November 22-28, 2004: Simon Perchik and Mark Odom

week of November 22-28, 2004

Simon Perchik and Mark Odom

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Simon Perchik

Bio (auto)

Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, The New Yorker and elsewhere Readers interested in learning more about him are invited to read Magic, Illusion and Other Realities at which site lists a complete bibliography.

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

What a long way –they know
it’s there, trapped when the ocean
sweet from that first rain
–all these years its tracks
and waves one by one
trying to climb out

–deep in the mine they know
how bottom sand was scoured
step by step –nothing’s left
except the claws and the scent
from what was once a breath
still floating on the surface
They train for this –in shifts
drift down and tied to their eyes
tiny lamps spread slowly outward
–they stare at the sky

as if the mine was still on fire
–they know it’s here, that this mountain
is why they’re afraid and bone by bone
pierce the Earth for those ravines
still prowling with dinosaurs
and with each tremor more coal
in clusters and hold
a great darkness without any water.

And the sweep
as if more and more sun
–you either hear it or you don’t

the way a whistle from far off
again and again returning
to its bleached railbed
as if it forgot how trains
fall away and in the distance
the sun louder than picking up speed
There’s no exact time
or where the light begins its curve
though the sound is familiar
bleeds in your mouth
tastes from volcanoes, years
You never hear it
or you do, waiting in tunnels
and loneliness –a clear light
wider than anything that lives

till nothing you say
is heard or forgotten
or the sharp tears
rushing across your throat.

The sun must crave fruit
and between these vines
a breeze still thin, gnawing
the moist stones –all winter

the sun prowling, undersized
smelling from halfway up your arms
where the ground stretches out
with blackberries, with the soft cries
once prairie and mountainside
whose weight gently falls asleep
inside your bones and overflows
What sounds like the sea
is the sunlight licking fresh fruit
–all these tears! darker than waves
and your cool mouth I still hold open
on thirsty afternoons where each breeze
begins again with shorelines, with seeds
smaller than another year
and snowcries grazing the underbrush

though there is no spray
and my hand kept open
draining itself dry
I eat these berries at night when the sun
who will grow so big –I blanket them

Mark Odom


I was born just in time to be a part of the hippy dippy sex drugs & rock n’ roll & fuck you if you can’t take a joke time warp A congenital spoiled Bad Boy I was farmed out to Catholic and military boarding schools for re-grooving A Catholic college took me in and promptly declared a “Day of Mourning” for the assistant editor of the school paper (me) after I wrote a sophomoric editorial that managed to deny the good sisters a dose of public funds I write songs and play some instruments Songs you’ll never hear on Top 40 radio After hearing Moby say he “thinks” he’s related to Herman Melville I chose Fenimore as my nom de plume James Fenimore Cooper was my great great great uncle He’s probably spinning in his grave And so it goes I live in Connell WA, for now.

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

Closet Sodomites

They beat me
With God’s shame
And Catholic mediocrity
And pine and alder and maple
Of all shapes and sizes
And weight
Some solid
Some with small holes
Drilled in a secular
Line and attached to a belt
With a leather thong
Beneath a black habit
When the pants came down
It was quite a sight
For those closet sodomites

Shit Rain

I just want a
little bit
Not any more than
you can give
Something different
than the flock of birds
that nested in the
Locust Tree
that one hot summer afternoon
when I was four or
five years old
Poking and scratching the ground
with an absent minded stick
when the whole flock
Shit on me
and I ran home

Ex’s Never Go Away

I’m relieved that
I only have one ex
If I had more I would
install more phone lines
and let them conference
their angst
and find solace
in their common misery
I’d have no interest in
their lovers
lost and found
Hysterical rants
about past slights
real or imagined
But I’d listen
to their cooing
Their siren song
of lust
and invite them
over for the night
if they promised
to be nice

My Consideration

Sometimes I wonder
is it really worth the trouble
Changing the sheets
I should buy more
I’m tired of washing them
three times a week
Fresh tubes of K-Y
I should buy stock
in the company
Straitening up
Covering the evidence
of the last tryst
The bottles the cd’s
strewn on the floor
They always leave something
Clothing jewelry
their scent
and hair
A color different
than mine
My deception
is my consideration
I want my women
to feel special
As though they are
the only one

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