July 28-August 3, 2003: Milner Place and Emma Alvarez Gibson

week of July 28-August 3, 2003

Milner Place and Emma Alvarez Gibson

click here for submission guidelines

Milner Place

Bio (auto)

Milner Place Huddersfield, England 7 books of published poetry Latest,
Caminante, just out from Wrecking Ball Press.

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

A Mountain in a Bare Room

The hard margins of cold panes compress
the silence, music is only smoke of woodwind,

drum of rain, and if you think you’re dead
you’re not far out Today is mother’s day,

the milk is on the doorstep, but in Peru
the earth shakes, mountains are on the move,

and in the Urals bees compete with Geiger-counters Here, between stolid walls, pursed lips,

the air is thicker than a huckster’s skin, burning
the eyes that seek to see dust devils in a land

so far away, so dry and still that every sound
is made of glass.

The Desert

would appear to have been
around some time-this road an arrow
in its flight from then to when Mesquite and tumbling weed, cacti
with stubby arms, hands severed
as they raise them in surrender
to the sun This is an open space
where time is measured by the skins
of snakes and music of a desiccated wind
that whistles on a tinny flute, twists
in dervish dance among the thorns until
sun fall and the sharp knives of night
An eagle buccaneering in the sky;
a sand grouse dusts The word is dry.


The sun hammers the corrugated iron,
cracks the thin boards; but over the sea
the clouds push their black hearts closer

and it is discussed that the evening
will be a washing out of the runnels of shit;
plastic buckets and old tins will find

their appropriate pitches, and the children
who go down to the city with boxes of brushes,
rags and polish, are near to becoming apathetic
This afternoon the music is only anticipating
the drumbeat; aguardiente is opening the eyes
of old men and bright dresses are all the colours

of the desperation of hope And this is a brief
time of the sleeping of spiders and a shining
of moonstones on the buckles of sad shoes.


Falling off the soft sound,
breaking the painted window to let in
the scent of gangrene; to see clearly
the toad writhing in the snake’s gorge,

and the carnations
in the buttonholes of bankers
And you should know
how Jose Cisneros died in the dark hut
to the clicking of rosaries;
lungs choked with broken rock
and no spare coins to close the eyes
And I could tell you
how Felicidad Consuelo and Maria Benavides
were raped in the cells But you should know all this

from the cries of desolate birds,
muteness of dark-leafed trees.

Emma Alvarez Gibson

Bio (auto)

Emma Alvarez Gibson is an editor by trade and many other things by design, some of which are unfit to print She hopes to one day overshadow Charles Bukowski and Mike Watt as the most famous resident of San Pedro, California Read more of Emma’s work here: Heart of the Underground.

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


There are people who do not say
I miss you; they listen
for smoke signals
in spaces others fill
with words They recall
names and events,
they offer only
things you hadn’t the
courage to ask for
I know when you’ve missed me:
you want to tell me
everything that’s happened
until you’re no longer
by the fence of
words between us.

The Early Show

I know why you were there
your blue shirt
and awkward graying hair
said almost as much
as the wall of silence
you wore, and
the waves of fear
that rippled out
away from you,
stony, careful
I could hear you
preparing your reasons
for the leaders
of an inquisition
that would not come
Leaning away
from my friends
I watched it unravel
my purple scarf
winding around
my neck,
wrapping around
my hands,
Slumped down,
I wept as
each page turned,
snapshots: the phone call,
the confusion, the deliberate
look, the clumsy
weakness, the need
a gaping hole
water bottle squeaked I turned and
cowered: thirsty strangers
were drinking me in,
ants wading through
discarded meat
When it was over
you stood
on the steps,
staring at the picture
a look like no oxygen,
that shame
You struggled against
the tremendous gust
of nothing
that forced its way back
inside of you, as it had
not done with me I wanted to tell you I knew:
to scare you, or maybe
to comfort you I wanted to ask you
if he’s sorry.


I could subsist
on your breath alone;
to you, I
devour it
late at night
or when
you are watching
television It is an entire
maybe two Violet’s gum has
on this
achingly perfect
All of your ideas
pour in
like helium I rise and settle
more deeply

Subscribe to our weekly Newsletter: