September 12-18, 2005: Kirsten Ogden and Jonathan Hayes

week of September 12-18, 2005

Kirsten Ogden and Jonathan Hayes

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Kirsten Ogden

Bio (auto)

Kirsten Ogden lives in the Los Angeles area and teaches Creative Writing and Performance at the University of La Verne and in the community at large.

The following work is Copyright © 2005, and owned by Kirsten Ogden and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Sybil’s Sister

Let me tell you a story about
wind and crows and two
boys on shiny bicycles fighting for the ramp
to flight to spinning wheels and warm rubber
burning and hot to touch
legs straddling over bicycle chains

Let me tell you a story, she said,
she said to me, only to me, she said
Let me tell you a story
She rocked and rocked
watched her watch me watch
her Raggedy Anns
shiny button eyes from deliberate
quick thread reflecting a sky
full with rain, branches running in fright
Raggedy Anns can’t lie

Where have the days gone? Where has
the ace of spades rubberbanded to the bicycle
spoke disappeared to? Rumble tumble listen for it
you can ride your motorcylce anytime you
goddamned well please hum rum forget that
slap of bare feet—tell me where your days
have gone? Coconut girl mango sap covered
fingertips too many aunties asking
Do you know anymore where you are?

I can’t tell you, do you know any more
why the cat rubs your ankle when
you’re on the toilet why the words never
come why the right time is always tomorrow
why you never know if and when and how only
need, need, need to know where the day has gone
There are boys outside on bicycles
shiny red jumping speed bumps
bodies full of hope full of lust
of possibility of destination clink
bottle cap music of today roar loud

Let me tell you a story
breathe it in breathe it in
the moment star fruit fell from sky
like pie, banana cream chunks drop
to ready tongues—come with me
I’ll tell you there are tomorrows there
full and ripe like the Chow who didn’t
know the birth would be too much
Listen for the day break
rattle like bone bottle glass picked
up on a beach and shaken in a paper bag

I’ll tell you this, I’ll tell you wind and rush
through a whispered voice I’ll tell you “nothing,
nothing to be ‘fraid of shhhh” I’ll tell you the days
fall away don’t forget to watch your toes
wrinkle in wet sand have you forgotten
days are today Love, tell me, have you
ever ridden on the handlebars of a shiny
red bicycle dreaming like in a scream
hillside sick with giddy fear

Don’t do that, rock it all away, don’t
do that, tell me it’s a thing children do and then
go about your life wondering where
this day, that night, where goosebumps
from first kiss where stung jellyfish shouldering
wiggling rice cake fortune cookie almond
tofu where this day, why that end of world
feeling someday someday you’ll be at the end
watching just watching nothing but
stop and listen

Let me tell you a story
a woman cleaves her children
tight to her single breast, for the other
was lost to the knife on a hot day
when the girl down the street made
cherry lemonade let me tell you
this man walked his lover through
brumble of blackberry bushes
kissed the river-flushed lips until
they bruised let me tell you
a sister can move her tongue in and out
of the missing space where her tooth
once slept as her cousin sings
grace under the ceiling fan I will tell you
there is much more to unearth

How long since your last love affair
the palm of your hand the soft breast
thumb moves up and over nipples
that sing like sirens the feel of warm cotton
the slipped off skin the water cupped in
your hands for thirsty marigold the glass
full of light forcing open sleeping buds

Days gone into wind, into last shadow
across swimming pool into the man push
the lawn mower around the big stone
covered in shiny ribbons of adventurous snails
Don’t ask for the day, look for it, Henry
who plays piano at 7:30 every evening while
a cup of tea listens on the bench beside him
Claire de Lune calls to crows
You are not so lost

Find your day in the licked clean paws
and toes and tails in the fat palm of ginger
smelling up the joint, in the shy boy belly full
pink watermelon sleeping with kittens
in the curly haired kazoo player humming
Hapa Jones in the barefooted Paneole
checking his pickup for a stick of Big Red
in the bandana headed hot mama cracking
Pecans with a rubber mallet for slice of pie

Let me tell you a story
she said it to me, to me only, she said
let me tell you a story about a girl who
found the day, reached out and grabbed
it in both fists and pulled it in close

Something On My Mind
.A Found Poem

1 Down the years, the written word has incurred
crucifixion, beheading, stoning, castration,
burnings, outrage, vehemence, intemperance, and a bigotry
that veers from the righteous to the superstitious [ ]
Writers have been in the trenches from time beginning Euripides, [ ] was driven out of Athens around 409 B.C ,
his crime being his unflinching depiction of the evil inherent
in both God and man [ ] May, 1957 [ ] two
police officers—in San Francisco went into the City
Lights bookshop and, for seventy-five cents, purchased
a copy of “Howl and Other Poems,” by Allen Ginsberg They then obtained a warrant
for Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s arrest,
who was charged with violation of Section 311, for willfully
and lewdly selling the book [ ] [ ] Allen Ginsberg’s odyssey
of subways, Benzedrine, spilt brains, bare buttocks, and easy lays
proved grist to the mill of its defenders, who argued
that this nightmare world reflected this author’s
rage and loneliness, and was figurative of America itself
on the verge of breakdown—
Edna O’Brien in an American Academy of Arts lecture, 2005

2 I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,
angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,

–from HOWL by Allen Ginsberg

3 I think I hear you singing it
singing it leaning out
into this rainy dusk with its
trees full of wet leaves & cursed
opportunities you wanna be saved
from your self you wanna be saved from your self
you wanna be saved from the words that crawl
in and out of your eyes that 300 page novel stopped
in the middle the weight of words in that dance
pushing down breath through shoulders through throat
chest and belly down where hands hug hip bones
when you’re afraid someone’s gonna find out your
truth and see that you with the uncle who hides track
marks on his arms or that guilty you who pulled mama
up from the corner that day her body froze or that you
afraid to say it standing alone

but I am with you when you think you can’t really say what you wanna say
and I am with you when you think there’s only one right way
and I am with you when you wanna run from the day
and I am with you when you hear someone say
don’t don’t don’t don’t say that don’t do that don’t speak that don’t breathe that
don’t wear that don’t think that don’t try that don’t don’t don’t

don’t listen to that shit

You’re at your loveliest rolling on & not heading for the door
stop looking at the floor there’s no Sugar Chicago at your feet
It’s in the air there and it’s all good
I want to hear about how you shift tombs into wombs I want to
hear about Georgia Blue and her black eye liner I want to see
the you behind that masked empty of the girl who walked away
I want to hear about love

be the bad loser be the one who won’t let go be the voice that
can’t stop singing be the word without the pen and paper
because we write in the head in the heart in the gut
listen to that instead be the wrong way until everyone else
sees there’s no right way be the rain be the trees and the leaves
be all the things you do in that test of your heart be sweet jane
be blue Miles be everyone who has ever had a dream

then tell me who reads these fucking protest poems anymore

Jonathan Hayes


Jonathan Hayes is the author of Echoes from the Sarcophagus (3300 Press, 1997), St Paul Hotel (Ex Nihilo Press, 2000), and self invented (split chapbook with Mark Sonnenfeld, Marymark Press, 2003) Lives in San Francisco where he edits the literary / art magazine Over the Transom Last seen in the centerfield bleachers; disappeared in the bottom of the ninth.

The following work is Copyright © 2005, and owned by Jonathan Hayes and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

At the Desk

Eating a banana
and listening to talk radio;
I look out the window to see
if it is raining – thoughts of
her in the distant city.


before the sounds of the City

pass through the open apartment window,

a bird on the fire escape sings a song,

sung before the City was here.

The News

Sometimes humans
are like TVs,

if you get
too close,

reception is bad.

Love on Market Street

It was time for dinner,
as I walked down Market Street
toward a burrito joint off of Sixth
When I crossed Fifth,
my eyes made contact
with a young, beautiful blonde;
she gave me a million-dollar smile,
then handed me a red rose,
as we walked by each other
in the middle of the street
Back on the sidewalk,
I looked at the red rose;
it was the most beautiful red rose
I ever saw
And then I noticed
a heart drawn by someone
in blue magic marker
on the green tissue paper
it was wrapped in,
and below the heart it said,
“Pass it on “

So I started looking for girls
to pass it on to, but there
were only crackheads,
bums, and drug dealers
in front of the Warfield Theater
On the other side of the street,
I saw a young woman
coming out of the Pearl Art store,
so I handed it to her
Frightened, she jumped back
against the store’s front window
and said,

“I’ll pass “

Wine and Tea

Lay down on futon at 12 in the night –
not drunk, yet far from sober Sleep like

snail in shell Wake at 4 in the morning –
toss and turn, dreaming on and off
Rise at 9 in the morning for work –
buy hot water for one quarter, add

green tea with ginseng Leaf river
channels back to fruity sea.

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