December 1–7, 2008: Steven Kunert and Daniel S Irwin

week of December 1-7, 2008

Steven Kunert and Daniel S Irwin

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Steven Kunert
skunert@oregonstate.edu

Bio (auto)

Steven Kunert, who grew up on the Texas-Mexico border and got literary “training” in the vast nowhereness of the desert and intense somewhereness of back streets in El Paso and Juarez, has published prose and poetry stretching back for 30 years in publications such as The Starving Artist Times, Dude, Rio Grande Review, The Oregonian, and more recently in Word Riot, Six Sentence, American Satellite Magazine and decomP He teaches in the English Department at Oregon State University in Corvallis, where he lives.

The following work is Copyright © 2008, and owned by Steven Kunert and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


The Old Writer

That night, he wrote five sentences He wrote about his mother’s hands
caressing his face when he had pneumonia as a child,
and he wrote about his baby daughter’s fingers
clutching his thumb the day he returned from the war He put his pen down, yawned, went in the kitchen
for a few sips of hot tea, and he thought about changing
the last word—eternity—in his fifth sentence,
then decided against it When he had enough tea,
he went to bed and he died in his sleep Early the next morning,
before the time he’d regularly awaken,
his wife—as she often did—snuck a look
at the latest writing, and she smiled A while later, realizing he was sleeping
longer than usual, she returned to his desk,
lifted the sheet of paper to her lips
and kissed his final words for the first time.


Hitchhiking, 1969

When she stopped her ’65 Mustang convertible,
I was lonely and stoned under dusk’s Navajo red sky
just outside Thoreau, New Mexico, and she said,
I have no home, I am driving for eternity
and you can ride along forever if you wish
“I just need to get to El Paso,” I replied,
noticing the length and contour of her legs
stretching from her miniskirt
like a long and passionate song into her sandals My name is Intertropical Convergence Zone,
she said as I climbed in, and I am low-pressure atmosphere
that might take us there someday
“I’m Steve,” I said, “and I’m trying to be a writer,
kind of like Richard Brautigan, in case you’ve heard of him.”
    
She didn’t respond, but later around Las Cruces,
she asked me what I’d say to Trout Fishing in America
if I ever met him, and this time I didn’t respond,
as I was too busy listening to her legs You will write a poem someday that pulls air
from the equator, with words from deep in your lungs,

she said when she dropped me off
at the plaza in downtown El Paso,
and I took a deep breath of her as she drove away.

Daniel S Irwin
niwrid@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

Artist/writer (both a matter of opinion) working in a maximum security prison in Southern Illinois Ya gotta get cash money somewhere Work published in various e-zines, journals and whatnots in the US and abroad .some that have asked that they never be mentioned as having published my work .something about the wrath of God Wrath on.

The following work is Copyright © 2008, and owned by Daniel S Irwin and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Deputy

The deputy demanded
Immediate DNA testing
Of all suspects
Specimens had to be
Broken down into
Spectrum patterns
Providing positive, 
Indisputable proof
Of red-handed guilt
Andy said, “Dang it, Barn
That won’t tell us
Who’s been stealing
Your copies of
‘Hot Sticky Buns’
Outta the squad car ”
The eavesdropping Opie
Gave a sigh of relief.

Assault and Protect

The house surrounded, 
Police opened up
With all they had
Even the newly received
Rockets were used
Canister after canister
Of potent gases and smoke
Crashed through the windows
Front door rammed in
With city’s bulldozer
Screams and cries came
From within the home
As kick-ass tactical squads
Invade and capture
The hapless occupants
With punishing vengeance
No matter the address error, 
The assault was so terrible
That the criminals, 
Hold up in the house
Just next door, 
Begged to surrender