September 3-9, 2007: Jim D. Babwe and David Fraser

week of September 3-9, 2007

Jim D Babwe and David Fraser

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Jim D Babwe
jdbabwe@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Jim D Babwe was born and grew taller in Compton and Lynwood, California He knows he shouldn’t write and drive, but that’s what happened one day when he passed the Santa Fe Springs Drive-in on southbound Interstate 5 en route to his home in Encinitas, CA.

The following work is Copyright © 2007, and owned by Jim D Babwe and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Santa Fe Springs Drive-in Swap Meet Talent Contest

Martha
wore a string bikini,
juggled spoons
Mindy
sang a song,
left her hat on
Leonard
did impersonations
then
lit himself on fire
Ronnie
rode his bicycle,
accelerated to 175,
hit the ramp
and barely cleared
a hundred busses
Melinda
roller skated upside down
in a swimming pool
Mrs Valdez
baked a pie
inside her electric guitar
Mona
did magic tricks
with her nose,
made money disappear,
stole her mother’s keys,
took the car
Paul
ate an entire can of asparagus–
not the contents, just the can
Lance
melted credit cards
with his bare hands
Karla
hovered above
glowing coals
But this week,
a first time competitor
won
the talent contest
at the
Santa Fe Springs
Drive-in Swap Meet
It was Larry
Speaking in a rapid stream
of audible, conscious thought,
Larry said
one good thing
about everyone in the audience
as he
looked directly
into the eyes of
all 409 spectators
one
at
a
time
He used the following words,
some of which were repeated
several times:

beautiful
capable
intelligent
resilient
energetic
giving
gracious
kind
patient
reliable
tenacious
talented
generous
friendly
insightful
inspiring
courageous
trustworthy
honest
creative
thoughtful
supportive
gifted
wise
valueable
important
enthusiastic
grateful
This is how
Larry
changed the world
one day
at the
Santa Fe Springs
Drive-in Swap Meet
Talent Contest.


David Fraser
ascentaspirations@shaw.ca

Bio (auto)

David Fraser lives in Nanoose Bay, on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada He is the founder and editor of Ascent Aspirations Magazine since 1997 His poetry and short fiction have appeared in over 50 journals including Three Candles, Regina Weese, Ardent, Quills and Ygdrasil He has published a collection of his poetry, Going to the Well (2004), a collection of short fiction, The Dark Side of the Billboard (2006 ) and edited and published the four print issues of Ascent Aspirations Magazine A second collection of poetry, Running Down the Wind appeared in 2007 David is currently the Federation of BC Writers Regional Director for The Islands Region His latest passion is developing Nanaimoís newest spoken word series, WordStorm.

David Fraser has a BA in English from University of Toronto, and an MEd in adult education from OISE In Ontario he taught English, Creative Writing Writerís Craft among other subjects at the secondary school level for 30 years Currently he is a full time writer who also teaches skiing at Mt Washington in the winter

The following work is Copyright © 2007, and owned by David Fraser and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Practical Life

So much relies on
a life of practicality Floors obsessed with being clean,
dust afraid to settle on the mantelpiece,
in fact, dust is not allowed to even land;
time spent worrying
over pennies in a jar,
maybe sorted by their date;
knives washed and dried and oven-baked
backed up in recycled plastic bags from milk,
a life revolving round
clean, clear light
in freshly washed windows,
all things kept and cared for,
little tiny boxes plastic wrapped, tied,
the overlapping bagging trick,
with string and ties and
bags again and string and ties and bags again,
all hidden objects looking as if new.

It comes from history, her story
as a child, the oldest
raising brothers, keeping house.

Ah, spotless porcelain toilet bowls,
a streakless shower stall,
in fact, an unused shower stall,
a tub that one could eat a salad from I shake my head An always shining bathroom sink
I splash some water there
just for spite for making me
so damned obsessed as well,
but I suspect she sneaks back in
to wipe it down I’ve begun to watch her closely now
just in the corner of my eye
but I’ve never caught her yet Even plants are terrified to drop a leaf,
the spider mites know better that to come around,
too many friends might clutter up the house,
outside news hovering on the surface
is swiped away along with dust
And in that universe
of places and their place,
repetitive routes and routines,
a life of dull frugality
evolves Such a life of eat and sleep
and serve and clean
to sweep and vac
and dust and mop
and wash and iron
but never dream
never dream
never dream past tiny, quiet, sad
moments that are nice.

I’ve tried to figure out
the polyester everything,
the mud-brown quilted
gulag jacket that she wears,
not the breathable,
waterproof for Christmas
that I bought for her,
the one that smartly, loosely hangs
and trendy crumples up I’ve tried to figure out
her preferences in clothes Ah, they do not wrinkle,
they always hang the same
without the iron Such cleanliness?
Such tidy order in the house?
But who am I to ask?
I love her, even though
her nitro puffer
her nitro puffer
when she’s resting at the Shopper’s Drug Mart bench,
when she needs it most
when she needs it most
sits on her dresser back at home I ask?
She says, “Oh, it gets too foamy in my purse “

A shorter version previously published in Ygdrasil, Nov 2003
and in the collection Going to the Well, Ascent Aspirations Publishing

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