May 26–June 1, 2008: Saadia Ali Aschemann and Larissa Shmailo

week of May 26-June 1, 2008

Saadia Ali Aschemann and Larissa Shmailo

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Saadia Ali Aschemann

Bio (auto)

My name is Saadia Ali Aschemann I live and write in Quincy, Illinois My first collection of poetry, lavish lines/luscious lies, was released by FireFly Publishing in August of 2007 My second collection, Words Gone Wild, will be released in July of this year I was voted ‘Best Poet of 2007’ in the Annual Preditors and Editors Readers Poll and was also the featured poet in a short story anthology entitled Bloggers’ Delight: Stories of Love and Redemption Though I’ve been married to David for 14 years, poetry is my one true love
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The following work is Copyright © 2008, and owned by Saadia Ali Aschemann and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Manicures (from lavish lines/luscious lies)

Men are like

Never perfect for long

Chips and cracks
appear at the first hint
of duress

The bolder the hue
the more glaring the imperfection

Ragged truth
hiding under glossy lacquer

Like manicures,
men are ready
for replacement
or change
After a few short days

Larissa Shmailo

Bio (auto)

Larissa Shmailo has been published in Fulcrum, Rattapallax, Big Bridge, Drunken Boat, MiPoesias, and many other publications Her popular CD, The No-Net World, has been heard on radio stations across the U.S and the U.S Larissa translated the Russian Futurist opera Victory over the Sun by A Kruchenych; a DVD of the original English-language production is part of the collection of the New York Museum of Modern Art, the Los Angeles County Museum, and the Hirsshorn Museum of the Smithsonian Institute She recently contributed translations to the new anthology Contemporary Russian Poetry published by Dalkey Archive Press Larissa is a director of TWiN Poetry, an informal collective of over 8,000 audio poets and their listeners, and a public coordinator for the acclaimed annual Fulcrum Her new chapbook is A Cure for Suicide (Cervena Barva Press 2008), and new CD is Exorcism (SongCrew 2008) She is active in her native New York City as curator of Sliding Scale Poetry Larissa is listed in the Poetry Kit Who’s Who in poetry
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The following work is Copyright © 2008, and owned by Larissa Shmailo and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Williamsburg Poem

shaking like the El beneath the Williamsburg train
I wait for him to come
bridge and tunnel meeting like the girders of the El
his hard arms open my thighs

in the hood they have names for him
the girls say his names:
they call him dos cafes con leche
they say ruega para nosotros
they say he’s yucca, white and shining
like the crucifix on your breast
they say he’s lucky like a spider
they say he’s yucca, white and hard

they watch him
run like a wolf on the rooftops
run like a wolf on the rooftops
every night

rumbling like the train beneath the sidewalk
and the El above my head
encircled by these girders and his arms he
whispers spray paint and graffiti
pulls me down into the subway
pulls me down and up again
lifts me to the bridge the girders tattooed light the open El

his mouth burns the asphalt
graffiti burns my thighs
and I run through the clotheslines that flap on the roofs
I run through the night after him
the girls give me garlic
the girls all pray for me
and I pray with the words from the spray-painted walls
and the girders that shake on the El
and I pray:

he is my catholic con leche
he is my old native religion
I pray: ruega para nosotros
I pray: ruega para mi
he is my brujo lobo blanco
he is my amor y arana
and my prayers are as dark and as deep as his night
as the hole he will fill with his eyes
here in me

he opens
my Williamsburg thighs.

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