November 15-21, 2004: Ryan James Wilson and Cathleen Daly

week of November 15-21, 2004

Ryan James Wilson and Cathleen Daly

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Ryan James Wilson

Bio (auto)

I am a recent graduate of the University of Georgia Currently, I reside in Albany, Georgia, where I am the English department head at a private school I have previously been published in Skein and The MidSouth Review.

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


Most contemporaries discuss closure
as if it were a sad girl everyone knows
has V.D who sits in the darkest corner
of some dive frequented by poets
Seated at the stained bar in the dim light,
clichés and platitudes drink Jack-and-Cokes
with their elbows familiarly on the counter,
each offering unwanted advice to the others
Meanwhile, at the most visible tables up front,
a group of grizzled old metaphors, among them
Rain and Road and Mirror, drink whiskey sours
and offer gravelly salutations to everyone coming in

before resuming their stories of lost grandeur But when I enter the bar, I move decidedly
toward the girl in the corner and begin a conversation,
ignoring the snickering and whispering behind me
And at the end of the night, I dance her around
the bar, her white dress whirling through smoky haze
and blue neon, her voluptuous body tantalizing some,
boring the tired eyes of others Then I lead her out

hand in hand into the moonlight,
letting people imagine they already know what
ending awaits deep in the darkness Of course, it is all to create

that momentary effect: smiling,
we both know I could never take her home.

Diet Life

Joanne could not make it to the party
this evening Last week, at the café,
between enumerating calories
and measuring spoonfuls of Sweet-n-Low,

she said she was going on a diet
the way someone might say he was going
to the hospital I imagined her
outside the double doors, starting at a

Richard Simmons bust, Jane Fonda stature,
with hungry eyes Of course, as she explained,
this was done in the interest of her health
and so she would look better in the nude
Tonight she called to inform me that her
diet life was such a success she could
not possibly risk coming out to eat
the fatty foods present at my parties
At once, I pictured her as Circe Myself and my guests transformed into pigs,
snuffling through the table of cold meats
and snorting past the finger sandwiches
So I hung up the phone
And, gathering attention, I offered
a toast: “Eat until logy, drink until
drunk, love until broken, and live until
death ” Then the party went on without her

Cathleen Daly


Cathleen Daly (Berkeley, California) writes poetry, experimental theater, and many little unintelligible notes to herself She has published poetry online and authored a chapbook of poetry titled “Ode to the Unhinged” The last play she wrote, “How to be a Secret Agent Girl as Seen on American Television and in Movies” won “Best of the San Francisco Fringe Festival” She likes long titles and has to restrain herself.

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

The Main Meat

your lips advertise the abundance of plums
coyly sitting in repose on your rubber-young face
I am a lush rainforest say your dark lashes
grazing your cheeks and when you
floated toward me like perfect church so
willing to house my lost and feral leanings
I thought Iíd swoon like condiments
ready to garnish the Big Roast
ready to adorn the Main Slab
but plum lips
blew sand-dead
stories into my heart
so softly you suckled your plums
gentle leeches you placed them
all over my body leaving
the bleeding time
those familiar holes
and trust trickling
in tired rust-red

America the Bent

banding together in grief we fell
for a chieftain and feathers atop
he strode harder than the callused
finger pads squeezing stone
rubble sifted for signs of life this heart tired of the pageantry,
of the body-count, drifted,
strayed from a multiple choice nation
pointed pencils pushing a, b, c, or d
down hard here was a test
the answers, clean little islands all those gray ovals had to be signposts
pebbles at least river-stones
eyes of the water, leading us home papa woodcutter betrayed us for his new one legs of timber he stalked duty
ax-cutting his children loose for
the mouth of the night to swallow only the moon-lit stones blink in regret

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