May 6-12, 2002: Robert Stinson and Scott Ferry

week of May 6-12, 2002

Robert Stinson and Scott Ferry


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Robert Stinson

Bio (auto)

IRobert lives in South Minneapolis He works as little as possible and writes whenever he can

The following work is Copyright © 2002, and owned by Robert Stinson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

East of Eden

My eyes break
into clouds, color
the cliffs of her body
with rain, drift over smooth
canyons I etch my name
in willows about her face,
shift with the wind, decend
to a grassy balm of sleep Mississippi Delta,
handsome and forlorn
looks like a mother Julia
is her daughter, invites me
to live in the valley of her hair.

Cab Ride to JFK

Moonlight pierces
downtown lights, shaves
skyscrapers into steel
prayers A gypsy cab rakes
the avenue, meter clicks
passion into dollars and cents, slides
her dress up marble thigh The radio
stomps, crushes cigarette smoke
into wine, holds her breath

Life During Wartime

I cashed a check
at Wells Fargo yesterday,
$836.00 The teller, her name badge
read Michelle,
smiled condescendingly,
then I saw
she had written her phone number
on my deposit slip I called her, asked her out,
Friday at 8 PM I picked her up in my ’78 Nova,
cracked windshield,
cigarette burns in the dash,
she wore new Levi’s
hair pulled back, no make-up We listened to AM radio,
a talk show about religion in schools,
went to Mickey’s , an all night diner All through dinner she looked at me
with that same condescending smile
pasted to her face I took her home ,
we made love on the sofa,
her neighbor downstairs,
a Latino named Michael
watched CNN with the volume turned up She looked at me
with that smile,
said “When are you going to get a real job?”
I finished my Dewars,
dropped the deposit slip on the coffee table
and left.

Dancing in the Parking Lot

A slender neon strip
cuts a crease in the horizon,
draws your perfume
across my face Debutante shoulder
carves a song into my cheek,
eyes collapse
into broken windows,
catch me when I fall I burrow under the burgundy
blanket of Rue Morgue Avenue

I Want to Live up to my Reputation

I want to drive
with no suitcase,
press our fingers
on serpentine roads
that lead to broken caverns,
watch gravel
color your eyes black We’ll collapse the day
into a cardboard box,
tie it with yellow twine
make one last grab
for crooked borders,
paint our names
in the sweat
on the window Breath hovers,
holds our voices
like loose change,
necks covered
with a dim glow of red,
a faint cigarette smell
on the dashboard We’ll listen
for the hum of noon
as it crawls
into the empty space
of an October day.

Scott Ferry

Bio (auto)

I am a licensed acupuncturist, but I tend to still teach high school from time to time, mostly because of the high wages substitutes earn I live in Portland, Oregon, but will be moving back to Seattle in June (2002) with my wife Robin I could list places that I have been published, but I would rather sing to you or tell you about the dream I keep having with Richard Simmons where he feeds me bacon bits and they are really nasty chewy ones and he keeps feeding them to me and won’t stop Ok, the last poem here just appeared in Bitter Oleander

The following work is Copyright © 2002, and owned by Scott Ferry and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

All the places I’ve left and the people most of all

Down at the Columbia
(or was it the Willamette)
you can see the bridges and how so many of us pass
over and under crossings every day
Yet death
remains that one span of road we can’t speak about
without wishing we hadn’t spoken at all
And now that I am in a new town
without many friends or relatives to explain
how death and carrying on
should look,

the river and the bridges are the best metaphors:

the wind upturning bright spikes
into mosaics of turn
and waft; a silent

stinging the eyes

Dream in Red Ink

My head lays in a dish or sterile metal tray
as my body sits upright The Doctors
examine my neck with transparent tools I watch this from across the room,
upset that they are taking so long
because the longer my head
is detached, the worse off I’ll be But I do have some gardening magazines
to read in the little room with the one-way glass They finally grab me by the hair
and half-sew, half-solder my head on They have to catch the snakes with the white sparks
and reconnect them It doesn’t hurt,
but it vibrates all the way down my legs After my head is back on,
I walk over to myself and push on the lump
forming on the side of my neck, next to the stitches I ask the men if it will pop or burst,
and they leave the room in a gray blur,
dropping instruments I follow them,
chasing them up the metal stairs They are discussing that the spinal cord
was the real problem–they nearly lost it–
but that the blood vessels resealed right away Then I am back in the room, looking in the mirror I keep thinking my head will fall off;
that I am very lucky that I can walk
or that my face didn’t starve to death
while my body was away In the next room,
white-coated men congratulate each other
and offer me shrimp and celery I decline because I don’t feel comfortable eating yet But they don’t stop chatting and poking my shoulders I don’t want to turn quickly in any direction
and I walk very slowly How did my head come off in the first place?
Was it an accident or was I an experiment?
I think of all of the things I can’t do
anymore and the dread of losing my head
again This fear is still with me
when I wake.

Ten ways to travel in your sleep

  1. Cook speed with garlic, mix in flint Garnish with gasoline
  2. Set the fishtank on boil
  3. Paint your bicycle the color of God’s hips
  4. Stick needles in maps Then stick them into your wrists and neck
  5. Destroy clocks
  6. Recreate New Mexican lightning storms in your bedroom Bring a lover and rubber clothes
  7. Disturb your cats with promises of impermanence At night your furniture will move around the room Your internal organs will chase themselves into corners
  8. Read Stephen Hawkings until your body leaks neutrinos, humming Blur the words until your skin floats
  9. Destabilize your molecules with Laurence Welk reruns Follow the bubbles off the screen, through the glass of the windows, out past radio towers Wear reflective clothing
  10. Murmur rivers last dropped off the world near Siam Murmur rivers that can’t return in force and silt to their mothers You will need green copper coins Close your eyes

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