March 15-21, 2004: Kenny Klein and Daniel A. Olivas

week of March 15-21, 2004

Kenny Klein and Daniel A Olivas

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Kenny Klein

Bio (auto)

Originally from NYC, I travelled the United States in a van for 15 years playing music at Renaissance Festivals, clubs and debutante balls I currently work in LA for a nonprofit that puts on musical programs in LAUSD schools, I play music at bars and fairs, and I record CDs of original music I have been published by anyone who will give up in frustration at my repeated submissions
Visit Kenny on the web:

The following work is Copyright © 2004, and owned by Kenny Klein and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Girls I Knew When I Was Twenty

Damn, the girls I knew when I was twenty We ran in packs like careless, hungry wolves
Taunting the boundaries of our dizzy, man swarmed city The come and go of faces on the IRT
Crowding the uptown local at Astor Place I don’t remember the shrill of car horns
Or the ambulances shrieking down Second Avenue No, I remember the dense quiet of Thursdays
Sitting on a stoop on Saint Marks Place
Or the cool marble of hallways in August
As the girls answered the doorbell in bare feet Nineteen, and Seventeen, and tag-along Sixteen
Ruling the world from a park bench in Washington Square Of course they had names; Kate, Michelle, Annabel,
Sarah But I knew them by scents, by movements I learned from them of the softness in all women
The glance up from down turned faces, the stirring
Of legs in skirts, with knees clasped while sitting
Boy-cut hair, held in plastic barrettes,
Dyed black as city soot, or snowy platinum
Held with pomade in cunning twists, or spiked
Liked barbed wire, or soft bangs covering eyes On hazy afternoons in autumn cafes, sitting
Legs crossed, conversing like giggling scholars,
Their eyes would dart like cats prowling
Seeking mice, or mates, as their thoughts took shape Annabel’s dark eyes, or Kate’s slate blue
And Michelle’s that were soft with delicious brooding Freckled arms pushed a comb through bleached hair
Legs in ripped tights and combat boots
Antique dresses in pastels, or vibrant green,
As green as the park in joyous June Sometimes I would drop some little thing
A comb or my wallet or a punk band badge
So I could maneuver in the thing’s recovery
To bring me nearer to the scent of musk Or lavender Or the rustle of old crinoline, aged fabric
Faded by time, forgotten, then salvaged and loved
Again, as only a girl of seventeen can love:
Adoringly, recklessly, with fervor, abandon A dress
Smoothed, stitched by supple fingers grown
Deft with plying marbles, with cupping secrets
Whispered through pomade caked hair A dress from a forsaken thrift-shop shelf, newly shaped
To the curves and freckled secrets of Tag-Along Sixteen All I know now of desire and heartache, and I know
Much, of recalling the scent of lavender and musk,
All I know of how I ache when, in bright Autumn,
A breeze plays with a skirt, a freckled woman
Smoothes her hem, clasps restless fingers,
Looks, eyes bright, through falling hair, and smiles,
All I know of conversations in marble floored cafes
Where the waitress speaks no English, and girls whisper,
I learned when I was twenty, from girls
Whose softness and lavender wasn’t meant for me.

Daniel A Olivas


Daniel A Olivas is the author of Assumption and Other Stories (Bilingual Press, 2003), and The Courtship of María Rivera Peña (Silver Lake Publishing, 2000) The author’s third book, Devil Talk: Stories, is forthcoming from Bilingual Press in July 2004 His stories, essays and poems have appeared in many publications including the Los Angeles Times, Copperfield Review, The MacGuffin, Exquisite Corpse, THEMA, and Pacific Review The author’s writing is featured in several anthologies including Fantasmas: Supernatural Stories by Mexican American Writers (Bilingual Press, 2001), and Love to Mamá: A Tribute to Mothers (Lee & Low Books, 2001) His first children’s book, Benjamin and the Word, will be published by the University of Houston’s Arte Público Press Visit his web page at:

The following work is Copyright © 2004, and owned by Daniel A Olivas and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


He tells me that the thrill is gone It’s gone for good, he growls
He should know because
he is the King My man B.B
Even when my own marriage
is just fine,
thank you very much,
he makes me remember
(a time long ago)
when I was still single and hopping
from one woman to another
like a bee in a garden
When the thrill slipped away,
silently, without a noise,
I would shake my head and
remember B.B ‘s words
The thrill is gone
But you push on because there
is always another thrill out
there in the cool Los Angeles night
And if you’re lucky with the stars
glittering for you and only you, the thrill
will stay and you will sleep the sleep
of tired children
The King knows this
And in his noblesse oblige,
he tells us, in his way, that this is life.

Crossing the Border

It is now a sport, great fun,
a diversion from your
work-a-day grind
Hunt the mojados-“wetbacks” just
doesn’t sound humane, now does it?
– as they run across the border from
Mexico to the great state of Texas
Help the border patrol
(though they deny wanting help,
poor overworked bastards) by lining up
your pick-ups and jeeps (American-made,
of course) and shining your headlights bright and
revealing towards the scrub, towards
our neighbors to the south
Share a nice little Jack Daniel’s with
your buddy and keep a lookout for a
family or two, crouching, lurking,
hoping for a better life
Cock your rifles, but never aim at ’em,
just blast a few warning shots
up into the star-filled,
moonlit night
It is a beautiful evening,
redolent with desert life,
just waiting for them to
cross the border.

Georgina S Francisco is a Friend of Mine

Georgina S Francisco is a friend of mine,
and she is very particular about
two things: cheese and Margaritas
“Cheese,” she purrs, “must be strong,
sharp and sweet, like dulce “

She leans into me for emphasis “¿No?” she says through a red
O of a mouth
“And there is only one way,” she whispers,
“to make a Margarita “

I wave her off, my eyes bulging with
excitement, and tell her about my
latest Google search where I unearthed
the most remarkable Margarita recipe that
includes a bottle of beer
Georgina’s eyes narrow into mere slits,
and she spits out a disgusted, “Feh!”

Before I can say more, she stands and
looks down at me with disdain “There’s only one way to make a Margarita,”
she sneers “And it does not include beer “

Georgina turns on her heel leaving me
desolate with nothing more than her
perfume’s scent and her rebuke’s sting
Georgina S Francisco is a friend of mine,
and she is very particular about
two things: cheese and Margaritas.

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