May 13-19, 2002: L. Ward Abel and Brian Hopkins

week of May 13-19, 2002

L Ward Abel and Brian Hopkins


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L Ward Abel

Bio (auto)

L Ward Abel, a composer of over six hundred songs in the rock/pop genre, is also a founding member of Atlanta spoken-word pioneers scapeweavel His poems have appeared in White Pelican ReviewGeorgia State University Review, and forthcoming in Poetry Motel, among other publications

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


it had been a surgical college
large classrooms
seats above the instructor
and subject
cadaverous vantage                                   
i took classes there
summer of eighty
off great chandos
walked through parks
and alleys along the way
sometimes the sun shone
clear like
in sheets patterns faces
the subjects were matters of state
i wore a black impermeable
draped capish for effect
my opinions
were masonry
one day the teacher’s assistant
post graduate and pointing
private property of the heart
that a bartok was self indulgent
i remember
standing up
light gave away its path in dust
in words
there embraced by rome
a decade before berlin
in certain defense


The empty jar
that held preserves
red and seedy
sweet in their bulk
holds only grains now
as substitute

a gathering of colored sand
maybe powdered tea
and tang
cloves or brown sugar
replaced again
by a confused scent

yet labeled
as a product of
north carolina
of a weekend
life and offspring
a late spring snow
that surprised
and for

into strawberry
the power
had gone out
of our childless


Saw w b yeats
on the way home today
there ahead about
a quarter mile and closing

didn’t seem
surprised to see me
like he knew my name
his left lens obscure

a brisk wind blew up
the water-meadow
sensed his trouble
risen from springs
asking solamente
complected questions
jonesing for byzantium yet
and off the right-of-way

lake isles in the sky
that little valley those garden walls
sudden nervous indifference directed
my inferiority near

along the road
worn winter clothing
fifty degrees of intense

somehow a smile from him though
to the doppler machine
window-glass riverish
deep as i passed

deep as i passed
tipped gulfward pane down
open to word
relented wet

then gone rearview
but signs blown into rippling velvet
pre printed bolted silken
butler’s jabs.

Brian Hopkins

Bio (auto)

Brian Hopkins is a math professor in Jersey City NJ (just across the river from lower Manhattan)

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


For the first evening in a month
the sky over lower Manhattan
is empty Like the buildings
they honored, the lights
marked direction and identity Like the buildings they honored,
they are gone So continues our
education of loss.


How like a melody is this sky
arching over us to resolve
telling an unworded story
shaped to breath

The books are warm with stories
humming softly on sheared shelves
enlivening space with thought
ripe for telling

We are wealthy in words
carrying sheaves to one another
receiving as we tell away
eager to sing

How like a sky is our melody
soaring high into diffusion
patient to ask
burning red on one last edge

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