August 7-13, 2006: Robert Wynne and Annie Debauch

week of August 7-13, 2006

Robert Wynne and Annie Debauch

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Robert Wynne

Bio (auto)

Robert Wynne earned his MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University He is the co-editor and publisher of Cider Press Review He is the author of 5 chapbooks, most recently “Imaginary Ekphrasis” (2005, Pudding House Press), and “Wasted Lands” (w/Robert Arroyo, Jr , 2005, Nightgaunt Press) He has won the Grasslands Review Editors Prize, the Masters Poetry Prize, is a two-time recipient of both the Academy of American Poets College Award and the Poetry Super Highway online poetry contest, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize His poetry has been published in numerous journals, including Solo, Two Rivers Review, Poetry International, Trestle Creek Review, Rattle, Bayou Review, DFW Poetry Review, and in several poetry anthologies in North America, England and India He lives in Fort Worth, TX, with his wife and daughter

The following work is Copyright © 2006, and owned by Robert Wynne and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Theodor Geisel’s “Madonna & Child”

The child of God
With a capital G
Sits quietly there
On his chaste mother’s knee
Behind them unfolds
A spectacular scene
With cats and a zorax,
Some sneetches, a lorax

And an impractical
Marshmallow-toasting machine Such colors as no one
Has felt until now

Like limegreenabandon
And superhowcow Because nothing’s worth seeing
Or held and forgotten

If one supreme being
Has painted it rotten
Or left it alone
To be filled with self-doubt –

Now pick up your easel
Let’s go catch some trout!
And while we are fishing
The mother’ll be wishing

That memory would just say goodbye For her and her son
Aren’t having much fun
Awaiting the Lord’s hushed reply
She wonders aloud
If her boy is endowed
With the power
To ease all her pain,

And she sees the great stairs
Leading up like all prayers
Which the wide sky devours,
But no one complains.

Claes Oldenburg’s “Soft Thinker”

His face sinks
into his hand
until the sagging
nose fuses

with the right wrist Left arm drooping
to his ankles,
he leans

so far forward
he’d fall off
that small perch
if not for

epoxy’s resolve Even his hair
inches downward:
vinyl succumbing

to its own weight No way to know
if he’s been mulling
the same thing

all this time
or exploring
a variety of topics,
but it’s clear

his brain has become
too heavy for
his slick shoulders He’s sliding slowly

into the future His feet press
against the flat earth
harder each year

but they are no match
for time.

Exit Music (for a Poem)
– after Radiohead

Just a lone trumpet at first, keening
like an anxious, lost bear cub

who doesn’t realize
the only thing more devastating

than losing a parent, is losing
a child Then timpani: rhythm

falling into its familiar place
in the background A piccolo flutters through

on hummingbird wings because
beauty is staccato, never a whole note

or anything lasting longer
than longing itself An oboe slinks in

and sits under a tree, scratching its back
against the trunk with the patience

of someone used to being alone A pair of violins begin arguing

about who can sing higher, until
a tuba shakes them apart

with its loud gust and a triangle
calls all the instruments to dinner

with the simple certainty
of geometry One by one

the forest clears, leaving only
the mournful bear cub

still playing a blues
that needs no words,

alone once again
at the end

of everything.

Photograph: Posthumous Book Jacket
-after, and for, Larry Levis

I’m going to put Larry Levis right here
In black and white on this page so that
You won’t mistake him for anything else,
An ideal, for example, of language’s power
To live on in the final sound slipping from
His lips, barely parted The background
So blurry it could be the afterlife, isn’t,
He would remind you, still behind him He’s dead He would remind you of that As for his other use, this remarkable
Labor with lines for which you remember him,
The elegiac promise of poems having escaped
His fertile mind, he would remind you
That he did not write for you, did not wish
To become a footnote in a textbook called
Larry Levis, he would undoubtedly
Remind you, like so many selfish departed,
He is not to be offered as an example of anything
You can name, not even, he would add after
Looking away briefly, that most improbable
Longing, that unfinished memory
Of words, that fact of the past, Larry Levis.

Annie Debauch

Bio (auto)

Annie Debauch is a poet living in New Orleans, Houston & Bisbee, AZ She was born in New Orleans on a dog day in August & still haunts her family’s decaying home in the winter months since that birth experience still haunts her She has had the sad misfortune of carrying with her her father’s wanderlust Living in Kentucky, Tennessee & Texas, she sought refuge from her racing thoughts & multiple ex’s She wanted to be a hillbilly beatnik rock star, but could not play an instrument & could not sing Given to lucid thoughts & persistent confession, she gave it up & sought God in the abandoned mines of Bisbee There she activated her mother’s genetic code of madness with the assistance of nare-do-well’s who cling to hillsides in folkitechture of the absurd Manic, she collected another string of ex’s & fled to Houston In Houston she learned to sweat Recycling is her game Now, with these men everywhere she sleeps around the country on a regular basis

The following work is Copyright © 2006, and owned by Annie Debauch and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


There is no love like junky love –anonymous

The apartment wound through hallways
in a hip affectation. 
It was a shooting gallery still maintained
by daddy’s money He walked with a taut muscle that pulled
me to him,
across town or on a run to Philly Successful men brought their icy eyes
to see him and to linger along the lines
of my jeans or blouse They were fond of their China White,
and to a lesser degree, their women They splashed vodka into glasses for us
as if to say you are noticed,
but I am occupied now Liquor softened the fear of needles,
pistols and an unspoken captivity-
letting something in the cowboy become
apparent His waistband and vein bulged against
their respective steel,
but he remembered the mandate of
generations for their fortune It was
to be carried along into the Houston
with namesakes who’d dive from boats
and sip a precocious cocktail at five For exactly this, he had reserved a whisper–
a level of seduction that wove his new legacy
into theirs:
No needles then, baby Just breathe it in,
it would say As easy as that There are dreams in which he is still 25,
moving as effortlessly as then. 
In carved biceps and erect veins, he is smiling
and tanned Whatever it is that he has is mine-
the intimacies of a fugitive soul
or the depths of a junkie need I would keep you well, the whisper said Well
forever, he promised Not many men can deliver
that, it told me, not many men It is peculiar what we remember as tender-
these promises of a well-managed addiction a weapon laid gently on a bedside table
as routinely as a wallet,
or the vigil he kept when eyes would trace
my own tight muscle Not many men, I think, in those few moments
when waking,
not many men.

Border Patrol

The Sonoran bastard
caught my skirt,
pulling me to him,
as if there were license
in his belief that American women
are as free
as they are tall An inkling of rape passed over–
a hawk, I think,
with its dark rivulet of sand
in my momentary panic If a messenger of the gods
has come to witness this, I thought,
then I can survive it As I had pledged in my adolescence,
preparing for this day,
I remembered Hesse’s notation When rape is inevitable,
it had said, surrender The saguaros stood too stationary
to rescue The Bronco was hot enough to burn
through fabric Just as the pain peaked,
with its bones
into the throat,
bringing tendon and tissue
in chunks of silence,
I thought about my mother
and how she would forgive
anything about me Such preoccupation,
in a desert night,
where air
begins to freeze
both the metal inside you, 
and against your back,
comes streaking from the gods
as well In my own steel,
I was thinking about my mother
and how she would hold me,
no matter what When it was done,
I drove away I was thinking about my father
and how he loved his weapons.