April 14-20, 2003: Alain Sherter and George Henson

week of April 14-20, 2003

Alain Sherter and George Henson

click here for submission guidelines

Alain Sherter

Bio (auto)

Sherter, 37, is a journalist who lives and works in New York City, not necessarily in that order He loves books and is occasionally ironic, especially when writing in the third person.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Alain Sherter and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

I’m Not Writing

Thoughts like supplicants kneel in the rain
They mill about the plain goosefleshed with cold and the godhead
Barking amens at the sky
A preacher dips his partner in a waltz
But man they stink these fornicating pilgrims
Is it any wonder I can’t get any work done?
Besides, Elohim’s on the nod in Okinawa
He’s on the downtown bus and the uptown train
He’s a transvestite vamping down Eighth Avenue
A poet on the lam
He’s a Chinese couple cooking up a storm
Or none of these, just
Perhaps it’s easier to give in and
join the mizzled horde
Cross the road like a child and weep
But probably not

Ode to Czeslaw’s Birds

Press the hard 8s and damn it all
Press all the hards, $5 all round
The ideology of dice rules this stretch of baize
Where the blistered palm, the tragic palm
Cradles chips like an heirloom whose heir
Has gone missing
Strangers make a family at the roll
Our love a cocked wrist
Faith splayed like fingers
Joy a fist
A shooter on a streak is as
Pretty as the blonde serving drinks
No one knows us as she will not
Our fingers reveal nothing but their solitude
And now the matins bell is ringing and damn it all

>From the depths the surface is a sky
Fish make beds among the dulse and purple laver
And dream of history
There is no earth for them
Only the monumental water
Home of homes
When they whisper in their sleep
Pearls of air impale the dark
Beads strung on silence
At the top the sun awaits to
Lift them into rain
A drop falls for hours before fragmenting
On the windshield of a car heading north
Toward clearer weather
  Toward day

August, New York

Turn through, over
sightline beyond porch of
old house Bending girl by,

of blooming tree Driveways
and mower roar Cicada
hymn Jagged line

from France to boy
on lake, of sandbar Cigale
chant of noon Car

Ride to pine church,
needle hush Like
joy Cone dusk, butter cake
Am gone, like this
place Never was?
No salt marsh, nor senna

leaf All to come Of
come Bending boy, of
grass and star-milk
Place I am,
was, wrens buying bread  
for last flights

home Gare du Nord, with
paper sacks of
midnight I

Counts steps, sleep
hum City of my birth, these
broken feet assemble

Me Choosing
time is near Always,
in one way, alive to chance encounters.

George Henson

Bio (auto)

My name is George Henson and I am a professor of Spanish at Collin County Community College in Plano, Texas In addition to reading locally, I have been published in ForcesThe Red River Review and Thundersandwich My chapbook, Works in Progress, is forthcoming I reside in Dallas, Texas. 

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by George Henson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

A las 12 at 7-11

They descend on Seven-Eleven at noon
in sus trocas,[1] with three in the cab and
three more in the bed, cansados[2] after
six hours of manual labor,
para calentar su almuerzo[3],
stored in Tupperware or on plates wrapped in tinfoil,
carried unapologetically in plastic bags
obtained during the weekly outing to
Carnaval or Fiesta[4],
tied around the handles,
not once, but two or three times,
quién sabe por qué[5] They huddle around the microwave
that gringos[6] use for heating
store-bought burritos
the irony certainly escapes them
and while they unwrap
last night’s enchiladas or carne guisada[7],
accompanied perhaps by arroz y frijoles[8],
prepared con cariño [9]by their
wives, and in some cases, mothers,
they fill Big Gulp cups with Fanta or Coca Cola,
and search for Conchas or Mantecadas[10],
made by Bimbo, S.A[11] , now owned by Mrs Baird’s[12],
sweet reminders del sabor de México[13],
pastries bought for 3 or 4 pesos[14] at home,
and at least a dollar twenty-nine in the good ol’ US,
a day’s wage in Tamaulipas or Chihuahua[15],
just one way they pay for a better life
al otro lado del Bravo [16]

[1] their trucks (Tex-Mex)
[2] tired
[3] to heat up their lunch
[4] two predominately Hispanic Supermarket chains
[5] who knows why
[6] a term historically viewed as pejorative for Americans
[7] a stewed meat dish
[8] rice and beans
[9] with love (lit with affection)
[10] three pastries either homemade or sold commercially
[11] Bimbo, Inc , the most popular manufacturer of breads and bakery products in Mexico
[12] a Texas-based bread and bakery products manufacturer
[13] of the taste of Mexico
[14] a peso is approximately 10 U.S cents
[15] two northern Mexican states bordering the U.S [16] on the other side of the Bravo Mexicans call the Rio Grande the Río Bravo.

Kingsville, 1970

ramos niños y nada más [1]
We were children and nothing more We ran down narrow caliche[2] streets,
where passing Coca-Cola trucks raised clouds of dust,
leaving in their wake gritos y toses[3]
and stinging eyes, and bead necklaces
around tiny sweat-soaked necks,
necklaces that would disappear
in every bathtub in the barrio[4] by 10 p.m (That’s 9 on school nights )
Beneath flickering street lights and dancing fireflies
we played al escondite[5],
hiding behind el vecino’s [6] Rambler bought new in 1965,
correteando[7] between cookie-cutter houses
and old beat-up garbage cans,
stopping only long enough to buy raspados[8]
at don Cenaide’s snow cone stand
on the corner of la calle Ella,[9]
sometimes raspberry, y a veces de fresa [10]
And while los viejos[11] played dominos
and smoked cigars on front porches,
las abuelas[12] swept the caliche dust
that floated in through open windows
from once-red linoleum floors,
now faded from daily moppings
with no sé cuántos[13] gallons of Clorox It’s funny how bleach erases everything but memories

[1] We were children and nothing more [2] saltpeter: used, instead of asphalt, as a road filler in barrio neighborhoods
[3] shouts and coughs
[4] neighborhood
[5] hide-and-seek
[6] the neighbor’s
[7] running around
[8] snow cones
[9] Elle Street
[10] and sometimes strawberry
[11] the old men
[12] the grandmothers
[13] I don’t know how many

Destiny’s Child

With her leopard-print cell phone in hand
and Destiny’s Child in the Sony in-dash,
she drives her lime green
Beetle from home to the corner Starbuck’s
for a pre-school tall skinny–
she likes her lattes just like her men–
flavored with two pink packets
and a dash of cinnamon,
then on to campus, doing a one-woman
balancing act between in-coming calls,
changing tracks and
sipping her caffeine-charged breakfast,
careful not to spill on her DKNY Weaving in and out of
soccer moms and school buses,
she accents her drive with soprano screeches of
whatever! and fuck you!
“No, not you, fuck the lady in the mini van
driving totally too slow in the school zone “
Barreling into the parking lot,
she straddles the line between two spaces,
methodically returns Destiny’s Child to its proper place
in her 100-disc urban attaché,
detaches the face from her CD player,
careful not to chip a French tip,
and puts it in her Dooney & Bourke,
then applies a fresh coat of pink frost
in the rearview mirror She gets out of her Bug,
clicks in double time across the asphalt lot
in her Prada open toes,
click, click, click,
switching her cell phone
from left to right in between,
“Shit, I’m gonna be late to class,” and
“like, the prof’s gonna be totally pissed,”
keeping beat in her designer heels, she adds,
“whatever, I’m so sure, like,
why do we have to take English anyway?
I’m fashion merchandizing “

Elegy in a Suburban Front Yard

In Poe-esque poetic prose,
you assault the English language
in a bacchanalian gang-bang,
gorging every line
with jumbled gerunds
and mixed metaphors Ranting,
riding psychotic rough shod
in an alliterative rage,
You hurl insults
in a rhyming frenzy,
like hand grenades Stopping only to piss
and plunder AOL,
you parade around half-naked
on the Lawn,
howling at the Moon,
demanding Diana inspire you,
summoning Saint Brighid to guide you,
spilling your semen
in venereal ecstasy
as Somnus mourns your sleeplessness
and the neighbors call the police.


Subscribe to our weekly Newsletter: