November 13-19, 2006: Paula Villegas and Nancy Flynn

week of November 13-19, 2006

Paula Villegas and Nancy Flynn

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Paula Villegas

Bio (auto)

Paula Villegas, Psy.D lives in Santa Monica CA and has published fiction, non-fiction and poetry in, among others, BUST magazine, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Scorched Hands: An Anthology of Verse and Rage,  published by Pariah Press, and Poetry Super Highway Poet of the Week June 3-June 9  2002 She has been in private practice as a therapist for over 20 years and has always been interested in the deeper levels of existence, particularly what is always thought, but never said aloud

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

Homeless Prayer

.Circuitous move
I will
.To tolerate the numb
Big veined hands so 

Grasp barleycorn-ask
What’s this?
.Curled fatal position
Groaning polemic
Confused to the bone

Chronic perpetuity
Too smart for life
.My social worker
Says go inside
Gives me a token

I am heavy case load
Rise from the ashes
.Of my own cigarette
Shoving psychiatric
Voices aside

Do stolen roses smell as sweet?
They sing
.I get the drift
Sweet waft of
Bourbon parfum
My pancreatic death
Under a bush
.Pickled indulgence
No book, no chapter
Just sentenced
Resistant to services
Living death without end

Hollywood Hallucination

Garish painted lashes
Silly angry tirades
Confusion in
Never thought
It would be
Making the scene
More Real
To be fake
Hide in camouflage
Of seedy pits and
Stubbly legs
Wobbling meth
Induced charm

Tipping over
A urinal so
Mercifully sublime
Intent to drown

Laughing in tune
Gay as hell
A hole to fall in
Echoes and canyons
So deep and diffused

I had forgotten where
I was from – before
It was green
And people smiled
And sometimes meant
Now spoiled, I rot
Reduced to us-
Our vat of souls
We call L.A I am so glad
I came.

Bill and the Deal

Bill died today He left me behind
He told me a lot
Of things about life
His 87 years had
Battered him down
But the bastards had not won
I cried The bastards are
Still here with me
And Bill left me alone
To deal with them
Because he is dead
Bill understood
He was one of the few
He knew “the deal”

The rotten deal
People lying
Disloyal breaking your heart
Bill knew
I could talk to him
But now I can’t Because Bill died today.

Malibu Money

Gullible Insolent
Rich in the hills
Disturb me

Big cars thin bodies
Stores filled
With unusable items
Mock me

Pretend people empty
Botox faces
I avert my eyes
Try to blend in vain

What do I say
To the rich?
You are filthy?
Or just how
Did you get
All that money?

Their guilty silent
Ocean front
Waves won’t dilute
High end stench
Nose in the air

I slide down PCH
I find some losers and
Relax in a
Comforting state of
Absolute failure.

All the Women Are Dead

All the women are dead They died in their sleep
In the midst of a dream
That they had never been
Their birth was essential
Their death was inevitable
As what is most needed
Is the first to go
No one will miss them
As their work was done
Their imposed beginnings
Set the stage in motion
Now the flow is on
Set so no one will notice
The clicking down process
Imperceptibly winding down
Once again
The women ate themselves
And each other so those
Left could not desecrate
Any remains
Women slipped off into their
Amnesia took hold
And the afterimage
Glowed, then went dark
Into deepest sleep
And they found a final solace in
Never having been.

Nancy Flynn

Bio (auto)

Nancy Flynn grew up in the anthracite coal region of northeastern Pennsylvania She now lives and writes in a cabin in the foothills of Coast Range near Corvallis, Oregon Her writing has been published in Margie: The American Journal of Poetry; Ithaca Times; Now and Then: The Appalachian Magazine; Soul Searching: Thirteen Stories of Faith and Belief; and ArtSpirit Her web site is

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


A blue plush donkey
on the yellow stripe
down the middle of Main Street,
weekend festival litter

along the dike trail:
B.B.s, bottles, crushed cigarette packs,
a grocery bag snagged
on a riverside branch.

In one puddle, a brochure
from Chapel of Hope,
an “international” Christian church,
code words for we welcome
the black and the brown.

A steeple with a culm bank
in the background,
backyard pools that list and lean
into makeshift decks
lined with Chinese plastic chairs
and tikis and toys for the kids
while shingles are
a landslide off the roof.

One woman smokes a cigarette
in the screened tent that’s her yard,
Good Morning America
inside on the television set.

And this whole house re-arranged Where are the drawers I pawed,
stealing rubbers so Bob and I could
screw on my parents’ double bed?

Tong-len Forgotten

How is it I rush
past the young man asleep
on a cemetery bench
behind Église Saint-Jean-Baptiste,
my every thought on finding a café

yet still notice the newspaper folded,
inky shroud over his face,
Converse high-tops with no socks,
silver studs that are a belt below
a smile of skin, his waist
alive with its blue-vein tattoo?

Night, After the Rains

after the rains, the crickets, the
runoff through storm drains and sewers,
a gulley wash to the river
where waves become stillness and,
from the bottom,
dredged-up mud
after the rains, a drip from a hole in a gutter
the house next door where my sister lives,
where my sister hosts a party,
spend money to save money
jewelry from a catalog,
faux gold buy one get two cheaper, never free
that drip from a hole in a gutter
the one-two pause,
the one-two
until the women laugh, checks accepted,
the clink of stainless, pots in a sink
and up the alley, past garages, past chain-link,
the house that smelled like pee
when we were growing up
still stands, its matriarch,
long dead,
her bachelor son sentinel
on a folding chair next to the front steps,
night of no stars


Maybe leaving this life is a flutter,
the wind down my box canyon
morning as I sit on the patio
watch the tops of these 100-foot firs bend
more than you’d think such tall trees could.

Maybe it’s that middle-of-the-night
drive into thunder, truckers,
a death-grip rainstorm
hurtling, the only lives left
fetal-position and phantom,
when the levees break,
drown a Lower 9th Ward.

Maybe it’s falling asleep And the world called heaven and hell
is story upon story, scene after scene
and none of them make sense,
all the memories you have of all you
loved and hated, hated and loved
are words written then immediately
crossed out.

Maybe it’s the sound of
a broken neck.

Stillness Until the Wind

Car tires on the road below us
speeding somewhere, maybe home
to the day as it leaves, white-blue,
the hundred-foot firs in silhouette,
bedroom’s amber lamp Stillness
until the wind comes up
and the temple bell becomes companion
to the whistle of midnight’s train Under a patchwork cover
running stitch worn luminous
we sleep with the window open,
the madrone at last light,