.

July 27-August 3, 1998: C.C. Russell and Denis Mair

Week of July 27, 1998-August 3, 1998

C.C Russell and Denis Mair

C.C Russell


C.C Russell was born in Ohio, but has lived out most of his life in Wheatland, Wyoming where there is not a single bookstore and there has probably never been a poetry reading Why force himself to this cultural wasteland? He cannot answer that C.C ‘s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in The New York Quarterly, Curio Magazine, The Web, CrossConnect, and Driver’s Side Airbag His fiction has appeared in Unwound and Oyster Boy Review and he has also written reviews for Oyster Boy He spends entirely too much time in front of a computer screen.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
C.C Russel and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

A Fairy Tale

The wolf in the story
eats the grandmother,
flashes the teeth,
scares the red girl
This is you Predictable as myth
that has grown slightly
more friendly
over the years

but still,
somewhere in the back
of its head
it knows
it has been evil
and it has won.

In One Eye, Out The Other

Years after
we have forgotten
our initial moments
of joy,
Georgette will write to us
of the spinning head
of beginnings
and we will hide our jealousy
as we have learned
to hide
our dreams.


Tonight I am just content
watching our ghosts
in 1990,
their translucent shapes
as moments rising
to overtake time.

Dennis Mair


I do a little bit of work as a translator for a Taiwan religious group called Tienti Chiao, which grew out of Taoism I spent 8 years in China and Taiwan I saw some people get shot near Tiananmen Square in 1989 But I didn’t think that was very surprising I had been feeling pain in the air for months before it broke I wonder why people get so surprised at things–things that were right there all the time They fly off the handle I figure my nerves, besides all their throbbing, could maybe be an antenna for something I had always enjoyed conjuring the world through words, but I always thought that belonged in conversation Later I learned conversation has pitfalls I found that with some people, talk is nothing but pitfalls Better simply to let go, than to bleed with sincere pleading Poetry perhaps could make something of things that were blowing away in the wind I had a lot of reveries in my background: could they be mined, or put to use? Continuing them could give me distance I had enough of feelings being wielded like blunt wedges; I could use some distance I figured a poet is someone who can weave the threads of feelings into an aesthetic object I also thought this object could maybe be used to adorn someone’s thought Yeah, something to be given between distant people, a delicate model of how feelings can balance Certain misfortunes kept me from finishing grad school, which was a lucky thing too If I had not become a human particle outside of the academy, I would not have met poets Translating their work, and writing letters to them, made me realize I could do it too, as a hobby It’s been pretty rewarding It’s a favorite fantasy of mine that it’s a civilizing vehicle But just as with other arts people practice, a large part of it is resignation, and dignity of keeping at it All one needs is to be interested.

Dennis is co-editor of The Temple.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Dennis Mair and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


The daughter getting farther away in the Greyhound
Is beyond where I can imagine Interior running lights of phosphor-green
Show a faint shape of her head, against the Dakota night
On the other side of the glass I try to resolve the picture, but the Badland darkness
Empties her silhouette If she had to leave, it should have been in a perfect vehicle,
But she rides that dirigible of the road,
Dispatched by a breakdown scab corporation
Into a triangle my wavelength will not reach The sealed-off revolutions of engines
Are faster propelling souls at night-time
Than my sorting of memories
Can fix a negative under ruby light
Yet right here I have a template that strained for her form
Among a crowd of children at the schoolyard gate How can I not want to sift through the aureole
Of blips and squeaks surrounding Radio City?
On the fifth day I pick up her laughter
Along a row of shops where music spills onto the street The bruised fruit of the air
Breathes to her heart a secret quivering I lose her at the doorway of a juice bar
Not being alive enough to the music
One week later I place her again,
She is in a series of cubicles;
She can send only a position locator,
She is exposed to the weather, where others have dug in I consign her to the distance, but my comfort-seeking heart
Still looks to her hard work in the past Surely, that has prepared her to take hold
While I go off and try to take hold myself I know—a rootless rage is afoot,
And many cannot point to it
For it hounds them like dogs of Bardo She takes it in herself,
.in heart and hands
.her long crossing has begun,
Her initiation in which I hope to follow her
If only I do my part to lead her along.

Man Cut In Wood

Gentle grain of wood is in the sun,
Close-packed secret life, wrapped in bark
Holds aloft ten-thousand leaves to tremble in the breeze The roots make sweetness to feed the bark
To grow a thicker column of the gentle blond grain Standing over a clear streak of water in the breeze;
Only to grow in that place, never out of harm’s way;
Suddenly sawed down and split, exposed but blind to the sun Await the woodworker who can rub in sun with linseed oil,
Cut a contour to lead the line of sight,
Sandpaper to catch a gleam from slanting rays,
Grain of woodworker’s muscles also flexing in the sun But not everyone can work in such a charmed circle Blundering forces-divided and lost from each other
Stumble into each other and throw up edges,
Invasive purposes sharpened to sawteeth,
Screech and whine, silent scream like mandrake pulled up at midnight Workpiece not held steady, bucking up from the saw,
Blocky shape hacked out by repetition Man cut in wood, laid open and blind to the sun,
Flung out arms akimbo, exposed
Without finish in merciless weather Man standing like post takes stock of himself,
Rigid shape of body, poor arms that must stretch out,
Hands flopping like lost crows,
Stretched in blind sun, heat-stroke of clouds and lightning,
Tongues of lightning snake up the man’s trunk Fissures opened by dryness, inroads of borers;
In drizzling season, wetness stays and grows fungus
Water beads gather with pureness of tears,
Fine grain sweeter than walnut meat goes down to decay Man cut in wood, this is a slow emergency!
The passing crowd laments in thousand-toned sighs Red light, urgency, warning signal flash,
Send for a carpenter in an ambulance Man cut, won’t somebody help?
Somebody help the poor soul that wants to help another,
Imagine life in another’s planar section
Always longitudinal to this grain,
Tubules always conducting the juice of spring somewhere else Craft and shape the grain that was gnashed by other teeth Feel sorry for the flopping crows, give them work to complete,
Transform their dire arc to the ballet of swallows There is more than wood to this wood:
The tender curve of line, the shape traced out,
The man is right there with the wood, where else?
Were he to drift away, who then would make shapes
To teach the eye how wood may remain in the sun?
At every point it is love that nails him to the crosstree of decay Cut in wood: a-man-cuts-himself-a woodcut Be glad for pinpoints of light in the darkness of wood’s grain!
Be glad that he hangs back from conflagration!
Be glad for shapes that declare all phases of sunlight!
The crosstree stands in the weather,
Words drift by like clouds,
This praise will continue, if only the thread can be found!


Thought-farmer keeps many aqua-culture tanks
Draws water from his own well to fill them He pours in his tinctures and starters,
Ladles liquids to keep the level constant In one tank grows a patient corner-piece,
In another, a window frame opens its eye,
One has shingles, willing to overlap against weather,
In one are hinges that only love to swing Rows of tanks hold pieces he will fit together,
To build a house just as alive as he is The final tank stirs with salamander hiss;
He nourishes it with the rarest essences
Hoping it transform to be an image cut in wood
Forever changing shape above the fireplace
Thought-farmer barters his riches for a special seed Preparing a garden plot consumes him for a season He lays himself bare, stripped of all wishes,
Except to call forth that powerful sprout From green ferment and kisses of sunlight,
Fibers twist together and grow to one purpose,
The purpose grows out of the work,
The knotted vine grows from the ground with one force It climbs up poles that spare it a struggle with gravity,
It branches out and pours sap into a hundred fruits,
Which are directly offered up to the sky
Thought-farmer has a head bushy with growing tips He sends runners radiating in all directions Thought-farmer disappears into the landscape,
Don’t look for him except in his projects His mind is servant to the edifice,
But this edifice is temple to the mind,
Everywhere is filled with fragrance of offering He digs in the landscape alive with his life
Shot through with ferns that carry news In layered growth of forest he gathers a special fern
That crystallizes stories of fallen kingdoms,
And the lingering cries of children He flocks with winged carriers to trade his gleanings
And with them enters into a twirling dance Silence solemnizes the twitterings of his days
He frames words with silence, coaxing new kinds of ferns to grow,
But people cannot crop the growths right from his head,
So he goes to a magic pond and kneels down by the water
He trails his branches there, knowing it opens out onto
A new landscape, where other beings can read them.

A Dog Poem for Tomorrow
.by Yan Li
.translated by Denis Mair

A dog that only goes wild after death
Clamps the world in its jaws and won’t let go
Poems of tomorrow have no answer either
Clamping their own crimes in their jaws

Those dogs who lived long enough in the city
Taking along apartment buildings softened by furniture
Will charge into the pregnancy of an orchard
And clamp jaws on an unborn infant’s original form

Dog teeth will have become piano keys
Only bone-crunching music will rate popularity in this world
Suffering will still be re-published sheet music
So machines in printing plants will still be best at singing

Ah, tomorrow
The home-guarding talents of tomorrow’s dogs will be snipped out at the
A homeless world with dogs vacationing everywhere
Puffs of clouds like dogs will often float by in the sky
Some airplane-flying artists
Will paint young women clouds in the sky
Tomorrow’s dogs tracking June mornings and December afternoons
Will still expose their bored tongues
But swallow even dirtier things to cut down reproduction
Tomorrow’s dogs make a science of freakishly prolonged life

Tomorrow’s doghouses can be hung any old place like a shirt
But tomorrow’s dogskins will be shed by dogs
Tomorrow a dog of an orbital satelite
Having shaken off its tail wagged to cinders
Will go off into space to be human

Ah, tomorrow
I too will have such a tomorrow
So take advantage of today
Before the sky, as wide as the solar system, is chained like a dog

Holding my shadow in my mouth
From where sunlight is
From out of lamplight
And even from enchanting moonlight
I have come out
I have come out forever.

July 20-26, 1998: Jerry Dreeson and Jeanne Khan

Week of July 20, 1998-July 26, 1998

Jerry Dreeson and Jeanne Khan

Jerry Dreesen


Jerry Dreesen, R.T is the radiology research technologist He has an Associate degree and is a registered and state certified radiologic technologist with over 30 years experience in the field, including over ten years as a radiology research technologist His expertise includes skeletal, gastrointestinal, urological and vascular and specimen radiography as well as assisting with miscellaneous interventional techniques such as angioplasty, stent placement, and vascular embolization Mr Dreesen also has expertise in minor surgical techniques and necropsy procedures.

Radiography his vocation for over thirty years, Jerry Dreesen has pursued writing as his avocation for nearly as long A few of his poems have been published in small press publications, a few more in electronic journals His poetry reflects his experiences, loves, and his losses

Also, he is the author of the online poetry chapbook Ceramics.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Jerry Dreesen and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

The Kitchen Table

On the way home from a long day
picking up speed
just north of the interstate
I pass a quarrel of cars

one telescoped
into another
There is an ambulance, 
someone on the ground

a woman kneeling beside, 
another standing her hands
masking her face Home, 
I place my briefcase and keys

on the kitchen table
watch for a moment as steam
rises deliciously from something
simmering on the stove.

Washing Dishes

I watch her as she washes the morning dishes, 
delicate hands dipping into the water, rubbing
then rinsing the corners and crevices of each piece
She knows them all by touch: the fluted edge
of a salad bowl, the smooth curves of a tea cup
She is intent in the washing, meticulous
as one might be bathing a baby’s ear
Something catches her eye: a movement
across the window, perhaps a flash of bird
or a leaf lifted by wind
she searches for a moment, wrinkles her brow, 
then let’s it go.


Her children
talk about the weather
tell her what a nasty cough
wait for her to catch her breath
offer candy and sympathetic glances
take inventory
while she agonizes over
nougat or chocolate almond

Jeanne Khan


A search in dejanews for jeannek@delphi.com or jeannekhan@aol.com will yield about 1400 entries since I began posting regularly to rec.arts poems.

Have written several hundred poems and essays and may be catching on to writing by writing ;> Abigails List and several entities within the delphi community are regular recipients of a wide variety of poetic forms and practice shots at ryhmes, meters, sonnets and the like.

Reside in La Mirada California, educated through and beyond grad school (NEU MPA’80) in Massachusetts Executive in audit agency position drew me to So California in 1982 after death of son; returned to marry friend raising his son alone and brought them to California, too Subscribe to atheism, humanism, feminism and support literacy, human rights and cat rescue/spay/neuter projects as evident from links from my home page at delphi.com.

Hold view that this moment is the only certain moment, hence, write at least one poem a day of late as time flies when one is having fun which I am!

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Jeanne Khan and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


She affirms the permanent possibility of sensation in her journals
as John Stuart Mill, one of her heroes, would recognize; she writes
Displays a hyper-sensitivity to persons, places and things; words matter,
they cause euphoria, but she may fall ill after an acidic social intercourse
She lives the present moment as the only certain moment;
applauds and nearly adheres to Zenish form of Buddhism
Holds life in all shapes as sacred and she seldoms kills;
she marchs for choice, but chose not to have an abortion

She reasons her way through situations until she’s rational,
intuits what’s good without a faith or common belief system
Agrees with Carl Sagan about the follies of psuedo-science,
but sees the coincidences in numbers, cards and odd signs

She practices vegan living and works to end animal research;
eating ham and cheese on rye is a lingering mote in her eye
Abhors some effects of organized religion as anti-woman and anti-life,
but observes rituals, honors differences and lives as one man’s wife
She enjoys music in all of its forms, but can play no instruments;
singing, dancing, mathematics and puzzles provide her pleasure
Smashes like an iconoclast, but she often displays an American flag,
a casket-draper icon the U S Army supplied when her only son died

She supports a dozen causes and votes for excellence with her money,
will not waste a dime on crap; she’s thrifty, shrewd and an able haggler
Rejecting violence in all forms, she labors to end it in her lifetime,
but wouldn’t hesitate to hurt predators harming children or animals
An avid reader with hundreds of books, she’s learning to write by writing;
as audio-videophile, she often acquires tech toys, then cavorts with cats

Imagines she lived in other times and places, sees familiar faces here,
has no proof of life after death and laughs at notions of heaven and hell

A feisty female, a pushy broad in public, professional and political arenas,
she chooses peace, quiet and a clean house; seeks the solace of solitude

Consults with trees and many living things and listens because they speak, 
but talks too much with humans because she’s as vain as they seem to be
She does a dozen archaic tasks like ironing and mending, not craft-crazed,
although she supports all arts, including domestic arts; she pays cleaners

Defers only to Mary Daly, philosopher and author; she defies systems like
Pankhurst, Dix, Goldman, Sanger, Abzug, Steinem, Stuber and Sappho did
She has no Venus or penis envy; she’s comfortable with her body, enjoys sex
and food, but wishes to be fitter or taller at her present weight; she’s

A simple, direct and honest person who’d rather flirt than flaunt credentials,
she’s ordinary, but wild, a hedonistic pagan full of bull and contradictions.


The number of Viagara deaths is rising among men,
but women can’t get a pregnancy preventive RU286,
or HMO coverage for simple effective contraceptives
Animal researchers continue to waste unvoiced life
rather than use discarded placentas, cords, blood
or tissue from childbirth toward human applications
Mutant monkey-pigs multiply for muted murdering
even as cloned sheep and cattle replicate for study
while egg harvesting and sperm gathering proceeds

Rainforest burns; air is unbreathable; anti-biotics fail,
AIDs reigns nearly unabated; successful vaccines may
later manifest in diseases including post-polio syndrome
Children kill children with semi-automatic weapons
adults kill adults with a handgun, a drug or a car;
all appear quite expendable as lab animals now are
RRRs dance a jig generating call-in apocalypse dollars
to their coffers for controlling elections and the masses;
few vote, few notice, few resist, few fight and fewer care
Marketeers profit from created greed and consumption;
third world labor works; our service sector flourishes;
stock indexs spiral, earnings climb and tax shelters rise

Child care is unaffordable, insufficient or non-existent,
welfare isn’t faring well or well-fare, but a ticket to hell
Children are more like prey or panderers pets every day
Few of us select simple vascectomy Is anything amiss in all of this?
Could Mother Nature know something we missed or have forgotten?
Maybe we were already screwing ourselves to death before Viagara?

July 13-19, 1998: E.C. Archibeque and Steve Jacoby

Week of July 13, 1998-July 19, 1998

E.C Archibeque and Steve Jacoby

E.C Archibeque


Carlye Archibeque is so busy reviews editing for Next , associate editing for 51%, writing for Sic Vice and Verse and making the world safe for cats everywhere that she does not have time to write a bio.

P.S She has appeared in Blue Satellite, Spillway, Social Anarchy, Alphabeat Soup, as well as the old icky newprint Caffeine and the new slick Caffeine Anthology, Scream While You Burn.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
E.C Archibeque and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

Dry Goods
for my mother

She lines the kitchen walls
with expectations
holds her criticisms
like eggshells
and throws them
like bricks
She carpets the house
with cats and dogs
adopted for the virtue
of their long childhoods

She couldn’t bring herself
to believe
what her friend had done
to me
and once she did
dismissed it with the logic
of her Georgia Peach upbringing
“He was black, she said, “do you know
how much trouble that would,ve caused?

She folds her dreams like fresh linen
stores them in a cupboard beneath her heart
turns them sour with disuse
breathes in the smell like opium, “I knew it, she says
“all good things turn in the end and them she begins to sing and moan

On my bad days
the moans sing through my head
in Calypso rhythms
and I try to peel the blame from my skin
with the sharp tones of her distant humming

On good days she sings so well
I understand her intent, retain my sanity
and don’t mind so much when her words
run through my head
in my own voice


He was there when I expelled the fetus
.woman explaining her boyfriends support during her abortion

.we would call your parents to pick you up
.but you have none
.you have no home
.you have no country


.this type of behavior will not be tolerated
.unsolicited cell division
.unsupported claims of life
.you must leave this place


.you may not speak we know best
.your silence betrays
.your lack of humanity
.just as we expected


.do not darken our doorstep again
.your time here is ended
.this is all we have to say
.your education is finished


Love Never

Love never sleeps

it hides in the shimmer
of candlelight and cathode rays

no hero, arriving
just in time, stealthy

a disorganized killer
using weapons of convenience

the back of a hand or
a carving knife

so recently used to chop
a tomato for the dinner salad

Steve Jacoby


Steve Jacoby did not include a bio with his submission though he does describe himself on one of his web oages as “The Last Natural Philosopher ” I’m sure he is a certain age and lives in a certain city He probably also has been involved with certain things Of none of this am I certain.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Steve Jacoby and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

A Little Love Song to Baghdad

Baghdad, princess, now my heart is yours
Today and forever, while the savage rave,
I lay upon your breast ny patriot’s shame;
I swear to you on murdered Lincoln’s grave My sweet, strong sisters and my brothers,
Here take I the high oath of the jihad;
Soul-struggle of the righteous fighters,
The spirit-war we hailed at Leningrad
Baghdad, wronged Baghdad, I lay my pen
On your twice-violated altar;
Neruda sang to heros’ Stalingrad
Nor failed his trust, and neither will I falter The poetry of love remains on hold,
To celebrate rich Nature there’s no time
Gazing within Man’s soul will have to wait
Till you’re made whole of this bombastic crime
Baghdad, raped Baghdad, accept my rage, 
Agony of soul that fills each stave
Spittle of contempt on jackal leaders,
Unworthy spawn of those who freed the slave I may not write again but if I do
The purpose served will be to praise your name;
City of victims, land of heroes, Truth
Will hymn your triumph, while we sink in shame.

July 6-12, 1998: Ellen Sander and Rich Ferguson

Week of July 6, 1998-July 12, 1998

Ellen Sander and Rich Ferguson

Ellen Sander


In the mid-late sixties, Ellen Sander was one of a handful of writers inventing rock journalism After a cavort through rock journalism that permanently illuminated her imagination, and a book, Trips (Scribners) a memoir of that voyage, she moved from New York to Bolinas, north of San Francisco, at a time when Bolinas was literally crawling with poets Surrounded by poetics, the ocean and a wildlife preserve, engaged by the first years of motherhood, and a young green Arabian horse, her life and literary orientation began to shift like tectonic plates In addition to the voluptuous setting in the foothills of Mt Tam, she was mentored by the presence of some of the finest living poets on the contemporary American landscape
A performance poet who still lapses into journalism from time to time, Sander now lives on Venice beach in L.A watching the constant parade of the fabulous chasing the incorrigible mixing with the wisps of the beats and bohos that lived and wrote there before there were personal computers

Ellen is a long time contributor to Saturday Afternoon Journal Her work has also been published in Chiron Review, Social Anarchism, the San Fernando Poetry Journal, Habibi, Aladdin’s lamp, Words are Birds and on several poetry sites on the Web.

Ellen is the creator of GLUE L.A

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Ellen Sander and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

Road Sins

One false move on a rainslicked road
and we crumple fenders coming together Timing is everything and you appear out
of nowhere in a constant storm
The noise was so loud I thought
it was someone else and looked around
to figure out where it was coming from Finally, it dawned on me
Traffic is terrible, I called home
to say I’d be late but no one was there
which is not surprising
I live alone
I need to get my identification
I know you think you know me but
really, you didn’t signal and I never had
a chance
There is insurance to take care of this
kind of thing but I haven’t been paying my
premiums lately, you know, staying busy
is a good alternative to getting involved
These papers, they pile up
like motorcars skidding along grids
of lines and lights, there’s always a warning
if you pay attention.


Those who say only women bleed
do not consider battlefields
and soldiers of the heart
cowering under cover of

Funny how we reminisce The past is kind enough to bury
lines in the sand
dunes, berms, they are erected
to hold the waters of Babylon at bay
A mind is a terrible thing to make up
and matters of blood and surrender
just abstractions of a noble and sensual politic
between torn sheets of newsprint and linen
where bedding the enemy
is reasonable accommodation
and sometimes it feels so good
I think of Cleopatra in Caesar’s arms
gasping at thoughts of glistening coastal treasures
literature and armies, teachers and above all, art
how she must have grasped and urged with
warrior cries, pressed her lips sweetly on
the gates of history, oh surely she knew
Never had the empire known a better night
We live their secret daily We’d do it if we could
No lie When the clothes of revolution come off
we relish the nudity of monuments.

A Tomb Like This

No one knows where the light comes from but
on the floor you can see small piles of clean stones
they are the only ones who know
what message is intended In the grasp of wonder they mark
the inner journey to the edge of the century

Sudden unwelcome thoughts
break into a run
frantic footsteps
in soft shadows by the cairns
It is easier to say no regrets than to live with it A tomb like this keeps all bad weather inside:
rain perididdles down the window wall
and obeys the cadence of constant practice.

Subcontinental Blues
(5 clouds of fire)

Shiva is blue
irradiated in explosive pride of fire
his veins reaching from the sea to his
firebrain racked with desire
he rises from ocean of lust
with megatons of holiness The Ganges simmers with sweet
trembles of his ancient lingam
as it searches a deep home
Holy seed creeps over mountains and ruins
on the wingtips of tsunami
Krishna holds back western winds with bare hands
clouds of horses rear in the stinging foam
(tides of centuries rise )
their hooves are sharp; they glow
Crackling vapor trails along the borders
fall among the children playing
like veils, like shrouds Delhi dancers follow cymbals and drums
hidden in dimples, their smiles:
dreams of Shiva with towering phallus
in ecstatic reverie
under particulate canopies shimmering
in his tent, waiting

Python Shoals

The office floor creases like ice
beneath blades, her footsteps so smooth
float on sharp words
The tiny coolness
in the shallows
After 11 years she finds
it’s all true
he kept telling her she was imagining things

Sleek across dry grasses she strikes
and coils, prey screaming cut short
in deadly embrace around the sand-hare

Enter jacket
trying to catch up
coins shifting.


We sat with our books
and suddenly
a word on my page braked
with a subaudible hiss
it just stopped
not moving

First one
then the one behind it
forward and those
leading it
shunted and jostled
until the page was a blur of thoughts
stopped cold in their direction
not moving

It was like sleeping with
a new lover but not sleeping
waking to gaze and lax
into secret disbelief
lying there with
excitement and comfort
not moving
as if nothing else should ever happen

Magnolia & Fog in January

The fog moved in so quickly
you said it looked like the rest of the world
disappeared around us
The Magnolia was blooming, just
two or three blossoms in January Marvel though it is, you say that in
these are Japanese Magnolias,

Of course Unlike native blooms
that respect season
Understanding is overrated But if the rest of the world
dissappeared, it would be
just fine to be here in the fog
and Japanese Magnolia
with you.


Through the window
chill crystal white
and chubby birds
wobble serenely in
the constant winter dimlight
I could die here:
the quivering horizon
glacial, constant, deadly


in breathtaking desolation

Most of the world’s fresh water
lives in the icebergs Inanimate huge moving floes
melt as soda pop and rain

There is someone here
in a life support bubble
He calls me to the
frozen mist through the window.

Rich Ferguson


Rich Ferguson (fuzzy doodah) sets his tales all across America’s psychopathic underbelly from Abilene to Asbury Park He weaves a dark tapestry of heartfelt monologues and rants, lacing old-fashioned romance with modern horror stories The Austin Chronicle described Rich Ferguson as “Ömarked by a histrionic intensity and dangerous voice ” He is also the lead singer of the LA band, bloom, and has been hailed as “the Jim Morrison of the New Millenium “

Rich Ferguson performs with lap-steel guitarist Jett Soto as fuzzy doodah The added layer of plaintiff and psychotic wails from Soto’s guitar creates a highly charged, surreal and emotional landscape The two have played to sell-out crowds in Los Angeles They have mesmerized audiences across the nation from the South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, the North by Northwest Music Festival in Portland, the San Francisco Poetry Festival, to other venues from North Carolina to New Orleans to Amsterdam and beyond fuzzy doodah has also been heard on radio stations WBAI in New York City and KCRW and KPFK in Southern California, as well as Galinsky’s Go Poetry! Internet site fuzzy doodah recently returned from its New York City tour, opening for Patti Smith at The Knitting Factory as part of an historic evening of spoken word and music, called “Shut the F**k Up!,” co-produced by Exbrook Entertainment and Mouth Almighty Records.

Rich Ferguson is currently a judge of singer/songwriter Jewel’s online poetry contest His work is also featured in the online publication, The Oyster Boy Review, and the official Chris Whitley web site.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Rich Ferguson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

A Hymn

From the wound is drawn the poison
the forgotten moonlight that had been left for dead
body shudders in overwhelming struggle against darkness
while somewhere in this blood is the delirious midnight dance of hymns
the insight eyesight of spiritual height
dreaming the star sign of highway prophecy
and as the wheels turn
there is a little bit of God whispered into the road
and as the wheels turn
there is a little bit of God whispered into the road

Oh I have ridden that holy ghost high
in search of the cloud you can cast your shadow across
I have ridden that holy ghost
so that one day you may rise eternal and shining
like a new dawn incense
burning like blazing angel silence
beautifying chaos and making it hurdy gurdy in the places
where we have all struggled without hope for a moment of clarity

In you there will be constellations of prayer and meadow trance
the wild fire freedom of gravity in drag out on the boulevard of saintly
undressing ego to invisibility and
riding circus-winged and incandescent
into your Midwest breast-bone to challenge the demons
that lie beyond your blur-beast blue door

Oh if ever in these days
you should find the need for me
to turn myself into cross or talisman
to put your mind at ease
then so be it
oh if ever in these days
you should find the need for me
to turn myself into stone or tremble heaven dance
with resurrection hands to lead you to your faith
to your bed of vision
then so be it

Oh if ever in these days
you should find a light behind your eyes
that will not go out
that will not die
no matter how far you have fallen into an oblivion embrace
or another day doom

Do not be alarmed
it is simply me
so wanting
to show you the way back to the nature of your own true home

Einstein At The Grill

Albert Einstein was the new short order cook
At Mickey’s Early Bite Breakfast Restaurant
His shock of grey hair poking out from underneath
His stained paper hat
Luminous and scattershot
Like a piece of the moon unhinged

The egg he made for me was magnificent
The yoke
Unbroken, round and golden
Like some brilliant vision of a sunflower mind
I must’ve stared at it for hours
My coffee cup filling itself
Again and again
As I would take it from my lips

When I looked up from my plate
I realized that he and I
Were the only people in the restaurant
Me, sitting at my table
Pale whisper quiet
And watching
Einstein at the grill
His devout and pious concentration
Orchestrating the fluid movements of his hands
Sending out radiant echoes in every direction like
Dreams of singing smoke

I spoke in a rush and jumble
Of words
Wanting to ask the man who had discovered
The Theory of Relativity
How he had come to work at Mickey’s Early Bite
And how he was able to make the yoke of the egg
So perfect

Excitedly waving a spatula in his right hand
Like a short-order conductor
He said,
“Forget all of that Didn’t you notice that waitress that seated you
when you first came in?
That, my friend, is true beauty That, my friend, is the basis of everything
I’ve worked on over all of these years That is how I’ve learned to make
The center of the egg so round The egg, you see,
is simply a manifestation of that woman
and this universe,
how everything has come to move
so miraculously
in one exquisite and unending circle
Quite simply,
working here at Mickey’s Early Bite
has allowed me to express my true idea of beauty
I have finally come to see it after all these years Time has finally found
a true justice for these eyes “

And with those words
The once perfectly round egg yoke
Bled itself resplendently golden
Across my plate
And the world began again

James Dean Vs Sleeping Pills

With crucifix in hand
And some police siren song on his lips
He faced the wind and started walking
Towards that point on the horizon

Where the clouds gathered
Whiter than Apache war paint
To form the shape of his sleepless love for a friend

A friend who seemed to be
Nothing more these days
Than a pile of old bones
Spilled out before him
Like some jackpot of nothingness

There used to be so much faith in this land,
He thought to himself
There used to be things that didn’t burn
Or disappear so easily

At moments like these
He wished that he smoked
He wished that he could pull out a cigarette
And light it unflinchingly against the wind
All the while
Walking towards some wonderful destiny

Looking more like James Dean
Than like he had been
Beaten up by an overdose of
Hammers and sleeping pills

Then this all could just be a movie,
He thought to himself
Then perhaps we could all
Have a chance of winning

Or at least looking beautiful in the face of uncertainty
Instead of feeling like
Our lives will end up in some motel room
Left alone for days, dead
Our bodies beaten beyond recognition
By our own rage and defeat

Why does it always seem to end this way?
He thought to himself

Why do we never get the things we want
Or need?

Why does life seem to end up so much sadder
than the movies?


Sometimes I feel like I’m filled with little bones
Bird bones
Old lullabye bones
Bones sung heartbroken and moaning
Through some hangover radio
Dust bones
Shadow bones
Alone bones

Sometimes I feel like I’m going to collapse in on myself
Become some John Doe Catastrophe
Unrecognized by everyone as I float outside
Even the darkest seasons of this earth

If that happens
Tell my mother I never meant to hurt her
I never meant to leave her
It was only because of these bones

Ghost bones
Seconal bones
Buchenwald bones
Take your money and run bones
Whisky bones
Rain bones
Cyclone bones
Hangdog harmonica bones
Cancha’ hear ’em moan bones?

These bones are the place where lightening ends
And the nightmares begin
These bones are wanted in 15 states
There’s an x-ray of me in post offices all over the country
These bones are my worst fear come true
These bones have come home to roost beneath this fearful skin
I hear them knocking against the door of my flesh
But I don’t want to let ’em in
Cause I know these bones
These torture bones
Starvation bones
Tone deaf bones
Bones that break themselves-herniate themselves
Mistake themselves for Armageddon
Because ‘badluck’ and ‘boredom’ were two words
They learned in the same day bones

Bone bones bones

No home bones
Loveless with no sense of history bones
Narcotic bones
Broken glass bones
Bones that stop breathing and do their best impression
Of cemetery stone bones
Lead foot Lazarus bones
Bad check bones
Non-committal bones
Loud bones
Babylon bones
Atom bomb bones
Bulldozer bones
Tubercular bones
Blasphemous bones
Do not pass go or collect $200 bones

And so I wonder when they’re just gonna collapse
When they’re just gonna end up in some Hollywood bar
In the middle of the day telling lies and buying drinks for people
With money they don’t even have

Cause these are broke bones
Unwanted bones
Like door to door preaching Jehovah’s Witness bones
Oh this is what happens
When you meet your bones for the first time
At some bad party

Where everything’s underlit and overdressed
And you never end up getting what you really want
You never end up with anything that’s gonna last very long
Nothing that’ll tell you the truth
Or be there to hold you up when gravity has a grudge against you

Yeah one day soon
These bones’ll be sitting in that Hollywood bar
In the middle of the day and you’ll crawl in
Cause everything else inside of you has given up

Flown south-broken down
Become a clown or priest
Hitched a ride back East

And the more and more you lay there
Trying to tell your bones
That you think you’ve seen them somewhere before
The more they’ll tell you
That you must be mistaking your bones for someone else’s

And even though those bones will never look you
Eye to eye
Heart to heart
Toe to toe
Still they’ll keep talking to you
Still they’ll keep telling you lies
And buying you drinks
With money those bones don’t even have

June 29-July 5, 1998: Ben Ohmart and Mary Tomaselli

Week of June 29, 1998-July 5, 1998

Ben Ohmart and Mary Tomaselli

Ben Ohmart


BEN OHMART, a New York based poet, playwright and composer, has written for the stage, television and film Most recent stage works include Ooglesnort Part II, a Pythonesque revue; Caliban, an absurdist reinterpretation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest; Daughters of Rage, a ballet based on Garcia Lorca’s play, The House of Bernarda Alba and commissioned by the Dance Department at Florida State University; Henry, an opera about William Rufus, William the Conqueror’s son; Two Panic Plays, a translation and adaptation of two plays by Fernando Arrabal, performed at Syracuse Stage After Hours; and The Friendship Play, commissioned by the Groves International Committee on Friendship and the Family The Tell-Tale Heart, an opera based on the Edgar Alan Poe short story, was commissioned by WFSU television and scores for Stonewall: Old Blue Light and Jesse: The Jesse James Musical were commissioned by Theatre West Virginia and the University of Mississippi, respectively A finalist in America’s Best Comedy Script competition, Ben is a professional “gag” writer with several published and performed routines to his credit, as well as many poems and stories published in journals across the country, including A Madman’s Dream, Black Bear Review, Interbang, 13 Magazine, Reflections, X-Ray Magazine, On the Road, Artisan, Alternative Press Magazine, Reptiles of the Mind, D.C.C.R , Transcendence, Sparks, Planet Chaos, Zap Inc , The Wicked, Sink Full of Dishes, Buddagus, Parthenogenesis, Skidfish, The Arm’s Extent, Furry Chiclets, Holy Temple of Mass Consumption!, Mongoloid Moose, The Subterranean, Farm Pulp, Frayed, Children Churches and Daddies, Gortday Review, Kaspahraster, Vox, Suffusion, 10 Things Jesus Wants You To Know, Feh! and The Iconoclast His translations in collaboration with John Franceschina of the plays of the Marquis de Sade are published by Hollowbrook, and his musical adaptation of The Jungle Book was recently toured by Syracuse Stage.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Ben Ohmart and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

She’s Hard Like Old Erasers

we put the money on the money
5 on 5 if we want a pizza
she hasn’t come up with her half
in 23 years
I’d kick her out of bed if
I wasn’t an amputee

8th St Crap

bottle of green-yellow liquid
a mom
pieces of pieces of a puzzle
the 12pm picture that comes on a new clock
a wife’s soiled napkin
3 strings of G

The Pardon’s Fart

in chains, he saw the man
coming with the white #10 envelope
stop at the door WONK!!!
and depending on the answer
it didn’t really matter


in my yellow Sony bag
it was shower wet at one end
I didn’t know what she wanted me

Station Eerie

every loose woman standing still
the tile lights start to blink
a whosh of air coming in on the other side
man with the blind dog
staggers and goes 6 across 1 down

i walk in beauty like the asshole

up the street
gets in his ice cream car
money out of the ash tray
played that Frigging music
all the corn kids follow
with mother apron money
stops, feels what they need
little girl needs a hard vanilla
and it’s cheaper than the van
while the beer cooler opens
store brand comes out
kids are happy, chocolate nose hardens
the asshole squeezing the tube

Word Responsible

friend of mine does the words
i’m on music with a 4 track
got 2 song contracts in the mail
actually, publisher got them mixed
ours were Pump My Water
and Milk Me
contracts were for Love You
Meet Me in the Screen Door
and Half Off
signed anyway
i mean
a contract’s a contract

Six Snow Inches

called my grandparents
60s children that
used to drive gas cars
light gas stoves
get real
they had 6 inches of snow
in their yard
we live about 5 blocks away
said we had less than an inch
grandma cussed me out
i looked out the window
invasion .

Mrs Slocum’s Pussy

it is 1998
I expect within 5 years
if it isn’t already
there will be a rock
or punk
band called
Mrs Slocum’s Pussy
if you watch Are You Being Served?
you know I am watching it too
I see you
through the tv screen

Cartoonist Alarm

I have tried writing gags
for cartoonists
I send my cartoon ideas
and get back ‘it’s funny,
but I don’t think I can do it I have that kind of sense
of humor too though!’
my gags are locked up
among my cats, women and song
half drawn mind tits
minus a nipple
sex without smiles

Dylan Lips Wife

over around the coffee night can
a Wonderbread deliverance
taped tap shoes on the Singer
white-black man in the olive garden
records crying white blues cheesy
an amazing circus calls the white dog
bitch out at being under the house
come in and wrap the fish in
out of state ads and lime soaked stains
mother in brown hair and letters for bills
stands about the rain on the flat rocks
putting a hat on the half light
what the hell’s wrong?
what the fuck’s riding on you?
the veggie pizza gets there
and you’ve gotta make sense now

Mary Tomaselli


I’m an indexer and library consultant living and working in New York City I also teach a continuing education course at Queensborough Community College in Women’s literature I have been writing poetry for years and have been published in Poetry Motel, Muddy River Poetry Review, Arrowsmith, and other journals My work has been featured on the Alien Flower Poetry Workshop and in Dave Jones’ e-zine Equinox.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Mary Tomaselli and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

Love Poem

I saw a pair of fat red lips
on the marble floor
and, though your lips
were never red like those,
or as voluptuous,
I thought of you;
it may have been that
you were already there
somewhere in the back of my mind
waiting to be thought about;

you, who used to call me
and make me think you needed me;
you, who let me in on all your little secrets,
ones you said you never told anyone else,
you who weren’t quite lying;

you see I had never felt so preferred,
so elected by another to serve with such purpose,
and you were needy;
I don’t know who you talk to now,
or, maybe, youíve grown
to keep your own counsel
the lips on the floor were as silent
as you are on the subject.


like a cold blanket,
an arctic shroud, white,
like Christ’s hanging from the Easter cross;
redemptive and pristine,
an almost welcome cover-up;
clay for mitten sculptures,
like a new infant’s soul,
a momentary treat for
warm tongues, chattering teeth.


They’re throwing marigolds and rose petals
on the coffin containing my ashes;
they’re chanting my name, hip deep
in the holy waters of the Ganges and Yamuna These ashes, my own ashes,
have lain all these years in the dark,
in a vault, cold and gray,
I walked the earth with these people
and stood on the riverbank with them,
loved them and died for them;
holy men wrap themselves in saffron,
women rest on a sandbar,
in this country, where some now call me
enemy Give me back my ashes!
Toss them to the wind,
let them sink below the surface of your memory
and become one with my soul
which runs down to the sea.

No Dream of Gardens

I have no dream of gardens,
lucious and green,
like the Daintree rainforest
I once knew;
no dream of blue-green water,
diamond-flashing palm tree
black against the sun;
no dream of a place to go
when it’s over,
and I’m shut up in a drawer
in a wall of drawers;
no dream of a beautific face, welcoming,
at the far end of a darkened hallway;
no dream of forever, ever after
after life, except
that someone might remember.


I brought home the sun
from the tropical island
and laid it on my bed,
smoothing it out to the edges;
it shone bright and warmed the wintry room;
when tropical flowers grew there,
and filled the room with scent and color,
I thought: it would be enough til Spring.

On My Way Out

I’ve made it a rule of my life
never to leave the house for anything
but the joyous;
Don’t ask me to put in an appearance,
pick you up from the station,
drive you to an appointment,
attend another fundraiser,
show up for dinner at your mother’s;

I’m on my way out
to pick up pizza and a good movie.

Death by Drapery

I see you there in my mind’s eye
doing your balancing act
(your semicircular waters inexorably thickening)
you have lived for ages
leaning, reaching
spreading little clips along the bar
every 3 months, changing things
when they aren’t even dirty
Tempting fate, or the god you think is there
somewhere who won’t save you
I’m sure;
if you lean over just enough
(your corset’s irrelevant now)
gravity will take over
naturally Thank you Mr Newton.

June 22-28, 1998: Amélie Frank, EA Lynch and Michael McNeilley

Week of June 22, 1998-June 28, 1998

Amélie FrankEA Lynchand Michael McNeilley

This week we’re featuring the three Judges of the 1998 PSH Poetry Contest.

Amélie Frank


Amélie Frank, from Los Angeles, California, is co-editor/publisher (with Matthew Niblock) of the Sacred Beverage Press, which produces the acclaimed literary journal “Blue Satellite” as well individual collections by some of Southern California’s most highly regarded poets (including The Carma Bums, FrancEyE, Ellyn Maybe, Nelson Gary, and Richard Osborn Hood, as well as the successful “Beyond the Valley of the Contemporary Poets” series) A native of Los Angeles, Ms Frank took her B.A in English (Creative Writing emphasis) from U.C Irvine, studying with Charles Wright (this year’s Pulitzer Prize winner) and Robert Peters Emerging from the Iguana Cafe circle of writers and performers, she served as a judge for the MTV Spoken Word Contest in 1994 and has been a featured reader in most of the major (and many of the smaller) venues throughout Southern California Deeply committed to discovering and championing new talent, she currently hosts (with Richard Modiano) the poetry readings on 2nd and 4th Thursdays at the Hot House Cafe She contributes regular freelance reviews to NEXT Magazine Her publication credits include: The Moment, Caffeine, Sabado Gigante, Red Dancefloor Press, Dance of the Iguana, 51%, The New University, and the anthology “Scream When You Burn ” She is the author of three chapbooks: “A Resilient Heart & Other Visceral Comforts,” “Flame and Loss of Breath,” and “Drink Me” (with Matthew Niblock)–all three of which are now sold out Most recently, the Poetry Super Highway showcased Ms Frank as a “Poet of the Week ” By day, she works in the motion picture industry She will be listed in this year’s edition of “Who’s Who of American Women “

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Amélie Frank and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

What The Swan Left Unsung

If I were to say to you at this moment
that this is the last time you will ever see me, 
what would you say?

You could look over a sea of people and say you see me
in the company of dozens who would gladly hug and pet me
if I asked, and I would say that I am a primary number
in this room The number is not two
You might say that you look across a sea of people
who love us both and see a cygnet where I sit,
and I would say I am a cygnet among mallards You would say that a cygnet is the most beautiful creature
of its kind, and I would accede to some inherent
and peculiar grace, but remain still a cygnet among mallards,
and I am lost
For, where I sit, it is always among sevens and fives and threes,
and I watch the emerald-necked ones drape themselves over those smaller
and pinfeathered in brown, and I tumble to the fact that there will be
no more of my kind

You might venture that I had my chances, but the black-beaked changelings
I took for my fellows were priapic gods glamoured with the flocking of my
and the question-marked tilt of my head, but they were nothing of the kind
Had I not outflown, outswum them, after their sport with me, 
they would have coated my tongue with prophecy, branded me senseless
so that none would listen, and taken to the air, splitting the heavens
with their boasts

If I were to say right now, feeling your exotic plumage
tenderly daub my face, that I am as lost as lost can be, 
that I am neither fowl nor fowl, 
would you speak on my behalf?

Would you say: “She spoke the truth of her heart,
that wild, open place Her greatest triumph was to know
she was not a duckling after all, but it mattered very little, 
even in a heart as large as hers, 
because a swan is a swan is a swan, 
and no duck in the world can see her as anything
but a delightful version of something else
Her otherness was imprinted from day one, 
when she was shown an empty mirror
and told it was her mother “
To those who say, “But she couldn’t see how beautiful she was!”
would you truthfully say: “And to what end, 
if it was beauty singular to the point of strangeness?”

If I were to say I am leaving, now that there are
no more summers left, would you hold wordless but true
in your heart that it was a blessing in disguise?
No eggs No goslings No provocative daughters No suspicious twins No fall of Troy, no thousands of men lost to pin on my short, 
imagined happiness No rending of the just, just fabric of culture

And even as you are privately relieved that the world will not end, 
will you miss me? Ever? When you find my corner of the lake
still and unsung, will you miss me ever?

Become More Articulate As I Channel David Helfgott

(for Nelson Gary)

cannot say
cannot say
cannot say
right turn here, no HERE
film made you cry, probably sucks
it’s a puzzle, isn’t it? an enigma?
a big fucking dandelion in my backyard
“know what I don’t get?”
“what? right from left?”
list too long
list too long

please put camera away, brother

hole in head
puns spill out
friend scatter

lime water spilled
more shame than if milk
thought it looked like beer
thought it looked like war

warning: Cassandra says once this music stops, that’s when we’ll know for
that, oh wow, they ARE going to slaughter those virgins

What’s the cue?
cue? the cue?
magpies supposed to give stage
directions/ went on cigarette break
didn’t happen
missed social signal
embarrassed nice, slinky friend
embarrassed self, lots of good grief

want to tell you
don’t want to talk about it

yes: WAS raised by wolves
so fucking what? some have founded Rome!
blunder BUT WITH STYLE!!!!
if my jokes actually become funny

speed bump
ignored attributes jiggle
ck-ck-ck-an’t articulate
not as simple as it sounds

officer is the whole city blocked off?
Japanese food NOW OFF LIMITS!

the deeper into the century I go
more iconographic I get, but only
with you, wonder boy
with you, ancient brother
with rest of you, surprised by my face
my speech balloons empty empty empty
not that simple, not, no
not so think as you dumb I am

last Friday
take the stage
hug concertmaster
hug conductor
hug podium
so many here shuffle feet
tap stands with long bows
am playing this from memory
88 keys, all minor
all intervals are seconds
no gray scales
pardon humming
can’t talk can’t talk can’t talk
better when I listen
pedal/soft pedal/back pedal

you like the poet’s blouse?
it’s all that I will ever have

The Wax Loses Itself: A Platonic Relationship

“All art is useless ” Oscar Wilde

When he makes the mold, he will break me
no ideas but in things, he’ll mutter
oblivious to the love that seeps invisible
from his hands and imbues my contours
with what others will call his genius What they take for pliant beauty
I know is authenticity
and when the bronze is poured
I will lose my true self Perhaps this is sad, but sadder still is this:
what cools around my ghost will be hollow
will only mimic my truth
will have no self to call its own When I evaporate
he might hear my laughter uncurl from the steam:
“No things, only ideas my darling
the table is a copy of the table in your head The statue is a whoredom of the muse
I translated verbatim at your fingertips Indeed, I yield to the overflow
but if it is only beauty that you took for true love
it is but a waste of good wax “

EA Lynch


EA Lynch (from Denver, Colorado) is the poetry and fine art editor for SpokenWar She enjoys imagining that she takes trips to the Amazon to collect wild and exotic plant specimens which are now being synthesized into miracle cures for things like hydroencephalitis She writes fine poetry and as part of the SpokenWar collective she observes their standing tradition of not writing biographies.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
EA Lynch and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

The Probability of Rust

Once, I put a phone under a microscope, but
couldn’t find the cells Sometimes I walk in the graveyard
and take pictures of angels-they might be real I make carrot juice-drink it I think about the healthfulness of antioxidants
I wonder if my dead grandfather
was ever really alive I remember his portrait, and how his eyes
followed our play Occasionally,
I give his great-grandchildren
oatmeal with raisins They eat it
Sometimes I believe that God is
the adult version of the Easter Bunny
There are times
when the sky is so blue,
I forget to worry about
the probability of rust.

Orphan Music

In the center of the eye &
split seconds fractured,
the door closes shotgun, and
this flushed cheek is
left, orphaned
to the slowness of
two step end
There is an emptiness,
there is an ache,
but no place to say,
“Here “

Don’t beg for riddles when
the answers
the questions –
demented as bare lightbulb hung
from lath and plaster,
pulse racing with no good reason,
each detail lost to the next
In the center of
split seconds fractured,
something falls from the eaves,
I wipe the sweat
from my eyes.


There are poems
which should not be written The wrong person might read
the words, and
no matter how obscure
the metaphor,
they might understand
what the poet
when there is no other
place to confide,
thoughts can be hidden between
odd or even lines, but

sometimes even a poem cannot
keep a confidence.


Something is here –
inside my chest,
a heavy, terminal wheezing –
a psychosomatic reaction
to all the silly things
which lie awake at night,
In the living room,
I look at my hands,
knowing that they are mine,
but wishing they weren’t
Something is here –
low in my guts
where it cannot be driven out;
a funny kind of dread
wondering if you will
disappoint the children
and prove me a liar because
I said

I was sure
you would call.


Leafless, craggy trees on the side of the highway
cling to dirty earth with gnarled fingers
becoming arthritic observers to our speed They are elderly women with dour expression, or
watery-eyed old men left on front porches
to mumble in the sun
They cannot join
our supersonic procession,
this joy ride speed parade
The trees glower
We are too old to be so aggressive
and should know better than to move
faster than the flow Predictable dots of white paint are
the baseline
we cross
and cross again
I call it the suicide ride, this
adrenaline stitch through living metal,
this hopscotch dance between combustion machines We make long, invisible S curves around commuters,
keep time with disapproving high school kids,
and thumb our noses at
granddaddy trees
as we cross
and cross again.

Michael McNeilley


Michael McNeilley (from Aberdeen, Washington)is co-editor of Zero City with JJ Webb; was Founding Director of the National Student News Service; worked as a reporter and correspondent in Washington, DC; and has published hundreds of poems and stories in magazines such as New York Quarterly, New Delta Review, Poet, Chicago Review, Oyster Boy Review, Cross-Connect, Sonoma Mandala, Hyphen, Minotaur, Slipstream, Cafe Review, Pink Cadillac, Chiron Review, Poetry Motel, Plazm, DAM, Lilliput Review, Boulliabaisse, Writers’ Forum, Green Fuse, Rockford Review, Mississippi Review, God’s Bar Unplugged, Impetus, Tight, xib, Penny Dreadful, Exquisite Corpse, Atom Mind and elsewhere, including websites worldwide McNeilley’s recent books include Punch Lines (AAR Press, Seattle, WA, 1998) and Situational Reality (Dream Horse Press, San Jose, CA, 1998).

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Michael McNeilley and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

omnia opera domini

bring out the big dogs and bid them eat
bring out the greasy black hearts of rich men

pour out the the coffee, the tea, the milk
bring on the egyptian flight attendants

roll out the barrels of dark cuban rum
laced with the bodies of homebound sailors

bring out the blind that we may watch them stumble
bring out the deaf that we may laugh at their songs

throw out the fat, the thin, the short, the tall
that we may all dress from the same gray closet

hang up long red curtains against the sun
to cheer our depression, to preserve our darkness

tow forth the bright yellow backhoes of hope
that I may exhume my buried love

bring out the sad ones cursed by intelligence
let no bulbs be dimmed by their frozen light

bring out all who demean our expectations
inter them with the father, with the mother of all

give us this day our broken sunrise
give us this night our dreamless sleep

sonata for one string

for her the key has always been
the way she looks except
to me it is the way she looks at
me suddenly and I feel her eyes
the way small plays appear
in the middle of her sentences
and dance on her lips
the way she asks me
the questions I want to answer
and I do and when the words come
without their customary caution
she makes them stay
the way she opens to me
like she has known me all
her life and I am so welcomed
from my longest journey
and there is so much to tell
and I do the way we seem
like conjoined twins who’ve
been split each missing
parts the other has kept for us
but most in that the contact
of eyes is so simple like a mirror
with a better view so that
somehow I can tell if this is
the brief dream it seems
when I wake she will be there
still looking into my eyes from
so near her breath is mine

another way of singing

I have been here only days
the lifespan of the tulips

though absent a hard freeze
their bulbs will bring them
back again next spring

of course we never know
what will intervene

I have sung quietly
in a voice that does not echo
from these soft walls

your orgasms like
peach blossoms falling

June 15-21, 1998: Sara Ulinskas and Dominic Le Fave

Week of June 15, 1998-June 21, 1998

Sara Ulinskas and Dominic Le Fave

Sara Ulinskas


Sara Ulinskas is a 21 year old self described poetic junkie She lives for listening to poetry and drinking lots and lots coffee at the same time She attends open mikes, slams and featured readings in Connecticut almost every week and once in a while she actually reads a poem or two at them One of her poems, “In the Morning” was recently published by Grandpa Joe is Crazy Productions in the anthology “Blue Plate Special”.

Sara also enjoys creating and experiencing art She travels to galleries and museums from Boston to New York every chance she gets Some of her artwork has been published in the anthology “Blowtorch Songs”, an anthology of Connecticut Poets from Ye Old Font Shoppe

When she’s not out and about enjoy poetry and art, Sara can be found in her home in Terryville, CT, typing out HTML codes until her fingers get numb for her website, Pisces Underwater Pisces Underwater is a virtual open mike page where all kinds of poets, writers and artists can share the talents.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Sara Ulinskas and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

In The Morning

When I tiptoe out of the shower
and wrap soft towel
around still moist skin,

I miss your touch, 

healing and warm
like the terry cloth
around damp arms and breasts
And I miss

your form,
the perfect fit to mine,
clinging to the parts of me
I now keep covered
with laundered whites
And oh how I remember you!

Your awakening caress,
your gentle lips pressed
against mine
But I dress and move on with the day Trade the memories for
number crunching
and carpal tunnel pains
Until the next daybreak
and the next daily ritual,
where once more I will be

Early morning missing you.

Dirty Mattress

We sit on a dirty mattress in your garage
One that never found its way to the curb
Our bodies are close, our shoulders touch
But our eyes wander and
Our minds are a million miles away Dusty pink flamingos perch besides the old bed
And a velvet Elvis watches over us
I wonder when that painting last hung inside the house
Was it back when your mother was a free lovin’ hippy?
Was it when Elvis was still king?
He still is King of some remote island in the South Pacific
Yeh, I read it in the Star
So like your gramma used to say
“It must be the truth if it’s in black and white”
I wouldn’t think it was true unless it was in red
Written in your blood and sealed with a kiss
And still I wonder, was that kiss golden?
The one you just gave me as we sit
Talking about your ex girlfriend
And what a bitch she is
For wanting her freedom Was it really what you wanted?
Or did you do it just to stop your lips
From spilling out more painful truth?
I shiver as you cover me with that
blanket of deception and
dream of a warmer climate
where the flamingos are always live
and well dusted
and I never have to worry about
trusting motives
trusting you
trusting me
never to cross that line again
from comforting friend to
convenient lover
like we did just then
like we did as we kissed
on that old

Dominic Le Fave


Dominic Le Fave is a religious thinker living deep in the woods of New England (Montague, MA) His poems have appeared in the Exquisite Corpse, Southwestern Review, Watershed, and other places.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Dominic Le Fave and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

Ode to a Banana Tree

After the deluge The damp globules
engorged with paleolithic menstrum
give up their latecapitalist lead
The swollen tubers sink deeper
into the progenerative ooze
Nine months earlier,
the phallic mother ingests nine snakes Their gray excrement replaces her spinal fluid Her daughter looks aside
Before that,
the coroner slices the patriarch’s gonads Maggots have replaced his semen:
the origin of death
Now a dog vomits beneath Rodents lick the rotten fruit and its slurry A long gestation has yielded the sweetest fruit Don’t eat it.

The Sludge

Black bile of late capitalism
putrefying in the innocence of material,
it calls out to me:

“This is what is left of the cargo from the ancestors “
“You must bear it to the market!”

It is not enough that the ancestors are corpses They must shit in our paths,
and populate our lives with mothers
O, woe to us if we cannot scrape
the patriarchal scum from our patriarchal shoes.

War Poem

Behold the rosefingered afternoon Once again the day tarries with the corpse Once again the armies march
Remove your entrails brothers and sisters Replace them with the heads of chickens,
Their beaks removed,
Their eyes glazed over,
Their spirit saturating their feathers
Refuse all food that the beakless chickens do not eat Do not recover the blood reddening their wattles
Wrap your money in black and bury it in the bananas Offer all your broad beans to the poor Say nothing to them of their origin Soon the rosefingered afternoon will extricate you.

June 8-14, 1998: Alana Mae Alcott, Cara Johnson and Matt Gilboy

Week of June 8, 1998-June 14, 1998

Alana Mae Alcott, Cara Johnson and Matt Gilboy

A special three person week featuring teen poets.

Alana Mae Alcott


.Biographies are usually misleading So I will stick to the facts and let you get on with your reading I am a young gal (16yrs) from Oceanside, California use your imagination to create the rest of me.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Alana Mae Alcott and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

From a Whisper to a Scream (a duet)

Between sighs and coffee Back aches and an insignificant ‘I love you’

Boredom lingers on my tongue
and he can sense ( can he sense it? )
it in every syllable, every vowel (comma)

Resisting the urge to verbalize thoughts
that i would say and could say,
but will not say
just to prove that i don’t need to scream
to vent my anger
Should say in spite of where the gesture might lead
Enhancing another angle
One point perspective becomes two
I measure the breaths for rhythm
measure the blinks
conscious stares
Compare actions to reactions
My actions more inventive His becoming more vicious
as i study every area of space
(the space in which i will draw up blue prints)
and begin to rebuild the wall

Whisper to a scream (Resting for sleep)


Trying hard to make the )my( words softer Only
words that exit my mouth don’t understand what soft is
‘Blunt all the edges, untangle all the knots’

Truth It’s not like it used to be WORDS
words sdrow

Cover up the scars Cover up my scars My truth with survival and
“o-yes, yes yes I am fine”
(Where is protection when you need him?)
Scars like the one 543 (stepNother) branded on my left breast
Deeper though -right hand over your heart- (ready? Begin)
Trying to make things right
-what’s wrong?-
Nothing Well It’s just (5 minutes) Nevermind
You know It’s like prison
when i can’t say what i want to say
i might hurt

The eyes
They reveal it before you can even question yourself
whether or not it’s going to become a mistake
It’s already given and then taken
Offense I am not playing a game though I have no rules I can’t run faster than you and I’m NOT going to try I won’t let myself win I may let you If your lucky.

Losing energy Losing circulation
Losing socks
Losing my marbles Losing you Losing myself
I am passive It’s your turn.


Mama’s been running with some truck drivers
delivering junk to 27 states
called in sick from her job as my mother
ever since i’ve been waiting for her to heal

Packed her suitcase and headed out for the desert
says she’ll be back soon
her hands hands holding mine
Crying trying not to feel

Mama’s been running with some truck drivers
delivering junk to 27 states
called in sick from her job as my mother
ever since i’ve been waiting Waiting.

Cara Johnson


Cara Johnson is 14 years old and from Friday Harbor, Washington She loves to write, mostly poetry and obscure stories So far she hasn’t done much to speak of, but someday she will be either famous or will die and then become discovered (so you may wish to print this page)

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Cara Johnson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Broken Cars dead
side of the road they sit
waiting for the AAA Gods to appear

It Hurts Not that the car no longer
problems can be solved
Why don’t they stop?

The people keep on
did they notice we need Help!
What happened to love your neighbor?

I’m your neighbor.


what was it she said?
cause the pain eats at your soul
oh, you better off dead

she’s working all night
hopes to drink the day away
on the streets you might

see her walking round
no love came towards this baby
she born in a pound

in a small res town
complains about the white man
they tore her life down

we say forget it
we conquered you long ago
this girl can’t forget

oh you better off dead
cause the pain eats at your soul
yes, that,s what she said

apples feed the hungry

Love not loving
Fear is fearing
Heater stealing heat
Boredom is bored

what’s the world coming to?

Worlds orbit
around bright suns
with flags flying but
apples feed the hungry

Matt Gilboy


a short bio??
hmm, im about six foot 145 pounds i have blue-grey eyes and “cinnaberry” tinted hair im only a senior in high school as of may ’98 but im going to graduate in a week im not going to talk aobut myself anymore, “Puisque je suis en train de tuer, autant continuer” hmmm, the webpage my friends and i do is pretty dub, but its fun .

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by Matt Gilboy and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

Mr Wendle’s Cleavage

John Wendle has boobs that he won’t share
Yet though we hardly know he has such a pair
Our minds are impaired
by thoughts of what might be there

Tenise Has a Butt

tenise has a butt
she has a very nice butt
it’s not too big and its not too small
and she doesn’t like
the antichrist at all

the antichrist stays
in the hallway she stays
talks to Nate for to assimilate
i have no more words
that i’d like to state

Danielle’s Got Legs

danielle’s got legs and they drive us mad
long and lean, beautifully air-streamed
posture wild, folded petite and mild
graceful Danielle, manner of a child

stickered and colored, highlited pretty
ambitious citra of parking lot
-> incomplete


(I love this word)
it vibrates
in flem
through my throat
it swims
maybe “k”
j’aime* “ackgh”

*= I like, but j’aime is only 1 syllable

Happy inn out of here

rollick and frollic, miss and dismay
dissect a pig, and recycle the hay


rob me, drive me, to extinction
ill live on the freeway
in a box

junk me, junkie, in my bedroom
my wallpaper is cor-

One of Emporer Shih Huang Ti’s Bodyguard

I have ice cubes in my pocket
my breast pocket is full of ice
i put it there quick on purpose
it keeps me cool from drafty hats
detail of the raised relief of my bed
( I ) won’t disappoint, satisfaction guaranteed
.we like to look at you
.we bok at you
.you smile
.we become warm

[unfortunately, the title is a drawing of four bottles that are joined at their bases]

in dreamy sleep a burlap flannely mantook a shower
in his shower he held a fore-fold bottle of hygiene
his porcelain doll timewise aligns against him as he cleans
his pensiv’d screenplayer hand poses and chalks his board
shaepoo- he pokes jestful at his rented thought of departure
conditioner- lady liberty this thought of such an adulterous sinbad draj
bottle 3- noch racht DAAHHH, noch, noch, NAUCHT!
bottle 2- resolute and hardcock, he gets out for him to wok
dried and walked he longs but to see cheeks to speak
he finds only her face when they spite in dis-hippie
their freckles but sad ruffy filters of gauss for their light skin
there’s only a note of rented union and he’s disappointed
left by a telefidget for washing to long
the beardy man then laughs at himself and his frajjubous player king
birds then kill them both

June 1-7, 1998: Ruth Daigon and Travis Talley

Week of June 1, 1998-June 7, 1998

Ruth Daigon and Travis Talley

Ruth Daigon


Ruth Daigon was editor of Poets On: for twenty years until it ceased publication She won “The Eve of St Agnes Award (Negative Capability) 1993 Her poems have been widely published: Shenandoah, Negative Capability, Poet & Critic, Kansas Quarterly, Alaska Quarterly,Atlanta Review, Poet Lore, Tikkun .Internet “E” zines include Ariga, Crania, Cross Connect, Zuzu’s Petals, Switched On Gutenberg also Poet-Of-The-Month on The University of Chile’s Pares Cum Paribus (an “E” chapbook in English and Spanish), her chapbook has recently appeared on Web Del Sol “Between One Future And The Next” Daigon’s latest poetry collection was published by Papier-Mache Press 1995 , “About A Year” (Small Poetry Press in 1996), Gale Research published her autobiography in their Contemporary Authors Autobiography Series, 1997 and she has just won the Ann Stanford Poetry Prize, 1997 (University of Southern California).

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Ruth Daigon and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

It’s That Time of Year

again he’s drowning
and the Red River
opens wide to take him in

mother rooted to the bank
her voice floating over water
we’re waiting supper for you

bread and milk lie
heavy on the table
where sisters stand
strange to one another

they turn their backs
and climb the stairs
to narrow rooms

it’s that time of year
nudging memories of his face
streaked with summer

small talk at evening meals
walks along the river
with its radiant shine

in this house where
no one survives love
darkness opens
like a white door

A Fresh Cadence

awake i run my hands
along the flesh I know
better than my own

your body turns toward me
curves against my back
matching perfectly

our mouths shape words
into a new language
stored in linen

or the slow years ahead
shadows stitch the night
we are in a different country

i let my fingernails grow
paint my eyelids blue and invent
hot nights in our fifth floor

village walk-up above italian
shouts and smells where a thin
thread of sun hovers in a life

of cool vegetable mornings
scorched afternoons and naked
nights dreaming of feathers

when our familiar bodies drift
toward each other we are back
in our private room with windows
where silence gathers in a grain of sound

The Sill of the World

In the distance, a tractor driven
by the brush-stroke of a man
weaves across the fields
until the sky prepares for evening
He leans against the barn,
smells the green,
sees birds rising in the sky
as if they had a reason

to feel at home there
and watches the traffic of the stars
over fields finally balanced
on the sill of the world
At dusk, fences grow invisible
Crickets count the seconds
and stone walls smelling of earthbreath,
bear witness against each other.


Winds blow in the same bare place
as though this northern reach
were all that’s left of earth
Sun skids on frozen
surfaces and fog
chokes off all sound
A snowflake resting in a child’s
palm makes of her life
a simple moment This

emptied of all memories
but one.

And the Beginning Follows the End

The seasons at odds within her, she
leans against the window kissing the cold glass
like an echo in search of a voice
Listening to her heart on its secret slope, she
watches a bird in bent-winged flight and feels
the round world holding still
The wind returns with a swipe of claw
a stench of fur and the sky slopes
blank as a snakes eye
Haloed by calm, she breathes quick breaths
as the five fires of meaning
flame all about her
She knows a few things: the world is round and
flat, and a bud nippling on a branch, perfect inside itself,
still needs sunlight to complete it
She knows what comes before the word,
the single grain, the irritant producing pearls,
and that a splash of water in the sea

stretches to the border of beyond She also knows though earth is smug
with toothy heights and endless horizons, 

its five continents, its shifts and surprises, 
one day it will suddenly turn inward
leaving an empty space, a taste of salt

Travis Talley


I am a student at the University of West Florida, in Pensacola, FL .my permanent residenceis in Mulberry, Florida (near Tampa) .I write .I drive my little Toyota .I attend anthropology and English classes every now and then .I eat badly .I have little money .at this particular moment I’m about to make myself a bowl of campell’s chicken noodle soup .I detest soups with vegetables .that is, unless it’s New England clam chowder I drool at the thought .and that’s about all there is to me .oh yeah, i’m also wasting valuable studying time on my website “i Sold My Soul to Confusion9

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Travis Talley and may not be distributed or reprinted in any manner whatsover without written permission from the author.

Wet and Dying Under a Singular Sun

she’s wet and dying under a singular sun
.with her hair strewn about her
.with tangle-like impressions and folk music,
.like being here before the tide of the moment
.in plural monstrosity chambered and sick
.and fierce all at once with mesmerizing
.silkiness .the way in which motion is E-motion
.a singular notion discounting disfunction
.and walled in and closed boxes
.like cardboard arteries only made in the U.S.A .forgive and forget, she told me alive in the sand
.with tweaking purity unscarred honesty
.and a tequila in the other hand offering
.silence .for now alive seems best with ice and shot glasses
.somehow never seems far away and waving
.expecting with boredom a silkiness undiscovered
.untouched and ferocious in white black and grey
.with color strewn about that singular sun,
.wet and dying.

May 25- 31, 1998: Brian Dodds and Amélie Frank

Week of May 25, 1998-May 31, 1998

Brian Dodds and Amélie Frank

Brian Dodds


I’m 52, from Northern Ireland, have lived and worked as a teacher in England for 26 years Most, though mot all, of my poetry centres on North Irish events, my memories of life there and observations on visits home But have a look yourself! .

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Brian Dodds and may not be distributed or reprinted in any manner whatver without written permission from the author


Spectres walking among us still
shriek banshee warnings but nobody listens;
skin and bone from the Hunger, blood from the Boyne,
torn flesh from Warrenpoint and Enniskillen

They cast invisible shadows on the landscape,
stain drumlin, lake and mountain, so at every turn
horror howls at us A parallel universe stalks us
with ghastly memories of what we have done to each other
The past is not behind but here now and before us,
history is bunk and can teach us nothing, for
arrogance swamps the seedbed of realisation We talk emptily of a future for our children

and gnaw like dogs on the bones the Planters tossed us, 
suck nourishment from dead scraps like Auschwitz skeletons;
but that dread nightmare was not of their making Media maggots fatten on our corpses, and

hope is like a crow’s feather on the grass
where we tear dark furrows from pitiful small fields and we conjure lies about warmth and hospitality,
make wings and missiles, whiskey and Irish linen,

as once we built a ship that surged through the dark,
sought out an iceberg, rammed it and was lost.

The Good Irish Shepherds

I worked in silence in the steam,
purifying surplices, God’s own labour Pretty as a picture I was, dragged
from our front gate, ma and da
praying for my soul, urging penitence
because the priest had called me dirty Under a lash of leather, driven

to confession, soiled by the sperm
of Untermenschen wed to chastity,
I wept Behind barbed wire and bars,
my baby torn from my bursting breasts,
I was beaten, shaved and shamed Outside, the boys were bombing
the Black North’s prods into freedom

and Americans were tracing Irish roots In the Congo the Army killed blacks
fed through terror of the sisters of mercy,
while in the Magdalene archipelago
we wept for years that were lost to us,
and wished that there were even more
we did not understand.


He was a mixed-race kid from England,
son, I suppose, of an errant Newry mother
who had dropped her guard in Manchester,
or some such English den of sin; the boys
gathered round him at O’Hara’s shop,
bombarded him with questions he could never hear Lourdes might bring the gift of a working tongue,
but for now he was like a little donkey
that lightly-pagan farmers langled by their beasts
to keep disease at bay; and I prepared for triumph Heart thumping, I drew one palm across the other
as if to wipe away a cuckoo spit,
touched index to index, tapped the life-line twice,
brushed the tip of the ring -finger
Following the clumsy movements, 
his eyes came suddenly alive, his hands
flooded smoothly and alarmingly
in a tide of fluency, knitting a pattern
as intricate as the crazy ribbons of weed
tangled by the silty waves on Cranfield sands My shifty eyes and redding cheeks spoke to him then,
and he turned away, his casual shrug
more eloquent and stinging than a sharp retort
He spoke no words in my tongue;
I knew just one in his.


Basket-of-eggs country, Poyntzpass
sleepy in a March unusually mild; the canal,
blighted from birth, links border killing-zone
and murder triangle; but this is a peaceful place,
no rebels or Orange bigots-a strange little town
though not unique, I know After twenty-nine years
the shadow has slithered over the green fields
where Poyntz’s men once routed the O’Neill’s
Ochón, ochón, ochón, agus ochón, Ó

Damien Trainor and Philip Allen, we know
your names now, killed on the day of the sheep sales Unemployed barmen may stir in their sleep,
but not because of you, or your families, your
brides-to-be, lost hopes The Sons of Ulster,
whose great-grandfathers marched to the Somme,
may stir in their sleep, but not because of you,
your neighbours, friends, the untouched few
Ochón, ochón, ochón, agus ochón, Ó

Politicians will comfort your mothers, touch
shoulders, clasp hands, mumble, even weep,
but your wasting will not melt their bitter resolves You are buried now in sight of each other,
just two more victims, the people of Ireland still
dying for gunmen whose songs will soon be written,
sung in a thousand smoky Railway Bars; and
this time no-one can say it isn’t one of ours
Ochón, ochón, ochón, agus ochón, Ó

Big Stephen

drove a jam-factory truck
powered by the pickers
on the Savilbeg plantation Sweet-and-sour raspberry bins
circled by wasps in summer
put the juice in his tank
A Chivers man A pay-packet
collector in a town of dole-takers,
untouched by sad sagas
of cotton firms that cut and ran
when the free rates ended But, just in case, he had a sideline
Pigs Fattened by buckets
of spud peelings and meal
simmered to a lumpy pulp
in a Burco boiler; rooting
soil in a small back garden,
sending a stink over the walls,

they sucked and grunted their way
to the hammer Three strong men
to hold the rope, heavy death-head
swung high, flat face downward,
rape-screech, thump and crunch
as the skull implodes Roll the shaft,

swing down the spike, sharp snap
as the bone breaks, mincemeat
eruption of brain, and slobbering mouth Big Stephen was an expert His cobbler’s knife with concaved edge
slit the jugular, and bright blood shot,

heart-muscle pumping uselessly,
voiding hot life on the concrete floor With boiling water from a big black pot
he’d scald the pink skin, cut-throat
razor scything off the bristles,
barbering the carcass clean and shiny
When the men had heaved the pig
like a stiffened lynch-mob victim
up to a rusted wall-ring, with one rip
he’d slice it ribs to arse, spilling
slippery guts to a wooden tub, 
and then blow up the bladder for his kids

to kick around among the scattering hens Thick blood drying on his fingers,
he’d pass around a Woodbine packet,
slip shillings to the sweating men,
hose down the yard as they enjoyed a smoke.

For Gabriel

Like John Lennon
I heard the news today, oh boy!
and this poem is just for you,
my grandson, latest male in the line,

the last girl born in 1947 And
suddenly, I ratchet up a generation,
bus-pass material at the age of fifty-two Gabriel William George-strong

man of God, born 1998 in Bristol Images of journeys on the M5,
birthday cards and gifts, like train-sets
and nursery-rhymes, interfering

in ways I swore I’d never do Out
came the Black Bush to wet your head,
Word 97 to record for all the world
a new granda’s emotional high
And I’d wondered how I’d feel
knowing there was now yet someone else
to think of me as old; but holding you,
warm, fragile and so small,
a new fierceness came into me
that you should grow up strong in light,
that you should know much love
in a dark world; and suddenly, you smiled

Amélie Frank


Amélie Frank lives and writes in Los Angeles where she is publisher (with Matthew Niblock) of the Sacred Beverage Press She is a third generation typesetter and host of the twice monthly reading series at the Hot House Café in North Hollywood, California Her work has appeared in Caffeine, Dance of the Iguana and other places She claims to have nearly died giving birth to Rick Lupert of the Poetry Super Highway Rick’s flesh-mother has no comment on Amélie’s claim.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Amélie Frank and may not be distributed or reprinted in any manner whatsover without written permission from the author.

The Auk is Gone for Good

“He could not, Himself
make a second self
To be His Mate, as well
have made Himself:
He would not make what
he mislikes or slights,
An eyesore to Him, or not
worth his Pains “

–Robert Browning, Caliban Upon Setebos

A woman at work, 4-1/2 feet tall,
hairpin spine,
and a throw pillow for shoulders
Has anyone loved her? Ever?

Mother hunkers in the mud garden
trowel angled like a first tool, 
aggrieved with God
because she thinks she is someone’s maid Has Father loved her? Ever?

That is my bit of spine
in that bottle
It is the Missing Link’s wedding gift “Will ensure fertility (ha-ha) “
Tell me, do you think
I could have walked upright
if that little bone had
been in its proper place?
Would I have moved my opposable thumbs?
Invented the wheel?
Could I have aspired to beauty?
Successfully mated?
Have I a place in the fossil record?

This lizard moves through the world funny Easy for the cat to draw first blood The cat is not evil It is just in its nature
to snick a claw across
the lizard’s spine
That man is not evil It is just in his nature
to trap my bumbling form
in tar and stone
to exhibit by calcified heart
like an ugly bug
or a curiously paned leaf
or a bone in a bottle
Keepsake Conversation piece A slice of hip The butt of a joke I endeavor to camouflage my strangeness
before that man makes like Ted Hughes
and burns the memory
–that evidence–
out of my flesh
You see this, this ant in amber?
Ant aspires to glitter in the sun Beauty is an accident And my multitude of strangenesses
has no place in the George C Page Museum

May 18-24, 1998: Brigid Skylark Delaney and Fred William Atchinson

Week of May 18, 1998-May 24, 1998

Brigid Skylark Delaney and Fred William Atchinson

Brigid Skylark Delaney


Brigid Skylark Delaney, aka WiredHeart, is the publisher of e-zine, Wired Art from Wired Hearts She has been published in about 30 magazines including Rage, A Collection of Souls, Apollo’s Lute, Who’s Who in Short Short Stories, etc Brigid is a diminutive woman of enormously passionate convictions who has been known to intimidate those in authority Even she isn’t sure how she manages that She doesn’t like to talk about herself but will admit to the fact that she lives in Southeast Florida, is owned by a small white dog named Molly Malone and prefers dogs, wolves, cats, birds and the ocean-in that order-to most people.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Brigid Skylark Delaney and may not be distributed or reprinted in any manner whatver without written permission from the author

So I Tell Her

it’s not really the treatment that frightens me
I mean I’ve had it before
no, it’s the sterility
I mean from one doctor to another
and by the time you reach the last
you don’t even know his name or her name
or if the person coming at you
is a doctor or nurse
friend or foe
then you stumble out
feeling all ravished
and inflamed and wanting
to clutch your secret places
to make sure they’re still there
but you have to walk straight
straight over to and into your car,
drive home and ignore
the bumper huggers and ranting raves
and you get there and stumble in
and there’s no one to tell cause you’re all alone
so you look at the phone
and the phone looks back
and you’d call if you could
but why bother them, they always get so upset
daughter, mother, lover, friend;
you end up comforting them anyway
so there’s no one really to tell
who wouldn’t hurt just as much as you do
or even more
and that, of course, is why here I am
hanging over the desk
just chatting up my coworker
guess you know what I mean Jean
yes, yes, I can see,
I can tell from your softening expression that you do

and its just about that time
that exact time
when I’ve uttered those words
that she looks straight up from her computer
settles her glasses cautiously on her face and says
“what is it
you’re just sitting there staring at me
is something the matter”

and shit I have to go and realize I forgot to open my mouth
when I was telling her all of that.


to the soul
lying lengthwise
across the sand,
just past the rocks
edging shore

left embraceless
at the microsecond
of death;

left as the sandals,
as the clothing,
strewn for remembrance,
to dig crablike
into those left behind
this garden of self hate,
that they might
for one instant
own their hate too.

Chemo Terrify

The apple tree bloomed
in lemon drops What did it know?
Smelling sweet,
was as much
a success,
as what it might ever grow
She walked through
rubbing palms on leaves of blue,
wondering why, here,
even trees
had lost the thought
of what to do

glory colors burst through
in butterfly wings,
strange imaginings,
unsolved clues
no warning,
its stinger
biting through;

eyes large, mouth round
she pulled her ashes out
to drop them,
to trembling

ancient heartache,
seeking balm

rock to rock
water crossed,
steps on paper feet
careful movement
whispered cries,
on and over
to the other side;
softly settling
balance forward
self denied, 
to find at last
no difference there
and she hung her head
and cried.


Young old fat woman
sucking up to take what they said was mine
after I stood in line
for seven thousand days
learning every last rope
there was to learn
shooting crap out
faster than they

antiCIPating wishes

“duly noted” they would say
then they’d scurry into corners
darkly held and hug

I’d just shrug
“better them
than me”
I’d say,
then take the TIME that I had left
to sit in front of mirrors,
some damn inner spirit
all the freaking gurus
said was all I needed
during this time
so I could overcome anything
just as long as I knew the PROPER words
and bought the RIGHT book
and saw the fucking right videos

oh yeah, huhhuh

when the pronouncement came
from some damn doctor
who wouldn’t know his butt from a vacuum cleaner
oh yeah
he surely thought he knew what’s best for me
I let all those plastic tubes carry me over
the edge and back again
and I struggled
over every hill and
every frigging dale to stand upright
and get back where
I had to be

then the young old fat woman
who sucked a hell of a lot
better than me
shoved me with one wide hip
so far aside
it would take me years to
get back where I started
and I just began to scream
scream to the fat bitch
good and loud
just in case she had also lost her sense of hearing
never mind her sense of ethics
that was one thing she lost ages ago
like did they think I was going to stand there
and have them punch my face out
bad enough I had lost my body
or parts thereof
young old fat woman
she sure as hell’s
gonna remember me.

Synaptic Revelations

My poems arise in consternation
from the thoughts I’ve known It is not, the least,
a revelation that
my past provokes me so
With mind protected by the foolish,
hanging cobwebs
clouding air,
I keep my poems
provoking warnings,
buried silently with care.

Wired Heart

Follow up
and through
the thin layer
of this separate soul,

wander after;

inch your thoughts
through my eyes
where lost,
deserting lovers
sneak their image,
and pause to hide
I stay here
beyond the touch
of stone templed
empty faces;
moonlight, glitter,
harsh and sweet with
haunted places

to thread my neat
uncluttered way
along the silent, 
still born glass
of a heart
kept too wired
and held in bounds
to say desire, 
to come unwound.

Thoughts of a poet friend who went in search of “wizards, princesses and magic men”

Suicidal Fame

Soft uttered moments
hang here in time You bleed on our pillows
with sibilant rhyme

.As we sweat our relief
.for your fine feathered tones,
.we are shamed to indifference
.for what we won’t know

To not see you standing
tethered to stone
pale and dying
behind all your tomes

.We rise to applaud,
.while the mind that we chase
.has lost its own thought
.has lost his own way

It is we who must ponder
why we’ve not seen the glimpse
of the man driven inward
by our vision of him.

Peering Through Zoo Bars

I will be unavailable to the viewing public
for the rest of the year
those holding
tickets will be reimbursed

friends first
acquaintances too
strangers last

sorry that my face took on this
different look,
the view is the same
but the room has changed

someone hired an inept decorator
an unseasoned medical personnel
performing after all night wait
and here I am paying for their
excused refusals
I can honestly tell you
finefeathered friends and
but not to be ignored enemies
that I am sorry
sincerely sorry that you,ve lost
your season tickets
to my deadly winter games

please remember
trading places
is always an option.

Fred William Atchinson


Native to Southern California, I was born to Lorraine John & Betty Louise of Costa Mesa on May 18, 1951 The fourth of four children, my early life was rather leave it to beaver Dad worked for Ma Bell his entire adult life without missing a single day of work, for which he was given an award before he retired Mom was a bookkeeper when she wasn’t trying to maintain peace between the four of us hooligans All-in-all, I had what most would consider an idyllic childhood Over the years it has become increasingly clear to me that I have been blessed in many ways: a wonderful family (both nuclear and extended), abundant opportunities (both personal and professional), relatively good health, and an attentive angel looking over my shoulder And wouldn’t you know it-just when I thought that everything was as it should be and life couldn’t get any better-I find myself further blessed by the arrival of Charlie Strong, considerate, playful and handsome, you won’t find a more good-hearted soul strolling the surface of this planet (except maybe Mother Theresa, but Charlie’s certainly a close second).

It has never been my motivation to harm a living soul (hell, I even step over ant-trails when I see them), so I sincerely hope that my work touches your life in a positive way If not, then accept my apology for any discomfort these wanderings have brought you, and move along your way in peace If, on the other hand, you find some of these notions resonating a particular pitch in your spirit, then my effort to bring this body of work to your attention has been justly rewarded.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Fred William Atchinson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any manner whatsover without written permission from the author.


Children need to see stars
If not for guidance
then wonder

We would not know
that anything lay beyond
the violence and propaganda
of corporate news
Or see through the tawdry facades
constructed by every age
in the name of progress

This is not to claim
that daylight has no place
in a discourse on reality
But to hold as true
only that which can be seen
by the light of day
is to miss
the profound nature of paradox
For what is our sun but a star
Among an infinitude of others
No two the same
and yet
intimately connected

Thus, it is essential
that humans see stars
Only then can we possibly ponder rightly
our relation to creation
Or attempt to comprehend fully
what it means

Morning Coffee

Through clouded mind
pass vague sensations
Only partially registering reality
or extremities
Until you brew that sacred potion
The cauldron chamber
emanating aromatic opiates

Inhaling essence
I am your willing prisoner
Drink deeply
Quench this elemental thirst
Awakening every cell of perception
Anchoring consciousness to form

Inter-dimensional elixir
You weave your spell
through every vein and sinew
I am once again mortal
Inhabiting place and time
No longer vacuous and intangible

Thank you,
I will have another

Tasting Melon

I tasted melon
for the first time today
The dense flesh
oozed its sweet juices
with only the slightest pressure
from my tongue

Luscious and cool
I let it pool
in the back of my throat
Before releasing the refreshing flood
through esophageal gates
toward its eventual destination
where we will become as one

Please don’t misunderstand
I have consumed many-in my day
But this was the very first
I ever tasted

May 11-17, 1998: Matthew Niblock and Michelle Ben Hur

Week of May 11, 1998-May 17, 1998

Matthew Niblock and Michelle Ben Hur

Matthew Niblock


Matthew Niblock is the publisher and editor (with Amelie Frank) of The Sacred Beverage Press [Publishers of Blue Satellite Magazine and many fine books ] Also, he cooks and sings [Sings in the band Clear; cooks, presumably at his home .we’ve heard tales of gumbo which would kill voodoo wizards ]

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Matthew Niblock and may not be distributed or reprinted in any manner whatver without written permission from the author

I get notes on my performance from Stanislavsky

eyes should be opened except when grinding the teeth
use your hands more but control the fingers
dancing before the open door is not advised

be sure the door is open before dancing
ask yourself: why am I here and not there?
shaving your head is good

head should be shaved while dancing in the doorway
that thing you did with your lip: liked it
don’t telegraph the high notes

falsetto means false voice
use your chest

I do not recommend fucking the mike stand
unless this can be accomplished in such a way
as to indicate regret

if you must open the door
go through it
don’t just stand there

never snap your fingers unless you have to
never encourage the drummer unless he is sad
never choose the third when you could just as easily

choose the fifth

do not let the open door dissuade you from dancing
you are not a bird: do not chirp
use your chest

if you want us to believe the tea in your cup is hot
you must believe it yourself

if you want us to come through the door
open it


(thumbscrews, naaah,not this early in the game
flashlights shined into eyes, rubber hoses, not yet)

They are coming at me with polygraph
and Glenfiddich, smoothing out my grooves
with ice and highball glasses, getting
at the truth
Truth is relative, I insist, and the machine hums
confirmation Truth is an air traffic controller
Let me ask you something, he says to me, voice
all quivery and sly Do you love me? Do I inhabit
your every waking thought?

Will you answer my questions, put my doubt to rest?

Machine goes uh-huh ;attaboy you tell ’em Machine jitterbugs The technician can hardly suppress a smile We’ve been here before,
haven’t we? He winks, a watery grin Been down this road,
my machine and I
You know, I’d rather the torture than this slow acquiescence
Sure you would, my boy, sure you would You’d rather my mouth at your
crotch than in your ear You’d rather be reading a good book
Machine burbles, gulps There are wires extending the length of my arms,
connections made at the elbow There are pricks of electric blue current
snaking into my balls It’s not me! I explain This is delirium tremen,  wet
dream, sweathouse The tech giggles The cop giggles The window disguised
as a mirror is hysterical with disbelief

You can’t pass this off as hallucination, son You have got to come clean with
us We can tell when you’re lying.Every stutter and sidestep, every tremor We are a seismograph
Fine, then Read this I know no truth but what shudders in my blood No truth but the ninth floor window, or the coke I’ve been scraping off this
jewel case If you think I’m lying to you, try some exploratory surgery Cut
the sinuses right out of my head Try singing me some song I wrote (bet you
don’t know the words) Try soothing me with camphor or catnip or choral
music Man, my heart is breaking my ribs My heart is an elephant I haven’t slept in a hundred days, and you expect explanation from the spikes
in your machine? Fuck you I won’t collaborate I won’t answer You wanna
play good cop, bad cop? I’ll play
I’ll play.


my spine ends at the cuckoo clock
that ticks while I spasm
tricked out and caudal
sometimes my adverbs are collateral

you might think it trite for me
to describe my tailbone like this
in my opinion
it’s all geography under the bridge
anatomy and semantics

pinch a nerve and make it cry

recently I have been dieting
and thirty pounds have evaporated
from my frame
my gut is almost gone
and my butt fits more easily into her two hands
and most of my lower back pain
has taken a hike

I get the sciatica
(handed down from mom
along with uneven legs
and decent pitch)

when this happens
I can trace the
thin line of pain
from my sacrum to my ankle
and I ask miiko to pull my foot
so that my hip comes undone

in bed she says oh you’re so skinny!
and god you looked so good on stage last night!
and would you like to fuck?
and your butt is so cute!

and I wonder if I have grown a tail
like miranda in geek love
(so what if I have?)

so what if the bones at the base of vertebrae
barely keep my pelvis in place?

so what if I can’t even pronounce coccyx correctly
and am likely to free associate myself into a corner
thinking of cock & cockswain & cuckoo clocks?

(“coccyx” is from the greek, “kokkyx,” the cuckoo,
as the small triangular bone bears resemblance to
the bill of that bird) (or the bill of that clock)

(whichever comes first)

geography & semantics, yes
anatomy, yes

tailbone, yes

and, yes, I say to miiko
I would like to fuck
lay my thin body over yours

Michelle Ben-Hur


Michelle Ben-Hur is a staff attorney with Division Three of the Fourth District Court of Appeal in Santa Ana, California She also publishes and co- edits (with E.C Archibeque) 51%, a literary journal exploring all facets of being a woman, including the male perspective She is currently a poetry student in Laurel Ann Bogen’s private master class She hopes someday to write something even she believes is good Her therapist thinks it’s only a matter of time — for the belief part at least Her three tomcats wish she would just stay home more often.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Michelle Ben-Hur and may not be distributed or reprinted in any manner whatsover without written permission from the author.

The Difference
(appears in Spillway, Number 7)

I did not see the swastika
on the bathroom wall I did not
have to In December, fifth grade
teacher asks the token Jew
to tell about Chanukah I oblige,
eagerly sharing my fascination
with the Festival of Lights I do not know that
someone listens too intently He rides his bike next to me
after school, forcing me
to turn down a street
I do not need, peddling me
past his home Old man sits
on the porch, Third Reich flag
emblazoned behind him, twin lightning bolts
decorating his sleeve I had seen
this image before Grandmother’s history books
passed to me as she whispered,
“Never forget, never forget, never forget I was only five, but I absorbed
the bones of my ancestors, thousands
upon thousands tangled anonymously
in unmarked ditches Standing self-righteously
nearby, Goebbels or Waldheim or Goering
or any other true believer
wearing Der Führer’s badge My schoolmate
followed me home, kicking
my front tire from under me,
pummeling my body
with the toes of his boots, sneering,
“Kike, Jesus killer, Hebe Only fifth grade, and his biceps
already sported
the symbol I never saw
on the bathroom wall
and did not have to.

Judas (appears in Blue Satellite, Vol IV, No One)

Jesus, a good Jew –
alone, forty days
and nights without provision,


he could,
if he wanted,
change sand to grain,
dead seas to gardens of

gethsemane When the
rabbi sleeps he dreams
the covenant, kneels, kisses
the Torah At the mental
hospital he eats pills,
feels his body fill up with
flesh of Christ He is not
allowed the tallis, the skullcap,
the sacramental wine
The Orange County Superior Court
has decided Kiss, kiss
Blessed are the poor in spirit
for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven
Blessed are the pure of heart
His torso, still, thin
as a cracker, baked
on a rock, without yeast.

The Biopsy (appears in Freedom Isn’t Free #5)

After years of untender flesh,
it came to this: A scalpel
bites off a sample of my sex
.Will I lose my sensitivity, doc?
.Will this blade remove my desire
.along with a sliver of discolored skin?

I bleed like a virgin long after
my virginity was stolen at fist-point; long after
my anger stopped dining on any swollen head
that appeared on a platter before it; long after
my heart was devoured for the second time
And then doc sews me up
In Africa, they still take rude blades and
carve away a budding woman’s clitoris
just because it exists Here, I get a warning of cancer to teach me
that this is for my own good
.Will I lose my ability to feel, doc?
.Will this shut me down completely?
They say amputees try
to scratch itchy feet for years
after the procedure
They give me a menstrual pad They give me Tylenol Even the counselor who held my sobbing hand
cannot look me in the eye as I make
the follow-up appointment-the one
where doc will see if I’ve healed okay
.She knows .She knows.

A Pessimist’s Dictionary

It starts with mother’s contractions:
the push, push, push
and then denial of the tit –
red, cracked from the insistent pull
of needy lips And you become
not the football hero,
not the National Merit Scholar,

not the boy
Your ribs tighten
until there is not enough breath
to form your own sentences You parrot
your brother, learn to build rockets,
play sports, run computers You cut off
your mane of unruly curls, those tresses
that catch in the wind, the trees,

the hands of men You give
each of these lovers a new name:
This is Notthepainter; I’d like you to meet
Notthelawyer; or, quite simply,
Notjohn, Notdavid In the mirror,

you refuse your breasts, your hips;
you bend over the toilet and vomit
until your skin is thin and chalky
and your hair falls
in clumps You stand
before your image
and repeat your mantra:

I am not thirsty; I am not hungry.

It’s The Old Cliché

Boy meets girl; boy gets girl; girl gets bored She fakes
interest in his stories, refuses to answer
her telephone, forces laughter So, boy and girl split up
and boy immediately finds new girl Old girl loses
weight, goes out with other old girl friends, bitches
about how predictable men are Boy tries to hide
new girl Everybody knows though Old girl cares —
but not really She changes
her hair color and buys a new wardrobe to fit
her single-again, size-two frame She flirts a lot
with men who don’t stand a chance
of making it into her bed
let alone her heart She plays Patsy Cline,
walks alone at night, finds Hollywood
tedious but distracting Boy’s shoulders
unconsciously slump; boy’s teeth ache
from smiling too hard Boy fucks; girl buries
herself in work, talks on the telephone,
fills her calendar with social events While driving
to them, she forgets where she’s going, ends
up at parties with people she doesn’t want
to know Boy believes he has fallen
in love again Boy proposes marriage Girl gets another cat.

Inevitability (appears in FTS #2)

On prom night in 1982, I wore
mascara for the first time
in two years We rode
Dom Perignon to the Hudson
and I might have smiled
The river flowed belly-up It swallowed my woman’s shoes
and a wrist of yellow roses
All my favorite flowers
were yellow Pressed fragile
into Encyclopoedia Brittanica
to waft down when opened later like
ashes from an urn

May 4-10, 1998: BM Bradley and D. Taylor Singletary

Week of May 4-10, 1998

BM Bradley and D Taylor Singletary

BM Bradley


BM Bradley is living, working and writing in the LA area.  Creator of wanton.com Brain’s interest include, but are not limited to sex, photography and greasy chili-cheese burgers.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by BM Bradley and may not be distributed or reprinted in any manner whatver without written permission from the author.

three hot tears

jaw clenching and tightens
like a spring wound
too tight
electricity digs and burns
at the teeth
working up
to tear and scrape at the eye
a twitch and flicker
heat and fire
vision blurred
tightness in the throat
and chest
breath uneasy, panicked
trying to
force cool sweet air
upon raising emotions
in deep slow breaths
finally, slow down, relax
except for three
hot tears
creeping down
tightened cheeks, rock hard jaw
locked teeth
well David Patric
you’ve left me
here alone
thirty years of friendship ends
and all I’ve got to give
three lousy tears
on a drive to Palmdale
to pick up my child

Dancer (check out an online broadside of this piece here )

she told me
all the
she told me what the
other girls do
some cut the string off short
some stuff it up ‘inside’
that’s what she did-
stuff it up ‘inside’
once she had to have
her ‘boyfriend’
find ‘it’ with a flashlight
I asked her what she
thought of the other girls-
“well you know you try not
to look but, well some look
pretty good some don’t”
“mine hangs down, I don’t like it
a real man in a boat “
she went to Hawaii to
‘see’ some guy


in a tiny motel on
Wilcox, surrounded by all of her
clothes, dripping wet
hangin’ everywhere
because she’s a ‘clean freak’
no pictures on the wall
only holes from nails and screws
left behind when
it was time to move on
one bed, two chairs, one desk
one vacuum (red devil)
mostly walking around listening
to a crack pipe
“Are you nervous? I’ll tweak if you
get nervous I’m just listening do you like Madonna?
I’m almost ready you’ll never
guess how old I am
both my parents are Bikers not Angeles or Jokers or anything
but you know Bikers
holding a stuffed rabbit
against tiny firm breast with
dark brown nipples
only setting it down to
‘hit’ the pipe
and listen


she was more of a
child than a woman
full, ripe and fragrant
just the same
she stood in the half dark
on her clothes
slowly, almost cautiously
it would seem to me –
looking at
the floor
with her back to the corner
after she left
I sat in the
same damn corner and
cried for no reason
at all


in the poring rain
I couldn’t tell
she told me she was
from the Philippines
when she got out of
my car
I could see that she had the
ass and legs of a man
“I got it done in
South Carolina, 
6 years ago
in the Philippines they
put a tube in in Germany
they do it the best,
but I couldn’t
afford that
I’m just like a woman”

oh baby

she was a Japanese girl
from Australia
married to a
for her green card
she was so fine
the best thing about her
she didn’t say
“toaster biscuits”
“hey mate”
“down under”


“I’ve seen all your stuff-I’m better than that”
like a hot knife stuck in
my fucking heart
I ate two pounds of
hearsay’s kisses
drove around for two hours
looking at cheap no good
then came home and sat
on the couch
with a frozen brain
I couldn’t take it
apart and put it back in the
no amount of chocolate or
whores could do that
I’ll just have to live with it.


in the summer I like to open the door
and stand in the cool air
I like to look at all the stuff
I buy for my daughter
stuff that I used to eat, but can’t anymore
stuff that my old body doesn’t burn anymore
stuff that can make a child run and play
stuff that can get you up a tree
or flying through the wind on a bicycle
stuff that clogs my heart and sits on my ass and belly
and makes my back hurt
stuff that has me climbing enough steps at the gym
to stand on Mt.Fucking Everest
in the freezer I keep glasses
ice cold frozen glasses for beer, hidden in there with the lima beans
and one Healthy Choice Chicken Picante’ dinner
I can’t drink beer anymore
but damn!
nothing like ice cold Crystal Lite
in a cold glass
but my most favorite part of my trusty fridge
is the door
that’s were all the cards and pictures go
the ones my little girl makes in school
brief moments of time captured by magnets
pieces of a bubbling, laughing childhood
“I love my dad!” and “My dad is special because I love him and he loves me”
and “Happy birthday daddy, I love you”
when I come home late at night
and turn on the light in the kitchen
I remember that someone loves me
all the heart beats cling to the door at eye level
three feet off the floor, from her last visit

D Taylor Singletary


Indeed, this is me and a softer me — a d Taylor Singletary me, hardened to a soft point lately by the insights of Mr Morrissey — the one true love of my life, and as I slip from my soapy hands into my bathroom here in Vista, CA I wish this all well .

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by D Taylor Singletary and may not be distributed or reprinted in any manner whatsover without written permission from the author.

Backbared Angels

She sits alone upon a curb blanketed by her own shadow lying there,
motionless like a demons tail
I ask her “Do you drive?”
She says “I do not drive “
She stands up, brushes off the dirt and an ant from her royal dress
The ant falls to the ground, in meeting of another, says “Did I fall far?”
The other ant responds “Yes, you fell far “
Her hair shines pink in the neon light of the OPEN sign, revealing that indeed it is open
I ask her “Should we go inside?”
She says “No, we should not go inside “
Her hands fall to her side, and continue falling until they have just about fallen off
My eyes drag, following their descent, I mutter “Fallen angels cry like that dont they?”
She stutters, and grabs my eye, “I I dont know how fallen angels cry “
I cant seem to pay enough attention with your breath so long like that,
please wont you stop
So I ask her “Please wont you stop?”
She says “Stop what?”
She sits alone upon a curb again and the blanket has seemed to have lifted
as the sun has rose from ashes
She sits and finally asks me “What do you want?”
I smile like only a virgin could smile “A smile is what I want “
And so she smiles, as I smile and fall backward against the paved road at my rear
She doesnt bother to get up “And you called that a smile?”
I cant respond .

“Seems like the cessation now “

To Exist
Is a privilege and theres only so much Time You must give in order to
receive This:
To Cease to Exist
The grand privilege that longings seems to call for Time Well, it passes
slowly and you’ll forget about it and This Opportunity
Is over in a few minutes and who will you ask WHO Will you ask when it all
comes down to boil This
The so-called temple that is just a piece of slank WHO Will not follow any
direction that I flow towards This
Trapped inside without the Time It needs to accomplish what must be done for This
To Exist
And quite consequently and anticipated in Time
And I’ll await with my candle lit by ears This:
To Cease to Exist
Is divine and as I said Ill wait and there I go repeating myself WHO Stop
asking! I dont know the whispers strike again and I attempt to uncover WHO
Is making all this noise and oops it seems to be me
To exist is to cease to exist In opportunities for the body to temple to the mind Time [asks] WHO [s] This: [?]
Seems like the cessation now

April 27-May 3, 1998: Christopher Stolle and Denise Noe

Week of April 27, 1998-May 3, 1998

Christopher Stolle and Denise Noe

Christopher Stolle

230 S.W 4th St Richmond, IN 47374


Christopher Stolle is completing his final days of college before receiving his Bachelor of Arts in Journalism with a concentration in Education from Indiana University He has published his work in many fine magazines, including: Domino, The Ebbing Tide, Interbang, Mind Purge, Recursive Angel, Talus and Scree and Wicked, among others Instead of venturing into the real world, he’s planning on becoming a freelance writer, just to see if he has what it takes Also, he has just published his first chapbook-it’s one long poem Contact him if you’d like a copy.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by Christopher Stolle and may not be distributed or reprinted in any manner whatver without written permission from the author.

Alphapoetic Reality

solemn language curls up at my feet:
its legs, arms and torso fold into curves-
you cannot make love to feelings
captured within consonants and vowels
L, O, V and E tried to hold me to their faces:
they are deaf and blind to my sounds and expressions-
this silence allows me to hear one strong heartbeat,
while another sound-not my own-vibrates my skin
i awaken in the middle of the night to find pen and paper:
need to create phrases that will smile at my anguish-
with friends like words, despite their human restraints,
it doesn’t make sense to ask for anything as perceptive.

L.O.V.E (Love Obviously Vacates Ecstasy)

Your body succumbs to my poetry:

Let it caress your naive face;
to shine your nose with verbs,
to cleanse your eyes with nouns
and to massage your lips with adjectives
Let it hold your hands with punctuation;
to lick your fingers with parentheses,
to file your nails with backslashes
and to find fortune in your palms with dashes
Let it dance with your legs;
to towel-dry with an informal love song,
to apply perfume with an eclectic country tune
and to paint your toenails with an unknown ballad
Let it tickle your erogenous trenches with emotions;
to taste your sensitivity with bravery,
to cuddle your ribs’ candy with innocence
and to linger in your hormones with tears
But in the morning, when the poet leaves,
you will find words clogging your shower drains.

Moist Darkness

shared from generation one to infinity,
an ordinary smile shackled to his lips
.and footsteps in his eyes
.more earth to unearth
.more dirt to clean
.with his hope for soapy dreams

virgin color raped from his face
leaving dignity under his fingernails
.and shame in his voice
.more direction to direct
.more heels to wound
.with his penchant for naive trails

timid fascination with emoting female onlookers
as he photographs bleeding diamonds for magazines
.and loneliness in his heart
.more lies to lay down with
.more disappointment to savor
.with his taste for shadow kisses

Lifeline Fragments

i’m fortunate i’ve been
close to death another
turn, another choice no god one too
many paths leaving
hope in a dead voice
faith in eyes listening
to the forces this
passion, that disgrace no luck drowning the
word-talent sticking
melodrama on my face
i’m rewound nothing
to play me technology
for help, technology for hate no tears everyone
wants a number it’s all
merely society’s bait
childhood in hands pretending
to see friends her
half-smile, his low talk no crossroads humming tunes
in my feet it’s only
fear that warms our walk
i’m uncertain i’m thinking
there’s an answer systematic
dream, fool-proof goal no enemies prosperity
resides in your motion find
one more piece to become whole.

Temporary Plot

it’s motionless this passing
phase sleeps decision want
to circumsize my integrity peeling back love leaving
emotions on the floor one
more kiss for credibility
childhood forces black
days and dead nights everyone
sees them pointing a finger wake up nothing breaks
like a dream and no one
knows you when you linger
borrowing idols turning to
sounds for answers and there’s
only one more sacrifice to try thoughts harvest hate sanity
bleeds into the Holy Grail but i
am not prepared to fight and die.

Denise Noe


Denise Noe lives in Atlanta, GA and has been published in “The Humanist,” “Webdreamers,” “Wicked,” “The Pink Chameleon,” and many other places An essay by her is featured in “Here and Now: Current Readings for Writers “

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by Denise Noe and may not be distributed or reprinted in any manner whatsover without written permission from the author.

A Cycle Discontinued

Mom said, “I guess that’s
the way I told you
because that’s the way
my Mother always told me “

Dad said, “Don’t you want
to continue yourself?”

I lay on a hospital cot, in pain,
24 years old and a virgin,
happy despite the pain,
knowing that I would not
be anyone’s Mom
telling a daughter
what my Mother told me My tubal ligation meant
that a cycle of teaching
hatred and self-rejection
had been


a ghost’s


sewn shut
by gold


was conceived
in your eyes,
by your love,
by your desires Baby, held close,

Then: you made
few demands
Baby was
by your
lack of love,
starved on
your indifference,
was murdered
and buried
by your divorce.

The Vampire Awakens

The vampire awakens
and pushes back the
coffin’s lid, 
not thinking
about the unfairness
of his–or her–
accursed destiny,
or the morality
of harming
innocent living mortals,
no, not even sadistically
reveling in the
to be inflicted
For the vampire’s thirst
is so great, 
it blocks out

Watching “Compulsion” Again

I’ve seen Compulsion before,
a lot before,
but I watch it again–
I’ll always watch it again Bradford Dillman is my type
of man, slender and compact,
and so is Dean Stockwell (Or at least they were
when they made
Compulsion but that
was a long time ago )
Because it was made back then
the men don’t kiss and
don’t say
actually say
“come out” and say
what everyone knows:
that the guys they play are gay;
but they suggest and suggest
and suggest
and suggest
and I’ve got to admit
the thought of those two
titillates me So I watch the actors
who play Steiner and Strauss,
(who everyone knows
are really the murderers
Leopold and Loeb)
but I turn the channel
when it gets to the trial
because this part
is mostly Orson Welles
and he’s fat.

Redeeming Social Value

saw an old flick
.quite a clinker
redeeming social value
’cause Raquel Welch
.shows a lotta cleavage
& Michael York
.loses his shirt

The Last Communist Party

At the last Communist Party,
feigning they aren’t blue, 
the dedicated Marxists say
between cheese and wine
“it’ll work out fine ”
Though they just withdrew
their support of the USSR;
after all, it is no more It looks like this capitalist phase
will last a little longer
than they had expected
Exploitive forces have their ways;
they mustered a last great hoorah
before the inevitable
dictatorship of the proletariat So at the last Communist Party
the Marxist faithful earnestly debate
where to place their loyalty–
Cuba? Albania? North Korea?
all three countries are so great Their faith is so stubbornly strong
that they refuse to even know, 
as they gather their coats to go, 
that they have attended
the last Communist Party.

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