August 11-17, 2003: Ruth Mark and Eric Rossborough

week of August 11-17, 2003

Ruth Mark and Eric Rossborough

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Ruth Mark

Bio (auto)

Ruth Mark is a licensed psychologist and freelance writer Originally from a small town in Northern Ireland, she currently lives in Hilversum, The Netherlands She has also lived in Scotland and in France Her work has been published in diverse print and web venues including Riviera Reporter, Dakota House Journal, Poems Niederngasse, Snakeskin etc.

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

Doury Road had no Greenhouse
Make a circle first by looping the short snake
Of crocheted stitches, joining head to tail
Continue looping, pulling gently-not too tight
Expanding the circle in a lace filigree
Of loose-looping, therapy in the wool
The click and flash of the hook-needle
Against her gold wedding band That click the secret ingredient
Of perfect crochetwork, the added spice
Used for making rugs, left out of food Her cooking a mismatch, bland as wallpaper paste
Peas, potatoes, meat-indecipherable in the sludge
She’d take her postcard piles out on rainy days
The splash on the grey panes keeping us burrowed
Twitchy as rabbits, nervous with boredom
Our youthful energy bubbling like lava
Just under the surface Empire State,
Liberty and endless old grainy photos
Of long-ago ladies she traveled with
Sitting down to buffet dinners
The camera always trained on their
Mountainous plates Forks, knives clutched
In expectance, and up to lipsticked grinning mouths I knew what folk mean by
‘Ladies who lunch’ aged 10
The disparity between her doily-bottomed pastries
Good china for important guests-chipped cups for us –
And my mother’s delicious coffee cakes
Served up as wedges on plates
She had every colour of thread under the sun
A rainbow of shine and texture
Organized from earthy browns to vibrant ochre
The deep aquamarine and cobalt dividing the pack Her Singer kept polished in the back room
The window looking out on the arm of the garden
As wide and as long as the bench A dressmakers dummy missing its head
Stood pride-of-place, middle of the narrow room
Posing in the latest creation-some blouse perhaps
That needed new buttons or a clean lace collar
“For the lady next-door-but-one” The head-Judy-we called it
My cousin would frighten my sister with –
The youngest of our trio, horrified by its
Polystyrene fakeness, dented nose
Its no-eyed molded face, lack of hair
Her hair was tinted a funny shade of blue
Curls set every two weeks by my aunt or
Mum would come, patience personified
And dab the hair with lotion, add a paper
And roll the spiky sausages all over
While she’d complain if they went in to tight
Clucking her tongue while instructions flowed And mum would set her face,
And methodically roll-an hour, two
Easily passing, the smell of peroxide thick as fog in the air
That was then, this is now
And the same woman lies
Most of the day in bed, the air
A hothouse, the greenhouse she never had Gone her tended garden, the hedges
That needed forever clipped
The gravel drive that was a nightmare
For the motorist, its incline deceptive
The sweep in front of the house sharp
As the scissors she wielded in her sewing room Gone too the postcards, snapshots of America
Europe Perhaps they’re in shoeboxes
Hidden away in some aunt’s cubbyhole
Forlorn, forgotten-like she is to a degree –
My Dad attends once a week
A difficult hour carried out with grace
His mother, her essence wasted
Reduced to this shell, marking time
She finally has her own greenhouse What could ever grow in it?

Eric Rossborough

Bio (auto)

Before moving to Madison, Wisconsin, I lived in Los Angeles for many years, where I attended the Thursday night workshop at Beyond Baroque in Venice Last week I was featured at Barnes and Noble here and deemed so offensive the mike was turned off within the first five minutes My work has appeared or will be appearing in Nerve Cowboy, Poetry Motel, Schizmogenesis, Seldom Nocturne, Cup of Poems, Madigan Pages, and other publications I am engineer and a host of “Radio Literature” on WORT, and am an editor for the magazine Premiere Generation Ink
See more of Eric’s work on the web here and here.

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

First Woman

.Sex And The City was — is a book written by Candace Bushnell, who looks just like one of the actresses on the show Could I get one of these fast lane women to sleep with me? I hope that woman got a lot of goddamn money for the TV show Remember when Cynthia and Julie and I visited that woman Claire, in her apartment in New York City, 1982 Her trash can was stuffed with suicidal poetry Julie became quite worried Later Claire sold a TV show idea Cynthia was very excited, but nothing came of it And who is she friends with? Of course Cynthia met her through the Chapdelaines We called this woman up from Scott’s apartment Cynthia was drunkenly trying to fix her up with Scott “Eric likes poetry, put him on the phone ” They put me on the phone and I’m talking to her, but Claire was drunk herself and thought she was talking to Scott still, not a seventeen year old She was all caustic and cynical, and I’m right out of Wayland, delivered direct from suburbia, by bus “Do you want to go to bed?” I said I thought she sounded tired That weekend we went to a bar and I insisted on ordering a beer, ’cause I heard they wouldn’t card in New York My father was like, “Eric has had his first beer ” I don’t know if it was my first one or not, but I ordered a Miller Or a Bud I was all Billie Holiday and Velvet Underground, looking for them around every corner My Mother said, “That girl sounds more like Eric’s type ” But she was too old I was in high school The last time I saw her was at Cynthia and Jim’s wedding in 1987 She was drunk and dancing and didn’t remember me at all
.The suburban milieu was my forest I went home to that snow and put on my Billie Holiday record “Some get a kick from a plane ” Yellow and white cover I put the needle down, listened to the crackle, took my codeine and settled down to write Outside the white pines stood I was going to be a writer, all right Perhaps that’s all I really need to think of But what would such a New York woman think of me, going off to live in the Wisconsin woods? Dripping seeds and pine needles and smelling of mulch? It’s almost too much to fathom!

Rehearsal Space

.A child about to be born needs a briefing on what to expect What? You should just think about sex And money “Cause money, and sex, are running my life!” That’s from Nigheist Picture it, the bottle of water, the bottle of beer, the gatorade, the smell of spilled stale beer in the rehearsal space and dirty hunks of carpet The crude heavy metal of the drums and the amps Heavy to move around and not soft in any aspect And then the sound BA NAA! Hard and mean and very loud Enough to hurt a little baby’s ears Better watch it In one rehearsal space a homeless young woman was changing her baby’s shit filled diapers and I got kind of mad about it I was not the kind of person I am today and am a little embarrassed One time we threw out one of the members of Anthrax because we had to practice He was in there, long hair, with a couple of very redneck looking skinheads They had to go drink somewhere else That’s the end of the story To a rock musician the world is full of beer and pot to a way lesser extent Hard liquor some but mainly, beer I never did particularly like the skunk beer smell in summer and the sweat I would soak my jeans clean through and drink gatorade It was a good let out but the mind of the rock musician is on physical things and I could never get there all the way I was more appreciative of the damage it did than the life itself I always wanted to be one of them fistfight guys but it’s just not me One time I rehearsed with Steve and Chris and this time I was on the mike instead of the drums and I poured down about five beers in no time and it was like, Whoo hee! It didn’t affect me at all On the train ride home I felt just like Waylon Jennings.

Crazy Horse

.When I was in third grade Crazy Horse was new in the school library, and its clear cellophane wrapping shone over the colored picture on the cover No photographs for Crazy Horse The book was long to me It felt strong, and thick in my hand I felt ambitious and enterprising I knew I was stepping into my birthright, going places meant for me alone On the way home from school the air was fresh, breezy with natural smells and blue overhead I climbed a hill floor of pine needles to sit and read under the waving trees Rocks jutted out of the ground here and there It seemed right to be outside for a while, with such a book The words were taking me to strange half-remembered places The slick covered book slipped out of my hand as I slid down the steep hill, away and ahead of me It bounced off a rock, and landed in the small ditch that ran along the aqueduct I followed home from school every day Now Crazy Horse had a little marking of rock on it, and a couple pine needles showed through the clear jacket cover The book was now not new as before I had found my world, not so much in the problems of Curly with his brown hair as the feeling of wide open spaces, in a page, and the singing woodlot of white pines, big enough to hold me.

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